The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0121 Monday, 6 March 2006
From: Joseph Egert <
Date: Monday, 06 Mar 2006 00:53:36 +0000
Subject: HAMLET's Thirties
Steve Sohmer writes [SHK 17.0071]:
>I have argued elsewhere that Hamlet was conceived prior to the
>marriage of Old Hamlet and Gertrude. Under prevailing law, that
>made him a bastard eigne whose right to the succession could have
>been vacated had Gertrude born Claudius a son in wedlock.
Dr Sohmer draws his conclusion from the following passage (Act 3;Sc2)
"Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round
Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground,
And thirty dozen moons with borrowed sheen
About the world have times twelve thirties been
Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands
Unite commutual in most sacred bands."
Dr Sohmer interprets Phoebus' "thirty times" as thirty days, not years;
and the "thirty dozen moons" as an additional 360 synodal months.
Does anyone else, past or present, agree?
[Editor's Note: I would like to give exegesis of _Hamlet_ a rest from
list discussions for a while. I agree with Holger Schott Syme
perceptively wrote on November 15, 2005:
Unquestionably _Hamlet_ is a play worthy of much critical attention, but
its exegesis takes up an excessive amount of space on this listserv (and
it is of course no coincidence that it's usually the same 10-15 people
driving those discussions). The list has many well-established figures
as lurkers who only very occasionally participate in discussions, but
that is not, I don't think, a sign of academic snobbery or indifference;
rather, the kinds of arguments that keep reappearing in slightly
different guises on this list are simply irrelevant to the vast majority
of scholars working in the field today . . . I frankly don't understand
why some subjects which _should_ be allowed to develop (the recent
debate over stage-railings is a case in point: to theatre historians at
least that's a subject worthy of extended discussion!) are treated the
same as issues that are clearly only of interest to an extremely
self-selecting group (almost any thread on _Hamlet_, for instance). My
main objection is that many of the latter threads incessantly go over
ground covered in innumerable previous discussions, are more or less out
of touch with the current state of the field, and often revolve around
subjects well-treated in the existing (older) literature.
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