The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1307  Friday, 23 July 1999.

From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 22 Jul 1999 10:08:22 +0000
Subject: 10.1297 Hamlets
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1297 Hamlets

Dana Wilson writes:

>Seeing Hamlet's
>conversation with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern set among so much squalor
>really put the idea of Denmark as a prison into perspective for me.

Actually, I didn't see it as squalid at all.  Everyone can afford to
ride horses, an aristocratic pursuit, and eat meat.  The whole thing
made me think of a relaxing barbecue.

>In fact, seeing the squalor of Denmark in this production also gave me a
>new perspective on III,iv, 103, where Hamlet calls Claudius a king of
>'shreds and patches'.  In the Kenneth Brannagh Hamlet, everyone was so
>well dressed I missed the implications of this line but I think that
>based on whether the squalor is real or only a product of Hamlet's
>ambition which is to say mind, would significantly change the
>interpretation of the play.

I just think that it looks vaguely medieval.  Nobody seems to be cold or
going hungry for lack of purchasing power.

>The reason this thesis would be
>interesting is that Polonius behind the curtain cannot see where Hamlet
>is pointing, though he may by hearing have some sense of the position of
>the ghost in the room.

Actually, he can't see anything, since he's dead by this point.


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