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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Polonius and Kate
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0599  Wednesday, 31 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Mar 1999 13:32:10 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0584 Polonius and Kate

[2]     From:   Andy White <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Mar 1999 20:23:44 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0584 Polonius and Kate


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Mar 1999 13:32:10 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0584 Polonius and Kate
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0584 Polonius and Kate

This is further evidence that Hamlet ain't such a prize as princes go.
He does the same thing to Osric: it's hot, it's cold.  What is used by
Petruchio to demonstrate the proper obsequiousness of subaltern to
sovereign (the family followed the same principles as the state in the
Renaissance thinking represented here), is used by Hamlet as a cause for
ridicule.  Polonius is subject to the same motivation as Kate: to please
his lord as a faithful servant should.  But Hamlet, while wielding the
power of life and death over those around them, holds them in contempt
for declining to displease him by arguing trivial points.  He is
Shakespeare's representation of an Elizabethan sociopath.

Clifford Stetner

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andy White <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Mar 1999 20:23:44 -0500
Subject: 10.0584 Polonius and Kate
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0584 Polonius and Kate

Actually, I tend to see these two scenes differently; Hamlet imposes on
Polonius because court etiquette requires Polonius agree with anything
his betters say-even if his betters are clearly nuts.

In the same vein, Petruchio's sun/moon bit with Kate seems to be his
attempt to get her to treat him like royalty, to agree with everything
he says, for no other reason than that he said it.  Kate finally agrees
to this, but not before turning the tables on her hubby, as I recall...
it seems to me that Polonius isn't the crazy one, he's sane but stuck in
an absurd situation.  Ditto, even more so, for Kate.

Andy White
Arlington,VA
 

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