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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: November ::
The Meaning of Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1998  Monday, 22 November 2004

[Editor's Note: I would appreciate it if contributors to this thread
would make an effort to bring it to a conclusion soon.]

[1]     From:   Kenneth Chan <
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 >
        Date:   Friday, 19 Nov 2004 21:42:54 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1987 The Meaning of Hamlet

[2]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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 >
        Date:   Friday, 19 Nov 2004 11:15:51 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1987 The Meaning of Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth Chan <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 19 Nov 2004 21:42:54 +0800
Subject: 15.1987 The Meaning of Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1987 The Meaning of Hamlet

Colin Cox writes:

 >No other Shakespearean play comes even remotely close to
 >Hamlet in the number of references to death and its reality.
 >You might want to re-read Titus."

I agree, Colin, that a large number of deaths occur in Titus Andronicus
- that's because the play portrays the endless cycle of horror that
vengeance generates.

What I am referring to, however, is not the number of deaths in the
play, but the number of references to "the reality and inevitability of
death." In this respect, Hamlet's graveyard scene alone would already
outdo the entire play of Titus Andronicus.

Regards,
Kenneth Chan
http://homepage.mac.com/sapphirestudios/qod

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 19 Nov 2004 11:15:51 -0500
Subject: 15.1987 The Meaning of Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1987 The Meaning of Hamlet

John Reed <
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 >

 >Thank you John for the explanation of through-line.  I'm not sure I'm
 >edified yet, however.  I'm still wallowing in ignorance; perhaps you
 >could recommend a written source of further explanation?

Well, I suppose you'd be likely to stumble across it in at least half of
all books with titles like "How to Write a Play". Honestly, it's a quite
ordinary bit of metaphorical jargon that means more or less what it
seems to mean. It's the thing about a play that, if you don't have it,
audiences will say, "It didn't seem to be /about/ anything."

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