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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: August ::
Re: mobled-ennobled emendation
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1611  Wednesday, 30 August 2000.

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Aug 2000 13:16:45 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1606 The mobled-ennobled emendation

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Aug 2000 16:30:17 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1606 The mobled-ennobled emendation


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Tuesday, 29 Aug 2000 13:16:45 -0500
Subject: 11.1606 The mobled-ennobled emendation
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1606 The mobled-ennobled emendation

I would like to second Paul Doniger's remark about making a joke of the
Player's Speech in "Hamlet." It is clearly a tour de force for the Chief
Player, who can -- as a first-rate actor should -- literally become the
pious Aeneas, recalling with anguish and rage the butchering of his aged
king and queen by the enemy. Among other things it ties together the
themes of regicide and acting/pretense. The intense response of the
prince is contrasted with the obtuse response of the quasi-senile
counsellor, though both are moved by it. The ability of the actor to use
the language to create a character out of himself and to generate such
emotion in the "audience" is only slightly mitigated by the over-written
quality of the language (over-written, that is, in comparison to
Shakespeare's best).

On the other hand, I have always taken it for granted that the passage
is something of a send-up of Marlowe, and thus, by extension, a send-up
of himself, whereby the Shakespeare of the end of the decade looks back
at the Shakespeare of the beginning and even the middle of the decade
with a tinge of amusement. But the fact that he could now create more
intense effects with less obviously poetical and melodramatic language
doesn't make the earlier writing stupid or incompetent: that which is
less good is not necessarily bad.

I would, like Doniger, consider it a serious error of judgment to make
it farcical, thereby turning a wonderfully resonant scene into junk, and
getting only a few cheap laughs in exchange.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Tuesday, 29 Aug 2000 16:30:17 -0400
Subject: 11.1606 The mobled-ennobled emendation
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1606 The mobled-ennobled emendation

>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.

I didn't intend to suggest that I thought the Player's speech was a
joke.  Polonius's reaction to it -- objecting to its length and
appreciating only an archaic rhetorical flourish -- is the joke.
 

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