The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1577 Thursday, 27 June 2002
Date: Thursday, 27 Jun 2002 00:45:56 EDT
Subject: The Currency of Prayer
Words without thoughts never to heaven go. --William Shakespeare
As I recall, King Claudius, Hamlet's uncle, prays and senses that his
crimes preclude divine solace. Therefore his words have no effect,
because there is no excuse in conscience that could validate those words
of prayer. They can have no redemptive meaning. Yet Hamlet, who secretly
witnesses those empty words, spares Claudius' life at that moment. So
Claudius's prayer does have a moderating effect -- not upon Claudius's
spirit -- but on Hamlet.
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