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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: January ::
Soliloquies - Truth or Lie...or Overheard
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0047  Saturday, 26 January 2008

From:		Larry Weiss <
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Date:		Thursday, 24 Jan 2008 00:16:35 -0500
Subject: 19.0041 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie...or Overheard
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0041 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie...or Overheard

Scott Shepard is to be congratulated for pointing out

 >What matters is the action, and this *is* emphasized
 >in the text, by the redundant "There, my lord." A
 >rhymed couplet has signaled the end of Ophelia's
 >speech; it is Hamlet's turn to say something or at least
 >take the gifts, but he doesn't. That "There, my lord" is
 >not even a fragment of a pentameter, when Ophelia
 >has been perfectly iambic since the  beginning of the
 >scene, is further evidence that there is some sort of
 >awkwardness here. Apparently, Hamlet just stands
 >there like a neutral to his will and matter, and she
 >has to press the gifts into his hand.

Exactly!  I haven't bothered you with this before, but I regard that 
little tag as further evidence for my reading. The unmetrical half line 
tag provides a few needed beats for the actor playing Hamlet to register 
recognition and alert the audience to the significance of Ophelia's 
slip. It is something akin to the cinematic closeup on an actor's face 
when he realizes something he missed before.


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