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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: June ::
Re: Various Hamlet Postings
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0571  Thursday, 18 June 1998.

[1]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Jun 1998 12:50:20 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0564 Re: Various Hamlet Postings

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Jun 1998 13:04:03 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 9.0564  Re: Various Hamlet Postings

[3]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Jun 1998 15:47:02 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0564  Re: Various Hamlet Postings

[4]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Jun 1998 16:00:17 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0564  Re: Various Hamlet Postings


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 Jun 1998 12:50:20 -0400
Subject: 9.0564 Re: Various Hamlet Postings
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0564 Re: Various Hamlet Postings

>historical situatedness. . . .

Just a question or twa about that phrase:  is it a pre-post-modern way
of saying "place in history"? Or does the phrase connote something more?

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 Jun 1998 13:04:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Various Hamlet Postings
Comment:        SHK 9.0564  Re: Various Hamlet Postings

Bill Godshalk writes

>This could work on stage, but the actor playing Fortinbras would have to
>indicate Claudius when he says "his."

Not on your nellie. The actor has simply to stress the word rather more
heavily. On the other hand, if he means to indicate Hamlet, he has to
stress it rather more lightly. Since he has to stress the word one way
or the other in order to say it, there is a choice. Either way makes
perfect sense, without any strain, and there is absolutely no linguistic
reason to prefer the second alternative to the first. Neither is more
obviously 'right', 'natural' or 'appropriate' than the other. The
relationship between the two 'mighty opposites' is of course at stake.

T. Hawkes

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 Jun 1998 15:47:02 -0400
Subject: 9.0564  Re: Various Hamlet Postings
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0564  Re: Various Hamlet Postings

Terence Hawkes's suggestion that Fortinbras directs "and for his passage
/ The soldier's music and the rite of war / Speak loudly for him" is
intriguing, maybe even original (none of the half-dozen editions I've
got ready to hand glosses it that way).  It seems to me countered,
however, by the fact that the texts assign Claudius administrative
gifts, diplomatic gifts, even personal courage, but nobody ever speaks
of him as a soldier-a term F. (echoing Ophelia much earlier in the play)
has used of Hamlet just 3 lines before.  Nor does C. make what I would
call a soldierly response to any of the challenges he faces in the
course of the play.  Whereas Hamlet (at least at the end) takes on his
enemies hand to hand and face to face, and is only defeated by kinds of
chicanery deeply offensive to the chivalric code.

Dave Evett

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 Jun 1998 16:00:17 -0700
Subject: 9.0564  Re: Various Hamlet Postings
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0564  Re: Various Hamlet Postings

Regarding Hamlet's unwillingness to kill Claudius:

Sean Lawrence,

>In Hamlet's day, regicide was a crime at least as hideous as parricide,
>perhaps even worse. However secular Hamlet (or Shakespeare) may appear,
>he would be taking an awful risk. Hamlet was between a rock and a hard
>place: if he didn't revenge his father he had failed by one set of
>values, yet if he were to murder the Lord's anointed in cold blood he
>would fail most dangerously by another set. Had it been Claudius behind
>the arras instead of Polonias, it would have been merely homicide
>(perhaps). As for R and G, they simply walked into their own trap.

Hamlet needed an occasion to kill Claudius, one that would demonstrate
to all concerned (including God, if He happened to notice) the justice
of the deed. And indeed, the perfect opportunity did present itself.
Unfortunately, he wasn't given much time to relish it.

Stephanie Hughes
 

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