Fortinbras: bad boy, bad boy?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0893 Monday, 19 April 2004
From: Cheryl Newton <
Date: Friday, 16 Apr 2004 14:27:57 -0400
Subject: Fortinbras: bad boy, bad boy?
We've had an interesting discussion regarding Fortinbras' role as son,
and whether he approaches Denmark finally as an opportunist or a
conqueror. In Rosenberg's Masks of Hamlet, he brought me to an absolute
standstill when he reported that Fortinbras' line, "Bid the soldiers
shoot," had directed his troops to murder Horatio ~ presumably because
Horatio's telling of the tale might weaken Fortinbras' claim to the throne.
Okay...so, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Horatio, the only
uncompromised, divine innocent in the play. I would be one of those
audience members who cried out against it. But theatrically - why on
earth trump the emotion of Hamlet's death with the murder of his dear
friend who lived to report his cause aright? Wouldn't it play as an
anticlimax to all the other deaths that had led up to the moment?
Have any of you seen or heard of such a production, & what was the
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