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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
A Claudius Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0595  Wednesday, 30 March 2005

From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Tuesday, 29 Mar 2005 15:45:27 -0500
Subject: 16.0585 A Claudius Question
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0585 A Claudius Question

"popped between the election and
[Hamlet's] hopes."

"Hopes." Not "crown." Hamlet doesn't have a very present vision of
himself as king. It's kind of a hazy future, after he finishes
school...later. Of course, he wasn't expecting Daddy to die, either. Not
yet. Still, he doesn't seem to have adjusted his timeframe to the new
reality.

"1692: O what a noble mind is heere orethrowne!
1693: The Courtiers, souldiers, schollers, eye, tongue, sword,
1694: Th'expectation, and Rose of the faire state,
1695: The glasse of fashion, and the mould of forme,
1696: Th'obseru'd of all obseruers, quite quite downe,
1697: And I of Ladies most deiect and wretched,
1698: That suckt the honny of his musickt vowes,
1699: Now see what noble and most soueraigne reason
1700: Like sweet bells iangled out of time, and harsh,
1701: That vnmatcht forme, and stature of blowne youth
1702: Blasted with extacie, o woe is mee
1703: T'haue seene what I haue seene, see what I see."

I don't actually believe Hamlet was bipolar. I think Shakespeare deals
with that condition in another play. But Ophelia's speech isn't a bad
description of the onset of mental illness in a young man.

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