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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Hamlet's Age
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0363  Thursday 4 March 1999.

[1]     From:   John Savage <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Mar 1999 09:11:21 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 10.045 Re: Hamlet's Age

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 03 Mar 1999 11:07:20 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0352 Re: Hamlet's Age

[3]     From:   Morris Shaw <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 03 Mar 1999 18:40:52 -0600
        Subj:   Re: Hamlet's age

[4]     From:   Asami Nakayama <
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        Date:   Thursday, 4 Mar 1999 11:43:18 +0900
        Subj:   Re: Hamlet's Age


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Savage <
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Date:           Wednesday, 3 Mar 1999 09:11:21 -0500
Subject: Re: Hamlet's Age
Comment:        SHK 10.045 Re: Hamlet's Age

>The "Yorick" evidence is undeniable, but it is not clear what it means.

Could it not mean that Our Will just sort of forgot that he had
established the young Prince as a young prince, a teenager, in the early
part of the play?   As the shores of Bohemia prove, he could make
mistakes.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Wednesday, 03 Mar 1999 11:07:20 -0800
Subject: 10.0352 Re: Hamlet's Age
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0352 Re: Hamlet's Age

Takashi asks:

>Would you kindly identify the sources your argument is based upon?
>'Court records' you mention in your posting or crime records?  Where can
>we (or did you) find them? Record Offices? I should sincerely appreciate
>your (or any SHAKSPER subscriber's) reply.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I can't identify specific sources.  This
is the sort of thing that gets repeated fairly often, so I can't
remember being struck by a particular citation.  Or rather, I can think
of specific citations, but not specific books.  One of my old professors
used to bring in transcribed court records for us to pore over, but I
don't know his exact source.  In any case, as Jack Heller points out,
young and rebellious men were a staple of the contemporary stage.  We
might also question why Gloucester is so easily convinced by the forged
letter, ascribed to Edgar, complaining that no one can receive their
fortunes until they're too old to enjoy them.

You might want to try looking at Keith Wrightson's _English Society_.
I'm quite certain that he'll have something on the deferral of marriage,
and probably on protracted apprenticeships.  You might also look for
population statistics, since I believe that they show something of a
baby boom, which would tend to create this situation.  John Hale refers
to demographic growth and the violence of the young on pages 484-485 of
his excellent _Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance_. But I'm sure
others on this list will be able to provide you with more specific
suggestions.

Cheers,
Se

 

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