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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: February ::
The Pious Chanson in Hamlet II.ii
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0067  Monday, 4 February 2008

[1] 	From:	Steve Sohmer <
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	Date:	Saturday, 2 Feb 2008 10:17:04 EST
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0057 The Pious Chanson in Hamlet II.ii

[2] 	From:	Elliott Stone <
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	Date:	Saturday, 2 Feb 2008 22:29:41 -0500
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0057 The Pious Chanson in Hamlet II.ii


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Steve Sohmer <
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Date:		Saturday, 2 Feb 2008 10:17:04 EST
Subject: 19.0057 The Pious Chanson in Hamlet II.ii
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0057 The Pious Chanson in Hamlet II.ii

Dear Friends,

I'm late joining this queue, so please excuse me if this insight has 
already been suggested. Hamlet is issuing a warning to Polonius via the 
tale of Jeptha-as rendered in both Judges 11:30-40 and in the pious 
chanson: keep your daughter out of harm's way. Of course, Hamlet has 
already done so when he linked Ophelia with carrion and conception. So 
why the need for further amplification?

Hamlet's first warning was about Ophelia. The Jeptha beat is a warning 
about Hamlet himself.

Jeptha placed himself under an obligation to do murder by making a vow 
to a spiritual being. Hamlet has done exactly the same thing.

Furthermore, the pious chanson says "Jeptha was the judge of Israel" . . 
.  that is, Jeptha was not A judge of Israel, but THE judge of Israel. 
When Hamlet took the a decision to examine the question of Claudius's 
guilt, Hamlet quite literally assumed the role of THE judge of 
"Denmark," a country's name being commonly used as an epithet for the 
monarch.

Not incidentally, Jeptha's is a cautionary tale about the danger of 
making a (stupid) vow. Hamlet, recently returned from studying in 
Wittenberg where former priests and nuns routinely married, would have 
known how M. Luther felt about the practice of making vows (he deplored 
and condemned it).

Hope this helps.

All the best,
Steve

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Elliott Stone <
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Date:		Saturday, 2 Feb 2008 22:29:41 -0500
Subject: 19.0057 The Pious Chanson in Hamlet II.ii
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0057 The Pious Chanson in Hamlet II.ii

I would like to ask just what is Hamlet's "veiled meaning" in his 
reference to the Pious Chanson? Hamlet, himself stresses in the play 
that the ends of stage-playing is "to show-the very age and body of the 
time his form and pressure." Is it possible to tie up this curious and 
enigmatic statement by Hamlet in the play to some contemporary event?

Best,
Elliott H. Stone

[Editor's Note: "Is it possible to tie up this curious and enigmatic 
statement by Hamlet in the play to some contemporary event?" YES, YES, 
Yes, it is!!! OMG, yet another O_d connection. How could I have been 
soooooo blind to all of the evidence? -HMC]

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