The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0253 Monday, 7 February 2000.
Date: Monday, February 07, 2000
Subject: Duncan-Jones Review of Updike *Gertrude and Claudius*
Sunday's Washington Post Book World contained a review of John Updike's
*Gertrude and Claudius* by Katherine Duncan-Jones:
Sunday, February 6, 2000; Page X03
GERTRUDE AND CLAUDIUS
By John Updike
Knopf. 212 pp. $23
Reviewed by Katherine Duncan-Jones
In place of the Hamlet with whom we have all been taught to
identify-that "sweet Prince" who is a tortured intellectual of great
brilliance and charisma-John Updike has substituted a thoroughly
annoying postmodern anti-hero in his new novel, Gertrude and Claudius.
But more important, perhaps, he has used prose fiction to put stage
drama at a distance. Shakespeare's prince was a brilliantly fluid
theatrical construct; in Updike's novel the focus shifts to Hamlet's
mother, Gertrude, and to his uncle, Claudius, a solidly troubled mature
man in Updike's own Rabbit-Bech tradition.