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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: November ::
Gertrude-Ophelia
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1956  Sunday, 27 November 2005

[1] 	From: 	Bill Arnold <
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	Date: 	Friday, 25 Nov 2005 12:55:32 -0800 (PST)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1947 Gertrude-Ophelia

[2] 	From: 	Geralyn Horton <
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	Date: 	Friday, 25 Nov 2005 16:48:07 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1947 Gertrude-Ophelia

[3] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <
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	Date: 	Friday, 25 Nov 2005 16:56:06 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1947 Gertrude-Ophelia

[4] 	From: 	M Yawney <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 26 Nov 2005 16:46:24 -0800 (PST)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1947 Gertrude-Ophelia


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Bill Arnold <
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Date: 		Friday, 25 Nov 2005 12:55:32 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 16.1947 Gertrude-Ophelia
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1947 Gertrude-Ophelia

John Reed writes, "1.  Really?  What's so absurd about it, exactly?  2. 
  What's the difference between Gertrude killing Ophelia, and Macbeth 
killing Banquo?"

The answer is, to scholars, a *huge* difference: textual!  The text of 
the play *Macbeth* supports the conclusion whereas the play *Hamlet* 
does not.  Therefore, it is *absurd* to draw the conclusion.  That is, 
unless you can *prove* the conclusion, textually.

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

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Geralyn Horton <
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Date: 		Friday, 25 Nov 2005 16:48:07 -0500
Subject: 16.1947 Gertrude-Ophelia
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1947 Gertrude-Ophelia

John Reed <
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 >

 >What's the difference between Gertrude killing Ophelia, and
 >Macbeth killing Banquo?

Macbeth reveals that he is planning the murder, hires men to carry it 
out, confesses it to us afterwards.  Big difference!

G.L. Horton
<http://www.stagepage.info>

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <
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Date: 		Friday, 25 Nov 2005 16:56:06 -0500
Subject: 16.1947 Gertrude-Ophelia
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1947 Gertrude-Ophelia

 >What's the difference between Gertrude killing Ophelia, and
 >Macbeth killing Banquo?

To begin with, one's in the play and the other isn't.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		M Yawney <
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Date: 		Saturday, 26 Nov 2005 16:46:24 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 16.1947 Gertrude-Ophelia
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1947 Gertrude-Ophelia

The difference is in Shakespeare's dramaturgical practice. Shakespeare 
does not conceal major plot points or leave the action ambiguous. There 
are issues of motive and character that he does leave ambiguous, but the 
only unclear plot points are found in corrupt texts of his play.

In other words, Shakespeare makes it clear that Macbeth is responsible 
for Banquo's death. He does not make it clear that Gertrude killed 
Ophelia. This inference comes from playing intellectual games with the 
text.

Playing such games is certainly a fine, amusing, and stimulating thing 
to do, but it is playing in the gaps. One can create all sorts of 
backstories of Gertrude murdering Ophelia, Claudius molesting Hamlet, 
Ophelia seducing Guilderstern, and any number of things that Shakespeare 
neither states or denies within the playscript.

But these speculations are a game. They are not reflective of 
Shakespeare's work. Just because Shakespeare does not say Gertrude did 
not kill Ophelia does not mean that she did.

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