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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Shakespeare's Names
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0455  Monday, 15 March 1999.

[1]     From:   John Drakakis <
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        Date:   Friday, 12 Mar 1999 16:21:28 -0000
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.0445 Re: Shakespeare's Names

[2]     From:   Laura Fargas <
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        Date:   Friday, 12 Mar 1999 22:47:45 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0433 Re: Shakespeare's Names

[3]     From:   Brian Haylett <
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        Date:   Saturday, 13 Mar 1999 14:25:43 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0433 Re: Shakespeare's Names


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
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Date:           Friday, 12 Mar 1999 16:21:28 -0000
Subject: 10.0445 Re: Shakespeare's Names
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.0445 Re: Shakespeare's Names

Let me offer Roy Flannagan some encouragement.  There's a lot of work to
be done on speech-prefixes and their significance, not least because
various editors of Shakespeare have been inclined to normalise them in
peculiar ways.

The project would begin, I think in the details of textual bibliography,
but would need to broaden out from there.

Good luck.  The results could be exciting

John Drakakis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Laura Fargas <
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Date:           Friday, 12 Mar 1999 22:47:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0433 Re: Shakespeare's Names
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0433 Re: Shakespeare's Names

>And yet, speaking of names, it is interesting to trace HOW "Hamlet"
>comes from the play's sources. There is no "H" at the beginning, either
>in Saxo (Amlothi), or in Belleforest (Amleth). Nor in its Latin version,
>"Ambletus" (in Krantz's Chronica Regnorum Aquilonarium, Strasburg, 1545,
>the same page, 619, speaks of the Danish "Ambletus", and of "Claudius",
>the Roman emperor).

Is it possible that the aspirating "h" was added so the name would be
more audible and intelligible from the stage?  Saxo and Belleforest were
to be read, not performed-substituting a straight 't' for what looks
like an old 'thorn' would also sharpen the name's pronunciation.

It would also seem to allow Shakespeare to effectively work in a hidden
personal reference to his son, who had died four or five years before
the play's first performance (or, if you go with the notion of an
ur-Hamlet, a reference to either a newborn son or a well-loved neighbor
in Stratford) --but that idea is so obvious that someone has probably
debunked it long ago.

Laura Fargas

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Haylett <
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Date:           Saturday, 13 Mar 1999 14:25:43 -0000
Subject: 10.0433 Re: Shakespeare's Names
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0433 Re: Shakespeare's Names

Maria Hablevych mentions '"Hambleton", the name of a town somewhere in
the
>north-east of England.
>Could anybody give information about the town:

This proved unexpectedly interesting, not because Hambleton itself seems
relevant - there are several Hambletons and Hambledons - but because
Ekwall (Oxford Dictionary of Place-Names) mentions the Old English
element 'hamel' means 'maimed' (confirmed by OED). 'Claudius' means
'lame, crippled'. Quite a coincidence.
 

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