Discussion:
Hamlet (Regained) Arguments with Arden3
(too old to reply)
Willedever
2006-08-23 20:18:46 UTC
Permalink
The following links are relevant.

http://www.hamletregained.com/

(direct link)
http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

And (no monkeys allowed!)
http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

I've begun posting, to my website, a critique of the "Arden 3" edition
of Hamlet, Thompson and Taylor, 2006. Those who have that book, who
take a serious interest in Hamlet, and who know something about Hamlet,
may wish to take a look. The set of those who are seriously interested
in Hamlet, and who know something about it, is not going to include the
usenet monkeys who infest this group, but never mind that. While the
Arden 3 has its uses, it is not a good presentation of Hamlet, and
particularly, it is not a good presentation of the Second Quarto.

The critique deals with specific points. Here it is, up to line 50,
Scene 1, for your reading pleasure. The first two Scenes are available
on the website at this time, and the remainder is in progress, and will
be available soon.

~~~~~

Act I Scene 1

3 Long ... King
Barnardo's exclamation is not a password. He is saying something so
that Francisco can recognize his voice. They cannot see each other well
enough yet to identify each other by sight. Barnardo's reflexive choice
of phrase is ironic.

4 "You are very punctual."
Arden's attempt at equivalent phrasing is obviously wrong. It is a fact
in the play that Barnardo is slightly late, for one thing. It's
expressly stated that the midnight bell has already struck when
Barnardo arrives. He is not, in fact, punctual. He is late.

Francisco is not praising Barnardo for his punctuality, of course, he
is remarking on the fact that Barnardo startled him. When Barnardo saw
the human shape ahead of him in the darkness, he stopped and called
out, in case it might be the Ghost. Such carefulness, by Barnardo in
arriving to replace Francisco, is unusual, and elicits the remark by
Francisco on Barnardo's unexpected behavior. Normally, Barnardo would
simply walk up and say a "hello," but the Ghost has changed things.

It is, of course, expected as a routine matter that Barnardo will
normally arrive on time. Mere punctuality is an ordinary thing that
would elicit no comment from Francisco. Arden's obliviousness to both
the explicit facts of the play, and common sense, makes for an
inauspicious beginning to their attempt at presenting Hamlet.

18 Say ... there
There is no such presumption that Arden claims. Barnardo does see
Horatio, but only as a human shape in the darkness near Marcellus, at
first. One again, as he did with Francisco, Barnardo is checking to be
sure the human shape is not the Ghost. In modern form, the line
requires punctuation to indicate a pause after "Say."

Also, A ... him
Horatio's remark would be commonly expressed in modern terms that he's
freezing his a-- off. In undertone, in advance of the Ghost, it carries
allusion that a ghost is only a piece of a person. There is irony that
Horatio, when he speaks to identify himself as not the Ghost, expresses
himself in a way that the Ghost could be described: only a "piece" of a
person.

20 SP [speech prefix]
Q2 gives the line to Horatio, and there is no sound editorial reason to
imagine it should be otherwise, and certainly not in a presentation of
the Q2 text. Since Arden purports to present Q2 in this volume, their
note is inappropriate. Discussion of differences between Q2 and the
Folio, and Q1, belong elsewhere than within a presentation that is
supposed to be specific to the Q2 text, itself.

Horatio's reason for asking is that if the Ghost has already appeared,
he can leave at once, since there would be no point to his continued
presence. We can be fully confident that the line is Horatio's, exactly
as Q2 shows, because he is the one who has the immediate motivation to
ask.

29 Sit down awhile
Since the location is a cannon platform, the sentinels most reasonably
sit on the carriage of a cannon. If cannons are not available in stage
production, a simple bench would do. In literature, however, cannons
are available to the imagination, of course. The men should not sit on
the ground.

43 *harrows
Q2 "horrows" ought not have been changed in the playtext. The word,
horrows, is not difficult to interpret as a plausible combination of
"horrors" and "harrows," and may be viewed as a Shakespeare coinage.
It's an editorial blunder to alter a word which can be interpreted an
authorial coinage, simply to get a familiar word. One denies proper
credit to the author. The OED is not a source for Shakespeare, rather,
quite the contrary.

45-7 usurp'st ... Denmark
Arden's comment is peculiar, and can only be seen as foolish. There has
never been any rational contention that the Ghost is the actual person
of the former king. The issue Arden is apparently trying to answer in
their note is one which has never arisen.

49 offended
Arden overlooks the distinct possibility that the Ghost might be
offended by Horatio's phrase "by heaven." It is a continuing question
in the play whether the Ghost is genuinely the spirit of Hamlet Sr, or
an evil imposter. If an evil imposter, the Ghost would object to being
asked to do something "by heaven."

~~~~~
seeker
2006-08-24 07:14:09 UTC
Permalink
Mr. Jordan -

You must be upset that Ann Thpmpson and Neil Taylor at Adren
Shakespeare didn't take your withering comments about Hamlet 2 into
account when preparing Hamlet 3. Perhaps they aren't aware of your
stunning work on Hamlet.

I know that anyone can post their comments about Hamlet on the web. On
the other hand, what is your background and training in theate history,
dramatic literature, and textual analysis. Based on your comments here
and on your site, I would guess your background in these areas is poor.
Post by Willedever
3 Long ... King
Barnardo's exclamation is not a password. He is saying something so
that Francisco can recognize his voice. They cannot see each other well
enough yet to identify each other by sight. Barnardo's reflexive choice
of phrase is ironic.
I know you dismiss the late Harold Jenkins, but here is his note in
Hamlet 2 about the line. "Whether or not this is the formal password,
as often supposed, Barnardo identifies himself as one on lawful
business."
Post by Willedever
4 "You are very punctual."
Arden's attempt at equivalent phrasing is obviously wrong. It is a fact
in the play that Barnardo is slightly late, for one thing. It's
expressly stated that the midnight bell has already struck when
Barnardo arrives. He is not, in fact, punctual. He is late.
Nope, he is not late. The line, ""Tis now struck twelve," suggests
that Barnardo arrives while the bell is striking.
Post by Willedever
Francisco is not praising Barnardo for his punctuality, of course, he
is remarking on the fact that Barnardo startled him. When Barnardo saw
the human shape ahead of him in the darkness, he stopped and called
out, in case it might be the Ghost. Such carefulness, by Barnardo in
arriving to replace Francisco, is unusual, and elicits the remark by
Francisco on Barnardo's unexpected behavior. Normally, Barnardo would
simply walk up and say a "hello," but the Ghost has changed things.
How do you know that Barnardo would simply walk up and say "hello?" It
appears you are reading something into the text that isn't there. Yes,
I know that script says, "Enter Barnardo and Francisco," but from the
dialogue, it is clear that Francisco in on watch and Barnardo enters to
take his place. Many people miss the point that it Francisco should be
the one to ask, "Who's there?" As for the Ghost, at this point in the
scene, there is no mention of him. Yes, we get a sense that something
might be wrong, but at this point, we don't know what that is. Of
course, the characters know, but it isn't a good idea for actors to
play something before it is mentioned in the script. For example, the
actors playing the title roles in Romeo and Juliet know how the play
ends, but if they play the end at the beginning, the production will be
dull and have no place to go.
Post by Willedever
It is, of course, expected as a routine matter that Barnardo will
normally arrive on time. Mere punctuality is an ordinary thing that
would elicit no comment from Francisco. Arden's obliviousness to both
the explicit facts of the play, and common sense, makes for an
No, Mr. Jordan, again you are reading something into the text that
isn't there.
Post by Willedever
29 Sit down awhile
Since the location is a cannon platform, the sentinels most reasonably
sit on the carriage of a cannon. If cannons are not available in stage
production, a simple bench would do. In literature, however, cannons
are available to the imagination, of course. The men should not sit on
the ground.
If you want cannons onstage, fine. When you direct Hamlet, feel free to
have all the cannons you want. However, do you have any evidence that
when Hamlet was first performed there were cannons onstage? A drawing
of the play in performance or a diary entry or a mention in a letter
will do. We know that cannons where used in All Is True (King Henry
VIII) because we have references to the Globe Theatre burning when the
play was first performed in 1613.


On your site, Mr. Jordan, you discuss Sonnets 70 and 99 calling them
Ophelia Sonnets. Do you have any evidence that clearly dates when each
one was written? I think it is a big leap on your part to claim that
the sonnets are about Ophelia. Also, this must be the first time a
playwright wrote sonnets to one of his characters. I assume you know
that Ophelia is just a character in the play; not a real person.
Perhaps you think that the sonnets are addressed to the boy actor who
first played Ophelia?

Finally, on your site, Mr. Jordan you discuss the famous line, "I know
a hawk from a handsaw." and chide the Arden editors for not
understanding the line. Yes, a handsaw is a woodworking tool." On the
other hand, do you know that handsaw (hernshaw) is a kind of heron -
another bird of prey? In his note about the line, Harold Jenkins,
writes, "From the double field of reference we may catch a hint that
Hamlet sees in his schoolfellows both birds of prey and the King's
tools." Sorry, Mr. Jordan, but handsaw has nothing to do with actors.

Oh, yes, your demand that the actor playing Hamlet sniff the air to
smell Polonius had me rolling around on the floor laughing. You've got
to be kidding.
Willedever
2006-08-24 12:21:14 UTC
Permalink
You must be upset ...
You are engaging in what is called "projection," seeker. You are
obviously upset, seeker.

You are mentally ill, seeker.
I know you dismiss the late Harold Jenkins, ...
You are mentally ill, seeker.
Nope, he is not late.
Yes, he is late. You are mentally ill, seeker.
How do you know that Barnardo would simply walk up and say "hello?"
If you do not know that, seeker, you are mentally ill.
... For example, the
actors playing the title roles in Romeo and Juliet
This is about the Arden 3 volume of Hamlet, seeker, not R & J. You are
confused.
..., again you are reading something into the text that
isn't there.
You are mentally ill, seeker.
If you want cannons onstage, fine.
You then object to something you say is "fine." You are mentally ill,
seeker.
..., you discuss Sonnets 70 and 99 calling them
Ophelia Sonnets.
This is about the Arden 3 Hamlet, seeker. You are mentally unable to
focus on a topic even for the length of a single posting, seeker.
... On the
other hand, do you know that handsaw (hernshaw) is a kind of heron -
another bird of prey?
You are the stupidest monkey nitwit who ever escaped from the zoo,
seeker.
Oh, yes, your demand that the actor playing Hamlet sniff the air to
smell Polonius had me rolling around on the floor laughing. You've got
to be kidding.
You are mentally ill, seeker.


http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/
c***@gmail.com
2006-09-19 17:54:29 UTC
Permalink
I'm realizing something about this guy...
Post by Willedever
You are mentally ill, seeker.
[..]
You are mentally ill, seeker.
Post by seeker
Nope, he is not late.
Yes, he is late. You are mentally ill, seeker.
He's got something on his mind, and it's becoming clear what it is.
Post by Willedever
Post by seeker
How do you know that Barnardo would simply walk up and say "hello?"
If you do not know that, seeker, you are mentally ill.
I just thought he was a guy who liked to make fun of people who had
cancer; but he's coping with some kind of serious problems of his
own.
Post by Willedever
Post by seeker
... For example, the
actors playing the title roles in Romeo and Juliet
This is about the Arden 3 volume of Hamlet, seeker, not R & J. You are
confused.
Post by seeker
..., again you are reading something into the text that
isn't there.
You are mentally ill, seeker.
I feel kinda like Polonius; as it becomes clear Will's at the end
of his rope, I'm kicking myself for telling him off (luckily he's not
after my daughter -- don't have one anyway).
Post by Willedever
Post by seeker
If you want cannons onstage, fine.
You then object to something you say is "fine." You are mentally ill,
seeker.
I'm thinking, the (extensive) work he puts into _Hamlet_ may be
the only thing holding this guy together.
Post by Willedever
Post by seeker
..., you discuss Sonnets 70 and 99 calling them
Ophelia Sonnets.
This is about the Arden 3 Hamlet, seeker. You are mentally unable to
focus on a topic even for the length of a single posting, seeker.
Post by seeker
... On the
other hand, do you know that handsaw (hernshaw) is a kind of heron -
another bird of prey?
You are the stupidest monkey nitwit who ever escaped from the zoo,
seeker.
Post by seeker
Oh, yes, your demand that the actor playing Hamlet sniff the air to
smell Polonius had me rolling around on the floor laughing. You've got
to be kidding.
You are mentally ill, seeker.
Knows an awful lot about psychology, anyway.


Conrad.
David Kathman
2006-09-19 20:13:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@gmail.com
I'm realizing something about this guy...
Post by Willedever
You are mentally ill, seeker.
[..]
You are mentally ill, seeker.
Post by seeker
Nope, he is not late.
Yes, he is late. You are mentally ill, seeker.
He's got something on his mind, and it's becoming clear what it is.
[snip]

Yeah, he's got some pretty severe psychological and/or emotional
problems, which is why nobody around here pays any attention to him any
more. I'm not sure why he keeps posting his criticisms of the Arden 3
Hamlet here, but I don't have any special insights into the
pathological mind.

Dave Kathman
***@ix.netcom.com
Chess One
2006-09-20 13:29:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kathman
Post by c***@gmail.com
He's got something on his mind, and it's becoming clear what it is.
[snip]
Yeah, he's got some pretty severe psychological and/or emotional
problems, which is why nobody around here pays any attention to him any
more.
Stuff! Firstly I thought the contra-Arden commentary was more reasonable
than not.
Post by David Kathman
I'm not sure why he keeps posting his criticisms of the Arden 3
Hamlet here, but I don't have any special insights into the
pathological mind.
Or passionate mind?

Anyone writing in a dedicated newsgroup could be called pathological, even
literally [!] and it is to be expected that other people's enthusiasms
should be more annoying than one's own, less logical or well-researched
etc., but only if we were in fact the same as they :)

Alternatively what is encountered is simply a fixed perspective. The trick,
as always, is to note that there are necessarily many perspectives, and one
can only be right in taking one or another if the end result is consulted,
ie, there is a prescription.

What happens with children is that they can become intensely interested in a
subject, more so than any adult engagement with it, and it seems like it is
all there is in their lives - then suddenly it is dropped entirely and the
weight of intense investigation is transferred to another subject entire!
This is a comment seperating the subject matter from the process of engaging
it.

But at least children seemed to bring their entire attention to a subject,
and whether this is firey or saturnine or however humoured, is but the
hard-wired manner of their own expression.

Is it reasonable to conclude that the manner of attention is as important as
the reported result - and should we reject intensity, then is this an
implicit preference for nervous intellectual chat? Isn't a result of a
fixity to enrich?

The - it must be said - obsession - of this newsgroup to prefer
Author-origination [as a prescription to writing] doesn't mean that that
obsession is unhealthy, but it does not mean that it is the only one, nor
would even attain its own desired result, of itself.

Ditat Deus, Phil Innes
Post by David Kathman
Dave Kathman
lackpurity
2006-09-20 15:57:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chess One
Post by David Kathman
Post by c***@gmail.com
He's got something on his mind, and it's becoming clear what it is.
[snip]
Yeah, he's got some pretty severe psychological and/or emotional
problems, which is why nobody around here pays any attention to him any
more.
Stuff! Firstly I thought the contra-Arden commentary was more reasonable
than not.
Post by David Kathman
I'm not sure why he keeps posting his criticisms of the Arden 3
Hamlet here, but I don't have any special insights into the
pathological mind.
Or passionate mind?
MM:
Saints see the condition of our minds, as clearly as looking at pickles
in a pickle jar. There is not much difference, from one pickle to the
other. We have all flunked the class, and we are all dunces,
relatively speaking. How can anyone have ego? If we have ego, it is
because of a deranged way of thinking. We are lost, in a dangerous and
fearsome place, so how can we have ego?

So many so-called Shakespeare scholars have come and gone. They have
argued. They lived in ignorance, and they died in ignorance. What can
we learn from them? They had ego that they knew a lot about
Shakespeare. What has become of them? Did they take any treasure with
them, as did Polonius in Hamlet? If not, then all the debates, all the
ego was for naught.

However, there are a few of us, who are ready to leave this world of
maya, and go to the real planes of consciousness. Bible says, "Many
are called, but few are chosen."
Post by Chess One
Anyone writing in a dedicated newsgroup could be called pathological, even
literally [!] and it is to be expected that other people's enthusiasms
should be more annoying than one's own, less logical or well-researched
etc., but only if we were in fact the same as they :)
MM:
We're all lost, all sinners, having no recollection how to return to
the True Home. If one thinks, under those circumstances, that he/she
is greater than the others, then it is merely a self-deception. We
might not want to believe that, but on judgment day, we find out the
truth of it.
Post by Chess One
Alternatively what is encountered is simply a fixed perspective. The trick,
as always, is to note that there are necessarily many perspectives, and one
can only be right in taking one or another if the end result is consulted,
ie, there is a prescription.
MM:
We can't consult the end result. If we could, we would not be lost on
an isolated island. We should consider to have faith in those, who are
able to reach the True Home. Then the end result could be obtained.
Post by Chess One
What happens with children is that they can become intensely interested in a
subject, more so than any adult engagement with it, and it seems like it is
all there is in their lives - then suddenly it is dropped entirely and the
weight of intense investigation is transferred to another subject entire!
This is a comment seperating the subject matter from the process of engaging
it.
MM:
No only for children. Adults do it all the time. Judas Iscariot was a
prime example.
Post by Chess One
But at least children seemed to bring their entire attention to a subject,
and whether this is firey or saturnine or however humoured, is but the
hard-wired manner of their own expression.
MM:
We are all children, vis-a-vis, the Master. We have all flunked. We
are all lost. How can we feel superior, if we don't know from where we
have come, nor to where we are going?
Post by Chess One
Is it reasonable to conclude that the manner of attention is as important as
the reported result - and should we reject intensity, then is this an
implicit preference for nervous intellectual chat? Isn't a result of a
fixity to enrich?
MM:
I'd call it ego, or being misguided, depending on the circumstances.
Some do think they are correct, but they will have to pay for the
repercussions, if they are wrong.
Post by Chess One
The - it must be said - obsession - of this newsgroup to prefer
Author-origination [as a prescription to writing] doesn't mean that that
obsession is unhealthy, but it does not mean that it is the only one, nor
would even attain its own desired result, of itself.
Ditat Deus, Phil Innes
MM:
The Messenger has gone. He left us tokens of his wit. If we learn
from him, we will look for a Living Master. Arguing ad infinitum the
so-called authorship controversy, is just a trick of the devil. The
message is clear, regardless who wrote it. However, William
Shakespeare of Stratford on Avon, was the writer of the canon. I'd
advise everyone to act on the advice of the canon, rather than wasting
time arguing the authorship controversy. We can read and investigate,
but I think we should consider drawing the line somewhere, otherwise,
we might be counted as just another debater, who lived and died in
ignorance.

Michael Martin
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/michaelmartinwesternsatguru
Post by Chess One
Post by David Kathman
Dave Kathman
Chess One
2006-09-21 11:40:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by lackpurity
However, there are a few of us, who are ready to leave this world of
maya, and go to the real planes of consciousness. Bible says, "Many
are called, but few are chosen."
In Scotland we used to say: 'Many are cold, but few are frozen."
Post by lackpurity
Post by Chess One
Anyone writing in a dedicated newsgroup could be called pathological, even
literally [!] and it is to be expected that other people's enthusiasms
should be more annoying than one's own, less logical or well-researched
etc., but only if we were in fact the same as they :)
We're all lost, all sinners, having no recollection how to return to
the True Home. If one thinks, under those circumstances, that he/she
is greater than the others, then it is merely a self-deception. We
might not want to believe that, but on judgment day, we find out the
truth of it.
I was mostly meaning that we reject others' enthusiasms, and of course, must
project [in that mirror darkly] what we reject.

Any issue of judgements is also a projection, no? Even if we father the
Judge onto God, so to speak.
Post by lackpurity
Post by Chess One
Alternatively what is encountered is simply a fixed perspective. The trick,
as always, is to note that there are necessarily many perspectives, and one
can only be right in taking one or another if the end result is consulted,
ie, there is a prescription.
We can't consult the end result. If we could, we would not be lost on
an isolated island. We should consider to have faith in those, who are
able to reach the True Home. Then the end result could be obtained.
I was not making any metaphysical comment, but instead speaking of looking,
or if you like, paying attention to something other than an idea of it. All
these ideas are metaphysical - which is a formal category - it means that
the Idea informs what is looked at, and sometimes supplants it entirely with
the result that there is no looking. Your ideas, for example, are
prescriptive, but where do they enter this conversation about observation?
At all?
Post by lackpurity
Post by Chess One
What happens with children is that they can become intensely interested in a
subject, more so than any adult engagement with it, and it seems like it is
all there is in their lives - then suddenly it is dropped entirely and the
weight of intense investigation is transferred to another subject entire!
This is a comment seperating the subject matter from the process of engaging
it.
No only for children. Adults do it all the time. Judas Iscariot was a
prime example.
Not to slight that Judas, but this is a distinction shared among all people,
in fact, all animals. The point was to de-couple the attention from the
subject, since the fallacy is to think that the subject is /causal/, whereas
the internsity of attention is independent of the subject.
Post by lackpurity
Post by Chess One
But at least children seemed to bring their entire attention to a subject,
and whether this is firey or saturnine or however humoured, is but the
hard-wired manner of their own expression.
We are all children, vis-a-vis, the Master. We have all flunked. We
are all lost. How can we feel superior, if we don't know from where we
have come, nor to where we are going?
I don't know why superiority is the goal. Isn't union more egalitarian than
that - to wit; to understand something is to be at one with it, rather than
to supercede or lord it over?
Post by lackpurity
Post by Chess One
Is it reasonable to conclude that the manner of attention is as important as
the reported result - and should we reject intensity, then is this an
implicit preference for nervous intellectual chat? Isn't a result of a
fixity to enrich?
I'd call it ego, or being misguided,
Well, the ego if used here as a clinical term, represent a co-ordinating
activity which fuses experience into coherence. Without an ego, who says
'I'?
Post by lackpurity
depending on the circumstances.
Some do think they are correct, but they will have to pay for the
repercussions, if they are wrong.
Post by Chess One
The - it must be said - obsession - of this newsgroup to prefer
Author-origination [as a prescription to writing] doesn't mean that that
obsession is unhealthy, but it does not mean that it is the only one, nor
would even attain its own desired result, of itself.
Ditat Deus, Phil Innes
The Messenger has gone. He left us tokens of his wit. If we learn
from him, we will look for a Living Master. Arguing ad infinitum the
so-called authorship controversy, is just a trick of the devil. The
message is clear, regardless who wrote it. However, William
Shakespeare of Stratford on Avon, was the writer of the canon. I'd
advise everyone to act on the advice of the canon, rather than wasting
time arguing the authorship controversy. We can read and investigate,
but I think we should consider drawing the line somewhere, otherwise,
we might be counted as just another debater, who lived and died in
ignorance.
Whose counting? Maybe its that old testiment God rather than the One that is
here? And that Deus, via /Ditat/ is the one that enriches, rather than puts
aside. Overall I am making comments about the nature of observation and what
happens from that basis, rather than of interacting and necessarily
conflicting Ideas, which do not necessarily contain any observation or
experience [pathic discourses], and suggesting that they are of a different
nature.

Phil Innes
Post by lackpurity
Michael Martin
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/michaelmartinwesternsatguru
Post by Chess One
Post by David Kathman
Dave Kathman
lackpurity
2006-09-21 15:47:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chess One
Post by lackpurity
However, there are a few of us, who are ready to leave this world of
maya, and go to the real planes of consciousness. Bible says, "Many
are called, but few are chosen."
In Scotland we used to say: 'Many are cold, but few are frozen."
MM:
LOL Summer ends here in Texas on Friday. It's been a rather hot one.
My area had eight days over 100 deg. F. (38 deg. C.). We've been
having mild winters, lately.
Post by Chess One
Post by lackpurity
Post by Chess One
Anyone writing in a dedicated newsgroup could be called pathological, even
literally [!] and it is to be expected that other people's enthusiasms
should be more annoying than one's own, less logical or well-researched
etc., but only if we were in fact the same as they :)
We're all lost, all sinners, having no recollection how to return to
the True Home. If one thinks, under those circumstances, that he/she
is greater than the others, then it is merely a self-deception. We
might not want to believe that, but on judgment day, we find out the
truth of it.
I was mostly meaning that we reject others' enthusiasms, and of course, must
project [in that mirror darkly] what we reject.
MM:
I was commenting on your word "pathological." I was agreeing that
sinning is pathological.
Post by Chess One
Any issue of judgements is also a projection, no? Even if we father the
Judge onto God, so to speak.
MM:
Better to let him judge, I'd say.
Post by Chess One
Post by lackpurity
Post by Chess One
Alternatively what is encountered is simply a fixed perspective. The trick,
as always, is to note that there are necessarily many perspectives, and one
can only be right in taking one or another if the end result is consulted,
ie, there is a prescription.
We can't consult the end result. If we could, we would not be lost on
an isolated island. We should consider to have faith in those, who are
able to reach the True Home. Then the end result could be obtained.
I was not making any metaphysical comment, but instead speaking of looking,
or if you like, paying attention to something other than an idea of it.
MM:
Okay. I see a prescription as at the beginning, and the end result at
the end. I know you weren't referring to metaphysics, but I was. I
was just expanding your theme a bit, to discuss the human condition.
We are sowing seeds, a complex mixture of seeds. Some are sowing bad
seeds, thinking they are good seeds. They don't know the outcome,
because they can't see the end result.

I agree with you that paying attention to the outcome, or possible
outcomes, would help a lot. Clear thinking can be very helpful.
Post by Chess One
All
these ideas are metaphysical - which is a formal category - it means that
the Idea informs what is looked at, and sometimes supplants it entirely with
the result that there is no looking. Your ideas, for example, are
prescriptive, but where do they enter this conversation about observation?
At all?
MM:
I'm trying to remember why I replied to this. As I recall, there were
some different opinions expressed by Willedever? I thought there were
some very judgmental comments on him, so I decided to point out they we
are all sinners, according to the Saints. We are all in the same boat.
There is no reason for us to feel superior to one another. We are all
like children. In many cases, we don't know right from wrong. In
other words, it doesn't make sense to be disparaging someone, when we
are totally lost ourselves.
Post by Chess One
Post by lackpurity
Post by Chess One
What happens with children is that they can become intensely interested in a
subject, more so than any adult engagement with it, and it seems like it is
all there is in their lives - then suddenly it is dropped entirely and the
weight of intense investigation is transferred to another subject entire!
This is a comment seperating the subject matter from the process of engaging
it.
No only for children. Adults do it all the time. Judas Iscariot was a
prime example.
Not to slight that Judas, but this is a distinction shared among all people,
in fact, all animals. The point was to de-couple the attention from the
subject, since the fallacy is to think that the subject is /causal/, whereas
the internsity of attention is independent of the subject.
MM:
I think this is beside the original point, which seemed to be more
personal, directed to or about a particular personality. I agree with
your general comments. The point is to be right, not wrong. What does
that have to do with intensity of attention. Some have great intensity
of attention, but it is all misdirected.
Post by Chess One
Post by lackpurity
Post by Chess One
But at least children seemed to bring their entire attention to a subject,
and whether this is firey or saturnine or however humoured, is but the
hard-wired manner of their own expression.
We are all children, vis-a-vis, the Master. We have all flunked. We
are all lost. How can we feel superior, if we don't know from where we
have come, nor to where we are going?
I don't know why superiority is the goal.
MM:
I didn't say it was the goal. The thread seemed to have that goal. It
seemed to be very judgmental and even disparaging.
Post by Chess One
Isn't union more egalitarian than
that - to wit; to understand something is to be at one with it, rather than
to supercede or lord it over?
MM:
Yes, but I think you misunderstood my question. I was questioning the
condescending attitude of the thread.
Post by Chess One
Post by lackpurity
Post by Chess One
Is it reasonable to conclude that the manner of attention is as important as
the reported result - and should we reject intensity, then is this an
implicit preference for nervous intellectual chat? Isn't a result of a
fixity to enrich?
I'd call it ego, or being misguided,
Well, the ego if used here as a clinical term, represent a co-ordinating
activity which fuses experience into coherence. Without an ego, who says
'I'?
MM:
Okay. Maybe I should have used the word "superiority complex." This
thread gave me the impression of that.
Post by Chess One
Post by lackpurity
depending on the circumstances.
Some do think they are correct, but they will have to pay for the
repercussions, if they are wrong.
Post by Chess One
The - it must be said - obsession - of this newsgroup to prefer
Author-origination [as a prescription to writing] doesn't mean that that
obsession is unhealthy, but it does not mean that it is the only one, nor
would even attain its own desired result, of itself.
Ditat Deus, Phil Innes
The Messenger has gone. He left us tokens of his wit. If we learn
from him, we will look for a Living Master. Arguing ad infinitum the
so-called authorship controversy, is just a trick of the devil. The
message is clear, regardless who wrote it. However, William
Shakespeare of Stratford on Avon, was the writer of the canon. I'd
advise everyone to act on the advice of the canon, rather than wasting
time arguing the authorship controversy. We can read and investigate,
but I think we should consider drawing the line somewhere, otherwise,
we might be counted as just another debater, who lived and died in
ignorance.
Whose counting?
MM:
I just mean, would we want to live and die in ignorance, as just
another debater? Would we like to leave this world, without any
spiritual treasure? That's all.
Post by Chess One
Maybe its that old testiment God rather than the One that is
here?
MM:
Maybe it's the same God?
Post by Chess One
And that Deus, via /Ditat/ is the one that enriches, rather than puts
aside.
MM:
He enriches if we deserve it. If we deserve punishment, we can get
that, too.
Post by Chess One
Overall I am making comments about the nature of observation and what
happens from that basis, rather than of interacting and necessarily
conflicting Ideas, which do not necessarily contain any observation or
experience [pathic discourses], and suggesting that they are of a different
nature.
Phil Innes
MM:
Okay, but as I recall the thread seemed to be taking a very judgmental
turn, and that was surprising to me. I see everybody here as "lost
souls," otherwise they would never have been born here, in the first
place.

Michael Martin
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/michaelmartinwesternsatguru
Post by Chess One
Post by lackpurity
Michael Martin
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/michaelmartinwesternsatguru
Post by Chess One
Post by David Kathman
Dave Kathman
Chess One
2006-09-25 12:39:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by lackpurity
Post by Chess One
Isn't union more egalitarian than
that - to wit; to understand something is to be at one with it, rather than
to supercede or lord it over?
Yes, but I think you misunderstood my question. I was questioning the
condescending attitude of the thread.
to make another pun, allusion to 'descending' or ascending, I wonder if you
ever looked at the writing of Marcus Berman? his title takes in very many
vertical paradigms and while recognising them as actual experiences, also
includes their substantial corruptions and distortions, especially of
esoteric subjects generally re-introduced to northern europe during the
elizabethan age, and suggests that any freedoms of spirit are essentially
based on freedom from paradigm!

instead he posits the idea of a horizontal one, the one already
part-evident, so to speak, which is not so much concerned with ascents and
escapes and peak experiences, as with as above so below

cordially, phil
Post by lackpurity
Maybe it's the same God?
PS:
This is like the old johanine koan: how many natures are there? one for man,
one for 'nature', one for god?
Post by lackpurity
Okay, but as I recall the thread seemed to be taking a very judgmental
turn, and that was surprising to me. I see everybody here as "lost
souls," otherwise they would never have been born here, in the first
place.
PPS:
Okay - have another expansive question at-cha! are we animals seeking
spiritual experience, or are we [and everything else] spiritual beings
seeking earthly experience? indeed, what sense do we have of the author's
own orientation?
Post by lackpurity
Michael Martin
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/michaelmartinwesternsatguru
Post by Chess One
Post by lackpurity
Michael Martin
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/michaelmartinwesternsatguru
Post by David Kathman
Dave Kathman
Willedever
2006-09-23 05:14:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chess One
Firstly I thought the contra-Arden commentary was more reasonable
than not.
And you were right. Little Conrad and Davey-boy (or is it Davie-boy?)
are both too ignorant and stupid to talk Shakespeare in a Shakespeare
group. But then, they're only monkeys, and one doesn't expect much
from them. Basically, they just want a banana, of course, and that's
it for them.

Little Davie is such a brain-dead shit-head he can't even figure out
why anybody would post about Hamlet to a Shakespeare group. It's
beyond his grasp. Poor guy.
Post by Chess One
Anyone writing in a dedicated newsgroup could be called pathological
When they, like poor Conrad, and little David "Shit-Head" Kathman can
only troll, and aren't even mentally able to discuss Hamlet in a
Shakespeare group. That is, indeed, pathological.

And what are YOU writing about, Phil, in a Shakespeare group? When
have you ever written anything sensible about Shakespeare? As always,
you're just babbling irrelevancy, in a pathological way.

http://www.hamletregained.com
Willedever
2006-09-23 05:00:51 UTC
Permalink
David Kathman, the professional Stratfordian anus licker, wrote:

Stupid, irrelevant drivel. Just like everything on his own pathetic
website.

http://www.hamletregained.com
Willedever
2006-09-23 04:58:05 UTC
Permalink
***@gmail.com wrote:

Stupidity unrelated to Hamlet. No surprise. Poor little monkeys do
the best they can.

http://www.hamletregained.com
Alan Jones
2006-08-24 15:14:09 UTC
Permalink
seeker wrote:
[..]
Post by seeker
Post by Willedever
4 "You are very punctual."
Arden's attempt at equivalent phrasing is obviously wrong. It is a
fact in the play that Barnardo is slightly late, for one thing. It's
expressly stated that the midnight bell has already struck when
Barnardo arrives. He is not, in fact, punctual. He is late.
Nope, he is not late. The line, ""Tis now struck twelve," suggests
that Barnardo arrives while the bell is striking.
Post by Willedever
Francisco is not praising Barnardo for his punctuality, of course, he
is remarking on the fact that Barnardo startled him. When Barnardo
saw the human shape ahead of him in the darkness, he stopped and
called out, in case it might be the Ghost. Such carefulness, by
Barnardo in arriving to replace Francisco, is unusual, and elicits
the remark by Francisco on Barnardo's unexpected behavior. Normally,
Barnardo would simply walk up and say a "hello," but the Ghost has
changed things.
It is, of course, expected as a routine matter that Barnardo will
normally arrive on time. Mere punctuality is an ordinary thing that
would elicit no comment from Francisco. Arden's obliviousness to both
the explicit facts of the play, and common sense, makes for an
No, Mr. Jordan, again you are reading something into the text that
isn't there.
What is very clear is Francisco's relief at Barnardo's prompt arrival - he
doesn't want to be up there any longer, certainly not alone. The line under
discussion greatly assists the director's and actors' task of suggesting
unease, for a reason that for the moment the audience doesn't understand.
The jumpiness that makes Barnardo challenge the duty sentry, when it should
be the other way round, has no apparent practical cause, since he is given
no reason to expect a party of abseiling Swedes to leap upon him. Francisco
is "sick at heart". He and Barnard nervously avoid direct allusion to what
they have previously seen: "Have you had quiet guard?"/"Not a mouse
stirring". That there is a ghost is not stated plainly for some time - it is
"this thing", "this sight", "this apparition", "illusion", "this present
object", "this spirit". Admittedly Horatio addresses it as if it were the
late King: "If thou art privy to thy country's fate", but no one directly
says it is Old Hamlet's ghost until Hamlet, almost at the end of Scene 2,
exclaims "My father's spirit in arms!"
Post by seeker
Post by Willedever
29 Sit down awhile
Since the location is a cannon platform, the sentinels most
reasonably sit on the carriage of a cannon. If cannons are not
available in stage production, a simple bench would do. In
literature, however, cannons are available to the imagination, of
course. The men should not sit on the ground.
If you want cannons onstage, fine. When you direct Hamlet, feel free
to have all the cannons you want. However, do you have any evidence
that when Hamlet was first performed there were cannons onstage? A
drawing of the play in performance or a diary entry or a mention in a
letter will do. We know that cannons where used in All Is True (King
Henry VIII) because we have references to the Globe Theatre burning
when the play was first performed in 1613.
Even so, there's no indication that the cannonry was on stage: it announces
the King's arrival from off-stage, and the stage direction says "chambers",
not "cannon" - less impressive to look at, though noisy enough.

In a stage, as opposed to film, performance, the presence of cannon would be
a great nuisance, especially if scenes are to follow one another without any
break - surely desirable. Why should the men "not sit on the ground?" A
picturesquely group huddled round a lantern is quite appropriate in either a
modern or an "authentic" presentation, and leaves no stuff for stagehands to
clear as the Court assembles for the second scene. (I write as someone who
has directed a production, The daggers from the fencing match still hang in
my dining room - "Hamlet" and "Laertes" helped themslves to the rapiers.)

Alan Jones
Willedever
2006-08-24 16:59:45 UTC
Permalink
... He [Francisco] and Barnard nervously avoid direct allusion to what
they have previously seen...
Francisco has not seen the Ghost. He goes off duty at midnight, and
the Ghost appears later, at one. It is not even certain that Barnardo
and Marcellus have told Francisco of the Ghost.
... Why should the men "not sit on the ground?"
Because they're on sentinel duty. Sitting at all, anywhere, is rather
lax. As we soon learn, Denmark is fearful of being attacked by
Fortinbrasse, so the sentinel duty is urgent, not routine.


My "Arguments with Arden 3" is up through A1s3 now.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

Also, (Warning! Usenet monkeys will be shot on sight!)
http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/
Willedever
2006-08-25 01:32:50 UTC
Permalink
Here's my Arguments with Arden 3, from lines 50 through 100, A1s1.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

59 the very armour
The persistent uncertainty, which has somehow endured in commentary, of
how Horatio knows the armor, is manifestly imbecilic, and should be
firmly put to rest. Steel armor does not evaporate and disappear when a
person takes it off. It continues to exist. Anybody with the slightest
bit of sense knows that. The obvious likelihood is that Horatio saw the
armor on public display, as part of the memorial exhibits for King
Hamlet.

A person does not have to be 500 years old to know what the armor of
Henry VIII looked like. Several suits of armor belonging to Henry VIII
still exist, and are on display to public view in the Tower of London.
That editors and commentators on Hamlet should overlook this simple
point, over and over again, about the endurance of steel armor, is
sadly unfortunate, and a disgrace to Shakespeare scholarship. It makes
Shakespeare scholars look like idiots. There is an extremely easy
answer to the question of how Horatio knows the armor: it still exists,
and has been on public display since the death of Hamlet Sr. Horatio
could easily have seen the armor within only the last few days, and
would remember it well. Indeed, he could have seen the actual armor
earlier in the day. There is no legitimate mystery associated with
Horatio's remark.

62 sledded Polacks
FIrst, if one is sincerely presenting the Q2 text, the first word
should have been left "sleaded" as Q2 shows.

The word is interpretable as "sleided," which is a weaver's term. It
means, arranged in neat rows or columns, like threads for weaving
cloth. From sley. A variant spelling of "sley" includes an "a." The
author knew the word. See Pericles Act IV: "Be't when she weaved the
sleided silk," also, Lover's Complaint stanza 7: "With sleided silk
..."

A pun on "sledded" is likely intended, in connection with "ice," but
"sleided" is sensibly the primary word.

The Poles were in good military formation, for combat, well arrayed in
orderly lines. The parley turned angry and became a battle, which
Hamlet Sr won, in icy conditions. The weaving term implies a large
number of Poles, many lines of men, or a few long lines. It was a major
victory for Hamlet Sr.

Also, the phrase carries advance allusion to Hamlet's "smiting" of
Polonius, the "Pol-" character, during Hamlet's "angry parley" with
Gertrude in the Closet Scene, when Polonius is hidden behind the
"sleided silk" tapestry. This advance allusion is further evidence in
favor of "sleided" being the correct word in the playtext. (Historical
documentation mentions the tapestries at Kronborg Castle being woven of
silk, by the way.)

74 impress
Although "impressment" has the definition of conscription, it ought to
be noted that the sense is most likely figurative. The "press" is
reasonably the press of the urgent circumstances.

82
Horatio is saying that Fortinbrasse Sr wanted to become a king. His
"emulate pride" was his ambition to emulate his brother, Norway, and
his enemy, Hamlet Sr, in being king of a nation. The phrase "emulate
pride," if it's given a simple gloss, should be equated to "ambitious
pride," but simple gloss is inadequate.

85 sealed compact
The meaning is not "sworn," but "official and binding." The agreement
may indeed have been sworn to, and probably was, but "sealed" means it
was made final and binding on the parties, officially.

92 co-mart
"Comart" can be directly interpreted from the prefix and root, and
means "mutual bargain," or "mutual agreement." It's the correct word in
the playtext, and there is no reason to add the hyphen which is not
present in Q2. The word is apparently another Shakespeare coinage,
since it seems to be unknown elsewhere. Strangely, while purporting to
present the Q2 playtext, Arden calls a change that was made in the
Sixth Quarto "sensible," which is ridiculous. It is hardly sensible to
go out of one's way to overlook a genuine Shakespeare coinage.

93 carriage ... design
"Design" means "intent," and the line means simply that when Hamlet Sr
won, the agreement was carried through as it had been designed and was
intended to be.

Lines 93 and 94 also carry an undertone in advance of the fencing match
scene. Ostrick will speak of the design of the "carriages" of the
swords Laertes wagered, and at the match Laertes's poisoned foil will
"fall" to Hamlet.

95 unimproved mettle
The phrase means that Fortinbrasse Jr is "just like his father." His
character is the same, not more restrained, or tame, or domesticated.
"Mettle" is a reference to Fortinbrasse Jr's nature, or character, and
"unimproved" means "no better" than his father was. The Q1 mistake
deserves no mention in a playtext note, especially when one is
supposedly presenting the Q2 playtext, specifically.

One begins to get the impression that the Arden notes were originally
intended for a conflated text, and were inadequately rewritten when the
decision was made to present only Q2 in this volume. Be that as it may,
the Arden notes consistently display a lack of focus on Q2, itself, and
even a lack of focus on Hamlet, itself.

97 Sharked up
"Sharked" is most easily understood as "scavenged" in an aggressive
way.

Also,
lawless
When Fortinbrasse arrives at the end of the play, he and his army have
just taken the castle by force. It's rather charitable to dismiss the
question of that being lawful.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-08-25 16:52:15 UTC
Permalink
From line 100 to the end of A1s1.
Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

108 sort
Means "sort out" or "turn out." Barnardo is asking what the appearance
of the Ghost may predict for future events. He's wondering if events
will turn out well for Denmark, based on viewing the Ghost as an omen.

111 mote
Should be "moth" as Q2 shows. Horatio is using "moth" to mean "an
unpredictable thing." It's unpredictable where a moth will land, when
one sees it fluttering about at night. Horatio is not talking about the
sight of the Ghost irritating his eye, he's talking about the future
that the Ghost may foreshadow. There is, indeed, an intended pun on
"mote," strictly in connection with "eye," but "mote" is only the pun.

Although a moth is an unpredictable thing, in general, it's well known
that moths are attracted to light, such as firelight. That is exactly
where the Ghost "moth" will later tell Hamlet it landed: "in sulfurous
and tormenting flames."

The common expression is: like a moth to a flame.

116 *At stars
The Q2 wording ought not have been changed in the playtext. Q2 says
"As," and good editorial practice would respect that.

The line does not require any change in wording to be interpreted.
Punctuation is enough. Lines 116 and 117, as originally printed in Q2,
can be read: 'As stars with trains of fire... and dews of blood...
Disasters in the sun.'

Horatio is thinking of each of those things, pausing, then dismissing
it. He and the sentinels have not seen any showers of shooting stars,
or dews of blood, or any disasters in the sun. All they've seen, that
might be an omen, is the Ghost. The phrases are not intended to be a
grammatical sentence, they are a list of things Horatio ponders
momentarily.

It is unlikely the living Romans were bothered that the Roman dead
gibbered at phenomena, rather, the problem was, the Roman dead were
gibbering at them, the living. The emendation adopted by Arden, without
authority, does not make sense.

Concerning the historical suggestions for emendation offered by Jennens
et al, none of that belongs in a footnote to a genuinely scholarly
playtext of Q2. Commentators on, and editors of, Hamlet have, over the
years, suggested the most amazing variety of changes for things they
did not easily understand, with many of the suggestions being purely
idiotic, and indeed, with some suggestions (Collier) being fraudulent.
All that the historical commentators have proven is that none of them
shows any sign of having been Shakespeare reincarnated, however much
some of them might have wished they were. Historical oddities should be
relegated to a separate volume on the shelf, preferably a dusty one,
entitled perhaps "The Pathology of Hamlet Commentary," and not be
allowed to contaminate a sound, respectable presentation of
Shakespeare's text. There is no reason to suppose that any of the four
persons mentioned was right, and every reason to conclude, firmly, that
each of them was stupidly wrong, and is unworthy of mention, if the
intent is genuine to present Q2, itself.

117 Disasters
Apparently with no presence of mind at all, Arden calls the sun "a star
or planet." The phrase in the playtext is "Disasters in the sun," which
is obviously specific to the sun. Arden's note is peculiarly useless.
Technically, Arden's phrase would include the sun, but, good heavens.
Horatio's phrase most likely refers to sunspots. The first illustrated
account of sunspots was by an Englishman, John of Worcester, in A.D.
1128, showing two large sunspots observed with the naked eye.

120 *feared
The word in Q2 is "feare," and it is known the author was casual about
grammatical forms. A misprint is hypothetically possible, here or
anywhere, but one does not so easily assume misprint, when the word in
the original text has an interpretable meaning. Arden purports to be
presenting the Q2 playtext, but fails to do so. The original "fear"
should be in the text, with the suggestion of "feared" in the note, if
the latter deserves mention at all. Arden has done it backwards, and
has been remiss in their stated objective of presenting the Q2 text. If
one is going to claim to present the Q2 text, it is only proper to do
that in reality.

"Fear events" are events to fear, or events of fear. The phrase is not
difficult to interpret, as it genuinely appears in Q2.

It is also unprofessional, unscholarly, and just plain unintelligent to
speculate on the possibility of wording in a manuscript the editors
have never seen, and never will see, at the expense of a clear,
sensible presentation of the play as it was printed.

122 omen
Arden's note reveals a lack of understanding of the play. The Ghost,
the omen, is certainly not "the terrible event itself." The terrible
event, itself, in the play, will be the death of the protagonist
Hamlet, which does not happen in this passage, of course.

124 climatures
Arden's note is unacceptably deficient. The phrase demands gloss, not
just the isolated word out of context. The phrase is "our climatures,"
which Horatio mentions because Denmark is in northern Europe, whereas
Rome, of which he has been speaking, is in southern Europe. Horatio
means that, although he has been speaking of phenomena which have been
observed in southern Europe, the same sorts of things have been
observed in northern Europe, where Denmark is. Horatio mentions that to
show that what he's been saying about Rome is not irrelevant to them,
in Denmark.

126 SD [stage direction: "It spreads his arms."]
Arden fails to mention the known fact of Elizabethan usage that the
word "his" was often used as the neuter pronoun at that time. The word
"its" was only beginning to be used in that era. Sensibly, the word
"his" should be understood as "its" and the SD refers to the Ghost,
ignorant speculation by some {White (1861) et al} in the history of
Hamlet commentary notwithstanding.

The Ghost's gesture is ironic. After Horatio said he would cross the
Ghost, the Ghost "crosses" Horatio, by imitating the posture of Christ
on the cross. That is the reason for the stage direction, in Q2. It's
an attempt to ensure the irony is understood (and further implies the
Ghost heard what Horatio said.)

153 extravagant and erring
Although Arden lists the entire phrase, they fail to note "erring." The
phrase means approximately "wandering and straying."

164 and ... it
The Arden note is careless of the dialogue. The fairies and witches
just mentioned by Marcellus are not "ghost-lore." The "part" Horatio
believes is about Christmas being a special time. He is not sold on
fairies and witches, because, although he has now seen a ghost, he has
not seen them.

166 eastward
Whether Hibbard personally preferred a word different from what is
genuinely in the Q2 text is irrelevant, and Arden's note is a foolish
waste of space in what is supposed to be a presentation of the Q2 text.
"Eastward" is, of course, the correct word, as we know, because "ward"
is from a root meaning of "watch," which alludes to the sentinels'
watch. It reveals Shakespeare's knowledge that "ward" comes from
"watch." The sun, rising in the east, is now taking over the "watch"
for the sentinels.

169 young Hamlet
"Assumed??" The use of the word is madness. Have the Arden editors lost
their minds? There is no honest question in the play that Hamlet is the
son of King Hamlet. Such a word usage by the editors makes them look
insane. Are they certain Hamlet is in the play at all? Madness is a
theme of Hamlet but that doesn't mean the editors of a publication of
Hamlet have to make themselves appear crazy.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-08-26 21:55:45 UTC
Permalink
To A1s2 now, up to line 100.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

2 us befitted
The correct meaning is "did befit." Claudius uses the simple past
tense, as he announces that the mourning period for Hamlet Sr is over.

22 message
The original printing is correct with the singular. Although several
communications have been sent by Fortinbrasse, they have all carried
the same, single message. A distinction is being made between the
communication, and the message which it carries. Multiple
communications can carry the same message.

28 Norway ... Fortinbrasse
The Arden note is wrong; there is no reason to think Fortinbrasse was
King of Norway at his death. Had he been, Hamlet Sr would have won
Norway, but we know he did not, since Norway exists as a separate
entity in the play. Fortinbrass Sr was apparently a duke, or some such,
and what he risked was his dukedom, not his country. Fortinbrass Jr is
not exactly analogous to Hamlet, and is clearly not intended to be.

31 gait
Arden irresponsibly fails to note that the word in the original
playtext is "gate." There is no excuse for their failure, nor any
excuse for their substitution of the wrong word, since "gate" is also
the word in F1. No legitimate source for "gait" exists. The
substitution of a word (without even a comment attempting to justify
it) that has no proper source is unscholarly and unprofessional.

Shakespeare's word "gate" is right, as originally printed, with no
factual question about it. It means "access" or "entrance." By
ignoring the legitimate Shakespearean word in favor of a mistake made
in incompetent later commentary, Arden has mangled the point of
Claudius's remark for the play. Claudius's stated diplomatic intent is
to keep Fortinbrasse out of Denmark, to deny his access to Denmark, and
it is manifestly vital to the play that Claudius's stated intent is not
realized.

The incorrect notion of "gait" apparently goes back at least to
Theobald (1729) and has been for some mysterious reason accepted,
mindlessly, by some later editors, even though there is no reason to
think he was right, and the word, itself, in the playtext proves that
he was wrong. "Gate" is a known Shakespeare word, used by him some 61
times in his various writings, in the same sense the word is currently
used, and with the same spelling as is currently known. Changing
Shakespeare's word to "gait" is an act of groundless speculation, and
sheer ignorance, and further, doing so without even a comment, that the
word has been changed, is a disgraceful editorial lapse. One has a
right to demand higher standards in a serious publication. If one is
going to present Q2, it really is necessary to pay attention to what Q2
actually says.

31-2 levies . . . proportions
The Arden note is inadequate, and wrong as far as it goes. "Full
proportions" means the land that Hamlet Sr won is now a full part of
Denmark. It has been divided into Danish governmental districts,
counties or parishes, and is the same as any other Danish land. The
point of Claudius's lines is that the land is not unclaimed territory
to be fought over.

33 his subject
Arden is exactly wrong. The phrase "his subject" refers to the subject
of Fortinbrasse's message, i.e. the land. The land is now legally part
of Denmark, so any people on that land would be officially Danish, and
certainly not Norwegian.

38 delated
Arden misses the crucial point that, although Claudius says "delated,"
the ambassadors mishear the word as "dilated." The ambassadors take it
that Claudius is telling them they may expand on what he's written,
although he does not intend to give them that instruction. The
ambassadors do proceed to expand on the articles, essentially changing
them completely, which results in Fortinbrasse being allowed to enter
Denmark unchallenged, which is exactly the opposite of what Claudius
originally wants, as he expressly states in this passage. The
misunderstanding of this word, by the ambassadors, is what brings
Fortinbrasse and his army into Denmark. A proper explanation, of
delated/dilated, is vital to comprehension of the events of the play.

This is an instance where it's a great stroke of luck that history has
preserved both Q2 and the Folio. Q2 shows "delated" and F shows
"dilated." Between them, they show both what Claudius says, and what
the ambassadors mistakenly hear. There has been some historical
argument over which word is correct, but in fact, both words are
correct. "Delated" is what Claudius says, but "dilated" is how the
ambassadors take it.

42-50 And . . . Laertes?
Arden badly misinterprets this passage. Claudius is neither coaxing
Laertes, nor ingratiating himself with Laertes, but is rudely talking
over him. Claudius repeatedly calls on Laertes, but then obnoxiously
keeps talking, preventing Laertes from speaking. Claudius's important
diplomatic mission has left him swelled with pride, in his power as
king, and he shows it by talking over Laertes. Claudius likes it that
when he talks now, as the King, others have to be quiet and listen.

77 cold mother
The first word is best understood as "cooled." The original printing
shows "coold," easily interpreted as "cool'd" with the apostrophe
omitted. A son/sun pun is implicit. Hamlet is saying a mother without
a "son" (sun) would be cooler. Gertrude is cooled by having less "son."
Hamlet is expressing his feeling of alienation from Gertrude.

82 shapes
The correct word is "chapes," as Q2 shows. The Arden editors fail even
to note that they have changed Shakespeare's wording, which is a
serious disservice to the reader, and also unprofessional and
unscholarly editing. We can be confident that "chapes" is Shakespeare's
word, exactly as Q2 shows, because not only does it refer to an outward
covering, specifically a sheath, (pertinent to Hamlet's inky cloak,) it
has a further meaning of the part of a scabbard that covers the point
of a sword, which is advance allusion to the unbated foil at the
fencing match. "Chapes" is a nicely chosen word by Shakespeare, and
will be respected in any good presentation of the playtext.

83 *denote
Arden errs in changing the correct playtext word "devote." The editors
try to justify their misrepresentation of Q2 by claiming they can read
a manuscript they have not seen, and never will see. They cannot read
such a thing. There is no misprint in Q2, of course. "Devote" is the
correct word, and it makes good sense. Hamlet's lines mean that his
true devotion to his father is an inner thing, in his heart, and not
something he puts on, like clothes. It's as easy as that.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-08-27 20:20:42 UTC
Permalink
A1s2, lines 100 to 200.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

107 unprevailing
The word does not mean "ineffective," it means exactly what it says.
Claudius is casting Hamlet's continued mourning for his father as a
contest of wills. Claudius has announced the end of mourning for Hamlet
Sr, thus he would have it that Hamlet's continued mourning is something
by which Hamlet would hope to prevail over him, in disobedience to his
wishes.

113 school
We do not "learn ... that Hamlet is 30." We "learn" no such thing in
the play. The Gravedigger is a Clown, explicitly and unmistakably
identified as such. Not only is "Clown" his name at entry, it is his
speech prefix, throughout. The Clown is wrong, of course.

126 tell
It means "speak." Figurative.

132 canon
There is a delicious double meaning. In undertone, by "fixed" Hamlet
means aimed, "His" means Claudius, "canon" means cannons, and
"self-slaughter" means Claudius slaughtering himself. Hamlet is saying
that he wishes when Claudius fires his cannons during his rouse, they'd
be aimed so he'd shoot himself with them.

135 fie
Arden fails to note that Hamlet's "fie" goes back, in mockery, to the
"fie" Claudius spoke to him.

137 merely
Arden's gloss is wrong. The word means "only." Hamlet is saying the
problem with the world is only that things rank and gross possess it.

138 two months
Ophelia makes no such claim, as Arden claims, at the 'Mousetrap' play.
Her remark there is a slip of the tongue, and something Shakespeare
used for undertone. Hamlet's "two months" is the correct statement of
the passage of time.

141 might not
Arden's note is such a bad misreading that it deserves to be called
bizarre. "Might not beteem" means, would not permit. Hamlet is saying
that his father was so protective of his mother that he would not even
allow strong winds to blow on her face.

143 should
Arden is incorrect that admonition is implied. Imperative is implied.
"Should" is the past tense of "shall."

160-1
Hamlet's greeting to his good friend, Horatio, is certainly not
impersonal. We know that, because Hamlet's line includes a comment on
Horatio's health, in the word "well." Hamlet recognizes Horatio
immediately, of course. It is imbecillic to imagine that Hamlet both
hears the voice, and sees the face, of his good friend, Horatio,
without recognizing him. There is something about Hamlet that somehow
deprives editors of common sense, and sometimes, of any sense, of any
kind.

Hamlet first remarks, to Horatio, that he's glad to see him well, steps
to Horatio, and enunciates his name as he shakes his hand.

163 change . . . you
The name Hamlet means is, of course, "Horatio," the name he has just
spoken emphatically. The failure of editors, over the years, to get
this, is surpassingly peculiar. It's as though editors experience some
mental obstacle that prevents them from looking back only two lines.
It's another of those odd phenomena in Hamlet commentary.

Hamlet is saying that, with the way things are for him, he'd rather be
Horatio than Hamlet. He wishes he could trade names, i.e. identities,
with Horatio. The theme of change of identity recurs in the author's
writings, and he alludes to it here, but without using it for Hamlet
and Horatio.

164 make you from
Horatio's remark is not puzzling in the least. He's joking. Horatio is
being facetious. An editor of Hamlet who is puzzled by such a simple
thing should be doing something other than trying to edit the play.

Further, it is not surprising at all, (to anybody who can read the play
with normal comprehension and retention,) that Hamlet was unaware of
Horatio's earlier presence in the area. There have been three major
social events, undoubtedly with large crowds, and Hamlet has been a
V.I.P. at each event. In a class-conscious society, commoners such as
Horatio are kept apart from the V.I.P.s. Further, Hamlet has been
depressed, and almost certainly has not been mingling with the crowds,
where he might have seen Horatio. Even further, his romantic interest
in Ophelia has taken some of his free time. It is entirely credible,
based on the known facts of the play, for Hamlet and Horatio not to
cross paths until Marcellus arranges their meeting.

168
Arden's note is oddly unhelpful. Horatio is commenting, in a facetious
way, that he isn't at the university. Horatio most certainly does not
think he's wasting his time.

179 Thrift
The mention of the Romanian dictator is mere prating, at the expense of
a sane gloss that a reader might actually find helpful. The word
"Thrift" refers to economic gain.

185 I . . . once
In fact, Horatio's line raises no question at all about his age.

191 Season
The word means "delay," until the right time. Horatio is asking Hamlet
to wait for the right "season" to express his wonder. The usage is
figurative based on the seasons of the year. Horatio means the right
season for Hamlet to express his wonder will be later, after he's heard
the account of the Ghost.

192 attent
The word means "waiting," or "awaiting," and there is nothing illogical
about it. Horatio is asking Hamlet to delay his admiration with a
waiting ear, i.e. both to delay his admiration, and also to have a
waiting ear.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-08-30 22:03:36 UTC
Permalink
A1s2, from line 200 to end of scene.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

203 truncheon's
Arden is wrong. A truncheon is a club. In this case, the word refers to
King Hamlet's cudgel, which the Ghost appeared to carry. The Ghost,
armed for battle, carried his weapon of war. It was not a staff, in the
modern sense of the word. There are at least two existing illustrations
of King Hamlet's cudgel, odd as that may seem. Also, Arden's notion
that somehow the Ghost measured his pace with his truncheon is foolish.
Horatio is speaking of how closely the Ghost passed by the sentinels,
of course. The length of the King's truncheon would be about three
feet.

204 act
The word means "actions."

