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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Re: Time in Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1137  Wednesday, 16 May 2001

[1]     From:   Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 May 2001 10:10:43 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1128 Re: Time in Hamlet

[2]     From:   Shahab yar Khan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 May 2001 11:02:23
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1128 Re: Time in Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 May 2001 10:10:43 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.1128 Re: Time in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1128 Re: Time in Hamlet

Ed Taft writes:

>But you know, if I
>saw the ghost of my father (who is now dead), I'm
>pretty sure that after
>the initial shock, what would take over would be
>intimate conversation
>between both of us. In fact, I'm sure of it.
>
>That this kind of conversation does NOT go on tells
>us a lot about the
>Ghost: even if he is Hamlet's father (and I think he
>is), the bond
>between father and son was/is a formal one
[snip]
>So, I end this too-long post by suggesting that the
>"double age" of
>Hamlet is psychologically appropriate, and by noting
>that, among all of
>things that this brilliant play is about, it may
>also be about the harm
>that distant, inadequate fathers do to their
>children.

Ed, has Peter Brook been picking your brain again?

In his current *Hamlet*, Hamlet (Adrian Lester) embraces the Ghost
(Jeffery Kissoon), and in so doing embodies everything you discuss
above.  The embrace is spontaneous and quick, but Lester shows the
audience that split second of hesitation so well known by all of us who
grew up in undemonstrative families.  Kissoon's Ghost responds with
visible embarrassment -- his movement has that "where the hell does a
man embracing another man put his hands" kind of awkwardness that so
many formal and distant fathers show.  It's one of the moments from the
production that will remain with me for a while.

Cheers,
Karen Peterson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Shahab yar Khan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 May 2001 11:02:23
Subject: 12.1128 Re: Time in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1128 Re: Time in Hamlet

Salam, I suggest that if you have not yet gone through H. Bloom's
interpretation of Hamlet's age problem then do it as soon as possible.
Secondly, you cannot make your response to the supposed ghost of your
father a universal law of human nature. Responses in such circumstances
may always differ. I can tell you about my encounter with a ghost and I
here claim that without direct knowledge of demonology it will always be
misleading to interpret the personality of ghost. It is better to enjoy
this character as a simple reader only, if one doesn't have guts to
experience something similar to it.

I also disagree with your idea of the relationship between the two
Hamlets.  I think they loved each other. This problem can be explained
further in a better way if keep in mind the ages of Gertrude and Hamlet
sr.  Thirdly, is it really necessary to give this ghost a meaning that
echoes our own self? Try to see him through Hamlet's eyes and then from
the eyes of some other characters and combine them all, perhaps an
interpretation will finally be possible. I can talk about this problem
in more details only if am given surety that my ideas will not be
stolen. I intend to do my PhD. in this subject and am interested in
publishing another book on Hamlet as soon as Allah provides me with the
means. Take care.

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