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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: July ::
Re: To be or not to be
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1841  Monday, 23 July 2001

From:           Martin Klinkhardt <
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Date:           Sunday, 22 Jul 2001 14:28:32 +0200
Subject: 12.1818 Re: To be or not to be
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1818 Re: To be or not to be

> I think the 1964 BBC production on location at Elsinore had Hamlet see
> a shadow while talking to Ophelia, indicating his outburst at her was
> a pretence because he knew he was being watched.
> Not a bad idea. Lends justification to his stabbing Polonius through
> the curtain and asking, "Is it the King"?

Similarly, the Kenneth Branagh film version has Hamlet hear somebody
(i.e. Claudius and Polonius). I agree with you that this accounts for
the sudden, out-of-the-blue outburst at her. It also explains why he
suddenly leaves off and asks Ophelia "Where's your father?" (III.1.130,
Arden).

It is a pity that there is no evidence that Shakespeare wanted the scene
to be staged this way.

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