208 Where, as
Arden has taken it upon themselves to alter the true Q2 wording, with
no justification to the reader why they have done so. It is unscholarly
and unprofessional conduct. The word in Q2 is "Whereas," and it is the
correct word in the playtext. Horatio is speaking legalistically about
his eyewitness evidence, in confirmation of the Ghost. The Folio also
shows "Whereas," so there is no legitimate question that it is the
correct word in the text, while Arden's phrase is not.

212 platform
The platform is an earthen mound outside the castle wall. See pictures
of Kronborg Castle on the web.

234 Very like
It doesn't mean "possibly," it means "very likely."

236 hundred
The word in Q2 is "hundredth," which ought not have been changed,
because it is technically correct for counting in general. By changing
the word, with neither justification for the change, nor even any
footnote to show the true Q2 word, Arden has given Shakespeare a
technical error in arithmetic which he, in fact, did not make. In
general counting, to one hundred, one stops when one has told (assigned
a number to) the hundredth item.

240 A sable silvered
At the 'Mousetrap' play, Hamlet is not saying, particularly, that sable
is black. He is saying something different in that Scene when he says
"suit of sables." (For one thing, he means what Polonius is wearing.)
Nor can it be taken, from the phrase here, that Hamlet Sr had black
hair. According to the writings of Henry Peacham, the word "sabell"
was used at that time to mean the color of fire. That color would be
yellowish red. Horatio may be saying here that Hamlet Sr had a reddish
blond beard with some silvery whiskers. Based on documented word usage
at the time, and with the possible variations in Elizabethan spelling,
a hair color for Hamlet Sr of either black or red could follow from
Horatio's phrase.

241 walk
It is definitely not the case that either the F or Q2 word is
acceptable when one is allegedly presenting the Q2 text, specifically.
The impression continues that the Arden notes were originally intended
for a conflated text, and were given inadequate attention when the
decision was made to present separate texts in different volumes. That
would be understandable, but still not good.

246 tenable
Hamlet does not mean "capable of being held," he means actually held.

252
Hamlet is not rejecting the use of the word "duty" by the others, and
it is not a "colder" word. Arden's note is wrong headed. Servants, or
lower class persons, have duty to a Prince, but a Prince does not have
"duty" to them. Duty extends from a subordinate to a superior. The
others are correct to express duty to their Prince, Hamlet, and he is
certainly correct not to express "duty" to them in return, but rather
affection. When Hamlet expresses "love" in reply to their "duty" he is
merely using the correct word, with knowledge of the respective social
status.

255 *foul
What is misleading to a reader is when Arden purports to present the Q2
text, but fails to do so. The word in Q2 is "fond."

Nor is "fond" hard to interpret, nor is it "plausibly" explained as a
misreading (of a nonexistent manuscript which the Arden editors have
never seen, and about which they know next to nothing, if the truth
were faced.) It is stupid of editors to pretend they can read a
nonexistent manuscript, and it is doubly stupid when they pretend to
know better than the Q2 compositor, who actually saw the manuscript,
what the "real" word was that Shakespeare wrote. Such Hamlet
"scholarship," which habitually ignores and demeans the original
source, is disgraceful, and diminishes Shakespeare scholarship in
general. An honest editor would face the truth of his ignorance, openly
admit he knows no such thing as what the manuscript "really" said, and
allow himself to be guided by the truth. The Q2 word is, in fact,
"fond" (in modern spelling) and that is the only "plausible"
possibility for the correct word in Q2 in this instance. The Arden
substitute has no authority whatsoever for a Q2 text.

Hamlet is using "fond" to mean foolish, which makes perfect sense in
the text. There is no legitimate reason to suspect any misreading by a
compositor. Hamlet is hoping that the Ghost can tell him of something
foolish Claudius has done, (such as, perhaps, provable bribery to get
the crown - Claudius explicitly refers to bribery later, in the Prayer
Scene) that he can use against Claudius.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-09-01 16:51:04 UTC
Permalink
A1s3, to line 100.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

2 as
The Arden gloss is wrong. "As" means "the same way as."

3 *convey is assistant
The Q2 phrasing is correct, and ought not have been changed. Laertes
means as follows.

~~~~~
And sister, (the same) as the winds give benefit (to me)
And convey (me,) (likewise,) in assistant...
~~~~~

Laertes means Ophelia should be an assistant to him, the same as the
winds that convey his ship. The phrasing is concise, but interpretable
to make good sense as it stands in Q2.

6 toy in blood
"Toy" means "idea," and "blood" means "passion." Laertes is asserting
that Hamlet's interest in Ophelia is an idea from his passion, not his
heart.

12 thews and bulks
Since "thews" is plural there is no good reason to question "bulks"
being correctly plural, as printed in Q2. The reasonable decision is
that the Folio is in error.

27
The "main voice" being referred to by Laertes is the voice of the King.
Denmark was not a popular democracy. Correct understanding of this is
important in anticipation of Polonius's later efforts to get Claudius
involved, which leads to the Nunnery Scene. Laertes's phrase is
significant in the flow of events.

41 Contagious blastments
"Contagious" refers to transmission from one person to another, and
"blastment" means swelling. The phrase refers to pregnancy. Laertes
means the possibility of Hamlet "transmitting a swelling" to Ophelia.

43
Laertes means that if no authority is available to rebel against, youth
will rebel against itself. The saying describes the intrinsic
rebelliousness of youth.

48 puffed
Ophelia tossed a meaning of "swelled up" back at Laertes. This is
significant to Ophelia's characterization as a bright girl. Ophelia is
saying to Laertes, "Don't get all swelled up, yourself, brother."

49 primrose . . . dalliance
A "primrose path" is an aimless path that goes wherever the flowers
grow.

51 SD (Enter Polonius)
Arden has placed the stage direction incorrectly. It belongs between
the speeches of Ophelia and Laertes, as Q2 shows. The reason why
Laertes says, "I stay too long" is because he spots his father
approaching. Then, the reason he says "my father," even though he knows
Polonius is the father of them both, is because he's sure Polonius will
want to talk to him in particular. Polonius's approach, upon his entry,
is slow. He's an old man, and he doesn't move very fast.

51 stay too long
There is no real indication in Laertes's phrase that he doesn't want to
hear Ophelia (although it's doubtful he'd take it seriously if he did
listen to her more.) Laertes says, "I stay too long," because of his
father's approach, which would be understood if Arden had been faithful
to their goal in presenting the Q2 text accurately, and had placed the
SD correctly.

53
The significant point of Laertes's lines is that as his father arrives
he recites a saying, which is one of Polonius's verbal habits. Laertes
is unconsciously imitating Polonius. This observation is important for
Laertes's characterization (and Polonius's.) In Polonius's following
speech we get to see how Polonius taught Laertes to recite sayings.

55
The Arden note is correct enough, but deficient at explaining
"shoulder." Reference is to the shoulder blade area. The wind is right
to move the ship ahead, the same way a push to the shoulder blades will
move a person ahead. It indicates the wind is "high" in the sense of
filling the upper sails of the ship, just as the shoulder blades are
high on the back.

57 these few precepts
It would be most inappropriate to have Polonius read the sayings.
Sayings are a normal part of Polonius's speech habit. He just talks
that way. This is important for his characterization, and relevant to
later comment by Hamlet.

58 [Look thou] character
Polonius's phrase does mean what Arden says, but it also means, "look
like what you are." Both meanings apply. It is one of the innumerable
instances of ambiguity intentionally written into the play by
Shakespeare. The author's verbal ingenuity was phenomenal. The phrase
is not only an instruction to Laertes, but also, a saying in itself.

62
Far more relevant than Othello is Hamlet's encounter with the pirates,
later in Hamlet, itself. Polonius's "grapple" saying anticipates
Hamlet's pirate encounter.

63 dull thy palm
It means to wear a callus on your palm, figuratively speaking.

64 courage
Arden unfortunately misses the allusion to the Ghost. See the Hamlet
(Regained) Notes. It's a certainty that "courage" is Shakespeare's
word, because "courage" is also "spirit," and spirit = ghost.

73 *Are . . . that
Arden blunders in changing the Q2 wording. The line ought to have been
reproduced as Q2 shows it. Q2 is correct, and interpretation is not
difficult, if one understands the play. Polonius has momentarily lost
his way in his rhetoric. The same thing will happen again later when
he's talking to Reynaldo. It is not any kind of misprint in Q2, it is
characterization of Polonius. He tends to lose his way after talking
for a while, and that is what happens in this line. It is not supposed
to be a grammatical sentence. Polonius leaves off, after getting lost
in his thoughts, and recovers by reciting a very common saying.

76 *dulleth th'edge
The Q2 wording ought not have been changed merely for the sake of
schoolroom grammar. Nothing is really gained, and the authentic
Shakespeare wording is lost. Changing Shakespeare's words, merely for
the sake of schoolroom grammar, is madness. The article is not in Q2,
and not required, and is further not desirable for sound, as "-th" and
"th-" run together.

80 season
The primary meaning of "season" is more likely as in seasoning food, to
make it better. The word is ambiguous, intentionally so, undoubtedly.

82 invests
The Q2 word is correct, of course. The word means essentially
"ordains." Polonius is saying that time (personified) has invested
Laertes with the power of departure. Arden should not have repunctuated
to put "go" in the next sentence. "To" is implicit before "go."

90 of late
Hamlet has been at Elsinore for some two months, so there is nothing
remarkable that he would have found time to spend with Ophelia.
Polonius's "of late" is from the perspective of an old man. TIme
perception changes with age. The last two months is very recent time
from the perspective of the elderly.

91
It should be noted that "private time" does not necessarily imply
seclusion or intimacy. It means time that Hamlet has for himself, so
spend as he wishes. Hamlet could talk to Ophelia in the Lobby with a
crowd of 100 people there, and if he had nothing in particular else to
do, it would be his "private time." There is somewhat less to
Polonius's phrase than meets the modern eye. When Claudius allowed
Laertes to go to France he was giving him "private time." This is not
to say that Ophelia and Hamlet have not enjoyed some privacy, but that
isn't exactly what Polonius means.

92 audience
It ought to have been noted that the word is thematic. The idea of
"Putting On A Show" runs through the play. Polonius is casting Ophelia
as the "audience" for Hamlet's "performance," which implies insincerity
by Hamlet, as Polonius goes on to make more explicit in his remarks.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-09-02 06:10:38 UTC
Permalink
A1s3, from line 100 to the end, then A1s4 to line 50.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

107
Arden is wrong. Polonius is referring to flatulence. He is saying he
doesn't want to do the phrase wrong by saying it so abruptly it sounds
like passing gas. There is self reference; it is part of the
characterization of Polonius's odor problem. "Crack the wind of" =
break wind with. It leads to Hamlet's "fishmonger" and "dead dog"
remarks, also Hamlet's "nose him," and to Claudius's exclamation about
something "smelling to heaven," just after Polonius has left his
presence. Polonius, himself, has (unintentionally) begun his "odor"
characterization here, with his reference to flatulence.

113 almost . . . heaven
Arden fails to note that Ophelia, in an attempt at self defense, is
hinting to Polonius that she and Hamlet are engaged. Holy vows =
marriage vows, holy matrimony. "Almost" means they are "almost" at the
altar, or in other words, they are engaged. Wrapped up in his
lecturing, Polonius missed it. The engagement of Ophelia and Hamlet is
a crucial fact for understanding of later events, as is Polonius's
ignorance of their engagement.

117 more light than heat
Arden fails to note that Polonius has gotten it backwards. He means
more heat than light. This is not printing error in Q2, it is
characterization of Polonius: too many words with too little thought
behind them. While preaching to Ophelia, he got it backwards, and
didn't notice.

127 their investments
The irony of this in relation to Hamlet's black mourning clothes should
be noted, rather than irrelevancies about white garments.

132 moment leisure
The best gloss, if a simple gloss is demanded, is simply to reverse the
phrase. Leisure moment.

-----

Act 1 Scene 4

1 *shrewdly
The correct word is "shroudly," as Q2 shows. Once again, the Arden
editors, while pretending to present Q2, have changed the true Q2
wording. "Shroudly" means "like a shroud of death." It is a genuine
Shakespeare coinage, which the Arden editors have missed identifying.
It is the perfect word to begin the scene where Hamlet sees the Ghost.
When Hamlet says the air bites shroudly, he means the cold night air
grips him like a shroud of death. It is a hint that his encounter with
the Ghost will ultimately lead to his death. The Folio "shrewdly" most
likely came from the Q1 word of "shrewd" and is therefore suspect, at
best. Whether "shroudly" occurs elsewhere is quite beside the point. A
Shakespeare coinage can easily be unique.

2 nipping
Horatio's word follows from Hamlet's. Horatio agrees that, indeed, the
air "bites."

4 struck
Whether "Riv" prints 'strook' is as beside the point as anything. If
one is going to give an exact spelling in an earlier printing, the
appropriate printing to cite is that of Q2, if the intent is genuine to
present Q2.

7
Horatio's question concerns customs at the castle. It raises no issue
about Horatio being a native of Denmark. The average pub in Denmark
will not supply trumpets, kettledrums and cannons to sound while the
patrons drink. Horatio is simply from a different part of Denmark, and
is unfamiliar with the King's rouse at the castle.

9 the . . . reels
The Arden note is wrong. Hamlet's phrase means:

swaggering = overbearing
upspring = upwell
reels = staggers (Hamlet and his friends)

Hamlet is saying that the overbearing upwell of noise is enough to
stagger a person. Shakespeare wrote the line with a double meaning,
however, as he did so many times in Hamlet. It additionally means:

swaggering = overbearing
upspring = upstart
reels = staggers (in reference to Claudius's drunkenness)

Hamlet is additionally saying that the overbearing upstart, Claudius,
is staggering with drunkenness. Both the meanings are present,
simultaneously. Hamlet is calling Claudius an overbearing upstart, who
is staggering with drunkenness, and also commenting on the loud noise
making his friends and him reel. There is no reference to any dancing.
The "dance" notion was apparently picked up, at random, from a German
publication of 1634 that had nothing to do with Hamlet (and still
doesn't.)

11 bray out
The Arden note misinterprets the play. It is not that Hamlet is being
uncomplimentary to the instruments, it's that he's being
uncomplimentary to Claudius, who is responsible for sounding the
instruments. Hamlet is calling Claudius a jackass, who is using the
instruments and cannons to "bray."

19-20 with . . . addition
The Arden note is inadequate. "Addition" has a specific meaning. For
example, in the name John Smith, Esquire, the word "Esquire" is the
"addition." It means a title that is customarily used after a name.
"Ph.D." would be another example. Hamlet is objecting to other peoples
calling the Danes "Danish pigs" as though "pigs" were their proper
addition. A neutral addition would be simply the word "people": Danish
people.

21 though . . . height
The Arden note is incorrect. Hamlet is saying that for the Danes to
carouse after they have truly reached a height of achievement is
natural and acceptable. There is no height of national achievement here
for Claudius's celebration.

22 The . . . attribute
"Attribute" doesn't imply "name," it implies "tribe," which is the root
meaning. Hamlet is saying it's natural for the "tribe" to celebrate
when they've accomplished something truly notable. Reference is to the
Dane's characteristics as a people.

23 So
It means "very."

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-09-02 23:54:58 UTC
Permalink
A1s4 to the end, then A1S5 to line 50.

Relevant links.

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http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

53 glimpses
Most sensibly, it's a cloudy night, with the moon visible
intermittently.

54 we . . . nature
Hamlet doesn't mean the Ghost has turned them into anything, but is
referring to what the men are, i.e. living. "Nature" is reference to
the natural world, the world of the living. "Fools of nature" means
living fools. "Fools," itself, refers to the men being fools not to
believe in ghosts, earlier.

56 reaches
"Extents" is better. The "reach" of the soul of a living person is only
as far as he can extend his hand, since his soul is confined to his
body while he lives. Thoughts that go beyond the "reach" of Hamlet's
soul, within his living body, are thoughts about the soul, or spirit,
being outside the body.

71 beetles . . . base
"Beetle" is from a root meaning of "bite." Horatio is saying that the
cliff has an "overbite," since the upper part projects farther than the
lower. "Beetles over" = overbites. Shakespeare used "beetle" in
continuation of the "bite" idea with which this scene began. Horatio is
worried about Hamlet being "bitten" at the cliff with the "overbite."

82 *artery
The Q2 word should have been left as it is. "Artery" has taken on a
modern meaning which it did not have in Elizabethan times, and the
substitution is misleading to the reader. The Q2 word, "arture," is
better left, and then noted. It is certain Shakespeare did not mean
"artery" in the modern sense, but any modern reader, seeing "artery,"
will immediately take it that way.

87 *imagination
Arden has blundered in not honoring the genuine Q2 word, and has missed
another chance to identify a Shakespeare coinage. "Imagion" is the
correct word, as Q2 shows. The word is formed from a root of "image"
and a suffix of "-ion" which means "the result of." Horatio means
Hamlet has grown desperate as a result of the image, of his father.
"Imagion" = image result.

90 state
Arden is wrong to reject "condition." The line has a double meaning,
intentionally written so by Shakespeare.

-----

Act 1 Scene 5

3 sulphurous . . . flames
It's an open question, at this point in the play, whether the Ghost is
genuine or an imposter. It therefore cannot be taken that the flames
are necessarily those of Catholic Purgatory. The flames may be those of
Hell. Purgatory is never specified in the play. The Ghost does intend
to suggest Purgatory, but he would, either way. An imposter Ghost would
not tell Hamlet he's from Hellfire. Arden errs in identifying the
flames as specifically those of Purgatory, which they may not be.

21 blazon
It means a description, or explanation, in words, rather than an
illustration, and is a term from heraldry. "Blazon" is from a root
meaning of "shield." The word is used in a punning way, following the
mention of fire. It also hints of Hamlet being his father's son, and
now the senior male of the family, who carries onward the family coat
of arms.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-09-04 15:42:00 UTC
Permalink
A1S5, line 50, to 150.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

53-7
The wording of Q2 is correct in this speech, Arden was wrong to change
the wording, and the Arden note is wrong. In his lines 53 through 57,
the Ghost means as follows:

But Virtue - since it will never be moved to evil
Even though Lewdness might court Virtue with a Heavenly appearance -
So, but although linked to a radiant angel (Lucifer,)
(Virtue) will sort its way in(to) a heavenly resting place,
And pray on garbage (something thrown away.)

"Virtue" is the subject of "will sort." The Q2 wording is sensible and
reasonably grammatical, and should have been respected, and definitely
so in a presentation that is allegedly specific to Q2.

On page 517, in Appendix 2, the editors comment on why they refused to
accept the Q2 wording, but in the lines they used for illustration,
they cut the utterance so short they lost the subject! Of course a
person cannot understand an utterance if he abridges it in such a way
that he loses the subject. The subject of "will sort" is "Virtue."

The Ghost is casting Gertrude as "Virtue." (Hamlet will, in a way, do
the same thing later, in the Closet Scene.) The Ghost means that Virtue
(Gertrude) cannot be moved to do evil, even though lewdness (Claudius)
may court her in the shape of heaven (pretending to be a virtuous man,)
and so, even though Gertrude is linked to the radiant angel (Lucifer,
by her marriage to a murderer,) she will make her way to a celestial
bed, (a resting place in Heaven,) and also, she will pray about
something thrown away (which is the general definition of "garbage.")

The implications of the utterance, in the flow of events of the play,
will not be understandable to most readers from the utterance, itself.
What Shakespeare wrote, in that speech, becomes understandable only
with a detailed (and correct!) knowledge of the play.

The Ghost's prediction of Gertrude sorting her way to Heaven
anticipates the Ghost saying shortly after: "leave her to Heaven." The
reason for the Q1 wording, generally followed in error by the Folio, is
something beyond these comments.

55 *Lust
Q2 "but" is correct.

56 *sate
Q2 "sort" is correct.

57 garbage
It means something that gets, or will get, thrown away.

62 hebona
The word should probably have been capitalized, just as Q2 shows, since
there is reference to Hecate, a proper name, as we learn at the
'Mousetrap' play.

69 eager droppings
Should probably be more specific, referring to acid or vinegar, since
there is likely reference to alchemy, a subject with which the author
had some familiarity.

72 lazar-like
Should have been glossed. Reference is to the "other" Lazarus in the
Bible, the leper.

80
Yeah, and my cousin's brother-in-law's neighbor's dog thinks the
Martians have landed in Poughkeepsie. It really is long past the time
when respectable scholarly standards should have been applied to
Hamlet, and duly recognized, and generally observed. Groundless
speculation, about altering Hamlet, without the slightest factual
basis, is a disservice to the reader, and a disgrace to Shakespeare
scholarship in general, and deserves no notice in a serious publication
of the playtext. The "horrible" line is the Ghost's line. Period. We
know that for a certainty because that's how it's printed in Q2, and in
F1, as well. The fact is established. It is not an open question.
Johnson's rumor-mongering should be restricted to his own biography,
and not be allowed to diminish a proper presentation of Hamlet, (and
the same goes for idle rumoring from any other historical figure, no
matter how well known.) If an editor can't resist mentioning an
unfounded oddity of commentary, put it in the last Appendix, not in
company with the text. Give the sincere readers, who actually want to
understand the play, a break.

124-5 There . . . this
Skepticism correctly describes Horatio's attitude. He doubts the Ghost
went to all the trouble, merely to say what Hamlet says. Horatio cannot
be disappointed yet, since he does not know yet that Hamlet will refuse
to reveal what the Ghost said. It's more than a dozen lines later when
Hamlet expressly refuses, so if Horatio feels any disappointment, it
will be then.

132
More sensibly, Horatio is concerned about Hamlet's state of mind.

137 honest
It means "honorable." Hamlet is not saying, exactly, that he thinks the
Ghost was truthful. That is implied, but is not the meaning of his
word.

145-6 not I . . . Nor I
Horatio and Marcellus are not refusing to swear, and the question of
that should not even arise. Their uses of the negative follow directly
from the negative in their "we will not."

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-09-06 01:10:18 UTC
Permalink
A1s5, line 150 to the end, then A2s1 to line 50.

Relevant links.

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http://www.hamletregained.com/

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~~~~~

150 truepenny
There is demonstrably reference to Ralph Roister Doister [RRD] shown by
relating various utterances in Hamlet to utterances in RRD, both in
this scene and elsewhere. RRD was far better known in Elizabethan times
than now. RRD was the first comedy play printed in English. Hamlet says
"truepenny" here because RRD contains the line: 'Ye are a slow goer,
sir.' Hamlet is facetiously observing that although the Ghost said
"adieu," it has not left yet. The Ghost is a "slow goer."

151
The repunctuation by Arden, to make the line a question, is an error.
The original shows a comma. Hamlet is making a declaration, not asking
a question. Thus, it is not a question in the play whether Horatio and
Marcellus hear the Ghost. They do. Understanding of the "swear"
sequence requires knowing they hear.

156 Hic et ubique
In RRD the maids do a passage about Truepenny always rushing around and
being "everywhere."

161 Well said, old mole
RRD contains the line: 'Well said, Truepenny.'

164
Actually, Hamlet (i.e. Shakespeare) is alluding to RRD. RRD contains
two relevant passages about welcoming a stranger.

172 encumbered
Hamlet means with the hands held out in front, palms upward, as if
carrying something. Try it yourself, while staring straight ahead,
slightly open-mouthed, and you will recognize the gesture.

180 Rest . . . spirit
Horatio and Marcellus do not swear on the sword. Hamlet changes his
mind, and puts the sword away. This is why there is no line in the Q2
playtext for them to swear. It is not a printing oversight that they
have no such line. The reason Hamlet changes his mind is because he
realizes he cannot get away from the Ghost, and he's aware of the
possibility it might be an evil spirit, a tool of the Devil (as Hamlet
expressly speculates later in the play.) When the Ghost calls out the
order to "swear," it puts Horatio and Marcellus in the position of
swearing both to Hamlet and to the Ghost, if they do swear. Hamlet
doesn't like that, because it would put his friends in the position of
possibly swearing to the Devil (without even knowing it.) Hamlet does
not want to risk making his friends swear to the Devil, (if it is.)
That would obviously not be friendly to them, by Hamlet. So, when
Hamlet finds he cannot escape the voice, he puts his sword away. His
gesture is an act of friendship, but Horatio and Marcellus don't
understand, and to them it looks even more peculiar. First, Hamlet
insisted they swear on the sword, but then he puts it away without
allowing them to. This somewhat anticipates the Prayer Scene, when
Hamlet sheaths his sword without carrying through his intent.

188 Nay, come
There is the significant point that Hamlet wants his friends close to
him after what he's been through in his encounter with the Ghost.

-----

Act 2 Scene 1

0.1-2
There is no uncertainty in the SD, and it is not really the case that
"only one man is needed." There is only one speaking part for a
servant. However, Polonius is a wealthy individual of high status, and
he assuredly has more than one servant employed. What the SD means, is
that if the playing company can easily provide it, more than one
servant should appear attendant on Polonius, to signify his wealth and
status. If a second servant is not readily available (in proper
costume, etc.) Reynaldo alone is enough to play the scene. Polonius
would have a certain livery for his servants, so the company would need
two matching costumes, the second only for a non-speaking extra.

The notion of "uncertainty" by Shakespeare is oblivious, and unfair.
More sensibly, the author preferred two servants for Polonius, as a
display of his status, but recognized the reality that the company
might have personnel and proper outfitting for only Reynaldo, the
speaking part. A well-supported performance of Hamlet, then, will have
a second servant "extra" in this scene, (in proper costume,) which is
Shakespeare's option, so stated in the SD.

The misguided conceit, that keeps popping up in Shakespeare commentary,
that "Shakespeare made a mistake," or "Shakespeare was uncertain" needs
to be gotten rid of. It continually leads editors and commentators into
their own mistakes, and the Arden misinterpretation of this SD is a
good example. There is no uncertainty by the author. It's an option, to
better display the wealth and status of Polonius, if the playing
company can easily do it.

6 Look you, sir
It is not anxiety by Polonius, it is characterization by Shakespeare.
Polonius is habitually insistent that others pay attention, even if
they already are. It's the way he is. Observe in the play that he says
"mark" even to the King and Queen when they are already looking at him
and listening to him. He is not anxious here, he is being himself.
Telling others to "mark" or "look," even when they already are, is one
of his speech mannerisms. Polonius may, indeed, be viewed as an anxious
individual, but that is not specific to this line, and should be dealt
with in a section describing the personalities of the play characters.

8-9
It deserves comment that Polonius's lines have a humorous undertone, as
if Polonius is asking Reynaldo to "case" the Danes in Paris, with the
idea of Polonius robbing them. The word "means" refers to money, and
the immediately following phrase, "where they keep," makes it sound as
if he's asking where they keep their money. The undertone provides,
quite intentionally by Shakespeare, an image of old, slow Polonius as a
burglar in Paris.

11-12
The Arden note is wrong. Polonius is trying to tell Reynaldo that
encompassment will come nearer to finding the truth about Laertes than
specific questions about Laertes would. A rephrasing of the sentiment
would be: 'with encompassment you will come nearer the truth than you
would with particular questions.' Polonius expresses approximately the
same idea to Claudius, in a later scene, in the speech where he says,
"if circumstances lead me..."

19 Addicted
"Addicted" certainly has pejorative implications, as Polonius uses it.
Polonius is talking about the habitual misbehavior of his son, which he
suspects. He is using "addicted" in connection with thoughts of
misbehavior.

22 usual
Means "typical." Polonius takes it that youths will typically
misbehave.

24 youth and liberty
Means "youth at liberty," away from mature supervision. The Arden
editors have gotten carried away with identifying hendiadys, which
interferes with meaningful gloss. The Arden note is unintentionally
humorous: the parenthetical "hendiadys" following the phrase "young
men" makes it appear Arden believes that young men are more commonly
called hendiadys.

26 drabbing
The Arden note misses the point. Polonius's dismissiveness is deception
by him. What Polonius is really most concerned about is Laertes getting
involved in a sexual scandal in Paris involving some low-class woman.
It is important, for the flow of events in the play, that this point be
clear, because it leads directly to Polonius's instructions to Ophelia
about Hamlet. Polonius's thoughts about Hamlet, with Ophelia, are
tainted by his fears about Laertes and the women in Paris.

28 season
Means to make more palatable, so to speak, as in seasoning food.
Polonius is telling Reynaldo to phrase the accusation of drabbing so
that it will be "easier to swallow."

30 incontinency
Polonius's denial is a falsehood. Polonius's worry about Laertes being
incontinent is exactly his meaning, it's what he most wants Reynaldo to
find out about. He's most worried about a sexual scandal that would
hurt the family name, and that he'd have to pay for. We know this
because Polonius so expressly denies it, specifically. (And Edwards's
notion, that Arden for some unfathomable reason chooses to mention, is
insane, and does not belong in a respectable presentation of Hamlet, at
least not in company with the playtext.)

33-4
It is an irony, certainly intended by Shakespeare, that as Polonius is
trying to tell Reynaldo how to downplay Laertes's suspected faults, he
uses such high-flown, dramatic terms that they would be sure to draw
attention if Reynaldo used them. This is characterization of Polonius,
that he lacks perception of what is fitting, and that he is a poor
instructor.

35 Of general assault
"Assault" means temptation, an assault on morality. Polonius is
referring to temptations into evil which entice men in general.

38 fetch of wit
The phrase as it stands in Q2 is exactly the phrase from Shakespeare's
hand. We can be confident of that, because of the wonderful irony.
Polonius is saying to Reynaldo that he thinks he's come up with a
bright idea, that it's something fetched by his intelligence. It is not
a bright idea. It's such a stupid idea that it's going to get Reynaldo
killed. The reason Reynaldo is not seen again in the play is because
he's dead. The Folio error is a different subject. Perhaps the Folio
editor(s) simply liked "warrant," since it was wrongly substituted
twice in the Folio.

39 sallies
It is not the case that "either seems acceptable" in a text which is
supposed to be presenting Q2. That makes the Q2 word the only
acceptable word. As Arden themselves show, there is no reason to
question "sallies" since it has a good, intepretable meaning.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-09-07 11:22:59 UTC
Permalink
A2s1 line 50 to the end, then A2s2 to line 50.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

56 *o'ertook in's rouse
The Q2 wording and punctuation are correct, and Arden is wrong with
their changes. Particularly, by putting a comma after "gaming," a comma
which does not exist in Q2, they have lost the Q2 meaning. If a comma
is to be inserted, it should go after the first "There." Polonius
means, 'There, he was gaming there, or (he was) "taken" by drink...'
Likewise, a comma should be inserted after "There" in the next line,
for the modern eye.

61 we . . . reach
"Reach" does not mean comprehension, it is the idea of extending the
hand. Polonius is saying he can "reach" to Paris.

68
The correct meaning is 'don't misbehave in Paris the way he is.'
Polonius is assuming Laertes's misbehavior before he has heard
Reynaldo's report.

69 ply his music
Misinterpreted by Arden. Polonius means, 'have his fun (until I find
out about it.)' "Music" is figurative, used as a reference to enjoyable
activity.

71 SD1
Reynaldo's exit is placed in the original printing so that it will not
interrupt Polonius's speech. Thus, Reynaldo's exit is placed slightly
early. However, it is also consistent with Polonius's characterization
that he speaks to somebody who has left. That will happen again, later,
more significantly. The early exit by Reynaldo may be intentional here,
in anticipation of that later scene.

103, 108 I am sorry
Ophelia will find little solace that her father immediately tries to
blame her. Polonius starts to say he's sorry, stops, and abruptly
questions Ophelia. This is the bureaucrat in Polonius showing. If
something goes wrong, look for somebody else to blame. Polonius
instinctively thinks of perhaps being able to blame Ophelia. The point
is significant to Polonius's characterization.

107 That . . . mad
Arden errs in mentioning "antic dispostion" in relation to Hamlet's
behavior in question. There is no such thing. The historical
misunderstanding of "antic disposition," and the continual attempts by
some confused commentators to explain the whole play with that one
phrase, has badly hurt real understanding of Hamlet. The issue is too
much to go into here, but editors who want to present the play in an
understandable way, and who want to understand it themselves, are well
advised to ignore "antic disposition" completely, as it has no further
application to the play, after Hamlet originally says it, except to
keep Horatio in his seat at the 'Mousetrap,' a point which is not very
prominent. Hamlet says the phrase specifically to Horatio, and
Marcellus, and since Marcellus does not appear again, the phrase is
only pertinent to Horatio's point of view in subsequent events. Horatio
is the one who heard Hamlet say it.

Hamlet rushed to Ophelia's room because he had a nightmare about her.
"Bad dreams" is the relevant phrase.

109 *quoted
Q2 "coted" is correct. "Coted" refers to a kind of pass in the running
of greyhounds, when one dog gets ahead of another. Polonius is using
the term figuratively to mean "gotten ahead of" or "anticipated."
Polonius is regretting he did not anticipate Hamlet's reaction. In
addition to its easy interpretation, "coted" is verified by the
amusement of old, slow Polonius describing himself in terms of a
greyhound. That humor is Shakespeare's work. Further, "coted" accords
with Polonius later speaking of his brain hunting the trail of policy,
which is more dog imagery.

110 wrack
A note is absolutely required that "wrack" puns with "rack," the
torture device. Bad dreams.

112 cast beyond ourselves
Polonius means "fish" beyond himself. As he goes on to say, he is going
to "fish" to get the King involved. Polonius is going to "cast" to try
to catch Claudius, as we see him do in subsequent events, leading to
the Nunnery Scene. The phrase follows Polonius's mention of "bait" and
"carp" to Reynaldo. It is also advance allusion to Hamlet calling
Polonius a "fishmonger."

115-16 might . . . love
The line has a double meaning, with "hate" meaning both "hate" and
"have it." The explanation is too long to go into here. The word "hate"
appears four times in the play, and has the double meaning each time.

-----

0.2 *other Courtiers
The Queen's "some of you" that Arden mentions need not be addressed to
courtiers, but can be spoken to ordinary servants, and most likely is.
The Queen's remark does not necessarily imply more "courtiers" (persons
who attend the court, specifically,) rather it can imply the typical
servant extras who would be present in the background in many scenes.

"Courtiers" are persons who attend the royal court, specifically, as
the word implies. They are under royal orders while the monarch is
holding court, but are not servants in the general way. So, there will
be the courtiers, who are attendants at court, and then there will be
the usual servants who attend, not the court, but various high-ranking
persons, themselves.

Queen Gertrude should usually have one or two ladies in waiting nearby,
who are not "courtiers" but are her personal attendants, that a Queen
would naturally have. Likewise, it would be correct for King Claudius
to have one or two personal servants nearby, usually. Of course when
the dialogue indicates privacy, as in the Closet Scene or Prayer Scene,
the servants will not be there.

If one casts the play so that additional courtiers are indeed present,
which is reasonable enough, they need not be given an entrance,
however, since the parts are non-speaking. The additional courtiers
will walk on behind the speaking parts, and stand in the background.
Arden's notion that additional courtiers would somehow require an
entrance is a misunderstanding, both as to who the additional personnel
have to be, and the fact of them being present. The implication that
there might be some oversight in the Q2 stage direction is wrong
headed, and Arden's specification of courtiers is not necessarily
correct.

10 dream
The Folio word may be defended by anybody, but that doesn't make it
relevant to the Q2 text which Arden is allegedly attempting to present
in this volume. The Q2 word is Shakespeare's, since there is allusion
to actual dreams which are implicit in the play, and that would be the
work of the author.

12 sith
Means "because," as usual. Claudius means R & G should be helpful
because they've always been close to Hamlet, as far as he knows.

13 That
This "That" is a different "that." The "That" in line 11 means "in
that." Lines 11 and 12 are Claudius's explanation of why he is
entreating R & G. The "That" in line 13 begins his consequent request,
and is the start of a new utterance.

21 more adheres
There is no question raised about the role of Horatio. Horatio is a
university friend of Hamlet, who has become his best friend. R & G are
friends of Hamlet from his pre-university days. The difference is like
U.S. high school versus college, for a person's friends and
acquaintances. Gertrude best knows Hamlet's friends from his
pre-university days, since they were in the local area and she saw them
frequently (and heard him speak of them, as she says.) This is entirely
typical, and is not surprising in the least. What is surprising, and
disappointing, is that editors who have considerable university
experience would be befuddled by something they have personally seen
every day: college students with new friends (and the mothers of the
students not present to observe that.) Typical college social changes,
for the students, are no mystery, nor is it a mystery for the parents
to sometimes be surprised. Shakespeare obviously knew of the general
phenomenon of newer friends versus older friends. How could he not?

28 your dread pleasures
The Arden note is unhelpful. "Dread" is a reference to stereotype, that
a monarch is a powerful person, to be dreaded. It's an implication of
power, so "dread" can be equated to "powerful" to clarify the meaning,
for plain reading. The word "dread" has the undertone that R & G should
dread what they're getting into, as they agree to serve the monarch's
pleasure.

33-4
The name reversal is because Claudius got the names wrong. Gertrude,
Hamlet's mother, knows his childhood friends. Claudius, previously only
Hamlet's uncle, was not well acquainted with them.

36 some of you
The phrase does not necessarily mean "one of you." It should be glossed
"one or more of you."

39 SD
Again, the Arden specification of a courtier, in particular, is not
appropriate, since the attendants in question may not be courtiers, but
lesser servants, and indeed probably are lesser servants in this case,
since the task is menial.

45 and to
The right reading is the Q2 reading, if Arden's intent is genuine to
present Q2 in this volume. Also, any editors who are keen to
differentiate between the wordly and divine in Polonius's pledge are
misguided. Polonius's pledge is directly relevant to why Hamlet rushed
to Ophelia's room that morning. Bad dreams.

47 Hunts . . . policy
The analogy is to a dog's behavior. It follows Polonius's earlier use
of "fetch." Polonius likens his brain to his dog: it fetches and hunts,
for him. This is a detail of Polonius's characterization.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-09-12 17:49:17 UTC
Permalink
A2s2 line 50 to 150.

Relevant links.

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http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

61 Upon our first
Means the first diplomatic point, the first item to be negotiated. We
know this because the ambassadors are reporting the results of their
negotiations.

67 Falsely . . . hand
The Arden note shows no sign the editors had any idea what the phrase
means. The ambassadors mean old Norway bore his infirmities in hand so
well as to make it seem false he had them. He responded energetically,
in other words.

69 in fine
The term "fine" is being used with legal significance.

73 threescore thousand crowns
The number, as printed in Q2, is correct to the author's hand. Neither
Claudius nor the ambassadors recognize the number, but it is the annual
revenue of Elsinore Castle. Old Norway has promised Fortinbrasse the
annual income of Elsinore.

Old Norway and Fortinbrasse "Put On A Show" for the Danish ambassadors,
and they fell for it. Norway and Fortinbrasse have conspired in a ruse
to get Fortinbrasse's army into Denmark.

Claudius is so distracted by what Polonius said about Hamlet, he
doesn't observe that what the ambassadors are reporting is exactly
opposite to what he originally said he wanted, when he sent the
ambassadors on their mission.

In the course of misinterpreting this number, Arden misinterprets
another number. Hamlet's later "twenty thousand ducats" is merely
poetic, the same as his "forty thousand brothers" at the graveyard.
Hamlet's "twenty thousand ducats" only means "a lot of money," the same
as his "forty thousand brothers" means "a lot of brothers." The 60,000
crowns in this passage is not poetic, however, it is as stated. We know
that because, as the ambassadors make their report to Claudius, they
are reading the number from the diplomatic agreement in which it is
written down, as Arden observes for the Arden note 76, 80.

Also
73 fee
"Fee" is used with a particular meaning of income from land. Old Norway
has promised Fortinbrasse a large income from land. Neither the
ambassadors nor Claudius realize it's the land they're standing on.

74 commission
"Commission" does not have the bland meaning of "authorization." It is
reference to an officer's commission. Old Norway has commissioned
Fortinbrasse the commanding general of a Norwegian army. When
Fortinbrasse later sets foot on Danish soil, he'll do so as a
commanding general of the Army of Norway, so commissioned by King
Norway.

75 as before
It essentially means the agreement allows Fortinbrasse to keep the army
he already had. That army, as we recall, was raised specifically for
use against Denmark.

81-2 read . . . think
The order is indeed illogical, and that is no mistake by the author.
It's characterization of Claudius. Claudius is stating the literal
truth, that he'll sign the agreement before (and without) thinking
about it. Claudius is thinking only about Hamlet. This is significant
to Claudius not noticing the ruse.

3.1.150 is fairly comparable to this, in a way. In that later case,
Ophelia's "soldier's tongue" is advance allusion to Hamlet's indecent
speech at the 'Mousetrap' play, where he'll talk like a soldier on
leave at a saloon. The word order in Ophelia's speech is correct to
Shakespeare's intended allusions.

86 expostulate
Polonius is misusing the word. He has confused "expostulate" with the
idea of "postulate." As he begins his speech he's intending to present
his postulates. He's trying to say he takes "majesty" and "duty" for
granted.

93-4
Polonius's problem is his preference for sayings. He is trying to think
of a saying about madness, but he can't. It bothers him.

95
Observe that Gertrude speaks to Polonius in epigram form in an effort
to communicate with him. She knows him well, and his fondness for
sayings, so she speaks a saying at him.

98 figure
The word has a double meaning. It is also unintentional self-reference
by Polonius, a "foolish figure" as he babbles about madness. He's still
trying to think of a saying about madness, but he can't, so he then
says "farewell it" in his next line, and continues. He just can't think
of a saying about madness, and is forced to give up.

104 Thus . . . thus
"Remains" is high irony by Shakespeare. Polonius has spoken 19 lines,
so far, and what remains to be said, is his whole argument. He still
has not gotten to what he's really trying to say. In fact, he never
will.

104 Perpend
Should have been noted that it's a pompous word. The point is
significant to Polonius's characterization.

108-21
It would be idiotic to be "troubled by the literary quality" of the
letter. That is not at all the point of it.

109-10 that's . . . phrase
Polonius has misunderstood "beautified." He thinks it's "beatified" and
he is expressing religious indignation that Hamlet would call Ophelia a
saint of the church. He mistakenly thinks Hamlet was being heretical.
It is necessary to know the characterization of Polonius to understand
his statements, here or elsewhere.

110-11 thus . . . these
Arden's comment is a woeful misinterpretation, of no help at all to any
reader. Polonius is saying Ophelia had the letters in her clothing next
to her heart. Properly performed, when he says "thus" he will hold the
letters to his own chest. At "etc." he will lift the letters away from
his chest, as though giving them to somebody else. He is aping how he
claims Ophelia gave the letters to him, by removing them from her
clothing near her heart, and handing them to him.

113 I . . . faithful
The important point is that Polonius is not being faithful as he
refuses to answer Gertrude's question. He is being insolent to the
Queen. It's a rather touchy point that Polonius has effectively stolen
personal letters of the Prince of the nation, and he's defensive about
it, as well he should be.

125-26
A note is absolutely mandatory that Polonius has blown it with his
response to Claudius's question. This is very important to the flow of
events, since it is what leads to the Nunnery Scene.

130 perceived
Polonius is lying. He did not perceive "hot love," in what he goes on
to describe here. He thought at that time that Hamlet was only
interested in Ophelia for sex, and it wasn't love. He's lying here to
try to make himself look smarter to Claudius. It's characterization of
Polonius, the bureaucrat, lying to his boss, to try to make himself
look more perceptive than he really is.

133 played . . . table-book
Polonius means, if he had only noted what he observed, and done nothing
in particular about it.

134
Means: "given my heart the job of being mute and dumb." This is, again,
characterization of Polonius. He is the epitome of the unromantic, who
considers the emotions of the heart to be a job the heart does, and
that the heart can even be ordered to do a certain emotional "job."
He's referring to giving his heart the job of feeling certain emotions,
or ignoring them.

136 round
Means "directly," an ironic usage.

140 *his resort
A bad blunder by Arden. The original Q2 "her" is correct: "lock herself
from her resort." Polonius is, unintentionally, revealing why Ophelia
is not there. He has left her locked in her room, to prevent her resort
to Hamlet, to tell Hamlet that Polonius has taken Hamlet's love
letters. We know "her resort" is correct, to an absolute certainty,
just as Q2 shows, because of the allusion. As Polonius speaks, he is
referring to her resort, to Hamlet. The Folio is wrong, and Arden is
wrong to follow the Folio, and especially so when Arden is allegedly
attempting to present Q2.

It is a pity that Arden did not have the courage of their convictions,
and did not follow through on their attempt to present Q2. Had they
been faithful to their goal, it would have saved them many mistakes.

149 very like
It still means "very likely," as earlier, but Gertrude is saying it
with a skeptical tone.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-09-19 01:12:25 UTC
Permalink
A2s2 line 150 to 211.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

156 the centre
Polonius is talking about Hamlet's heart, the center of his love.
Polonius's point is his attempt to prove Hamlet's love for his
daughter. The center of the earth has nothing to do with anything. The
Q1 sentiment does not carry over to other editions, and does not make
for a proper gloss in other editions. The reason for the Q1 wording is
a different issue.

160 arras
Regarding the amount of space behind the arras, the Elizabethan stage
did not use enclosed sets. In other words, the stage was not set up as
a room. There were no partition walls. The amount of space behind the
arras, on stage, was the entire part of the stage in that area. Thus,
the amount of space behind the arras was not a practical consideration
for stage performance, as long as they didn't crowd the actors offstage
with the arras positioning. The use of enclosed sets, to mimic rooms,
was imported later from Europe. For stage performance of Hamlet the
amount of room space available behind the arras was a non-issue. One
can surmise that arrases were supported on wooden stands, or frames, on
stage, and placed to indicate the locations of the room walls, had they
been there.

164.1
Arden blunders in mentioning "antic dispositon." There is no such thing
in the scene. Editors really do need to get over that simple minded
approach, if they want to understand the play and present it in an
understandable way. As mentioned earlier, "antic disposition" is
specific to Horatio's point of view.

165 wretch
Rather than a term of endearment, it's a term of pity. Gertrude regrets
that things have turned out so for Hamlet (but she doesn't worry too
much about it, since she thinks it's only a temporary situation.)

165 reading
The point needs mention that Hamlet may be using the book only as a
prop (just as Ophelia will use a book later.) He may have the book to
provide an innocent-looking "cover" as he strolls in to see what's
going on. This does not imply he has overheard any of the earlier
conversation.

167 board
The concept of Polonius "boarding" Hamlet anticipates Hamlet's pirate
encounter, and provides an amusing image of old Polonius as a
buccaneer.

167.1 SD [Exeunt King and Queen]
As discussed just below, Arden has placed the SD wrong. It is correct
exactly as in Q2. A note is further required as to the spectacle on
stage, for this event. The room is the Throne Room. The theater
audience is being treated to the sight of the King and Queen fleeing
their own Throne Room, simply because Hamlet happened to walk in with a
book in his hand. It's like, say, the President of the U.S. suddenly
jumping up and rushing out of his Oval Office just because some fellow
walked in carrying a book. Properly understood, it's an amazing sight,
as Claudius and Gertrude flee their own Throne Room.

167 give me leave
Arden has, unfortunately, placed the stage direction incorrectly again,
and by doing so has lost an essential element of Polonius's behavior.
The SD belongs before Polonius's request for "leave," exactly as the
original printing of Q2 shows. Arden's failure to carry through on
their stated goal, of presenting Q2, has again deprived their readers
of some meaning in the play. Here is the required sequence:

Polonius beseeches the King and Queen to leave. They do so. He comments
on "boarding" Hamlet to their backs as they depart. Polonius then
realizes he may have been improperly insistent to the royalty, so it
could be seen as disrespectful. He then says "give me leave" in the
direction of the door, in an attempt to be more polite, but the King
and Queen are already gone. So, Hamlet sees Polonius saying "give me
leave" to nobody. There's nobody there. To Hamlet it looks crazy, as
old Polonius asks leave of nobody. Since Polonius already thinks Hamlet
is mad, and now Hamlet sees Polonius talking to nobody, their
conversation begins with both of them thinking the other is crazy.
Proper placement of the SD is necessary for this point; the exit of the
King and Queen must occur before Polonius asks for leave.

This concept, of Polonius looking crazy when he seems to be talking to
nobody, anticipates the Closet Scene, when Hamlet looks crazy to
Gertrude, who can't see the Ghost, and thinks he's talking to nobody.

169 God-a-mercy
Arden is wrong. This is not a "polite response." It is Hamlet's
facetious reaction that although he has just seen Polonius talking to
nobody, at least Polonius can still see a real person to speak to him.
Hamlet is basically saying, 'well my goodness, you can talk to a real
person, too!'

171 fishmonger
It is not a "comic mistake" and Hamlet is not "feigning madness."
Arden's attempt at intepretation is incompetent. There is no "antic
dispostion" here. Editors need to get over trying to explain the whole
play with that phrase, it makes them look stupid.

Hamlet has seen Claudius and Gertrude leave, and then Polonius approach
him. He easily guesses that Polonius is "fishing" for something to tell
Claudius (and he's right.) "Fishmonger" is further a reference to
Polonius's body odor problem as Polonius stands close to Hamlet, closer
than Hamlet would prefer. The "fishmonger" remark is a comic insult by
Hamlet, and certainly not any kind of "mistake" by him. It is fully
intentional by Hamlet.

173 honest
The word requires gloss, it is being used in the sense of "honorable."

178-9
It would be a mistake in performance to have Hamlet appear to read the
words. He might be tapping the book, but he's speaking directly to
Polonius.

179 good kissing carrion
Arden's attempt at equivalent phrasing is repulsively foolish.
Following his nightmare, Hamlet is expressing his worry that his kiss
of Ophelia may lead to her death. He is concerned that Ophelia's only
"conception" may be maggots, because of her association with him, as he
plots to kill Claudius. "Sun" is a pun, and Hamlet is making an
analogy. That's the primary meaning for Hamlet, as he says it, but
further undertones and allusions are present. The phrasing requires
rather extensive discussion, too much for these brief comments.

181 i'th' sun
Foolishness by Arden. Arden obviously has no idea what the passage
means. Hamlet is hinting to Polonius that he shouldn't let Ophelia walk
"in the sun"/"with the son," the "son" being himself. Hamlet is using
the wordplay to try to tell Polonius to help keep Ophelia away from
him, lest she die. Hamlet can't tell Polonius that directly, because it
would immediately lead to the question of 'why,' of course, and Hamlet
is certainly not going to tell Polonius that he's thinking about
killing Claudius.

There is a fantastic irony here, and an intricate one. Earlier, Hamlet
wished to be with Ophelia, but Polonius ordered her to avoid him.
Hamlet doesn't know her avoidance of him was Polonius's orders. Hamlet
is now telling Polonius to do essentially what he did earlier, that
Hamlet doesn't know about, to keep Ophelia away from him. But Polonius
now wants to bring Hamlet and Ophelia together. Hamlet is hinting to
Polonius he was right the first time, and neither of them knows it.

182 but as
It is odd to call Hamlet's thought "uncompleted." There is nothing
wrong with the utterance as printed in Q2. The Folio wording is
obviously wrong.

184 How . . . that?
It is not "in effect," it is an outright aside.

187 much extremity
The Arden gloss is unhelpful. Polonius is referring to the "extreme"
(unusual and excessive) behavior occasioned by love.

190-2
A note is needed in anticipation of the Nunnery Scene. Polonius is
asking Hamlet what he's reading. This is why Polonius will later give
Ophelia a book. Polonius will have the idea that Hamlet will approach
Ophelia and ask her what she's reading, just as Polonius has asked
Hamlet here.

For Hamlet's meaning, Arden's "quarrel" is too leading. Hamlet's
"matter" is better taken simply as "trouble."

199-201 For . . . backward
More emphasis is needed on Hamlet's facetious interchange of the ideas
of young and old, as Polonius hears it. This is what will lead Polonius
to look at R & G when Hamlet says "old fools." Polonius gets the idea
that Hamlet, in his "madness," thinks that young people are old, so he
will take the "old fools" that Hamlet means to be R & G, who are young
men.

The idea will get further application when Hamlet speaks to his "old
friend" actor, who is actually the lad, as Polonius stands nearby.
Hamlet will say "old friend" there to tease Polonius, when the actor
he's speaking to is really the lad. (This is always played wrong, and
needs to be corrected, not only for a correct presentation of that
later conversation, but also because it's a powerful aide in
identifying the "12 or 16 lines." The lad plays the Queen at the
'Mousetrap.') The point here being, Hamlet's young-old reversal needs
emphasis since it has significant further application in the play, and
proper notation will point that out.

202-3 Though . . . in't
Hamlet is not pretending to be mad. Editors need to get over that.
Hamlet is speaking obscurely because he cannot give Polonius direct
answers to what Polonius is "fishing" for. Hamlet is diverting Polonius
because he most definitely cannot tell Polonius that he's thinking
about killing Claudius. It is fully rational behavior by Hamlet.

203, 205 out . . . air
This room is not the Lobby, it is the Throne Room. Arden has
misidentified the room. The ambassadors were waiting in the Lobby,
until Polonius summoned them to this, the Throne Room, to report to
Claudius. Hamlet has strolled into this Throne Room from the Lobby. As
to the air, Polonius has the conventional notion that a person who is
not well should be confined in a warm, closed room. The Throne Room is
large and drafty. The "air" idea must not be taken too literally, since
it is, of course, a setup for Hamlet's reply. Presuming the scene to be
outdoors would be too literal, by far. There is additionally the point
of Polonius appearing "mad" to Hamlet, with Polonius's line that could
be taken as reference to outdoors following on that.

206 pregnant
It means "productive," of meaning.

207 *sanity
Arden is wrong. Q2 "sanctity" is correct. Polonius takes it that
rationality is a sanctified state, since reason is God's gift to man to
distinguish him from beasts. Irrationality is therefore unholiness, a
fall from God's grace. Polonius's "reason and sanctity" refers to
reason and rationality. Hamlet has already, in the play, expressly
distinguished man from beast by citing reason.

Further, Arden fails to note the "madness" of Polonius's speech.
Polonius says, essentially, that madness is more likely to produce
sensible statements than rationality is. It's a mad thing for Polonius
to say. Only a mad person would say that madness is more rational than
rationality. This is characterization of Polonius as a babbler.

208-9 I . . . daughter
The Q2 printing has not omitted any words, and Shakespeare has not made
any mistake or oversight. What is happening here, is that Polonius is
ending the conversation the same way he began it. As Polonius began, he
appeared to be asking leave of nobody. As he ends, he refers to Ophelia
as if she's there when she isn't. Polonius means he will leave Hamlet
to his thoughts of Ophelia, but mistakenly expresses it as if he thinks
Ophelia is there, when she isn't. Thus, at both the beginning and the
end of the conversation, Polonius is seen "madly" talking to, and
referring to, people who aren't there. The intent is to make the
audience look at Polonius as if he is the mad one, seeing people who
aren't there. This is fully intentional by the author, the Q2 wording
is correct, and the change of wording by the Folio editors(s) is a
blunder which ruins the "madness" of Polonius that Shakespeare was
presenting.

210-11 cannot . . . not
Q2 is correct. Nothing more really needs to be said. The reader will
benefit from a rephrasing, however. The negatives cancel, and Hamlet
means he is allowing Polonius to take his leave, or anything else
Hamlet would even more willingly part with. In other words, Hamlet is
very willing for Polonius to take his leave. In other words, good
riddance. The Folio change is wrong; it makes Hamlet's reference to his
life unworkable.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-09-19 16:57:36 UTC
Permalink
A2s2 line 211 to 250.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

214.1 SD [Enter Guildenstern and Rosencrantz]
Arden has placed the SD wrong, again! Good heavens. It's a disgrace.
The play absolutely requires that R & G enter before Hamlet's "old
fools" line, just exactly as Q2 shows. Polonius remembers Hamlet's
reversal of young and old, so when Hamlet says "old fools" Polonius
thinks he means R & G, and he speaks to them. The SD must be correctly
placed for this to occur. R & G must be present onstage when Hamlet
says "old fools," for Polonius to display his misunderstanding. Hamlet
does not pretend to read the line from the book (he simply says it to
Polonius's back,) and Polonius does not look back at Hamlet. Polonius
looks only at R & G, speaks to them, and continues out, on his way to
report to Claudius. Hamlet notices Polonius speaking to R & G after he
said "old fools," is amused by it, and uses the "old" idea to tease
Polonius later when he talks to the young actor, the lad, about the 12
or 16 lines.

215 seek . . . Hamlet?
Arden has blundered in making the line a question. It is not a question
in Q2, and is not intended to be. Polonius is making a declaration.
Polonius is sure that Hamlet has "madly" confused young and old, so he
takes it as fact that when Hamlet said "old fools" he meant R & G, and
they must be the fools Hamlet meant, so they must be seeking him. It is
not a question to Polonius.

219 *excellent
Arden is wrong. Q2 "extent" is correct. The usage is quasi-legal, and
"extent" can be read as "valued." Hamlet is saying he values their
friendship.

223 ever happy
Understanding of this requires discerning that R & G see the Prince as
somebody who is "always happy." G is comparing their own state to what
he presumes about Hamlet. He thinks Hamlet, being the Prince, is always
happy. There is some jealousy in G's remark. The Q2 wording is
certainly correct, and the Folio is wrong.

224 *Fortune's cap
Q2 is correct, the Folio is in error, and Arden is wrong to follow the
Folio. Arden has made another mistake by failing to follow the Q2 text
which they are allegedly attempting to present. G means as follows.
~~~~~
(We are) Happy, in that (although) we are not always happy (as the
coddled children)
On Fortune's lap (like you,) neither are we the very button,
(the least important thing to Fortune.)
~~~~~

G is using "button" to mean "least thing," a trivial thing. His
reference to "Fortune's lap" means being a coddled child of Dame
Fortune, that Fortune holds on her lap. There is no meaning of a button
on a cap. The Folio is wrong. The physical extremes of "cap" and "shoe"
do not, in fact, establish the F reading, and Arden ought to have
observed the Q2 punctuation. Dame Fortune does not wear her coddled
children on her head, she holds them on her lap.

G is hinting to Hamlet that, although they are not the coddled children
of Fortune, like the Prince, neither are they the least thing to
Fortune. In other words, R & G have come into a good thing, G thinks.

Hamlet's "sole of her shoe" line is then his response reflecting his
own feelings. Hamlet feels that Fortune is trying to tread him
underfoot. Hamlet has caught the hint from G, and he inquires if they
have had some middling luck, using the figurative idea of them being at
Fortune's waist. G then makes the sexually suggestive joke about
"privates." This is assurance that Q2 "lap" is correct. The flow of the
dialogue is that "lap" leads to "waist" and then to "privates." Q2
"lap" is necessary to the flow of the dialogue. It's what leads to G's
"privates" remark. The Folio editor(s) did not understand, had no
living author to guide them, and did not spend enough time on the
passage to observe the flow of the dialogue. It is also conceivable
they were misled by a certain picture.

229 privates
In addition to the sex joke, it's a hint that R & G are engaged in
something private, i.e. they have a secret. G is quite pleased the King
has summoned them, and he can't help hinting.

231 strumpet
Hamlet is talking about how Dame Fortune used to favor him, but no
longer does. He is also making reference to Gertrude's behavior in
marrying Claudius. He has not insinuated anything against R & G yet.
Arden got ahead of themselves in their attempt to intepret. When Hamlet
proceeds to ask "What news?" he's expecting to be told what's going on,
since G has hinted at something. It's when R then tries to tell him
that nothing is going on, despite G's hints, that Hamlet becomes
suspicious. His suspicion begins to show after R says "None." If
there's nothing going on, what is G hinting at?

