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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: November ::
Hamlet's Books?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2165  Monday, 27 November 2000

From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Sunday, 26 Nov 2000 20:00:03 -0500
Subject:        Hamlet's Books?

Hamlet is a reader, though he admits only to reading "words, words,
words" (2.2.193 Bevington). We are often told that Hamlet is the most
intellectual of all Shakespeare's tragic protagonists.  And if
Shakespeare were trying to present Hamlet as an intellectual, he might
well indicate the breadth of Hamlet's reading by judiciously putting
literary allusions in his speeches.  Hamlet obviously refers to the New
Testament (5.2.218), but what other books has he (fictively) read? Can
we (imaginatively, of course) reconstruct Prince Hamlet's library?

Yors, Bill Godshalk
 

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