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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: July ::
Re: Hamlet's Clashing Ideals
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1685  Tuesday, 3 July 2001

[1]     From:   David Bishop <
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        Date:   Monday, 2 Jul 2001 14:14:20 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1669 Re: Hamlet's Clashing Ideals

[2]     From:   Louis Swilley <
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        Date:   Monday, 2 Jul 2001 13:42:46 -0500
        Subj:   Hamlet's Clashing Ideals

[3]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <
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        Date:   Monday, 02 Jul 2001 18:14:27
        Subj:   Re: Hamlet's Clashing Ideals

[4]     From:   Hugh Grady <
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        Date:   Monday, 2 Jul 2001 18:38:43 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.1669 Re: Hamlet's Clashing Ideals


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Bishop <
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Date:           Monday, 2 Jul 2001 14:14:20 -0400
Subject: 12.1669 Re: Hamlet's Clashing Ideals
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1669 Re: Hamlet's Clashing Ideals

While I'm grateful to Brian Haylett for looking into my book (at
clashingideals.com), I would not agree that "Remember me" is the ghost's
punning way of telling Hamlet to put his limbs back together. For one
thing, his limbs presumably have not been parted, since he was killed by
poison poured in his ear. I'm afraid that in this case Brian is
considering much too curiously. I think by "Remember me" the ghost means
"take revenge".

Best wishes,
David Bishop

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis Swilley <
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Date:           Monday, 2 Jul 2001 13:42:46 -0500
Subject:        Hamlet's Clashing Ideals

It may be pertinent to this general discussion to recall that Hamlet is,
after all, a prince of the realm, with the public responsibilities
thereof.  He cannot go about stabbing kings indiscriminately, as though
he were a mere revenger (that is why his "now might I do it" speech and
his following intention to catch Claudius when he is "kicking his heels
at heaven" must be seen as a kind of temporary political stupidity; if
he himself becomes king - as he thinks he should -  he must live with
the precedents he sets.  Imagine his trying to explain his killing
Claudius before the public exposition of the latter's crimes (which
recited crimes, curiously, have nothing to do, by the way, with his
murder of Old Hamlet! ) : "Why did you kill King Claudius?"  "He killed
my father."  "How do you know that?"  "The ghost of my father told me
so."  (Pause) "Did anyone else see this ghost?" "Yes! Horatio and the
guard." "Did the ghost tell them that Claudius killed King Hamlet?"
"Well, no; he told me that privately." (Pause)  "I see." etc.,etc.   The
killing of Claudius must be a public act of justice, not a private act
of revenge - that is Hamlet's essential problem rather back-handed him
by the ghost (for this is a father who calls for personal revenge - "my
smooth body," indeed! -  rather than a king who seeks public justice;
the closest he gets to requiring  justice is his admonition to Hamlet
that he "taint not thy mind." But I suppose that is what we should
expect of a king who decides to settle national issues with personal
combat!). I think it particularly brilliant of Shakespeare to have
Claudius exposed at last as the murderer not of the old King, but of one
who is to inherit the throne, in other words as a traitor to the realm,
his crime is against the kingdom itself.

Our necessary understanding of Hamlet's implied public princely
responsibility to publicly expose the crimes of Claudius seems to be a
given of the play, so assumed to be understood that it is never even
mentioned (A somewhat similar case is that of Capulet's change of mind
about the marriage of Juliet; it is  the intervening death of kinsman
Tybalt that has made Capulet so sharply aware of the immediate need to
secure his bloodline through Juliet - but the *reason* for his sudden
change of mind is never mentioned. )

       L. Swilley

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Takashi Kozuka <
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Date:           Monday, 02 Jul 2001 18:14:27
Subject:        Re: Hamlet's Clashing Ideals

Brian Haylett <
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>... it may be that the Ghost is (punningly?) commanding Hamlet to 'put my
>limbs together again'.

Hm... What would he mean by that? (Does David Bishop's book answer my
question?)

Best wishes,
Takashi Kozuka

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hugh Grady <
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Date:           Monday, 2 Jul 2001 18:38:43 -0400
Subject: 12.1669 Re: Hamlet's Clashing Ideals
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.1669 Re: Hamlet's Clashing Ideals

There's also a play on words in re Hamlet's "Remember me" in the title
of an article by Linda Charnes, "Dismember me: Shakespeare, paranoia,
and the logic of mass culture" in Shakespeare Quarterly v/ 48, pp. 1-16.

Best,
Hugh Grady

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