Monthly Archives: January 2013

“That skull had a tongue in it and could sing once.”

Hamlet Act Five, Part One By Dennis Abrams ——————————— Act Five:  On his way back to court, Hamlet meets two gravediggers.  When Ophelia’s funeral procession arrives, Hamlet hides, before suddenly revealing himself, exposing himself to Laertes’ fury.  Claudius announces that … Continue reading

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“How all occasions to inform against me,/And spur my dull revenge.”

Hamlet Act Four, Part Three By Dennis Abrams ———————————- One point I’d like to make right off the bat:  We’ve talked a lot about Shakespeare’s use of “doubling” throughout Hamlet – but I don’t think the Hamlet/Ophelia doubling has been … Continue reading

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“They say the owl was a baker’s daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be”

Hamlet Act Four, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ———————————- Let’s look at Ophelia.  And Gertrude and Ophelia.  First from Harold Bloom: “Polonius is an old meddler, and Guildenstern and Rosencrantz are confidence men at best [MY NOTE:  That sounds about … Continue reading

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“Your worm is your only emperor for diet: we fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots.”

Hamlet Act Four, Part One By Dennis Abrams ————————————— Act Four:  Realizing the danger he is in, Claudius hurriedly sends Hamlet to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, but secretly arranges for him to be killed on arrival.  Ophelia, in the … Continue reading

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“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below,/Words without thoughts never to heaven go.”

Hamlet Act Three, Part Six By Dennis Abrams ——————————— I’m going to conclude our look at Act Three’s The Mousetrap” scene and aftermath, with an excerpt from Garber.  If you’re interested in reading John Dover Wilson’s exhaustive (and close to … Continue reading

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“I say we will have no mo marriage…”

Hamlet Act Three, Part Five By Dennis Abrams ————————————— I’d like to continue today with more from John Dover Wilson’s What Happens in Hamlet, starting in particular with the “nunnery scene” which, I think, can present certain difficulties (is Hamlet … Continue reading

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“Nay, but to live/In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed/Stewed in corruption, honeying and making love/Over the nasty sty –”

Hamlet Act Three, Part Four By Dennis Abrams ——————————– Let’s talk some more about Ophelia.  And about Gertrude. As I think we’ve seen so far, Hamlet’s tragedy is not exclusively, as Schlegel thought, a tragedy of thought.  It’s not even … Continue reading

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“Our wills and fates do so contrary run/That our devices are overthrown:/Our thoughts our ours, their ends none of our own.”

Hamlet Act Three, Part Three By Dennis Abrams I found this description of Hamlet (the man, not the play, although he’s really a character in a play, but you know what I mean), in Mark Van Doren’s Shakespeare that I … Continue reading

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“Get thee to a nunnery. Why, wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners?”

Hamlet Act Three, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ———————————————————- “Action” is a word that, while used a great deal throughout the play, and is thought over and riddled over by Hamlet extensively, is a word that Hamlet seems to understand … Continue reading

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“To be, or not to be; that is the question…”

Hamlet Act Three, Part One By Dennis Abrams ———————————– Act Three:  Listening in on a meeting between Hamlet and Ophelia – at which Hamlet seems, frankly, unhinged – Claudius plots to send him away to England.  The court gathers to … Continue reading

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