The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1062 Tuesday, 3 June 2003
Date: Monday, 2 Jun 2003 15:04:12 -0500
Subject: 14.1027 Re: Hirsh and "To Be"
Comment: Re: SHK 14.1027 Re: Hirsh and "To Be"
At the risk of being dumped into the bin marked "realist," I would like
to point out that if Hamlet is pretending to be mad (and he says he
intends to do this, and persuades the court that he is, and does a lot
of goofy stuff), he has to be pretending every public moment. If he's
moving through the castle towards some kind of meeting with the king, he
cannot assume that he's not being spied upon.
Spies, who do this sort of thing for a living, can't stop being their
"cover" just because they don't see anyone around right at the moment.
Hamlet's cover is "mad Hamlet" and he's got to do it every second unless
he's absolutely sure no one is about. And even then it would be
To put it another way, relevant to the play, he's an actor who never can
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