234-5 but . . . true
The Folio "Prison Passage" is authorial, and mandatory in the play,
since it contains Hamlet's mention of "bad dreams." The crude political
cut, for Anne's sake, was not done by the author. He would not so
easily have discarded his own fine allusions that he must have worked
carefully on.

235 beaten way
Carries the undertone of "defeated way," meaning that the friendship is
being defeated. G has hinted at something R & G are involved in, but R
is denying that anything is going on, and Hamlet is saying that, in
consequence, his friendship with them is being defeated. He won't think
they're his friends if they only play games, and aren't honest with
him.

238 ever
Q2 is right, of course. Hamlet is exaggerating. There is also possibly
some satire going on, of an aristocrat whose name may not be mentioned
in connection with the Shakespeare writings, lest the earth fall into
the sun.

244 Anything . . . th'purpose
A modern equivalent would be: 'Anything but what I asked you,
apparently.'

246 colour
It does mean disguise, or camouflage, but also, as Hamlet presses R &
G, they blush. Further, it anticipates Hamlet's mention of the
chameleon at the 'Mousetrap' play.

249 conjure
Means "summon" (the truth from you.) Hamlet's following remarks are his
"incantations" to try to summon the truth from R & G.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-09-23 05:36:10 UTC
Permalink
A2s2 line 250 to 300

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

255
The line is certainly not addressed to Hamlet; such a suggestion is
foolish. R has turned to G, and is asking him what they should tell
Hamlet.

256 Nay . . . you
[and also] 256 of
Arden is wrong. "Of" does not mean "on," it means "from." Hamlet is
telling R that since he's the one talking to R, R needs to look at him,
not at G. Hamlet is saying, 'look at me, not at him.' This is important
to understand not only for its own sake, but also in anticipation of
the later conversation of Hamlet with R & G after the 'Mousetrap,'
where R will be baffled by Hamlet's behavior when Hamlet doesn't look
at him. Here, Hamlet's remark is facetious. He is saying to R, 'since
I'm the one talking to you, could I have at least one eye from you, in
my direction?' (as though R could point his eyes in different
directions, like a chameleon.) Also, it would be moronic to mark
Hamlet's line as an aside when he is patently talking to R.

258
It is important to note that G is the one who tells Hamlet the truth.
Hamlet remembers this, and it's pertinent to why Hamlet draws G in
particular aside for the "recorder lesson" after the 'Mousetrap.'
Hamlet will be trying to return the favor by giving G, in particular, a
warning. G's admission is significant to the flow of events.

261 moult no feather
The Arden gloss is right in a way, but inadequate. Birds moult to grow
wing feathers so they can fly. Hamlet means so their secret will not
grow wing feathers and fly away like a bird, to be lost. It's the
"bird" idea of a secret spreading, as in the common saying, "a little
bird told me." Hamlet will use the "bird" idea of a secret again, in
the Closet Scene, when he mentions to Gertrude the birds in the basket.

263 custom of exercises
Means "habitual exercises," the activities Hamlet was accustomed to do.
It does not contradict what Hamlet says later. A diligent editor will
keep in mind that things change as the play proceeds. There's no
reference to religious activity in particular, although it can easily
be taken that religious observance is different at Elsinore from what
it was at the university in Wittenberg.

264 frame
One might conceivably take it as some reference to the Globe, unless
the play is being performed at Blackfriars, in which case one would be
badly out of luck with the idea of the Globe.

265 sterile promontory
Kronborg Castle, on which Elsinore is based, is on a promontory. Hamlet
is casting Elsinore as a sterile place.

266 look you
It is not an "intensive expression," it is an actual instruction to R &
G. Hamlet is telling them to look at the sky, and pointing. They will
look. This anticipates the "Cloud Talk" passage with Polonius after the
'Mousetrap' play, when Hamlet will point Polonius to the shapes of the
clouds.

269 What . . . work
The line is a rhetorical question. Hamlet is asking whether man is a
masterpiece, or some other piece of work. It means, 'what piece of
work, in particular, is a man?' The Q2 phrasing is correct. In modern
printing it needs a question mark, but Elizabethan practices did not
call for one.

271 express
Means "expressive." Anticipates the imminent arrival of the Players.
The author simply chopped "expressive" short, as he was occasionally
inclined to do with words. "Action" implies action in performance.
Arden has mispunctuated, Q2 should have been followed more carefully.
The correct line is: "in form and moving, how express(ive) and
admirable in action;..." That line should not have an internal
semicolon. (Nor should a semicolon be used after "apprehension.")

274 quintessence of dust
It is not oxymoronic, it is figurative. Hamlet is following on his
god-angel depiction of man, which he has just stated, and in the
Christian view a man who becomes an angel is indeed a quintessence of
dust, since man was originally raised from the dust by God. It is
extenuation, not contradiction, the idea of a man being eventually
raised to a "heavenly body" by God. The concept was fairly common, and
was used by Jonson in his Folio poem when he wrote of Shakespeare
becoming a heavenly constellation.

279-80 Why . . . me
It's arguable whether this really needs a note, but Hamlet's line can
be read as a sly joke about rumors of homosexuality of whoever Hamlet
is based on. "Why did you laugh when I said man does not delight me?"
The joke would be, 'because that ain't what I heard.' This is not to
imply the joke has any significance for the play events. It does not.
At most, it would be only a small quip by the author, in faint
undertone.

282 lenten
Better equated to "cheerless."

282 players
No such assumption exists within the conversation, itself, but is an
editorial imposition. Shakespeare knew his play was set in Denmark, and
there is no indication within the play that he ever forgot that.

283 coted
A note is needed that R & G use "dog" terminology in reference to
themselves, as Polonius did, for himself, earlier. It's a hint that
Claudius has put R & G on track to replace Polonius, which is
significant as the play proceeds. Polonius's striving to outdo the
bureaucratic competition will lead to his death, and Hamlet's earlier
"dead dog" remark suddenly connects to Polonius, and to R & G as well.
It is not healthy, in Hamlet, to be the King's "dog." Thus, the use of
"coted" here, after Polonius used it earlier, is notable. R & G, and
Polonius, will be three "dead dogs," all with the maggots "bred" in
them by the "son."

285 The . . . King
When Hamlet says "King" he implies his father. He's using analogy.
Shakespeare used Hamlet's speech for allusion to play events. Hamlet is
not just talking about the Players, but is (unknowingly) predicting the
future.

286 tribute
Hamlet is alluding to the tribute he intends to his father, which his
intent to kill Claudius is, and which the 'Mousetrap' will become. He
doesn't know the exact future events as he says it.

287 foil and target
Allusion to the fencing match.

288 gratis
The "Lover" is Hamlet, who sighs for Ophelia, and hopes it isn't for
nothing.

288-9 the Humorous . . . peace
The "humorous" man is Hamlet, whose humor is melancholy, and his "part"
is to kill Claudius. He hopes to get that done "in peace." He will: the
"peace" of the grave.

For a full presentation of the play, the line about the Clown should be
included. In that Folio line, "sere" means "dry," or "dryness." It's a
reference to "dry" humor. The Clown will make those laugh whose lungs
are tickled by dry humor. The "dry" idea plays somewhat on the mention
of water in the Gravedigger Scene. The reason why the Clown was left
unmentioned here in Q2 is perhaps unknowable. The indication is quite
strong of it being authorial, however.

290 *blank . . . it
Q2 is correct, and Arden should have been faithful to their goal.
"Black" means "grievous" or "mournful." Hamlet means if the Lady cannot
speak freely, it will be mournful verse, and should stop. There is
great irony that Hamlet, himself, in both the Nunnery and Closet
Scenes, will prevent "the Lady" from speaking freely (Ophelia and
Gertrude, respectively,) as he lectures and berates them both in those
later scenes. "Black" obviously suggests "blank," but that's only
wordplay, and the Q2 word "black" is correct, as advance allusion to
Hamlet's "grievous" behavior toward the ladies.

295-6 their . . . innovation
The "innovation" is the change of government with the death of Hamlet
Sr and the succession of Claudius. The meaning for the play is quite
significant, as the "innovation" is mentioned by R. It's as close as R
& G ever get to mentioning the death of Hamlet's father to him, as he
stands there in front of them in his mourning black. They are being
horribly rude to him, by not sympathizing with him, and good friends
would never be so oblivious. This is the first time they've seen Hamlet
since his father died, and they can't possibly not know of the fact.
Their inconsiderateness confirms to Hamlet, more than words could say,
that they are no longer his friends.

A reasonable surmise, about the Players traveling, is that they were
sponsored by King Hamlet, but the sponsorship ended with his death, and
Claudius has not renewed it. As we've seen, Claudius's preferred
entertainment is a rouse. The Players are coming to Elsinore to see if
Hamlet can sponsor them. We know that because R said so, explicitly:
"hither are they coming to offer you service." It reasonably follows
that they have recently lost previous sponsorship. The Players may be
disappointed, since Hamlet's a "beggar."

298 the city
The city is Copenhagen, of course. Far from making sense, the idea of
London is brain-dead stupid. Shakespeare knew London is in England, not
Denmark, and so does everybody who is both conscious and the least bit
educated. As background, one could discuss events affecting actors in
London, which the author would reasonably have known about, and could
have used for inspiration, but to take it that "the city" in Denmark,
in the play, is somehow London, is just plain stupid. Good heavens.

299
The "Child Actors" passage was perhaps omitted because of an historical
incident that reflected poorly on a company sponsored by Queen Anne.
The company was the Children of the Chapel, which became the Children
of Queen Anne's Revels. In 1600, a boy was allegedly kidnapped, while
on his way to school, to become part of the acting company. The boy's
father had political connections, and a Star Chamber inquiry resulted,
which raised serious questions about the conduct of the business. It
may not have been politic in 1604 to remind anybody of that incident,
so a cut in Q2 might have resulted. This can only be speculative,
unfortunately, but such an incident involving a company sponsored by
the Queen could generate a lot of "heat." In any event, the Hamlet
passage in question is authorial, although it's clear the Folio
editor(s) changed the wording, at least slightly.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-09-26 15:21:51 UTC
Permalink
A2s2 line 300 to 400

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

303 picture in little
It's reasonable for Hamlet to indicate miniature pictures of Claudius
that R & G may be wearing, which Claudius may have given them. However,
the notion of using miniatures in the Closet Scene is ignorant and
preposterous, no matter how often it's been done.

307-8 Your hands
Arden misunderstands Hamlet's behavior. It is not a reaffirmation of
greeting. He is actually shaking hands farewell to R & G as the Players
arrive. Having learned that R & G are no longer his friends, he'd much
rather talk to the Players. What Hamlet says in his speech is exactly
correct to his intentions: he wants to give R & G no complaint, in his
politeness toward them, that they can then repeat to Claudius. He now
knows they'll report to Claudius. He intends his gesture to deceive
Claudius, and Gertrude, that R & G are still his friends. Otherwise,
Claudius would hire somebody else, and Hamlet would just have to put up
with somebody else, instead. It would be no benefit to Hamlet if R & G
are able to report the truth of his feelings about them to Claudius, so
Hamlet gives them a show of enthusiastic politeness.

315 I . . . north-north-west
The line is adapted from Chaucer. Shakespeare changed the idea from
Chaucer's "wisely" to "madly."

316 hawk from a handsaw
A "handsaw" is a bad actor, who saws the air too much with his hands,
as Hamlet will caution the Players not to do, before the 'Mousetrap.'
An actor who moves his hands mechanically looks like a puppet, not
real. Hamlet is calling R & G "handsaws," saying they are not good
actors, they have not fooled him. Handsaw = bad actor.

"Hawk" is a reference to good actors. When he greets the Players,
shortly, Hamlet will speak of "falconers." He means a good actor can
"fly" at his role, looking as natural as a hawk on the wing. Hawk =
good actor.

The comparison is Hamlet saying to R & G that the Players who have just
arrived are good actors, while they are not. This is, of course, on the
"Putting On A Show" theme that runs through the play. There is
considerably more meaning to be found in the line, too much for this
comment.

318-19 at . . . hearer
Hamlet is indeed bringing R & G close to him. This is for Polonius to
see. Hamlet has observed Polonius's approach, knows how snoopy Polonius
is, and is teasing Polonius with the idea that he's whispering secrets
to R & G (that he didn't tell Polonius earlier, in the "fishmonger"
dialogue.) Polonius will wonder and worry what Hamlet is whispering to
R & G that he didn't tell Polonius. The dark secret here, that will
worry Polonius, is: Polonius is a big baby.

321 Happily
There is no "perhaps" about the normal progression of aging. R means
it's a happy event that Polonius has lived long enough to enter his
second childhood. In those days, relatively few lived so long.

332
There is no reason to think it a line from a ballad, although Hamlet
should recite the line in a way to suggest quotation, to deceive
Polonius about the insult it is.

334-5 pastoral . . . pastoral
Polonius has taken Hamlet's "buzz" as really meaning Hamlet doesn't
believe the Players have arrived, so Polonius is trying to "sell"
Hamlet on the Players, by reciting a list of what they can do, as proof
that they're really there.

335-6 scene . . . unlimited
"Individable" means "that can't be distributed" (into categories.) The
root meaning of "divide" includes "distribute." "Unlimited" means
unbounded by category.

337 for . . . liberty
It's possible the original printing of Q2 contains punctuation error.
Considering the character of Polonius, it is also possible he is
running things together. For interpretation, it can be taken that "law
of writ" has some background reference to the ordinances of the city of
London, which restricted Player performances, and "liberty" refers to
the suburbs outside the London sheriff's jurisdiction, where Players
were more free. The usage, then, is figurative, meaning either "in the
city" or "outside it." This is exactly the point for the play, that the
Players were previously in the city, and are now outside the city, as
they have traveled to Elsinore. So, Polonius can be understood as
saying that the Players are the best, either in the city, or elsewhere.

339 Jephthah
Hamlet is telling Polonius he's "preaching to the choir" in praising
the Players, thus the Bible reference. Bible = preaching = preaching to
the choir, is the figure. Hamlet mentions Jephthah specifically because
of his "bad dreams." As Arden observes, Jephthah sacrificed his virgin
daughter as a "burnt offering" to his Lord. Polonius's "Lord" is
Claudius.

357 first . . . chanson
Hamlet refers Polonius to a popular song about Jephthah since he has a
low opinion of Polonius as a reader, and can't see Polonius learning
anything by trying to be a Bible scholar. Hamlet means Polonius should
start at the first line of the song, and learn it all. Jenkins was
quite right about the "cautionary tale," and Arden should have paid
attention, and dumped the trash about bridges, rather than inflicting
it on the reader. A reader who sees the bridges mention in company with
the text runs the danger of taking it far more seriously than such crap
deserves.

358 my abridgement
Arden is right with the meanings, but not with "either way." Hamlet
means both things at the same time. It is an intentional double meaning
by Shakespeare, one of many in the play.

360 thee
The First Player is the bearded one, of course. We know this because
Hamlet Sr had a beard, and the First Player will play the King at the
'Mousetrap.' This also establishes the First Player as an older fellow.
It's odd Arden would raise any question about it, and their doubt can
only be ascribed to lack of reasonable perception of the play. One
could idly imagine a youth with a beard playing King Hamlet, at the
'Mousetrap,' but that's obviously unnecessary with Hamlet speaking to
his "old friend" about his beard. The old friend, with the beard, drops
right into place to play the King at the 'Mousetrap.' And we know with
certainty this is not a children's company. Arden's expressed doubt is
just odd.

363 *By'r Lady
Arden was wrong to change the phrase. It's wordplay, meaning both "by
lady" and "by laddy," at the same time, as Hamlet speaks to the lad.
It's impossible to convey the double meaning with spelling alone, so
the original should be left, and then noted.

367 *French falconers
Arden is wrong. Q2 is correct, and is remarkably easy to interpret.
"Friendly" means gregarious, indiscriminate, making "friends" with
anything. That is exactly what Hamlet says, that they'll be "friendly"
in flying at anything they see. If "French" were the word, one would be
forced to gloss it as "promiscuous." Well. One would have it that the
French will "fly at anything," which is not a kind thing to say in the
interest of good international relations. The error is in the Folio.

367 fly
Arden has gotten ahead of themselves again. Hamlet's specific choice
occurs as he continues to talk and think, in his speech beginning at
L371, not here. As Hamlet speaks here he has not yet chosen anything
specific. A diligent editor will observe that the dialogue progresses.

369 quality
There's more to it than Arden says. "Quality" was a word used for
persons of high status. Actors gained "quality" by being the servants
of an aristocrat or nobleman (which was required by law in England at
that time.) When Hamlet calls for "quality" here it implies the Player
proving he's worthy of royal sponsorship. Hamlet is not just talking
about the actor's ability, it's in the nature of an audition. Recall R
saying the Players were there to offer Hamlet service.

374-5 caviare . . . general
Arden should have respected the original spelling. The word is
"caviary," which is the adjective form of caviare. Hamlet is using the
adjective, meaning the play referred to was "like caviare." The
adjective does, indeed, have four syllables.

376 cried . . . mine
"Cried" means "sang." Hamlet is saying the voices of the others "sang
in harmony" with his voice. The figure is that Hamlet sang baritone,
and the others sang tenor in harmony, all in praise of the play. "Cried
in the top" = sang in the higher voice range.

377 well digested . . . scenes
A note should have been provided about the "food" or "feast" metaphor
that runs through the speech, and later on into the 'Mousetrap' play.
The reference to caviar is on the same motif, of course, as is the
phrase "set down," as in food being served at a table.

379-80 sallets . . . savoury
Hamlet means that one person complained the play was too "meaty,"
without "salad" to lighten it and make it more "tasty." Understanding
of the "feast" motif is required here.

380-1 no . . . affection
At the word "affection" Hamlet begins an undertone of allusion to
Ophelia. When he thinks of "affection" he thinks of her. Thus the
particular phasing; it has a double meaning. The immediate meaning,
here, is that the other person who commented on the play didn't think
the author loved his work in writing the play. The person didn't
"indict" the author of affection (love) for his subject. Apparently the
person thought that if the author loved his work it would have been
lighter, with more "salad," and not so "meaty."

381 honest method
There is the undertone of Hamlet asking Ophelia if she is honest, in
the Nunnery Scene. At this time, he considers Ophelia honest
(honorable.) Immediately, Hamlet means the other person found the style
or approach honorable, in the play.

So, Hamlet has introduced an undertone about Ophelia, even when she has
nothing to do with his subject. In addition to the authorial allusions,
this is a mark that Hamlet loves Ophelia. His undertone is irrelevant
here, but he can't help thinking about her.

382 as wholesome as sweet
Immediately, it's on the "food" or "feast" motif being used to describe
the play. In undertone, it expresses that Hamlet views Ophelia as
wholesome and sweet.

382-3 more . . . fine
Means naturally good, not artificially made up to be showy. The play
performance was "natural." The undertone is of Hamlet saying Ophelia is
naturally handsome, without being made up to be showy. Hamlet then
concludes his undertone of thought about Ophelia at the word "loved,"
ending conceptually where he began (affection,) and he proceeds to
specifics of what he wants to hear from the Player.

384 Aeneas' . . . Dido
Most immediately for Hamlet, Hamlet wants to hear about the killing of
a king. Arden neglects to note that point, which is obviously relevant.
The other things are fine as a sidelight, but only after an editor has
addressed the meaning for the play, at least briefly.

384 talk
"Talk" is both correct and preferable. "Tale" is undesirable because it
can imply fiction, while there will be emphasis, later, on how "real"
the Player makes his recital seem. There's no reason to question Q2
here.

389 'Tis not so
The point of Hamlet's misremembering is that when he first thinks of
the story about killing a king, he thinks of regicide as something
beastly and savage. Thus his tiger analogy. The line cannot be in the
play to provide a reference to 'Groats-worth,' for purposes of the
play. That is impossible. Arden has wandered from explaining the play
into a purely speculative sidelight. For the play, it's
characterization of Hamlet. There's little reason to invoke
'Groats-worth' anyway, since as Arden's immediately preceding note
says, the "tigers of Hyrcania" were mentioned in other plays, which are
a much more likely source. Arden's note, that offers no explanation for
the line in the play, and presents only a highly speculative sidelight,
is useless to the reader who wants to understand the play.

390 sable arms
Arden misses that Hamlet is reciting about a black-clad king killer, as
he stands there in his black mourning clothes with thoughts of killing
King Claudius. It's an analogy between Hamlet and Pyrrhus. This is
significant to the meaning of Hamlet's recital in the play, and should
always be noted.

392 th'ominous horse
Proper notation would connect this phrase to the earlier discussion by
Horatio and the sentinels of whether the Ghost is an omen. The Arden
note is not adequate. The question in the play at this time, as Hamlet
recites, is whether the Ghost was an omen of the killing of Claudius,
and the fall of Elsinore, as the Trojan Horse led to the killing of
Priam, and the fall of Troy. Good editorial practice will defer
sidelights until after the play is explained. Notes that don't include
reasonable explanation of the play are of no value.

397 Baked . . . with
Pastry?? That's getting a little too carried away with the food motif.
Pyrrhus is not being presented as a "tasty" fellow. "Impasted" means
glued. The heat from the burning buildings along the street had glued
the dried blood to Pyrrhus.

398 tyrannous
Pyrrhus is being presented as a murderous tyrant. It does not just mean
"fierce."

400 o'ersized
The word has a double meaning, intentionally so by Shakespeare. It
means both covered over, and also that the spectacle makes Pyrrhus look
larger than life. Both meanings apply, simultaneously.

~~~~~
Alan Jones
2006-09-27 05:55:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Willedever
A2s2 line 300 to 400
Relevant links.
http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html
http://www.hamletregained.com/
http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/
~~~~~
303 picture in little
It's reasonable for Hamlet to indicate miniature pictures of Claudius
that R & G may be wearing, which Claudius may have given them.
However, the notion of using miniatures in the Closet Scene is
ignorant and preposterous, no matter how often it's been done.
Why precisely is the use of miniatures in the Closet scene "ignorant" and
"preposterous"?

