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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: July ::
Re: Hamlet's Clashing Ideals
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1669  Monday, 2 July 2001

From:           Brian Haylett <
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Date:           Friday, 29 Jun 2001 16:55:41 +0100
Subject: 12.1660 Hamlet's Clashing Ideals
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1660 Hamlet's Clashing Ideals

Reading just the early stages of David Bishop's book, I was struck by
his emphasis on the division of the self in Hamlet and the need to
'reassemble'. I have long had a gut feeling that there was more than met
the eye in the injunction 'Remember me'.

Dictionaries say that the 'b' in 'remember' comes from Norman French; it
is certainly not there in the Latin 'memor, memoris'. Now, clearly the
word 'member' can mean a limb, and if the word 'remember' was not
completely settled in its present meaning in Shakespeare's time, it may
be that the Ghost is (punningly?) commanding Hamlet to 'put my limbs
together again'.  That would, if justifiable, be a useful footnote to
David's text, while summing up Hamlet's tragedy: he is called upon to
make himself like his father when he has, as we said recently, more of
the constituent parts of a Claudius.

Brian Haylett

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