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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: November ::
Re: Gertrude
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1850  Monday, 1 November 1999.

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Oct 1999 13:05:27 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1845 Re: Hamlet

[2]     From:   Mary Jane Miller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Oct 1999 14:42:39 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1845 Re: Hamlet

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Oct 1999 22:04:28 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1845 Re: Hamlet

[4]     From:   John Savage <
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        Date:   Friday, 29 Oct 1999 08:40:23 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 10.1842 Re: Hamlet

[5]     From:   Brian Haylett <
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        Date:   Friday, 29 Oct 1999 14:46:51 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Hamlet and Gertrude

[6]     From:   Arthur D L Lindley <
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        Date:   Saturday, 30 Oct 1999 09:12:58 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1845 Re: Hamlet

[7]     From:   Dana Shilling <
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        Date:   Saturday, 30 Oct 1999 02:20:33 -0400
        Subj:   False as Cressida


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Oct 1999 13:05:27 -0400
Subject: 10.1845 Re: Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1845 Re: Hamlet

Gertrude strikes me as a quintessential example of the kind of fickle
woman who, having no strong will of her own (there's that word again,
which seems to permeate the entire play), follows the lead of the last
man who spoke with her, at least until someone else talks to her.  How
else to explain her apparently sincere desire to reform at the end of
the Closet Scene, based on nothing more than the frantic ramblings of a
man whom she has every reason to believe is criminally insane.  He just
killed a man under the delusion that he was a rat and then held
discourse with the incorporeal air.  Then, of course, the next time we
see the lady she shows no signs of having altered her behaviour.  We can
well believe that such a woman was deeply in love with her first husband
and then, within a month, became equally infatuated with Claudius, whose
native charm need hardly have been stretched too much.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Jane Miller <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Oct 1999 14:42:39 -0500
Subject: 10.1845 Re: Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1845 Re: Hamlet

As I think I mentioned a while ago on SHK Margaret Atwood  [in her book
Good Bones]  ,  in a  sardonic and funny poem speaking in Gertrude's
voice tells us exactly what she thinks of Hamlet Sr., Hamlet ( what a
name) and ends it by saying coolly" I did it" i.e. poisoned Hamlet Sr.
I wonder if you could play the role that way.

Mary Jane

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Oct 1999 22:04:28 -0700
Subject: 10.1845 Re: Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1845 Re: Hamlet

John Nettles writes:

>It is worth noting that Denmark here is an elective monarchy. The people
>have decided to make Claudius king, as later they will call,
>unfathomably, for Laertes to be king.

Better minds than mine have burned themselves out trying to define the
constitution of the fictional Denmark, but I would like to note that
even electoral monarchies (like Sweden's a couple of centuries later)
had limited electorates, often just the nobles.  Moreover, the word
"election" as used by Hamlet might not indicate any sort of popular vote
at all.  In King Lear 1.1, Burgundy uses the term "election" to simply
mean a choice.

Cheers,
Se

 

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