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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: December ::
Cold Ghosts
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2753  Wednesday, 5 December 2001

From:           Alex Hoffer <
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Date:           Tuesday, 4 Dec 2001 21:26:22 -0500
Subject:        Cold Ghosts

The number and emphatic placements of references to cold weather during
the battlements scenes--"'tis bitter cold, and I am sick at heart
(I.i.8), "the air bites shrewdly, it is very cold" (I.iv.1), and "it is
a nipping and an eager air" (I.iv.2)--in Hamlet has always seemed
curious to me, especially given the good weather of Acts IV and V.
Surely they are more than enough to establish a feeling of dread and a
location shift between I.iii and I.iv.  Does anyone know whether the
notion of "cold spots" indicating a ghost's presence existed when Hamlet
was written?

-Alex

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