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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: September ::
Legitimizing the Q1 Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1664  Tuesday, 7 September 2004

[1]     From:   Norman Hinton <
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        Date:   Monday, 06 Sep 2004 10:55:29 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1651 Legitimizing the Q1 Hamlet

[2]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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 >
        Date:   Monday, 06 Sep 2004 19:38:47 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1651 Legitimizing the Q1 Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Norman Hinton <
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Date:           Monday, 06 Sep 2004 10:55:29 -0500
Subject: 15.1651 Legitimizing the Q1 Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1651 Legitimizing the Q1 Hamlet

 >Another form of chiasmus, one that is much larger
 >in scale and can encompass an entire passage in a single chiastic
 >system, was used extensively in ancient Mediterranean cultures--most
 >notably, biblical Hebrew.  That style of complex form is generally
 >believed to have fallen out of use several centuries ago, long before
 >Medieval, Renaissance or modern day writers came onto the scene.  In

I don't know who believes this had 'fallen out of use', but I can point
you to a number of studies of this kind of chiasmus in medieval
literature. (And art as well)

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 06 Sep 2004 19:38:47 -0400
Subject: 15.1651 Legitimizing the Q1 Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1651 Legitimizing the Q1 Hamlet

It seems to me that any attempt to account for the Q1 Hamlet -- and let
us take the "To be" speech in particular to account for -- must take
into consideration its frequent complete breakdowns of meter and syntax,
which are far beyond the wildest license Shakespeare ever allows himself
in any text generally acknowledged as "good".  I am completely open to
the possibility that Q1 represents in some way a Shakespearean ur-text
(to be distinguished from the hypothetical ur-Hamlet of the
oyster-wife), but am firmly of the opinion that there is more to it --
if not memorial reconstruction or plagiarism by stenography, then
perhaps stolen foul papers?

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