Alan Jones
John W. Kennedy
2006-09-28 01:56:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Jones
Post by Willedever
A2s2 line 300 to 400
Relevant links.
http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html
http://www.hamletregained.com/
http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/
~~~~~
303 picture in little
It's reasonable for Hamlet to indicate miniature pictures of Claudius
that R & G may be wearing, which Claudius may have given them.
However, the notion of using miniatures in the Closet Scene is
ignorant and preposterous, no matter how often it's been done.
Why precisely is the use of miniatures in the Closet scene "ignorant" and
"preposterous"?
The use of "ignorant" as a catch-all dyslogism indicates, in my
experience, that "Willedever" is most probably a 13-year-old girl.
--
John W. Kennedy
"The blind rulers of Logres
Nourished the land on a fallacy of rational virtue."
-- Charles Williams. "Taliessin through Logres: Prelude"
Willedever
2006-09-28 06:27:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by John W. Kennedy
The use of "ignorant" as a catch-all dyslogism indicates, in my
experience, that "Willedever" is most probably a 13-year-old girl.
Now we know that John W. Kennedy hangs around internet groups looking
for 13-year old girls.

Non-monkeys can learn Hamlet here:

http://www.hamletregained.com/
Willedever
2006-09-28 06:47:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Jones
Why precisely is the use of miniatures in the Closet scene "ignorant" and
"preposterous"?
It takes a while to explain that. Are you seriously up for it?

#1. The earliest known illustration of the Closet Scene showed large
pictures.

#2. It's theater. Theater is visual. Merely pretending to have
pictures is for radio. Shakespeare didn't do radio.

#3. Elsinore Castle is based on Kronborg Castle, which was famous in
Elizabethan times for its king tapestries, among other things
(including the fact that James of Scotland, later England, got married
there twice.) By the way, there was (and still is) a King Abel
tapestry. Cain & Abel, brother kills brother. Kronborg's King Abel
tapestry may be the actual tapestry that inspired the picture of Hamlet
Sr in the Closet Scene. Needless to say, it is not a miniature.

#4. The play dialogue. The dialogue is definitely written for large
pictures. It takes time to go through the dialogue. Do you want to?
If you seriously want to, I will. But it requires going through much
of the Closet Scene, at least quickly, to "set the stage" and see why
the pictures have to be large, to go with the dialogue.
Alan Jones
2006-09-28 18:22:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Willedever
Post by Alan Jones
Why precisely is the use of miniatures in the Closet scene
"ignorant" and "preposterous"?
It takes a while to explain that. Are you seriously up for it?
Yes, indeed. Those are strong words, and need solid justification.
Post by Willedever
#1. The earliest known illustration of the Closet Scene showed large
pictures.
That illustration is from Rowe's edition of 1709, by which time plays were
performed in a very different kind of theatre from anything Shakespeare
could have known. The costume, furniture etc are in the fashion of Rowe's
time. It isn't even clear to me that the illustration represents a
performance of the play; it might equally be an artist's imagining of the
scene as if in real life.
Post by Willedever
#2. It's theater. Theater is visual. Merely pretending to have
pictures is for radio. Shakespeare didn't do radio.
If Hamlet and Gertrude wear miniatures of the late and present King, to
compare them the two actors must huddle together in a dramatically telling
way. If the pictures are large ones, on a wall or perhaps an easel, the
comparison will involved large gestures. Which produces the greater
emotional tension? There's also the practical issue of where the pictures
are to be placed on a Globe-style stage, and how they will be put in place
and removed. Few people now accept the old notion of a small proscenium set
into the tiring house - an "inner stage". And I doubt that an audience
would think it probable that Gertrude (or Claudius) would wish to keep a
large picture of Old Hamlet in their bedroom, or more correctly in her
private apartments where their "enseamed" bed would have been.
Post by Willedever
#3. Elsinore Castle is based on Kronborg Castle, which was famous in
Elizabethan times for its king tapestries, among other things
(including the fact that James of Scotland, later England, got married
there twice.) By the way, there was (and still is) a King Abel
tapestry. Cain & Abel, brother kills brother. Kronborg's King Abel
tapestry may be the actual tapestry that inspired the picture of
Hamlet Sr in the Closet Scene. Needless to say, it is not a
miniature.
This "argument" is so speculative that it carries no weight at all.
Post by Willedever
#4. The play dialogue. The dialogue is definitely written for large
pictures. It takes time to go through the dialogue. Do you want to?
If you seriously want to, I will. But it requires going through much
of the Closet Scene, at least quickly, to "set the stage" and see why
the pictures have to be large, to go with the dialogue.
Yes, I would like to see your textual argument for large pictures. Please
justify your "definitely" and "have to be".

Alan Jones
Willedever
2006-09-29 00:44:19 UTC
Permalink
Yes, indeed [about explaining why the Closet Scene pictures have to be large.]
Those are strong words, and need solid justification.
They are not strong words at all. And what needs justification is the
use, on stage, in a visual performance, of pictures the audience can't
even see.

Justify that, if you can. Explain, in a credible way, why only
pretending to have things for a stage performance is ever the right
thing to do, when things visible to the audience are an option.
That illustration is from Rowe's edition of 1709, ...
That's correct. It's a fact, as I stated, that the earliest known
illustration of the scene showed large pictures.
If Hamlet and Gertrude wear miniatures of the late and present King, to
compare them the two actors must huddle together in a dramatically telling
way.
Huddling is dramatic? Huddling is cozy, not dramatic.
If the pictures are large ones, on a wall or perhaps an easel, the
comparison will involved large gestures. Which produces the greater
emotional tension?
The large gestures, of course. This is in a big theater in front of a
couple thousand people. It isn't the corner of the living room.
There's also the practical issue of where the pictures
are to be placed on a Globe-style stage, and how they will be put in place
and removed.
C'mon, that's no problem at all. We know perfectly well, for a fact,
that they set up arrases large enough for both Polonius and Claudius to
hide behind. That is given explicitly in the play. And you're worried
about how they could possibly have set up pictures on stage?
And I doubt that an audience
would think it probable that Gertrude (or Claudius) would wish to keep a
large picture of Old Hamlet in their bedroom,
As you go on to remark, is not "their bedroom," it's Gertrude's closet.
It is specifically her room.

You need to rethink Gertrude having the large picture of Hamlet Sr in
her room. Claudius wouldn't destroy his brother's picture, because
that would be too suspicious. But he also wouldn't want it in his
rooms, certainly. Nor would he want it in the public area where it
would remind people of his brother, while he's trying to make people
forget his brother (for his own protection.) Gertrude gets the picture
of Hamlet Sr, for her Closet, so Claudius won't have to look at it, and
it won't be on public view. It makes perfect sense for her to have the
pic of Hamlet Sr in her closet. As indeed she does. She may always
have had it there. It is perfectly reasonable that the Queen would
have a large picture of the King in her room. Both Kings, that she
married.
This "argument" [Kronborg, Elsinore] is so speculative that it carries no weight at all.
All you're doing there is showing your ignorance of Hamlet scholarship,
and English history. It is an accepted fact that Elsinore Castle is
based on Kronborg Castle. There is no question about that. Far from
being "no argument," what I wrote is essentially not even arguable. If
it is "no argument," that is simply because it is universally accepted
fact, among knowledgeable people.
Yes, I would like to see your textual argument for large pictures. Please
justify your "definitely" and "have to be".
Do you want to go through the dialogue or not? You'll have to make up
your mind and tell me. If we do, it will be necessary to pay very
close attention to it. We are not talking about my "definitely" here,
on this point we're talking about the exact play dialogue. That needs
to be absolutely clear, before I'll think it worthwhile to proceed. I
am not talking "textual argument" or any such jargon. I am not talking
"definitely." I am not talking "have to be." I am referring to what
the actual Hamlet dialogue says.
David Kathman
2006-09-28 19:30:52 UTC
Permalink
Watching this guy's mind-boggling arrogance and condescension used to
be kind of amusing, but now it's just depressing.
Post by Willedever
Post by Alan Jones
Why precisely is the use of miniatures in the Closet scene "ignorant" and
"preposterous"?
It takes a while to explain that. Are you seriously up for it?
#1. The earliest known illustration of the Closet Scene showed large
pictures.
#2. It's theater. Theater is visual. Merely pretending to have
pictures is for radio. Shakespeare didn't do radio.
#3. Elsinore Castle is based on Kronborg Castle, which was famous in
Elizabethan times for its king tapestries, among other things
(including the fact that James of Scotland, later England, got married
there twice.) By the way, there was (and still is) a King Abel
tapestry. Cain & Abel, brother kills brother. Kronborg's King Abel
tapestry may be the actual tapestry that inspired the picture of Hamlet
Sr in the Closet Scene. Needless to say, it is not a miniature.
#4. The play dialogue. The dialogue is definitely written for large
pictures. It takes time to go through the dialogue. Do you want to?
If you seriously want to, I will. But it requires going through much
of the Closet Scene, at least quickly, to "set the stage" and see why
the pictures have to be large, to go with the dialogue.
Willedever
2006-09-29 00:07:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kathman
Watching this guy's mind-boggling arrogance and condescension used to
be kind of amusing, but now it's just depressing.
Dipshit Dave is back, eager to talk Hamlet. Oh, wait, he isn't talking
Hamlet, is he? Guess Dipshit Dave just isn't able to talk Shakespeare
in the Shakespeare group. He doesn't know how. Poor Dipshit Dave.

Non-monkeys can learn Hamlet here:

http://www.hamletregained.com/
Willedever
2006-09-28 07:52:53 UTC
Permalink
A2s2 line 400 to 450.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

401 carbuncles
It's wrong to suggest Pyrrhus's eyes are glowing in the dark. The
street isn't dark, the buildings are burning. Pyrrhus's eyes are
reflecting the red light of the burning buildings. The "damned light"
was expressly mentioned only three lines earlier. Whether there was
ever any notion that carbuncles could glow by themselves has nothing to
do with anything.

403 So proceed you
It would obviously be wrong for the Players, any of them, to display
impatience, or any sign of dissatisfaction with Hamlet's recital. He is
the Prince of the nation, and they are there to offer him service. They
will be respectful, and listen attentively. Also, Hamlet will be
attentive in return, as the Player proceeds. One must keep in mind the
respective social status, and the seriousness of the performance.
Hamlet is the Prince, and the Players are auditioning for him.

405 good discretion
The Arden note is wrong. Polonius has misspoken. He meant "expression."
This is more characterization of Polonius, that he makes verbal slips,
especially with similar words. There is an amusing undertone to
Polonius's error. Hamlet's recital about killing a king has relevance
to his own situation. The undertone of Polonius's mistake is him
congratulating Hamlet for his "good discretion" in wanting to kill
Claudius (which Polonius actually knows nothing about.)

407 antique
The meaning is both "old" and "playful," simultaneously. It's another
instance of intentional double meaning. The Q2 spelling is "anticke,"
which might be best respected, with notation to explain the meaning.
Old Priam's swings are weak and ineffective, so it looks like play
rather than a serious attack. This anticipates the Fencing Match scene,
where Hamlet will accuse Laertes of being wanton (playful) with him.

412 unnerved
Means both "frightened" and "enervated." Double meaning.

412 *Then senseless Ilium
A proper addition, certainly authorial, although Arden's inclusion of
it in a text that is supposed to be specific to Q2 is debatable. There
is really no way to present Hamlet properly other than as a conflated
text. This phrase alone is enough to show it. For the play meaning,
"senseless Ilium" suggests "nutshell Elsinore." Shakespeare provided a
wonderfully subtle irony in the description of "senseless Ilium"
moving, falling, in anticipation of Hamlet's "Aristotlean" lecture to
Gertrude in the Closet Scene, later, where Hamlet will speak of sense
and motion. The word "senseless," itself, has a double meaning here,
conveying both the castle's lack of sense organs, and it being a
senseless, or irrational, place.

414 his
Arden finally equates "his" to "its," but without further comment. They
should have done that for the Ghost's stage direction about spreading
its arms.

415 Takes . . . ear
Arden should have noted that the figure is on the Ear Theme that runs
through the play. It isn't just an isolated figure of speech.

417 reverend
It is not a fact that the spellings can be considered interchangeable,
and Arden has erred in not honoring the Q2 spelling. "Reverent" in Q2
suggests Priam appearing to be at prayer, on his knees, which
anticipates Hamlet finding Claudius at prayer in the later Prayer
Scene. The exact Q2 spelling is significant to the play. Properly
performed, the Player will drop to his knees, as though kneeling at
prayer, when he mentions Priam falling, at line 412.

418 painted
The phrase "painted tyrant" anticipates the picture of Claudius in the
Closet Scene. This is one of several references in the play to the
Closet Scene pictures being large ones the audience can see. The idea
of Pyrrhus coated in blood is not pertinent here. It means Pyrrhus
stood still like a person in a picture.

419 neutral
Arden's equivalent is alright, but the note neglects to mention the
anticipation of the Prayer Scene, where Hamlet will stop, like a
"neutral," and refrain from killing Claudius at prayer. In explaining
the play, it is necessary to point out how the recital has relevance.

422 rack
A note is mandatory that "rack" also means the torture device. "Bad
dreams." Observe that "rack" is followed in the next line by
"speechless." This is allusion to Hamlet's nightmare, where his dream
of the rack caused him to rush to Ophelia's room, speechless.
Shakespeare worked in manifold allusions to play events all through the
recital.

425 rend the region
"Region" also refers to realm. Double meaning, again. The realm of Troy
is rent as Pyrrhus proceeds to kill Priam. The thunder rends the sky;
Pyrrhus rends Priam's realm.

428 for proof eterne
The phrase "forged for proof" is suggestive of Hamlet's question about
the Ghost, who mentioned "eternal blazon."

433 *fellies
The plain meaning in reference to a wheel is "fellies," but Q2
"follies" is almost certainly to provide wordplay. The recital is
casting it as "folly" for men to be subject to unpredictable spins of
the Wheel of Fortune. There is significant meaning in the idea of
breaking the "follies" from Fortune's Wheel. The Q2 spelling might as
well be respected, since spelling alone cannot convey the full meaning.
An explanatory note will always be required.

434 nave
Puns with "knave." The phrasing implies Hamlet "bowling the round
knave," Claudius, down to the fiends of Hell, which Hamlet will
expressly state as his desire, later, in the Prayer Scene.

437 It . . . beard
The notion of Hamlet's "beard" line being directed to the Player is
crazy. It is truly a lunatic idea. Hamlet is replying to Polonius, of
course. It's long past the right time to get as much as possible of the
addled accretion away from Hamlet, for the sake of sincere readers who
want to understand the play. DSK's stupidity should be moved to a
"Pathology" volume, not be placed in company with the text. Hey,
y'know, maybe Gertrude is a bearded lady, and she's strolling by, and
Hamlet says it to her! Look, the Player's next line even mentions the
queen! Yeah, that must be it, Gertrude's a bearded lady! Good lord.
Hamlet commentators need to sober up enough to at least read the
dialogue. Anyway, saying that a person's beard needs removing means he
is out of his proper place. Children (who don't have beards) should be
"seen and not heard," as the old saying goes. Hamlet means Polonius
should remember his place, and be "seen and not heard," like a
beardless child. This is more on the earlier mention of Polonius being
in his second childhood. Polonius does have a beard, of course, one
"white as snow;" it's mentioned by Ophelia.

440 mobled
It means "mob-led," led by the mob, the crowd. Instead of leading the
people, as in normal times, Hecuba was being "led" by the panicked
crowd. The repetition of the word, and its commendation by Polonius, is
Shakespeare's attempt to insure it would be understood. Unfortunately,
it has not been. The word is important in the play to draw a
distinction between Hamlet and Laertes. Laertes will raise a mob from
the town to storm the castle. Hamlet makes no attempt to do so because
his mother is the Queen, and he wants no risk of her being "mob-led"
like Hecuba. Hamlet's fear is that Gertrude could be injured by mob
violence. The word explains why Hamlet doesn't attempt to do what
Laertes does. The author was crossing a T, so to speak, about Hamlet's
possibilites for action against Claudius. Hamlet doesn't want his
mother mob-led, like Hecuba. And bless Arden for preserving the Q2
spelling this time, which the Arden 2 did not do.

444 clout
Better glossed more specifically as "nightcap."

446 o'erteemed
"Over-populated." For Hecuba, it's reference to her large number of
children. In the undertone of Gertrude, it's reference to her having
only Hamlet: "oh cursed spite, that I was ever born..." he said.

448, 449
Means that whoever had seen the slaughter of Priam by Pyrrhus, and the
effect on Hecuba, would have spoken out venomously, and "treasonously,"
against Fortune's reign.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-09-30 01:29:21 UTC
Permalink
A2s2 line 450

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

452 husband
It isn't archaic. The word "husband" still carries a connotation of
"companion." Priam's limbs were Hecuba's "companion" limbs. The phrase
"husband limbs" requires gloss, rather than the isolated word.
Additionally, as Hamlet will mention, "husband and wife are one flesh."
That concept is relevant here. Hecuba screams as her "own flesh" is
minced by Pyrrhus.

457-8 Look . . . more
A note is mandatory that Polonius's unexpected alarm at the Player's
performance is what leads to Hamlet's idea for the 'Mousetrap.' If a
performance can get to Polonius, perhaps it can get to Claudius, too.

461 well bestowed
Requires gloss as "well housed." This is in anticipation of the use of
"bestow" later, as when Hamlet asks, in the Nunnery Scene, where
Polonius is, and Ophelia tells him "at home," when Polonius is
"bestowed" behind the arras. "Bestow" carries the meaning of "house" or
"home" as events proceed.

473 SD [aside to First Player]
Hamlet's lines are *NOT* spoken to the First Player. They're spoken to
the lad. Arden's stage direction is wrong (again!) This is always done
wrong on stage, and needs to be corrected. Hamlet, talking to the lad,
says "old friend" to tease Polonius, who earlier got the idea that
Hamlet had confused young and old. This goes back to Polonius speaking
to R & G when Hamlet said "old fools." Hamlet has drawn the lad aside,
to ask him if he feels up to learning a few lines on short notice.
(Hamlet would take it for granted with a veteran actor.) He's asking
the lad if he knows the Gonzago play, and can quickly learn a few
additional lines.

Re the "12 or 16 lines" at the 'Mousetrap' play, they are the queen's
two 8-line speeches, in a Gonzago play that was written in sestets. The
lad plays the queen at the 'Mousetrap.' Editors and commentators over
the years have neglected the basic job of looking for stanza in rhymed
verse. It's there, at the 'Mousetrap.' When Hamlet rewrites the two
queen speeches, he'll change to 8 lines, not preserving the 6 line
pattern of the preexisting play.

476 ha't
The Q2 word is "hate," which has a double meaning and requires
notation. It means both "hate" and "have it."

480-1 and . . . not
The Arden note is incompetent. Hamlet is joking with the lad. It is a
joke. Hamlet should say the "mock" line with mock sternness, but then
give the lad a quick wink and a little smile. Hamlet knows how snoopy
Polonius is, and expects Polonius will ask the lad what Hamlet said to
him. Hamlet is giving the lad a warning, about the way Polonius is, and
permission to divert Polonius's questions. One despairs of an editorial
history that goes back centuries, but that cannot even perceive a
simple joke. However, so it is with Hamlet. Maybe the many old men who
have attempted Hamlet just couldn't fathom the concept of anybody
making jokes about the behavior of old men, especially inquisitive
ones. Who knows. In any event, it's a joke, and not even a very subtle
one, by the standard of Hamlet.

482.1 SD
A stage direction is required as shown in Q2, for the exits of Polonius
and the Players, but Arden omits it. That is an error, particularly
when Arden is trying to present the Q2 text.

484 SD [Exeunt]
Arden's stage direction placement is wrong. Again. It belongs after R's
line, as Q2 shows. There is a reason for that. As we continue, we'll
see Arden do more of the same. Again. And again. Sigh.

489 from her working
The Arden note is wrong. "Her" refers to the soul (not "conceit.") The
soul was considered the origin of expressive emotion, and was viewed as
stereotypically female for that reason, even in a man. (Men are
stereotypically taken as the strong, stern, silent types, not
expressive; Shakespeare had to know the stereotypes were nonsense, but
he made use of them for his purposes.) Thus, the soul gets the feminine
pronoun. The usage is particularly with respect to the Player's tears
that Polonius mentioned, and that are mentioned again in this speech.
Tears are stereotypically a female behavior. Laertes will later, upon
hearing of the death of Ophelia, cast tears as a female trait as he,
himself, cries.

491-2 his . . . conceit
A note is required that "conceit" is a "take" word, i.e. that it has a
root meaning of "take." Hamlet is talking about the Player's "take." It
relates back to the earlier mention of fairies "taking," meaning the
casting of a spell. The "take" by a good actor "casts a spell" on the
audience, so to speak. The "take" meaning, for "conceit," will appear
again with special significance in the Closet Scene, in the Ghost's
speech.

493 Hecuba?
The question mark is not in Q2, and is not appropriate.

494 to her
The Q2 word "her" is correct because of the meaning in the play. Hamlet
is transferring his thoughts to Gertrude, so the word "Hecuba" is not
correct there. The Folio is wrong. Hamlet is considering the effect on
Gertrude, whom he believes to have affection for Claudius, if he kills
Claudius, the way Pyrrhus killed Priam. Hamlet is speaking of Hecuba,
but asking himself why he should care about Gertrude. The question has
an easy answer, of course. He can't help caring about his mother.

496 and . . . passion
Since Arden so readily adopts Folio readings, the mystery is why they
didn't do it here. The Folio is probably correct, and Q2 contains a
misprint. The pairing of "motive" and "cue" is well in the author's
style. Of all times to respect Q2. This is another instance on the
point that only a conflated text is really proper as a presentation of
Hamlet.

498 general
It means "public."

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-01 20:24:42 UTC
Permalink
A2s2 line 450 to end.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

452 husband
It isn't archaic. The word "husband" still carries a connotation of
"companion." Priam's limbs were Hecuba's "companion" limbs. The phrase
"husband limbs" requires gloss, rather than the isolated word.
Additionally, as Hamlet will mention, "husband and wife are one flesh."
That concept is relevant here. Hecuba screams as her "own flesh" is
minced by Pyrrhus.

457-8 Look . . . more
A note is mandatory that Polonius's unexpected alarm at the Player's
performance is what leads to Hamlet's idea for the 'Mousetrap.' If a
performance can get to Polonius, perhaps it can get to Claudius, too.

461 well bestowed
Requires gloss as "well housed." This is in anticipation of the use of
"bestow" later, as when Hamlet asks, in the Nunnery Scene, where
Polonius is, and Ophelia tells him "at home," when Polonius is
"bestowed" behind the arras. "Bestow" carries the meaning of "house" or
"home" as events proceed.

473 SD [aside to First Player]
Hamlet's lines are *NOT* spoken to the First Player. They're spoken to
the lad. Arden's stage direction is wrong (again!) Hamlet says "old
friend" to tease Polonius, who earlier got the idea that Hamlet had
confused young and old. This goes back to Polonius speaking to R & G
when Hamlet said "old fools." Hamlet noticed what Polonius did, was
amused by it, and is teasing Polonius here with an intentional
young-old confusion again. Hamlet has drawn the lad aside, to ask him
if he feels up to learning a few lines on short notice. (Hamlet would
take it for granted with an older veteran actor.) He's asking the lad
if he knows the Gonzago play, and can quickly learn a few additional
lines.

Re the "12 or 16 lines" at the 'Mousetrap' play, they are the queen's
two 8-line speeches, in a Gonzago play that was written in sestets. The
lad plays the queen at the 'Mousetrap.' Editors and commentators over
the years have neglected the basic job of looking for stanza in rhymed
verse. It's there, at the 'Mousetrap.' When Hamlet rewrites the two
queen speeches, he'll change to 8 lines, not preserving the 6 line
pattern of the preexisting play.

476 ha't
The Q2 word is "hate," which has a double meaning and requires
notation. It means both "hate" and "have it." Each time "hate" occurs
in Hamlet it takes the double meaning.

480-1 and . . . not
The Arden note is incompetent. Hamlet is joking with the lad. It is a
joke. Hamlet should say the "mock" line with mock sternness, but then
give the lad a quick wink and a little smile. Hamlet knows how snoopy
Polonius is, and expects Polonius will ask the lad what Hamlet said to
him. Hamlet is giving the lad a warning, about the way Polonius is, and
permission to divert Polonius's questions. One despairs of an editorial
history that goes back centuries, but that cannot even perceive a
simple joke. However, so it is with Hamlet. Maybe the many old men who
have attempted Hamlet just couldn't fathom the concept of anybody
making jokes about the behavior of old men, especially inquisitive
ones. Who knows. In any event, it's a joke, and not even a very subtle
one, by the standard of Hamlet.

There is further, a double meaning. What else is new? One meaning of
"mock" is "imitate," or "ape." In this sense, Hamlet is facetiously
telling the lad not to ape Polonius. The lad will not ape Polonius at
the 'Mousetrap Play,' he will "ape" the Queen, and Hamlet is
facetiously reminding him of that. The reminder is unnecessary, of
course; it's a joke. Hamlet's line is a double joke. How often do you
see that? Well, if you read Hamlet carefully, you'll see it in Hamlet
at least twice.

482.1 SD
A stage direction is required as shown in Q2, for the exits of Polonius
and the Players, but Arden omits it. That is an error, particularly
when Arden is trying to present the Q2 text. There's a reason why
Polonius and the Players get a separate exit where Q2 shows. And there
is certainly no sound editorial justification in a publication of 600+
pages to be "cheap" with stage directions and combine them where Q2
shows separate ones.

484 SD [Exeunt]
The stage direction placement is wrong. Again. It belongs after R's
line, as Q2 shows. There is a reason. As we continue, we'll see Arden
do more of the same. Again. And again. Sigh.

489 from her working
The Arden note is wrong. "Her" refers to the soul (not "conceit.") The
soul was considered the origin of expressive emotion, and was viewed as
stereotypically female for that reason, even in a man. (Men are
stereotypically taken as the strong, stern, silent types, not
expressive; Shakespeare had to know that was nonsense, but made use of
the stereotype for his purposes.) Thus, the soul, being expressive,
gets the feminine pronoun. The usage is particularly with respect to
the Player's tears that Polonius mentioned, and that are mentioned
again in this speech. Laertes will later, upon hearing of the death of
Ophelia, cast tears as a female trait as he, himself, cries.

491-2 his . . . conceit
A note is required that "conceit" is a "take" word, i.e. that it has a
root meaning of "take." Hamlet is talking about the Player's "take." It
relates back to the earlier mention of fairies "taking," meaning the
casting of a spell. The "take" by a good actor "casts a spell" on the
audience, so to speak. The "take" meaning, for "conceit," will appear
again with special significance in the Closet Scene, in the Ghost's
speech.

493 Hecuba?
The question mark is not in Q2, and is not appropriate.

494 to her
The Q2 word "her" is correct because of the meaning in the play. Hamlet
is transferring his thoughts to Gertrude, so the word "Hecuba" is not
appropriate there. He is not really talking about Hecuba at that
point, his thoughts have turned to Gertrude. The Folio is in error.
The Folio editor(s) may have been trying to clarify the meaning, but
achieved the opposite. Hamlet is considering the effect on Gertrude,
whom he believes to have affection for Claudius, if he kills Claudius,
as Pyrrhus killed Priam. He is speaking of Hecuba, but asking himself
why he should care about Gertrude. That question has an easy answer. He
can't help caring about his mother.

496 and . . . passion
Since Arden so readily adopts Folio readings, the mystery is why they
didn't do it here. The Folio is probably correct, and Q2 contains a
misprint. The pairing of "motive" and "cue" is well in the author's
style. Of all times to respect Q2.

498 general
It means "public."

501 very faculties
It means "true senses." Reference in the line is to the senses of sight
and hearing. The very-as-true meaning is that people would wonder
whether they're seeing and hearing truly, if Hamlet told the people his
story. Gertrude will use "very" to mean "true" in the Closet Scene
when she speaks of looking into her soul with her true eyes ("very
eyes.")

503 unpregnant
It means "unproductive," of results. Hamlet is observing that he's
producing no results in his intent against Claudius.

504 say nothing
Hamlet most certainly does not mean "do nothing," he means exactly what
he says. As he just mentioned, with reference to the Player reciting
for an audience, he's examining the thought of speaking out to the
"audience" of the public. He rejects the idea, because, what is he
going to tell people - that a Ghost revealed a secret murder? He fears
he'd look ridiculous. The peculiarity of his situation keeps him from
saying anything. He can, indeed, "say nothing," to people in general.
There is also the point that Hamlet, himself, is not certain of the
Ghost's veracity at this time.

505 property
It means Denmark, but isn't really literal. It's literal only through
the abstract notion of the monarch being the state, which varies with
culture.

506 damned defeat
Hamlet uses "defeat" in a distinctly military sense. King Hamlet
defeated Norway, Poland, and England in military action, and then
Fortinbrasse in single combat. Claudius defeated his brother in a
damned way, with cowardly murder. Hamlet is partly referring to his
father's military heroism.

508 Plucks . . . beard
Hamlet is not 30, the earlier remark to Polonius is not comparable to
this, and when Claudius later speaks of his beard shaking he means his
chin trembling with fear. With all their erroneous meandering, Arden
neglects to explain the usage at hand. Hamlet means he'd find it easier
to act if Claudius challenged him personally, to his face, as the lines
say.

513 To . . . bitter
Means "to feel the bitterness of oppression."

514 region kites
"Region" means realm, again, and there's a double meaning. Kites, like
most predatory birds, also scavenge. Hamlet means, first, that he
should feed all the kites of Denmark with Claudius's guts. "Kite" is
also a word for a cheater, or for the type of greedy person who preys
on his own kind. The word appears with that general sense in Ralph
Roister Doister. Hamlet additionally means he should let all the
grasping persons in Denmark "feed" on Claudius's financial remains when
he's dead. The kite is closely related to the hawk, so additionally, in
connection with the idea of an actor being a hawk or falcon, Hamlet
means he should give the Players another killing to dramatize, the
death of Claudius in this case. So, it's actually a triple meaning, at
least.

516 kindless
Primarily means that Claudius has no "kind," that he's properly an
outcast from his people. The idea of Claudius being an unkind person
also applies.

518 a dear murdered
"A" can be read as "he." With that understanding, punctuation by itself
can make the line sensible, with the mere insertion of a comma: "... I,
the son of he, dear murdered..." It perhaps isn't schoolbook grammar,
but no change in wording is required. Analogy to "dear departed" is
plausible, too, and Halliwell may have been right. But the "he," the
Ghost of Hamlet's father, did the prompting that Hamlet immediately
mentions in his next line. The phrase, "son of he," would not be
unique in the author's writings, it also appears in Macbeth.

519 by . . . Hell
In religious terms, the powers that incite murder are those of Hell.
Hamlet mentions Hell because he's thinking of murdering Claudius. This
is a moral problem for Hamlet. The ealier "coupling" of Hell is not the
same as this. In that earlier speech Hamlet "coupled" Hell out of
suspicion the Ghost might be a hellish imposter. The focus in this line
is on moral powers, for good and evil.

522 About
Double meaning. Hamlet is both telling his brains to be about their
proper business, of thinking of something helpful, and also Shakespeare
has given him a facetious undertone, as if Hamlet were asking himself
about his brains, asking whether his brain is functioning properly.

523 Hum
Hamlet is thinking, of course, after mentioning his brains. Hunter was
silly to doubt it, and the mention of Hunter's brainless notion should
not be in company with the text, where it can serve no purpose but to
mislead the reader.

528-9 speak . . . organ
Means to speak in a miraculous way. The Ghost, who has no real tongue,
has miraculously spoken to Hamlet about the murder of his father, and
later, Gertrude's tongue will "miraculously" speak to Claudius about
Hamlet's killing of Polonius. And, later, the courtier who becomes
Ostrick will "miraculously" allude to Laertes killing Reynaldo,
although he doesn't know about it.

534 de'il
The wordplay on "deal" is intentional, as is the spelling "deale" in
Q2. Hamlet is wondering if Fortune has dealt him the Devil card, so to
speak, thus the "deal" spelling for "Devil." The analogy is to playing
a hand of cards. Tarot was a popular card game of the author's time,
and earlier, played similarly to bridge, and the tarot deck contains a
Devil card among the trumps. (This has nothing to do with the use of
tarot cards for fortune telling, which is a more recent historical
development.) The original Q2 spelling might as well be respected. An
explanatory note will always be needed, because the word is used in a
double way, as both reference and metaphor.

537 potent . . . spirits
Double meaning. It means both what Arden says, and also that the Devil
is powerful in using spirits like the Ghost.

539 More relative
Double meaning. It means both more relevant, as Arden says, and also
expresses Hamlet's doubt of whether the Ghost is really his relative.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-02 22:37:32 UTC
Permalink
A3s1 to line 50.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

0.2
The Lords are courtiers, or petitioners, who are present for typical
court business. They're for atmosphere. At the appropriate point in the
scene Claudius will simply wave them away, and they'll silently depart.
It can be taken that Claudius and Gertrude have entered the Lobby from
the Throne Room, where they were doing official business concerning the
Lords, and the Lords have accompanied them here. Claudius is
interrupting his normal government business for the special event
involving Hamlet.

2 puts on
"Antic disposition" has nothing to do with anything here. I'll say it
again: editors and commentators need to get over that. Claudius is
slandering Hamlet as a madman because Hamlet is continuing to mourn his
father.

3 Grating . . . his days
Claudius is engaging in what psychologists now call "projection." The
quiet days he means, that are being "grated," are his own, as he
worries about Hamlet. Claudius is saying that Hamlet is driving him
crazy.

4 turbulent . . . lunacy
Claudius is lying, or at least not being factual. Claudius has not seen
any turbulence or dangerousness from Hamlet. All Claudius has seen is
Hamlet continuing to mourn his father, in disobedience to Claudius's
wishes. Claudius is, of course, extremely sensitive on the issue of
Hamlet's father.

8 crafty madness
It's crafty word usage by G. G has not seen Hamlet being the "turbulent
and dangerous lunatic" that Claudius claims he is. But, G is not going
to disagree with his boss, from whom he's expecting a kingly reward.
So, G casts Hamlet as being "crafty" in his alleged madness, since he
didn't show it the way Claudius says.

11 Most . . . gentleman
Requires a note. This is where Hamlet's earlier insistence on shaking
hands with R & G tells. R can't deny that Hamlet acted gentlemanly
toward them. The flow of events is from Hamlet's insistence on
politeness, to R's line, here.

12 disposition
G is saying he thinks Hamlet had to force himself to be polite to them.
He's right. The reason is because R & G were so rude to Hamlet, when
they didn't even express sympathy to him about the death of his father,
as he stood there in plain view in front of them in his mourning
clothes. They were incredibly rude, and Hamlet did, indeed, have to
force himself to be polite.

13-14 Niggard . . . reply
The Arden note is babble. R is saying that Hamlet withheld his reply to
the basic question, of why he's "mad," but was "free" in his replies to
their questions. In other words, Hamlet said whatever he felt like
saying, despite their efforts. R is trying to phrase it in a way so R &
G won't sound like failures to Claudius.

18 kind of joy
Demands a note. R is refusing to admit to Claudius that Hamlet was much
happier talking to the Players than to them.

22 beseeched
Demands a note. Polonius is lying to his boss, again, to try to enhance
himself. There's no way Hamlet "begged" Polonius to tell Claudius about
the Players. We know Hamlet's attitude toward Polonius. Hamlet outright
ordered Polonius to tell Claudius and Gertrude.

26 give . . . edge
Means "sharpen his desire." There is an amusing undertone, in
anticipation of the fencing match. When Claudius tells R & G to give
Hamlet a further edge, he is unintentionally telling them to be sure
Hamlet stabs him with a sharp sword. Hamlet's basic "purpose," as we
know, is to kill Claudius.

29 closely
The primary meaning of "closely" is "close to this time." Claudius is
saying it's nearly time when Hamlet should arrive in response to his
summons. The implication of secrecy is there, intentionally by the
author, but is the secondary meaning. When Hamlet arrives he will,
indeed, look around the room (visually, not physically) for Claudius.

31 Affront
The plain meaning is as Arden states, but "affront" also means
"offend." The undertone is of Claudius saying he has summoned Hamlet to
offend Ophelia, which is what will proceed to happen.

32 bestow
It means "house." This meaning is required in anticipation of Ophelia
telling Hamlet that Polonius is "at home," when Polonius is "bestowed"
behind the arras.

36 shall obey
A note is required that Gertrude does not say "my Lord." There's a
reason for that. She means, "I shall obey you, oh, next week. But not
now." She isn't leaving.

37-41 I . . . honours
The Arden note misinterprets the play. Polonius's attitude has changed
to the opposite from his lecture to Ophelia in 1.3. It's Polonius's
desire to bring Hamlet and Ophelia together that has led to this
Nunnery Scene. Laertes would still have the same attitude, since he's
been away, but Polonius's view has changed completely. Arden has failed
to follow the basic progression of events. If Polonius opposed the
union of Hamlet and Ophelia, at this time, this scene would not exist
in the play.

41 SD
Arden has blundered with the stage direction, again. Gertrude does not
exit here, she exits much later, at the end of Ophelia's soliloquy,
exactly as Q2 shows. Arden is flat wrong in claiming she has to leave,
because the fact is, she doesn't. Arden has mistaken the word for the
deed.

What happens here, is that Gertrude steps away as though leaving, while
glancing back over her shoulder. When Polonius and Claudius turn to
Ophelia, and Ophelia looks at them, Gertrude steps behind another arras
and hides. She wants to hear what Hamlet says, too, of course. Hamlet
is her son. Since Hamlet is expected momentarily there's no time to
argue the point with Claudius, so Gertrude simply hides. This is why
there's no exit for Gertrude here, and an exit appears much later. That
later exit is Gertrude's. And an editor who is trying to do Q2 would be
wise to pay strict attention to Q2, and take it with utmost
seriousness. All of the stage directions that Q2 shows are right.

42 Gracious
Arden is wrong. This is certainly not addressed to Claudius. It is
Polonius's one-word coaching of Ophelia in how to act. (Polonius is
not much of an acting instructor, obviously.) He's telling her to be
gracious in the sense of being approachable, by Hamlet. Polonius then
idly repeats the bit about bestowing themselves, as if Ophelia didn't
hear it when Claudius said it, even though she was standing there. This
is further characterization of Polonius, in more ways than one, which
needs extended comment to do it justice.

43 this book
The book is not a prayer book. It is some kind of book that would
interest a scholar (which Hamlet is.) Polonius gives Ophelia the book
in the expectation that Hamlet will approach her and ask, "Whatcha
readin'?" It's supposed to be a conversation starter. This goes back to
Polonius asking Hamlet what he was reading, when Hamlet had a book.
Polonius thinks Hamlet will do the same thing he did.

44 exercise
It means simply "activity." Ophelia is not giving any appearance of
praying. She is to stand there by the arras, pretending to read a book,
and Hamlet is supposed to approach her and ask what she's reading. That
is Polonius's plan for what he thinks will happen.

45 *loneliness
Arden is wrong. The correct word in the play, and most especially in a
presentation that is supposed to be specific to Q2, is "lowliness."
Polonius views merely reading a book as a "lowly" activity. There's no
financial profit in it, as far as Polonius knows, and also he's no
scholar. There is the undertone that Polonius views his daughter as a
"lowly" person. The Folio idea of "lonely" is an obvious error. We know
from Polonius's characterization that he's oblivious to Ophelia's
feelings, and he wouldn't notice that she was lonely if she tattooed
the word on her forehead. Arden should have respected Q2, not only
because it's right, but because that's what they claim to be trying to
present.

46 devotion's visage
Polonius is chattering idly about putting an innocent appearance on
some activity which is not so innocent. It concerns Ophelia's
appearance here only in the most general terms. There is no implication
of her appearing to be engaged in actual religious activity. The
purpose of Polonius's lines in the play is to give Claudius "rehearsal"
at having his conscience caught before Hamlet's 'Mousetrap' play.
Polonius accidentally "tents" Claudius before Hamlet gets the chance.
The accidental stimulation of Claudius's conscience is an incident on
the Wheel of Fortune motif. Polonius has beaten Hamlet to it, by sheer
luck.

48 O . . . true
Quibbling over exactly where the aside begins is foolish and pointless.
The whole speech is an aside, of course, and there is nothing
whatsoever odd about an actor turning aside to make an aside. That's
what an aside is, for pete's sake. Polonius's lines from 45 on are
still being spoken to Ophelia. He is not talking to Claudius. Claudius,
upon hearing what Polonius said to Ophelia, turns to the audience for
his aside. The action is not complicated.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-05 23:35:39 UTC
Permalink
A3s1 line 50 to 100.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

51 to . . . it
Spencer's notion is nuts. What on earth is it doing in company with the
playtext? It's only another one for the Pathology book.

54 SD
There is, of course, no exit for Polonius and Claudius in Q2, because
they do not leave the stage. We know that. Q2 is obviously correct. The
only mystery is why Arden is mystified.

The later entry that Polonius and Claudius will get, when they emerge,
is an instruction to those actors to take their correct speaking
positions on stage, where the audience will be best able to hear them.
That's what an entry in Q2 almost always means, that the actor is to
take his correct speaking position, or he must accompany another actor
to speaking position on the stage. A character who is already onstage
can get an entry in Q2, when he needs an instruction to move from
wherever he was into his correct speaking position.

54.1
The Q2 entry placement is correct. And Arden is wrong, again. It's
becoming a habit. An entry does not mean an actor instantly and
miraculously appears, exactly on his mark. Hamlet is conceptually not
in the "room" yet at the point where his entry is printed. The
Elizabethan stage was not set up as a room. It was open. The enclosed
room type of set was not used in England until later in history. Hamlet
is not suddenly popping in through the room door here. There isn't any
room door, or room walls. The entry means the Hamlet actor has appeared
on stage, and is moving to his correct speaking position. Hamlet's
approach, onto the stage, motivates Polonius saying he can hear Hamlet.
(Hamlet will know Claudius and Polonius are behind the arras, but not
because he sees them hide. He doesn't have to see them to know it.) The
identical timing, for Hamlet's entry versus Gertrude's line, will be
used again, later, in the Closet Scene (where Arden will get it wrong,
again.) In both cases, Hamlet's entry onto the stage is used to show
the theater audience why a character says he can hear Hamlet, however,
Hamlet is not yet within the imaginary "room" at the point the entry is
given.

55 the question
The first question on Hamlet's mind is whether he should kill Claudius
when Claudius shows up alone, without any guards or witnesses around.
This goes back to Claudius saying he summoned Hamlet "closely."
Claudius wanted Hamlet to be alone, so Hamlet would talk openly to
Ophelia. Hamlet's conversation with Ophelia would be inhibited if he
brought others with him, such as Horatio or his regular servants. So
it's easy to surmise that Claudius summoned Hamlet for a private talk,
just the two of them. Claudius would have done that to insure Hamlet
would be alone. However, it has given Hamlet the idea that Claudius
will also be alone (no guards, no witnesses.) As Hamlet arrives, he's
thinking this could be a great chance to kill Claudius, and he begins
his soliloquy with that thought in mind. The first meaning of "to be or
not to be" is whether Hamlet's killing of Claudius is to be, or not to
be, when Claudius arrives alone. Hamlet, as he enters the "room,"
thinks Claudius is yet to arrive, and will arrive alone.

57 slings and arrows
The root meanings of the words imply "twists and turns." "Sling" comes
from a meaning of "twist," and "arrow" comes from "arc," which is a
kind of turning. Thus there is no reason to doubt the phrase. At root,
it's reference to the twists and turns of fortune.

65 what dreams
The phrase demands a note commenting about Hamlet's hellish nightmare.

66 this mortal coil
It means "this mortal shell," for plain reading. The "shell" idea goes
back to the "sea of troubles" metaphor. Some sea creatures have a shell
that is distinctly spiral, or "coiled." When they die they leave behind
the shell, or "coil." Hamlet is making an analogy of the human body
being such a "shell." There is an additional meaning of turmoil and
trouble. It's another double meaning.

68
The Arden attempt at equivalent phrasing is wrong. Jenkins was
essentially correct. Hamlet is saying a long life is a "calamity"
because it's a life lived in pain, in fear of the afterlife. It's
notable that Hamlet, in his speech, mentions no joys of life, which
reflects his depressed mood.

69 time
The word is best read with a double meaning. Either view Arden mentions
can be taken, and that is probably intentional in the author's choice
of phrasing.

71 despised (love)
Q2 is correct. "Despised" is from a root meaning of "to look down on."
Allusion is to Hamlet's love for his father being looked down on, by
Claudius and others. It's a well chosen word by the author, nicely
relevant to the play. The Folio substitute is wrong.

75 bare
If a secondary meaning is sought, which is a reasonable enough thing to
do in Hamlet, it should be taken as "mere," not Arden's word of "puny."
The idea is of a mere unsheathed bodkin.

75 fardel
The word is from Arabic 'fardah,' referring to the burden carried by a
camel. It connects to Hamlet asking Polonius, later, whether he sees a
camel in the clouds, after the 'Mousetrap Play,' when Hamlet has
confirmed to himself that he does bear the burden of having to kill
Claudius.

79 No traveller returns
Arden's note is silly nonsense. Hamlet Sr, the person who died, has not
returned from death. He is not alive again. Arden fails to distinguish
between a person and a ghost, which is an oversight, to say the least.
Everyone knows that a ghost, and a real person, are two different
things.

82 conscience
Arden's quibble is a distinction without a difference. Fear of
punishment after death proceeds from a learned, internal view of good
and evil.

82 make cowards
A pause after "cowards" is mandatory. Hamlet has seen Ophelia, and has
been speaking his aside to the audience as he waits to see whether she
will leave. He will not kill Claudius with her there as a witness.
Hamlet has decided at this point that she isn't going to leave before
Claudius arrives. He pauses after "cowards," and then says "And thus"
in acknowledgement to himself that it doesn't appear she's leaving
soon. After "cowards" Hamlet pauses, and turns to look directly at
Ophelia. Q2 is correct.

83 native hue
The "native hue" of Hamlet's intent against Claudius is blood red. The
usage connects with "pale cast" in the following line. The lines
express the same "pale or red" idea as in Hamlet's earlier question to
Horatio, and also anticipate Hamlet speaking of blood instead of tears
to the Ghost in the Closet Scene, later. Arden's note, trying to handle
the phrase in isolation, fails to connect to the play.

84 *sicklied o'er
Q2 "sickled" is correct. It's used with a double meaning. It both
implies "sicklied," and also means Hamlet's intent to possibly kill
Claudius when he arrives has been "sickled." Reference is to the sickle
of Death, and the usage is figurative. Hamlet has "killed" his idea
about killing Claudius here because he sees that Ophelia isn't leaving.
His "enterprise" turns awry since he isn't going to kill Claudius with
her as a witness.

87 Soft you
The Arden gloss is right, but their note is wrong. Hamlet has been
observing Ophelia at a distance since he entered, and has been speaking
his soliloquy while waiting to see if she'd leave. Having perceived she
isn't leaving, he decides to approach her.

88 Ophelia!
Arden's exclamation point is highly inappropriate. Hamlet says the name
in a contemplative way.

88-9 Nymph . . . remembered
Editors really, truly, need to get over trying to explain the whole
play with simple minded invocations of "antic disposition." It hurts
their presentation, and deprives their readers, and them, of perception
of the meanings in the play. There is no pretense of madness by Hamlet
in this scene. Johnson was wrong, and Arden is wrong to cite him.

What's happening here, is that Hamlet has made the decision to separate
himself from Ophelia, because of the danger connected with his intent
against Claudius. Hamlet's nightmare was a terrifying reminder of the
danger. In his last two soliloquy lines, Hamlet means he hopes Ophelia
will forgive him, and remember him in her prayers, because he's going
to offend her intentionally, by breaking their engagement and parting
from her, until after he takes care of Claudius. It is important to
understand that Hamlet speaks the "Nymph" lines to himself, as the
conclusion of his aside, before he nears Ophelia to talk to her.

90
The Arden note is oblivious. Arden does not understand the play. The
reason Ophelia speaks as she does is because Polonius is listening, and
she thinks it will sound alright to Polonius as a way to greet the
Prince. But to Hamlet it sounds absurd, as a greeting from his
sweetheart. Hamlet's approach to Ophelia, her greeting, and his
response, require extended discussion not possible in this comment.

91 well
The Folio repetition is indeed best interpreted as an actor's
elaboration to help make the point Hamlet strongly suspects some
subterfuge. However, Arden's list of possibilities is all wrong.
Hamlet's "well" has the undertone of thoughtful suspicion.

92 remembrances
Arden does not understand the play. Polonius has instructed Ophelia to
attempt to give the items back to Hamlet. But in Polonius's scheme,
when Ophelia offers the items to Hamlet, he is supposed to refuse them.
Hamlet is supposed to say, 'no, you must keep those, because I love
you.' Claudius, behind the arras, will hear Hamlet say he loves
Ophelia. Polonius will then be justified in insisting Claudius get
involved to ensure Hamlet marries Ophelia. It's Polonius's plan for how
to get the "main voice of Denmark" on his side for a match of his
daughter with the Prince of Denmark. Polonius will then have the Prince
for a son-in-law. That is Polonius's plan, and what he thinks will
happen.

93 longed (long)
Ophelia's "longed long" is a slight stumble in her speech due to her
nervousness over this encounter with Hamlet.

95
Hamlet is stalling for time, as he tries to figure out what's going on.
He also wants Claudius to think the items meant so little to him that
he can't remember them. Hamlet has strong suspicion by this point that
Claudius is behind the arras. Actors who have played it that way have
been exactly right.

96 you know
Ophelia is not "directly accusing Hamlet of lying," she is expressing
disbelief that he could have forgotten, which is a different thing.

98 Their perfume lost
Arden errs in citing "unkindness" here. Ophelia's "unkind" saying is
empty recitation, and does not connect with this. Ophelia is scrambling
for some excuse for her to be giving the items back. Polonius has not
provided her with any reason to be giving them back. Polonius didn't
think she'd need a reason, because he thought Hamlet would immediately
insist she keep them. Ophelia speaks of "perfume" because she remembers
what Laertes said to her, when he was leaving for France. She told
Laertes she'd lock his advice in her memory, and she did. Ophelia is
ad libbing a reason to be giving the items back, because Polonius
didn't provide her with any reason to do so.

99-100 for . . . unkind
Arden does not understand the play. A note is mandatory that Ophelia's
"noble mind . . unkind" saying is recited simply because she knows her
father is listening, and he likes sayings. She thinks it will sound
alright to Polonius as "dialogue" for her performance. It's pure ad
lib, merely something to say, as she valiantly attempts to handle this
painful situation. She recites the saying, absently, only because it
has the word "gifts" in it. Hamlet, unfortunately, thinks she means it.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-07 11:26:37 UTC
Permalink
A3s1 line 100 to 150.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

101 There, my Lord
Of course Ophelia hands the items to Hamlet, and, directly contrary to
Polonius's plan, Hamlet accepts them back. Polonius's "enterprise" has
just gone awry.

102
Of course Hamlet sees the return of the items as a rejection. Good
heavens, doesn't Arden have any sense at all? There's no "may" about
it. Polonius, who is unable to see things from anybody else's point of
view, didn't take it into account in his scheme, that Hamlet would see
rejection and respond accordingly.

102-4 honest . . . fair
Arden's note is only babble, as far as the play is concerned. It
explains nothing. Here's what's happening in this scene:

Hamlet arrived, expecting Claudius soon to arrive alone, with no guards
or witnesses. He recited his soliloquy while waiting to see if Ophelia
would leave. As he approached Ophelia she glanced at the arras (for two
reasons that I won't go into in this comment.) Hamlet noticed she
glanced at the arras. She then greeted him in an absurd way, as if
somebody else were listening. In particular, she didn't greet him by
her nickname for him (Robin) that she always used in their private
conversation. She then attempted to return his gifts. He stalled,
trying to figure out what's going on. She then used the word "rich"
twice, and spoke of "noble." "Noble" is a word that can be used for a
king. Hamlet heard her call his gifts "poor," and heard her speak of
"rich gifts," as she absently recited the saying. Who could give her
rich gifts, so that she would reject his "poor" gifts? Claudius, the
King, is rich - and it was Claudius who summoned Hamlet here. And
Hamlet is pretty sure somebody is behind the arras, listening.

Hamlet now thinks that Claudius's summons was not for a private chat,
but was for Ophelia to return Hamlet's gifts. Hamlet thinks Claudius
has told Ophelia to break up with him, and that's what's going on.
Claudius is hiding behind the arras so Hamlet won't see him with
Ophelia, Hamlet believes.

Hamlet thinks it's happened again. First, his mother allied with
Claudius, and married him. Then, his old friends R & G began working
for Claudius, against him. Hamlet thinks the same has happened with
Ophelia. Hamlet concludes that Ophelia has become Claudius's courtesan,
and has no further use for his "poor" gifts because she's getting "rich
gifts" from the King. For Hamlet, it's like a "bad dream" come true.

In sum, as Hamlet looks into the big, sad eyes of sweet, gentle,
innocent, virginal Ophelia, who loves him dearly, and whom he deeply
loves, he mistakenly thinks he's looking at the face of Claudius's
whore.

This is why Hamlet proceeds to lecture and berate Ophelia: he thinks
she's become Claudius's courtesan. It is also why Hamlet will make the
indecent remarks at the later 'Mousetrap' play. There, he'll be trying
to publicly shame Ophelia and Claudius about their supposed sexual
relationship (which doesn't really exist, so Hamlet only ends up
looking "mad.") Here, Hamlet's misunderstanding is why he goes on to
speak of bawds, sin, and being honest (honorable.)

In connection with the usage of "honest" in line 102, Ralph Roister
Doister contains the line: 'if ye be honest, my words can hurt you
nothing.' It's another RRD association. Hamlet is implicitly assuring
himself that the words he intends to say to Ophelia won't hurt her, if
she's "honest." He'll be wrong about that. She is indeed honest, but
his words still hurt.

106-107 you . . . beauty
It means, 'if you're both honorable and beautiful, you shouldn't allow
men to compliment you on your beauty.' And, it has some further
meaning. Hamlet, the scholar, is beginning a logical argument to
persuade Ophelia, logically, that he never really loved her (and to
persuade Claudius, who Hamlet knows is listening, that he was never
really close to Ophelia, and therefore never told her anything that
Claudius needs to know.)

108 commerce
Ophelia's word choice is unfortunate, because it accidentally goes
along with Hamlet's idea that she has "commercialized" her beauty, with
Claudius.

111 bawd
In his lines 110-12, Hamlet is saying that beauty will prostitute
honesty, more easily than honesty will make beauty a true virtue, the
way honesty is a "true" virtue.

113 paradox
The paradox is in beauty not being a true virtue.

117 *inoculate
Arden is wrong. The correct word is "evocutate," as Q2 shows. It is
Shakespeare's coinage of an antonym for "inoculate." "Inoculate" means
to put into, as in grafting a bud to another plant. The author's
"evocutate" means to take out of, as in taking a bud from a donor
plant. Hamlet's lines, "For virtue . . . relish of it" mean, 'virtue
cannot be taken thus from the "old stock" of male human beings, but men
will suggest that it can.' The word "evocutate" can also be interpreted
with a double meaning, of both putting into, and taking from,
encompassing both "inoculate" and its opposite. The main point being,
"evocutate" is the correct word, just as originally printed in Q2, it
does not mean "inoculate," and it is a genuine Shakespeare coinage.
Arden erred in not respecting it.

117 relish
Means "suggest." Hamlet is referring to his "suggestion" that he loved
Ophelia, and the "suggestion" by men in general that they're virtuous.

120 *to
Arden's change to the playtext is an error. Hamlet's "Get thee a
nunnery," in Q2, can be read with the undertone meaning that she should
use her "rich gifts" from Claudius to buy a nunnery. The absence of the
word "to" in the line can be credibly interpreted as intentional. Arden
should have respected the original wording, and then noted the
possibilities.

120 nunnery
It has a double meaning. Hamlet is sincerely telling Ophelia to go to a
nunnery, a place away from men who would misuse her, and then with the
"brothel" undertone following from his mistaken conclusion that Ophelia
has become a courtesan.

121-8 I . . .us
Hamlet is not engaged in rhetorical exaggeration. He is indeed proud of
being his father's son (which is not a very sinful kind of pride.) He
is certainly revengeful (that's what the play is about.) He is
ambitious, now, to be King, since he'd then be rich, and, under his
mistaken notion, he could give Ophelia "rich gifts" to buy her
affection, which he would like to be able to do, since he loves her.

121 indifferent honest
Means "as honorable as average." Hamlet is trying to warn Ophelia about
men in general, that they're not very honest, or honorable, and will
try to deceive her. He's offering himself as the "average example,"
which he is certainly not, however.

124 beck
The particular offense at Hamlet's "beck" is the killing of Claudius,
and in undertone, it's the difficulty of thoughts, imagination, and
time to do that, which he's referring to.

127 We
It refers to men, the male sex. Hamlet is warning Ophelia against men.
Like most lines in Hamlet, it can then be plumbed for further meaning,
as well.

129 Where's your father
Hamlet asks for two reasons. One is that there's air cirulation in the
room and he's caught a whiff of Polonius. (Fishmonger. Dead dog. Smells
to Heaven. Nose him.) The second reason follows from Hamlet's mistaken
idea, under which he's sure Ophelia wouldn't become Claudius's
courtesan without Polonius being involved somehow.

130 At home
A note is required that Ophelia is only lying a little. Since Polonius
is the top aide in the government, his family is provided a suite in
the castle. Polonius is in the castle, so he's "at home." Also, it goes
back to "bestow," with the "house" or "home" meaning. Claudius and
Polonius both spoke of being "bestowed" behind the arras, meaning
"housed," or, loosely speaking, "at home." Ophelia has done what Hamlet
so often does, she has tossed an allusion at him. She is smart. This is
significant to Ophelia's characterization. However, her intelligence
doesn't help in this situation, because she doesn't have the facts of
what Hamlet thinks. Intelligence requires facts to work with, and
Ophelia doesn't know Hamlet's misunderstanding.

133 O . . . heavens
A note is required that Hamlet earlier, while speaking to himself,
hoped Ophelia would remember him in her prayers ("Nymph, in thy
orisons...") and she is doing that here right in front of him. She's
praying to Heaven for him.

134-5 this . . . dowry
Arden's note phrases it wrong. Hamlet's "for" means "as." He doesn't
mean "in place of" a dowry, he means "as" a dowry. The word usage
connects to Ophelia and Hamlet's secret engagement, which they were
keeping secret to try to avoid Polonius and Claudius getting involved
and causing difficulties.

136 calumny
Hamlet's "curse" is truer than he knows. He, himself, is "slandering"
Ophelia in his thoughts as he speaks to her, under his mistaken notion
that she's become a courtesan. The irony is profound. He says it,
without knowing what he's saying. "Calumny" also anticipates the later
slander of Ophelia as a suicide, when she will actually die by
accident, just as Gertrude will report.

137 marry a fool
A note is required that Hamlet is feeling like a fool. His phrase has
self reference. As he breaks up with Ophelia, he still adds a phrase
implicitly asking her to marry him, the "fool." He loves her so much,
he can't help it. 'Marry a fool!' he says. ('Me.') There's double
meaning, with the plain reading being Hamlet advising Ophelia to marry
some fool, and the undertone of him still asking her to marry him, the
"fool."

By the way, it is an almost universally unappreciated point that, while
Hamlet is the hero of the play, he is also The Fool. Hamlet is the
Shakespeare play where The Fool is the protagonist.

138 monsters
Also means "liars." Double meaning. The secondary meaning is that
Ophelia's husband would "lie" to her constantly that he loves her.
She'd turn him into a loving, "lying monster," if she married the
"fool." The Fool would "lie" to her every day, for the rest of his
life, that he loved her, if she married him.

138, 141-4 you . . . your . . . you
Arden is wrong. Hamlet is not attacking women in general, he's
attacking courtesans, under his mistaken idea about Ophelia. Hamlet's
"I have heard" is his reference that he has only heard about
courtesans, and has no personal experience with them. "Heard" is also
on the Ear Motif in the play. And, in relation to Ophelia, his remarks
are on the Slander motif, from his mistaken idea about her.

141-5
Notation is required that all of Hamlet's critical remarks also carry
an undertone of compliment to Ophelia. There is at least double meaning
in everything he says. Requires extended comment, not possible here.

143 *jig
Arden has erred in not respecting Q2. The word is "gig," exactly as Q2
shows. It's an archaic word that refers to the way a woman moves her
posterior while dancing. Arden has not even starred the change, or
included a note to justify it, which is unscholarly and unprofessional.

143 You . . . amble
Hamlet's criticism is directed towards the way harlots walk in a
sexually suggestive way, as they "innocently" stroll the streets.

143 *lisp
Ophelia does have a lisp, which is greatly significant in anticipation
of her "twice" (two-es) at the later 'Mousetrap Play.'

144 nickname God's creatures
Hamlet is talking about harlots calling all men "John." Men are God's
creatures, and "John" is the proverbial harlot nickname for their men.
In painful undertone, Hamlet is referring to Ophelia's nickname for
him: Robin ("bonnie sweet Robin is all my joy.")

144-5 make . . .ignorance
Means 'ignore that your wantonness is wrong,' as the plain reading.

145 I'll . . . on't
The Arden equivalent is wrong. Means, 'I can't stand to talk about it
any more.' More concisely: 'I'll say no more on it.'

145-6 It . . . mad
There is not, of course, any "antic disposition." 'Twould be good if
editors and commentators could be inoculated against use of that
misleading phrase so that they don't even relish of it. What Hamlet
means is, "it's driving me crazy." He further means it makes him angry.
Double meaning. Hamlet has seen his mother Gertrude go to Claudius, his
friends R & G go to Claudius, and now he thinks his sweetheart Ophelia
has, too. His expression that it's driving him crazy, and makes him
angry, is very easy to understand, and there's nothing clownish about
it.

150
Arden is wrong about the word order being illogical or rhetorical. It
is intentional to provide allusions for the play. "Soldier's tongue" is
advance allusion to Hamlet's indecent speech at the later 'Mousetrap
Play,' where he'll tell blue jokes like a soldier on leave at a saloon.
"Scholar's sword" is in advance of the fencing match in the last scene,
where Gertrude will speak of Hamlet being "fat and scant of breath,"
more a scholar with the sword than a swordsman in proper training.
"Courtier's eye" is reference to Hamlet's knowledge of people and
events at court, which we'll see particularly in Hamlet's description
of the courtier Ostrick who appears later. The exact word order
provides Shakespeare's allusions for his play. For Ophelia, it's
characterization that she's upset and confused. In no way is it merely
rhetoric, nor is it illogic.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-10 17:09:34 UTC
Permalink
A3s1 line 150 to end.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

151 expectation and rose
It is not hendiadys. Ophelia uses "rose" as a symbol of beauty. She
casts Hamlet as both the expectation, for the future of Denmark after
Claudius, and also as the symbol of beauty of the existing state. She
goes on to develop the "beauty" idea with "glass of fashion," etc. The
usage, of "rose" as "beauty," will occur again later in the Closet
Scene, when Hamlet will speak of taking the rose from the forehead.

157 time
Q2's "time" is unquestionably correct. There is the undertone of
allusion to Ophelia hearing wedding bells "out of time." She hoped to
wed Hamlet, but it is not to be. She was hearing the wedding bells, in
her imagination, at the wrong time. The undertone is conclusive that
"time" is right. The Folio is in error. Further, musical bells are not
tuned like string instruments, they are played by ringing the right
bell at the right time. The Folio editor(s) lacked Shakespeare's
knowledge of music, and perception of his undertone, and mistook it.

158 stature . . . youth
Hamlet is, of course, younger than 30. The only one who implies him to
be 30 is a Clown. Clowns are for amusement.

160
Arden is wrong about the stage directions, again. The exit here is
correct. It is not Ophelia's exit, of course, it is Gertrude's.

Hamlet has left, Ophelia has her head down, crying, and Polonius and
Claudius have not yet emerged from behind their arras. Gertrude steps
from behind the arras where she was hiding, and exits without any of
the others seeing her, or knowing she was there. She heard it all. In
particular, she heard Hamlet say, "Those that are married already, all
but one shall live." Gertrude is married, to Claudius, and she knows
Hamlet doesn't like that. It contributes to her alarm in the later
Closet Scene, where she fears Hamlet will murder her. She will fear
she's the one he meant.

161 Love!
Arden's exclamation point is wrong. It's a rhetorical question.
Polonius's spying scheme was supposed to prove Hamlet loved Ophelia,
for Claudius to hear. Claudius is referring to that question,
rhetorically. He then states his conclusion about it. Arden's note 161
is oblivious.

161 affections
Means "sentiments," and certainly not "passions." The play contrasts
love and passion.

165 disclose
Certainly not synonymous with "hatch." Claudius means "hatching and
taking flight." He means Hamlet's intent, as he perceives it, both
appearing and going into action. The usage is from "disclosed," a
heraldic term for the posture of a bird with its wings spread for
flight. Gertrude's later usage of "disclosed," at 5.1.276, is the same
(although with a double meaning.)

168 set it down
Means, figuratively, "written it into law." Follows from the concept
that the King's word is law.

170 Haply
Means both "perhaps," and "happily (I hope.)" Double meaning.

172 something-settled
Arden is wrong in both gloss and punctuation. Claudius's line means,
'this "something," the trouble that has settled in his heart,..."

173 puts
The Arden note is inappropriate. The Elizabethans were lax, by modern
schoolroom standards, in their use of verb number. Even Queen
Elizabeth's writings contain "grammatical errors" in verb number. Verb
number, in Elizabethan writing, is not necessarily evidence of subject.
However, the subject of "puts" is "something." Arden hid that from
themselves with their mispunctuation. Claudius means, in his lines
172-174:

This "something,"
the trouble settled in his heart,
... puts him thusly
From fashion of himself.
177-9 How . . . all
Arden's note is foolish. Polonius's lines are because he has no
perception that Ophelia must know they heard. This is characterization
of Polonius, that he lacks appreciation of anybody else's point of
view. Knowledge of the characterization of Polonius is very important
throughout the play (even after he's dead.) For one thing, Polonius's
lack of insight gets Reynaldo killed. In this scene, Polonius's lack of
perception, for Hamlet's point of view, was a crucial oversight about
the effect of Ophelia offering to return Hamlet's gifts. Polonius is
essentially blind to others' points of view, and is unable to judge
what others know or perceive, and how others feel. Here, Polonius
really does think he has to inform Ophelia that he and Claudius heard
Hamlet.

179 so . . . please
The Arden note shows no understanding of the play. Polonius does not
mean "you will act," he means "go ahead." And it is not Polonius's
proposal, it is Claudius's proposal, which Claudius just stated, and to
which Polonius, Claudius's advisor, is responding.

181 Queen-mother
Polonius says "Queen-mother" to Claudius because he thinks it might be
necessary to remind Claudius that Queen Gertrude is Hamlet's mother.
Just as in Polonius's statement to Ophelia, this is more of Polonius's
lack of perception of what others must know. He isn't sure Claudius
remembers that Hamlet is the Queen's son. Further, it's a sign of
Polonius's own difficulties in remembering, in his second childhood
that R spoke of, earlier. There is, additionally, an amusing undertone.
"Queen Mother" is the title of the reigning monarch's mother. Polonius,
speaking to King Claudius, has accidentally referred to Hamlet as the
King. Claudius overlooks it. Even further, Polonius's phrase goes back
to Hamlet "madly" saying "Uncle-father" and "Aunt-mother" to R & G.
Polonius inadvertently says a "mad" thing here on the same pattern.

187 *unwatched
A bad blunder by Arden, especially since they're supposedly presenting
the Q2 playtext. Q2 says "unmatched," and it is the right word, from
the author. The word gives advance allusion to Claudius "matching"
Hamlet's madness with the crazy fencing "match" scheme that will get
them all killed. The allusion is conclusive that "unmatched" is
correct. Immediately, for plain reading, it means "unmet." Claudius
intends to "meet" Hamlet's hostility with a counter-move, by sending
him to England.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-11 23:28:12 UTC
Permalink
A3s2 to line 50.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

0.1 three
"Three" is specified because there are three speaking parts in the
'Mousetrap Play' (the King, the Queen, and the villain,) and Hamlet
begins by instructing the Players on how to speak. It is therefore
necessary that the Players for those speaking parts be present, to hear
Hamlet's instructions about speaking. More Players may be present, but
require no stage direction.

1 the speech
We know Hamlet is talking to three people, at least, so the major
meaning of "speech" refers to the speech in the play, overall. It has
to, since he's addressing all the play's speakers. Secondarily,
however, it can be taken that he's mainly talking to the lad who will
play the queen.

2 trippingly
Strangely, Arden seems unable to distinguish the written playtext from
a stage performance of the play. It's an unaccountable lapse. Arden
points to an impression they've gained from play performances to try to
argue the written text. It's odd. It's doubly odd in a context where
Hamlet is talking about that very thing, the difference that can exist
between writer intent, and actor behavior. The lines in the play, that
the Arden editors must have had in front of their faces as they were
writing their note, were telling them their note was inappropriate, and
they apparently couldn't even appreciate the play lines well enough to
see that. Unfortunate.

3 our players
"Your" would be a flatly equal usage. In such phrasing, either word
means, identically, that an argument 'given' is being spoken of.
Additionally, Arden should have noticed that since they make it
"players in general," which is correct, it was wrong for them to
parenthetically specify "Danish" or "English" in particular. The Folio
language is wrong. The Folio makes it sound as if Hamlet means the
Players of that company in particular, which is not what he means.
Hamlet says "our" instead of the more usual "your" to avoid that
misunderstanding. That is, Shakespeare wrote "our" instead of "your" to
avoid the misunderstanding, but the Folio editor(s) missed it.

4-5 saw . . . hand
Arden had their chance here to identify what Hamlet's word "handsaw"
meant, but they cruised on by it.

7 acquire and beget
"Beget" does not mean "inculcate," it means "produce." Arden should
splurge on the purchase of a dictionary. Hamlet is saying the Players
ought to acquire temperance to smooth the passion, and thereby
"produce" a temperate performance.

9 periwig-pated fellow
Hamlet's remark makes no assumption about the proliferation of wigs. It
speaks of an actor wearing a wig; it offers nothing about anybody else
wearing one. (The phrase may, perhaps, offer a little hint of Burbage
wearing a wig while playing Hamlet. The irony of Burbage, on stage,
disparaging actors with wigs, while wearing one himself, would be
eminently Shakespearean, especially in Hamlet, and especially if the
wig is rather obvious.)

10 *tatters
Since Arden considers this merely a spelling variant, which it
reasonably is, and not a different word, why did they star it? There's
no actual change in word. By this example, they'd have to star every
spelling they changed in modernizing the text.

12 inexplicable dumb-shows
Means exactly what it says. It's advance allusion to Ophelia's question
about the later Dumb Show: "What means this, my Lord?" The hyphen is
not in Q2, and should not be used. It is best that "dumb shows" be two
separate words, because of the allusion to the Dumb Show before the
'Mousetrap Play.' For the immediate passage, and for plain reading,
"inexplicable" simply refers to a dumb show having no dialogue to
explain the action.

Further, the Arden note is historically incorrect. As Jenkins pointed
out in the Arden 2, dumb shows did not usually relate to the plot of
the accompanying play, but were either for additional action or were
emblematic. Arden is apparently trying to make the Hamlet Dumb Show
seem less remarkable, which is the wrong thing to do. The Dumb Show's
unusualness is a highly notable aspect in interpreting it properly.

20 playing
The Q2 comma after "playing" is required. Arden has left it out.

23-4 very . . . time
Not hendiadys. "Very" means "true" here.

24-5 this . . . off
The Arden note is wrong. "Tardy" refers to timing. Hamlet is saying
that the timing in the play has to be right. Arden should have more
carefully observed their own parenthetical.

27 in your allowance
Means "in your opinion," or "from your point of view." Hamlet is saying
the Players must allow, from their point of view, the judgment of the
one to outweigh the judgment of everybody else.

29 heard others praised
In this instance it's credible Q2 has a misprint which the Folio
corrects. Since Arden so easily departs from Q2, in favor of the Folio,
(despite their stated objective,) it's odd they didn't do it here. The
Folio word, "praise," doesn't require a guess at the meaning, which is
all Arden provides for the Q2 wording. The Folio "praise" is probably
correct.

31 Christian . . . man
The Q2 comma after "man" is required.

36-7 those . . . clown
There is a "clown" present, and his name is Hamlet. Hamlet's "clown"
instruction is high irony, in advance of his own behavior at the
'Mousetrap Play.' For Shakespeare's meaning, the Arden note is quite
wrong. It's an ironic allusion to Hamlet, himself, who is standing
there in the group with the Players. He's the "Player" for his own
remark about the Clown.

39 barren
Means "unoccupied" by what's going on in the play; that is, inattentive
to the play. It presents an undertone relevant to Ophelia, as she will
later be distracted by Hamlet's clownishness, and be inattentive to the
play. "Barren," in specific reference to Ophelia, is Shakespeare's
undertone that Ophelia will never have children. Another of many
brilliant (and tragic) word choices by the author.

43 SD [Exeunt Players]
Arden has the stage direction wrong, again. The Players do not exit.
Elsinore lacks a regular theater. There is no backstage where the
Players could go. The Players withdraw to a corner of the room, or an
end of the room. That's why there's no exeunt for them in Q2. They
remain on stage, at the side or in the background. The author knew his
castle setting was not a regular theater with a backstage, and editors
should realize that, also. It's conceptually a large room, equating to
the Banquet Hall at Kronborg Castle, and the Players are still within
the room as they make their preparations. A later line by Hamlet
confirms that the 'Mousetrap Play' audience can see the Players as they
make preparations. (It's Hamlet's "damnable faces" line: he's
referring to the Lucianus actor applying his stage makeup. The line is
an instance on the Painted Face motif. Hamlet, in the audience, can
see the actor preparing, applying his stage makeup, his Painted Face.
So, the Players cannot be preparing offstage from the 'Mousetrap'
audience. They must be in view, and their entries and exits, from the
'Mousetrap Play' are 'understood.' And, Hamlet's outburst, against the
Player painting his face, connects back to Claudius mentioning his
"painted face" in the Nunnery Scene, since Lucianus is supposed to
represent Claudius.)

47 SD [Exit Polonius]
Wrong SD, again. Polonius goes over to where the Players are, he does
not leave the stage. The reason Hamlet sends Polonius to the Players,
instead of back to Claudius and Gertrude, is because he now doesn't
like Polonius being associated with Claudius, under his mistaken idea
about Polonius pimping Ophelia to Claudius. So, he sends Polonius to
the Players instead of to Claudius.

48 Will . . . them
Hamlet is sending R & G to hasten Claudius and Gertrude to the play.
The "them" in line 48 refers to Claudius and Gertrude (not to the
Players.) Hamlet is not dismissing R & G to be alone with Horatio (he
couldn't be alone with Horatio since the Players and Polonius are still
onstage, and the 'Mousetrap Play' audience is arriving.) Hamlet is
sending R & G to tell Claudius and Gertrude the play is about to start.

50 just
"Judicious" is more than relevant, it's the actual meaning. Hamlet is
having the play performed to seek justice against Claudius. The usage
connects back to Hamlet speaking of a "judicious one" during his
remarks to the Players. Hamlet is here recruiting Horatio as a
"judicious one" to help judge Claudius's reaction.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-13 23:06:53 UTC
Permalink
A3s2 line 50 to 100.


Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

52 O . . . lord
Horatio is not denying it, he's reacting to the unexpected compliment,
wondering why Hamlet says it. The line is best punctuated with a
question mark, for the modern reader.

57 pregnant
Means "productive" (of reward.) The Arden gloss is wrong. The idea is
that kneeling to the master will be productive of reward to the
flatterer.

65 co-meddled
More likely, it's supposed to be 'comedlied,' from "medley," and
meaning "harmonious," since Hamlet immediately goes on to mention
playing music on a pipe. Further meaning should also be sought, as
usual.

75 the . . . soul
It doesn't refer to "entire being," it means what it says. Hamlet is
telling Horatio to consult his soul in judging Claudius, i.e. use his
intuition, in addition to the factual judgment of his mind.

80 Vulcan's stithy
"Stithy" takes specifically the "forge" meaning. Hamlet is speaking of
the possibility of the Ghost being a forgery, an imposter. The double
meaning here is in the double application of the phrase, referring both
to Hamlet's suspicions, which may be untrue, and then to the Ghost,
which may be a forgery.

85 detected
Means "despite being detected." Horatio is talking about Claudius
trying to sneak out after his guilt has been shown, or while it's being
shown. Horatio means he'll nab Claudius if he tries to sneak out during
the play. This supports casting Horatio as a sturdy fellow who could
manhandle Claudius, by the way. (Claudius will flee the play, but he
doesn't try to sneak out unseen while the play continues, so Horatio's
pledge won't apply to the way Claudius will leave. The point of
mentioning that is, there's no contradiction between Horatio's promise
and the way Claudius will leave.)

85 pay the theft
Arden's note is bizarre. Horatio means that if Claudius gets away with
his life, Horatio will pay with his own life. It's a gravely serious
pledge, much understated by Horatio.

85.1-2
Line 103 is probably supposed to be Polonius's line, since Hamlet sent
Polonius to attend the Players. The "Ros" speech prefix in Q2 is
probably a misprint. The facts, of Hamlet sending Polonius to attend
the Players, not R & G, and the lack of a Q2 entry for R & G for this
passage, indicate misprint of that speech prefix. Arden is probably
wrong to add R & G to the stage direction, rather than changing the
later speech prefix. After what's been seen of Arden and their stage
directions, one would like to give them credit here, for this one, but
it is not to be. Q2 is right; R & G should not be included in the SD.
The later speech prefix is more reasonably where the error is.

R & G are present onstage, but by the original Q2 usage of entries,
they don't get an entry. They're in the background, or off to the side,
among the extras for the 'Mousetrap Play' audience, and not in speaking
position on the stage.

Polonius properly gets an entry, even though he did not leave the stage
earlier, because of what an entry in Q2 means. It means Polonius is to
move to his speaking position on stage, because he has lines to say. An
entry, in Q2, is an instruction to the character to take his speaking
position on stage, without regard to where he was earlier. The speaking
position would usually be downstage center, as close to the audience as
an actor could reasonably get, in those pre-microphone days.

87 be idle
Arden again, hopelessly, refers to "antic disposition." There is no
such thing here. Hamlet means unoccupied, not busy. Hamlet's concern
isn't necessary, since people know Horatio is his friend, and there's
nothing suspicious about Hamlet being seen in conversation with
Horatio. But Hamlet has the jitters before his play, which makes him
excessively sensitive, and he fears that if people see him talking to
Horatio they'll think he's plotting something with Horatio. People
would not suspect that, however. Shakespeare gave Hamlet the line as a
show of his nervousness before the play. "Idle" also suggests madness,
but that's only teasing wordplay from Shakespeare about Hamlet's
upcoming behavior, which will not actually be "mad," although it may
look that way.

90 promise-crammed
Double meaning (at least.) Hamlet means the air being
"promise-crammed." The air is filled with promise, Hamlet thinks, as
the play performance approaches. Hamlet also means the promises others
have "fed" him, including Claudius, are only hot air.

92 I ... with
The author's undertone is wicked. A capon is a castrated rooster, which
lacks a sexually-functional penis. "Thing" is a euphemism for penis.
"Nothing" means "no thing." When Claudius says he has "nothing" with
the "capon" answer, he is unintentionally saying: 'If I'm a capon, I
have no thing.'

Claudius accidentally says that he is impotent. Sexually speaking, he
has no "thing," he says, albeit mistakenly. Chronic, long-term alcohol
abuse can lead to impotence. By the way. Is it only wordplay, for
Claudius? It would raise a question about why Gertrude married him, and
their actual relationship.

94 now, my lord
Of course the words are addressed to Claudius, just as Q2 shows, and as
Arden, for once, wisely respects in their playtext, although their note
is useless. It is logical wordplay, following the mention of words
being "not mine." Hamlet is calling Claudius "my lord" under the "these
are not my words" idea. Since those are "not Hamlet's words" it means
Claudius is not Hamlet's lord. Hamlet, the university scholar, is
giving Claudius a logic run-around. The Folio is wrong; the Folio
editor(s) lacked Shakespeare's skill as logician and couldn't follow
it, apparently.

95 played
A note is required, which Arden does not provide, that Hamlet is
accusing Polonius of "playing" at the university, as opposed to
studying. Polonius immediately agrees, that he "played" at the
university. This is significant further along, as well as providing
amusement here.

100 Capitol
No error can be ascribed to Shakespeare here. The line is spoken by
Polonius, who "played" at the university. It's the Polonius character
who has the location wrong, not the author. Shakespeare had the
Polonius character make the error to provide analogy.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-14 15:41:18 UTC
Permalink
A3s2 line 100 to 150.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

109-10
Arden is wrong in their note. The Folio addition is not a
clarification, it is a blunder in the Folio. Hamlet does not lie in
Ophelia's lap. Ophelia's "No" ends that, and Hamlet sits beside her in
the normal way. The subject requires extended discussion not possible
here. It may also involve the closet drama version of Hamlet, in Q2,
versus the stage version. There are strong indications that the closet
drama, Q2, is far more sophisticated and subtle.

118 your only jig-maker
"Only" does not mean "best." It never has. The line has multiple
meanings, intentionally so, as usual. For one, Hamlet's line is a joke,
meaning, 'oh god, I'm your only entertainment (at my play.)' The rest
is too long to go into here. Oddly, Arden notes Hamlet as the "clown"
here, after neglecting that point for Hamlet's earlier talk to the
Players where the Clown was mentioned.

120 within's
It has a double meaning, of both "within this" and "within his," thus
the unusual abbreviation.

120-1 two hours . . . months
Ophelia is not right, Hamlet is. Ophelia's "twice" is wordplay by the
author. Her error alludes to the two month period happening "twice,"
once in fact, and then again in portrayal, in the 'Mousetrap Play' to
be performed. As to the actual passage of time, Hamlet is correct.
Editors and commentators on Hamlet have damaged their own minds with
their zealousness for the "antic disposition" excuse, for everything
they didn't easily understand, and have thereby failed to treat
Hamlet's lines in the play with due respect and seriousness. The result
has been a persistent, gross misrepresentation of the play, and a
disservice to generations of readers. (It has been two days since the
Ghost spoke to Hamlet.) For the Ophelia character herself, "twice" is
not even an intended word, it's an error in sound she makes because of
her mild speech disorder.

The word "twice" comes from a root meaning of "two" + the suffix "-es."
In root meaning it is "two-es." That is the sound of "two" spoken with
a lisp. Ophelia has a lisp. When Ophelia starts to say "two months,"
she lisps the first word, and she makes the sound "two-es." She pauses
momentarily, tries again, and gets it right when she continues with
"two months." It reveals that Shakespeare knew "twice" comes from
"two-es," which in terms of sound is "two with a lisp."

Hamlet condemned Ophelia's lisp in the Nunnery Scene, as she heard it,
so when she lisps here, by saying "two-es," she immediately corrects
it. In strict modern spelling, and with her slight pause marked, her
line would be: "Nay, 'tis two-es... two months, my lord." She lisped
the word "two" and immediately corrected it because she didn't think
Hamlet would like the lisp, and feared he might berate her again. Since
"two-es" is the root of "twice," it can be spelled "twice" to get the
wordplay about the events occuring "twice," first in fact and then in
fiction.

Close attention to even the minor details of characterization in Hamlet
is extremely important for interpretation of the play dialogue. The
mention of Ophelia's lisp is not just atmosphere, it affects the play
dialogue, in a crucial way here. Ophelia really does lisp, and there it
is.

122-3 let . . . sables
Multiple meanings, as expected. First, Hamlet is referring to the old
man, Polonius. Hamlet means, sarcastically, if the huge period of two
months has gone by, he must now be an old man, like Polonius, and
should be wearing the sables Polonius is wearing. (Proper costuming
requires Polonius to be wearing sables at the 'Mousetrap Play.') In
exchange, Hamlet would give the "old devil" Polonius his black clothes.
With the fanciful exchange of clothing, the "devil" Polonius would then
be wearing black, and "old" Hamlet would have the suit of sables.
Hamlet casts Polonius as the "devil" because of his idea that Polonius
has pimped Ophelia to Claudius. There is, again, Hamlet's playful
young-old confusion, quite subtle here, with Polonius listening. The
line offers abundant further meaning, too long for this comment.

127 hobby-horse
As Arden mentions, the hobby-horse act was banned by the Puritans,
because it could include some vulgarity, or irreverence. Hamlet is
using it as an example of something remembered despite being banned by
authority. This pertains to Hamlet continuing to mourn his father,
despite Claudius having "banned" further mourning for Hamlet Sr.
Hamlet's "forgot" is highly sarcastic. As usual, there is double
meaning, at least. In addition, the term refers to Hamlet's unfortunate
mistake about Ophelia. A hobby is something people do for pleasure, and
a horse is something to ride. Hamlet thinks Claudius "rides" Ophelia
for pleasure since he believes she's become his courtesan, and Hamlet
fears that in consequence Ophelia will end up discarded and forgotten.
Hamlet's "forgot" is not sarcastic for the latter, it's tragic.

128 SD 128.1-11
The Dumb Show "stage directions" don't count as Hamlet stage
directions, strictly speaking, since they are in description rather
than playscript. The Dumb Show has no playscript, of course. The
description can't be viewed as extravagant with personnel since we are
to assume that an entire playing company has arrived at Elsinore for
the performance. The Dumb Show description indicates that the playing
company consists of six or seven people, (King, Queen, and Poisoner,
plus three or four more,) which is not unreasonable.

128.2 takes her up
The King represents Hamlet Sr, a great warrior king who must have been
a big, strong fellow. (The First Player is properly cast in Hamlet as a
sturdy guy.) He lifts the Queen off her feet. It means "lifts." The
Folio change might, perhaps, be authorial, to give a little additional
action in the Dumb Show, but it isn't necessary to have the Queen kneel
to interpret "takes up," so there is no need to presume additional
action not included in Q2, while interpreting Q2.

128.10 harsh
The word does not mean "unresponsive." That is a serious error. It
means she does respond, quite negatively. Initially, the Queen makes a
harsh rejection, but then changes her mind, dramatically. This is very
important for Gertrude and Claudius. It reveals that, initially,
Gertrude harshly rejected Claudius's advances, but then, for some
reason, changed her mind. In interpreting Hamlet, it is a bad mistake
to downplay this. Gertrude, at first, harshly rejected Claudius. But
then she changed her mind. Why?

130 munching mallico
"Munching" means "feasting" and continues the concept of a play
performance being a feast. The second word, properly "malhecho," is
from the Spanish 'malhechor.' The phrase means "feasting malefactor,"
where "malefactor," in turn, means "bad actor" (acter.) Primarily,
Hamlet is calling Claudius a "bad actor/acter" who is "feasting" on the
play. Hamlet uses a Spanish word to be sure Claudius won't understand
what he says. Claudius is a "feasting malefactor," Hamlet means. The
phrase has additional meaning, as well. The Folio "miching" may be an
error arising from the abundance of the English language. The Folio is
reasonably viewed in error because it seems unlikely the author would
drop the "eating" idea about a play performance after incorporating it
so well. The Q2 word "munching" is very strong in the overall analogy
of a play to a feast, and has full credibility as the word from the
author's hand.

135 *keep council
Arden has erred in not respecting Q2. The Folio is in error. "Keep" is
used with its root meaning of "behold" or "watch." Hamlet is saying the
players aren't the ones who do the "beholding," (the audience
"beholds,") rather, the players do the "telling," (the speaking.)
Hamlet's line is basically only a statement that the Players can't just
watch, they have to speak, if there's going to be a play. The Folio
word "council" does not belong there, it ruins the "watching" versus
"speaking" idea, in reference to what a play performance is, between
the audience and the actors. "Keep" with the 'watch' meaning also
alludes to the sentinels' watch, which further supports "keep": it
provides both good meaning, and relevant undertone. Apparently the
Folio editor(s) didn't understand such use of "keep," and thought a
word should be added.

147.1
Arden is badly wrong in their note. First, Duke and Duchess are not the
"correct titles" of the 'Mousetrap Play' characters. The characters are
factually a king and queen, just as Q2 says. When Hamlet later mentions
the duke and duchess, he's talking about the persons in the original
news story on which the Gonzago play was based. Conceptually, there was
a 'real' murder that was made into a play. When the Players did that,
they "promoted" the duke and duchess to become a king and queen, for
dramatic purposes - it's the same kind of "promotion" that happens all
the time in fictionalizing something. It is necessary to understand
that when Hamlet later mentions the Duke and Duchess, he is talking
about the original news story from which the Gonzago play was adapted.
That is vital in understanding Hamlet. Further, the king and queen in
the play are most certainly not "ambiguity," as Arden would so
strangely have it, they are fully intended analogy. The whole point of
the 'Mousetrap Play' performance is to analogize King Hamlet and Queen
Gertrude with the king and queen in the play, (which analogizes
Claudius with the villain,) and that is exactly why the play characters
are a king and queen, and absolutely not anything else. When Arden
calls it ambiguity, it means they simply did not understand what was
going on in Hamlet on that point. Apparently the Arden editors did not
know, or simply forgot, why the 'Mousetrap Play' is being shown in the
first place. The 'Mousetrap' king and queen are to be analogous with
King Hamlet and Queen Gertrude, so that Claudius becomes analogous to
the murderous villain. And it should not be necessary to point out to
any knowledgeable person that Q1 is both unreliable, and different from
Q2.

148-51 thirty . . . thirties
The Arden note implies that the verse is somehow different from what it
"strictly" says. It is not different from that. The first "thirty" does
mean thirty days, and the second, thirty years. The king is commenting
to the queen that it's been a month since their thirtieth wedding
anniversary. The time period referred to is, indeed, thirty days +
thirty years. The "And" at the beginning of line 150 means "plus."

149 *Tellus' orbed ground
Arden is wrong, and Q2 is correct. Arden should have respected Q2, the
text they're trying to present. "Orb'd" is not an unlikely verb, it
means "rounded." A body that orbits another body goes round it. It's no
stranger than saying a car rounds a curve. "Orb'd the ground" = (has)
gone round the earth. To orb, is to go around, in orbit. The word "orb"
here, is merely "orbit," shortened for the poetic purpose, to fit the
meter. It is precisely the intended verb, and makes no less sense as a
verb than the word "orbit" does. The Folio has either a misprint or an
editorial error.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-16 08:47:35 UTC
Permalink
A3s2 line 150 to 200.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

153 commutual
One might pruriently suppose the king and queen reciprocated, what with
them being married and all, but the word is better taken as "together."

160
Arden's guesses are wrong. The line is a separator, or divider, to
preserve stanza. The Gonzago play was written in sestets, as the king's
initial speech shows. His speech establishes the stanza. The divider
line is used here to give the queen two sestets, instead of a 12-line
stanza. It substitutes for a change of voice that does not occur, to
preserve stanza. Shakespeare knew a twelve-line stanza is not a
six-line stanza (and so should anybody.) The line is not a false start,
nor was any line omitted in printing. It is strange, and rather
disgraceful, that editors of Hamlet over many, many years have failed
to do the simple and basic task of counting the lines in the poetry to
discern stanza structure, although they couldn't have missed that the
lines are poetry. Looking for stanza is an elementary task that anybody
trying to interpret poetry should do. Never neglect fundamentals -
that's why you were taught them in school.

The poetry structure is:
(king) sestet
(queen) sestet
this divider line
(still the queen) sestet

It's as simple as that.

Arden mistakenly asserts that Hamlet's change has proven impossible to
identify. His change(s) can be identified by anybody who can count. The
Players' original Gonzago play was written in sestets, as the initial
speeches by the king and queen establish. However, the 'Mousetrap Play'
as performed has two eight-line stanzas. I wonder where those came
from. Eight is not six.

164 sized
Requires a note going back to the Player's recital about Pyrrhus at
2.2.400. The word is intentionally ambiguous, by Shakespeare. If
listeners take it as "covered over," or hidden, they may think the play
king is Claudius, and Gertrude is expressing hidden love for him. The
ambiguity of this word is an intentional facet of the performance.
Needs longer discussion, not possible here.

175 wormwood
Arden is multiply wrong. The exclamation point is not appropriate. Of
course the line is an aside. The primary meaning is not the plant, it
is reference to the Bible, Book of Revelation: 'the name of the star is
called Wormwood . . . and many men died.'

Just after the queen says, "who killed the first," Hamlet speaks up.
Hamlet is telling us a change he made. Hamlet added "who killed the
first" as a suggestive remark: Who killed Gertrude's first husband?
Observe that the queen's speech is eight lines, not six.

180-209
Arden's note is misguided. The king's speech is 30 lines, which is five
sestets. That makes it a 'given' in the Gonzago play, which was written
in sestets. The use of divider lines, as in the queen's first speech,
was dropped here for a couple of reasons. For one, they would simply
have been too numerous in such a long speech. However, the primary
reason is that the king's first 14 lines form a sonnet, so a divider
line there is impossible. The sonnet mentions something falling from a
tree, and ends with the word "accident." Something mellow (soft,
gentle, pure) fell from a tree, and it was an accident. Shakespeare
says. In a sonnet.

183 Of violent birth
Means passionate, to begin with. Not "robust."

184 *like fruit
Arden is wrong not to respect Q2. "Purpose" is not the subject. Lines
184-5 are complete in themselves, and mean:

The fruit which (is) now unripe, sticks on the tree,
But (they) fall unshaken when they mellow be.

Arden should have gotten this, since they commented just a bit earlier,
in their note 148-253, about word order in couplets. The subject of
184-5 is "the fruit." The Folio change may have been made when the
editor(s) couldn't identify the subject.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-19 00:15:09 UTC
Permalink
A3s2 line 200 to 250.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

214 blanks
Means "erases," the face of joy.

217 I be . . . I be
To a certainty, it is absolutely not any mistake by Shakespeare. Nor is
it printing error, or any kind of mistake. Q2 is unshakably right.
Notice the repetition of "be" echoes "to be or not to be," which was
spoken by Hamlet. The repetition of "be" is firmly associated with
Hamlet. So, this is a line written by Hamlet, who did not make it
pentameter. The "error" is Hamlet's. It is characterization. That's why
Shakespeare wrote it as Q2 prints it: to mark Hamlet's amateurishness.
The Folio change is definitely a blunder. The Folio editor(s) clearly
did not realize Shakespeare had intentionally given Hamlet an error in
syllable count there, to mark his inexperience. Far from being any
mistake by the author, it is wonderful craft. You're seeing Hamlet's
amateurishness - he overlooked the syllable count in what he added to
the play.

218
Hamlet's line is an aside, and once again marks where he changed the
play. Hamlet is speaking upon hearing his own changes spoken by the
actor. Again, the queen's speech is eight lines, not a sestet. It is
another change from the preexisting Gonzago play, which was written in
sestets.

Hamlet's changes turn out to be in two speeches, totaling 16 lines. Had
he obeyed the sestets of the preexisting play, the speeches would have
been 12 lines, total. So, that's where the earlier "12 or 16 lines"
mention came from. Two sestets would have been 12, but Hamlet added
more to make the two speeches total 16 lines. Hamlet meant it would be
12 lines if he abided by the play's sestet structure, but could be 16
lines if he didn't. He didn't.

218
Arden didn't understand Hamlet's aside. He's referring to the strife
that would pursue her, not exclaiming on how shocking a lapse by her
would be. As shown in Q2, exactly, he speaks immediately following the
phrase "lasting strife." In interpreting Q2, one must pay the utmost
attention to the exact printing. The original printing is superior to
the modern format in this instance, to reveal exactly where Hamlet
speaks, and why. In the typical modern format, Hamlet's aside should be
inserted between the queen's last two lines, to show he speaks when she
says "lasting strife." Arden has placed Hamlet's line wrongly. Gertrude
will experience some of that "strife" in the later Closet Scene,
directly from Hamlet. The exclamation point should not be used. Hamlet
does not exclaim, he trails off.

222 SD
Golly dang. Arden has the stage direction wrong, again. Both the king
and the queen do, in fact, exit, exactly as Q2 shows. The 'Mousetrap
Play' scene ends with a "pose." The queen steps a short distance away,
waving goodbye to the king, and stops, frozen. (There is, strangely
enough, an existing illustration of the pose.) The king lies there, for
a few seconds. Then the king actor jumps up, takes the queen's hand,
and they both bow (to applause, we can be sure,) and they exit
together. The Q2 "Exeunt" is correct, as are all the stage directions
printed in the original Q2, every one of them. One cannot properly
interpret Q2 while ignoring what it says.

Arden's foolishness would rob the king actor of his bow to his
audience! Ask an actor about THAT some time!

This is, in fact, an interval during which Hamlet and the others can
talk. It's a scene break in the 'Mousetrap Play.'

224
Hamlet asks Gertrude the question, in his line 223, partly in hopes
that Gertrude, the Queen, will compliment the queen's speeches which he
changed. Gertrude doesn't, she's critical of what the queen said.
Hamlet was fishing for a compliment, and didn't get one. Serves him
right.

225
Hamlet's line is a mistake by him, which demands a note. He makes it
sound as if the play queen will keep her word about not getting married
again. It hurts the identification of the play queen with Gertrude, who
did remarry. (The play queen's remarriage has not been shown in the
play.) By hurting the identification of the play queen with Gertrude,
Hamlet hurts the identification of the play villain with Claudius. What
Hamlet means is that the play queen will keep her word about the
"strife" that Hamlet added with his changes, but he doesn't make that
clear. Everybody within earshot of Hamlet will take it, from his
remark, that the play queen won't remarry, but they know Gertrude did.
Hamlet should keep his big mouth shut. He's damaging his own "trap" for
Claudius. This is all fully intentional by Shakespeare.

226-7
Since Hamlet replies, we know that Claudius is speaking to Hamlet. We
also know that Hamlet is the one putting on the play, so of course
Hamlet is the one Claudius would ask about it. Claudius's question
naturally follows Hamlet's reference to future events in the play. Up
to this point, Hamlet has given Claudius no indication that Hamlet
already knows the play. Upon hearing Hamlet refer to future events in
the play, Claudius takes it that Hamlet must, indeed, be familiar with
the play, and so he asks Hamlet about the story. And Hamlet replies.
Arden's notion that Claudius might somehow be talking to Polonius here,
despite the dialogue and the known facts, is foolish, and reveals a
failure to follow the flow of the dialogue. Such misguided speculation,
in company with the playtext, is an affliction to sincere readers, and
simply should not be there. (As to Polonius, he is occupied in gazing
smugly, and paternally, at the Prince sitting with his daughter.)

How's about if we just question ALL the lines in the play, as to whom
they're addressed, no matter who replies? Would that help people
understand Hamlet? Not much. The best favor any editors, or
commentators, on Hamlet could do for their readers, would be to get all
the idle, speculative trash out of their presentations, and concentrate
diligently on what the dialogue - and stage directions! - actually do
say.

Claudius does not know Hamlet's intent with the play, but he does know
Hamlet dislikes him, and upon hearing Hamlet indicate he knows the
play, Claudius is wondering if Hamlet has chosen a play that will
somehow be offensive to him. Upon hearing Hamlet allude to future
events (that the queen will keep her word,) Claudius asks Hamlet about
the synopsis, i.e. other future events. Claudius did see the Dumb Show,
but was not able to see the crucial detail of it since Hamlet staged it
wrong for him. Also, Claudius thinks the Dumb Show was significantly
different from the play, since dumb shows were, typically,
significantly different from the play they accompanied.

228 Poison
Poison did not "feature" in the Dumb Show, although the use of the
poison was a crucial detail of it (that Claudius couldn't see.)

232-3 Gonzago . . . name
Hamlet's use of "duke" is in reference to the original news story from
which the Players took their play. In fictionalizing the news report,
the Players "promoted" the duke to king, for dramatic purposes. Hamlet
is talking about the news story on which the play was based.

233 Baptista
Be that as it may, the name is not used for a male in Hamlet. One
reason the Arden presentation is not what it should be is, apparently,
the editors were not able to focus their attention on the play they
were supposed to be talking about: Hamlet. The play, here, is Hamlet.
When interpreting Hamlet it truly is necessary to pay attention to
Hamlet, and not allow one's thoughts to wander pointlessly to something
else, if one is going to do a good job. "TS" is not Hamlet, and
whatever the Arden editors for Hamlet knew, they should at least have
known that. A note entirely devoted to a different writing is a
pointless waste, and is worse than a waste if it raises in the
unsuspecting reader's mind some conception that "Shakespeare made a
mistake" using the name for a woman, or some stupid crap like that. The
Arden note should not be there.

236 Let . . . unwrung
The line has a double meaning, where the second meaning is in reference
to equine coition. For that, "unwrung" means "unclasped." This second
meaning is allusion to Hamlet's mistaken idea about Ophelia and
Claudius, and connects back to "hobby-horse."

236.1 SD [Enter Lucianus]
It's a stage direction in Arden, so you can guess what it is. Wrong?
Right. Arden has placed the stage direction incorrectly. It is required
for Hamlet to speak his "nephew" line before this entry, exactly as Q2
shows. There is a reason. Hamlet is the nephew of the King, as they all
sit there, and it is necessary the focus be on Hamlet, not the Player,
as Hamlet speaks the line. This is because of what the name "Lucianus"
means. That's why the Q2 SD is after Hamlet's "nephew" line, and not
before it. Full discussion requires more space than this comment
allows.

238 as good as a
The Folio wording is an error, and Arden is wrong to mention it in
association with the Q2 text. Ophelia's line completes the joke, and
must be stated as Q2 shows, to convey the humor properly. There is a
joke involved, which the Folio editor(s) apparently did not know, or
had forgotten. Something we all do know, is that jokes often require a
certain wording.

239-40
Arden's "poopies" is poop, as far as Q2 is concerned. There's no sound
editorial reason to mention that in association with the Q2 playtext.

242 groaning
As Hamlet speaks the line, neither possibility mentioned by Arden can
be right. It refers to groans, or moans, during sexual intercourse.
Hamlet does not think Ophelia is a virgin (and he's wrong,) and for her
to have his child is a twinkle that has faded from his eye, because of
his tragic mistake about her relationship with Claudius.

242-3 take . . . edge
It means "blunt my edge," and has an intentional multiple reference.

246 damnable faces
Double meaning. The actor has not begun yet, is preparing while in
sight within the room, and he is attending to his stage makeup. So,
"damnable faces" also has reference to a painted face, and follows on
the "painted face" mentions by Claudius and Hamlet, earlier.

247 'the croaking . . . revenge'
Beyond what Arden mentions, the "Raven" is the historical battle flag
of Denmark. Hamlet is waving the war flag at Claudius, so to speak, as
the Lucianus character enters, who is supposed to represent Claudius.

248-53
These lines are not by Hamlet. We know that because they are a sestet,
which makes them a given in the Gonzago play, which was written in
sestets. The lines Hamlet wrote for the queen have already been spoken.

249 Considerate
The Q2 word is right. Arden is wrong to think it requires
interpretation through synonym. For plain reading, it is simply the
word. Lucianus is saying: '(It's) considerate of the time to have no
other person watching (me.)' The Folio word is wrong. "Considerate"
refers, at root, to watching, which goes right along with what Lucianus
says, and also continues the "watch" motif. Further, the ultimate root
for "consider" refers to stars, and the 'Mousetrap Play' is being
performed at night, while the stars are out. The Q2 word is
unchallengeable, firmly supported in both meaning and allusion. The
Arden comment about a mistake in reading long S may be apt, but if so,
it applies to the Folio.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-21 04:42:44 UTC
Permalink
A3s2 line 250 to 300.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

251 Hecate
Requires printing in the original spelling, "Hecat," with a note. It is
wordplay on Hamlet being the "he-cat" in pursuit of the "mouse,"
Claudius. Arden errs in not noting the original spelling. The original
spelling is needed for the wordplay.

251 *infected
Q2 "invected" is right. It might be intended to suggest a pun with
"infected," but "invected" is the correct word in the playtext. Related
to "invective," certainly. Why Arden would take the OED as a source for
Shakespeare, rather than the unquestionable historical fact of vice
versa, is a mystery. They do know better than that. The OED may now be
authoritative for modern writings, but it is not for the original
Shakespeare printings.

253 SD
It's an Arden stage direction. Do I have to tell you?

Q2 is correct, and the Folio is in error. Arden has erred, again, in
not being true to their goal of presenting Q2. The play king is not
there to poison. He is not onstage. The king bowed to his audience and
left at the earlier scene break, as Q2 shows, and he has not reentered.
This Lucianus Scene is a solo scene to introduce the villian to the
audience. The king and queen were introduced in the first scene; now
the villian is being introduced in the second scene. The poisoning
would be in the next scene, probably, but the 'Mousetrap Play' will be
interrupted before that. The Folio editor(s) either did not understand,
or they had seen Hamlet in stage performance different from Q2, which
colored their judgment. Hamlet will soon speak of "the talk of the
poisoning," and not 'the poisoning,' which confirms that the 'Mousetrap
Play' presented only talk by Lucianus, and not the poisoning, itself.
The Arden stage direction is wrong. It's highly arguable that stage
performance, reflected in the Folio, was different from the closet
drama Q2, but Arden is supposed to be presenting Q2 in this volume.

262 SD [Exeunt all but Hamlet and Horatio]
As Q2 says, everybody exits except them. That's correct. It gives a
brief "spotlight" scene for Hamlet and Horatio. Then, concerning the
Players, it's necessary to know what an entry means in Q2, which has
already been described in these comments. The Players will return soon,
with musical instruments, but without an express entry. The Players are
there in service to Hamlet, as was already made known, and since the
play has been stopped they return to play music for Hamlet, if he wants
to hear it. They do not get an entry for that in Q2, because they do
not move into the speakers' area of the stage, and they have no lines.
The Q2 entries are keyed especially to lines of dialogue. Since the
Players remain in the background, or off to the side, and say nothing,
they get no Q2 entry. They will "enter," i.e. appear on stage, at L282,
or just before.

263-6
It's doubtful the lines are from a ballad. More likely, it's Hamlet's
own improvisation, since it contains several nice allusions (which
would be from Shakespeare, for his play.) The author is probably having
Hamlet improvise here.

265 sleep
Requires a note to point out that it's being used with a double
meaning. Sleep, here, also means "die" ("to sleep, perchance to
dream.") Hamlet is singing that Claudius must die.

266 Thus . . . away
The "world" of Hamlet is Denmark, which is also the name used for the
King. So, as usual, there's a double meaning. The line means both, 'so
it goes in the world,' and also, 'thus Claudius runs away.'

267 forest of feathers
Multiple meanings. First, it means "bombast." Feathers were used for
stuffing (as they still are, sometimes.) Hamlet is admitting it would
take a "forest of feathers" to pad out his own bit of writing into a
full-length play. There's also reference to feathers on the hat. Hamlet
thinks that with the results of his 'Mousetrap Play' he has earned more
than one "feather in his cap" as the saying goes. He thinks he's earned
a "forest of feathers" in his cap. It's from the saying about a person
getting a feather in his cap, or hat.

Then, there is probably intended allusion to actors wearing plumed
hats, as Arden mentions. In support, it gives advance allusion to the
Ostrick courtier, who will appear later, and the business with his hat
(which, with proper costuming, will have a large ostrich plume on it.)

Further, it is also significant that in classical depiction, feathers
on the head were used to illustrate a fool, a person who was a "feather
head" or a "birdbrain." Shakespeare knew that. The idea appears here as
an ironic undertone to Hamlet's praise of himself. Hamlet, himself,
says he thinks he should have feathers on his head, a whole "forest" of
them. It would make Hamlet a total "feather head." (Strangely, there is
an existing illustration of "Hamlet" with a "forest of feathers" on his
head, by the way.)

268-9 provincial roses
"Provincial" means "from the provinces." The style of shoe roses in the
countryside would lag behind the latest style in the city. This is on
the Fashion motif in the play. Fashionable people in the city could
easily spot a country fellow by his shoes, among other things. Hamlet
is talking about arriving in the city, wearing country fashion, that
marked him as somebody from out of town. Hamlet's speech in L267-70 is
reference to something like, oh, if he pretended to be an ordinary
fellow from the country (from a "province" like Warwickshire, perhaps,)
arriving in the city (like London, perhaps,) wearing out of date
fashion, but had some good writings to offer, they should earn him a
share in a company of players (like the Lord Chamberlain's Men,
perhaps.) That sort of thing.

There's double meaning, as expected. The rose is a symbol of beauty, so
Hamlet's phrase refers to "provincial beauty." Hamlet is talking about
impersonating a "provincial beauty," so to speak.

For Hamlet in the play, he basically means that if he pretended to be
an ordinary fellow, his writings (and acting) should earn him a share
in a players' company on merit, not because he was the Prince.

269 cry
Arden is quite wrong. "Cry" is reference to the fact that players
"speak out" on stage, and also sing. It's reference to vocalization,
which is necessary for an actor. There isn't anything the least bit
contemptuous about the term, as Hamlet uses it. He's calling the
players a "cry" because vocalization is what they do. They "cry out" on
stage. There's also some reference to "cry" as in weeping, in relation
to the performance of tragedy plays; it was expressly stated that these
Players who have arrived at Elsinore are Tragedians. It's odd Arden
would imagine Hamlet is being contemptuous of what he, himself, has
just stated he would like to do. Such an attempt at interpretation is
obviously highly doubtful.

271
Horatio is not being skeptical, he's teasing his friend. It's joking.
Hamlet has just claimed a fellowship, and Horatio is jokingly
"negotiating" with him, offering a half share in the company. It's
banter between good friends. Arden has taken such a grim approach to
the play that they can't see the humor in it. Horatio's line cannot be
serious skepticism, because Horatio knows Hamlet is not being serious.

Further on Arden's note, Arden is wrong in advance. Horatio's replies
at 280 and 282 are not "non-committal," they are expressly in agreement
with Hamlet, obviously. There is nothing "non-committal" about openly
expressing agreement. One wonders what Arden expected - that Horatio
would hire a brass band?

272 A whole one I
Requires a note. Double meaning. Hamlet is jokingly responding to
Horatio's "offer," by demanding a full share. For that, "I" means
"Aye." In addition, the author has given a wicked undertone to Hamlet's
line. There, "I" means as it stands, and "whole" puns with "hole."
Hamlet says he's a "hole" one. It goes back to what the name Lucianus
means. Hamlet is unintentionally calling himself that again.

Delving deeper, one can find even more, in what might appear to be such
a simple line. Hamlet, as he speaks to Horatio, says he's "a whole
one," which can be taken as meaning a whole person. That's as opposed
to being "a piece" of a person, which was an expression Horatio used
earlier, in the first Scene of the play, before seeing the Ghost.
Horatio has said he's "a piece" of a person, and now Hamlet says he's
"a whole one." This is both wordplay, and conceptual play.

273-6
The source is "Shakespeare."

273 Damon
In casting Horatio as Damon, Hamlet casts himself as Pythias, the one
who was condemned to death for plotting to kill a tyrant. The reference
is highly complimentary to Horatio; it is not so good for Hamlet.

276 pajock
It is, indeed, obscure as it stands in Q2. The historical suggestion of
"peacock" is probably correct, both because of meaning, and the
wordplay it offers. "Peacock" puns with "pee-cock," which goes back to
Hamlet calling Claudius a capon, that has a "cock" which is good only
for urination. So, "peacock" finds support both from fable, and also
through wordplay. Further, a peacock makes a harsh noise, which could
be likened to a jackass braying. That also tends to support Hamlet
saying "peacock" in reference to Claudius (and saying "peacock" in
place of "jackass," since Hamlet has already mentioned Claudius
"braying.")

Arden's modernized spelling is not necessarily correct. Another
possibility is "payock," with the original 'i' used for 'y'. The word
could be "paycock" with the first "c" accidentally missed. It could
indicate "peacock" being spelled phonetically as "paycock." Or, the
word as it stands could indicate the pronunciation "pay'ock," with the
first 'c' apostrophized. Thus, it's possible to account for the
spelling, perhaps not even really changing it except to add an
apostrophe, while taking the word as "peacock," a word which does offer
good meaning in context, in multiple ways.

284 recorders
Thank heavens Arden didn't add a stage direction. The Players are
onstage without an express entry, as already mentioned. They're to the
side, or in the background, and remain there. When Hamlet calls out,
they begin to play in the background. They say no lines, and do not
move to the speakers' area of the stage, so they don't rate an entry in
Q2.

286
Hamlet says "comedy" because as he sees it his 'Mousetrap Play' had a
happy ending. In classical terms, a "comedy" ends happily.

286 it
The word requires a note. "It" refers to the music. Hamlet is saying
that since Claudius didn't like the "comedy" play, he probably doesn't
like music either, so they should go ahead and play the music without
him.

287.1 SD [Enter R & G]
F's early placement of the SD probably means the musician-actors they
had in actual stage performance couldn't really play, so they brought R
& G on early to alleviate that problem. F probably does agree with Q1
for that reason. The "musicians" had to be interrupted because they
couldn't actually play their instruments, or not well.

On the printed page, the fictional musicians are as talented as one
pleases. So it isn't a problem in the Q2 closet drama. Hamlet calls for
music, the player-musicians play for a while, quite well, for Hamlet's
enjoyment, and then R & G enter, as Q2 shows.

Hamlet does not engage in any "manic behavior," by the way. Arden does
not understand the play. The only incident, where Hamlet's original
mention of "antic disposition" takes on any real further meaning, has
already gone by, at this point.

290 history
The title of the original printing is "The Tragical History of Hamlet."
The word "history" appears in it. In undertone, Shakespeare is having
Hamlet say to Guildenstern that he'll tell him the whole play, the
whole "history." The Hamlet character, himself, could not actually do
that. This is highly tongue-in-cheek by the author.

