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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: April ::
The Murder of Gonzago
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0862  Tuesday, 13 April 2004

[1]     From:   W.L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Monday, 12 Apr 2004 14:23:07 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0855 The Murder of Gonzago

[2]     From:   Jack Hettinger <
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        Date:   Monday, 12 Apr 2004 19:36:18 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0855 The Murder of Gonzago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W.L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Monday, 12 Apr 2004 14:23:07 -0400
Subject: 15.0855 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0855 The Murder of Gonzago

Peter Bridgman writes of The Murder of Gonzago:

 >I agree it's hardly conclusive, but I think we're meant to assume the
 >guilt is now proven.  Which means we are persuaded to accept the Ghost's
 >account of the murder.

I don't think this is a good argument.  How can we know what Shakespeare
"meant" or intended when he wrote this scene?  And if we don't know what
he "meant," how can we possibly know what we are "meant to assume"? And,
of course, what if we are not persuaded to accept the Ghost's story of
his murder-as some scholars aren't?

Bill Godshalk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Hettinger <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 12 Apr 2004 19:36:18 -0400
Subject: 15.0855 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0855 The Murder of Gonzago

Peter Bridgeman quotes an earlier post, "'All of which is to say that if
Hamlet really hopes to prove the king's guilt with the play, he really
botches it'", then replies, "I agree it's hardly conclusive, but I think
we're meant to assume the guilt is now proven.  Which means we are
persuaded to accept the Ghost's account of the murder.  And (more
interestingly), the audience, along with Wittenberg-educated Hamlet, is
made to accept the existence of Purgatory. The censors must have been
asleep."

Alright, but perhaps the censor-Zacharias Pasfield, whom Arthur McGee in
The Elizabethan Hamlet describes as a capable and "trusted" fellow
(27)-was wide awake and saw no problems with a play that plainly mocked
that preposterous untenable Catholic doctrine of Purgatory and displayed
how your typical bloodthirsty Catholic revenger managed to make a hash
of everything, even defying augury towards play's end and supposing that
he had become God's instrument of vengeance.

McGee says, "Catholicism is freely used by the [Elizabethan] dramatists
... as fair game for ridicule." And there is not a single instance of "a
revenge play in which Anglican doctrine is questioned" or in which a
Protes

 

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