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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: April ::
Re: Book on Shakespeare's Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0737  Thursday, 17 April 2003

[1]     From:   R. A. Cantrell <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Apr 2003 07:11:38 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0731 Book on Shakespeare's Hamlet

[2]     From:   Peter Hadorn <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Apr 2003 08:40:03 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.0731 Book on Shakespeare's Hamlet

[3]     From:   Michael B. Luskin <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Apr 2003 09:44:55 EDT
        Subj:   Re: Book on Shakespeare's Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. A. Cantrell <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Apr 2003 07:11:38 -0500
Subject: 14.0731 Book on Shakespeare's Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0731 Book on Shakespeare's Hamlet

>Prior to the reading of that book, I had always heard Hamlet
>referred to as "The Procrastinator."

The idea that Prince Hamlet was "a man who simply could not make up his
mind" was set upon large, popular feet by Olivier in his voice over
prologue. I'm sure he relied on then current scholarship. A shot in the
dark at the book you have in mind might be RENAISSANCE HAMLET (I think)
by Roland Mushat Frye.

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Hadorn <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Apr 2003 08:40:03 -0500
Subject: 14.0731 Book on Shakespeare's Hamlet
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.0731 Book on Shakespeare's Hamlet

Regarding Bill Arnold's post about Hamlet as a "reasoned and cautious
Prince."  I suppose I agree, which is why, for me, the most important
line in the play occurs in the closet scene with his mother.  He hears a
noise behind the arras, pulls out his sword, and stabs the person behind
it.  When his mother asks, "O me, what hast thou done?" Hamlet replies,
"Nay, I know not.  Is it the King?"  In other words, here is this
"reasoned and cautious Prince" for the first time in the play acting on
a gut reaction (I hesitate to say "instinct").  He knows it's not
Claudius because he just passed him on the way to see his mother.  He
has no idea who he just killed.  He didn't think; he just acted.  And of
course, this action sets in motion each of the ensuing deaths.

Peter Hadorn
UW-Platteville

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael B. Luskin <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Apr 2003 09:44:55 EDT
Subject:        Re: Book on Shakespeare's Hamlet

This reminds me a bit of Goddard's essays on Hamlet, in which he argues
that Hamlet decided that he does not want to kill Claudius, after
considering everything.

mbl

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