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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: July ::
Re: The Currency of Prayer
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1594  Monday, 1 July 2002

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Friday, 28 Jun 2002 10:55:42 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1581 Re: The Currency of Prayer

[2]     From:   Scott Oldenburg <
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        Date:   Friday, 28 Jun 2002 17:21:37 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1581 Re: The Currency of Prayer

[3]     From:   H. David Friedberg <
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        Date:   Friday, 28 Jun 2002 17:38:25 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1581 Re: The Currency of Prayer

[4]     From:   Sophie Masson <
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        Date:   Monday Jul 2002 02:51:27 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1581 Re: The Currency of Prayer


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Friday, 28 Jun 2002 10:55:42 -0500
Subject: 13.1581 Re: The Currency of Prayer
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1581 Re: The Currency of Prayer

Sam Small writes,

"If Claudius represents Real Politic, so brilliantly reported by
Machiavelli, then Hamlet is once again, not undecided, but in a
dilemma.  There two things are very different.  Some dilemmas are almost
impossible to solve, even for the most decisive.  Hamlet knows that to
kill Claudius as a criminal he does good - to kill him as an able
administrator of the state of Denmark is bad."

I'm afraid I retain doubts about whether Shakespeare would think in
terms of "an able administrator of the state of Denmark."  Likewise, I
don't think he would consider it more (or less) of a murder to kill an
able administrator than an incompetent one. Certain murders that
violated important bonds were doubly heinous. These included killing a
family member and killing your overlord, especially the sacred king.
Since Claudius has done both, it is doubly necessary to expunge his
rottenness from Denmark. But as Claudius is Hamlet's uncle and king,
Hamlet risks committing the same doubly heinous crime if he has not been
granted divine sanction for it.

Whether WS was thinking of it or not, Hamlet's situation bears a certain
kinship to that of Orestes.

Cheers,
Don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Oldenburg <
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Date:           Friday, 28 Jun 2002 17:21:37 -0700
Subject: 13.1581 Re: The Currency of Prayer
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1581 Re: The Currency of Prayer

I took Bob Rosen's post as not so much suggesting that Hamlet hears
Claudius's despair in prayer as highlighting the irony that while
Claudius laments the futility of his prayer, there is in fact a benefit
from the gesture--Hamlet doesn't kill him--not because of his speech but
because of precisely the gesture that Claudius sees as useless.

Further on this passage:  I do not know what one can do with this, but
there seem to be some echoes of Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech of
3.1 in Claudius's lament: shuffled/shuffling; "what rests?" vs "what
dreams may come?"; the movement from individual to human condition; the
concern about the after life; interrupted action....

Moreover, I have been puzzled by Coleridge's commentary on this passage:


 

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