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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: May ::
Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0845  Friday, 2 May 2003

[1]     From:   Elliott H. Stone <
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 >
        Date:   Friday, 2 May 2003 05:12:29 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0801 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques
(1576)

[2]     From:   Elliott H. Stone <
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 >
        Date:   Friday, 2 May 2003 06:17:33 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0811 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques
(1576)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Elliott H. Stone <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 2 May 2003 05:12:29 EDT
Subject: 14.0801 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0801 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires
Tragiques (1576)

I have attended two trials in recent years both presided over by United
States Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Question
of "whether Hamlet was insane or just feigning madness when he killed
Polonius".  Each trial had as expert witnesses the most eminent forensic
psychiatrists in all of America, had trial attorneys the most
experienced that the Bar Associations could find and juries selected of
the leading men and woman residing in Boston and the District of
Columbia. All the participants had spent a great deal of time in close
study of the text. In both cases the juries found that Hamlet was
feigning madness and would not be able to plead insanity as a defense in
his trial. It was quite clear that in both trials evidence was given
that Hamlet fitted the exact definition of an individual suffering from
a bipolar illness as clearly set forth in the most modern textbook of
diagnostic analysis.

Best,
Elliott H. Stone

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Elliott H. Stone <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 2 May 2003 06:17:33 EDT
Subject: 14.0811 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0811 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires
Tragiques (1576)

I do not believe that Polonius is an honest reporter of "Hamlet's
madness in love". It would appear to me that Polonius is aware that
Hamlet will be sent to England where he will be executed. The question
will then arise as to who is the heir to the throne on the death of
Claudius. If Ophelia becomes pregnant and delivers a child it will be
assumed that Hamlet is the father of this child and that this child is
therefore the heir to the throne. In furthering this scheme it appears
that Polonius is the actual author and forger of the letter that he
reads to Claudius and Gertrude at II ii 109 "To the celestial--." These
are not the words of Prince Hamlet but rather the words of that elderly
scheming conniver Polonius.

In furtherance of this scheme Polonius has arranged for the impregnation
of Ophelia. The Gentleman at the beginning of V reports that "She speaks
much of her father, says she hears there's tricks i' the world--" This
accounts, unfortunately, for her madness and distracted songs in Vi 22
and Horatio's warning at Vi 'Twere good she were spoken with, for she
may strew dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds'.

Motion pictures that show flash backs of Hamlet in bed with Ophelia
while Polonius is reading his letter have misconceived Shakespeare and
as Gertrude would have said "have shown more matter with less art".

Best,
Elliott H. Stone

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