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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Re: Time in Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1057  Tuesday, 8 May 2001

[1]     From:   Steve Sohmer <
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        Date:   Monday, 7 May 2001 12:43:54 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1042 Re: Time in Hamlet

[2]     From:   Steve Roth <
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        Date:   Monday, 7 May 2001 10:03:41 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1042 Re: Time in Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Sohmer <
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Date:           Monday, 7 May 2001 12:43:54 EDT
Subject: 12.1042 Re: Time in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1042 Re: Time in Hamlet

Dear Friends,

I don't think Tyndale was the model for Hamlet, tho' Shakespeare gives
his dying words to Buckingham in H8.

Steve

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Roth <
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Date:           Monday, 7 May 2001 10:03:41 -0700
Subject: 12.1042 Re: Time in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1042 Re: Time in Hamlet

Judith M. Craig <
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 > wrote:

>I can't help but post my objection to this conclusion:  I find that idea
>interesting that Tyndale might be a model for Hamlet.  Southampton, as a
>model for scholarship in Shakespeare's mind might be refuted by Sonnet
>35 which castigates the young man (often attributed to be Southampton)
>as possessing a "sensual fault" (line 9) and in Sonnet 53 for lacking a
>"constant heart" (line 14).  In Sonnet 82, he grants that "thou wert not
>married to my Muse" (line 82) and even gives away his "gift, thy tables"
>in Sonnet 122.
>
>I would say that the Biblical allusions in practically all of the plays
>are a subtext that makes the age of Hamlet equivalent with Tyndale in
>school most interesting.  I would also argue that the tone of the
>sonnets certainly does not argue that Southampton was a great or learned
>scholar or even valued books a great deal (assuming that Southampton is
>the "young man" of the sonnets).

Thanks for your reply, Judith.

I did not mean to suggest that Southampton served as a model for
scholarship in Shakespeare's mind, because you're absolutely right about
Southampton. No scholar he. He's much more reminiscent of the affected
and ill-educated patrons depicted in the Parnassus plays (Gullio, et
al), much of Nashe's work, Meres' Palladis Tamia, etc.

I hesitate to put words in Steve Sohmer's mouth, but I don't think he
proposed Tyndale as an actual model for Hamlet--rather as an example of
a lifelong scholar working at Wittenberg at age thirty.

But the evidence for Hamlet as a lifelong scholar is to my mind limited
and weak, and is offset by a great deal of strong evidence to the
contrary.

Again, I'd love to hear feedback on the more extensive and (in my
opinion) cohesive arguments at:

http://princehamlet.com/chapter_1.html
  and
http://princehamlet.com/chap2.html

And in Chapter Four, I discuss at length an aspect of Hamlet's character
that we Hamlet lovers have been loath to admit--as a supercilious and
somewhat contemptible son of a bxxxx in the mold of Southampton (and
even more so, Oxford), et al.

It's vision I find echoed and supported in Arthur McGee's imperfect yet
quite remarkable--and remarkably bleak--"Elizabethan Hamlet."

Thanks,
Steve

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