~~~~~
c***@gmail.com
2006-10-21 20:45:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Willedever
251 Hecate
Requires printing in the original spelling, "Hecat," with a note. It is
wordplay on Hamlet being the "he-cat" in pursuit of the "mouse,"
Claudius. Arden errs in not noting the original spelling. The original
spelling is needed for the wordplay.
All right: an interesting notion, and one I'd like to challenge:
--I won't say it's wrong, but I'm looking to test it:

When else is Hamlet linked to the devil?

How do you know Claudius is a mouse?

(I'm asking questions to which I have answers, but am interested
in yours: no need to get upset here.)

What about when Hamlet calls Claudius a gib, a tom-cat?

Assuming that "Hecate" is meant to play on "he-cat": the further
step that "he-cat" refers to Hamlet requires arguing, since Hamlet
has not thrice blasted, thrice infected--or even invected--the poison
poured in the ear of the Player King. Even if that action is to be
placed in the next scene and consequently interrupted.
Post by Willedever
Q2 is correct, and the Folio is in error. Arden has erred, again, in
not being true to their goal of presenting Q2. The play king is not
there to poison. He is not onstage. The king bowed to his audience and
left at the earlier scene break, as Q2 shows, and he has not reentered.
This Lucianus Scene is a solo scene to introduce the villian to the
audience. The king and queen were introduced in the first scene; now
the villian is being introduced in the second scene. The poisoning
would be in the next scene, probably, but the 'Mousetrap Play' will be
interrupted before that. The Folio editor(s) either did not understand,
or they had seen Hamlet in stage performance different from Q2, which
colored their judgment. Hamlet will soon speak of "the talk of the
poisoning," and not 'the poisoning,' which confirms that the 'Mousetrap
Play' presented only talk by Lucianus, and not the poisoning, itself.
Keep in mind that it doesn't so much matter if Claudius saw the
poisoning performed or not: in fact, the poisoning has been performed
in the dumb show. Claudius does not respond because, as you note,
he responds to the *talk* of the poisoning: talk, like poisoning
itself,
goes in the ear of the listener: and, for Shakespeare, language was
the source of drama's power.
Post by Willedever
The Arden stage direction is wrong. It's highly arguable that stage
performance, reflected in the Folio, was different from the closet
drama Q2, but Arden is supposed to be presenting Q2 in this volume.
Harold Jenkins aimed at producting a conflated text to approach
the _Hamlet_ that Shakespeare 'actually' wrote. He believed Q2
the source closest to that _Hamlet_, but did not aim to present Q2
alone. Have you read _The Shakespeare Wars_? Chapters 1 and 2
retell the story of _Hamlet_ editorship, with the writer's interview
with
Jenkins taking a prominent role.

I didn't much like the book, but insofar as the author actually
dispensed
some information I hadn't had access to I got something out of it.


Conrad.
Willedever
2006-10-22 07:59:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@gmail.com
When else is Hamlet linked to the devil?
Polonius does so, for one. It's when he says "sugar over the devil,
himself" in the Nunnery Scene, when Polonius has set things up hoping
to fool Hamlet. Polonius inadvertently refers to Hamlet as 'the devil,
himself.' Polonius doesn't mean to, but he does say it.
Post by c***@gmail.com
How do you know Claudius is a mouse?
Because the "Mousetrap' is designed by Hamlet to catch Claudius. One
catches a mouse with a mousetrap. It's as easy as that.
Post by c***@gmail.com
Assuming that "Hecate" is meant to play on "he-cat": the further
step that "he-cat" refers to Hamlet requires arguing, ...
It's only simple wordplay. Although much of Hamlet is complicated, not
everything is. Many words in Hamlet include simple wordplay, by
themselves, although the lines overall are more complex. Claudius is
the 'mouse,' and Hamlet is after Claudius, so that makes Hamlet the
'cat.'
Post by c***@gmail.com
Keep in mind that it doesn't so much matter if Claudius saw the
It matters very much whether the 'Mousetrap' audience in general saw
it. When the play is interrupted before any actual poisoning is shown,
in the Q2 version, the audience doesn't know whom Lucianus is going to
poison, if anybody. They don't know whether Lucianus might poison some
character who hasn't appeared yet, or Lucianus may get caught, or what
will happen. As far as they know, Lucianus might get caught in the
act, with the villain suffering, and justice triumphant. That very
commonly happens in stories. We, the readers of 'Hamlet', know, or we
can easily guess that Lucianus is going to poison the king, but the
'Mousetrap' audience doesn't know. A person who has read Hamlet
mustn't confuse his own knowledge of the events with the knowledge the
play characters, themselves, have at some particular point. The
characters within 'Hamlet' don't know their future.

When Claudius leaves, the 'Mousetrap' audience doesn't know the play is
going to depict Lucianus poisoning the king character. So, the focus
in 'Hamlet' remains only Hamlet versus Claudius, as events proceed, and
not the whole audience chasing Claudius. This is very important to the
events of 'Hamlet.' And, it's superb stagecraft by Shakespeare. It
preserves the focus as Hamlet v Claudius, without confusing the issue
by having everybody after Claudius.

Shakespeare did a masterful job there, which is very much
underappreciated. He allowed Hamlet to think of a trap for Claudius,
and then actually to set the trap in motion, for everybody to see, but
then he got Claudius away without everybody chasing him, and preserved
the focus as Hamlet v Claudius. That is NOT easy to do in a story - to
give the hero a PUBLIC trap for the villain, but still have the villain
leave with only the hero after him. It's outstanding stagecraft, that
the author achieved in 'Hamlet' and it ought to be better acknowledged.
Post by c***@gmail.com
Harold Jenkins aimed at producting a conflated text
That's right, and overall he did an excellent job of it. But he still
relied too much on the Folio, even after he decided to follow Q2,
generally. The Folio is worse than people have realized.
c***@gmail.com
2006-10-22 17:44:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Willedever
Post by c***@gmail.com
When else is Hamlet linked to the devil?
Polonius does so, for one. It's when he says "sugar over the devil,
himself" in the Nunnery Scene, when Polonius has set things up hoping
to fool Hamlet. Polonius inadvertently refers to Hamlet as 'the devil,
himself.' Polonius doesn't mean to, but he does say it.
Okay, that's an argument: I see your reasoning. Certainly I
respect the principle of dramatic irony that you're talking about,
where what the character says and what Shakespeare says are
two different things.

"Sugar o'er the devil," I'd say, refers to a hidden Claudius and an
apparent Ophelia, because during Ophelia's funeral Gertrude strews
flowers on her grave and says, "Sweets for the sweet." Also during
the nunnery scene itself, Claudius talks about being painted himself,
indicating he is the ugliness Ophelia (unwittingly) covers. Claudius
is literally covered, by the tapestry. And Hamlet attacks Ophelia
because of her "paintings" and how God has given girls one face
and they make themselves another: Hamlet sees the surface, but
not the depth.

These things indicate to my mind that Ophelia is the sweet surface
and Claudius the hidden ugliness, the painted-over devil Polonius
refers to.

I'd say a stronger reference to Hamlet being evil is in the Player's
speech, especially the line about "hellish Phyrrus."
Post by Willedever
Post by c***@gmail.com
How do you know Claudius is a mouse?
Because the "Mousetrap' is designed by Hamlet to catch Claudius. One
catches a mouse with a mousetrap. It's as easy as that.
The _Mousetrap_ is meant to catch Claudius but it actually
catches and kills Polonius: and that happens with Hamlet
crying, "A rat! A rat!"

Gertrude had been afraid that Hamlet was about to kill her,
and later in the closet scene Hamlet tells her not to let Claudius
seduce her by calling her his mouse.

Claudius, as far as I'm able to make out, is linked with one
animal, and that is the snake: the Ghost: "Know thou noble
youth that the serpent that did sting my life now wears my
crown." (from memory) And indeed the image of Claudius
as serpent is consistent with him as the seducer of Gertrude
and as the sugary devil.
Post by Willedever
Post by c***@gmail.com
Assuming that "Hecate" is meant to play on "he-cat": the further
step that "he-cat" refers to Hamlet requires arguing, ...
It's only simple wordplay. Although much of Hamlet is complicated, not
everything is. Many words in Hamlet include simple wordplay, by
themselves, although the lines overall are more complex. Claudius is
the 'mouse,' and Hamlet is after Claudius, so that makes Hamlet the
'cat.'
I like the thinking, but can't buy the conclusion. Especially
since cats don't use mousetraps.

But you *do* have me taking another look at the text. And
that when I'm supposed to be taking a break from it...
Post by Willedever
That's right, and overall he did an excellent job of it. But he still
relied too much on the Folio, even after he decided to follow Q2,
generally. The Folio is worse than people have realized.
That may be.


Conrad.
Willedever
2006-10-23 00:21:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@gmail.com
"Sugar o'er the devil," I'd say, refers to a hidden Claudius and an
apparent Ophelia,
Right. But the line has multiple references. It's intentionally
ambiguous, from Shakespeare. When Polonius says it, what the Polonius
character, himself, is doing is only reciting a saying. Polonius likes
sayings, so he recites one. He doesn't mean it literally, he's talking
about putting a "sweet" appearance on their "devilish" spying scheme.
It's an exaggerated saying, as far as that goes. (I'm sure you're
pretty well aware of that, I just mention it in the general way.)

Then, looking at it in relation to the characters, Ophelia is naturally
taken as the "sugar," and either Claudius or Polonius can be viewed as
"the devil" behind the arras. Claudius is "the devil" of a murderer,
and Polonius is the "devil" who thought of the dishonest spying scheme.
"Devil" works in reference to both of them being "devilish" in their
respective behaviors: Claudius being a murderer, and Polonius being
dishonest.

But of course Polonius isn't intending to call himself and Claudius
devils. He's talking about fooling Hamlet. With that understanding,
it can be read as "sugaring" - tempting - the devil. "Sugar over" =
tempt with "sugar" to come over. So the line gives a reference to
Hamlet, too, as the "devil" being tempted over by "sugar."

This kind of thing is what makes 'Hamlet' such a beast to interpret.
Shakespeare, with his great word power, could write lines that have
reference to as many as three or four of his characters, all at the
same time, depending on exactly how the lines are read. Nearly every
line in the play has to be pondered, as to how it might apply to each
character.

It's the same basic idea as Ralph's letter in the old English comedy
play 'Ralph Roister Doister.' Ralph has a scribe write a letter for
him, but unfortunately the way Ralph expresses himself, the letter can
be read two different ways, and it causes a problem. Shakespeare took
the "ambiguous writing" idea, and went 'mad' with it in 'Hamlet.'
There are hundreds - thousands? - of lines in the play that can be read
more than one way, or that have reference to more than one thing. The
lines were intentionally written that way, by a man who may have been
the greatest writer who ever lived.

And in addition to that, if that weren't enough, Shakespeare left
things unsaid, that have to be inferred. Like Hamlet's "bad dreams."
What happens to Reynaldo. Why Gertrude really married Claudius. Who
the Ghost really is. What Fortinbrasse is really doing. Why Ophelia
is really "mad." Etc.

It all means 'Hamlet' can't be read like regular writing. It's
intricately interconnected, with hundreds, or thousands, of references
going back and forth. A reader who tries to read it like reading a
newspaper will end up lost in it. As so many have been.

A quick example: Hamlet's word "o'ercrows" in his death speech, in the
last Scene, connects all the way back to Marcellus talking about the
rooster crowing, in the first Scene. That's just one little sample of
how interconnected the play is.
Post by c***@gmail.com
I'd say a stronger reference to Hamlet being evil is in the Player's
speech, especially the line about "hellish Phyrrus."
Right, that's another one.
Post by c***@gmail.com
The _Mousetrap_ is meant to catch Claudius but it actually
Polonius is killed by his own spying scheme (and Hamlet's rashness.)

The 'Mousetrap' does catch Claudius, for Hamlet, but Hamlet lets him go
in the Prayer Scene. In the Prayer Scene there's a reversal: Claudius
catches Hamlet's conscience, by praying.

Hamlet's "show" of the 'Mousetrap Play' catches Claudius for him, but
then Claudius's "show" of praying catches Hamlet. It's a wickedly
confused cat-and-mouse game. Who's the cat, and who's the mouse? The
ultimate answer is, it's both of them, at the same time, playing
cat-and-mouse with each other - and sometimes not even knowing it, like
Claudius in the Prayer Scene, who doesn't know Hamlet is there.
Claudius "catches" Hamlet's conscience without even knowing it. Wild.
Post by c***@gmail.com
and that happens with Hamlet
crying, "A rat! A rat!"
Yes, Hamlet cries "a rat" in Gertrude's room. He also says "mouse" in
Gertrude's room, while talking to Gertrude. The Catholic saint, Saint
Gertrude of Nivelles, is a patron against rats and mice, (and also a
patron of pilgrims, a patron of gardeners, and a patron of those who
have recently died.) Shakespeare used a "Gertrude" name connection
there. He probably kept the name "Gertrude" from the old 'Amleth'
story, where a form of the name appears, because he could use it for
references to the saint, to add additional undertones to the play.
Saint Gertrude of N. is typically pictured with mice. (Also, the root
meaning of "Gertrude" contains a meaning of "spear" - Old High German
'ger.' In Q2, when the "Ger" speech prefix is used, it could be
"translated" as "spear." Just a bit of trivia there.)

Hamlet says "rat" and "mouse" in Gertrude's room. St Gertrude of N is
a patron against rats and mice.

Hamlet tells Gertrude, in Gertrude's room, not to put compost on the
weeds. St Gertrude of N is a patron of gardeners.

Ophelia, when she's mad, wants to see Gertrude, and Ophelia sings to
Gertrude about Hamlet being on a "pilgrimmage." St Gertrude of N is a
patron of pilgrims.

King Hamlet, Gertrude's first husband, has recently died, and Polonius
dies in Gertrude's room. St Gertrude of N is a patron of those who
have recently died.

So there are "Gertrude" name associations, between Queen Gertrude and
St Gertrude of N, which are very nicely done, and scattered through the
play. St Gertrude of N had a significant following in Elizabethan
times. It wasn't at the level of St Francis (of the Franciscan order,)
but she was well known. I mention that because the author's use of
that saint doesn't necessarily imply Shakespeare being a Catholic, or a
follower of St Gertrude of N. He could have known about her anyway,
because she was popular at the time.

Back to "mouse." The first creature mentioned is a mouse - "not a
mouse stirring." When Francisco says that, Claudius is, indeed, not
stirring. Claudius is asleep, or at least not making noise, in
comparison to the next night when Claudius will be loudly "stirring,"
as he has the cannons fired during his rouse. Then, later in the play,
Laertes asks Claudius why he "mainly (was) stirred up." That use of
"stirred" goes all the way back to Francisco, and the mouse not
"stirring." It's another Claudius-mouse connection.
Post by c***@gmail.com
Claudius, as far as I'm able to make out, is linked with one
Yes, he is, but he's also linked to both the cat and the mouse, as
well. It's not that simple. A comprehensive note about "Hecat" at the
'Mousetrap Play' would discuss it in relation to both Claudius and
Hamlet. The "cat" idea applies to both of them, in their
"cat-and-mouse game." Claudius is "serpent," AND "cat" AND "mouse,"
depending on context. In the Garden (orchard) he's the "serpent." For
Hamlet's 'Mousetrap' he's the mouse. But as a predator (the poisoner
at the fencing match) Claudius is the "cat," and Hamlet becomes the
mouse.

So, it's enough to drive ya nuts. And Shakespeare did it
intentionally. The exact context has to be observed.
Post by c***@gmail.com
... Especially
since cats don't use mousetraps.
Sure they do, but their "traps" are built in. "Trap" is a term for
"mouth," still in common use in slang: 'Shut yer trap,' don't flap yer
trap, and such expressions.

Hamlet's 'Mousetrap' is designed to "bite" Claudius. "Trap" has
allusion to a mouth, that bites. It connects to Hamlet speaking of
Hell opening its mouth, graveyards yawning, and so on. The Mouth
motif. Which also connects to the Feast/Eating motif. Claudius, at
the 'Mousetrap Play,' as he watches, is "munching" on the play that
Hamlet has designed to "bite" him.
Post by c***@gmail.com
Me: The Folio is worse than people have realized.
You: That may be.
It's definitely worse. The blatant example is that the Folio editor(s)
"killed" Claudius at the start of Act 4, and obviously didn't even know
it.
c***@gmail.com
2006-10-25 00:12:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Willedever
Post by c***@gmail.com
and that happens with Hamlet
crying, "A rat! A rat!"
Yes, Hamlet cries "a rat" in Gertrude's room. He also says "mouse" in
Gertrude's room, while talking to Gertrude. The Catholic saint, Saint
Gertrude of Nivelles, is a patron against rats and mice, (and also a
patron of pilgrims, a patron of gardeners, and a patron of those who
have recently died.)
Excellent info.
Post by Willedever
Post by c***@gmail.com
... Especially
since cats don't use mousetraps.
Sure they do, but their "traps" are built in. "Trap" is a term for
"mouth," still in common use in slang: 'Shut yer trap,' don't flap yer
trap, and such expressions.
But also, "trap" is slang for a woman's genitalia. And Gertrude
is refered to as a mouse...


Conrad.
Paul Crowley
2006-10-25 12:53:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@gmail.com
Post by Willedever
Sure they do, but their "traps" are built in. "Trap" is a term for
"mouth," still in common use in slang: 'Shut yer trap,' don't flap yer
trap, and such expressions.
But also, "trap" is slang for a woman's genitalia. And Gertrude
is refered to as a mouse...
'Claptrap' is, no doubt, a play on bawdy
sense, even if the dictionaries show a
'respectable' derivation and sense.

'Clap' (OED n2)
a. Gonorrhoa.
1587 Myrr. Mag., Malin iii, Before they get the Clap. a1605 Montgomerie
Flyting 312 The clape and the canker.
1851 Mayne Exp. Lex., Clap, vulgar name for the disease Baptorrhoa.

'Claptrap' (OED)
1. (with pl.) A trick or device to catch applause; an expression designed to elicit applause.
1727-31 Bailey II, A Clap Trap . . . a trap to catch a clap by way of applause from
the spectators at a play.
1788 Dibdin Musical Tour lxiii. 161 Sentiments which, by the theatrical people, are
known by the name of clap traps.


Paul.
Willedever
2006-10-22 08:17:42 UTC
Permalink
A3s2 line 300 to 350.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

301 *start
Q2 "stare" is correct. It is an embedded stage direction. Hamlet has
given G a bug-eyed stare to tease him, since Hamlet knows G thinks he's
mad. Hamlet's stare is perhaps best done at the word "purgation." The F
editor(s) apparently couldn't relate it to the stage action, and
changed Shakespeare's word.

The correctness of "stare" is confirmed as the passage continues.
Properly played, when R speaks, at first, Hamlet will not look at him,
but will continue to look at G. This goes back to "have an eye of you,"
when R looked at G while Hamlet was talking to R. Hamlet will "return
the favor," as they say, in this passage. It's more on the concept of
looking at the person you're talking to. So, we know that Q2 "stare" is
right, because it's confirmed in the passage when the action is taken
into account. Hamlet will stare at G while R speaks to Hamlet.

301 from my affair
It means "because of" my business. G is trying to say that he's on
serious business. "From" also means "away from," as Arden says. Double
meaning.

303-4
G has, amusingly, made it sound as if he's an affliction to Gertrude,
so Gertrude has therefore sent G to Hamlet, to be rid of him. G
unintentionally implies he's come to Hamlet looking for a job, after
Gertrude found him unsuitable.

G also says, "the Queen your mother" as if he thinks it necessary to
remind Hamlet that Gertrude is his mother. That isn't necessary, of
course, it's absurd. This connects with Polonius saying "Queen-mother"
to Claudius, earlier, where Polonius thought it might be necessary to
remind Claudius that Gertrude was Hamlet's mother. It is significant
characterization. G, from being in service to Claudius, is starting to
sound like Polonius.

305
Arden doesn't understand the play. Hamlet is, facetiously, welcoming G
into his service, since G apparently just said he afflicted Gertrude,
so she sent him to Hamlet, to be Hamlet's servant, instead. Hamlet
doesn't think G really meant that, but he is amused at G apparently
saying he afflicts Gertrude, and Hamlet responds to the notion.
Hamlet's reply is courteous, but facetious.

It is not Hamlet who implies it's the end of the matter, it was G who
implied that. He implied he was looking for a job. Hamlet's facetious
welcome would, indeed, end that point, of what G seemed to say.

311 Sir, I cannot
Demands a note, which Arden fails to provide. The reason why Hamlet
says he cannot give G an answer, is for the simple reason that G has
stupidly neglected to tell Hamlet why he's talking to Hamlet. G is
wanting an answer without stating the question. G has not told Hamlet,
at this point, that Gertrude wants to see him. Not knowing the
question, of course Hamlet cannot answer it. R will - finally - reveal
the "mysterious question" at L322.

312 SP [Rosencrantz]
Cappell was disasterously wrong, and Arden shouldn't have mentioned
him. Cappell's idea seriously misrepresents the action, and Arden's
"without considering which of them spoke" is a dreadful blunder. "Which
of them spoke" is exactly the point for Hamlet's subsequent behavior
towards R.

R speaks here because he has observed that G is having difficulties
communicating with Hamlet, so he jumps in to try to help. (R's remark
is not helpful or apt, however.) G is still standing there, and Hamlet
is still looking at G when R speaks. It goes back to "have an eye
(from) you," as already mentioned. Hamlet looks at the person he's
talking to. Hamlet is talking to G, and R is interrupting.

Hamlet does reply, L319, to what R said, but he looks at G all the
time. Hamlet doesn't look at R until after he learns why G was talking
to him, and gives G the answer G requested. Hamlet then looks at R at
L326, after he's concluded his business with G. To both R & G it looks
mad, that Hamlet would stare constantly at G while apparently talking
to R. But Hamlet, on his side, is making the point of looking at the
person he's conversing with (and also that he doesn't like
interruptions.)

324 We . . . our
Hamlet uses the royal language for more than one reason. Most
significantly, it's in connection with Hamlet's intention of killing
Claudius in just a few minutes, thereby taking the royal pronouns away
from Claudius.

324 ten times our mother
Requires a note. Gertrude is "twice" Hamlet's mother: first she was his
mother married to his father, and second, now she's his mother married
to Claudius. Hamlet means he'd still obey Gertrude even if she got
married eight more times after Claudius, and Hamlet, for some reason or
other, had to kill them all. Even as a serial king killer, with nine
murders, he'd still obey his mother, Hamlet says. Joke.

And, double meaning. It's a double joke. Hamlet also means he'd
continue to obey Gertrude even if she were ten times as fat. At the
later fencing match, Gertrude will remark on Hamlet being fat. Here, he
gets her first on the subject, with a fat joke. Hamlet's line is both a
murder joke, and a fat joke, at the same time.

325 trade
Hamlet says "trade" because G used the word "business" in line 310.
Hamlet says his lines 324-5 to G. Only after he's answered what G
wanted to know does he look at R, when R speaks at line 326.

329-30 bar . . . liberty
Requires a note. R is revealing that Claudius, talking to R & G after
the 'Mousetrap Play,' was threatening to have Hamlet locked up.

331 lack advancement
Hamlet means, for one thing, that he literally lacks advancement at the
moment in his intent to kill Claudius, because he's standing there
talking to R & G, instead. Joke.

335 while . . . grows
Hamlet stops in the middle of the saying because Polonius uses sayings,
and Hamlet doesn't want to sound like Polonius, whom he despises.
Hamlet realizes he sounds like Polonius, and stops. The point is
significant in relation to some later things Hamlet says.

337 withdraw
Hamlet withdraws with G. He does so to avoid further interruptions by
R, while he's talking to G. Horatio observes that Hamlet wants to talk
to G alone, so Horatio prevents R from following by stepping in front
of him. One way to do it, Horatio steps in front of R, folds his arms,
and gives R a very direct look and a little smile; R halts, and takes a
step back. This supports casting Horatio as a sturdy fellow who can
intimidate R.

338 recover . . . me
The hunting metaphor is only that. Hamlet does not literally mean
anybody getting to windward of him. He does mean R & G working together
to try to trap him. He is separating G here to try to tell G to be his
own man. G is the one who admitted to Hamlet earlier that Claudius had
sent for them. Hamlet remembers that, and is trying to return a favor
to G, but of course Hamlet can't talk openly to G about his intent to
kill Claudius.

342 I . . . that
Hamlet says he doesn't understand love being unmannerly. This is high
irony from Shakespeare, after Hamlet's behavior to Ophelia, whom he
loves, in the Nunnery Scene and at the 'Mousetrap Play,' and also in
anticipation of his later behavior to Gertrude, whom he loves, in the
Closet Scene. Indeed, Hamlet is speaking truly. As Hamlet's own actions
show, he does not understand it, at least not well enough to moderate
his own behavior. People never see themselves as others do. There is
also the facetious undertone that Shakespeare knew the line, as he
wrote it, was difficult to follow.

349 as . . . lying
Hamlet has just used a saying, like Polonius, as he speaks to G who,
himself, has come to sound more like Polonius. We saw something similar
when Laertes mindlessly recited a saying upon seeing Polonius approach,
and when Ophelia absently recited the "gift" saying to Hamlet in the
Nunnery Scene, while Polonius stood nearby. Polonius is contagious.
We'll see more on that point.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-24 05:20:38 UTC
Permalink
A3s2 line 350 to end.

Relevant links.

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http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

362-3 *you fret me
Arden is wrong. Once again, they should have respected Q2. Hamlet's
"though" in L362 means "but." Hamlet is saying: 'but you fret me not,
(and) you cannot play upon me. The original printing has a comma after
"not," and it is required. Hamlet is saying that G neither frets him,
nor can G play upon him. Apparently the Folio editor(s) couldn't fathom
it.

364 God . . . sir
Arden's disobedience to *ALL THREE* original texts is sheer negligence,
and inexcusable. Q2 is right. The line is definitely spoken by Hamlet
to G. There is no actual question of that. Hamlet blesses G, as he
truly hopes G has learned the object lesson Hamlet tried to impress
upon him. There is no "manic" behavior by Hamlet here; the Arden
editors, like so many before them, have damaged their own minds with
their misplaced love of "antic disposition." Hamlet is dismissing G,
but doing so in a sincere, friendly way. G is Hamlet's long-time
friend, and Hamlet still rather likes G (although he no longer likes
R.)

364.1 SD [Enter Polonius]
The Arden SD is wrong. Again. The mistake is inexcusable, since Arden
by their own words purports to be presenting Q2, and they, themselves,
observe that the Q2 entry is not at this point. The Q2 entry is correct
as originally printed, between the speeches.

Polonius is trying to compete with R & G, to be Claudius's best
servant. But he's old and slow, and he's late with the message to
Hamlet. He sees that R & G have gotten there ahead of him, so he gets
right to the point in stating the message to Hamlet, in hopes R & G
haven't mentioned it yet, and he might still be first with it.

367-73
The scene is, indeed, indoors at night (although, as an option, it
could also be set in the Castle courtyard.) Kronborg Castle, upon which
Elsinore Castle is based, has very large, tall windows, through which
it would easily be possible to see moonlit clouds at night. There isn't
even a hint of a mistake here by Shakespeare. On the contrary, it
reveals more of his knowledge of Kronborg, elsewhere demonstrated by
mention of the Chapel, and the fact that the Lobby is upstairs, which
are actual architectural details of Kronborg.

368 camel
A camel is a stupid beast of burden. Hamlet is calling Polonius a
stupid beast of burden, for bearing a message to Hamlet that Hamlet
already knows. This also connects back to, "who would fardels bear."
"Fardel" is from 'fardah,' referring to a camel's burden. Who would
bear fardels? - a stupid beast of burden.

This 'Cloud Talk' passage is on the concept in Aristophanes' Clouds
that the clouds are goddesses who shape themselves into the image of
the one looking at them. When Hamlet asks Polonius if he sees a camel,
he is asking Polonius if he is a camel. Polonius emphatically agrees
that, yes, he is a camel (without knowing what he's saying.)

371
There is an animal in the weasel family that has a very well known
back. That animal is the skunk, with its stripes. By referring to the
back, Polonius has just unknowingly called himself a skunk (or a
POLecat. Hamlet is the "He-cat," and POLonius is the POLecat, where
"cats" are concerned.) This goes right along with the nighttime scene,
where the upper part of the cloud is illuminated by moonlight, so the
cloud looks like a dark body with a white stripe, like a skunk. It's
interesting how well that works, for the scene being at night. The
author apparently did visualize a moonlit cloud, quite well.

Arden is wrong that camels are not like weasels, in a relevant way.
Camels are well known for their humps. Weasels hump their backs. As to
whales, there is a whale actually named the Humpback. It becomes clear
that Polonius's back is hunched, or humped, with age. There is no need
to presume some violent agitation of the clouds, quickly producing
different shapes. The cloud has a humpbacked shape, interpretable
several ways, in line with any thought-provoking suggestion. There is
no implication of Polonius being insincere in what he says (or Hamlet,
either,) as far as the cloud shape is concerned. One takes it that the
cloud is "humpbacked" and can be loosely described as any sort of
humpbacked thing. (There is, by the way, an historical illustration
from Elizabethan times, and earlier, that shows an old man with a
hunched back, a "flaxen pole," and a long white beard that could use a
trip to the barber.)

374 by and by
Certainly does not mean "immediately." It means what it says.

375 fool me
Requires a note. For plain reading, it means "play the fool for me." It
has more meaning beyond that.

377 SD
The exits were likely omitted in the original Q2 printing because they
would all have been on three consecutive lines at the top of a
left-hand page, with a shortage of space to the right of the lines. It
would have presented a problem, for both the printer and the reader.

Polonius exits after L374. We know that because Hamlet answers him in
L374. Polonius will head for the door as quickly as he can on his old
legs, to try to be first with the message to Claudius, and Gertrude,
that Hamlet will speak to Gertrude.

Hamlet's "I will come by and by," L375-6, is spoken to R & G, in answer
to them. They exit after that line, hurrying to tell Claudius and
Gertrude. The bureaucratic race is on! It isn't fair; Polonius can't
run.

Hamlet's "leave me, friends," L376, is spoken to Horatio and the
Players. They exit after that line. The line should not be within
dashes as Arden has mistakenly printed it. It stands properly in Q2.

Hamlet's "I will... say so," L376, is one sentence, not as Arden prints
it. Hamlet is speaking to himself there. The elipsis is best in modern
printing to mark the pause in his speech, for which the original
printing used a comma. Hamlet isn't certain he actually will go to his
mother. It depends on how his attempt to kill Claudius works out. He's
intending to kill Claudius first, if he can, and then present it to
Gertrude as an accomplished fact. He said he'd go to his mother, but
will events turn out that way? He doesn't know.

378 witching hour
It means midnight. A church bell here is mandatory in a good production
of Hamlet. Observe that Hamlet has twelve lines, beginning at "'Tis
now..." A church bell should ring, distantly, at the start of each
line. Shakespeare gave Hamlet twelve lines for a reason. It's 12:00.

379 yawn
Arden's parenthetical is a mistake. Hamlet is mainly talking about a
"yawn" to let in Claudius, into a grave.

381 the bitter day
Means "sorrowful day." Hamlet intends that the next day will be
sorrowful, or mournful, for anybody who liked Claudius, and the
sorrowful day will "quake" to see how he killed Claudius.

382 now to my mother
Requires a note. Hamlet does not mean he's going immediately to his
mother. He intends another little chore, first. What he means, as he
speaks, is that he's turning his thoughts, now, to his mother.

384 Nero
Should be noted that the emperor Claudius had "Nero" as part of his
name.

386 *daggers
There is no good reason to change the Q2 singular "dagger." Indeed,
it's more poetic, and is probably exactly what the author wrote.
Gertrude will later use the plural, but Hamlet is more poet than
Gertrude is. The difference, between the singular here, and the plural
later, is easily interpreted as characterization, with Hamlet being
more the poet.

387
Arden does not understand the play. They have gotten it exactly wrong.
Hamlet means he wants to feel kindly in his soul toward Gertrude,
although his tongue will condemn her. He absolutely does not want, in
his soul, to do her harm. He just said so (to anybody who can read.) He
does not want the soul of Nero. He just said that, only four lines
earlier. It's odd when editors can't even manage to look back only
three or four lines. The author has used "hypocrisy" creatively, for
the opposite of what one would expect. This is no surprise, from
Shakespeare. Hamlet means a compassionate soul, but a harsh tongue, the
opposite of the usual hypocrite. Hibbard's attempt at paraphrase is
inept.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-24 22:13:51 UTC
Permalink
A3s3 to line 50.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

3.3
This scene is set in Claudius's room. We know that with certainty
because G expressly said so: "Is in his retirement..." This is,
therefore, the place Claudius ordinarily retires for the night, i.e.
his private rooms (simplified in the play to a single room.) This
King's Room is next door to the Queen's Room, where Gertrude is waiting
for Hamlet.

R & G have delivered Hamlet's answer to Gertrude, in her closet
(parlor,) and have then come here to Claudius's room to talk to him,
and hear his further instructions. Polonius hasn't arrived yet. He's
old and slow. We'll see him arrive after a while.

The Arden stage direction is not wrong. Yay. However, it contains a
significant omission, for modern printing. Hamlet is already in this
room. We know that because Hamlet will later refer to what Claudius
says in his fourth line in this scene. Hamlet must be present to hear
that, otherwise he would not know it. It is a certainty that Hamlet is
here, now. Hamlet, himself, "says so," later.

Hamlet is present, without an entry in the original Q2. How so? It's
because of what an entry means in Q2. Hamlet is in hiding, not in
speaking position on the stage. He'll get his entry later, when he has
lines.

The offstage sequence of events is this:

Claudius went to his room when he fled the 'Mousetrap Play.' Gertrude,
Polonius, and R & G accompanied him. Polonius's idea of Hamlet talking
to Gertrude, while he listened, was decided upon. R & G, and Polonius,
went to tell Hamlet Gertrude wanted to talk to him. Gertrude told them,
before they left, that she'd wait in her room for Hamlet's answer, in
the expectation he'd obey. Gertrude went to her room to wait, and
Claudius went with her to hear Hamlet's answer when the others returned
with it. R & G, returning with Hamlet's answer, went to Gertrude's
room, and told her and Claudius. Claudius and R & G then left Gertrude
alone in her room, to wait for Hamlet, and they came here to Claudius's
room. But Hamlet followed close behind R & G. While Claudius and R & G
were in Gertrude's room, Hamlet slipped in here and hid, waiting for
the right time to kill Claudius.

So, Hamlet is here. He's in hiding, back in a dark corner in his black
clothes, or better yet, behind an arras. He will hear everything that's
said in this room (including Polonius's statement that he's going to
hide in Gertrude's room.)

3 commission
Actually, it's quite clear that R & G know nothing of what the
commission says.

3 (forthwith) dispatch
Claudius means he'll write the commission right away. Needs gloss as a
phrase.

6 near us
Indeed, Hamlet is "near" Claudius as he speaks. He's in the room. There
is a wicked irony to Claudius's words. The Q2 wording is certainly
correct, proven by the irony. The Folio is in error, which could be for
various reasons. Stage performance may have been different from, and
simpler than, the closet drama.

7-23 We . . . groan
Claudius, feeling threatened, will be pleased to hear the pledges of
loyalty from R & G. Properly done, he will listen approvingly to what
they say.

8 fear
G is speaking of his own "fear."

14 That spirit
Indeed, as Arden says, but which King is the "spirit?" G has
unintentionally alluded to the Ghost.

22 *ruin
Arden blunders in departing from Q2. The simple reign/rain pun verifies
Q2, and proves the Folio is wrong. It's the Folio which has the
misreading. The "boisterous reign" pun alludes back to Claudius and his
cannons, that Hamlet commented upon to Horatio just before Hamlet saw
the Ghost. For plain reading, "rain" means "downfall," but R is
speaking exaggeratedly.

23 *with
Arden assumes wrongly. It is not in Q2, and the line reads perfectly
well without it. Probably a Folio addition. Arden omits the Q2 comma
after "sigh," which should be there.

30 as you said
It isn't deference, quite the opposite. Polonius is trying a
bureaucratic stunt. He wants Claudius to think it was his idea, in
case, as in the Nunnery Scene, it doesn't work out as hoped. Polonius
is looking to shift the blame, in case it doesn't work this time,
either. A good bureaucrat always finds somebody else to blame, in case
something goes wrong. Polonius may be old and slow, but he's still
pretty sharp at bureaucracy. Here, he's trying that cheap stunt with
his boss, the King, hoping Claudius won't remember, and Polonius gets
away with it. "Prudence" is an apt word, but only in the narrowest
bureaucratic sense. It's not really generally prudent to lie in a way
to try to put the blame on your boss, if something goes wrong,
especially lying to his face. It's essential to note that Hamlet is
hearing this, and he takes it as Claudius's idea that Polonius should
hide in Gertrude's room. Polonius, with his bureaucratic stunt,
accidentally fools Hamlet.

33 of vantage
It essentially means "beneficially." Refers back to Polonius's argument
of benefit from a second point of view. Also indicates Polonius
thinking he'll be in a better position than Gertrude to listen to
Hamlet. Double meaning. Hamlet is hearing Polonius say all this.

36
Demands a note. Just after Polonius leaves the room, Claudius exclaims
about something with a very bad smell. Wonder why he thought of that.
Fishmonger. Dead dog.

36 rank
Also suggests "high," which will be the main meaning at 4.4.21.

38 A brother's murder
It is indeed notable that Claudius makes no mention of incest. His only
incest with Gertrude is technical, via the fact of the marriage.
Claudius has no "thing." He said so.

39
"Will" takes the absolute meaning. Claudius means he's having trouble
praying, even though his inclination to pray is as urgent as the ideal
concept of Will, itself. This is poetic usage of "will," invoking the
ideal, and could be capitalized.

41 to . . . bound
Actually, the problem is that Claudius is, in fact, trying to undertake
two things at once. He wants to pray for forgiveness for a past murder
(of his brother,) while planning a future one (of Hamlet.) He doubts
God will be very sympathetic to a prayer for forgiveness for a past
murder, at the same time he's planning a future one.

50 *pardoned
Q2 is correct. Claudius is seeking pardon. The past tense of
"forestalled" is right, since it's too late for his murder of his
brother to be forestalled, it's in the past, but Claudius is hoping for
future pardon. The Folio past tense of "pardon" is not appropriate.
Arden should have observed their own parenthetical for 51; it is
exactly right, and it tells us the right word here, which is the word
in Q2.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-25 19:18:37 UTC
Permalink
A3s3 line 50 to end.

Relevant links.

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http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

55 mine own ambition
Claudius means he still has ambition to be King, i.e. to remain King.
Becoming King did not sate his ambition to be King. In that sense, he
has not achieved his ambition unless he remains King.

58 *shove
Q2 "show" is correct. It's used in the legal sense, as in the phrase
'to show cause.' The Folio editor(s), apparently less familiar than the
author with legal usage, changed it. The legal "cause" shown here, is
the gold in the hand, for a bribe. It's possible that "show" is indeed
intended to suggest "shove," in connection with the gold in the hand
idea, but the Q2 word is correct in the playtext. "Shove" as potential
wordplay should only be noted.

63 teeth and forehead
Means "hardest parts." In popular understanding, the teeth and the bone
of the forehead are the hardest parts of the human body. Claudius is
referring to the sins which are hardest for him to admit, and which
will go hardest against him. Anticipates the skulls in the graveyard
scene.

69 assay
The ambiguity is intentional, from Shakespeare. Claudius is doing both.

72.1 SD
Hamlet's entry means he emerges from his hiding place, and takes his
proper position on stage to speak his lines so the audience will best
hear him.

73-95 Now . . . goes
Johnson certainly could be a fatuous windbag when the notion struck
him. Look at the action in this scene. A terrible sinner, a man who
murdered his own brother, kneels to pray - and it saves his life! Not
only that, but the prayer stops another man from becoming a murderer.
The author was showing the Miracle of Prayer, onstage. A prayer
immediately stops a killing. But Johnson got lost in the words, didn't
realize what he was looking at, and objected to the Miracle of Prayer
on religious grounds. Silly fellow. He only looked at the words, and
didn't take the action into account. It's necessary to look not only at
the words, but at the action, to understand the play.

73 But
Is right. The correctness of Q2 is verified simply by observing that
Hamlet's first two lines are a couplet. The Folio is wrong. Arden's
punctuation is a departure from Q2, and is wrong; they apparently can't
read poetry. There should be a comma after "it" and not a period, just
as Q2 shows.

74 And . . . it
They've done it again. The Arden stage direction is a horrible,
horrible blunder. Lines 73 and 74 are a blank verse couplet. By
stupidly dropping their stage direction into the middle of it, they're
ruined Shakespeare's poetry! It's dreadful. It's like going to the
Sonnets and dropping distracting phrases into the middle of them. It is
a disgrace. Q1 is no proof of where Hamlet draws his sword in Q2. There
is no stage direction for drawing the sword in the original printing of
Q2, so the timing is optional there, no matter what Q1 says. Arden
surely knows that with all the problems of Q1, and the substantial
differences between Q1 and Q2, Q1 cannot rightly be taken to dictate Q2
action. They know better than this.

What has happened here, in comparing the Arden 2 with the Arden 3, the
Arden 3 editors have left the Arden 2 stage direction essentially where
it was. But as the Arden 2 was formatted, the stage direction was to
the right, and didn't interrupt the line. The Arden 3 carelessly failed
to move the stage direction when they reformatted, so there it is,
right plop in the middle of Shakespeare's blank verse. It's pure
negligence. Darn it. If one insists on an explicit direction for Hamlet
to draw his sword, which is not really necessary, it should simply be
added at his entry.

75 *revenged
Q2 is right with "revenge," but it could stand capitalization in modern
printing. Hamlet poetically casts himself as Revenge, personified. The
Folio editor(s), not so good at poetry, didn't understand that. Arden
should have. It isn't that difficult. Editors should be very cautious
of any idea they can somehow read a nonexistent manuscript, no matter
how trendy the conceit is; it's a fanciful notion that can easily leave
an editor blind.

75 would be scanned
The Q2 word is "scand," which is correct. It is "scant." Hamlet is
saying if he killed Claudius now it would be scant vengeance. The Q2
spelling may be intended, in addition, to suggest "scandalous," since
the original meaning of "scandal" relates to religion, and Claudius is
praying. So, it's "scant" with, probably, an intended suggestion of
"scandalous."

79 Why . . . silly
Re "base and silly" vs "hire and Salary," it is debatable that both the
Q2 and Folio phrases are authorial, with the latter possibly being a
change which for some reason did not make the Q2 printing. Both phrases
are in the author's style, and make sense. I can find no conclusive
choice between them with respect to plain meaning, root meaning,
wordplay, context, allusion, undertone, or style. "Base and silly" does
go slightly better with Hamlet being The Fool; so the Q2 wording is
marginally preferable, as authorial, when characterization is also
taken into account. Against that, however, is Claudius's mention of
gold in the hand, for a bribe; the Folio phrase is more immediate to
the scene, in that way. I must leave it inconclusive. However, if error
exists, with either phrase not being authorial, the error is in the
Folio, where the word "Sallery" is capitalized.

