The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1426 Tuesday, 30 August 2005
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.
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