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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: November ::
Re: Hamlet's Books
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2175  Tuesday, 28 November 2000

[1]     From:   D. G. Hale <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Nov 2000 13:05:59 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2165 Hamlet's Books?

[2]     From:   Carol Barton <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Nov 2000 22:36:14 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2165 Hamlet's Books?

[3]     From:   Peter Groves <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 17:02:31 +1100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2165 Hamlet's Books?

[4]     From:   Manuel Angel Conejero <
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        Date:   Tuesday, Nov 28 01:58:40 2000
        Subj:   Hamlet: A Reader? On Godshalk's View


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D. G. Hale <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Nov 2000 13:05:59 -0500
Subject: 11.2165 Hamlet's Books?
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2165 Hamlet's Books?

On possibility is Aristotle. If, as Q1 indicates, Hamlet is reading when
he enters in 3.1, "To be, or not to be, that is the question" could
derive from a philosophical text. As Faustus says, "Bid 'on cai me on'
farewell." Since he hasn't been allowed to return to his studies in
Wittenberg, perhaps Hamlet is trying distance learning.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Barton <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Nov 2000 22:36:14 -0500
Subject: 11.2165 Hamlet's Books?
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2165 Hamlet's Books?

Bill Godshalk ponders:

> 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?

We also know attended Wittenberg, Bill . . . so we know he must have
read Kit Marlowe's _Faustus_.

Tongue in cheeky,
Carol Barton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Groves <
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Date:           Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 17:02:31 +1100
Subject: 11.2165 Hamlet's Books?
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2165 Hamlet's Books?

It's often claimed that the "words, words, words" Hamlet is reading in
2.2 are from the account of old age in Juvenal 10, but I've never found
this really convincing: there are no close verbal parallels, and about
all they have in common is a general perception that old men are feeble
and disgusting.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Manuel Angel Conejero <
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Date:           Tuesday, Nov 28 01:58:40 2000
Subject:        Hamlet: A Reader? On Godshalk's View

Dear friend,

I must say the question brought by you did interest me a lot. As a rule
I never take perspectives other than theatrical ones. But your point is
very sharp. What Hamlet's library would be like? Keep me in the picture,
please.

I have translated the play into Spanish quite successfully leading my
group in Valencia, and rehearsed, performed...a lot of it never
considering "philosophy" as such ( I do not take that view) But your
point is very good for actors' training. Thanks. Hope to hear from you.
manuel conejero.
 

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