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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
A Claudius Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0501  Thursday, 17 March 2005

[1]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Mar 2005 12:04:02 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0491 A Claudius Question

[2]     From:   Susan St. John <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Mar 2005 10:20:41 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0491 A Claudius Question


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Mar 2005 12:04:02 -0500
Subject: 16.0491 A Claudius Question
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0491 A Claudius Question

Bill Arnold: "There is no excuse for murder.  Wanting to sleep with a
man does not excuse his murderous acts, ever!"

A. I don't want to sleep with Claudius.
B. There is not the smallest shred of proof that Gertrude knows what
really happened to her husband.
C. This may shock you, Bill, but sometimes murder is the least of the
problems a woman is dealing with.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan St. John <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Mar 2005 10:20:41 -0700
Subject: 16.0491 A Claudius Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0491 A Claudius Question

Bill Arnold states

 >Wanting to sleep with a man does not
 >excuse his murderous acts, ever!

This was not my original point at all...but rather that wanting to sleep
with someone causes one to turn a blind eye to their faults; to refuse
to believe the worst of them. Hence the concept "love is blind" or
perhaps more accurately, LUST is blinding.

Loving (or lusting after) someone does not EXCUSE their
bad/criminal/inappropriate behavior, it just makes one oblivious to it!
  There are hundreds of movies and plays, as well as real-life news
stories, that deal with exactly this phenomenon.  How else would people
get away with having affairs, leading secret lives, working for the CIA,
whatever.  And I believe this is exactly what has occurred to Gertrude,
and when she finally does realize Claudius' true nature, she defies him
and drinks the wine (which I believe she KNOWS is poisoned, and she
drinks because she wants to save Hamlet from drinking it, but also
because she can no longer live with the knowledge of her stupidity in
falling for the wrong man).

Susan St. John

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