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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: October ::
Hamlet-Gertrude Closet Scene Queries
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1979  Friday, 10 October 2003

From:           Michael B. Luskin <
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Date:           Thursday, 9 Oct 2003 10:11:11 EDT
Subject:        Hamlet-Gertrude Closet Scene Queries

Close reading and rereading of the closet scene has raised several
questions. I would appreciate some answers to the following:

Line 17, the Queen says, "Nay, then..."  What does this mean?  Is she
threatening Hamlet?

Line 88, is she saying that Hamlet has revealed the (to her, unknown)
truth to her, or that Hamlet has shined a light on what she already
knows in her soul?

Lines 182-188.  Is Hamlet saying that she is not to reveal that Hamlet
is mad ONLY in craft?

Lines 189-191.  Is Hamlet being ironic?

Lines 192-196.  Is Hamlet saying that, no matter what, it is better to
risk you neck than reveal the truth about what Hamlet knows?

Thank you.

Michael B. Luskin

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