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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
Dating Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0799  Tuesday, 26A April 2005

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Sunday, 24 Apr 2005 20:06:21 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0780 Dating Hamlet

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Monday, 25 Apr 2005 00:03:00 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0780 Dating Hamlet

[3]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Monday, 25 Apr 2005 15:55:52 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0780 Dating Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Sunday, 24 Apr 2005 20:06:21 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 16.0780 Dating Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0780 Dating Hamlet

Peter Bridgman writes, "There are far more obvious biblical references
in Hamlet."

Well said, and well documented, Peter.  You are the rock!

Then he cites Old Testament stories from Genesis and Job.  I would
remind all as I noted in my *Jesus* book that the New Testament makes
more sense, inasmuch as the message is more central to the theme of
*Hamlet*.  The essence of the teachings of Jesus, referenced in numerous
literary allusions, turn upon this very theme of the evil brother upon
the good brother.  Jesus stated flatly that none can find salvation with
God if one has bad blood against one's brother in one's heart.

The metaphors Jesus used were consistent upon this theme.  Therefore,
without disagreeing with Peter, but accepting his fine analysis and
citations, I urge him and others to read the New Testament as the
underlying theme of *Hamlet*: the evil brother cannot find salvation
with enmity in his heart against the good brother.  Claudius is doomed,
forever.  And Shakespeare's English audience of 1600 fully understood
the play and this underlying New Testament theme about brothers, and
good and evil.

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

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Monday, 25 Apr 2005 00:03:00 -0400
Subject: 16.0780 Dating Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0780 Dating Hamlet

 >Larry Weiss is correct; it has long been thought remarkable that
 >Shakespeare's King John contains no mention of Magna Carta. But perhaps
 >Larry will look again at KJ 3.1.75-95 and consider why Shakespeare set
 >his scene on the Solstice and wrote a bitter (calendrical) lament for
 >Constance.

Ok, I looked.  There is nothing in this passage that suggests that the
composition between England and France occurred on a solstice.  All John
says is that it is a sunny day and it will be celebrated annually to
commemorate the composition.  I can't imagine that anything here would
cause a member of the audience to think of Magna Carta, even if they
knew (which I didn't) that it was executed on a solstice.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Monday, 25 Apr 2005 15:55:52 +0100
Subject: 16.0780 Dating Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0780 Dating Hamlet

Steve Sohmer wrote:

 >John Briggs will remember that Tudor astrologers and mathematicians
 >knew the Julian calendar in force in Shakespeare's England was 12.86
 >days behind the sun in 1602. Therefore, 12 December was actually 25
 >December (12+13=25). The Gregorian calendar reform (10 days) did not
 >correct the calendar to the time of Christ but to the radix of the
 >Council of Nicaea (AD 325).

No, I do not remember that - and I don't suppose anyone else does
either. It is meaningless to talk about the Julian Calendar being "12.86
days behind the sun" - the comparison is to the Gregorian Calendar.
(Although John Dee did suggest a correction of eleven days.)  The reason
that everyone referred back to the Council of Nicaea, is that that is
when the date of Easter was determined, by linking the solar and lunar
cycles.  Sir Toby's "O' the twelfth day of December" could conceivably
be a reference to the winter solstice, but not (by around 1600) to
Christmas Day.

John Briggs

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