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Home :: Archive :: 2010 :: November ::
Allusion to Shakespeare in Poe's The Tell Tale Heart
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0418  Monday, 1 November 2010

From:         Nicole Coonradt <
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Date:         October 29, 2010 4:03:07 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0410  Allusion to Shakespeare in Poe's The Tell Tale Heart
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0410  Allusion to Shakespeare in Poe's The Tell Tale Heart

"What I see in Poe's allusion is a veiled interpretation by Poe of Hamlet, in which 
Poe is, implicitly, suggesting that Hamlet HALLUCINATES the ghost!"

Hmmm. Except that Hamlet is not the only one to see the Ghost, though it only speaks 
with him. What about the watch, Marcellus and Bernardo, and Horatio?

Marcellus: "What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?" [They've seen it twice 
before.]

Horatio tells them it's "their fantasy" and won't believe them until he sees it for 
himself, which, or course, he does. And then he sees it again with Hamlet. The fact 
that a character like Horatio -- skeptical and trustworthy -- sees it ought not to 
be ignored.

It seems that the Ghost cannot be Hamlet's HALLUCINATION if others see the Ghost, 
too.

Or do you mean that they see it but Hamlet's experience it is a HALLUCINATION in 
spite of the other witnesses?

In the context of the play, I think, rather, that it is meant to be an actual 
supernatural presence. 

Maybe Poe was HALLUCINATING!

Nicole Coonradt
University of Denver

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