The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0411 Friday, 4 March 2005
Date: Friday, 25 Feb 2005 12:20:34 -0500
Subject: 16.0392 A Claudius Question
Comment: RE: SHK 16.0392 A Claudius Question
Okay, Bill Arnold, I admit it! I've always had a soft spot for Claudius!
Wrote a short play doing the proposal scene between Claudius and
Gertrude! Yes! Why? Because I couldn't help imagining WHY Claudius did
what he did WHEN he did it. Poor, deluded dreamer.
And because Old Hamlet always struck me as a son of a pig.
Jay Feldman: Laertes is presented as the action anti-Hamlet, the guy who
gets moving, seizes the moment, strikes while the iron is hot. (Laertes
from Paris is the hot-headed Catholic; Hamlet from Wittenburg is the
thoughtful Protestant.) Laertes, on hearing Daddy is dead, doesn't drop
everything and show up with a friend for the funeral, like Hamlet did.
He gathers a freaking ARMY, stops to buy a little poison, and THEN
storms into the palace. Usually not considered a friendly overture.
Then, because he's Laertes and basically a big fat lie, he simply caves.
Laertes is always the guy who talks a good game but doesn't follow
through. He's the one who would have murdered Hamlet in church,
remember? But when faced with the actual consequences of murder, he
confesses everything before he croaks. AND points the finger at Claudius
when he really doesn't have that much evidence.
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