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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: July ::
Re: To be or not to be
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1882  Friday, 27 July 2001

[1]     From:   R. A. Cantrell <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Jul 2001 11:16:22 -0500
        Subj:   To be or not to be

[2]     From:   Mary Jane Miller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Jul 2001 13:45:33 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1858 Re: To be or not to be


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. A. Cantrell <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Jul 2001 11:16:22 -0500
Subject:        To be or not to be

A. White's interpretation does not account for Hamlet's seeming
prescience at various points in the play. I say again, Hamlet views 3.1
(and other revelatory scenes) with the audience, the same vantage from
which he steps in to deliver the "to be" and other soliloquies.  Sorry
if this is late or out of context for the thread.

All the best,
R. A. Cantrell

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Jane Miller <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Jul 2001 13:45:33 -0400
Subject: 12.1858 Re: To be or not to be
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1858 Re: To be or not to be

Larry Weiss :"And, it seems to me that the most telling clue of all is
Ophelia's comment:

         ... for the the noble mind
         Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.

This is hardly Ophelia's customary way of speaking, but it does smack of
Polonius."

I have always heard in these words and the rest of he speeches to " Are
you honest? " as her own attempt to get Hamlet to say he really does
love her. Like an adolescent who has not seen the object of her
adoration for some time, she has rehearsed a little scene if she ever
gets to see him alone. Presenting him with proofs of his affection is
intended to get him protest his sincerity. The last thing she expects is
" I never gave you ought" which it provokes a spirited reply. She then
picks up the rest of the prepared speech with its little tag " rich
gifts wax poor when lovers prove unkind." another cue for a reassurance
from Hamlet -- but he doesn't play the game and forces her to put down
the tokens awkwardly and probably reluctantly.  After all, these bits
are all she has of him now. She may be the King's spy but she has her
own agenda in trying to get some sort of declaration of love from Hamlet
- and it all goes wrong.

Mary Jane

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