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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: October ::
The Meaning of Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1932  Friday, 22 October 2004

[1]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Thursday, 21 Oct 2004 16:43:00 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1903 The Meaning of Hamlet

[2]     From:   Ken Campbell <
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        Date:   Thursday, 21 Oct 2004 17:50:03 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1918 The Meaning of Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Thursday, 21 Oct 2004 16:43:00 -0400
Subject: 15.1903 The Meaning of Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1903 The Meaning of Hamlet

 >Sir Francis, as spymaster, worked very closely with Burleigh but had
 >been dead for many years at the time of Hamlet. Burleigh was also dead
 >at this time but his passing would still be in very recent memory.
 >
 >Colin Cox

Walsingham died in 1590.  A lot of us still remember J. Edgar Hoover (d.
1972), so a single decade doesn't seem all that long.

David Evett

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ken Campbell <
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Date:           Thursday, 21 Oct 2004 17:50:03 -0700
Subject: 15.1918 The Meaning of Hamlet
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1918 The Meaning of Hamlet

 >>I agree that Shakespeare definitely highlights Claudius's alcoholic
 >>indulgence. There is no dispute that Claudius has this problem.
 >
 >No dispute?  There is no evidence he does have this problem.  Claudius
 >celebrates with drink; but don't most of us?  Are we all alkies?  At no
 >point does Claudius appear to be other than in complete control of
 >himself  -- yes, even at the end of The Mousetrap, after intolerable
 >provocation and on an occasion when drink would be flowing.

Thank you Larry I absolutely agree that Gertrude is the reference to
/"And to the manner born,".  It is she who seems most upset by the
"Mousetrap" and in the Chamber scene with Hamlet afterwards seems very
intoxicated.

However, if Claudius doesn't have the "problem" then why does Hamlet,
when he finds him praying say. "NO!/ Up sword, and know thou a more
horrid hent:/ When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,/Or in th'
incestuous pleasure of his bed.

The first fault that springs to Hamlet's mind is around alcohol abuse.

Maybe alcoholic is too loaded a word for this forum to get its
collective minds around. Boris Yeltson, I think all would agree was at
the end an alcoholic but he abused alcohol all his life and therefore
drank alcoholically.  It only caught up to him when age began to
deteriorate his tolerance.

J. Kenneth Campbell

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