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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: Polonius and Reynaldo
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1160  Wednesday, 11 June 2003

[1]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Jun 2003 10:19:32 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1146 Re: Polonius and Reynaldo

[2]     From:   L. Swilley <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Jun 2003 14:49:04 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1146 Re: Polonius and Reynaldo


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Jun 2003 10:19:32 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.1146 Re: Polonius and Reynaldo
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1146 Re: Polonius and Reynaldo

The 2001 RSC Hamlet was the first to make any sense of the part for me.
Usually he is just a spy on Laerte's behavior in a very long play, and
thus easily cut. However, here Reynaldo was a courtier in training under
Polonius's wing and quite obviously eager to please, hence his short and
compliant answers. At the end of the play, when Fortinbras entered to
stake his claim to Denmark, Reynaldo was the very first courtier to
openly applaud the speech, downstage center and over enthusiastically.
The other courtiers followed suit, rushed downstage from their terrified
positions against the far wall to surround their new master and...
lights out. Our congratulatory applause of the play's conclusion made us
utterly "guilty creatures watching a play".

Brian Willis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           L. Swilley <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Jun 2003 14:49:04 -0500
Subject: 14.1146 Re: Polonius and Reynaldo
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1146 Re: Polonius and Reynaldo

Linda Englade wrote,

>Polonius
>might be intimately acquainted with all the mentioned vices, yet be a
>prominent figure in (symptom of) the Danish court.

And Larry Weiss contributed,

>it... also elaborates on Polonius's "indirect" methods,
>which, together with the advice to Laertes, provides the most
>satisfactory explanation for Hamlet's recognition of Polonius's hand in
>the Nunnery Scene.

And isn't Polonius here doing with his son just what Hamlet is doing
with Claudius, "by indirection find[ing] direction out," that play to
"catch the conscience of the King" - to say nothing of Hamlet's pretense
of madness as a means for discovery?

L. Swilley

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