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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: April ::
Fortinbras: bad boy, bad boy?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0906  Tuesday, 20 April 2004

[1]     From:   Alberto Cacicedo <
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        Date:   Monday, 19 Apr 2004 08:35:59 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0893 Fortinbras: bad boy, bad boy?

[2]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Monday, 19 Apr 2004 13:07:29 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0893 Fortinbras: bad boy, bad boy?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alberto Cacicedo <
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Date:           Monday, 19 Apr 2004 08:35:59 -0400
Subject: 15.0893 Fortinbras: bad boy, bad boy?
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0893 Fortinbras: bad boy, bad boy?

I can't say I've ever thought of Fortinbras as the conqueror of Denmark
at the end of the play.  It doesn't seem likely at first thought,
however.  At the same time, I don't think that Horatio is so
straightforwardly uncompromised and innocent.  What's he doing in
Elsinore in the first place, hanging out with the soldiers in the
taverns?  Why does it take him so long to approach Hamlet?  Does he see
the appearance of the ghost as an opportunity to reintroduce himself to
Hamlet, and so go from tavern to court?  Has he taken advantage of that
opportunity so that by 4.5 he's giving advice to Gertrude about
receiving Ophelia in her madness?  What is Horatio doing in the rest of
4.5, in fact?  What does he mean by "Why, what a king is this!" in 5.2.62?

In doubts,
Al Cacicedo
Albright College

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 19 Apr 2004 13:07:29 -0400
Subject: 15.0893 Fortinbras: bad boy, bad boy?
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0893 Fortinbras: bad boy, bad boy?

I recently saw a Columbia School of the Arts production in which the
soldiers attending Fortinbras shoot Osric upon entering the final scene.
  They then hold a gun to the head of a visibly terrified Horatio who is
VERY relieved when they don't kill him.

But the line isn't "Bid the soldiers shoot." It's "Go bid the soldiers
shoot" which is an instruction requiring movement which would not be
necessary for soldiers in the room. Also, Fortinbras is obviously
planning a meeting with the aethlings to gain their official support
using Horatio's eyewitness explanation of the royal family's
self-extinction: "Let us haste to hear it,/And call the noblest to the
audience."

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