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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: March ::
The Three Sons in Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0760  Friday, 26 March 2004

[1]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Mar 2004 08:34:18 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0755 The Three Sons in Hamlet

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Mar 2004 08:53:34 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0755 The Three Sons in Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Mar 2004 08:34:18 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 15.0755 The Three Sons in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0755 The Three Sons in Hamlet

 >Sean himself points out that Fortinbras uses an army to capture a little
 >piece of Poland. Why doesn't he do the same in Denmark?

Fortuitously, I'm teaching Hamlet this week (and I'll have my own
question to send shortly). But on this, I don't know that Fortinbras
doesn't do the same in Denmark. Hamlet tries to motivate his own dull
revenge by observing Fortinbras's determination. But Fortinbras's
strongest case is against the Danish court itself, something Uncle
Norway (reportedly) thinks he has persuaded Fortinbras to forget about.
I'm not convinced that we must agree with that report, and the
permission given to Fortinbras to traverse Denmark on the route to
Poland strikes me as politically stupid.  Among his other faults,
Claudius is a bad politician.

Jack Heller
Huntington College

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 25 Mar 2004 08:53:34 -0800
Subject: 15.0755 The Three Sons in Hamlet
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0755 The Three Sons in Hamlet

Ed Taft asks,

 >Sean himself points out that Fortinbras uses an army to capture a little
 >piece of Poland. Why doesn't he do the same in Denmark?

As I recall, his uncle forbids it.  More importantly, Fortinbras's
deployment of a large army to capture a small territory is an admission
that one cannot correlate war-effort to the importance of war's goals.
There is, therefore, no reason to think that Fortinbras's objective is
greater than the capture of the territories lost by his father, or that
this limited goal does not necessitate an attack on Denmark in general.

Yrs,
SKL.

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