82 his
Arden is wrong, the word refers to Claudius. Should be spoken onstage
with emphasis, as Hamlet indicates Claudius. Modern printing would put
either a semicolon or period after "May." Reference to Hamlet Sr can be
read there, but only as undertone (implying the Ghost to be an
imposter, and Hamlet Sr being "known" to Heaven, not in Purgatory.)

83 circumstance . . . course
"Circumstance" refers to going around. Hamlet means as his thoughts go
around their course. Could be rendered as "circumstantial course."
Arden has missed a hendiadys.

86 seasoned
Double meaning. Hamlet means both Claudius being well "seasoned" to be
palatable to Heaven, and also Claudius being killed at the right time
for him to go to Heaven. Both the food and time of year figures of
speech apply, simultaneously.

88 hent
Double meaning. Both ideas mentioned by Arden apply.

96
Lines 95 and 96 have a double meaning. Hamlet means both that his
mother is waiting, and also that his visit to his mother prevents
Claudius getting his "medicine." The double meaning arises from
"stays," which means both "waits" and "prevents."

97-8
Failed?? Arden claims. They don't understand the play. Claudius is
standing up alive, when there was a fellow with a sword right behind
him, ready to kill him. And this is a failed prayer, when it saved his
life? Gee, I'd like to see a successful prayer, then. Arden has no
notion of the true irony. The sinner whose life was saved by his prayer
stands up and says right out loud that his prayer didn't work. Idiot.
There are none so blind. There's your irony. Whatever one's religious
beliefs, it's fantastically done in terms of stagecraft. The author
showed a Miracle of Prayer, where a simple prayer, by a woeful sinner,
saved his life - then the fool sinner stands up and says it didn't
work.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-26 19:19:25 UTC
Permalink
A3s4 to line 50.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

1 straight
Needs a note on the wordplay in Polonius's speech. Polonius says
Hamlet, a male, will "come straight." In line 5 he then tells Gertrude,
a female, to "be round." It's a goofy instruction on the mechanics of
sex, totally inadvertent by Polonius.

And, persons who might be inclined to take Oedipal concepts seriously
in relation to Hamlet need to be firmly cautioned that the author was
playing with the Oedipus idea here, for amusement, following Hamlet's
unfortunate "Nephew" mistake at the 'Mousetrap Play' and what it
implied. Do not write serious tomes and articles about Oedipus in
Hamlet. Please. You will only end up looking silly. The author did the
Oedipus bit intentionally, for amusement. It is intentional humor. It
is a joke.

4 I'll . . . here
Q1's "shrowde" is correct for Q1, and may be real Shakespeare, there,
for the simpler stage version. It would not be correct for Q2. Too
overt. Q2 plays more subtly on Polonius's characterization, as a
verbose character whom it takes death to silence.

5 *warrant
Q2 "wait" is correct. This is the second substitution of "warrant" in
the Folio, incorrectly. "Wait" means "attend," like a waiter, and
carries the irony of Gertrude attending Polonius, when the status is
actually vice versa. Further, Gertrude will "attend" Polonius's
funeral; it carries that undertone.

6.1 SD
It may seem logical, but Arden is wrong, again, in Q2 terms. Hamlet is
not entering into a partitioned room. The stage was not set up as an
enclosed room in Elizabethan times. That innovation occurred later in
English history. Hamlet enters onto the open stage, and is not yet
within the conceptual "room" when his entry is given. Hamlet's entry,
where Q2 shows it, justifies to the audience WHY Gertrude then says she
hears Hamlet. The audience sees that, indeed, Hamlet is approaching
(but not in the "room" yet.) When one is doing Q2, one should mark the
entry where Q2 does, and explain it, as here.

7
Hamlet most certainly does not lock the door. The notion is ludicrous.
He couldn't chase Polonius out through a locked door. In Q2, Hamlet
knows Polonius is in the room, and intends to expel him.

10 idle
Gertrude is referring to the idea of Hamlet supposedly being mad. She
doesn't believe it, and is telling him to straighten up. She doesn't
believe it yet, that is. She soon will. But when she does believe he's
mad, she'll be wrong.

[11.1 SD]
Arden missed the stage direction. Hamlet draws his sword at the end of
his line 11. Gertrude asks "how now" because Hamlet has just drawn his
sword, apparently against her, as she sees it. Hamlet has drawn his
sword to poke at the arrases, to find which one Polonius is behind, and
chase him out of the room, so Hamlet can have a truly private talk with
Gertrude.

13 the rood
Tells us with absolute certainty that Hamlet is now holding his sword
in his hand. He is swearing on the cross, using his sword. This is
identical symbolism to the "swear" passage with Horatio and Marcellus,
after Hamlet talked to the Ghost, when he insisted they must swear on
his sword. Hamlet is swearing on the cross as he holds his sword up at
Gertrude to symbolize the cross. When he goes on to say he doesn't like
it that she's his mother, L15, as he holds the sword up to her face,
she becomes understandably uncomfortable.

16
She means the castle guards. With "speak," Gertrude means "speak the
language of swords." She wants to get armed guards to restrain Hamlet
and take his sword away.

18-9 glass . . . of you
Hamlet means he's going to draw her a picture in words which will make
it as though she's looking at her soul in a mirror, figuratively
speaking. Gertrude does not hear it that way. She takes it literally,
as Hamlet stands there with his sword, apparently as a threat to her.
Gertrude thinks Hamlet means that he's going to set a mirror in front
of her, literally, then slice her open with his sword, and make her
look at her own insides in the mirror. As Gertrude takes it, it's crazy
beyond words, and very frightening. She reacts with panic. Her line 20
is read with emphasis on "What" and "not." When Gertrude screams for
help, L21, she belts it out as loud as she can yell. She stands, but
doesn't run for the door because she's afraid Hamlet would stab her in
the back.

22 rat
"I smell a rat" is right on the money, for Hamlet speaking of Polonius.
Fishmonger. Dead dog. Smells to heaven. Nose him.

22.1 SD
The Arden stage direction is stupid. Kills Polonius?? Then how is
Polonius still talking in the next line? Should be "stabs Polonius."

Hamlet jabs at the arras, as he had intended to do, to find Polonius
and chase him out. However, Polonius is stepping forward to help
Gertrude. The distance closes, and Hamlet's sword goes deep into
Polonius's chest. Hamlet has stabbed Polonius to death accidentally.
Wheel of Fortune motif. This is a nice variation on the stabbing in the
fight in Romeo and Juliet. Hamlet yelled his "dead" line, L22, to scare
Polonius. By bad luck, it comes true.

It is important to know that Polonius's momentum carries him forward,
and he stumbles from behind the arras into plain sight. Polonius's
line, "O I am slain" is spoken with him out from behind the arras,
making his ironically short death speech to the audience. Polonius gets
a death speech, a painfully short one, for him, where the audience can
see and easily hear him. He then collapses on the stage, face up.
Hamlet and Gertrude both see him very well.

It is also important to know that Hamlet remains standing, with the
sword in his hand. The reason is, both Gertrude and Polonius called for
help, and this is the Queen's Room. The King's Room is next door. So,
who's most likely to hear the call for help? Claudius, in the King's
Room. Hamlet knows that. If Claudius comes here, in response to the
help call, Hamlet is going to kill him. As far as Hamlet knows, he'll
have to, to avoid being imprisoned for trial in the death of Polonius,
which would cost him any chance of being able to get Claudius. (Hamlet
doesn't know how insistent Claudius is on sending him to England.)
Everything changes with Polonius's death, and Hamlet's earlier,
theoretical, moral and religious scruples no longer apply. Thus, Hamlet
remains standing, with the sword firmly in his hand, ready to use
again, this time for Claudius.

27
Gertrude thinks Hamlet means he's killed Claudius, and he doesn't like
it that she married his father. She thinks Hamlet means the same "king"
she did. Hamlet's statement sounds extremely odd to her. Crazy.

28.1 SD
Wrong. Polonius fell dead in plain sight, at center stage, not behind
the arras.

30 thy better
Means "rat." Hamlet does not mean Claudius. There's the undertone that
he wishes it were Claudius. "Took" has a complicated meaning.

35 brazed it
Arden's word should have been starred and noted. The Q2 word is
"braced." It could easily be a double meaning, however, with "brazed"
as the second meaning. "Braced" takes primary meaning because of the
following "bulwark."

38 Such an act
By far the most important point about Hamlet's speech, from L38 on, is
that Gertrude doesn't have the slightest idea what he's talking about.
Hamlet, the scholar, has failed to "define his terms" for her.

45-6 sweet . . . words
Highly ironic, in that a "rhapsody" of words is all Gertrude is
hearing. To her, Hamlet sounds like he's raving. She can't follow any
of it, and has no idea why he's saying it. Hamlet is talking so far
around the subject, he's lost her completely.

46-9 Heaven's . . . act
"Sky" is wrong. A sun/son pun is implicit. Hamlet is referring to the
hot sun, as he, the "son," glowers over his mother.

48 heated
The difference between "heated" and "tristful" may be related to an
illustration which was available in Shakespeare's time.

50 index
Means Index Librorum Prohibitorum which was a list of books forbidden
to Catholics. That's why the word is capitalized in Q2. It is always
properly capitalized. Hamlet uses the term figuratively to mean
"forbidden things." Arden is obstinately negligent in following the
Folio, while claiming to present Q2; the line is Hamlet's line in Q2,
and Arden knows it. Hamlet is "thundering" at Gertrude that her alleged
act is like something writ big and bold in the Index L.P. His mention
of the Index follows from his mention of "sweet religion."

However, the line, from Shakespeare, is a "double character" line. That
is, it's intentionally written so that it can be attributed to either
character. Among all the double meanings in the play, even including
double jokes, here is a whole "double character" line. It works for
either Hamlet or Gertrude to say it.

And indeed, in performance the line is supposed to be said by both
characters at the same time, by accident. It's debatable why the line
doesn't have a "both" prefix. It should, in modern printings. This is
not an "either-or" choice between Q2 and the Folio. They are both
right. Trying to argue either Q2, or the Folio, for character
attribution of this line, is a mistake (unless one is specifically
claiming to present either Q2, or the Folio.)

What happens is, as Hamlet vociferously lectures Gertrude, and she
tries to interrupt to learn what he's talking about, they both happen
to say the same thing, coincidentally. And of all things, what they
just happen to say, at the same time, is: "that roars so loud and
thunders in the Index." They say it exactly together, by accident. It's
common enough for two people to say a single word at the same time, or
to say a simple everyday phrase at the same time, but you would never
in a million years think two people would happen to say that particular
clause at the same time, by mere coincidence. This is another instance
on the Wheel of Fortune motif.

Hamlet is astonished, and takes a quick step away from Gertrude. He
stares at her, suspiciously. How on earth did she know he was going to
say that? The coincidence is so unlikely it makes him suspicious of
her. For Gertrude, it adds to her bewilderment and confusion. Somehow,
amidst Hamlet's raving (as she's hearing it) he's managed to say
exactly the same thing she did. She has no idea how he did that. They
both wonder whether the other used some kind of trick to say the same
thing.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-28 02:54:06 UTC
Permalink
A3s4 line 50 to 100.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

51 this . . . this
The pictures are large. Hamlet is standing with his sword in his hand.
He is using his sword to point at the pictures. He has pretty much
forgotten Claudius by this time, and has begun using his sword as a
pointer. To Gertrude it is still very much a sword, and it doesn't help
her state of mind as he waves it around in front of her. In
Shakespeare's time, the pictures were most likely replicas of the
Kronborg king tapestries (one of which is King Abel, by the way.)

The problem with large pictures, for a playing company, is that they
have to resemble the actors who are playing the Ghost and Claudius.
Also, if the actor playing Claudius became unavailable, the picture
would have to look like his understudy. Same for the Ghost. It's a
problem, for a company with limited resources, which most are. So,
companies started using "pretend pictures," which is easy and very
cheap, and avoids the resemblance problem, but it isn't Shakespeare's
Hamlet. The widespread use of "pretend pictures" is cheating audiences
out of the real experience of the play. Rightly, the pics are
Kronborg-style king tapestries.

In Shakespeare's time, they probably made their "king tapestries" out
of old sailcloth. Canvas is a good surface for painting. Burbage was a
painter. Paint the canvas so it'll look alright as a king's picture
from a distance, tack a board at the top to hang it up, and there you
are: a "king tapestry."

Each time Hamlet mentions one pic or the other, he waves his sword to
point to one, or the other. Gertrude, feeling threatened by the sword
(although Hamlet actually intends her no harm,) looks each time he
points. He has her constantly looking back and forth, from one pic to
the other, as he waves the sword back and forth. He points at one
picture or the other at least eight times, with her looking each time.

56 station . . . Mercury
A "full-length portrait." Yes.

57 *heaven-kissing
Arden should have respected Q2. The Q2 wording is Shakespeare's.
Allusion within the play confirms that. It connects to Claudius saying
"heaves" in the next scene, as he looks at Gertrude's bosom. A heave, a
kissing hill. The author changed the conventional phrase to produce an
impish reference to the female breast. Kissing hill. It is quite
unlikely to be impishness by the compositors, because the wordplay
crosses scenes, and would have to involve both compositors for Q2.
Further, the later "translation," in the next scene, supports Q2 as
authorial. The Folio is wrong.

62 mildewed ear
Gertrude thinks Hamlet is complaining of mildew on the ear area of the
picture. She can't see the mildew, but the way he's waving the sword
around, she isn't going to argue with him. Hamlet is using such obscure
allusions, she can't follow them, and she is mistaking what he means.

64-65 mountain . . . moor
The contrast is that mountain pastures have good drainage, and are
healthy, while a moor is marshy, and unhealthful. It is essentially a
health vs disease contrast, in regard to the pasturage.

65 batten on
It means "thrive on." "Batten" does not simply mean "feed."

66 at your age
Arden is obviously wrong. Hamlet certainly does not say his mother has
no sexual desire. He expressly and unmistakably says her desire is
"tame," "humble." Those are not statements that she has none. The Arden
note is incompetent.

67 heyday . . . blood
The phrase refers to the height of passion. The Arden note is
incompetent.

69-74 Sense . . . difference
The Folio is wrong. Q2 is correct to include the lines, and they are
authorial. In particular, lines 69 and 70 are mandatory in the play,
because of what they imply. It is likewise demonstrable that line 77 is
mandatory in the play. The Folio's lack of the lines Arden mentions is
either printing error or editorial error in the Folio.

69-70 Sense . . . motion
The concept is from Aristotle. Hamlet, the university scholar, is
attempting to make use of his university education in philosophy to
instruct Gertrude. The Arden 3 cites Jenkins occasionally; they ought
to have cited him here. He was right. Hamlet, the scholar, has "gone
back to school" while trying to persuade Gertrude. Hamlet is
intentionally referring to Aristotle. "Student" Gertrude is sitting in
the chair, and "Professor Hamlet" is trying to instruct her, as he
paces and waves his "pointer" around (his bloody sword, that is.) The
students at Oxford and Cambridge would have loved this, as "Professor
Hamlet" madly lectures "student Gertrude" about Aristotle.

77 Ears without hands or eyes
Look at yourself in a mirror. Really, do that. Either get a mirror, or
go to a mirror. I will show you how to perform this line. The line
mentions the ears, the hands, and the eyes. With both hands, splay your
fingers, and thumbs, as if showing your hands to somebody. Look into
the mirror. Bring your hands up to your ears, with your palms toward
the mirror, and touch your ears with the tips of your thumbs. Lean
toward the mirror a little, and open your eyes as wide as you can.
Wiggle your fingers.

Hamlet has just done that at Gertrude, his mother, the Queen. He didn't
mean to do it, he doesn't realize how it looks. We can be absolutely
certain that line 77 is true Shakespeare, because of how it's played.
The Folio was wrong to omit this line.

(Hamlet leans his sword against his leg to do this, with both hands.
Alternatively, he sticks the sword in the floor. He has not sheathed
his sword yet, because he waves it when he says "charge" at the end of
line 84.)

77 smelling sans all
Hamlet grasps his nose and glances at Polonius's body. "Dead dog."

79 shame . . . blush
Hamlet is red in the face from emotion and exertion as he speaks the
line to Gertrude, who is sitting in the chair, pale with fright. Where,
indeed, is the blush of shame for the way Hamlet is treating his
mother? His own face is red, as he says the line. He can't see it.

80 Rebellious hell
Requires an exclamation point in modern printing. Hamlet's exclamation
is exactly what Gertrude thinks she's seeing: some kind of hellish
rebellion by Hamlet against her.

82 flaming youth
Vitally requires a note. This is the last personal reference Gertrude
hears before Hamlet continues. Hamlet is the "youth." She takes it as
reference by Hamlet to himself, which it is. Hamlet does not give her a
new personal reference when he continues. So, as he continues, she
thinks Hamlet is talking about himself.

82-3 To . . . fire
"Virtue" does not mean "chastity" here, it takes the broader sense.
"Chastity" is only part of the meaning.

85 frost
Gertrude doesn't understand the metaphor, and thinks Hamlet is saying
he believes frost burns like wax, as though a person could make a
candle out of frost. It sounds crazy to her. Distraught, she can't
follow Hamlet's figures of speech.

86 And . . . will
The Q2 wording is demonstrably correct, in allusion to what Claudius
said in the Prayer Scene, about "will" and "pardon." It contains an
allusion to Hamlet sparing Claudius's life.

87 my . . . soul
"Very eyes" are true eyes. The Q2 phrasing is correct. The Folio is in
error. Gertrude means Hamlet has opened her true eyes to see into her
soul.

Gertrude does not mean she's seeing truly about herself and Claudius.
She doesn't even know Hamlet is trying to talk about Claudius. She
hasn't been able to follow Hamlet. Gertrude means she's seeing truly
about Hamlet, himself: that he truly is crazy. She didn't really
believe it, earlier. (But she's wrong. Hamlet isn't crazy, it's only
that he's lost her very badly with his rhetoric, and his "Professor
Hamlet" behavior. However, Gertrude is trying to tell Hamlet that it
grieves her soul that her son is a lunatic, as far as she can tell.)

88 grieved
Is correct, to a certainty. The play repeatedly and solidly associates
black with grief (mourning.) Hamlet is grieving over his father as he
stands there dressed in black. The Q2 word is unchallengeable. Any
misreading is by the Folio editor(s), working with papers that were
more than 20 years old, and that, in all likelihood, had never been
stored properly. Editors should get over the idea that the big,
expensive book is automatically the better book. One does not judge a
book by its cover, y'know.

A note is mandatory that Hamlet misunderstands Gertrude. When Gertrude
mentions her soul, Hamlet thinks he's communicating with her about what
he wants to say. He is not communicating with her. She's trying to tell
him that it grieves her that he's a lunatic. Hamlet thinks he's getting
through to her about Claudius, and it's that which is grieving her. The
mistaken idea that he's getting to her, about what he wants to say,
gives Hamlet renewed energy as he continues.

90 enseamed
Means "inseamed," as in sewn together. The idea is of two beds being
sewn together to make one bed. Apparently unique in Shakespeare, but
Macbeth does contain "unseamed" meaning rent asunder. Then, after that
plain meaning, further meaning is to be expected.

92 sty
Arden is wrong, for what Hamlet says. He is using "sty" as a euphemism
for Hell. It follows on Gertrude's mention of her soul. Hamlet is
trying to tell her that her behavior with Claudius, that he suspects,
could damn her soul to Hell.

That is not how Gertrude hears it. She understands "sty" to mean
pigsty. Then, go back to the word "youth." She thinks Hamlet is still
talking about himself. She thinks Hamlet is talking about himself, in
the pigsty. Making love. She thinks Hamlet has just told her that when
he's feeling romantic, he goes to the pigsty. To make love.

Gertrude does not know Hamlet is trying to talk about Claudius, and
her. Hamlet has lost her with his obscure allusions, and his strange
behavior. She thinks Hamlet means himself in the pigsty. In crude
modern vernacular, Gertrude thinks her son, the Prince, has just
announced to her that he's a pig f-cker.

93
Arden could not possibly be more wrong. Hamlet has not succeeded in
what he wanted to do. What Hamlet has succeeded at, is to make his
mother think he's proud of being a pig f-cker. The word "success" can't
possibly apply to such outlandish miscommunication.

Gertrude's "daggers" is entirely coincidence. She just happens to use
the same figure of speech. Wheel of Fortune motif. And indeed, it would
be rather "daggery" for a mother to hear her son say such a thing, as
Gertrude thinks she heard, even if he's not the Prince.

The author knew of the pigs in the Amleth story, but he used the
concept far more creatively. And just because multitudes of scholars,
working for generations, can (sometimes) figure out the meanings of
what Hamlet says, that doesn't mean Gertrude can understand Hamlet as
his obscure allusions go by while he speaks. She cannot understand what
he means, and she mistakes what he says. Shakespeare did write it all
to make sense - but not to Gertrude.

Hamlet remembers saying that he intended to speak "dagger" to Gertrude,
and here she has said "daggers." It makes him think he's communicating
with her, on the issue he's trying to talk about. He's wrong. The word
is coincidental. But Hamlet finds encouragement in it, and he
continues, energetically, in the same fashion.

94 murderer . . . villain
Hamlet is still standing with the sword in his hand, waving it around,
and Gertrude is very aware of Polonius's body. She thinks Hamlet is
proudly proclaiming himself a murderer and a villain. In all that
follows, until the Ghost enters, she thinks Hamlet means himself. She
thinks he's completely lost his mind.

95 kith
Means "kin" but is figurative. The Folio is patently wrong. If
misreading is involved, it's by the Folio editor(s), working with
20-year old papers.

99
Gertrude's interjection is her begging Hamlet to stop raving.

99.1 SD
Arden has, guess what, misplaced the stage direction. Again. It's sad.
The stage direction belongs exactly where Q2 shows it, because Hamlet's
"shreds and patches" line has a multiple meaning, one of which refers
to the Ghost. Therefore, the Ghost must be onstage, exactly as Q2
shows, when Hamlet speaks the line. Arden does not understand the play.

The Vice character, in "shreds and patches," was the Devil's henchman
in the old morality plays. Hamlet, with the Ghost standing there on
stage, has said a whole lot more than he realizes, when he mentions
shreds and patches. Nor does Hamlet know how appropriate his attempt to
summon angels really is. There is irony in Hamlet calling for the help
of the angels in this scene, after Claudius called for the help of the
angels in the Prayer Scene.

It is mandatory that the Ghost be costumed differently, not in the
armor. Q1 is a surprisingly good guide for this particular entry of the
Ghost, in regard to costuming, although Q1 must never be trusted except
where it finds independent support. Such support exists here. The Ghost
must scare Hamlet upon its entry here. That means Hamlet must not be
able to recognize the Ghost immediately. And that, in turn, dictates a
different costume. Hibbard was silly. There is no "humanity" in this
Ghost. Polonius has told us that, accidentally, for one thing. Hamlet
just told us that, too, unknowingly. The distant church bell, sounding
1:00, is right.

When the Ghost enters, Hamlet, who has been facing Gertrude, catchs the
motion out of the corner of his eye. He turns, and upon seeing the
Ghost, which he doesn't recognize at first, he crouches slightly, his
eyes bug out, and his hair goes straight up on end. But all Gertrude
sees is Hamlet. She can't see the Ghost. To Gertrude, it looks like
Hamlet has done that all by himself. Somehow, he has made his own hair
stand straight up. She didn't know a person could do that. She's seen
people wiggle their ears, but this is... crazy. Hamlet has made all his
hair stand up, all by himself, as she sees it. She's certain he's
insane. Or she is.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-10-31 19:34:25 UTC
Permalink
A3s4 line 100 to 150.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

101 guards
To Gertrude, it's like Hamlet is reading her mind. That is exactly what
she's thinking. She strongly wishes the castle guards were there, to
restrain her crazy son.

101-105
Of course Hamlet addresses the Ghost as his father. He thinks it is.
Arden seems not competent to interpret the play.

101 your gracious figure
The Folio is in error. Good heavens. "Equally acceptable," my foot. The
big, expensive book does not gain credibility merely by being big and
expensive. And who's Arden foolin' when they try to claim they can read
a non-existent manuscript? Besides themselves.

102
Gertrude cannot see the Ghost, and the Ghost, himself, will tell us why
she can't. Dessen could not read the play, and only babbled.

103-5
We know exactly why Hamlet asks the Ghost the question, and exactly
what it means, in plain reading. Hamlet is worried the Ghost (whom he
takes to be his father) is going to scold him for not killing Claudius
in the Prayer Scene.

The reason why Hamlet ignores Polonius is that he's glad Polonius is
dead. He's glad because he mistakenly thinks Polonius pimped Ophelia to
Claudius. Hamlet's view is that the only problem with killing Polonius
now, is that he hasn't killed Claudius yet. Hamlet expects Polonius's
death to be big trouble for him in killing Claudius, since it gives
Claudius a reason to throw Hamlet in the dungeon, and he'd never get
Claudius from behind bars.

103 tardy
"Tardy" is wonderful wordplay. It means "late." Hamlet, talking to his
"late" father (he thinks) turns it around and calls himself "late." For
Hamlet, he's "late" in killing Claudius, whom he didn't kill in the
Prayer Scene. "Tardy" reveals that Hamlet, upon seeing his father in
ordinary clothing, is feeling like a small schoolboy again. Hamlet is
no longer "Professor Hamlet," lecturing "student Gertrude," the Ghost
has made him feel like the tardy schoolboy he once was, who feared a
scolding from his father.

This also firmly supports ringing a distant bell at the Ghost's entry.
The bell has rung, and Hamlet is "tardy."

104 That . . . passion
Arden is not competent to present the play. They don't understand any
of it. What "commentators agree" upon, allegedly, according to Arden,
is nonsense. Hamlet is referring to his "lapse of passion," for
revenge, in the Prayer Scene, where he allowed Claudius to live. Hamlet
is afraid his father is going to chastise him for not killing Claudius.
It is not complicated.

Hamlet thinks he has lost his mother to Claudius, his old friends R & G
to Claudius, and his sweetheart Ophelia to Claudius. Hamlet feels very
alone in the world. Now, if his father condemned him, it would be too
much to bear.

107
It means the Ghost is encouraging Hamlet to kill Claudius, which Hamlet
hasn't done yet. The Ghost is essentially only repeating back what
Hamlet just said (and there's an amazing reason for that.) The Ghost is
telling Hamlet to sharpen his sword, so to speak, for Claudius.
Arden's "perhaps" is merely another indication they do not understand
the play, even where the play is not very complicated.

109
If Hamlet literally stepped between Gertrude and her soul, it would
separate her soul from her body, that is, it would kill her. It's quite
an odd thing for Hamlet's father to say: a suggestion he should kill
his mother. The Ghost has included a wicked undertone to his words. The
Ghost likes that sort of thing. The Ghost admires "wicked wits."

110 Conceit
Conceit is a "take" word, at root. The Ghost is saying, 'taking works
best in the weakest bodies.' A "taking" is a spell ("no fairy takes.")
The Ghost has a very "weak" body, none at all. He's saying that makes
him strong for casting spells. What spells? Spells to keep Gertrude
from seeing or hearing him. The Ghost is telling us why Gertrude can't
see or hear him. The Ghost has "taken" her perception of him, with a
spell. Then there's the usual double meaning, to give the plain
reading. There's also a third meaning.

116 in th'alarm
Gertrude uses the figure of soldiers reacting to an alarm because she's
expecting Fortinbrasse to attack the castle at any time. It's on her
mind.

117 like . . . excrements
The hair is on the head. Gertrude, in her extreme annoyance at Hamlet,
and from her certainty that he's crazy, is associating his head with
excrement. Sorry, but she is. Deal with it. She would never,
ordinarily, even imagine calling her son such a thing, but she is
beyond annoyed.

121 how . . . glares
We know what's associated with "pale" in the play: red. "Pale or red?"
asked Hamlet, of Horatio. Horatio assured him: "very pale." Here,
Hamlet observes that the Ghost and his glare are very pale (not red.)
He does so in trying to assure Gertrude of the Ghost's reality, the
same way Horatio assured him. Gertrude doesn't know of the "pale or
red" question, however.

123 capable
Hamlet means the Ghost's form, combined with its purpose, is so
impressive that even stones ought to be capable of perceiving the
Ghost, poetically speaking. It means "capable of perceiving." This
obviously pertains to Gertrude not seeing the Ghost, as she just said.
Hamlet finds the Ghost so awe-inspiring he thinks even stones should
see it, in a manner of speaking, and he can't undertand why she can't.
(The word "preaching," L122, is highly ironic, by the way.)

123 SD
The Arden SD is wrong. Huge surprise. Hamlet's "Do not look..." line is
intentionally written to be "double character," that is, it applies
both to Gertrude and to the Ghost. Gertrude is looking upon her son
with pity, at the same time the Ghost is looking "piteously" at Hamlet.
Hamlet is influenced by both the Ghost's look, and the look of pity
he's getting from his mother. Hamlet should gaze back and forth,
between his mother and the Ghost, as he speaks the line. They're both
staring at him. Further, Gertrude is wishing Hamlet wouldn't look at
her the way he is. Hamlet's line has a double character application,
and an additional allusion, to Gertrude's attitude, as well.

126 want true color
The "true color" of murder is blood red. Hamlet is poetically speaking
of shedding pale, fearful tears, instead of having "red in his eyes" to
kill Claudius, the way Pyrrhus had "red in his eyes" when he
murderously sought Priam.

It is mandatory to note that Hamlet cries here. Tears run down his
face, and Gertrude sees that. Later, in the next scene, when she tells
Claudius that Hamlet wept, it's true. When Hamlet mentions tears here,
he cries a little. Gertrude doesn't know why, and she later mistakenly
associates Hamlet's tears with the death of Polonius.

132 steals
Exactly the right word, from Shakespeare. This Ghost has "stolen"
Gertrude's perception of it, and has "stolen" Hamlet's rightful
affection for his father. It steals away, like a thief in the night.

133 in . . . lived
Means "the way my father habitually dressed, when he was alive." The
Ghost appears to be wearing the ordinary nighttime garments that
Hamlet's father wore.

135 very
Means "true" again. Gertrude is asserting: 'in truth, this is the
coinage of your brain.'

138
Hamlet's "pulse" line is high irony. Gertrude's pulse is pounding like
a drum, as she fears that her son, who has killed Polonius, is
hopelessly insane. If Hamlet's pulse is calm, he's doing a lot better
than she is. Her pulse is racing (but he doesn't know that. He doesn't
realize how he looks to her, or the effect he's having on her.)

141 *And . . . matter
The Folio is probably in error. There is double meaning, via wordplay,
and the Folio "I" interferes with it, somewhat.

141 reword
Arden is egregiously wrong. It means exactly what Arden claims it
doesn't. A rewording is an expression in different words. "Repeat"
could be read there, since double meaning is to be expected, but it's a
secondary meaning, and for plain reading Arden is exactly wrong.

146 mining
Refers back to "old mole." Hamlet has just, unknowingly, called the
Ghost a "rank corruption." "Infects unseen," L147, has reference to
Gertrude not being able to see the Ghost.

147-8 Confess . . . Repent
Gertrude thinks she's hearing a new facet of Hamlet's madness. He
sounds like a religious fanatic to her. She now views with suspicion
everything he says. Hamlet is really only trying to sound impressive as
he attempts to persuade her, and he's using religious metaphors.

150 ranker
Also means "higher," which will be the primary meaning later.

Saint Gertrude of Nivelles is a patron of gardeners, by the way.

150 Forgive . . . virtue
Neither Edwards nor Staunton could understand the play. What Hamlet
says, and what Gertrude hears, are two different things here. Hamlet is
speaking of his virtue, but Gertrude thinks he's calling her "My
Virtue." Full discussion requires too much space for this comment.
Throughout Hamlet, lines must be examined from both points of view, the
view of the character who says it, versus the view of the one who hears
it.

Admittedly, Hamlet is a beast to interpret, because of all the double
meanings, including double jokes and even double character lines,
compounded by the necessity of taking both speaker's and listener's
points of view into account, for every single statement in a play of
approximately 3900 lines. The word "genius" is an understatement for
the Gentleman who wrote Hamlet. It's beyond anything. Hamlet is the
Hyrcanian Tiger of literature, and any editor or commentator who tries
to grab hold, is going to have the tiger by the tail. He had better
realize what he's up against, before he reaches to grab on, or Hamlet
will eat him alive. The many, many, bleached skulls in the graveyard of
Hamlet commentary are a warning.

An editor, or commentator, should not safari into Hamlet unless he's
wearing his pith helmet and carrying his tiger gun, so to speak. And
one must be alert to every faint noise in the "jungle," lest there be
an unpleasant surprise.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-01 22:12:01 UTC
Permalink
A3s4 line 150 to 200.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

156 *live
Arden, once again, should have been faithful to what they claimed they
were trying to do. Q2 is correct. Hamlet thinks he's been persuasive in
telling Gertrude to leave Claudius. As Hamlet speaks, "leave" is right.
Hamlet is telling Gertrude, that with a purer heart, she should leave
Claudius. Gertrude does not understand it that way, however. The
speaker's understanding, and the hearer's understanding, are different.
Full discussion requires more space, etc. The Folio is wrong.

158
"Assume" is another "take" word, at root. Hamlet is telling Gertrude
that if she has no virtue, she should take some. In other words, she
should steal some. Shakespeare is devilishly making Hamlet advise: if
you don't have any virtue, steal some. Anticipates Hamlet's encounter
with the Pirates, the "thieves of mercy," later. Here, Hamlet is
telling Gertrude to steal virtue, and later he'll speak of the Pirates
as having stolen mercy.

159-63
The Folio is in error, proven by the allusion to the Ghost that the
lines contain: "habit's devil." Goes back to: "my father in his habit."
Hints of who the Ghost really is. The previous commentators Arden
mentions are only skulls in the Hamlet graveyard. They couldn't
understand the play, and didn't even read the play well enough to pick
up the word "habit" and relate it.

159-60 who . . . devil
The historical fussing over "devil" was silly and crazy. Johnson was,
of course, exactly right about the antithesis. The word "devil" is not
arguable. What happened to Theobald, Hibbard, et al was that, when they
couldn't follow the passage, they tried changing Shakespeare's words,
in an effort to help themselves. However, the passage was intentionally
written by Shakespeare to be inordinately difficult to understand.
Indeed, Hamlet's lines are impossible for the average person to
interpret in his head. The author did not write it that way to fool
readers. It's for authentic characterization. Gertrude can't understand
it any more than Theobald could. Theobald et al didn't perceive that
their incomprehension was exactly Shakespeare's desired effect - for
Hamlet with Gertrude!

The meaning of Hamlet's lines, 159-65, is:

That "monster," Custom - meaning habitual behavior - who "eats" all
perception of the "devil" of bad habits, is still an "angel" in this
way: that in service to actions which are fair and good (good habits,)
Custom - still meaning habitual behavior - provides a "uniform" that a
person can aptly wear, to keep the "darkness" away, (through the
development of good habits,) which makes continued abstinence easier
and easier, etc.

Arden has mispunctuated, and has blundered in using the Folio wording.
Q2 is entirely correct, in both wording and punctuation.

A simple, easy to follow little passage, right? Um-hum. Shakespeare
intentionally made it almost unfathomable. And the tiger ate poor
Theobald. Additionally, the lines have secondary meanings, allusions,
and undertone. The average reader need not spend time trying to figure
out the original language - it will take pencil and paper to do that.
The way Shakespeare wrote those lines will overflow the normal human
mental "stack" for language. Which means, that although it does make
sense, it's impossible for the average person to understand, just by
reading it, or hearing it. The author did it on purpose, to be certain
it baffles Gertrude. What the typical reader needs to understand is
merely that Gertrude can't understand it, either, and to her it sounds
like Hamlet is a religious nut, raving about devils and angels. That's
the important point, in relation to how Gertrude views Hamlet now. She
thinks she's hearing him babble unfathomable religious lunacy, about
devils and angels.

Did Shakespeare, himself, need pencil and paper in order to construct
Hamlet's lines? No. He could do it in his head. His mind had a higher
"stack" than normal, for dealing with language. It was probably an
innate ability, enhanced by a lot of practice. His special ability
shows throughout Hamlet.

Back to characterization. Hamlet is not crazy. He has the mistaken idea
that he must use high-flown terms to impress Gertrude, in order to
persuade her. So, he's scrambling for allusions and metaphors to try to
sound impressive to her. But she can't follow him at all. Hamlet
doesn't realize that if he calmed down, and spoke simply, he'd do much
better.

As to the Folio omission of lines 159-63, the Folio editor(s) probably
got too lost, and they just bailed out, to escape the "tiger." Could
easily be.

167 *shame
Arden should have marked this word within their playtext, since it is
not factually there in Q2, and is an editorial insertion. Print it
within curly braces, or something, guys. Arden's guess is poor. An
opposite to "throw him out" is required, since Hamlet is basically
speaking of Gertrude either allowing Claudius in, or throwing him out.
Hamlet is speaking of opposite actions, by Gertrude towards Claudius,
with the aim not of shaming Claudius, but getting rid of him.

A word is missing in the original text, which leaves an editor with no
choice but to guess. The word "fetch" is reasonable. First, "fetch" is
a word used more than 100 times in the Shakespeare writings, and it's
reasonable to play the odds, when there's no alternative. Second,
"fetch" is a known word in the play, it was used earlier by Polonius.
Third, it was Polonius who accidentally summoned the Ghost in this
scene, with an unintentional "fetch of wit." Fourth, "fetch" as a noun
refers to an apparition, with obvious pertinence to the Ghost. (The
modern noun "fetch" refers to an apparition of a living person, but
nevertheless, any meaning of 'apparition' is highly suggestive in this
scene where the Ghost appears.) Fifth, "fetching" means "charming,"
which provides some allusion to the general notions of witchcraft,
magic, etc. Sixth, the regular meaning of "fetch" works well, in
opposition to "throw out." I therefore offer "fetch." It must always be
stressed that Shakespeare's own word is forever unknown, and any
suggestion is necessarily nothing but an editorial guess, acceptable
only by virtue of being reasonably credible and meaningful, as best
that can be achieved. ("Devil" is not spelled "deale" here in the
original printing, so a free-standing meaning that incorporates a verb
through metaphor is not available. By the way. The word, alone, cannot
be read as "deal the devil.")

168 With wondrous potency
Arden's parenthetical is wrong. Hamlet is talking about what he more
expects such power to achieve. Not "less."

169-70 And . . . you
There is no mention of kneeling. The Hamlet actor might kneel, but that
is entirely optional, and not dictated in the playtext. Arden's talk of
kneeling is irrelevant to the meaning. Interpretation requires knowing
that Gertrude hears it differently from what Hamlet intends. She thinks
Hamlet says that if she desires blessing from him, he'll refuse, and
he'll beg blessing from her, instead. To her, what he says sounds nuts,
as though, if one person desires blessing, somebody else should get it.
Hamlet means he'll also ask for blessing from her, in addition, but he
fails to clearly say so, and she misunderstands. She's still hearing
all his talk of devils, angels, blessings, etc. as the religious
fanaticism of a diseased mind. But Hamlet is only searching for
metaphors that he thinks might impress her, and he has latched onto
religious ones.

170-1 For this . . . repent
Hamlet's line has a double meaning. Can be read either as: 'For this
act (of killing Polonius,) God, I do repent,' or as, 'for this lord
here, (Polonius,) I do repent.'

172
Certainly Hamlet fears punishment for killing Polonius. Also, he's
"punished" in that his effort for revenge against Claudius has become
more difficult with the death of Polonius.

173 their . . . minister
Hamlet is stuck in religious metaphor. The point for the play is that
as Gertrude keeps hearing such things from him, she thinks he's a
religious nut. He now sounds to her like he's saying he's the "scourge
of heaven." He doesn't actually mean that.

174 bestow
Means "house," again. Hamlet is going to "house" Polonius someplace
else. Has the ironic implication that Hamlet is going to look for
someplace else for Polonius's dead body to "live."

174 answer well
Hamlet has come up with an "answer" to Polonius's death, that Hamlet
thinks is a good one. He's going to use Polonius's body in connection
with killing Claudius.

176 I must . . . kind
The point for the play is that Hamlet recites a saying, rather
mindlessly. It's exactly the same thing Polonius habitually did.
Earlier, when Hamlet started to recite the "grass grows" saying to R &
G, he stopped, because he realized he was sounding like Polonius, by
using a saying. But here, Hamlet goes ahead and recites the saying
without even thinking about it. Hamlet must have been too close to
Polonius when he died, and Polonius's spirit has infected Hamlet.
Hamlet has caught a touch of Polonius Disease!

177 This
Q2 is correct. It goes to the issue of word order in poetry. Hamlet
means, 'This begins bad..." The word order needs to be switched, for
prose meaning. It establishes that "This" is right. The Folio change is
probably an editorial attempt to find better sense in the printed word
order.

Notice the epigram form of L177. It's a further symptom of Hamlet's
Polonius Disease. The Dent cite by Arden is truer than they realized.
Polonius is the one who habitually spoke proverbs.

178 One . . . lady
Certainly authorial, and intended to be there. Hamlet's desire to talk
more is a symptom of his Polonius Disease. Hamlet now feels compelled
to keep talking, and to throw in the occasional saying. Yep, poor
Hamlet has caught Polonius Disease.

178
Gertrude's question is actually spoken to herself. Hamlet takes it as
addressed to him, but she's asking herself what she's going to do about
her crazy son, and his killing of Polonius.

180 bloat
Gertrude takes Hamlet's phrase "bloat King" as reference to the King of
Bloat, someplace that must exist in his frenzied imagination. Not only
does she have no intention of going to bed with the King of Bloat, she
never even heard of that kingdom. Hamlet still has her lost in his
rhetoric.

181 Pinch wanton
"Wanton" means "playfully."

Further on L181, St Gertrude of Nivelles is a patron against mice, by
the way.

185-6 That . . . craft
Gertrude doesn't believe him, she thinks he's truly crazy.

186 'Twere . . . know
It is absolutely not any sarcasm by Hamlet, he is deadly serious. Arden
is badly wrong. Hamlet is embarking on warning Gertrude that Claudius
is a physical danger to her, that Claudius, who killed his own brother,
might murder her.

186-9 'Twere good . . . do so?
Hamlet, thinking he still has to be mysterious, is making a bad mistake
with his verbiage. He's trying to warn Gertrude that Claudius might
kill her, but Hamlet phrases it so that she can't understand him, which
makes the warning useless. The answer to his "Who would..." question
is: "a wise queen," which he thinks she'll easily get, but after all
the "paddock" and "bat" nonsense, she has no idea what he's asking her,
or why he's asking. Hamlet, suffering from his Polonius Disease, and
his own fondness for allusion, thinks he's giving her a good warning,
but she hasn't the slightest. If she did understand Hamlet, she might
be more careful around Claudius, like thinking twice before she sipped
from a cup Claudius had touched, or something.

190
It is not one fable, it is reference to two things. Hamlet is garbling
them together, through the "basket" idea. There are two baskets
involved. First, there is the basket on the rooftop, with the birds in
it. Hamlet is using the idea, of letting the birds out of the basket,
as a reference to letting a secret escape. Birds symbolize secrets: "a
little bird told me."

Then, Hamlet is continuing the "basket" idea in referring to something
else. For Hamlet's second thing, the "ape" is the Socrates character in
Aristophanes' play Clouds. In Clouds, Socrates "aped" the gods by
having himself suspended aloft in a basket, and he was ultimately
killed.

As Hamlet struggles to find some connection between letting secrets
out, and then being killed, he is using the "basket" idea as the verbal
connection, and then figuratively using birds to represent secrets, and
using Socrates as the example of somebody killed in association with a
basket. He's totally lost Gertrude, of course. She has no idea.
Hamlet's ingenious effort is wasted on her, because of the way he
expresses it.

Gertrude does understand "break your own neck," and she believes that
Hamlet is threatening her, to enforce her silence. That's all she can
get out of it.

195-7
Gertrude is replying to what she took as a threat from Hamlet, to
"break her neck." She promises she won't say anything of what he's told
her. It's an extremely easy promise for her to make, and to keep. The
reason is, she has absolutely no idea what he's been saying, and she
couldn't repeat it if she was paid to.

198
It's perfectly clear how Hamlet knows. He was hiding in Claudius's
room, and he heard Claudius say it. That has been misunderstood because
scholars have not perceived exactly what an entry in Q2 means. The fact
is that a character can be onstage, in Q2, without an express entry, as
Hamlet was in the Prayer Scene.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-03 09:20:01 UTC
Permalink
A3s4 line 200 to end.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

200-8 There's . . . meet
If there was a Folio cut it was not by Shakespeare, it was by the Folio
editor(s). The author did not cut his own writing from his own closet
drama, Q2. Perhaps the Folio reflects stage practice, or it may only
reflect lack of understanding by the Folio editor(s), or it may be a
misprint in F.

202 bear the mandate
Hibbard was wrong, he did not understand. Claudius has arranged the
mission so that Hamlet is a "social" ambassador. He's to shake the
hands and do the talking with the foreign dignitaries. R & G are the
clerical aides, to do the paperwork. Hamlet is the ambassador, and R &
G are the scribes. That's why they will have the paperwork. Claudius
has arranged things that way to keep the paperwork away from Hamlet,
lest he read it. And it's a normal arrangement. The ambassador,
himself, does not usually do scribal work.

203 Let it work
Double meaning. Hamlet is also asking fate to let his own plan work. He
has thought of something.

205-6 and't . . . will
"Hard" simply means "difficult." Hamlet is not talking about it needing
luck, he's talking about it needing effort. He merely means, 'and it
will be difficult.' As it turns out, he will need luck, but he isn't
anticipating that here. Then, one always looks for double meanings, and
"hard" goes back to "sport," L204. For that, "hard" is reference to
playing a rough game. Hamlet further means that in this "sport" he's
going to start playing rough.

206 mines
Hamlet is intending to "undermine" R & G by killing Claudius before the
trip, leaving R & G out of luck.

209 set me packing
Hamlet is facetiously referring to his lugging of Polonius's body as
the start of his "packing," for the trip he doesn't expect to take.

210 neighbour room
The phrase is vitally important to the play, and Arden has missed it.
This is the Queen's Room. The "neighbour room," from here, is the
King's Room, next door. Hamlet is saying he's going to take Polonius's
body to Claudius's room. Why? Well, Hamlet has a killing on his hands,
so he's sure he has to do something about Claudius right away, lest he
be thrown in the dungeon, with no hope from there of ever getting
Claudius. Hamlet is going to take Polonius to Claudius's room, the
"neighbour room," kill Claudius too, and try to make it look like they
killed each other. Or, perhaps, try to make it appear that Polonius
killed Claudius, and then Hamlet, in outrage, killed Polonius. It's a
variation on Duncan's murder in Macbeth, as set up by Macbeth:
supposedly a king killed by his servant, or servants. (But Shakespeare
didn't let Hamlet accomplish it in Hamlet, he put something in the way:
R & G.)

Hamlet says "neighbour room" because, for one thing, he can't stand to
say the name, Claudius. During this entire Scene, despite the amount
Hamlet talks, he never says "Claudius." (That's part of the
miscommunication with Gertrude.) Also, Hamlet doesn't like to think of
Claudius as king, so he doesn't say "King's Room." He only uses the
vague phrase, neighbor room.

213 most
Certainly authorial, and to be spoken with emphasis. Arden needed to
stop arguing against the very text they were supposed to be presenting;
that's a fundamental flaw in their approach. The Folio has either a
misprint or an editorial misjudgment.

213 foolish prating
Strikes a chord with Gertrude, after what she heard from Hamlet in this
Scene. Hamlet doesn't realize the self reference in what he says.

215 SD
Gertrude does remain on stage, for a while. It takes her a while to
realize what "neighbor room" meant when Hamlet said it. She paces, she
frets, then after a minute or two it strikes her: Hamlet said he was
taking Polonius's body to Claudius's room! Gertrude then rushes out, to
Claudius's room, where she expects to find her son under arrest for
murder, caught red-handed with Polonius's body, and sorely in need of
her to defend him.

Gertrude does not get an exit at the end of Scene, in Q2, even though
she does rush out. And that is correct, for the playscript. Giving her
an exit at the same time as Hamlet would be misleading. She does not
exit at the same time as Hamlet.

To show her exit correctly, in association with the playscript, would
require including a description of what she does, and then the exit.
However, Q2 does not include such descriptions, it only includes the
dialogue. Hence, there is no place to put Gertrude's proper exit, in
relation to the playscript. It must be left out - if it were included,
with Hamlet's, it would be deceptive. She does not depart at the same
time he does. This is why, although Gertrude does depart the Scene, her
exit is not marked in Q2.

In other words, Gertrude's exit occurs "offstage" in terms of the
playscript. It happens after a significant lapse of time, following
the end of the dialogue.

Ironically, the author's desire to avoid being misleading, about the
timing of Gertrude's exit, has led to universal misunderstanding of
what Gertrude does, and has given people the false notion that she
doesn't exit at all. She does. She runs to Claudius's room, but only
after a minute or two has gone by since Hamlet left.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-05 16:51:46 UTC
Permalink
A4s1, all.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

4.1
It is, in fact, a new Scene. We are now in Claudius's room, the King's
Room. Gertrude has rushed here expecting to find Hamlet here, under
arrest. She finds Claudius in conference with R & G, who have returned
after packing for the trip.

Hamlet is not here, however. The reason is, the presence of R & G.
Hamlet either glanced in and saw them, or heard them talking as he
approached the room with Polonius's body. It caused Hamlet to change
his plans. Hamlet's idea was to kill Claudius, and try to make it look
like Polonius had done it. But with R & G here, Hamlet would have to
kill them, too. So, it's 'no go' for his original idea. Hamlet quickly
drags Polonius's body away, and hides it under the stairs, as we'll
later find out.

The Folio error, which omits R & G from the stage direction, is a fatal
mistake in the Folio. If R & G are not here, Hamlet has killed
Claudius. Without R & G, we'll find Claudius (and Polonius) dead on the
floor at the start of this Scene. Amusingly, in the Folio version, from
4.1 onward, Claudius is dead. Hamlet has killed him. The big, expensive
book is not always the best book. The presence of R & G, exactly as
shown in Q2, is mandatory to stop Hamlet from killing Claudius. That's
why R & G are present in Q2. The Folio editor(s) did not have a firm
grasp of the play, at least not the Q2 closet drama version.

The tiger ate the Folio editor(s). More skulls in the graveyard.

Arden is wrong with their SD comments. They did not understand the
play.

1 heaves
"Sobs" is wrong. Gertrude is out of breath from running down the
hallway.

2 translate
Arden is right for plain reading, but there's much more. It's
complicated. The author wrote: "You must translate." That is,
Shakespeare wrote (to you!): "You must translate." Do it. He was not
kidding. We shall, therefore, translate.

"Matter" is from Latin for "mother." "Profound" is from Latin, and
means "forward bottom." As the author told us, himself, in the previous
Scene, "heaves" are "kissing hills." Claudius's first line,
"translated," is, as he looks at Gertrude's bosom:

'There's "mother" in these sighs, these forward bottom kissing hills.'

In "translation," Claudius is calling Gertrude's bosom her "forward
bottom kissing hills." It is, perhaps, a distinctly male point of view.
Ahem.

"Translate," itself, is from Latin, and means "across bear," or "bear
across." That becomes "bear a cross." Claudius's "you must translate"
becomes:

'You must bear a cross.'

Gertrude does, indeed, bear a cross as she rushes in. Her crazy son,
who has killed Polonius, is her cross to bear.

"Them" is reference to Gertrude's sighs, and "fit" refers to a fit of
madness. So, Claudius says:

'I understand your sighs, it's a fit of madness.'

Putting it all together, here is a "translation" for Claudius's speech:

There's "mother" in these sighs,
these forward bottom kissing hills.
You must bear a cross.
I understand your sighs:
it's a fit of madness.
Where is your son?

Claudius "reads" Gertrude's bosom, and rightly concludes that she bears
a cross, and the sighs of her kissing hills have to do with her son,
and his "madness." Claudius therefore asks where Hamlet is. It all
makes perfect sense. If you're out of your mind. Madness theme.

Astonishingly, if that wasn't enough, there are double meanings within
the "translation." "Translate" also refers to moving the body of a
saint. Claudius's "you must translate," spoken to Gertrude, is then him
saying to her: "You must move a saint." Queen Gertrude is symbolically
associated in the play with Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, who is a patron
of gardeners, pilgrims, the recently dead, and against mice. Through
that association, Gertrude does, yes, move a saint when she moves. She
moves "Gertrude," which is the name of a saint. And more can be found.

4
The "whoever" are R & G, of course. For pete's sake. Arden's confusion
is because they missed the scene change, and they imagine Claudius has
entered the Queen's Room. Not so. This is the King's Room, the
"neighbor room." Arden is in the wrong room.

Watch out. If you open the wrong door you don't get the lady. You get
the tiger.

5 mine own lord
Intimacy is not the point. Double meaning, is the point. Gertrude is
only marginally addressing Claudius. She is mainly saying, 'my god.'
Her question is both rhetorical, to Claudius, and also sincere as she
asks herself about Hamlet. Arden's punctuation for L5 is wrong.

6 What, Gertrude?
It's a question, of course. Claudius's "what" follows Gertrude's
"what." To notice that requires: being able to read. Arden's notion of
exclamation comes from somewhere on Mars. Q2 combines Claudius's two
questions, with a comma, indicating only a brief pause between them.

7 Mad . . . sea
Gertrude is doing no such thing as obeying Hamlet. She doesn't even
know what Hamlet was trying to say. Arden does not understand the play.

8 lawless
Means both "unruly," and also refers to the illegality of Hamlet
killing Polonius. Double meaning.

9 something
Gertrude is not being vague about the source of the noise. She is
telling Claudius expressly that it was Polonius. That is not vagueness.
Gertrude thinks Hamlet is crazy, and that he really mistook Polonius
for a rat, basing her view on Hamlet's exclamation. Hamlet didn't
mistake Polonius, but she doesn't know that.

10 Whips . . . rapier
Gertrude does not actually omit the subject. She is ascribing the use
of the rapier to "lawless fit." She's blaming the fit for the use of
the rapier. "Lawless fit" is effectively the subject of her statement.
The Folio was wrong to change it. In apparently attempting to clarify,
the Folio spoiled Gertrude's very point, of the fit being in control,
not Hamlet, as his normal self.

12 good
Observe that Gertrude calls Polonius "good" - when he's dead. It's
pertinent to something later.

13
A characterization note is demanded, which Arden fails to provide.
Claudius's first thought is for himself. This is highly revealing for
the kind of character he is, and also reveals that Claudius doesn't
much care Polonius is dead.

Re Arden's actual note, Hamlet did not think he was killing Claudius.
He knew it was Polonius. As far as Gertrude enlightening Claudius, she
could hardly do so. She thinks Hamlet crazily believes that he did kill
Claudius. She thinks Hamlet thinks Polonius is Claudius, and that
Hamlet thinks Claudius is now dead.

When Gertrude figured out what "neighbor room" meant, she took it that
Hamlet thought he was only returning Claudius to his room, by dragging
Polonius to Claudius's room. Needs longer discussion, not possible
here.

18 kept short
Means "kept on a short tether." Goes back to Polonius's use of "tether"
while speaking to Ophelia.

25-7 O'er . . . pure
Arden's note wanders beyond being wrong into the realm of the strange.
Gertrude is saying that in the "baseness" of Hamlet's act, in killing
Polonius, she has spotted gold. So to speak. She's spotted Hamlet's
madness as a "golden" defense for him against a charge of murder. She's
saying Hamlet is purely mad, and therefore, not culpable.

25 ore
Means "gold." Johnson effectively had it, but took it too literally. It
is not literal mineralogy, of course. The usage is figurative.

26 mineral
Means what we'd now call "ore." Base mineral. An instance on the
Mining, or "undermining," motif.

27 'a . . . done
It's Arden who's inaccurate. Hamlet did cry, and Gertrude is telling
the factual truth, as best she knows it. However, she's wrong about why
Hamlet cried.

There is a fantastic irony to Gertrude's statements in this Scene.
Everything she says is factually correct, as far as she knows. However,
she's really all wrong. Yes, Hamlet did cry, but not for the reason she
thinks. She truly believes Hamlet is mad, but he isn't. She truly
believes Hamlet thought he was stabbing at a rat, but he didn't think
that. She believes Hamlet didn't know Polonius was there, but he really
did. It's wonderful, wonderful writing by the author. Everything she
says is true, as best she knows it. But actually, she's all wrong.

32.1 SD
Oh, jeez. Arden did it, again. Jeez. It almost gets to the point that
one suspects mischief by the Arden staff. The Arden stage direction
placement is wrong. Again. It is required that the SD be before
Claudius says "countenance and excuse," because the line has a double
meaning. The line is also reference to R & G, themselves, so they must
be visible to the audience when it is spoken. Claudius is
unintentionally calling R "false face," and calling G "excuse," in the
pejorative sense ("sorry person.") Claudius is accidentally announcing
that both "false face" and "excuse" have arrived. R & G must be onstage
for that to be discerned. They must enter before Claudius's phrase.
That is why the SD is where it is in Q2. Q2 is correct, and is
mandatory here. Arden has blundered, again, by failing to respect Q2,
the text they claim to be trying to present.

35 from . . . closet
This is the King's Room, Arden. For your information. "Neighbour room."

37 SD
The SD is not really needed, but at least Arden didn't plop it into the
middle of a line of blank verse. That's something to be thankful for.
There are only eight more lines in the Scene. Q2 has R & G follow
Claudius and Gertrude out, and that's correct.

38 wisest friends
They're the Danish electors. Denmark is an elective monarchy, which is
what made it possible for Claudius, instead of Hamlet, to become the
King. Arden is wrong to imagine it refers to the King's councilors. The
King's councilors are only his servants. Politically, he doesn't depend
upon the support of his own servants. Claudius is talking about the
people who made him King, and whose political support he needs to
continue as the King. These political supporters are mostly Gertrude's
friends, from her many years as Queen. They'll include the church
leadership, any dukes of the realm, earls (whether courtiers or not,)
and etc. Since they're mostly Gertrude's friends, she'll take over the
task of talking to them. That's why we'll later see Claudius has
returned alone. Gertrude will go on to talk to the political people she
knows from her years as Queen, and Claudius will return to receive word
about Hamlet.

There's irony in Claudius's use of "wisest." He hopes he can fool the
"friends," to some extent, certainly enough so there's no suspicion
about him sending Hamlet to England. Claudius is saying "wisest," but
he's hoping, "not too wise."

40 what's untimely done
Nothing is missing from Q2. "Whose whisper" does have an explicit
subject. It's "what's untimely done." That is, the subject is "what."
We know what the "what" is, it's the death of Polonius. Claudius
pauses, thoughtfully, after saying "done." Hamlet isn't "done,"
Claudius fears, and the thought gives him pause.

41-4
The lines are not that obscure, and it's nonsense to imagine the author
would cut his own lines, from his own closet drama. The big, expensive
Folio is in error. MacDonald caught a glimpse of the tiger, but
couldn't identify what he was seeing: intentional double, and multiple,
meanings. (Like the letter in Ralph Roister Doister, gone "mad," and
run wild.)

