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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: December ::
Belatedness of Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2410  Friday, 19 December 2003

[1]     From:   Elliott H. Stone <
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        Date:   Thursday, 18 Dec 2003 10:05:59 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.2392 Belatedness of Hamlet

[2]     From:   Dana Wilson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 18 Dec 2003 07:24:20 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2392 Belatedness of Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Elliott H. Stone <
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Date:           Thursday, 18 Dec 2003 10:05:59 -0500
Subject: 14.2392 Belatedness of Hamlet
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.2392 Belatedness of Hamlet

I am of the school that would argue that Polonius has himself revised
the letter that he reads to the King and Queen and tells them was sent
by Hamlet to Ophelia. It may be that Polonius wrote the entire letter?

Best,
Elliott H. Stone

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Wilson <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 18 Dec 2003 07:24:20 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.2392 Belatedness of Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2392 Belatedness of Hamlet

It has occurred to me that the belatedness of Hamlet also applies to the
killing of Claudius: That if H had killed him sooner the tragedy could
have been avoided.  Indeed, if H had killed him before the marriage of
his mother, A marriage could have been arranged between Gertrude and Old
Norway which might have satisfied both Hamlet and Fortinbras.

It has also occurred to that the haste of the marriage is illuminated by
my previous comments re the system of concentric cycles of time ranging
from tyrannical minutes all the way up to international correspondence.

In Act 1, sc 2, ln 15, Claudius tells the assembly we have taken full
domestic consultation and have all yr consent; and while young
Fortinbras has objected, Old Norway has consented with his silence.

I do believe in passive consent, but the problem of the haste raises a
question in my mind if Old Norway was given sufficient time to consider
his answer, possibly by taking international consultations of his own,
which would not have been necessary for the brash Fortinbras.

I'm sure WS has some trope about quick youth and limping age which is
applicable here.

Likewise, I would suggest that Hamlet true object to the marriage is
that he himself was not given time to take intl consultation.   On
hearing of his father's death he made for Denmark with all haste and
then was kept prisoner in the Castle while the marriage of Gertrude and
Claudius was conducted.

Perhaps, he was allowed to write letters to his contacts abroad but
instead of responding in writing, they are brought by R&G in the person
of the players, presumably to be H's courtiers, or share his
imprisonment as the case may be.

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