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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: December ::
Gertrude-Ophelia
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1986  Thursday, 1 December 2005

[1] 	From: 	Jay Feldman <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 30 Nov 2005 07:41:00 -1000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1975 Gertrude-Ophelia

[2] 	From: 	Margaret Litvin <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 30 Nov 2005 12:59:13 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1965 Gertrude-Ophelia

[3] 	From: 	Bill Lloyd <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 30 Nov 2005 13:02:03 EST
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1975 Gertrude-Ophelia

[4] 	From: 	John W. Kennedy <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 30 Nov 2005 13:20:53 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1975 Gertrude-Ophelia

[5] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 30 Nov 2005 13:50:31 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1975 Gertrude-Ophelia

[6] 	From: 	Donald Bloom <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 30 Nov 2005 14:33:58 -0600
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 16.1975 Gertrude-Ophelia

[7] 	From: 	John Reed <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 01 Dec 2005 06:45:25 +0000
	Subj: 	Re: Gertrude-Ophelia


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jay Feldman <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 30 Nov 2005 07:41:00 -1000
Subject: 16.1975 Gertrude-Ophelia
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1975 Gertrude-Ophelia

". . . thinking spectators/readers cannot help but wonder why Gertrude, 
who was apparently an eyewitness to Ophelia's death, did not help her or 
call for help - the drowning takes a long time, even in the telling on 
stage!"

A non-scholar's response to Ed Taft's answerless question:

- It is Gertrude's breathing time of day. She has climbed the four 
flights to the ramparts and looks on the high eastward hill where the 
stream flows. There she spies Ophelia's danger and instantly orders her 
ladies and guards to her aid. She remains to observe. -

Works for me - Jay

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Margaret Litvin <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 30 Nov 2005 12:59:13 -0500
Subject: 16.1965 Gertrude-Ophelia
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1965 Gertrude-Ophelia

Couldn't resist belatedly chiming in from a cross-cultural perspective.

In the Arab world, there is a fairly accepted reading among directors 
and critics that accuses the whole Claudius regime, not just Gertrude, 
of Ophelia's murder.  The evidence is pretty much the usual: lack of 
witnesses at the drowning; Gertrude's too-flowery elegy; and the textual 
hints of Claudius' excessive interest in Ophelia, whether as an 
attractive woman or as a source of subversive talk ("Pretty Ophelia ... 
Follow her close, give her good watch, I pray you.").  One Egyptian 
critic admits she is haunted by Claudius' earlier line, referring to 
Hamlet: "Madness in great ones must not unwatched go."

But what makes this interpretation work on stage is the character of 
Claudius, played as a plausibly monstrous tyrant, 

 

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