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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: May ::
Re: Hamlet and Belleforest
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1006  Thursday, 22 May 2003

From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Tuesday, 20 May 2003 17:50:48 -0400
Subject: 14.0990 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0990 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest

Ed Pixley's point seems to be only that II.i does not tell us how much
time has elapsed -- we find out later that it is two months -- I agree
of course.  But I do not agree that the audience would not catch on to
the fact of a substantial delay from Polonius' instructions to
Reynaldo.  The precise amount of time that has passed is unimportant,
what is important is that Hamlet has not swooped with the speed of
thought.  The audience certainly gets that (at least subliminally) from
being told that Laertes has been in Paris sufficiently long to have
possibly picked up some bad habits.

By the way, even as early as the end of Act I Hamlet himself seemed to
anticipate that he would not act as quickly as he had promised the
ghost.  Why else would he alert Horatio, et al. that he might deem it
meet to put an antic disposition on?

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