The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0063  Monday, 20 February 2006

From: 		Jim Blackie <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 15 Feb 2006 11:40:16 -0500
Subject: 17.0036 Re-reading Hamlet
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0036 Re-reading Hamlet

If so, I think we need new reading glasses. Or better teachers.

What is going on? Are we now re-inventing these plays as we go along? 
Are we doomed to re-interpret the original text to align with our newest 
obsessions with hidden agendas and conspiracy theories? Have we suddenly 
all become very clever in our new-found 21st-century, penetrating 
understanding? Or are we perhaps guilty of the same hubris and 
self-delusion that gave us the discovery of pyramids on Mars?

I'm sorry for the rant, but can't we just let the plays speak for 
themselves? Surely if WS wanted the audience to know something, it would 
have been made sufficiently clear to everyone then, as now.

No offense meant to Geoff Ridden who merely poses the question. In 
answer to that final question, I can only say "I sure hope not."

Jim Blackie

Geoff Ridden

 >Two recent re-workings of Hamlet emphasise and re-configure the role of
 >Polonius. Charlotte Jones's 2001 play Humble Boy and in Stephen
 >Churchett's recent TV drama, screened in the UK last month, Lewis (think
 >Inspector Morse) both use the plot of Hamlet, but replace Claudius as
 >Gertrude's lover with the figure of Polonius. Is this a sign of the way
 >in the twenty-first century might view the play?

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