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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: February ::
Re: Hamlet (Once More)
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0562  Tuesday, 26 February 2002

[1]     From:   Edmund Taft <
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        Date:   Monday, 25 Feb 2002 12:51:09 -0500
        Subj:   Hamlet (Once More)

[2]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <
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        Date:   Monday, 25 Feb 2002 19:10:22 -0500
        Subj:   A Correction


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <
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Date:           Monday, 25 Feb 2002 12:51:09 -0500
Subject:        Hamlet (Once More)

Brandon Toropov defines Hamlet's state of mind at the end of the play as
embracing the following sentiment:

"The point being, as I understand it: "God is, by definition, fully
present in *every* action and *every* phenomenon -- now what, precisely,
do you imagine is under your narrow personal control?"

Isn't the action of revenge under his control? I can imagine a Hamlet
who waits for means, motive, and opportunity (as I think Hamlet does),
but once they are all furnished, Hamlet himself must, finally, act.

He does, of course, killing Claudius at play's end. Does he do so
because he is finally convinced that it is God's Will?  If so, what
convinces him?

--Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul E. Doniger <
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Date:           Monday, 25 Feb 2002 19:10:22 -0500
Subject:        A Correction

I need to alert Edmund Taft and readers of the list that it was Bill
Godshalk who wrote this, not me. I only wrote a response to it.

Paul E. Doniger

>>Pasul (sic) Doniger writes,

>>"To my ear, this sounds as if Hamlet has given up plotting and is waiting
>> for a divinity to shape the outcome or his death. God will provide. The
> >way you find out what God wants is by waiting."

>"They also serve who only stand and wait": this is an attractive way to
>look at the end of Hamlet, and I agree with it, in part.  But there's a
>rub. Wait for what?  What sign or event tells Hamlet that it is time to
>act and that he is acting according to God's Will?

>What happens that convinces Hamlet at the end of the play that he can
>effect revenge?  Or [leading question] is his killing of Claudius
>justified on other grounds by play's end?

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