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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: February ::
Re: I must to England
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0271  Thursday, 13 February 2003

[1]     From:   Chris Whatmore <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 12 Feb 2003 18:07:47 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0235 Re: I must to England

[2]     From:   R. A. Cantrell <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Feb 2003 01:08:29 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0235 Re: I must to England


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Whatmore <
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Date:           Wednesday, 12 Feb 2003 18:07:47 +0000
Subject: 14.0235 Re: I must to England
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0235 Re: I must to England

In his discussion of the possible ways in which Hamlet might know of his
impending trip to England, H S Toshack suggests that:

>In production, he could be allowed to loiter on the edges of
>Ophelia's 'O what a noble mind' speech (IIIi), which would allow him
>also to hear what Claudius says ('he shall with speed to England') when
>he and Polonius enter. (That would have other implications for what he
>does and doesn't know.)

Might it not be interesting to stage a production in which Hamlet is
allowed to 'loiter on the edges' of every scene in which he is not a
direct participant, free to observe as much or as little of the action
as he pleases? (This is an extension of an observation in a previous
posting concerning the constant shifts in character's apparent
relationship with the play - one moment seeming to engage with it and
the next standing ironically aloof from it.) Such a staging would indeed
have major implications for what Hamlet does and doesn't know,
particularly in the matter of a certain rigged fencing match. But it
would also heighten that sense of existential heroism that one always
feels (well, that this one feels, anyway) as the Prince overrules
Horatio's final warnings and, defying augury, strides off to meet his
fate.

Chris Whatmore

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. A. Cantrell <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Feb 2003 01:08:29 -0600
Subject: 14.0235 Re: I must to England
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0235 Re: I must to England

>Hamlet knows, somehow, "off-stage" that he has to go because
>this knowledge

Hamlet knows because he watches the play with the audience, just like
George Burns knew what Gracie Allen was doing.

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell
<
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