Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: October ::
Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2004  Wednesday, 15 October 2003

[1]     From:   Edmund Taft <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 13 Oct 2003 09:46:48 -0400
        Subj:   Hamlet

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 13 Oct 2003 15:51:27 +0100
        Subj:   Hamlet as noir detective

[3]     From:   Jay Feldman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 13 Oct 2003 15:48:59 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1989 Hamlet

[4]     From:   John Ramsay <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Oct 2003 16:47:25 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1989 Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 13 Oct 2003 09:46:48 -0400
Subject:        Hamlet

I don't think that Occam's razor supports Don's theory very well,
especially since there IS a memory of Fortinbras's shared with the
audience early on by means of Hortatio's report.

But let that pass.

I'd suggest that Fortinbras's rather unclear and allusive words might be
susceptible to more than one interpretation, and was designed exactly
that way. After all, in play after play, Shakespeare uses "doubleness,"
for want of a better term, as a means to be suggestive without being
definitive. He seems to like it that way.

Peace,
--Ed

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 13 Oct 2003 15:51:27 +0100
Subject:        Hamlet as noir detective

I get back from Wittenberg where I was couping glass for glass with
glass with Faust and Luther, and there's Dad Dead.

Well, everyone dies, and I amn't that bothered by missing out on the
Crown, but surely Mummy could have waited just a *little* before
remarrying?

Then there's The Figure ...

Every good detective needs a straightman, goes back to Holmes and
Watson, but who do I have?  Bleeding *Horatio* ...

<sigh>

Right, I say, let's set it up, if the Figure's telling the truth and
Claudius *did* top Dear Dead Dad, it's a Good Ghost, otherwise ...

So we Mousetrap Claudius and hey, the Thing/Figure/Ghost is telling the
truth ...

So let's take it from there.

Damon Runyon.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jay Feldman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 13 Oct 2003 15:48:59 EDT
Subject: 14.1989 Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1989 Hamlet

Don Bloom says:

> ... all of Norway
>against a chunk of Denmark --
>with the winner to take all,

Might I suggest that you could substitute: "an equivalent sized chunk of
Denmark" to be more precise. Also your belief that:

"Old Norway appears to be some sort of tributary, no monarch but a kind
of satrap who'd better follow orders when they're given."

may not be entirely supported by the text which gives a brief but
revealing insight into Norway's relative autonomy, wealth, and
authority. Though perhaps "impotent and bedrid", Old Norway halts young
Fortinbras in mid-levy, grants him a large annual income, and
commissions him to: "employ those solders ... against the Polack".
Considerable independence for a "satrap", I would think.

In quiet anticipation - Jay Feldman

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Ramsay <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 14 Oct 2003 16:47:25 -0400
Subject: 14.1989 Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1989 Hamlet

>Oh, lord. Here we go again. I'll take John's point first.
>> Thus saith Horatio:
>
>. Our last king,
>Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
>Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
>Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
>Dared to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet--
>For so this side of our known world esteem'd him--
>Did slay this Fortinbras; who by a seal'd compact,
>Well ratified by law and heraldry,
>Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
>Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror:
>Against the which, a moiety competent
>Was gaged by our king; which had return'd
>To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
>Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same covenant,
>And carriage of the article design'd,
>His fell to Hamlet.
>
>Horatio might be wrong. Or I might be misreading him. But until
>otherwise persuaded I stand by my previous summary (except I would add a
>"seem to have" between "They" and "had"):
>
>>Old Hamlet didn't do anything in particular to Old Fortinbras except
>>fight him in a fair trial by combat. They had rival claims to suzerainty
>>over Norway (again an indication of a close connection of the two
>>families), and they set up a wager to settle the matter -- all of Norway
>>against a chunk of Denmark -- with the winner to take all, including
>>the life of the loser.
>
>>From the brusque way Claudius deals with him, Old Norway appears to be
>some sort of tributary, no monarch but a kind of satrap who'd better
>follow orders when they're given.
>
>As to Ed Taft's point, the matter is not susceptible of proof, but to
>me, Fortinbras's "rights of memory" suggest a kinship claim, irrelevant
>until the immediate family of Hamlet is wiped out, but definitive when
>it is. "Rights" would thus be a legal claim to something, here an entire
>kingdom. "Of memory" may have reference to the legal concept usually
>found in "time of memory."
>
>Hamlet's dying prophecy that the election will go to Fortinbras makes
>better sense if he has such rights at the outset. If Fortinbras planned
>to seize the throne of Denmark by conquest, we might expect Hamlet to
>say something about that rather than about the peaceful ratification of
>rights of memory. Nor does his "dying voice" in favor of that resolution
>make much sense to me unless he believes that to be a good, as well as a
>logical and legal, outcome.
>
>I don't particularly enjoy having to defend projective assumptions, but
>the remarks of Horatio, Hamlet, and Fortinbras suggest little
>alternative. I appeal to Master William of Ockham for judgment
>
>Cheers,
> don

An actor-director by name of Olivier did apply Occam's Razor to his film
version of Hamlet.

John Ramsay

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.