The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2245  Friday, 28 September 2001

From:           Steve Roth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 27 Sep 2001 10:23:51 -0700
Subject: 12.2236 Hamlets: fat and lean
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2236 Hamlets: fat and lean

There's also the possibility that "fat" is a misprint; Q2 (the only
version in which the line appears) is pretty sloppy. Two possibilities
cited in Furness:

W. Aldis Wright (N&Q, 9 March 1867, p. 202) states that, in 1864, he
received a letter from Dr Ingleby, communicating a 'fine reading'
proposed by 'Mr H. Wyeth, of Winchester,' of faint for 'fat.'

Plehwe (Hamlet, Prinz von Danemark, Hamburge, 1862, p. 214) refers to
IV, vii, 158, and conjectures that the same word is here used: hot.

I don't know enough paleography to judge the credibility of these
suggestions. But as Stoll says in "Not Fat or Thirty" (SQ 2:4, October,
1951, 295-301), responding to various editors' tortuous attempts to
explain this line, "Improbable emendation...may be franker and less
misleading than an improbable gloss." That's another thread, though.
Stoll likes "hot," but only on grounds of sense; he offers no other

Collier apparently glanced at this issue by interpolating lines into the
Elegy on Burbage, lines including:

'No more young Hamlet, though but scant of breath, shall cry "Revenge!"
for his dear father's death.'

Only Collier claims to have seen the source manuscript for this long
version of the Elegy.


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