The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1589 Thursday, 16 September 1999.
Date: Friday, 10 Sep 1999 16:35:29 -0400
Subject: Hamlet and Marriage Practices
A former student of mine has a question about Tudor marriages. He had
been reflecting on Henry VIII and <A Man for All Seasons>, and remarks
that when Henry consults the Bible, he finds two distinct views on
marrying your brother's widow: one for and one against. His question is
what relevance would this divine "divided opinion" have had for an
Elizabethan audience watching <Hamlet>? Specifically, he wonders why
Shakespeare never really addresses the issue in the play, except for
Hamlet's response to his mother's marriage. He would like to know if
Shakespeare's reticence has a political foundation.
Can the listserv help?
Thanks in advance,