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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: May ::
Re: Time of *Ham.*
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0848  Wednesday, 12 May 1999.

[1]     From:   Dana Shilling <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 May 1999 11:54:21 -0400
        Subj:   Setting of Hamlet

[2]     From:   Ian Delaney <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 May 1999 20:43:47 +0100
        Subj:   Hamlet Timescale


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Shilling <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 May 1999 11:54:21 -0400
Subject:        Setting of Hamlet

If Claudius is sending Hamlet to England to collect the danegeld, it
would have to be pretty damn early-but if Hamlet is ABT at Wittenberg
U., the action must occur after the foundation of the University, and if
they have cannons to salute drinking bouts (and for pioneers to be hoist
with their own petard) it has to be pretty damn late. But of course we
can all quote chapter and verse on anachronisms in the play.

There's a not-very-good, but very relevant, straight-to-video movie
called "Royal Deceit," with Christian Bale, Helen Mirren, and Gabriel
Byrne. It's a version of the Saxo Grammaticus chronicle. Amleth finds
the runes calling for his death while the Rosencrantz & Guildenstern
equivalents are sleeping; forges new runes; has R&G killed-and collects
a substantial fine from the King of England for killing his followers!
In this version, Feng (Claudius) is democratically elected by an entire
population of about 16, and has a slightly larger hovel than average
with a few more fur rugs.

Dana Shilling

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PS-the Uniform Commercial Code is a collection of laws about business
transactions, divided into Articles 1 through 9. Article 2 covers sales
of goods, and 2A covers lease transactions. An Article 2B dealing with
electronic commerce was proposed, and seemed likely to be adopted, but
was withdrawn last month. So evidently the answer is "not 2B."

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ian Delaney <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 May 1999 20:43:47 +0100
Subject:        Hamlet Timescale

Entering into the spirit of this sort of query...

Hamlet and the rest seem to be Christian. St. Ansgar (801-65) helped
convert the Danes to Christianity. Harold Bluetooth (d. c.985) was the
first Christian king of Denmark. So later than 960.

Saxo Grammaticus is believed to have written his Gesta Danorum in about
1200. The "Amlet" bit is Book 4 out of 16, which would place the legend
quite a bit earlier.

See http://www.kb.dk/elib/lit/dan/authors/saxo/lat/or.dsr/ for the full
latin text

However, Claudius refers to what seems to be Danegeld or tallage in
IV.iii.61-70

(from http://www.dev.infoplease.com/ce5/CE013904.html)
Danegeld
Pronunciation: [dAn

 

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