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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: March ::
The Murder of Gonzago
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0783  Tuesday, 30 March 2004

[1]     From:   Jay Feldman <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Mar 2004 12:02:30 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0772 The Murder of Gonzago

[2]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Mar 2004 15:00:39 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0772 The Murder of Gonzago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jay Feldman <
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Date:           Monday, 29 Mar 2004 12:02:30 EST
Subject: 15.0772 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0772 The Murder of Gonzago

Please forgive my prior post if it was confusing. The paragraph in
question should have read [addition in CAPS]:

I believe this is a case where the tail wags the dog. Hamlet does not
make his declaration because of Claudius' response, rather THE ACTOR WHO
PLAYS Claudius must make a significant reaction, 'upon the talk of the
poisoning', because he knows what Hamlet is going to say. I see Hamlet's
comment as a stage direction (working backward) that should be seconded
by a strong affirmation from Horatio.

Apologetically,
Jay Feldman

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 29 Mar 2004 15:00:39 -0600
Subject: 15.0772 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0772 The Murder of Gonzago

I'm always a trifle startled at people's inability to see the
implications of their theorizing. Hamlet sets out to catch the
conscience of the king --  that is, to prove to himself that the ghost's
accusation can be trusted -- by re-enacting the murder (as the ghost
related it) in front of the king and court. At the time when the
"murderer" commits the crime and Hamlet begins to summarize the rest of
the events (a further direct parallel), the king stops the play and
storms off.

The deduction that the one causes the other is so easy that some people
apparently mistrust it. But why else would the king leave at just that
point? In actors' terms, what possible motivation could he have except
the obvious one?

Imagining yourself the actor playing the part is often, I find, a good
supplement to imagining yourself the character when you're trying to
figure out what's going on. And it often simplifies things greatly

don

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