Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Goethe on Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0452  Monday, 15 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Bernice W. Kliman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 12 Mar 1999 09:48:56 -0500
        Subj:   Goethe on Hamlet

[2]     From:   Mark Lawhorn <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 12 Mar 1999 05:38:58 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0449 Goethe on Hamlet

[3]     From:   Werner Bronnimann <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 15 Mar 1999 15:11:32 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0449 Goethe on Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bernice W. Kliman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 12 Mar 1999 09:48:56 -0500
Subject:        Goethe on Hamlet

Kristine Steenberg may be thinking of Edward Vining's book, The Mystery
of Hamlet (1881), which posed the idea that at least at first Sh thought
of Hamlet as a woman. The wonderful 1920 Svend Gade film with Asta
Nielsen as Hamlet explored Vining's idea further.

Or she may be thinking of Goethe's famous remark, through his eponymous
character Wilhelm Meister, of the oak tree planted in a delicate vase:

Goethe, in Wilhelm Meister (1796), book 4, chapter 13, pp. 145, says of
Hamlet: "'Just to think clearly about this young man, this son of a
prince,' Wilhelm went on to say. 'Visualize his position, and observe
him when he learns that his father's spirit is abroad. Stand by him
when, in that terrible night, the venerable ghost appears before his
eyes. He is overcome by intense horror, speaks to the spirit, sees it
beckon him, follows, and hears-the terrible accusation of his uncle
continues to ring in his ears, with its challenge to seek revenge, and
that repeated urgent cry: 'Remember me!' </p. 145> <p. 146>

'And when the ghost has vanished, what do we see standing before us? A
young hero thirsting for revenge? A prince by birth, happy to be charged
with unseating the usurper of his throne? Not at all! Amazement and
sadness descend on this lonely spirit; he becomes bitter at the smiling
villains, swears not to forget his departed father, and ends with a
heavy sigh: "The time is out of joint; O cursed spite! That ever I was
born to set it right!"

'In these words, so I believe, lies the key to Hamlet's whole behavior,
and it is clear to me what Shakespeare has set out to portray: a heavy
deed placed on a soul which is not adequate to cope with it. And it is
in this sense that I find the whole play constructed. An oak tree
planted in a precious pot which should only have held delicate flowers.
The roots spread out, the vessel is shattered.

'A fine, pure, noble and highly moral person, but devoid of that
emotional strength that characterizes a hero, goes to pieces beneath a
burden that it can neither support nor cast off. Every obligation is
sacred to him, but this one is too heavy. The impossible is demanded of
him-not the impossible in any absolute sense, but what is impossible for
him. How he twists and turns, trembles, advances and retreats, always
being reminded, always reminding himself, and finally almost losing
sight of his goal, yet without ever regaining happiness!'"

This is from the Eric Blackall trans. published in 1989.

Most of Goethe's ideas on Hamlet are to be found in WM.

If you might something more definite, I would be glad to learn of it.

Bernice W. Kliman
70 Glen Cove Drive
Glen Head, NY 11545
516-671-1301 (h)
516-572-7185 (o)
516-759-5978 (f)

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mark Lawhorn <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 12 Mar 1999 05:38:58 -1000
Subject: 10.0449 Goethe on Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0449 Goethe on Hamlet

Kristine,

There's a section on Hamlet in *Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship*.  I
don't know, however, if it contains the quotation that you're seeking.

Mark

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Werner Bronnimann <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 15 Mar 1999 15:11:32 +0000
Subject: 10.0449 Goethe on Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0449 Goethe on Hamlet

> I have a problem concerning  Goethe

 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.