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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: October ::
Re: And then what
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2091  Thursday, 17 October 2002

[1]     From:   Annalisa Castaldo <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Oct 2002 09:25:38 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2090 And then what?

[2]     From:   William Babula <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Oct 2002 11:24:19 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.2090 And then what?

[3]     From:   Steve Roth <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Oct 2002 12:00:21 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2090 And then what?

[4]     From:   H. David Friedberg <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Oct 2002 15:09:20 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2090 And then what?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Annalisa Castaldo <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Oct 2002 09:25:38 -0400
Subject: 13.2090 And then what?
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2090 And then what?

>Has anyone observed that Claudius and Laertes have made no plans for
>their conduct after the possible success of their "anointed"
>sword/poisoned chalice trick?

I had always assumed that when Claudius says even Gertrude will call the
death an accident, he believes all will assume that Laertes sword became
"unbated" during the bout. Practice swords were not always blunt, but
instead would have buttons or caps placed over the sharp end to protect
the fencers, and it was possible for these protections to fall off, or
be pulled off by being caught in clothing. So the original idea which
simply relied on Laertes' skill as a fighter could easily pass as
accident - he hits Hamlet in a vital area and then feigns shock when the
blade actually enters.

As for the rest of the plot - the various poisons -these make no sense
in practical terms of accidental death (especially since both seem to
have been impressively fast acting). But the neatness of each being
killed by his own weapon - Laertes by the poisoned sword and Claudius by
the poisoned cup - that I easily overlook the unrealistic nature of the
choices.

Annalisa Castaldo

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Babula <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Oct 2002 11:24:19 -0700
Subject: 13.2090 And then what?
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.2090 And then what?

Would anyone at court have challenged whatever Claudius the King came up
with as the cause of  Hamlet's death?

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Roth <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Oct 2002 12:00:21 -0700
Subject: 13.2090 And then what?
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2090 And then what?

>L. Swilley

>Has anyone observed that Claudius and Laertes have made no plans for
>their conduct after the possible success of their "anointed"
>sword/poisoned chalice trick? ("Dead from a scratch?  And Laertes' sword
>not properly blunted?  Oh, my, must be poor Hamlet's weak heart.  Oh, he
>doesn't have a weak heart?"  or,  "Laertes must have done it - to
>revenge his dear dead daddy.")

The whole Laertes/Caludius plot does strike me as decidedly odd.
Toungues would wag, one would think. Gertrude would be quite put out, it
seems. Wouldn't a killing in hugger mugger be more Claudius's MO? Ot
maybe M. Swilley is right. Claudius is planning to blame it all on
Laertes....

Steve
http://princehamlet.com

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           H. David Friedberg <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Oct 2002 15:09:20 -0400
Subject: 13.2090 And then what?
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2090 And then what?

>Has anyone observed that Claudius and Laertes have made no plans for
>their conduct after the possible success of their "anointed"
>sword/poisoned chalice trick?   L. Swilley

Yes

L Swilley gets a C+ in Villainy 101

Claudius certainly has plans, to have Laertes immediately executed on a
charge of what we now call Murder 1 but may then have been Princicide
with a deadly weapon  He could then concentrate on finding a new
Chancellor who would get Senate approval quickly

Laertes wants only revenge. He would get it but wouldn't know what to do
with it

The penalties for killing the Heir to the Throne have been discussed in
detail by the Mikado, in a play of the same name a little later on

David

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