The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0655 Thursday, 7 April 2005
Date: Thursday, 07 Apr 2005 00:01:44 -0400
Subject: 16.0645 (A Claudius Question) barking bats & flapping dogs
Comment: Re: SHK 16.0645 (A Claudius Question) barking bats & flapping dogs
>I'm not saying this is right, all I'm saying is that it's possible to
>stage a version of +Hamlet+ where the Prince isn't totally
>bats-in-the-belfry barking mad.
> Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.
>It WORKS, and unless you want to dismiss the audience and elect
>The Wee M'Greegor
I've seen productions with Hamlet as more distraught than mad (going for
the court defense of being under mental stress) or simply calm &
calculating. Mostly they worked. But the various characters make so
much reference to his changed disposition that I think the last 1/2 of
the play carries its own internal direction for Hamlet to be spiraling
out of control. The only compelling argument for me to a strictly
rational approach is that Horatio, perhaps the most important
interpreter of Hamlet's behavior, seems to accept his friend's behavior
Drat, hmm. I trust Horatio's judgement, so now I'll have to rethink the
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