42
Primarily refers to firing a gun at "point blank" range.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-06 14:45:23 UTC
Permalink
A4s2, all.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

0.1 SD
The Q2 entry is correct, and Arden is foolish to try to argue against
it, especially when they're allegedly intending to present Q2. Where
the dialogue begins, Hamlet is alone at center stage, already in his
speaking position, and the others are entering from the side, moving to
the speakers's area of the stage.

The Q2 entry placement is required, because the presence onstage of R &
G et al explains to the audience WHY Hamlet says he hears a noise. The
audience sees the cause of the noise, at the side of the stage, in
those approaching Hamlet.

In other words, Arden has screwed up the stage direction, again, by not
placing it where Q2 does. Arden's SD placement leaves the audience with
no visible explanation of WHY Hamlet says he hears noise. Shakespeare
knew that theater is necessarily visual. Arden is apparently careless
of that fact. There is no suggestion in the Q2 entry for R & G that
they somehow magically appear in a puff of smoke exactly on their marks
in speaking position. The Q2 entry only means R & G are visible
onstage, at the time when their entry is given, and they are moving
into proper speaking position to say their lines. The Folio change is
editorial, pointless, and it also deprives the audience of
justification for why Hamlet mentions noise.

1 stowed
Means both "stored" and "housed." Hamlet has found Polonius a new
"home." There is the amusing idea that runs through the play, that
wherever Polonius happens to be, he's "at home," just as Ophelia said.
Her statement has come true. Now, Polonius is always "at home."

And Arden does not understand the play. After finding it impractical to
take Polonius to Claudius's room and kill Claudius, because R & G were
there, Hamlet decided to hide the body. He does that to try to hide the
fact of Polonius's death for a while, during which time he hopes to
kill Claudius. Hamlet expects that when it's discovered he's killed
Polonius, he'll be locked in the dungeon to stand trial for murder.
Hamlet doesn't know how insistent Claudius is on sending him to
England, and why. So, Hamlet is trying to gain time to kill Claudius.
But unknown to Hamlet, Gertrude has rushed to Claudius's room, and has
blurted out the whole thing, while trying to help Hamlet. No sooner
does Hamlet get the body hidden, than here comes everybody, looking for
the body. Darn.

5 Compound . . . dust
Actually, Hamlet gives the impression that the unused storage room
beneath the stairs is very dusty. He uses a figure of speech suggesting
burial. There must be enough dust in that neglected storage room to
almost bury a person.

11 sponge!
Arden errs in punctuation. Q2 is correctly followed. Hamlet's line 11
has a double meaning, for which the exclamation point is inappropriate.

11 replication
Also carries the ominous undertone of Hamlet killing R & G, too.

16 *like an ape
Arden is wrong. Q2 "apple" is correct. ROSEncrantz and GUILDenstern are
"red and gold." Common varieties of apples are also known as "red" and
"gold." The Folio has the misreading.

21 knavish
Observe that Hamlet expresses himself in the form of a saying, without
even thinking about it. It's a symptom of his Polonius Disease. He
hasn't recovered yet. Arden's attempt at interpretation is odd. It
isn't "knavish" to tell the truth. What's "knavish" about Hamlet's
speech, is that he's threatening, subtly, that he's going to "squeeze"
R. Hamlet is voicing a quiet threat to R.

25-6 The . . . body
Hamlet is speaking of two kings at the same time. Notice that R did not
specify which king he meant, or which body. So, Hamlet uses the
opportunity to play with the "King" idea. Claudius's body is still with
him, but King Hamlet is not with his body. King Hamlet is wandering
around as a ghost (Hamlet thinks.) Hamlet is alluding to the Ghost, in
addition to Claudius. The body (of Claudius) is still with King
Claudius, but the King (Hamlet) is not with the body (of himself.)

26-8 The . . . nothing
Hamlet is saying that King Hamlet is a thing... of nothing, i.e. a
ghost. There is also an insult to Claudius in the lines, from the "no
thing" idea.

Jenkins was likely right about the additional Folio line. It isn't
credibly authorial. It's probably from an energetic exit the actors
decided to do.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-07 23:49:44 UTC
Permalink
A4s3, all.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

4.3
The setting is the King's Room, again. Gertrude has taken over the task
of talking to political people, the Danish electors, since they're
mostly her friends, from her years as Queen. Claudius has returned to
his room to await word about Hamlet and Polonius's body.

0.1 SD
Q2 is correct. Hamlet has killed somebody, so Claudius wants other
people near him all the time, until Hamlet is caught. The "two or
three" should include at least one armed guard, and it would alright
for them all to be armed guards. If a mix is wanted, the "two or three"
can be an armed guard, a typical servant, and a courtier wearing a
rapier. Arden is obviously wrong that the "two or three" could include
the "wisest friends." The "wisest friends" cannot be there, because
talking to those friends is the reason for Gertrude's absence.

Claudius's speech is a semi-soliloquy. The others are nearby, but he's
talking more to himself than to them. The others will not read as much
into Claudius's use of "desperate" as Arden does.

4-5
Hamlet doesn't know how the public views him. He's been out of the
country in Wittenberg, and since his return, he's been isolated inside
the Elsinore "nutshell." Hamlet also thinks he must be unpopular, or he
would have been chosen King. Hamlet doesn't know how Claudius really
became King. Claudius is more aware of Hamlet's popularity than Hamlet
is. We also know Hamlet doesn't try to exploit the public because he
worries that a popular uprising would be uncontrollable, and might
result in Gertrude being "mob-led" like Hecuba. Ironically, Laertes
will prove Hamlet wrong on that particular point, when Laertes finds it
easy to control the rabble he recruits. Laertes will show what Hamlet
could have done, had he only known it.

4 distracted multitude
Claudius is using "distracted" to mean "crazy." Claudius is basically
saying that everybody is crazy except him.

6 weighed
Means "judged," unfavorably. Claudius is saying that if people saw him
punishing Hamlet, the punishment would be weighed unfavorably,
regardless of Hamlet's offense.

7 bear . . . even
It means, 'make things go smoothly, with no problem.'

9 Deliberate pause
Means "deliberate end," i.e. a carefully-deliberated outcome, where
"pause" is used in its root sense of "end" = outcome. The phrase has
ironic allusion to the "end" Claudius already has planned for Hamlet,
which was, indeed, the result of deliberation by Claudius. Arden's
second sentence is obviously wrong. Claudius has already arranged, in
the commission he wrote, for the right moment for (England) to act
against Hamlet.

11 SD
Arden has done the stage directions wrong, again. Q2 is right. R gets
the specific entry, by name, because he's the one who talks. R's entry
is, as usual, a direction for his character to move to proper speaking
position for delivery of his lines to the audience.

Then, the simultaneous entry for "the rest" is to be sure of including
G on stage, so that G is also in sight for the audience, along with R.
R & G must always be in view at the same time. "The rest" here are
Hamlet and G, with a guard and a servant, perhaps. This entry for "the
rest" is different from the typical Q2 entry, in that Hamlet,
accompanied by G, is not supposed to move at once to his speaking
position. However, it's a necessary entry to insure that R & G are both
in view, at the same time. The implication of Hamlet and G moving, at
once, into speaking position is avoided by not using their names.

Hamlet is being held at the door, with G beside him, since R & G don't
know whether Claudius wants Hamlet taken to a cell, or wants to talk to
Hamlet, or what. The audience can see both R & G, and also Hamlet. R
approaches Claudius to find out what to do with Hamlet. Claudius, from
his position, does not see Hamlet yet.

The 15.1 SD then brings Hamlet to his speaking position on the stage,
with G beside him. Entry by name is not necessary in Q2, since we
already know "the rest" include Hamlet and G. Q2's "they enter" means
Hamlet and G, and with a guard and servant optional, if personnel are
available. Also, in the printing of Q2, the "They enter" is done to the
right of the dialogue, with little space to print the names. But Q2 is
correct, and is not that hard to figure out.

Arden has put G's entry in the wrong SD, for the way they did it. G
accompanies Hamlet, not R. It's another bad Arden stage direction.

14 Without
This does not mean Hamlet is invisible to the audience. The Eliabethan
stage was not set up as a closed room, using partitions, instead, it
was all open. They apparently hung some arrases to show where the walls
were understood to be. Hamlet is conceptually outside the "room," but
there's nothing blocking the audience view of him. Claudius can't see
Hamlet, conceptually, but the theater audience can see where Hamlet is,
with G beside him.

14 guarded
MacDonald's comment was peculiar. Hamlet is certainly not "left to
himself" in Q2. He's escorted by R & G to the ship. If Hamlet refused
to go, and escaped from R & G, he'd be arrested and imprisoned for
killing Polonius. Hamlet has no real choice of what to do, at this
point. He can either go to England, or to a prison cell in the dungeon.
That's hardly being left to himself. Maybe Hamlet could flee to the
forest and live in a cave, but that's a different play.

17 At supper
A person would ordinarily have supper at home, so Hamlet's line
implicitly continues the idea of Polonius being "at home," wherever he
is, just as Ophelia said.

25-7
Wherever the Folio omits a Q2 line it's a Folio error. The Folio was
published for closet drama, and Q2 is "the" closet drama, so F should
properly include at least everything in Q2. It is not sensible to think
the author would have "cut" his closet drama. There is no playing time
concern for closet drama. If the Folio was cut, while publishing closet
drama, it was either an editorial mistake, or a sign of being at a
loss, or a misprint.

34-5 within this month
Means "within a month." It's a joke. Hamlet means that Polonius smelled
so bad in life, it'll take a month of him being dead for people to
notice the difference.

36 lobby
The Lobby is a specific room in the Castle.

37 SD, 38 SD
Arden is wrong in their comment about the stage directions. The "two or
three" who entered with Claudius are available, certainly, except that
Claudius will want to keep any guards near himself while Hamlet is
close to him. If a mix was used there, the servant or courtier would be
available. The earlier "the rest" included specifically Hamlet and G,
perhaps with another guard and servant. That servant would be available
here. "Whoever" entered with Hamlet at 15 was of course G, and again,
perhaps with a guard and servant. Reasonably, there would be two
anonymous servants present to obey Claudius's instruction. Arden has
placed the 38 SD dubiously. There's no need for the servants to wait to
hear Hamlet before they exit. Since it's only a joke, he can call after
them. They best exit immediately when Claudius tells them to go.

40 tender
Primarily means "offer." Claudius is pretending to offer Hamlet safety.
Arden is right enough, but the meaning they give is the secondary one.
Double meaning, both insincere.

40 dearly
Also means "affectionately." But Claudius is lying there.

42
The Folio's "fiery" bit is something by an actor. Jenkins was right.
There is the possibility that the actors perversely liked to yell out
"fire" lines in the theater when they could get away with it.

44 tend
Means what it says. The "associates" are R & G, who are "tending"
Hamlet as Claudius speaks.

45 For England?
Arden does not understand the play. Of course Hamlet is surprised. He
expected to be confined in a cell to stand trial for killing Polonius.
That is what would normally happen. It's a surprise to Hamlet that
Claudius is still sending him to England, despite Hamlet's killing of
Polonius, which could be charged as murder. It's been rumored that
persons sometimes get imprisoned when murder is suspected, y'know.
Maybe Arden never heard of such a thing, but people out in the real
world have. You'll seldom win a free trip to England by killing your
neighbor, so they say. Hamlet doesn't know Claudius's motive at this
time. Hamlet won't find that out until after he's aboard ship. So,
certainly Hamlet is surprised that he has won a free ocean cruise by
killing Polonius. The unlikeliness of it is what raises Hamlet's
suspicions, and leads him to want a look at the paperwork for the
mission, as he'll later describe. It's too good to be true.

Arden's reference to 3.4.198 is merely further illustration that they
didn't understand the play. Hamlet was being facetious THERE, not being
sarcastic here. At that time, Hamlet expected to kill Claudius when he
took Polonius to Claudius's room, so he didn't think the trip would
really happen.

47 I . . . them
A cherub is a spirit. The spirit in the play is the Ghost. Hamlet is
saying the Ghost told him about Claudius. Hamlet expresses it in a way
Claudius won't understand. Arden's note is useless.

47 them
The word in the playtext should be "thee."

48 Farewell, dear mother
It's an absolute certainty that the words are intended to be addressed
directly to Claudius's face. The double meaning tells us that. First,
Hamlet is saying a sincere goodbye to his mother. He thinks it's her
influence as Queen that has kept him out of the dungeon. So, he wishes
her a sincere goodbye. But second, as he speaks directly to Claudius,
Hamlet is using the short form of a word that a person ought not say in
polite company. It is the short form for 'motherf--ker.' Gasp. Faint.
Hamlet is calling Claudius that, straight to his face. Hamlet calls
Claudius that three times. He gets away with it by putting "dear" and
"my" in front of it, and with the obfuscation about man and wife. So,
we know Hamlet is speaking the lines directly to Claudius.

There is also the obvious point that for Hamlet to appear "mad" he must
directly call Claudius "mother." (Although Hamlet isn't really mad.) If
he speaks it toward wherever he thinks Gertrude is, it isn't mad, it's
cute.

Hamlet thinks Gertrude is still in her room, by the way. He doesn't
know she ran to Claudius's room, and gave him away while sincerely
trying to help him. Hamlet doesn't know how people found out about "the
body." Nor does he know that she's now gone to talk to the electors, to
try to keep the political situation calm.

Hamlet's insult to Claudius is technically wrong, however, Hamlet
doesn't know that. As we've learned, Claudius has "no thing." But
there's still the further point that a person with "no thing" in the
male sense, would be a woman. That would make Claudius female, and
therefore, Hamlet's mother, just as he said. So, Hamlet would be
literally right, conceptually, in that case. The tiger walks softly, be
careful! - is Hamlet right, or wrong? Hamlet's word "mother," as he
speaks it to Claudius, is both right and wrong, at the same time, in
five different ways (at least.) It's literally wrong for Claudius. As
insult, it's right for Claudius. In marital terms, the insult is wrong
for Claudius, who has "no thing." But if Claudius has "no thing" it's
literally right for him, since that would make him female. Then, in
religious terms, as Hamlet said, it's right, again. Ponder that a
while.

55 SD
Ah, good, an Arden SD that's probably right. There's hope. The exeunt
was perhaps left out of the Q2 printing because it would have had to
appear at the right of the longest line in Claudius's speech on that
page, and page space was a little tight. Also, it's easily inferred.

56-66
"England" is intentionally ambiguous.

58 cicatrice
The Danish sword that inflicted the recent wound on England had to be
that of Hamlet Sr. Claudius is trying to use Hamlet Sr's fearsome
reputation to kill his son.

60 coldly set
It means like setting food on the table cold. An instance on the Feast
motif of the play. Also refers to indifference. Double meaning.

62 congruing
Best glossed as "congruent," but only where simple gloss is demanded.
Obviously related to "congruent." The author's word is best, however,
since it makes the letters figuratively 'active,' so to speak. That is,
the form of expression is as though the letters are doing something,
rather than being inanimate objects, and that is the intended poetic
impression. The way Claudius expresses it, his letters are his "active
co-conspirators," agreeing with him about the need for Hamlet to die.
The word usage is nice, subtle poetry. The Q2 word is Shakespeare's
own, and is properly respected in any Hamlet printing.

63 present
Means "imminent."

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-08 20:12:56 UTC
Permalink
A4s4, all.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

4.4
Editors who have argued that Act 4 should begin anywhere have been
silly people, only skulls in the graveyard. Hamlet was not written to
have Acts. It was written only in Scenes. From the author's hand, there
aren't any Acts. There are twenty Scenes, so if you want five Acts,
just divide it every four Scenes, and then imagine you've won a prize.
The notion of Hamlet having Acts was never anything but a "mad"
pedantic conceit, out of touch with reality. Acts are now useful for
reference, since they've become traditional, but that's all.

If Hamlet were walking to the coast, he'd have only yards to travel.
Elsinore Castle is built on the coast. Hamlet is walking to the nearby
town where the docks are. It's perhaps a quarter mile, if that.

0.1 SD
The Captain needs no specified entry since he is, of course, part of
the "army." Arden's specification of the Captain, apart from "his army"
is logically wrong, while the form in Q2 is correct. This is not to say
Arden is wrong, only that the real Q2 is better.

2-4 Tell . . . kingdom
Poland, eh? "Circuitous," I guess. Hey, Arden, there's this bridge I
know of that's for sale. Lots of traffic, and if you bought it, you
could put up toll booths, make a fortune. It's cheap now, and it'd be a
great buy for you. But hurry, before the price goes up. You don't want
to miss this opportunity.

Babes in the woods. Watch out for the tiger.

3 Craves
Is correct to the author's hand, and is not arguable. It's on the
"stomach" metaphor that Horatio used when speaking about Fortinbrasse's
enterprise in the first Scene. So, it's an instance on the Feast/Eating
motif in the play. "Crave" further comes from a root meaning of
"strength," obviously relating to Fortinbrasse's name ('strong arm.')
Even further, "crave" goes back in root meaning to "craft," thus it
follows the mention of "craft" in the play. The Q2 word is
unchallengeable. It is adamantine. The Folio is wrong.

The relationship of "crave" to "craft" is a hint. Fortinbrasse is, oh,
so subtly, hinting of some "craft." Hint.

5 would . . . us
Fortinbrasse does, indeed, use the royal plural - while he's standing
on Danish soil. He speaks as though he's the King there. Or intends to
be. Hint. Recall when Hamlet used the royal plurals, shortly before he
intended to kill Claudius. Poland? There's this bridge that's for
sale...

Fortinbrasse was described in the first Scene of the play as being
hot-headed. However, being named commanding general of the Norwegian
army has given him more to think about, and calmed him down. He'll
assess the situation carefully before he makes his move against the
Castle.

6 express . . . eye
Arden has the plain reading right. But in undertone, what is
Fortinbrasse going to do in Claudius's eye? Spit. Fortinbrasse is
saying that if Claudius gives him any trouble, he's going to spit in
Claudius's eye, and cut his dam' head off, right there and then. Hamlet
will express a similar sentiment later.

8 softly
Means "quietly." So as not to give the slightest impression of any
aggressive intent.

8.1 SD
Arden's "and others," after G, is wrong. The Q2 "etc." means G. G is
not specified by name in this instance, apparently because it's only R
who speaks in this passage. The Q2 "etc." is to insure G is there,
although not named, since R & G must both be in view for the audience.
Further, it's necessary that only R & G be there, because of something
later in this Scene.

11 part of Poland
Means that little-known part of Poland that's in Denmark. Not many
people have heard of it, but the Captain has.

15 frontier
Notice that when Hamlet asks for specifics, about where in Poland, the
Captain evades the question. He diverts the topic into a complaint.
Hamlet asks because he knows they're nowhere near Poland, unless
there's some frontier he hasn't heard about.

16
The Captain's speech is a satire, from the author's view of Windsor
Castle in his time, by the way. If you want to know. No profit but the
name... wouldn't give you give ducats for it.

19
Farmer, haha. Mahood was cutely naive. Even a cobbler or a chimney
sweep would know you couldn't farm where Elsinore Castle is, because
all the stonework would make it impossible to plow.

19 ducats
The tiger already ate poor Theobald, as we know. The word is "five."

21 ranker
"Higher" is right. It's soldier jargon. A higher rank is "ranker." From
the ordinary soldier's view, a general is "ranker" than a colonel, a
colonel is "ranker" than a major, and so on. So, "ranker" is associated
with "higher." The jargon plays off the usual meaning of "rank."

23 garrisoned
The Captain is certain their objective is already garrisoned, because
he can see from where he's standing that it is. The Captain has quite
the eagle eye. He can see all the way to "Poland" - while he's standing
a hundred yards from Elsinore Castle.

24-5
Hibbard was only announcing that the tiger got him, that's all. One
does not give away Hamlet's lines. Hamlet is the star of the play.

24 Two thousand . . . twenty thousand
Arden does not understand the play. Hamlet is using the numbers
figuratively, to mean "a lot" or "a great many." The usage is identical
to his later "forty thousand brothers" spoken to Laertes. It's poetic
usage of a specific to express a generality.

25 Will not debate
Arden is flat wrong. Read the line with stress on the word "debate."
The line's meaning is found, not by looking up the word, debate, but in
how it's spoken in performance. Hamlet means the forces aren't just
going to talk about it, (they're going to fight.) It's Hamlet's painful
comparison with what he has achieved against Claudius, so far, which is
only talk. And Arden is silly to take seriously the ignorant,
semi-literate suggestion of the Captain speaking this line. Hamlet is
comparing his own talk, against Claudius, with Fortinbrasse's action,
and Hamlet finds the comparison highly unflattering to himself. The
Captain flatly cannot speak the lines, because he does not know that
all Hamlet has done against Claudius is to talk; the Captain knows
nothing about that. The notion of giving the lines to the Captain
proceeds from nothing but gross ignorance of the play, and deserves no
mention in any responsible publication of the Hamlet playtext.

30 SD
Arden is right with the stage direction. Yay. R & G do what Hamlet
tells them, and the audience sees them waiting patiently, as though
they're Hamlet's servants (not Claudius's.) This is irony, that R & G
do what Hamlet tells them, and behave, now, as his servants. Hamlet
tells them to go ahead, and they simply do it. R & G did offer,
earlier, when they first talked to Hamlet, to be his servants, and now,
away from the Castle and Claudius, they're acting as if they are.
Claudius ordered R & G to haste Hamlet to the ship, but they aren't
doing that. They're now obeying Hamlet, instead, and are just standing
there, waiting.

One wonders, if Hamlet could simply order R & G to accompany him into
the town, instead of to the ship, and they'd do it. Also, if he could
simply order them to let him see the paperwork for the diplomatic
mission, before leaving Denmark, and they would. The town is right
there, and if Hamlet had the order to England to prove Claudius's
villainy to the people, he could recruit the townspeople against
Claudius, and beat Laertes to it. The obedience of R & G, to Hamlet,
makes for a compelling irony, in respect to what Hamlet might have
done. However, Hamlet takes no advantage of his apparent opportunity
to order R & G.

Hamlet's comment, in his soliloquy, that he has strength, means etc. to
kill Claudius, is fantastically sublime irony. He does, in fact, have
all he needs, in the diplomatic commission inside the pouch that R & G
are carrying. As Hamlet stands near the town, he could kill Claudius
with the papers that are only feet away from him, and he doesn't know
it - and that's with R & G being so obedient to Hamlet that they'd
probably show him the royal commission if he asked. But instead,
Hamlet only talks, about himself and his philosophy. And this is while
Ophelia is still alive. It's tragic, indeed. Hamlet has his whole
world within his grasp, only a few feet away in that diplomatic pouch,
that R & G would probably obediently show him - and Hamlet misses it.
He talks for a while, then turns, and walks on, to the ship. He
doesn't even notice that R & G are now obeying him, instead of
Claudius.

31-2
Hamlet's speech has twenty thousand double meanings. "A lot," that is.
Gotcha. An editor who would omit the soliloquy is an idiot.

44 Sith
"Because."

46 mass and charge
Somebody at Arden has been too free with the credit card. "Charge"
primarily means "command" or "bearing." Not "expense."

47 delicate and tender
Means "mortal and young." Fortinbrasse, like Hamlet, is young, and
mortal. Hamlet, himself, tells us his meaning of "delicate" in his line
50.

52-5 Rightly . . . stake
Arden doesn't understand the play. Hamlet finds nothing absurd in
Fortinbrasse's actions. Hamlet is complimenting Fortinbrasse on the
bravery of his actions, in comparison with which, Hamlet feels shame.
Hamlet is saying that a truly great man will defend honor, regardless
of the threat to honor, large or small. None of Arden's note is right.
To defend one's honor, is to defend oneself.

55 honour's . . . stake
The metaphor comes from the idea of burning at the stake. One would
quarrel over even a single burning straw, if honor's tied to the stake.

59 twenty thousand
Is, of course, the poetic use of a specific to express a generality. It
means "a lot" (of.) Do I have to tell you that twenty thousand times?

60 fantasy and trick
Means "ideal and allure." The men are motivated by ideals, and the
allure of fame, Hamlet thinks. "Fantasy" also alludes to "dream," and
"trick of fame" also alludes to the Ghost.

63 continent
Means "land area."

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-10 01:03:53 UTC
Permalink
A4s5 to line 50.

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http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

4.5
The location is the Throne Room. We know that because it's the right
place for Laertes to challenge Claudius as King. Symbolically, the
audience has to see the King's Throne in the background when the
challenge occurs. Also, it's during daytime on a business day, and the
Throne Room, for the conduct of royal business, is where Gertrude and
Claudius will mostly be. As to the passage of time, Hamlet will tell
us, in writing, how long it has been.

2,4 SP
Woman? That's interesting. This GENTLEMAN is the author. His surname is
"Shakespeare." He stepped in to give his audience a little advance
warning about Ophelia, since he thought it only fair to do so. The
Folio left the author out of his own play, which tells us much about
the Folio editor(s). The Folio editor(s) lacked good familiarity with
the closet drama version of Hamlet.

2 importunate
The only really apt gloss is "forward." As in: 'the forward violet thus
did I chide.' There has been an abrupt change in Ophelia's personality.
She has always been self effacing, but now she is insistent.

5 tricks
The author wrote (to you!): "There's tricks i'th' world."

Take heed. The tiger stalks. When Shakespeare, perhaps the greatest
writer who ever lived, tells you "there's tricks in the world," you had
better perk up and pay attention. If you don't think Shakespeare, with
his great word power, could fool you, guess again.

10 botch . . . thoughts
Another warning. Don't botch it up! That faint, hot breeze you feel on
the back of your neck is the tiger's breath.

15 ill-breeding minds
Is YOUR mind "ill-breeding?" Do you jump to wrong conclusions? This is
yet another "tiger alert." The author has given you three warnings,
before Ophelia enters. That's all anybody deserves. If the tiger eats
you now, it's your own fault. (And Arden's gloss is way off base.)

Feel the tiger's breath on your neck, Arden et al. What immortal hand
or eye could frame thy fearful duality, Hamlet?

15 Let her come in
It's a double-character line. Gertrude nods, and then Gertrude and
Horatio speak it simultaneously. Gertrude speaks it to Horatio, and
Horatio to the doorman, (following Gertrude's nod,) at the same time.
The incident is startlingly reminiscent of the "thunders" line that
Hamlet and Gertrude spoke simultaneously in the Closet Scene. It leaves
Gertrude, especially, taken aback. She's had it happen again! Wheel of
Fortune motif.

16 SD
Nobody has to leave to admit Ophelia. There is, at least conceptually,
a doorman for the Throne Room, to control access to the King and Queen,
during business hours. A production can show the doorman, or he can be
presumed offstage, beyond the stage door. Horatio has called out to the
doorman, when he spoke simultaneously with Gertrude, and that's all it
takes for Ophelia to enter.

The GENTLEMAN does *NOT* exit. That is a certainty. The author does not
"exit" from his own play. The Gentleman fades away, like a ghost in his
own Hamlet, and goes back to his writing. One never imposes an exit on
the Gentleman. It would be rude. Arden was rude. They exited
Shakespeare from his own play. Tsk.

18 toy
Means "idea," something the mind plays with. Gertrude is not yet taking
notice of Ophelia here, although her remarks do have some relevance to
Ophelia. Arden does not understand the play. Ophelia sort of wanders
in, meandering. She drifts. She's looking around, in a bright-eyed,
curious way, especially at the Queen's Throne. She dances, gracefully,
a few steps. She sings a little, la-la, in a low voice. The Q1 lute is
excessive for the closet drama.

In her lines 17-20, Gertrude is speaking of her sick soul because she's
done something she shouldn't have, something highly sinful. It's
nothing to do with any supposed affair with Claudius, or any
involvement in Hamlet Sr's death. It's something else. She's feeling
guilty because she believes the whole mess with Hamlet proceeds from
her sin. She arranged for somebody to die, thinking at the time that it
was right. Again, it's nothing to do with Hamlet Sr's death. She
doesn't mean that. She now feels very guilty about her sinful act,
fears it's leading to a great disaster, and she can't think of any way
out. She shouldn't be blaming herself so much, however. She doesn't
know about the Ghost, that intentionally hid from her. But she's
fearful now that somehow, inadvertently, she might reveal her feelings
of guilt in a way so that Claudius could perceive how she actually
feels about him. That would never do, because Claudius is the one she's
set up to die. It simply would not do, at all, for him to become aware
of how she really feels.

19 artless
Means "natural." Also "plain," going back to Getrude asking Polonius to
speak plainly. ("More matter . . . less art.") Gertrude is talking
about the difficulty of hiding feelings that are natural, and plain to
the person, herself. The concept is like a plain, natural face (as
opposed to a painted face.)

20
No reference to paranoia. Gertrude is speaking of her real,
well-founded fear, that Claudius, whom she's set up to die, might sense
her true feelings. There's nothing paranoid in her fear of his wrath, a
king's wrath, if he somehow found out.

21 beauteous majesty
Double reference, to both Gertude and Hamlet. It mainly refers to
Hamlet, as Ophelia herself tells us, when she immediately answers her
own question in song. Hamlet has gone on a journey, we know. Arden's
suggestion of some reference to Claudius is mad. And there is no gender
confusion at L72. And what various actors have done onstage is not the
written Hamlet, and Arden should know better. Arden's mistakes in this
Scene are so numerous, I will not attempt to address all their errors,
but will only hit the highlights, briefly. The tiger ate Arden.

26 sandal
Arden has printed the wrong word. The word is "sendal." It's a type of
silk. There's wordplay with "sandal," but the playtext word is
"sendal," as Q2 shows. Ophelia is saying that she could recognize
Hamlet by his silk slippers. If Ophelia saw a thousand pilgrims - make
it twenty thousand - they'd all have the scallop shell and the staff,
but among all the rest wearing sandals, Hamlet would have silk
slippers, as Ophelia pictures it. She's picturing Hamlet as silk
slippers in a world of sandals.

26 shoon
In context, it means "slippers."

28 Say you
Ophelia is not expressing irritation, she is being forward,
importunate, exactly as the capital-G Gentleman told us. To understand
Hamlet, one must pay strictest attention to what it actually says.

28 mark
Ophelia is imitating, and mocking, her dead father.

33 O ho!
Arden hasn't a clue. It is a sudden expression of delight.

If the Ophelia actress is sufficiently athletic, she should jump and
click her heels when she exclaims the phrase. Ophelia sings the "dead"
song with extremely put on sorrow, then suddenly exclaims "O ho!" and
jumps and clicks her heels. To Gertrude it looks quite mad.

If the Ophelia actress can't jump and click her heels, she should hop,
slap the heels of her hands together, and do a "shake."

36.1
There's no awkwardness in Claudius's entry. Arden doesn't understand
the play. He's entering because he heard the singing. It isn't
"rewriting," it's the difference between the stage and closet drama
versions (where the difference isn't Folio error.)

38 Larded
It's used in reference to Amleth, where the Polonius equivalent was fed
to the pigs.

39 not
Is intentional by Ophelia, of course, and thank goodness it's in all
the original texts, or silly publications with "Arden" in their names
would probably stupidly omit it, as the tiger crushed their windpipes.
The characters onstage don't notice it. The theater audience is
supposed to.

41 pretty lady
Claudius's tone is, of course, patronizing.

42 good dild you
"Dild" is short for "dildo," which is an obsolete word referring to the
refrain of a song. Also appears in 'The Winter's Tale.' Ophelia is
saying she hopes god will make Claudius the "refrain" to her song about
her father's death. She means, she wishes Claudius would die, so she
could sing about it, as the refrain to her song about her father's
death. It can be read as: 'I hope you die, too, so I can sing about
it.' Claudius smiles, and nods. He thinks she's saying, 'god reward
you,' and wishing him well.

42-3 owl . . . daughter
Ophelia is the "owl" now, she's wiser. When she gets another chance
she'll give everything to her "saviour." She won't give too little
again.

44 God . . . table
"Table" is from Latin 'tabula,' referring to an inscribed slab. An
inscribed slab, in Hamlet, is a gravestone. Ophelia is telling
Claudius: 'I hope god is at (work on) your gravestone. (Now!)' She's
telling Claudius she hopes he drops dead while she's looking at him. He
thinks she's blessing his dinner.

46 Pray . . . this
Arden has no clue. As soon as Claudius refers to her father, Ophelia
responds that she doesn't want to hear a word about her father.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-11 22:00:04 UTC
Permalink
A4s5 line 50 to 100.

Relevant links.

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~~~~~

48-66
Nor is the song going to be found elsewhere.

57 without an oath
Arden has no clue. Means 'without a wedding vow.'

58 Saint Charity
The Arden comment is incompetent.

Saint Charity: "One of the daughters of Saint Sophia. Tortured and
martyred for her faith at the age of nine in the persecutions of
Hadrian." Etc. The Arden editors should have made a trip to the library
once in a while, or just used the internet. Additional Information:
Catholic Online. Print References: Roman Martyrology, 3rd Turin ed.;
also New Catholic Dictionary.

Connects to "Jephthah." Saint Charity was tortured and killed as a
child, her body burned. The daughter of Jephthah was sacrificed as a
"burnt offering."

The Arden, which can't even identify Saint Charity, is so flawed that a
wise reader will not fully trust anything it says.

61 Cock
Editors who claim double meaning are, of course, right.

63 promised me to wed
Confirms Ophelia and Hamlet's secret engagement.

71 my coach
Ophelia departs like a fairy tale maiden whose dreams have come true.

72 Goodnight, ladies
Arden's note is crazier than Ophelia is. Ophelia is imagining herself
leaving a fairy tale ball, saying goodnight to all the ladies who are
jealous of her, because the Prince loves her.

74 SD
Claudius is speaking to one or two of Gertrude's ladies in waiting, who
are naturally present near Queen Gertrude. Ophelia is a Lady, and she
will be supervised by other Ladies.

75-6 It . . . death
Arden doesn't have a clue what Hamlet's role is in causing Ophelia's
condition, nor does Claudius.

76 and now behold
The phrase is authorial, and Arden's note is inappropriate in company
with the playtext. It's reference to the "audience" idea in an instance
of the Putting On A Show theme.

78-9 When . . . battalions
Claudius unknowingly anticipates the arrival of Fortinbrasse with his
army, and "single spies" is allusion to the Captain, who took a good
look at the defenses when he was inside Elsinore Castle.

82-4
Arden has mispunctuated, and by all appearances the Arden editors are
some of the last people you'd want messing with the playtext.

83 greenly
Means "recently." Arden is mad to think Claudius is intending to
publicly announce that his handling of Polonius's death was foolish.
The word from the author has that ironic undertone, but it is not
Claudius's meaning, obviously. Arden's gloss is not correct, for a
simple gloss.

88 in secret
Claudius is saying Laertes didn't inform Claudius of his return, which
Laertes properly should have, since Polonius's family, including
Laertes, are servants of the King, since that was Polonius's status.
Laertes kept his return a "secret" from Claudius. Claudius has no spies
worthy of the name, or he'd have at least a hint of what Fortinbrasse
is up to. Claudius has been informed of Laertes's return in the
ordinary way, merely from people talking.

89 Feeds . . . wonder
Q2 is right, of course. Feast/Eating/Food motif.

89 clouds
Claudius means where he can't "see" Laertes. Goes back to Claudius
saying "clouds" to Hamlet, when he couldn't "see" Hamlet, the "son."
Nice "son" - "clouds" wordplay by the author. Laertes is now a "son"
hidden in clouds, says Claudius.

90-1 infect . . . speeches
Of course it's a parallel intended by the author.

96 Attend!
Means "attention!"

100 impiteous
Shakespeare's own word, and must be respected. Means both "impious,"
and "unfortunate" (on the Wheel of Fortune motif.) Refers to both lack
of respect, and misfortune.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-13 15:32:52 UTC
Permalink
A4s5 line 100 to 150.

Relevant links.

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~~~~~

101 in . . . head
The Arden note is useless. Refers both to Laertes being at the head of
the riotous mob, and to him being "riotous" in his own thoughts, shown
by his attitude.

103-5
Arden has no clue. That "incongruity" they see is intentional
characterization of the Messenger. The Messenger is in sympathy with
the rebellion. His personal feelings are showing. He's hoping Laertes
succeeds. The Messenger enthusiastically exclaims about Laertes being
King, three times, right in front of Claudius.

106 *They cry
The "Garrick Copy" (British Library) facsimile of Q2, on the World Wide
Web, does show "They." Internet Shakespeare Editions website.

106 Choose we
Arden doesn't understand the play. The multitude is supporting any
prospective challenger to Claudius. Ironically, Hamlet could have done
the same as Laertes is doing, and more, but Hamlet didn't know it.

111 (The doors are) broke
Important to keep in mind.

111.1
The court is not in mourning for Polonius. Claudius has forbidden that.
Claudius doesn't want Polonius's death marked, because it's such a
political problem. It raises questions about why Claudius sent
Polonius's killer to England, instead of imprisoning him, and Claudius
doesn't want to face such questions. So, Claudius is trying to suppress
acknowledgement of Polonius's death.

Of course "others" enter. Q2 says so. Arden can't read. We know some of
these "others" do, in fact, move into their proper speaking positions
on the stage, because they do, in fact, have lines to speak in the
playscript. The entry of some of Laertes's followers is not arguable.
One could make the "others," who enter, two or three ringleaders, with
the suggestion of a much larger group at the door, wanting to enter,
too, but waiting for Laertes's permission.

113 give me leave
Means 'give me permission to speak to Claudius.'

114 We will
A note is required. The author has provided vast irony in how easily
Laertes controls his mob. Hamlet could have controlled them, too.
Hamlet could have recruited enough people to overthrow Claudius, with
no fear of Gertrude being "mob-led," but Hamlet didn't know that.

121 looks
Claudius is in denial that Laertes's mob could really be so giant-like
as to overthrow him. This is characterization of Claudius's mentality.
Also another "watch" word.

122,126 Let . . . Gertrude
Gertrude is defending Claudius, not for his sake, but because if
Laertes takes over it'll ruin her plan for Hamlet to be King. As far as
Laertes killing Claudius, she couldn't care less about that. She's
defending Claudius to preserve Hamlet's link to the crown.

123 divinity . . . king
Actually, the "divinity" that's "hedging" Claudius as he speaks, is
Gertrude, who's keeping Laertes away from him. Claudius is thanking God
for Gertrude's presence, or he'd be a dead duck. As always, there's
further meaning, too.

126 Let him go
Claudius doesn't care whether Gertrude holds on to Laertes, just as
long as she's between them.

130-1
There was nothing "conventional" about Polonius's pledge at 2.2.44-5.
Arden does not understand the play. Polonius's pledge was his
"Jephthah" pledge. "Bad dreams."

136 My . . . world's
Laertes says only his own will can stop him, but Gertrude is standing
there, and she's got Laertes stopped like he hit a stone wall. Laertes
is blustering. "World's" does go back to L133, intentionally.

137-8 And . . . little
Arden is lost. Laertes is calming down, and thinking more seriously
about becoming king. He has no military support, no church support, and
no support among the aristocracy, at this time. All he has is a rabble
of town ruffians. It isn't much. He's shown he can take the castle with
what he has, but that alone won't come near to sustaining him as king,
and he knows it. He's still blustering, but the reality of his
situation is beginning to sink in. As to Arden's exact note, the rabble
aren't supporting Laertes in a quest for his personal revenge, they're
supporting him as King. That was explicitly stated by the Messenger.

140 father, is't
Q2 is correct. But Claudius isn't being tactful in avoiding express
mention of Polonius's death, he's being devious. After Laertes's
admission of his weakness, Claudius is starting to lead Laertes.

145-6 kind . . . pelican
Claudius asked Laertes if he would know his father's enemies. Laertes
replies by making a crazy speech about a bleeding pelican. Laertes is
essentially telling Claudius that, no, he won't know friends from
enemies, because he's too much of a fool. Claudius is now sure that he
can manipulate Laertes.

A pelican is a bird. A bird has a bird brain. Picture what Laertes is
doing. Laertes is standing there, with his arms spread like a bird's
wings, madly proclaiming: "I'm a bloody birdbrain." Bleeding pelican =
bloody bird... brain. By comparing himself to the bleeding pelican,
Laertes is unintentionally saying that he's a bloody birdbrain, as he
stands with his arms spread.

It's notable that, in British slang, that would be a 'damned'
birdbrain.

Laertes's spreading of his arms recalls the Ghost doing the same thing,
in the first Scene. Laertes imitates the Ghost. How do you get to be a
ghost? - By dying.

It's an exquisite double meaning from the author. Laertes is saying
both, 'I'm a bloody birdbrain,' and also saying with his words and his
posture, 'I'm a damned birdbrain, who's going to die (become like the
Ghost.)' Laertes intends neither meaning as he speaks, of course. He
has accidentally "unfolded" (revealed) himself, and predicted his own
fate, without knowing it.

The marvelous genius who wrote Hamlet achieved that with, of all
things, a reference to a pelican.

Even further, "pelican" comes via the Greek from a meaning of "bird of
prey." Laertes will "prey" on Hamlet, as we'll see (and he's already
"preyed" on Reynaldo.)

149 most sensibly in grief
Requires a note. Claudius has been slandering Hamlet, casting his
normal grief for his father as "madness." But now, Claudius has to
claim that he's grieving for Polonius. He says "sensibly" to avoid
getting caught in his own propaganda. Claudius doesn't want anybody to
say he's "mad" because he's grieving. A person who takes such a
'rational,' premeditated approach to mourning is not really mourning at
all. Claudius is lying.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-14 14:47:12 UTC
Permalink
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~~~~~

151 SD1
The "noise" is wolf whistles. The men in the hallway are whistling at
something. Somebody, that is. A strange, gorgeous woman is at the
door.

151 Let . . . in
Laertes expressly told his followers: "keep the door." Laertes's
followers control the door now. The line has to be primarily Laertes's
line, as Q2 shows. It flatly cannot be a solo line for Claudius.
However, having said that, it is correctly played as a double-character
line, once again.

The first time Ophelia appeared, madly, both Gertrude and Horatio said,
simultaneously, "Let her come in." Here, for Ophelia's second mad
appearance, Laertes and Claudius say the same thing, simultaneously.

Seeing the beautful woman at the door, Claudius and Laertes both say,
together, "Let her come in." They don't know who it is, yet.

Both times Ophelia enters when she's "mad," it's as though it "madly"
takes two people speaking in unison to admit her.

154 virtue
Essentially means the word, itself. Laertes means that vision is good,
normally, but here it is not good. He's exaggerating that he'd rather
not see at all, than see this, because he doubts the virtue in it. He
has recognized the strange, beautiful woman, as she got closer.

Earlier in the play, Ophelia was primly dressed, very conservatively,
as we'd now call it, and she had a simple, natural appearance. But
here, Ophelia is wearing obvious makeup (on the Painted Face motif.)
Hamlet earlier exclaimed to Ophelia, in the Nunnery Scene, "God hath
given you one face, and you make yourselves another" - and here's
Ophelia, like that. She's wearing bright lipstick, rouge, eyeshadow,
etc.

That isn't all. In addition, Ophelia is wearing a fancy gown, and lots
of bright jewelry. How so, and why?

When the Castle was in turmoil, because of Laertes's mob, Ophelia took
the opportunity to raid Gertrude's room. Ophelia has "borrowed"
Gertrude's makeup, jewelry, and Gertrude's fancy ball gown. (The dress
is violet, because of the use of the word "violet" in assocation with
Ophelia.)

When Hamlet sat beside Ophelia at the 'Mousetrap Play' he made many
suggestive remarks to Ophelia, as he tried to shame her about what he
thought she was doing with Claudius. Since there is actually no such
relationship between Ophelia and Claudius, Ophelia didn't fathom that
as Hamlet's intent. As Ophelia heard it, Hamlet was, himself,
expressing a keen sexual interest in her. Hamlet told her, in the
Nunnery Scene, that he didn't love her, but as she heard him at the
'Mousetrap', he was still very interested in sex with her.

Hamlet, while trying to shame Ophelia about her being Claudius's
courtesan (which she wasn't,) gave Ophelia the idea that Hamlet wanted
her as HIS courtesan, Hamlet's courtesan. Since Ophelia loves Hamlet,
that is alright with her, now, if it's the closest to him she can be.

So, what's happening here, is that Ophelia is "rehearsing" to be
Hamlet's courtesan, when he gets back. She is trying it out, to be the
courtesan of the Prince of the nation. Taking advantage of the
disorder in the Castle, she has raided the Queen's Room to get things
to fix herself up for Prince Hamlet. She has used Gertrude's makeup,
and is wearing much of Gertrude's best jewelry, and has put on one of
Gertrude's showy ball gowns. She has also done her hair up, and is
wearing Gertrude's tiara (the later "crownet weeds" of flowers indicate
this last point.) Costumed like that, Ophelia strides into the Throne
Room in this scene, for her grand finale in the play.

This really ought to be done right on stage, someday. As the author
intended it, we are supposed to get to see - or to imagine - more or
less how Ophelia would have looked as the beautiful, young Queen of the
nation, if things had worked out for her, married to her young King
Hamlet. (Although Ophelia will be wearing excessive makeup here.) In
her last appearance in Hamlet, we're treated to a glimpse of the Queen
Ophelia who might have been.

The immediate impression Ophelia conveys is: Courtesan Princess. She
sparkles and shines. She is very, very showy, and she struts into the
Throne Room like she owns it. Laertes is shocked, bewildered, and
amazed. As are they all. Laertes is certain that the Devil, himself,
has personally leaped up from Hell, and directly into his sister's
soul. It leaves Laertes at a total loss.

159 a poor man's life
Q2 is correct to the author's hand. Hamlet has described himself as a
"beggar," so "poor" gives allusion to Hamlet's life (unintentional by
Laertes.) The Folio probably missed that allusion, and changed it to
make it more overt for Polonius, and it perhaps was more overt, for
Polonius, in the stage version, as Q1 shows. Re Edwards's idea, Q2 was
not written as a playhouse script.

160-1
Perhaps it's from some lament, but more likely it's a take-off on
laments. There's not much reason to look beyond Hamlet here.

160 bare-faced
Ophelia says this in making the point that she could see her father's
face at the funeral, which confirmed that he was really dead. She had
trouble believing it, until she saw it for herself. Also, an instance
on the Painted Face/Natural face motif.

The "nonny" line in the Folio is perhaps authorial, but only for
simpler stage performance in those days. It's excessive for the Q2
dialogue, and it intrudes on the "dove" line.

162 Fare . . . dove
This line is not sung. It's spoken by Ophelia as she makes the symbolic
gesture of releasing a dove. A dove in flight is a good omen. Ophelia
is symbolizing that she thinks the death of her father is a good omen
for her. She's "showing" Laertes that. As we immediately see in
Laertes's next line, he doesn't get it. The birdbrain knows pelicans,
but he doesn't know doves.

165-6 You . . . 'a-down-a'
The lines are spoken to Laertes. We know this because the dialogue is
exclusively between Ophelia and Laertes. The others are only watching,
bewildered: an "audience" for the "performance." The "actors" in the
"show" are only Ophelia and Laertes, while Claudius and Gertrude are
the "audience." Observation of this fact, that the dialogue is limited
to Ophelia and Laertes, is extremely important for correct
interpretation of this passage.

In the phrase "a-down" the "a" means "he." The phrase means "he dead,"
that is, "he's dead." To be "down" is to be dead, and with further
reference to being down in the ground, buried. Ophelia wants Laertes to
sing, "he's dead," meaning Polonius. Ophelia is telling Laertes that he
must sing "he's dead" as the refrain to her song about her father being
dead.

In the phrase "a down a" the first "a" means 'a' and the second "a"
means "he." The phrase means "a down he," that is, "a dead man." A "he"
is a man. And again, to be down, is to be dead, with reference to
burial, down in the ground. Ophelia says Laertes must call Polonius "a
dead man," or "a down (and buried) man."

166 wheel
Double meaning. Both things mentioned by Arden are right,
simultaneously. Ophelia is saying both that the refrain suits the song,
and also that she thinks the Wheel of Fortune has done her a good turn.

166-7 It . . . daughter
The "false Steward" is "lying Hamlet." Hamlet told Ophelia he lied to
her when he said he loved her, so she calls him "lying," by using the
word "false." (But she doesn't know the full story.) Hamlet is a
"Steward" of God, or Jesus, as are all Christian men, who serve God, or
Jesus. "Steward" is capitalized in Q2 because it refers to a named
character, Hamlet.

Then, the "Master's daughter" is Ophelia, herself. The "Master" is
Jesus. (Thus, "Master" must be capitalized, as in Q2; Arden missed
that.) After Hamlet insisted Ophelia go to a nunnery, she started
planning to do so. She was taking his advice. At the nunnery, she would
be "Jesus's daughter." But when she heard that Hamlet had killed
Polonius, she decided to stay at Elsinore to await Hamlet's return. So
Hamlet, by killing Polonius, "stole" Ophelia from the nunnery. The
false Steward (lying Hamlet) "stole" Jesus's daughter (Ophelia) from
the nunnery, by killing Polonius.

Also, the word "it," used twice in L166, refers to Hamlet both times,
in a complicated way. Hamlet has become her Wheel of Fortune, Ophelia
thinks. There's considerable further meaning in Ophelia's "false
Steward" sentence, too much to go into here.

168
Arden's comment is oblivious. It's perfectly clear what sense Laertes
detects in what Ophelia says: none. He hasn't the slightest.

169-78
The flower recipient is express in the playtext. Laertes gets all the
flowers. There is no factual question of this, because the dialogue is
exclusive to Ophelia and Laertes. The scene is typically played on
stage to involve Gertrude and Claudius, for more action, but that is
not authentic to the true Hamlet text. The Q2 dialogue clearly shows
that Ophelia gives all of the flowers to Laertes.

Ophelia gives all her rosemary and pansies to Laertes to symbolize that
he can have all the remembrance and thoughts of Polonius. She wants
none of those.

The fennel means: "open your eyes," "see clearly," brother, that these
flowers are messages to you.

The columbine means: "you're a fool," brother.

The rue 'with a difference' means: have no regret (that Polonius is
dead.) The "difference" is the negative.

The daisy means: you're just like Polonius, as I see you.

The "withered" violets mean: I don't love you.

170 Pray . . . remember
Ophelia turns aside from Laertes to speak this. It's to Hamlet.

173 fitted
A "fit" in Hamlet is a fit of madness. The primary meaning of "fitted"
is: "tangled in a fit of madness." Laertes just spoke the word
"madness." Arden is adequate, however, to the secondary meaning.

175 You may
Is correct. The Folio has the error. Ophelia, the Rose of May, says
"may" when she's handling flowers.

176 difference
The word is most certainly not from heraldry in this instance. That is
impossible. With Polonius dead, Laertes is the senior male, and Laertes
therefore does not use a "difference." Any heraldic difference for
Laertes vanished instantly when Polonius died. The author would have
known that. The "difference" here is the negative: no regret. It hints
of heraldry, but that's wordplay, to give duality to "wear."

178 They . . . end
Ophelia means that she approves of people saying the end of her father
was "good." Claudius and Gertrude have both called Polonius "good" -
after he's dead. It has some further meaning.

179 For . . . joy
It's doubtful this is the actual line from a popular song. Most likely,
it's adapted by the author from Greensleeves. Observe the last line:

Greensleeves, now farewell! adieu!
God I pray to prosper thee!
For I am still thy lover true,
Come once again and love me.
Greensleeves was all my joy...

Sendal is mentioned in the old lyrics of Greensleeves, by the way.

180 Thought
Refers to reason, the capacity to reason. Laertes presumes incapacity
in this case. Laertes is swearing here. He says, "Thought and
afflictions! Passion!" Then, the word "Hell" begins a new utterance. It
needs an exclamation point after "passion" in modern printing.

"Thought and afflictions" means "thought with afflictions," or
"afflicted thought." It's a hendiadys that Arden has missed. The
plural, "afflictions," is correct, and the Folio is wrong.

"Turns" is the important word in L180-1, and the word order needs
rearrangement for prose.

181 turns
Means "transforms." Laertes is saying that, as he sees it, Ophelia has
transformed Hell, itself, into favor and prettiness. He means Ophelia
is acting as though Hell were a favor, and something pretty. Then
there's double meaning in the lines, as usual.

182-91
The source is "Shakespeare."

188 Flaxen . . . poll
Ophelia's phrase means Polonius's head was yellow. It is not a
reference to hair color. The skin of Polonius's head and face had a
distinctly yellow tone. Ophelia mentions this because it confirmed to
her that Polonius was really dead. His skin looked yellowish, she saw
it, herself. Secondarily, the phrase refers to the linen burial cloth,
the pall. Linen is made from flax. The Arden note is flatly wrong, and
obviously wrong. Flax is absolutely not white, it is straw color, pale
yellow, (which Arden ought to have known,) and Ophelia's phrase is not
any reference to hair. And further, Arden should have known that Q1
does not "support" the Folio if the Folio is only repeating a Q1 error.
That is not "support," it is propagation of error.

190 we . . . moan
Arden does not understand the play. Ophelia means two things. She is
throwing away the moans of sadness she uttered under the oppression of
Polonius. With him dead, she no longer needs those moans of sadness.
Also, she is casting moans of longing toward Hamlet.

192 SD
Q2 has no exit here. An exeunt for both Ophelia and Gertrude, following
Ophelia, is proper - especially since Ophelia is wearing some of
Gertrude's jewelry and clothing, that Ophelia "borrowed," and Gertrude
will want the things back. It's after Gertrude takes the fancy,
expensive things back, that Ophelia will begin gathering flowers to
decorate herself for Hamlet (since she has no jewelry or fancy dresses
of her own) which will lead to her tragic, accidental fall from the
tree.

193 *see
Q2 is correct, and Arden blunders in not following it. Laertes is
asking God whether he has done that to Ophelia, (as opposed to the
Devil having done it.) From Laertes's religious education, he does not
ask questions of the Devil, he only talks to God. A good Christian does
not talk to the Devil. So, Laertes asks God the question, although he
suspects the Devil. His line means "Do you (do) this, O God?" spoken
with the stress on "you."

Then, the exact way the Q2 line is written, it's open whether "do" or
"see" is meant, which gives, guess what, double meaning. Both "do" and
"see" are understood there, simultaneously. The Folio is wrong to
specify "see" (and Arden is wrong to follow the Folio.) Apparently the
Folio editor(s) thought a word was missing, and added "see," spoiling
the author's intended ambiguity. It means both "do" and "see" at the
same time.

194-5 I . . . right
Double meaning. Again, Claudius has to be careful about his own
propaganda against Hamlet. Claudius doesn't want people to think he's
"mad" because he says he's grieving, so he asserts that his own alleged
grief is "rightful." He isn't really grieving for Polonius, or he
wouldn't be so carefully rational about it. The word "commune"
primarily means "join," and then with a secondary reference to speech,
expressing condolences.

196 wisest friends
Irony. Based on what he's seen from Laertes, Claudius is sure that
Laertes's friends are not going to be very wise. Claudius is confident
that he can manipulate Laertes, and his friends, too, as necessary.
It's essentially the same as the earlier phrase, where Claudius used
"wisest" to mean "not too wise."

198-9 direct . . . touched
Has a wicked, very subtle undertone of allusion to the Ghost, and the
Devil.

205 (obscure) funeral
"Obscure" has double meaning, both that Polonius was buried before
Laertes returned to attend, so he did not 'see' his father's funeral,
and also that Polonius's funeral ceremony was hidden from public view,
which Claudius did to try to minimize the political problem. The
funeral was 'obscure' for both Laertes, and the public. The word
further conveys Laertes's lack of understanding.

There is great irony, that first Claudius demanded to know where Hamlet
had hidden Polonius's body, and then Claudius tried to hide it,
himself. Claudius should have left Polonius in the storage room where
Hamlet put him, and he was "at home."

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-18 00:25:53 UTC
Permalink
A4s6, all.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

4.6
This Scene follows immediately from the previous. It's the Lobby, the
room next to the Throne Room. Horatio follows Claudius and Laertes out
of the Throne Room, as they go to talk to Laertes's friends, and
Horatio is stopped here in the Lobby by the Gentleman (who is our old
friend, again.) The Sailors (pirates) who want to talk to Horatio have
not entered the Lobby, but are trying to stay out of sight as much as
possible. They're waiting outside the door. Being so close to the
guards and military personnel at Elsinore makes them uneasy.

0.1
The Q2 "others" in the Lobby are the remnants of Laertes's mob, a few
who are still there in hopes of overthrowing Claudius. Soldiers and
guards are probably there, too, looking rather bruised, and keeping a
watchful eye on the unruly townsfolk who haven't left yet.

4 SD
The Gentleman author does let the Sailors in, but he needs no exit to
achieve that. He simply writes it that way. Horatio says, "Let them
come in," so alright, the Author writes them in. Q2 shows no exit for
this brilliant Gentleman, and one does not give him an exit. The
Gentleman fades from view, in his ghostly way, again.

6.1
Two sailors are mandatory, and both speak. The "to" at the end of line
8 puns with "two," for double meaning. By the pun, the phrase "bless
thee 'two'" tells us there are two. The first sailor speaks the first
Sailor line. Horatio then says "...bless thee too/two." The second
sailor then speaks. Horatio intends "too," but the two sailors take it
as "two."

10 th'ambassador
Hamlet is, in fact, the ambassador, officially named so by Claudius.
Editors who have not understood that have not understood the play.
Hamlet is the ambassador, and R & G are his diplomatic aides, his
scribes, in Claudius's arrangement (and it's a normal arrangement.)

And the notion, of Hamlet having to warn pirates of the danger of them
being close to government guards and military personnel, is
preposterous. It's the pirates, themselves, who know to be cautious, of
course. Further, it is an unmistakable sign of Claudius's poor security
leadership, that pirates have entered the Royal Castle (not to mention
Laertes's town rabble. The pirates took the opportunity to simply
follow the mob inside.) Claudius is hopelessly inept as a commander in
chief. King Claudius is ultimately responsible for security leadership,
especially where he, himself, lives, and the security is obviously
dismal.

The pirates know what the letter says. They read it before allowing its
delivery.

13 overlooked
Also with the secondary meaning of Horatio overlooking that the letter
is being delivered by pirates.

15 were . . . old
With the undertone that Hamlet felt "reborn" upon leaving Elsinore.
When the pirates attacked, Hamlet was "two days old" after his
"rebirth," so to speak.

20 thieves of mercy
Means the pirates acted like they had stolen mercy from somebody else.
By nature, they are not merciful people, so Hamlet facetiously
concludes they must have stolen some mercy, or they wouldn't have any
at all.

21 a turn
Is correct. The Folio change is apparently an editorial attempt to
help, which didn't.

It is not hard to surmise what the pirates want Hamlet to do. When they
learn Hamlet can get into the castle, close to Claudius, they want him
to kill the King of Denmark for them. The lack of top leadership will
further disrupt the Danish naval command, and give them more piracy
opportunities, and also make it less likely they'll get caught. So,
they want Hamlet to kill Claudius. Hamlet has promised that, well,
alright, since they insist, he'll give it a try. Hamlet's "craft," and
the pirates' "craft," have "met" in wanting the death of Claudius.

24-5 too . . . matter
Arden is wrong. The Q2 word is "bord," which means the boards on the
side of a ship. A warship's side boards are its armor. Hamlet is using
sea fighting metaphor, and he is referring to a gun battle, but he
means the "cannons" of his words are too weak to penetrate the armor of
the enemy vessel.

The word "bord," exactly as it appears in Q2, is the Old French word
for the side of a ship. The author picked it up, somewhere. Both the
OED and Arden are wrong.

24 *bore
The Q2 word is "bord," it is exactly the intended word, and it is
spelled correctly. However, it is not an English word.

