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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: February ::
I must to England?
The Shakespeare Conference: Friday, 7 February 2003

From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Thursday, 6 Feb 2003 10:47:57 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        I must to England?

I'm rehearsing to play Hamlet in the closet scene for the next UCLA
Shakespeare Reading and Performance Group Scene Night. Something was
pointed out to me that I took for granted last night and it has been
perplexing me ever since. Maybe I've just missed it.  Towards the end of
the scene, he tells Gertrude: "I must to England; you know that?" and
she replies, "Alack, I had forgot: tis so concluded on." How does Hamlet
know he is being sent to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as
his adders fanged? He just committed the murder of Polonius and no one
outside of the room knows of it. Are we to assume that the typical
punishment for murder was exile to England? Absolutely no one has
previously mentioned such a thing. Yet, they act as if it is common
knowledge. Does anyone have any answers?

Brian Willis

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