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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: May ::
Hamlet's Ghost
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1148  Friday, 28 May 2004

[1]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 May 2004 19:43:28 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1137 Hamlet's Ghost

[2]     From:   Sam Small <
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 >
        Date:   Thursday, 27 May 2004 21:31:42 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1137 Hamlet's Ghost


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 May 2004 19:43:28 +0100
Subject: 15.1137 Hamlet's Ghost
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1137 Hamlet's Ghost

Pamela Richards writes...

 >I believe, along with one of the posters here who stated that we can
 >determine Shakespeare's intention from a thorough reading of the text.

I'm glad that isn't true.  I'd say the closer the scrutiny, the more
mysterious and enigmatic the play becomes.

Peter Bridgman

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 May 2004 21:31:42 +0100
Subject: 15.1137 Hamlet's Ghost
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1137 Hamlet's Ghost

Pamela Richards brings out some interesting points about Hamlet's ghost,
namely whether the ghost is an evil spirit or a true re-emergence of his
father's being.  She also reminds us of the fact that Shakespeare used
recognisable devices - such as the ghost - that would gain credibility
with the audience.  I have brought this up before - so please forgive me
- of the incongruous nature of the ghost in the drama.  In a play
utterly devoid of the supernatural - a contemporary political thriller,
if you will - we are forced to the conclusion that ghosts actually
exist.  Did Shakespeare not believe this himself but believed the
audience did?  If so why base so important a topic on the superstition
of the uneducated?  Plays such as the Tempest and Midsummer Night's
Dream are fantasy worlds in which fairies and spirits exist.  In "The
Merchant of Venice" or "Measure for Measure" for instance, there are no
goblins or sprites because the plays are realistic and contemporary.  So
why did Shakespeare appear to break the rules of his own making?

SAM SMALL

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