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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: July ::
Re: Incest
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0704  Thursday, 30 July 1998.

[1]     From:   Roy Flannagan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Jul 1998 12:41:11 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0702  Re: Incest

[2]     From:   Paul S. Rhodes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Jul 1998 17:52:23 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0702  Re: Incest


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roy Flannagan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 Jul 1998 12:41:11 -0400
Subject: 9.0702  Re: Incest
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0702  Re: Incest

>I'm afraid we're still scarcely doing justice to the complexities posed
>by Satia Testman's question.  Textual evidence, indeed! Such pedantry
>merely obscures the issue. I blame the parents. In fact, call me a
>suspicious old sod, but the silence, nay absence of Mrs Polonius has
>always struck me as deeply  significant.  Not that we ever got on.
>
>T. Hawkes

I have always assumed that Ms. Polonius was bored to death by her
husband.

Roy Flannagan

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul S. Rhodes <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 29 Jul 1998 17:52:23 -0600
Subject: 9.0702  Re: Incest
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0702  Re: Incest

The good Mr. Hawkes wrote:

>In fact, call me a
>suspicious old sod, but the silence, nay absence of Mrs Polonius has
>always struck me as deeply  significant.  Not that we ever got on.

You didn't get on?  But I would think that you would be Mrs. Polonius'
type.  No, I could not resist.

But, to the point.  Following this interesting discussion of whether of
not Polonius or Laertes ever got wise with Ophelia, I was reminded of a
post to this list a long time ago in which the claim was made the herbs
that Ophelia mentions  in her mad scene constitute an abortifacient when
taken together.  Does anyone know if this is true?

I for one think it is clear from Ophelia's dirty songs that someone knew
her in the Biblical Sense.  The question is who.  Branagh, as we all
know, thinks it was Hamlet.  I think there is much more textual evidence
to suggest that it was either Polonius or Laertes.  I will agree that
this evidence is scant but is still much more than the evidence
supporting Branagh's take.

Paul S. Rhodes
 

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