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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: August ::
The mobled-ennobled emendation
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1606  Tuesday, 29 August 2000.

From:           Paul E. Doniger <
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Date:           Monday, 28 Aug 2000 14:48:09 -0700
Subject: 11.1602 The mobled-ennobled emendation
Comment:        Fw: SHK 11.1602 The mobled-ennobled emendation

Regarding the Globe Theatre's _Hamlet_ and the "modernization" of the
language: I haven't seen the production and cannot comment on other
changes to the text, but the citing of the alteration to "ennobled" for
"mobled" is hardly modern. The First Folio prints "inobled" -- which was
re-spelled "ennobl'd" by Capell (18th century).

Regarding the so-called "joke" inherent in the line (if we stick to
"mobled"), I think you will find much disagreement that the Player's
speech should be taken at anything less than serious. While the language
is decidedly 'separated' in style from the rest of the play (with
perhaps some deliberate parallels in the Ghost's story), it is too
highly praised by Hamlet, and too important to forward movement of the
revenge plot to be taken as a parody or burlesque. Hamlet's response,
"The mobled queen?" need not be taken as an objection as few earlier
critics have assumed.

I know some productions have treated the Player's speech as a joke, but
I have never seen one, and I don't want to. The speech is of central
importance to the dramatic structure.

Paul E. Doniger
The Gilbert School

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