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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
A Claudius Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0513  Friday, 18 March 2005

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Mar 2005 16:14:51 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0501 A Claudius Question

[2]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Mar 2005 08:57:59 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0501 A Claudius Question


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Thursday, 17 Mar 2005 16:14:51 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 16.0501 A Claudius Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0501 A Claudius Question

Abigail Quart writes, "There is not the smallest shred of proof that
Gertrude knows what really happened to her husband.  This may shock you,
Bill, but sometimes murder is the least of the problems a woman is
dealing with."

I am a great-grandfather, twice: two great-granddaughters, courtesy of
two lovely granddaughters!   So, having lived this long, and experienced
much, nothing shocks me, anymore.  Cease in thinking me to be naive,
Abigail!  I was a feminist so long ago that it was probably before you
were born.  Surely, you misread and misunderstand me.  Pause, before you
continue this line of reasoning.

But getting back to Shakespeare, and the play *Hamlet*: do not forget
that Shakespeare is serving up literary allusions in all his plays from
the English Bibles of his country.  And the ten commandments of his
Judaic-Christian faith, and the same faith of his countrymen, is central
to the play: how can you possibly downplay the central theme of the
play, and that is that the kingship has changed hands in violation of
"Thou shalt not kill!"  And close behind that in the minds of the
audience is Claudius' violation of the commandment against "coveting"
his brother's wife!  Shakespeare's audience would certainly consider
Prince Hamlet's predicament: have you forgotten the *truth* as revealed
in ACT ONE by the spirit of the murdered King Hamlet?

It is not me putting this forth: this theme is central to a play by
William Shakespeare called *Hamlet*!

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Friday, 18 Mar 2005 08:57:59 -0600
Subject: 16.0501 A Claudius Question
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0501 A Claudius Question

Abigail Quart:

 >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.

Dunno about Bill, but it shocks me. What problems does Gertrude have
whereby the murder of her husband by his brother (who is possibly her
lover) is the least? Do we mean the same thing by murder?

Cheers,
don

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