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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
Dating Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0721  Friday, 15 April 2005

[1]     From:   Colin Cox <
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        Date:   Thursday, 14 Apr 2005 11:23:20 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0710 Dating Hamlet

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 14 Apr 2005 20:43:10 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0710 Dating Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Colin Cox <
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Date:           Thursday, 14 Apr 2005 11:23:20 -0700
Subject: 16.0710 Dating Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0710 Dating Hamlet

Robin Hamilton writes ...

 >>Gunpowder and Wittenberg imply (to put it no more strongly) that
 >>+Hamlet+ would be taken by its original audience as set in a
 >>(relatively) recent point in time, certainly that rather than the remote
 >>past.

Peter Bridgman writes:

 >Why not the present?  If the "eyrie of children" are the Children of the
 >Chapel in Blackfriars, this boys company was not formed until September
 >1600.

Why not all of the above? Shakespeare makes no bones about time or
setting.  1595 Londoners in 1251 BCE Athens! The actual setting of
Hamlet would appear to be circa 1040, the time period in which Elsinore
was the capitol of Denmark. Thus Laertes attends a university that will
not be founded for another hundred years and Hamlet attends one that
will not be founded for another 500. The Dane also gives 'advise' to
several members of the Chamberlain's Men circa 1599-1600. I don't think
William really cares, do you?

Colin Cox

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Thursday, 14 Apr 2005 20:43:10 +0100
Subject: 16.0710 Dating Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0710 Dating Hamlet

Peter Bridgman <
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 >

 >Why not the present?  If the "eyrie of children" are the Children of the
 >Chapel in Blackfriars, this boys company was not formed until September
 >1600.

I think the immediate present (by the somewhat tortuous reasoning I'm
using) is ruled out in that some at least of the audience would know the
recent history of Denmark.  So perhaps at a minimum, thirty years
previous to the acting of the play?

Robin Hamilton

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