The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1659  Thursday, 30 September 1999.

From:           Phyllis Gorfain <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 29 Sep 1999 12:55:34 -0500
Subject: 10.1617 Re: Hamlet and Marriage Practices
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1617 Re: Hamlet and Marriage Practices

>A former student of mine has a question about Tudor marriages.... he
>wonders why Shakespeare never really addresses the issue in the play, except for
>Hamlet's response to his mother's marriage. He would like to know if
>Shakespeare's reticence has a political foundation.
>Can the listserv help?
>Thanks in advance,
>Yvonne Bruce

Your student might consult Jason Rosenblatt, "Aspects of the Incest
Problem in Hamlet," Shakespeare Quarterly 29 (1978): 349-64.

Rosenblatt argues that the Levirate concept (independent of the
practices in all cases) in 16th century England would have construed the
marriage of Claudio and Gertrude as incestuous since Hamlet Sr. did
leave a surviving heir, Prince Hamlet.

--Phyllis Gorfain

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