Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: November ::
Hamlet: Revenge or Justice?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1847  Wednesday, 9 November 2005

[1] 	From: 	Peter Groves <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Date: 	Wednesday, 9 Nov 2005 10:25:27 +1100
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 16.1837 Hamlet: Revenge or Justice?

[2] 	From: 	Kenneth Chan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Date: 	Wednesday, 09 Nov 2005 10:25:42 +0800
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1837 Hamlet: Revenge or Justice?

[3] 	From: 	David Basch <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Date: 	Wednesday, 09 Nov 2005 10:16:14 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1837 Hamlet: Revenge or Justice?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Peter Groves <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Wednesday, 9 Nov 2005 10:25:27 +1100
Subject: 16.1837 Hamlet: Revenge or Justice?
Comment: 	RE: SHK 16.1837 Hamlet: Revenge or Justice?

Alan Pierpoint asks: '"My mother stays," soliloquizes Hamlet, leaving 
the unwitting Claudius in prayer as he heads, directly it would seem, to 
Gertrude.  Is it reasonable that Claudius could have wrapped up his 
prayer and beamed himself up to the "closet" ahead of Hamlet?  If it 
isn't reasonable, why did Hamlet suspect that the "rat" behind the arras 
was the King?  What's the usual explanation for this seeming paradox?'

Call me crazy, but I've always assumed that at the moment when he stabs 
the arras, Hamlet is not exactly in the kind of reasonable, calm, 
reflective state of mind that might have led him to deduce the 
improbability of Claudius' presence in the closet.

Peter Groves

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Kenneth Chan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Wednesday, 09 Nov 2005 10:25:42 +0800
Subject: 16.1837 Hamlet: Revenge or Justice?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1837 Hamlet: Revenge or Justice?

Joe Egert (quoting Rene Girard) writes:

 >""HAMLET is no mere word game. We can make sense out of
 >HAMLET just as we can make sense out of our world, by reading
 >both against revenge. This is the way Shakespeare wanted HAMLET
 >to be read and the way it should have been read long ago. If now, at
 >such a time in our history, we still cannot read HAMLET against
 >revenge, who ever will?" ... Exactly!"

Thank you, Joe, for making clear the critical point we need to realize 
about Hamlet. If we read Hamlet as being against revenge, every line of 
the play actually falls into place. There are practically no extraneous 
lines in Hamlet. The entire drama is a brilliantly concentrated and 
meticulously crafted message for humanity. It is time we recognize that 
fact, and acknowledge the depth of Shakespeare's genius.

Shakespeare actually goes beyond merely denouncing revenge; in Hamlet, 
he demonstrates why revenge is wrong. The reason why revenge is wrong, 
in fact, forms the critical link between the two central themes of 
Hamlet that echo incessantly, scene after scene, through the entire play.

Those interested can find most of the evidence for the above at 
http://homepage.mac.com/sapphirestudios/qod

The evidence for the meaning of Hamlet also goes beyond what is found 
within the play itself. Further evidence resides in Shakespeare's other 
works. All of Shakespeare's plays are meticulously crafted to convey 
deep spiritual messages for humanity, and these messages complement one 
another.

Through his plays, Shakespeare has thus left a priceless gift for 
humanity. It is time we recognize his plays for what they are, and learn 
to benefit from them.

With best wishes,
Kenneth Chan

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Basch <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Wednesday, 09 Nov 2005 10:16:14 -0500
Subject: 16.1837 Hamlet: Revenge or Justice?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1837 Hamlet: Revenge or Justice?

Alan Pierpoint raises what he calls a "paradox," namely, how Hamlet 
could have expected his uncle Claudius, who he just left in prayer, to 
turn up behind the curtain in his mother's room.

I would answer that there is no paradox here. Hamlet is intensely 
arguing with his mother for a period of time when her cries bring a 
voice of alarm from behind the curtain. The intensity Hamlet's rage, 
apparently, does not leave Hamlet with an altogether rational, 
calculating mind about what is going on. All he can think of is his 
anger at his uncle and his fear of the danger he would be in if it were 
him as he runs his sword through the curtain. Clearly, he expects that 
it was his uncle and is surprised to learn of his blunder. I do not call 
this a situation of paradox but a plausible scenario of events.

David Basch

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.