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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Time in Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1375  Tuesday, 5 June 2001

[1]     From:   Mari Bonomi <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 06:26:38 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1355 Re: Time in Hamlet

[2]     From:   Vick Bennison <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 07:15:13 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1355 Re: Time in Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mari Bonomi <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 06:26:38 -0400
Subject: 12.1355 Re: Time in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1355 Re: Time in Hamlet

Now, now, Professor Hawkes, we all know that "son" can have a spiritual
and metaphorical meaning as well as a literal one.

To cite just the first example that pops into my head: "O son, the night
before thy wedding day / Hath death lain with thy wife" cries Lord
Capulet to Paris.

Unless you are asserting an ancient Egyptian dynastic marriage code in
Shakespeare's medieval Verona, "son" here refers to Paris' impending
legal relationship of son-on-law not to his biological relation to the
Capulets.

In a related way (pun intended), Claudius is referring to Hamlet as his
son by marriage, not as his biological, "literal" son.

Tsk!

Mari Bonomi

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Vick Bennison <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 07:15:13 EDT
Subject: 12.1355 Re: Time in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1355 Re: Time in Hamlet

T. Hawkes pull out:

'But now my cousin Hamlet, and my son--' (1. 2. 64 Arden edn.)

Wow, if we must be literal, then Hamlet is not only Claudius' son, but
also his cousin.  So he must be the result of incest between Claudius
and, presumably, his sister.  But, of course, neither "son" nor "cousin"
is here used at face value.  "Cousin" means "kinsman", or a relation
specifically not
a son, and qualifying that with "and my son", of course means that he is
his son by marriage, a stepson.  That should be anyone's first
interpretation.

Beyond that I can only say that language always fails when up against
conspiracy theorists.

As for "Our son shall win."  Well again, seems obvious that he is
talking about his son by marriage.  But wait, wait, could he be talking
about Laertes??????!!!!!

- Vick
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