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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: August ::
Joshua Logan and "Hamlet"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1426  Tuesday, 30 August 2005

From: 		L. Swilley <
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Date: 		Monday, 29 Aug 2005 07:56:42 -0500
Subject: 16.1415 Joshua Logan and "Hamlet"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1415 Joshua Logan and "Hamlet"

John Reed writes,

<QUOTE>Hamlet: I've been over and over this text, and I don't see 
anywhere he has the same experience.  Claudius does (when he tries to 
pray), but not Hamlet.  Hamlet seems to me to be going in the opposite 
mental direction. He becomes progressively incapable of seeing what he 
himself has done wrong, and there is plenty.  In a religious sense (if 
there's anybody here interested in that kind of thing), he might be said 
to exhibit a seared conscience.<END QUOTE>

Might Hamlet's like experience be the realization of what he has failed 
to do rather than what he has done?  If that's in the running, Hamlet's 
"How all occasions do inform against me...from this time forth, my 
thoughts be bloody, etc." (IV, iv) might be the moment we're looking for 
- except that  1) it occurs too long before the end of the play (where 
this should occur?); 2) it is not consistent with Horatio's obvious 
disapproval of Hamlet's executing R.&G.; and 3) though compatible with 
Hamlet's remarks from "my thoughts be bloody" and "They are not near my 
conscience, etc.(about his arranged execution of  R.& G.)" through  his 
treatment of Osric, it does not jibe with Hamlet's subsequent attitudes 
from "there is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow, etc." 
through his begging forgiveness of Laertes.

Considering  the end of the play, where the solution to both the 
political and personal problems are handed to Hamlet rather than 
arranged by him,  one would be inclined to think that his abandoning his 
determination to "be in charge" - that "fall of the sparrow" speech - is 
the point sought for.

L. Swilley

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