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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: September ::
Haunted by the Ghost in Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1931  Friday, 20 September 2002

From:           Claude Caspar <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Sep 2002 10:00:03 -0400
Subject: Haunted by the Ghost in Hamlet
Comment:        SHK 13.1926 Haunted by the Ghost in Hamlet

I'm sure everyone here has read Dover Wilson's "What Happens in Hamlet."
He raises a crux that I have not yet seen resolved, but seems central to
understanding the play:

Why can't Gertrude see the ghost in the bedroom scene?

I have read everything I can find for 30 years on this, including some
recent fascinating books on the religious practices of the period, some
of which support whilst others contradict Wilson's premise- consider
Greenblatt's recent "Hamlet in Purgatory."  Now, forgetting Wilson,
[whose thesis is that because she is "in sin" she can't see the ghost] I
wonder what you have arrived at... certainly it signifies something
since the ghost IS seen by others.

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