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Home :: Archive :: 2010 :: June ::
Hamlet's Feminine Ending

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0256  Sunday, 27 June 2010

[1]  From:      Nicole Coonradt < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
     Date:      June 23, 2010 7:36:01 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0252  Hamlet's Feminine Ending

[2]  From:      Joseph Egert < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
     Date:      June 24, 2010 4:50:22 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0249  Hamlet's Feminine Endings/ Doppelganger

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Nicole Coonradt < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         June 23, 2010 7:36:01 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0252  Hamlet's Feminine Endings
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0252  Hamlet's Feminine Endings

Yes, the psychomachia -- the good and bad -- seen elsewhere in Shakespeare and his fellow
dramatists (at least by some). And this may be off point a bit, but there is a wonderful
depiction of Plato's soulful horses in the 1941 Victor Fleming film version of _Dr. Jekyll
and Mr. Hyde_, starring Spencer Tracy -- when, in a visual depiction of his internal struggle
w/ good and evil, Tracy is driving the "horses" -- whipping them on in a fury -- and it's
Lana Turner as Beatrix (the fair, good horse, and Jekyll's fiancee) and Ingrid Bergman as Ivy
(the dark, bad horse, and Hyde's kept mistress). Thanks for reminding me of this, Larry!

Btw, I thought *everything* was on You-Tube now -- but apparently not this scene (which is
brief) to which I'd hoped to provide the link; but perhaps I did not search for it properly.

Cheers,
Nicole Coonradt
University of Denver

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Joseph Egert < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         June 24, 2010 4:50:22 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0249  Hamlet's Feminine Endings/ Doppelganger
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0249  Hamlet's Feminine Endings/ Doppelganger

David Basch writes:

>[...] this friend is not a real person but a personification of an aspect
>of the poet's soul, his higher, immortal soul, as contrasted with his lower,
>earthly soul, personified by the so-called Dark Lady.
>
>This is a familiar religious concept of a duality in the two aspects of the
>soul, the angelic and the devilish-aspects described by Shakespeare about
>these friends in Sonnet 144. The concept exists in Judaism as the "good" and
>the "evil inclinations" but is not exclusive to the Jewish religion. My thesis
>about the Sonnets is that, if it is carefully examined, its themes will strikingly
>emerge of the dual aspect of man and of the inner struggles that ensue as we
>aspire to become full, moral human beings."

Shakespeare's plays, of course, manifest such duality throughout, often embodied as rival
siblings or warring lords. I'd argue that TMP's Ferdinand and Caliban represent the tamed and
wild aspects of Prospero's soul in his incestuous desire for his own daughter. What is
missing is the actual battle between knight and wodewose to rescue an abducted Fair Lady -- a
motif so common in medieval lore. In one version the Lady spurns the old knight who rescues
her, preferring instead a younger suitor, but pays for it in the end when she is left
unprotected, a prey to lions, tigers, and bears (Oh my!).

Joe Egert

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