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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
A Claudius Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0432  Tuesday, 8 March 2005

[1]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Friday, 4 Mar 2005 14:26:34 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0411 A Claudius Question

[2]     From:   Arthur Lindley <
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        Date:   Saturday, 5 Mar 2005 09:05:44 +0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0411 A Claudius Question

[3]     From:   Susan St. John <
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        Date:   Saturday, 05 Mar 2005 11:21:51 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0411 A Claudius Question

[4]     From:   Jay Feldman <
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        Date:   Monday, 07 Mar 2005 09:44:00 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0411 A Claudius Question


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Friday, 4 Mar 2005 14:26:34 -0600
Subject: 16.0411 A Claudius Question
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0411 A Claudius Question

Abigail Quart writes

"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."

I suppose it takes all kinds, but I have always been able to restrain my
soft spots where cold-blooded murderers are concerned, even those who
assassinate people I am not fond of.

(Incidentally, there are certain differences between the deaths of Old
Hamlet and Polonius that go a long way toward explaining why their sons
reacted differently.)

Cheers,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Arthur Lindley <
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Date:           Saturday, 5 Mar 2005 09:05:44 +0800
Subject: 16.0411 A Claudius Question
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0411 A Claudius Question

Abigail, where can we find your Gertrude and Claudius piece?

Regards,
Arthur Lindley

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan St. John <
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Date:           Saturday, 05 Mar 2005 11:21:51 -0700
Subject: 16.0411 A Claudius Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0411 A Claudius Question

I love Abigail Quart's idea of looking at the marriage proposal between
Claudius and Gertrude.  After having played Gertrude twice I have
decided that Old Hamlet was a good king but a lousy husband (married to
his country first) and an even worse lover (only one son and he quit!).
  Whereas Claudius is a charmer, knows how to love a woman and makes
Gertrude feel loved and wanted and sexy, etc.  Gertrude is so lost in
her newfound sensuality that she doesn't see Claudius' evil, scheming side.

That's my take on it, anyway!

Susan St. John

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jay Feldman <
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Date:           Monday, 07 Mar 2005 09:44:00 -1000
Subject: 16.0411 A Claudius Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0411 A Claudius Question

Abigail Quart: "He gathers a freaking ARMY, stops to buy a little
poison, and THEN storms into the palace. Usually not considered a
friendly overture."

I think you've found our basic difference here. From Claudius' report I
don't see Laertes gathering anything other than information, albeit
incomplete and clouded, about his father's death. While Claudius seems
well informed of Laertes' "secret" arrival from France and what he has
been doing in Elsinore, he seems completely unaware that an attack on
his regency is in the making. The subsequent rent in the security of the
castle is an amazing though momentary admission of Claudius' inadequacy
as a capable ruler and worthy opposite to Hamlet.

That a riot of rabble actually penetrate the walls and Claudius'
Switzers are at the same time absent, seem to speak of a well planned
and executed revolt - something we might expect from someone of equal
rank to Hamlet, such as Fortinbas, not a less regal Laertes. However, we
are soon to discover that this most significant upheaval, potentially of
vast importance to Claudius' reign, is nothing more than a mechanism to
gather up and propel Laertes into action.

Shakespeare seems uninterested in overthrow by Laertes, rather that he
shall be overthrown by a clever Claudius. The notion of a Laertes' led
revolution is, I believe, implausible - the revolt of belligerent
buzzers is instantly forgotten and lost to the play.

Sincerely - Jay Feldman

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