25-6 These . . . am
The pirates did not want to bring their ship very close to the cannons
at Elsinore Castle, so they have landed Hamlet some distance away. The
distance would be so that they're out of sight from the castle, and
well beyond cannon range. Five miles or more, perhaps.

27 *He
Arden blunders in not respecting Q2. The Q2 word "So" is right. The
Folio editor(s) did not understand it, either, apparently. Hamlet adds
the phrase so that Horatio will know it's really Hamlet writing the
letter. The closing phrase means: 'so that you'll know it's me.' It is
not a prearranged code phrase. Hamlet is relying on Horatio's
perception and intelligence to tell Horatio what it is, and Horatio
does understand it. The letter is going to be suspicious to Horatio,
because Hamlet says he's been kidnapped, and the letter is brought by
unsavory characters. Hamlet knows that. So, Hamlet adds the phrase to
tell Horatio that, yes, he can trust what the letter says. The pirates
did read the letter, but they're not very literate people, and they
took it as only a friendly closing, when it's actually a reassurance to
Horatio.

28-9 *will . . . way
Arden blunders, again, in not respecting the Q2 wording. Q2 is right,
again. It's wordplay, with more than one meaning, but it primarily
means that Horatio will "weigh" the pirates favorably, for the sake of
the letters. Horatio would otherwise "weigh" them very unfavorably.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-21 00:40:14 UTC
Permalink
A4s7 to line 50.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

4.7
This is Claudius's room, the King's Room, where he has brought Laertes
for private conversation. It's perhaps two hours, or three, after the
end of 4.5. Claudius and Laertes have been to the nearby town to talk
to Laertes's friends there, and have now returned to the Castle. The
town is within easy walking distance. It's sad that Arden can't figure
out where the "wisest friends" are. They're people in the nearby town,
of course, where Laertes raised his mob to storm the Castle. This is
not difficult to figure out.

3 Sith
"Because."

5 Pursued my life
Claudius is wrong. Hamlet was not actually trying to kill Claudius,
when he accidentally stabbed Polonius to death, but Claudius thinks he
was. Of course Claudius is right in the general way, that Hamlet is
after him.

6 proceed
The Q2 tense is correct. Laertes is asking why Claudius isn't even now
proceeding against Hamlet (ironically not knowing that Claudius, in
fact, is proceeding against Hamlet, in his own way.) The Folio past
tense is not appropriate.

7 criminal
In this instance, the Folio word "crimeful" deserves a serious look.
"Crimeful," itself, would be unique in the author's writings, but
Hamlet is replete with "-ful" words: fearful, needful, fruitful,
dreadful, shameful, etc. The Folio may reveal an authorial change,
especially since "crimeful" is a more allusive word. In particular, it
appears to connect to Hamlet speaking of his father being killed when
"grossly full of bread." The "fullness" idea seems significant, and
the author may have decided to use it here, but too late for the Q2
printing.

8 greatness
Is correct, connecting back to Laertes speaking of Hamlet's
"greatness," 1.3.17. For Laertes, the extrametricality is because he's
no poet. The lapse of good poetry in his speech is credibly
interpreted as characterization.

15 *conjunct
The Q2 word is probably correct, and Arden should have honored it. Q2
"conclive" is credibly an authorial coinage, meaning "live with."
Claudius is saying he "lives with" (and dies with!) Gertrude. In
anticipation of them both dying at the fencing match, the allusion is
significant. Further, the Q2 word may be intended to suggest
"concleave," as in the idea of "cleaving together." The Folio change
may be because the Folio editor(s) didn't know the author's word, and
changed it to try to connect to the astronomy metaphor that follows.
But essentially, Claudius is saying that he lives (and dies) with
Gertrude, and is "stuck" with her. That's an important point in the
play. Claudius's statement is not a celebration of love.

17 I ... her
The Arden paraphrase is wrong. Claudius is saying he couldn't stay in
his sphere without Gertrude, i.e. he couldn't be King without her. His
"sphere" is his social status, and there's also reference to astrology.

19 general gender
Means primarily "women in general," since he just mentioned Gertrude.
Women don't have the vote in Claudius's Denmark, but nevertheless, he
recognizes the importance of women's influence on the political
situation. Then, there is a secondary meaning of the general public.

21 spring . . . stone
The Arden reference to limestone deposit is essentially correct.
Reference is to Hamlet becoming armored, like wearing a suit of armor.
The stone deposit on wood "armors" the wood. It alludes to the Ghost,
in armor.

22 gyves
Means shackles, or fetters. Claudius means if he shackled Hamlet, he
fears the people would "bless" Hamlet and turn against him.

23 *so loud a wind
Arden blunders in not following Q2, the text they're supposed to be
presenting. The Q2 wording is right. It needs a comma after "loved,"
for modern printing. The line means:

Too slightly timbered for (one) so loved, (and so) armored,

The Folio editor(s) apparently couldn't fathom it, and tried a change
of wording, but it isn't that difficult. Q2 "Arm'd" is probably
capitalized to point the allusion to the Ghost, a named character, in
armor when Hamlet first saw it.

25 aimed
Is right. Arden's curiousness is their own blunder. The word "armed"
does not disappear if Q2 is obeyed and the text is done right.

27 terms
The Arden gloss is wrong. It means "expressions." Laertes has
(mis)interpreted Ophelia's remarks as desperate expressions of mad
grief.

28 Whose worth
Hibbard was wise to say nothing, since there's nothing sensible he
could have said about his mistake. Q2 is correct. Laertes is applying
the "value" idea to Ophelia, with his word "worth," which is the same
offensive idea Polonius applied to her earlier in the play.

29 on mount
A "mount" is a pedestal, for mounting a statue. Laertes is invoking
the notion of putting a woman on a pedestal. There is a secondary
allusion of "mount" meaning "horse." Laertes is, in that undertone,
calling Ophelia the best "horse." He's calling his sister a statue,
with some allusion to a good horse. It's characterization of Laertes's
foolishness, that the best he can do in describing his sister is to
think of her as like a statue or a horse.

33 That . . . shook
Claudius is referring to his beard shaking because of his chin
trembling with fear. It does connect back to Hamlet's remark, but is
not the identical idea.

34 You . . . more
Claudius means, of course, that he shortly expects to hear from England
that Hamlet is dead, and Laertes will also be so informed. But Arden
has caught a faint glimpse of the tiger. Double meaning. Claudius's
line is unintentionally prophetic, as he (and Laertes) immediately hear
more than Claudius expected, with the delivery of the letters.

37 this . . . Queen
Of course Hamlet has also written to his mother. He is a good son. A
good son will write to his mother. As far as Claudius reading
Gertrude's letter, he would not break the seal on her mail; that would
be a bad political mistake. She wouldn't like it, and Claudius knows
he needs her support (he said so.) Claudius would ask her about the
letter later, and attempt to judge its importance to him, if any, by
her reply. That's the way he is. Concerning the content of Gertrude's
letter, it will express affection, and tell the basic news that Hamlet
is returning. That's all that Hamlet would say in it, because he
couldn't be certain that Claudius won't see it.

38 From Hamlet
Arden's exclamation point is not appropriate. Claudius asks two
questions in quick succession, shown in Q2 by the use of a comma, then
a question mark at the end. Claudius's questions express doubt and
puzzlement.

39-41 Sailors . . . them
Q2 is right, and there is not any over-elaboration. The lines are for
completeness, and are a mark of how careful the author was in his
writing. Horatio said he would help get the letters to Claudius, but
Claudius had left with Laertes, so, what happened? The Sailors, and
Horatio, entrusted the letters to Claudio until Claudius returned to
the Castle and could receive them. The similarity of "Claudio" and
"Claudius" is fully intentional: it's because Claudio is Claudius's
"stand-in," so to speak. The Folio editor(s) didn't realize the
importance of the lines, for completeness, and Hibbard misinterpreted,
what else is new. The author crossed a T nicely here, and used the
perfect name to do it. Claudio is Claudius's stand-in.

40 Claudio
Kind fates would spare the world Arden's guesses about what Shakespeare
thought. Better they should have concentrated on the play. The name
"Claudio" is, of course, fully intentional, and indeed, is superbly
chosen. As mentioned above, Claudio is Claudius's stand-in. Or, one
could express it that Claudio is Claudius's "double," for purpose of
receiving the letters. That's where the double meaning is in this
instance: Claudio is Claudius's "double." As we now know, the play is
rampant with double meanings, even including double jokes, and
double-character lines. Now, here is a character's "double." Claudio
"doubles" for Claudius, temporarily, to receive the letters.

And the tiger ate Arden. Another skull in the graveyard.

There's more. Recall what Horatio said, about being a "piece" of a
person. Claudio is a "piece" of Claudius, just enough of Claudius to
hold the letters, temporarily. Claudius had left, so the author
brought back a "piece" of Claudius - named Claudio - who was enough to
take the letters and hold them. Was Claudius there? Well, no, so
alright, bring back a "piece" of him, enough to take the letters.
Brilliant work by Shakespeare.

Finally, see the mention of lameness in the Sonnets, where the author
calls himself "lame." The name Claudius is from a Roman gens, and it
means "lame." This "lame" Claudio, acting as Claudius's stand in,
thereby represents the author. In need of somebody to hold the letters
until Claudius returned, the author, an absolute Johannes Factotum,
simply used himself, by a different, and remarkably apt, name. So, if
you want an image of Claudio, think of him as sort of a ghostly fellow,
in his own Hamlet, and a fine Gentleman.

43 naked
Means two things, or perhaps three. First, Hamlet means he's like a
person newly born, like a naked baby. This is sarcasm by Hamlet, after
he learned that he was supposed to die in England. He means he's
reborn in Denmark, after being "dead in England." Then, he means like
a naked sword of vengeance, unsheathed and ready to swing. Then, there
is probably intended allusion to loss of personal possessions, as well.

45-6 eyes . . . recount
Hamlet's interest in Claudius's eyes is the same as Fortinbrasse's.
Spit. Hamlet is a polite fellow. With "asking your pardon" he means
he will first say, "I beg your pardon," and then he'll spit in
Claudius's eye. Q2 "you" in L45 is the author's word. "You pardon" is
read as "pardon of you," or "from you."

49 character
Double meaning. Primarily refers to the handwriting. Secondarily
means the letter reflects Hamlet's character, i.e. it's just like
something Hamlet would write.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-22 18:49:30 UTC
Permalink
A4s7 line 50 to 100.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

51 devise
Is correct in Q2, without doubt. It connects back to the 'Mousetrap
Play' king saying, "our devices still are overthrown." (The L62
"device" gives the same allusion.) The allusion establishes it. The
Folio editorial substitute is wrong. For plain reading, "devise" takes
its root meaning of "direct," and should be so glossed. Claudius is
asking Laertes for "directions."

54 I live
The Q2 phrasing is correct. Arden's 'mad' compulsion to quibble with
the very playtext they allegedly want to present is a disservice to the
reader.

55 didst
Is correct. Edwards's interpretation, in The New Cambridge Shakespeare
edition of Hamlet, is exactly right. Laertes imitates a sword thrust at
Hamlet. It is vital to get this, because Laertes's action is what gives
Claudius the idea for the fencing match. This is crucial to the flow of
events in the play, and emphasis must be on what Laertes DOES. So, we
know that "didst" - which is a form of "does" - is the correct word in
the play, exactly as Q2 shows.

When Claudius sees what Laertes DOES, Claudius starts thinking about
Laertes's skill with a sword, which then leads Claudius to think of the
fencing match.

55-6 If . . . otherwise
The Arden comment is wrong. Claudius is talking about Laertes's
bloodthirstiness, for revenge. Claudius's lines are an instance on the
Revenge theme.

60 *As . . . voyage
Arden blunders in following the Folio, which is in error. The Q2
wording is correct. The Arden comment has things backwards, it's the
Folio which has the misreading. Claudius's lines L60-1, correctly
printed in Q2, mean:

As (I was) the King who sent him on his voyage,
and if he intends
Not to undertake that voyage further, I will (since I am still King)
manipulate him...

Claudius is saying that he was the King when Hamlet sailed, and is
still King, and can therefore try again, against Hamlet. Claudius means
that nothing has really changed, in terms of his power over Hamlet.
Modern printing requires a period after "returned" in L59, and respect
for the comma after "peace." Arden has mispunctuated L59.

66-80 My . . . graveness
The Folio blundered in omitting these authorial lines from a closet
drama printing. Hibbard was crazy to speak, in relation to a closet
drama, of speeding the action. A closet drama, which the Folio printing
manifestly is, can of course be read at leisure. Hibbard: "Ohmygosh,
this is too slow!" Well, turn the page, you silly twit.

74 siege
Requires gloss as "throne." Claudius is talking about Laertes being a
kind of king, a king of swordplay.

76 very ribbon
"Very" means "true," again. Claudius is saying that fencing skill, for
a youth, is a "true ribbon" on his cap, or hat. The exact Q2 spelling,
"ribaud," may be intended as an ironic undertone, since "ribald"
(coarse) is from Middle English "ribaude." This latter is only
speculative. Arden's quote from AC looks like "ribalded" might work
there, in the broad sense. One would seek "ribaud/ribaude" in Chaucer
and similar, which I have not done yet.

79 weeds
The undertone is of the weeds growing on Polonius's grave.

80 Importing . . . graveness
Editors who have found "incongruity" have been incompetent to deal with
Hamlet. There is, of course, ironic reference to Polonius's health,
which is, at this time: "bad." More editors' skulls in the Hamlet
graveyard. The tiger feasts well.

85 horse
Subtle reference to the Trojan Horse. Goes back to murderous Pyrrhus.

87 *topped my thought
Probably a subtle use of phrasing for double meaning. Q2 is correct for
plain reading, but "me thought" is to be understood as one word for
that. But Q2 is printed to suggest "my thought" as well, as the reader
ponders the lines. Probably Q2 and the Folio are both right here, with
the Folio making explicit the intentionally-suggested second meaning.

First meaning: 'He so greatly excelled, I thought,
That I, in my imagination...

Second meaning: 'He so far excelled what I thought one could do,
That I, even in my imagination...

It works either way, and is probably intended to. And there is probably
an existing illustration of Claudius's "great horseman" fantasy of
himself, by the way.

90 Lamord
La Mort is certainly suggested. There is, perhaps, a chance that the Q2
"-mord" spelling may hint of Mordred, in the King Arthur legend.
Hamlet, and the legend of Arthur, share some incidental details. A
quick example is that Arthur sent Mordred away in a boat, intending him
to die, but Mordred returned. The Arthur legend is worth a look, in
relation to Hamlet.

91 brooch
Chaucer mentions a brooch as a gold ornament, and the gem prominently
mentioned in the play is the carbuncle, which is red. "Brooch and gem"
is subtle allusion to red and gold, like the characters R & G.

93 made . . . you
Arden does not understand the play. "Confession" is Shakespeare's
subtle allusion that Claudius is leading Laertes to something sinful.
For plain reading, the reluctance is best taken as mock, or slight,
such as in the expression, 'Well, yes, I do have to admit...'

95 art . . . defence
"Art and exercise" means "skill and employment." A reading as hendiadys
can be done, but only by stretching the meaning.

98-100 Th'escrimers . . . them
Edwards and Hibbard can argue anything until they're blue, but
Shakespeare is still going to outlast them both, thank goodness.

98 *Th'escrimers
Arden blunders in not honoring Q2. The author anglicized the French
term, as Q2 shows, and Arden has thrown away his effort in doing so (as
did the Folio, mistakenly.) That is exactly how much of English
vocabulary has been built, through the adoption, with some
modification, of foreign terms. This is a bad oops by Arden, not only
for Shakespeare Studies, but for English studies. In Q2 we see
Shakespeare turning a French word into an English word. This is
important. Shakespeare's English word must be respected in English
printings. The Folio editor(s) apparently did not realize the word was
an anglicization and mistakenly reverted to the French.

99 had (neither)
Means "did not have" (adequate...)

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-24 12:37:22 UTC
Permalink
A4s7 line 50 to 100.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

104 What . . . this
Arden has no appreciation of the play, in even the simplest instances.
Claudius pauses, for thought, and Laertes's question indicates that
he's interested in what Claudius is talking about. It shows that
Claudius has "hooked" Laertes. Claudius has aroused Laertes's
curiosity. This is significant to the flow of events, as Claudius leads
Laertes into the scheme. Arden's suggestion of impatience is quite
stupid, and a disservice to sincere readers who really would like to
understand the play.

106-7 painting . . . heart
Goes back to the pictures in the Closet Scene, and also the Player's
recital mention of "painted tyrant." Claudius is unintentionally
calling himself "like a painting of a sorrow." Then, "face without a
heart" alludes to Hamlet stabbing through the heart of Claudius's
picture when he stabbed Polonius, leaving Claudius's picture a "face
without a heart." Hamlet stabbed through the king tapesty of Claudius,
right through the heart.

112-21
Claudius is saying that he used to love Gertrude, when he was young,
but he doesn't now. Gertrude married his brother, and it ate at
Claudius over the years, until now, married to her, which was always
his dream, he finds he doesn't love her. The candle of his love burned
too long, so to speak, and it has gone out. This is, of course, very
significant to the play. It confirms that the marriage of Gertrude and
Claudius is political, contrary to the Ghost's insinuation to Hamlet.

116-19
Claudius is wishing he had killed his brother years before, when the
idea first crossed his mind. He's revealing that he had thoughts of
killing his brother for many years, wishing he could become king, and
marry Gertrude. Claudius wasted his whole adult life envying his
brother's position as king, and coveting his brother's wife. When he
finally did kill his brother, and could be King and marry Gertrude,
Claudius found himself old, drunk, and impotent, and no longer in love
with Gertrude. That's what he's talking about.

123 *in . . . son
Malone's emendation is stupidly pointless, and an insult to the reader.
Any literate person already knows that "indeed" is from "in deed." Q2
is right, of course, and Arden blunders in not respecting it. The
author's intent, with his Q2 wording, is to suggest "in deed" as
undertone, which any attentive reader will find, easily enough.

127 *wager on
Arden blunders in not respecting Q2. The Folio is wrong. Q2 "ore" is
intentional to suggest gold ('or') i.e. that it will be a valuable
wager, a high stakes wager (in more ways than one.) The Q2 word is
inarguably correct, and Arden is stupid to try to claim they can read a
nonexistent manuscript and see what it "really" says. They cannot, and
anybody with any sense knows it.

135 shuffling
Of course it suggests, in undertone, dishonest dealing. Double meaning.
The OED is not a source for Shakespeare; vice versa.

138 *for that purpose
The Folio change, which Arden unwisely follows, is actually unmetric,
and further, is redundant. Laertes's remark is not iambic pentameter,
and "purpose," by itself, conveys "the end."

140 that, but dip
Arden couldn't read the play. The syntax does not change, and the
sentence is not incomplete. It's concise. Laertes means, in L139-41:

I bought an unction...
So deadly that, (if you) only dip a knife in it,
(Then) Where (the knife) draws blood...

It is perfectly good syntax, with the pronouns "it" being interpreted
in the order of the nouns. The first "it" refers to the unction, the
second "it" refers to the knife. That is normal English. Apparently the
Folio editor(s) couldn't read English, sometimes.

142 Collected
Double meaning. Refers both to the simples, and the time of collection,
under the moon. Perhaps best punctuated with a comma after it, in
modern printing.

143 Under the moon
Primarily means what it says. Collected at night. Night is the magic
time. Reference is to the natural virtue of the simples being given
magic enhancement, to use magic against magic. It does imply "anywhere"
but that's secondary. And there is irony in relation to the Lucianus
speech, intentionally. Also, the idea of "simple virtue" under the
moon, is allusion to innocent Ophelia. Recall Laertes's mention of the
moon when he talked to Ophelia before going to France.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-25 20:07:20 UTC
Permalink
A4s7 line 150 to end.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

157 preferred
Means "reserved." Claudius will have the cup "reserved" especially for
Hamlet. The idea, of preference applying to something no person would
want, is irony.

158 chalice
The religious implications are intentional irony.

163 O, where?
Arden couldn't read the play. The author had Laertes ask "where" for a
specific reason. One is supposed to think about the known locations in
the play, the "wheres" of Hamlet.

Elsinore Castle is directly by the sea, like Kronborg Castle. If one
hears about a drowning at Elsinore, the first thought would be that it
occurred in the ocean. The ocean is only yards from the Castle. Laertes
is, first, expressing his disbelief that Ophelia could have been
allowed to wander to the ocean and drown. He is right to disbelieve
that.

Then, what else do we know about places around Elsinore? One place we
know of is the place Horatio mentioned to Hamlet: the cliff that
beetles o'er its base into the sea. Horatio described it. It's a cliff
that can make a person think about jumping, even without any motive.
That cliff is Suicide Cliff. It is exactly where a person would go if
he wanted to kill himself by jumping into water. Horatio has only been
at Elsinore a short time, and if he already knows of the cliff, Ophelia
undoubtedly knew of it, too. But, did she die at Suicide Cliff?

No. Laertes's question has told us something important. That is the
reason Shakespeare had Laertes ask "where?" It answers the question of
suicide in Ophelia's death. The answer is: no. She did not die at
Suicide Cliff.

165 hoary
The paleness suggests "ghost." Intentionally.

166
Q2 is correct, of course. Willow twigs are very long and supple.
Ophelia was gathering willow twigs to make the frames for her crowns of
flowers. The question of Ophelia's death has already been answered, and
Arden didn't notice.

167 crowflowers
The alternate name "Ragged Robin" is the one, also the traditional use
of the crowflower. In folklore, a crowflower under the pillow at night
produced dreams of one's future mate. We are told that if they had
lived, Ophelia would have married her Robin, Hamlet, and that she went
to "sleep" dreaming of him.

167 nettles
The nettle symbolizes bad luck, especially for a woman, and also
slander. It means Ophelia had bad luck, and she'll be, and has been,
slandered. It's advance allusion to the gravedigger Clown's notion of
suicide, which will be "slander." And with the nettles, Ophelia had
"bad luck" right there in the tree with her. This confirms that she
fell by "bad luck."

167 daisies
The daisy is a "sun flower." The name comes from "day's eye," which is
reference to the sun. There's implicit sun/son pun, and the "son" is
Hamlet. The daisies were especially for Hamlet. Traditionally, if a
beau asked a young lady for her hand, she would symbolize affirmation
by wearing a crown of daisies. Ophelia was making a crown wreath of
daisies, for herself, to wear for Hamlet. The daisy further symbolizes
innocence, and loyalty in love. Further, as a "sun flower" it
symbolizes Heaven. This tells us that Ophelia has gone to Heaven.

167 long purples
The Early Purple Orchid. Has considerable depth of meaning, but the
primary meaning is given by the alternate name in the play: dead men's
fingers. The more usual modern alternate is "dead man's hand." We're
told that Ophelia was pulled down, so to speak, to her death, by the
dead men's fingers. The dead men in the play at this time are the Ghost
and Polonius. The name "dead men's fingers" comes from the shape of the
root of the plant (actually a tuber.) So, we're told that the root
cause, the ultimate cause, of Ophelia's death was that the hands of the
Ghost, and her father, "pulled her down," so to speak. The flower is
also known as the Devil's hand, which is more about the Ghost.

168 liberal
Means "indecent," or lewd. This is confirmed, later.

169 *cold
Arden is wrong. Means "insensitive." And Q2 "cull-cold" is correct. It
is intended to suggest "cuckold," which is subtle wordplay. For plain
reading, to cull is to sort, so it means "sorted to be cold," i.e.
chosen for death. Allusion to Ophelia, herself. For the maids,
"cull-cold" means they are the "insensitive sort."

173 Fell
Arden didn't understand the play. The speaker for 5.1 is a Clown, for
one thing.

175 lauds
The Arden note is a litany of mad babble. Ophelia was a highly
religious young lady, and lauds were the type of songs she mostly knew,
from church. Of course "lauds" is correct. "Lauds" are morning songs,
which tells us, for one thing, that Ophelia died in the morning, the
time when lauds would be sung. There is an implicit 'morning/mourning'
pun. Ophelia sang morning (mourning) songs. This is symbolic of her
death being a mournful event. Arden's gloss of "hymns" is incompetently
inadequate.

181 she is drowned
To be spoken with stress on "is."

185 our trick
Arden is wrong. It's reference to self deception. Laertes is saying
it's self deception by men to think they don't cry.

188 *o'fire
Q2 is correct, and Arden errs again in not respecting it. Laertes means
the speech was already "burning" in his mind, that it was already
"afire," but what he's heard has thrown water on it. The only change
required in modern printing is to print Q2's "a fire" as one word. It
was a "fiery" speech that was already "afire" in his thoughts.

189 this folly
Arden is wrong. Primarily refers to Ophelia's death. Has reference
back to breaking the "follies" from the Wheel of Fortune.

189-92 Let's follow
Of course Gertrude follows. Good heavens. She isn't following Claudius,
she's following Laertes. She feels great sympathy for Laertes. Gertrude
knows about sons losing their fathers, and now this. Laertes is still
weeping as he exits.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-26 23:09:51 UTC
Permalink
A5s1 to line 50.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

0.1
The Arden note about rustics is misguided, and misleading to the
reader. The Clowns are exactly that, and their roles are for amusement.
The second Clown is the coroner's court bailiff, who has been sent to
inform the first Clown, the sexton, of the official decision about
Ophelia's death.

2 wilfully . . . salvation
The gravedigger Clown (sexton) has heard people talking, and he is
repeating the common suspicion that Ophelia killed herself, which is
not true. This is on the Slander/Rumor motif. Untrue gossip is going
around that Ophelia's death was suicide, and the sexton has heard it.

3-4 Therefore . . . straight
The second Clown does, indeed, speak with professional authority. He is
the bailiff assigned to inform the sexton of the court decision.
However, the bailiff is not a legally-educated man, and he does not
know the legalities of it all, or the facts the court used as basis for
its decision. The bailiff is merely a functionary, for the court. He's
simply the deputy who's been told to inform the sexton.

4 straight
Double meaning. Means both "right away," and also "properly."

9 *se offendendo
Arden errs in not honoring the Q2 wording. The Clown does say "so
offended," as Q2 shows, but it is indeed intended to suggest, to a
knowing reader, the phrase 'se offendendo,' which the Folio reveals.
This should be handled by leaving Shakespeare's phrase "so offended" in
the playtext, and then including a note referring to the Folio phrase.
The Folio editor(s) apparently had knowledge of the intent of the
phrase, and made it more explicit, thinking the original was too subtle
(and they were right enough about that.) In the playtext, the Clown
cannot say the phrase 'se offendendo' because he doesn't know legal
Latin, he only knows some Church Latin. Arden's idea of the Q2
compositor having difficulty is misguided. The Arden editors should get
over the strange and impossible notion that they can somehow read a
nonexistent manuscript.

10 wittingly
Also implies "cleverly." Double meaning.

12 *Argal
Arden is wrong. The Q2 phrasing is correct. The Q2 phrasing means:

'... an act has three branches: it is "to act," "to do," "to perform,"
or all three. (Therefore) she drowned herself wittingly.'

The Folio word "Argal" is a mistake there. I do not want to get into
the hopeless business of trying to read a nonexistent manuscript, but
it does stand to reason that the 20-year old papers the Folio editor(s)
had were harder to read at that time, than when they were fresh in
1604. Whenever a suspicion might exist about a possible misreading, the
Folio must always be the prime suspect, simply because the papers were
some 20 years older when the Folio editor(s) examined them. Q1 has a
reporter's error, in anticipation of L19, and the Folio mistakenly
picked it up, for some reason.

The Clown idiotically calls an act a branch of itself, and after
claiming three branches, he mentions four things: the three specifics,
and the all-inclusive. He bases his conclusion on his zany theory of an
act, without any reference to facts (since he doesn't know any facts.)
The Clown's "logical" argument is silly gibberish. The bailiff is
unable to rebut the sexton's "logic," however, since he doesn't know
law, or logic, any better than the sexton does.

The word "branch" has allusion to the tree branch that broke, in fact,
and dropped Ophelia to her death. While trying to argue suicide,
"logically," ahem, the Clown accidentally refers to the actual cause,
the (tree) branch, and he doesn't know it. "Three branches" is
wordplay with "tree branches."

14 goodman delver
"Delver" plays on "deliver," referring to the delivery of a verdict by
a jury. It hints of the sexton Clown foolishly trying to act as judge
and jury on something he knows nothing about. The bailiff is trying to
assert superiority on the subject, since he's the court's deputy.

17 willy-nilly
Arden fails to note that the Clown uses the term foolishly, in exact
contradiction to what he's trying to argue. "Willy-nilly" refers to
chance, while he's trying to argue intent.

20 death shortens
Comic timing? It's an ordinary English comma. Arden has obviously
blundered by omitting it from their printing. Arden's omission is sheer
obliviousness, both unprofessional and unscholarly, where they take
express note of something in the original, and then blithely omit it.
That is very poor editorial practice. The Clown pauses slightly, to
give emphasis to his conclusion. You will see and hear that all the
time in English, when a conclusion is being presented.

22 'quest
The person on the "crowner's quest" was Ophelia. She was in the tree
to get willow twigs to make frames for her crown wreaths of flowers.
So, the phrase has allusion to why Ophelia was in the tree - a
"crowner's (wreath) quest" for willow twigs. The apostrophe before
"quest" is not in the original, and should perhaps not be used, because
it interferes with the author's intended allusion, for which the exact
word "quest" is required.

23 on't
L23 is an important moment in the conversation. The bailiff has now
been convinced that Ophelia killed herself, even though he was sent to
inform the sexton of the contrary. Shakespeare is showing how rumor
and slander spread, despite the facts. The bailiff, who doesn't really
know any better, as far as law or logic goes, or facts, has been
convinced by nothing but the insistence of the sexton's foolish,
pseudo-legal babble. We see the bailiff accept that it was suicide,
even though it was not, and even though he's the person assigned by the
court to tell the sexton that it was not suicide. This is a
significant instance on the Slander/Rumor motif.

28-9 even-Christen
There is great irony that the sexton Clown thinks of himself as a good
Christian, when he arrogantly, and ignorantly, spreads defamatory
gossip on a subject he actually knows nothing about. That is not being
a good Christian. The exact Q2 spelling, "Christen," provides a
secondary allusion to "equally baptised" (christened.) Baptism is done
in water, so with "Christen" the sexton has accidentally alluded to
Ophelia falling into water (and being "reborn" as an angel in Heaven.)

31 hold up
Has the ironic undertone of "steal." It's facetious allusion that the
sexton Clown, who is not a good Christian, has unjustly adopted Adam's
profession.

33 bore arms
Jenkins was credibly correct about the Q2 omission. The phrase "bore
arms" has an intentional double meaning, in reference to both a coat of
arms, and the right to bear weapons.

36 Go to
Good lord. There are times the Arden gloss looks insane. It's sad
they had such difficulty even with simple phrases, and had such poor
perception of the flow of the dialogue. The meaning is exactly the
opposite of Arden's gloss. The bailiff is saying, "go ahead." The
phrase is short for "go to it," meaning, go ahead with it. It's
essentially identical to the "To't" in L45, and also L50, which Arden
gets right. The particular phrasing is used in this instance to
provide double meaning, with the undertone of the bailiff telling the
sexton to 'go to... (hell.)'

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-28 12:35:38 UTC
Permalink
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~~~~~

56 *stoup
Arden is wrong, and should have respected Q2. The phrase is "soup of
liquor." It means ale broth, or wine broth. Arden still pretends they
can read a nonexistent manuscript. They obviously can't. Ale broth, and
wine broth, were commonly sold as beverages in those days. A chicken,
or piece of beef, would be cooked in ale or wine, and then bottled, or
decanted directly. The beverages were mostly ale or wine, but did have
some nutrition from the chicken, or beef. Old recipes for such broth
have been preserved, going back to before the year 1700, and can be
found on the World Wide Web. Q2 is right, but the Q2 word "soope" is
now "soup."

And just because the sexton Clown demands the bailiff fetch him
something, that doesn't mean the bailiff is going to do it. The bailiff
does leave, but he isn't going to bring the sexton anything. The
bailiff's job is done, now that he's informed the sexton, and he'll go
have some ale broth, himself.

60.1
Arden is ignorant of what an entry means in the Q2 Hamlet. It is not
directly a reference to physical presence onstage. The Q2 entries are
especially keyed to the spoken lines, except where some exception is
required, such as when it was necessary to have both R & G in view of
the audience. Hamlet and Horatio get their "enters" when they have
lines, as Q2 shows. However, they will be present onstage, and
approaching, before that. The timing of their approach is a director's
judgment, for physical activity.

66 hath . . . sense
Goes back to Polonius advising Laertes not to wear a callus on his
palm, by shaking hands too readily, 1.3.63. The proverbial style is
because Hamlet is still suffering a touch of Polonius Disease. Also,
Hamlet first suspects that he may have returned in time to see
Polonius's funeral, a thought which intrigues him. Hamlet doesn't know
Polonius was buried so quickly by Claudius.

So, Hamlet at first thinks it might be Polonius's grave, with no idea
that it's really the grave for Polonius's daughter, his own true love.

70 SD
Why the star, since Arden did not use Q1's "shovel?"

71-205 That . . . flaw
Is there anything in Hamlet that DOESN'T surprise Arden?

74 pate . . . politician
Allusion to Polonius.

74 o'erreaches
The Q2 word is correct. The sexton now has more "reach" than the
politician, in several senses: physical reach, influence, verbal
"reach." The Arden gloss is odd.

80 'a . . . it
There is allusion to Ophelia, and Hamlet's tragic misunderstanding
about her.

84 *mazard
The OED is not a source for Shakespeare. Vice versa. The OED does not,
and cannot, establish that the Q2 word is in any way erroneous. The Q2
word, 'massene,' is obscure, but may, perhaps, suggest French 'maison'
meaning "house." Instead of saying the skull itself is being knocked,
Hamlet may mean the skull is being knocked about (around) the house by
the sexton, where the "house" is the grave. This would connect to
Hamlet thinking the grave might be for Polonius, with Polonius being
"at home." The Q2 word needs further examination; it would be unwise to
accept easily that the Folio change is valid.

86 trick
Means "luck." Wheel of Fortune motif. The Arden gloss is wrong.

96 mad
Means "crazy," of course. It's irony in relation to Hamlet supposedly
being the mad one. The Folio word is obviously wrong.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-29 16:25:33 UTC
Permalink
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http://www.hamletregained.com/

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~~~~~

104 this box
This "rectangle." Refers to the rectangle of the grave excavation.
Hamlet means that if all the person's deed papers were laid down flat,
they'd about cover the size of the grave excavation, which is all the
land the deceased now "owns."

113 *O
The "or" in Q2 is correct, and it is regular dialogue. The Clown is
not singing here, he's talking to Hamlet. However, the song is still
on his mind. It marks that the Clown is not giving his full attention
to Hamlet at this time. The Clown looks down at the unfinished grave
as he says his line. Arden errs in not following Q2.

129 absolute
Means "literal." The Arden gloss is wrong.

130 by the card
Means "by the tablet." Refers to the use of written definitions, to
avoid misunderstanding. The Arden note is misleading.

131 this three years
Tells us that Hamlet has been attending university three years.

132 picked
Means the age has been "picked over," that all the best flowers have
been harvested, and mostly "weeds" are flourishing now. Goes back to
Hamlet speaking of the rank, unweeded garden, 1.2.135-6. Gardening
motif. The word "grown" supports this interpretation, obviously.

135 Of the days
Means "on the date." Means that the date (month and day) when the
sexton got his job was the same date as when King Hamlet slew
Fortinbrasse. The sexton isn't saying it's been the same length of
time, he's speaking of events happening on the same date.

139 very day
A note is mandatory that the sexton is still talking about dates. He
is referring here to a certain day in a month.

139 young Hamlet
The sexton Clown does not tell us any such thing as Arden claims.
Arden couldn't read the play. The tiger ate Arden.

148 Very strangely
Goes back to Horatio's line and Hamlet's reply, 1.5.163-4 ("wondrous
strange" ... "as a stranger give it welcome.")

153 thirty years
Arden could not read the play. This DOES NOT imply that Hamlet is 30.
Arden has misinterpreted the statement, by not realizing the sexton is
referring to DATES.

The sexton has been sexton for 30 years. The date (day in the year,)
when he became sexton, is the same date as when King Hamlet slew
Fortinbrasse. Further, it's the same date as Hamlet's birthday. But
the events did not occur in the same year. They only occurred on the
same date. The sexton is using "day" to mean "date."

Hamlet is NOT 30. It is only that he happened to be born on the same
date as when the sexton got his job, which is also the same date as
King Hamlet's victory over Fortinbrasse. So states the sexton.

154 lie i'th' earth
Hamlet immediately follows the sexton's statement with a "lie"
response. This goes back to their "lie" banter at the beginning.
Hamlet is facetiously asking the gravedigger, himself, how long he can
"lie" in the earth until he rots. The Clown misses the joke at his own
expense, and takes it as a serious question about his profession.
Hamlet gives the Clown the "lie" because he knows he wasn't born on the
day when his father slew Fortinbrasse.

What's happening in this passage, is that the sexton Clown is
continuing to talk about dates, just as he began. However, when Hamlet
asked him "how long ... since," Hamlet was asking about total length of
time, in years. There is miscommunication between them. The Clown
kept talking about dates, while Hamlet asked about years, total length
of time. The miscommunication results in the sexton Clown thinking
Hamlet is an idiot, who doesn't even know the months and days of the
year, while Hamlet thinks the Clown is a liar, who's making it up about
the total length of time.

162 your whoreson dead body
An unintentionally cruel remark to Hamlet, who thinks his mother a
"whore" in her behavior with Claudius, and who will soon be a dead
body.

163-4 Here's . . . years
With the way the Clown tosses skulls around, he can't know which is
which. He is making this up. Hamlet's "lie" accusation proves
prophetic.

163 lien
The Q2 word is "lyen," which is a pun to tell us that the Clown is
lyin'. The Clown is making it up that the skull is Yorick's, and that
Yorick has been dead 23 years. Arden fails to explain their own choice
of spelling, which is an unprofessional lapse.

163-164 three and twenty years
Arden fails to star their change to the genuine Q2 wording, and their
failure to do so is apparently intentional, judging by their comment.
This is unprofessional and unscholarly editing. Q2 does not factually
say what Arden prints in their playtext, and Arden knows that.

166-7 Whose . . . was?
A note is mandatory. The Clown is checking to be sure that Hamlet
can't identify the skull. Then, assured that Hamlet can't, the Clown
goes on to tell Hamlet his Yorick anecdote (regardless of whose skull
it is.)

169-70 'A poured . . . once
Another bizarre comment by Arden. There is no reason to imagine this
sexton is employed by the royal court. He's the sexton at the church
in town, the church that provides the distant church bells in the play.
The sexton encountered Yorick at one of the alehouses in the town.
Arden could not even perceive how arrogant, argumentative and dishonest
this "good Christian" Clown is, which is obviously why Yorick would
'favor' him with a drenching, well deserved. Good for Yorick!

171 Yorick's
The name means "a Danish person of yore." It's the word "yore" with an
'-ic' or '-ick' ending to make a Danish name, on the pattern of
'Roric.'

174-84
Whether it's really Yorick's skull or not, has nothing to do with the
sincerity of Hamlet's sentiments. The skull is only an object, to
motivate his thoughts.

176-7 bore . . . abhorred
Arden's interpretation is weird. Hamlet treasures his memory of
Yorick, and what he abhores is Yorick's death. Arden missed the
'abhorred-aboard' pun. Hamlet, as a child, was aboard Yorick's back,
and now Yorick's death "rides the back" of Hamlet's imagination, and is
"aboard" his imagination, so to speak.

182-4 Now . . . come
Another insane note from Arden. Hamlet is not misogynistic, he
celebrates natural, not "painted," beauty, and he favors faithful
women. His personal view is highly ironic, since Gertrude and Ophelia
are both faithful women, but Hamlet thinks otherwise, based on his
misunderstandings.

183 table
Is right, of course. Multiple meanings. Reference to the dinner
table, on the Feast/Eating motif. Also dressing table, on the Painted
Face motif. Also alludes to Latin 'tabula,' an inscribed slab,
implying a gravestone: Death theme.

190 smelt so
Arden would have done better if, maybe in one out of a dozen notes,
they had bothered to pay at least a little attention to Hamlet. Pardon
my exaggeration, but, goodness. There's the implication that the Arden
editors had a lot of trouble concentrating on what they were supposed
to be doing. This phrase, "smelt so" is important in the play (as if
any of the phrases weren't.) The skull that the sexton gave Hamlet
still has a bad smell to it. That means it has only been in the earth
for a maximum of eight years, or nine at the outside, as stated
earlier. It confirms that the Clown was lying when he said "23." The
Clown has been "lying in the earth." Hamlet was wrong at the moment
when he facetiously gave the sexton Clown the "lie," but he's right
more generally; the sexton Clown is dishonest.

There's more to it. Since Hamlet is actually 16, the eight year age,
or less, of the skull would correspond to it being Yorick's skull. It
would make Yorick alive when Hamlet was about eight, or so. The age
works. So, although the Clown was lying about it being Yorick's skull,
and in the earth 23 years, and he did not really know whose skull it
was, nevertheless, the age does work out. By coincidence, it is
Yorick's skull!

Although the Clown didn't know whose skull it was, and was only using
it as an excuse to tell his Yorick anecdote, and express his
indignation, the Clown did, indeed, give Hamlet Yorick's skull, by
coincidence. The lying Clown told the truth (about it being Yorick's
skull) - by accident! Wheel of Fortune motif.

195 too curiously
Refers both to excessive curiosity, and to eccentricity.

197 modesty
"Humility."

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-11-30 22:13:05 UTC
Permalink
A5s1 line 200 to end.

Relevant links.

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~~~~~

205 t'expel . . . flaw
"Expel" is used poetically, as in getting rid of something. Caesar's
clay would "get rid of" the hole, the flaw, by patching it, thereby
"expelling" the flaw from its former place. The possessive, "water's,"
is also poetic: the hole "belongs to" the water as long as water can
run through it. "Flaw" is not a form of 'flow,' rather, it refers to a
flaw, or opening, in a wall. The wall, here, is the wall of a grave.
Caesar's clay would help to preserve an anonymous body for a little
while longer, if it helped keep water out of the grave where the later
body is buried, since water is, as we were told, a "sore decayer."
"Flaw" also goes back to "mole of nature."

205.1-2
The Folio omission of the cleric might be odd, but there's nothing much
odd about it in Q2. Printing space for the stage direction was tight
in Q2. The Q2 SD is printed to the right of the dialogue, with such
limited space that King and Queen are abbreviated "K." and "Q." The
cleric was probably omitted from the SD because of space limitations in
the printing. One could have Ostrick here, if desired, but that really
has nothing to do with anything. There is not actually anything in
Ostrick's later speech which corresponds to what Arden mentions from
the other publication.

There is no coffin. Ophelia's body is borne "bare faced on the bier."
She, herself, told us of that practice.

By the way, at the approach of the funeral procession, the sexton goes
to ring the church bell. That was one of the duties of a sexton, to
ring the bell, and the dialogue expressly mentions "bell and burial."
So we know where the sexton Clown has gone. He's the bell ringer.

In an SD earlier in the play, 2.2, Arden added "courtiers" to an SD
rather inappropriately. Here, they add "Lords" when in fact the word
should be exactly "Courtiers," which we know because the word is stated
in the dialogue.

206 soft
"Quiet." Not "silent."

208-10 This . . . life
One does not give Hamlet's lines away. He is the star of the play.

210 it
Should have been modernized to "its" in the playtext, for the simple
reason that any modern reader will instantly conclude that the word
'it' is a typo.

211 Couch . . . mark
Arden did not know what a sexton is. As already mentioned, the sexton
has gone to ring the bell.

215 SP
Arden's choice of speech prefix is no less misleading to the modern eye
than the genuine Q2 "Doctor" would be, since the "Priest" is a
Protestant cleric, not Catholic. Arden should have honored Q2, the
text they're allegedly attempting to present, and simply noted that the
man is, indeed, a Doctor of Divinity. Arden could have called him D.D.
and noted it, which would have avoided their own misleading choice.
Laertes's later use of "priest" means "church elder." That is not a
reference to a Catholic priest. This cleric is a Lutheran minister.

217 great command
Reference to the coroner's verdict. It directly pertains to Claudius
only in that the coroner is in service to the crown. However, it is
reasonable to conclude that Claudius acted to enforce and expedite the
process, to appease Laertes. Claudius was probably personally
involved. To what extent, is unclear.

218 should . . . been
Jenkins was right.

220
"Shards" is an error in the Folio. The pairing of "flints and pebbles"
is in the author's style, for which a third word is out of place.
Further, flint is associated with fire, and pebbles are typically
associated with water. The authorial phrase has allusion to fire and
water. "Shards" would contribute sort of a "break" idea, but it
doesn't connect to the other two words, in their elemental undertones.

It's hypothetically conceivable that, if a word was indeed skipped in
Q2, it should have been "sharp," instead of the Folio "shards."
"Sharp" goes well with "flint" and would also be a word on the Edge
motif.

221 virgin crants
Unshakeable as the author's phrase. Undertone of allusion to Ophelia's
flowers she had in the tree.

222 strewments
Double meaning, in reference both to flowers, and how the body is
dressed.

226 requiem
"Sage" should always get a note, because the word has a definition of a
decorative, healing plant. It's plausible in association with
Ophelia's flowers. There is, however, no realistic chance the word
defeated a compositor. It deserves a look as perhaps being an
authorial change that did not make the Q2 printing. If "sage" is
editorial in the Folio, its "decorative plant" definition is quite a
fortunate coincidence.

231 liest howling
Laertes is not telling the cleric to go to Purgatory. He is telling
him to go someplace else.

233-4 I hoped . . . decked
Arden could not follow the play. Not only did Polonius not think
Ophelia inappropriate for Hamlet, Polonius's desire to see them matched
is what produced the Nunnery Scene. Arden's note is badly wrong
headed. Arden did not follow the flow of events, with the dramatic
change of Polonius's mind.

236 double
The word in F is an error there. It is unreasonable of Arden to
question the Q2 compositor, rather than the F compositor, when it is a
known historical fact that the papers were some 20 years older when the
Folio was done.

243-5 What . . . Conjures
Q1 is not Q2. Arden might have proved more competent if they'd simply
paid attention to what they were allegedly intending to do.

244 Bears . . . emphasis
Arden is wrong. What Hamlet is objecting to, is that Laertes is
emphasizing himself, instead of respecting Ophelia's funeral. Laertes
is putting on a big show, with himself as the center of attention,
rather than allowing the services for Ophelia to be the focus, and
Hamlet doesn't like it a bit.

246 wonder-wounded
"Wounded" means "hurt," not "struck."

247 SD
The SD Arden adds is wrong. Hamlet jumps down into the grave. This is
symbolic in anticipation of both Laertes and Hamlet going to their
graves. The grave is only waist deep, or so.

Important - Ophelia's body has not been placed in the grave yet. She
is still onstage, at floor level. Laertes did say to put her body in
the earth, but that has not been done at this point. The sexton
Gravedigger did not finish the grave, because the conversation with
Hamlet interrupted his work. When Laertes jumps into the grave, he
hugs Ophelia's body, still at ground level, at about the height of his
lower chest. When Hamlet and Laertes confront each other, waist deep
in the grave excavation, Ophelia is in front of them at stage floor
level (in front, because Laertes must face the audience as he hugs her
body.)

249 I prithee . . . throat
Hamlet's phrasing is scrupulously polite. Hamlet is trying to give
Laertes a lesson in manners, by mocking him.

258 forty thousand brothers
Poetic use of a specific to express a generality. It means "a lot of
brothers." For that, there isn't the slightest difference between
"twenty" and "forty thousand," or "eighty eight zillion" (except in how
well the phrase reads.) The tiger ate Poel; another skull in the
Hamlet graveyard.

263 *thou'lt
Arden blunders in following the Folio instead of simply modernizing.
The Q2 wording is correct, if one does not modernize. It is not
correct to switch non-standard spellings in favor of F when one is
supposedly presenting Q2.

265 eisel
Jenkins was right. It means "vinegar." Hamlet is talking about
childish "proofs of manliness," the kinds of foolish things a fellow
would do to supposedly impress girls (or disgust them.) Hamlet is
trying to point out Laertes's childish foolishness. Hamlet doesn't
know that Laertes already did weep, when told of Ophelia's death, and
that Laertes already has conspired with Claudius to fight, to kill
Hamlet. Hamlet's rhetorical questions about weeping and fighting have
known answers, and the answers are: yes.

267 outface
An instance on the Painted Face motif. Hamlet is referring to Laertes
trying to "put a better face" on his grief for Ophelia than Hamlet
does. Hamlet, carried away by his emotion, is trying to prove to
Laertes that he can put on as good a show, and better, than Laertes
does. So it is also an instance on the Putting On A Show theme.
Hamlet is "painting his face" of grief, the same as Laertes, to "put
on" the same kind of "show."

271 Singeing . . . zone
The Arden note is wrong. The phrase refers to the highest zone of the
earth's atmosphere, which was taken to be hot since hot meteors were
thought to come from there. The Northern Lights, high in the air, were
also thought to be a kind of burning. The old idea has coincidentally
turned out to be right, in a way, since there is a high temperature
zone at altitude in the earth's atmosphere, but it contains little heat
energy since the air is so thin at such altitude. Hamlet is talking
about piling earth to the top zone of the earth's atmosphere. There is
wordplay with "singing zone," the realm of the angels.

272 thou'lt mouth
Refers to declaiming, not just shouting.

273 SP
This is Gertrude's speech, as allusion, among other things, proves.
The Folio propagated the Q1 error.

273 mere
The Arden gloss is wrong. It means "only." Gertrude is saying it's
only a temporary outburst by Hamlet. She's responding to Claudius
trying to promote his "madness" propaganda against Hamlet, L261.

277 drooping
Means "exhausted." Has a death undertone in advance of the fencing
match.

278-9
Since Hamlet knows his killing of Polonius was accidental, he thinks
others do, too. He knows nothing about Ophelia's "madness" and death,
or how he could be blamed. So, he doesn't understand why Laertes acts
hateful to him. Hamlet has not intentionally done anything to offend
Laertes.

And yes, it was Laertes who was physically agressive toward Hamlet.
The dialogue expressly said so. It was Laertes who grabbed Hamlet by
the throat. We know that, because the dialogue said so (to those who
can read.) All Hamlet did, toward Laertes, was talk.

280 Let . . . may
Lines 280 & 281 are taken together. Hamlet means, essentially, that no
matter what men do, the nature of things will go its own way. The
lines have considerable further meaning. And no, Hamlet is not saying
he expects to fight Laertes. He's still after Claudius.

282 SD
Arden has placed the stage direction incorrectly. Again. It is correct
as Q2 shows. Horatio is following Hamlet, already, and his back is to
Claudius as Claudius speaks. Claudius is attempting to assert control,
but Horatio is ignoring him, and is already walking away when Claudius
speaks to him.

Likewise, Gertrude's exit properly occurs before Claudius's line 285.
Again, Claudius is attempting to assert control, but he's talking to
her back, as she walks away from him.

287 thereby
Unquestionably the correct word in the playtext. The Folio substitute
is wrong. "Thereby" is reference to something we would otherwise not
know: the location of Hamlet's grave. When Claudius says "thereby" he
should make a hand gesture toward Ophelia's grave. It's Shakespeare
telling us, in undertone, that Hamlet's grave will be there... by
Ophelia's.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-12-03 02:29:49 UTC
Permalink
A5s2 to line 50.

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~~~~~

5.2
The setting is the Banquet Hall, the same place where the 'Mousetrap
Play' was presented. Claudius will now have his turn to "put on a
play," so to speak, but he's after more than Hamlet's conscience.

1,4 sir
Hamlet's tone is because he now realizes full well that Claudius is a
deadly threat to him, and Horatio is his ally, in this very serious
business. Hamlet thus accords Horatio extra respect.

3 Remember . . . lord
No, good gosh, Arden. Horatio is asking for clarification, of what,
exactly, Hamlet means. Hamlet then goes on to describe what he means,
in detail. With "circumstance," L 2, Hamlet meant, generally, being
aboard the ship.

5 *Methought
Arden should have respected Q2. The Q2 phrase means, "My thought
(was)," followed by a comma for modern printing. It's similar to
'methought' but not exactly the same.

6 *bilboes
Arden should have respected Q2. The bilbo (singular) is a long bar
with shackles on it, for shackling men together. There are several
shackles attached, but it's only one bar. The Folio editor(s) got it
wrong. And it does not mean "fetters;" the Arden gloss is wrong.
Simple synonym won't do, the word requires description.

8 sometime
The usage is not indifferent here. A terminal 's' of 'sometimes' would
run into the initial 's' of "serves" when the line is spoken. It would
be too sibilant. One must keep in mind the writing is by a great Poet.

9 deep plots
Hamlet's idea against R & G in that earlier mention was different from
this.

17 unfold
It's the correct word, connecting all the way back to the second line
of the play. Means "reveal." If any misreading occurred, it's in the
Folio.

32 fair
Means wrote it well, in good handwriting. Not "formal." The context
expressly tells us this.

33 statists
Means "politicians." Refers to the higher political types who employ
scribes to do writing for them, and who consider scribal work as
something beneath themselves.

42 stand . . . amities
A comma is a symbol used within a speech by one voice. It separates
two clauses, or phrases, spoken by the same speaker. The basic idea is
that although Denmark and England are separate entities, they are to
speak as one voice.

47 shriving time
The Ghost complained. That is not the same as saying Hamlet's father
complained.

47 How . . . sealed
Arden's comment is thoughtless. Of course Hamlet had writing
materials. R & G did not walk him directly out of the Castle to the
ship. They escorted him to his room, to pack, and then to the ship.
Hamlet took along writing materials, to write to his mother, at least,
and a candle to seal his letters to Gertrude. This is not difficult to
figure out.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-12-04 16:39:34 UTC
Permalink
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~~~~~

56 go to't
Horatio's tone is thoughtful. For himself, he doesn't know whether R &
G deserved it or not. The additional Folio line for Hamlet, that
follows, is distinctly editorial in the Folio; it misuses the word
"man" according to the pattern of usage established in the rest of the
play, and the pattern of address in this passage, and the tone is
wrong.

58 their own insinuation
Actually, it's clear that R & G knew nothing of Claudius's intent to
have England kill Hamlet. But Hamlet, based on what he heard R & G say
at the beginning of the Prayer Scene, when he was hiding in Claudius's
room, believes they were actively conspiring with Claudius against him.
Hamlet thought they knew, but they didn't. The irony runs deep. Hamlet
thinks he sent murderous conspirators to their just reward, but in
fact, he sent two foolish flunkies to a death which will totally
mystify them. The King of England will read the commission, order that
R & G be immediately taken out and killed, and they won't have the
least idea why. In addition to mortuary amusement, this is authorial
satire on kingly power, and how easily it can be misused, even by a
good man.

66 Is't conscience?
The additional Folio lines are authorial. It's unclear why the Q2
printing didn't include them. Their lack cannot credibly reflect
authorial revision. If some explanation were absolutely demanded, it
might relate to page space in Q2. The pages of the Ostrick passage are
unusually full in Q2; the dialogue continually goes from margin to
margin. One would view lack of printing space as an hypothesis to
consider. In any event, the lines are authorial, and are properly
included in any complete presentation of Hamlet.

66.1 Osric
Arden should have used the Q2 name, although the terminal 'e' may be
left off. It intentionally suggests "ostrich." The Folio form makes it
more regular as a Danish name, but loses the wordplay. Also, the Q2 SD
should be strictly observed. He is "courtier" here, because he has an
implicit nickname as he speaks to Hamlet.

The courtier's hat has a large ostrich plume on it. The plume is
symbolic of "feather head."

68 *humbly
Arden should have respected Q2. Q2 is right with "humble." Hamlet is
"humble-thanking" the courtier. That is, Hamlet is giving the courtier
only a humble thanks, which is to say, not much. This connects back to
Hamlet's expression of thanks to R & G, 2.2.238-40. The courtier does
think Hamlet is humbly thanking him, but that is not what Hamlet means.

72-4 Let . . . mess
Double meaning. Hamlet is also saying that if all men were beasts,
this courtier would be the beastly king.

79-86
Arden has no clue about the hat business. Hamlet is playing the
children's game of "hot and cold" with the courtier about where his hat
is, and ought to be. Nor did Arden understand Hamlet's earlier
conversations with Polonius.

80
The courtier is not pretending anything. When he says "hot" he means
it. The excessive heat is why he has taken his hat off. However, the
courtier's statement is foolish. Heat, indoors, is not a reason to put
a hat on, rather, it's a reason to take it off, as he did. The
courtier foolishly thanks Hamlet for telling him to do something which
will make him even hotter, when he was already uncomfortably hot.
Hamlet notices the nonsense, of being thanked for something which is a
non-favor, is amused by it, and he begins a "hot & cold" game with the
courtier, for fun.

81 cold
Hamlet means that, no, since your hat is not on your head where it
should be, you're "cold."

We know with absolute certainty that the courtier puts his hat on
before Hamlet's line 84.

84 or
Q2 is, of course, right, but Arden has misinterpreted Hamlet's line.
Hamlet's "or my complexion" means, "or is it just me?" as we'd say in
modern terms. This is as in the well known type of expression: 'it's
hot in here - or is it just me?'

Hamlet tells the courtier that he's "hot" now, because he's wearing his
hat. So we know the courtier now has his hat on.

86-7 sultry . . . tell how
The courtier says it's sultry, but adds that he can't tell how. Well,
the way it's sultry, for the courtier, is because Hamlet has talked the
idiot into putting his hat on when it's too hot to be wearing it. The
fool is standing there, sweating under his hat when it's too hot, and
he says he can't tell why he feels hot.

The courtier stands there sweating under his hat the entire time he's
talking to Hamlet. All he would have had to do, would have been to
sincerely ask Hamlet's permission to leave his hat off, and Hamlet
would probably have allowed that.

90 I . . . remember
Arden is wrong. They should have paid attention to Hamlet, which is
allegedly what they were trying to do. Other writings are not Hamlet.
The courtier paused after saying "matter." Hamlet plays with that,
pretending that the courtier can't remember what he's supposed to tell
Hamlet, taking it that the "matter" is that the courtier can't remember
what he's supposed to say. Hamlet affects dismay, and implores the
courtier to remember what he's supposed to say to Hamlet. They're
already done with the hat, for now. Gesturing at the hat here would be
an acting blunder.

92-120 here . . . sir
Any editor who would commend the deletion of writing by Shakespeare
from Hamlet is so hopeless an imbecile that he should not only be fired
on the spot, for cause, but he should also be sued to try to prevent
him from getting any severance benefit, and he should further be denied
ever getting any letter of recommendation of any kind. Toss in a
thrashing, for good measure. Heavens. One does not delete
Shakespeare's writing.

94 soft society
Means "high society," referring to the upper class, the polite class,
who do not do manual labor. No callus on the palm.

95 sellingly
The correct word is "fellingly," as Q2 shows. Arden continues inept.
They also continue to imagine they can read a manuscript which does not
factually exist. The word connects to Hamlet's earlier mention of the
"pass and fell incensed points," so we know with certainty the Q2 word
is right - and Arden is wrong. It also goes back to Claudius's "it
falls right," and so on. The courtier's word "infallibly" in L106
further confirms "fellingly" here. For plain reading, the courtier is
saying that he's "hitting the target" of the truth about Laertes,
however, he is also accidentally adding a "death" undertone.

96-97 continent . . . see
The geographic meaning takes priority. The courtier is impressed that
Laertes has been to France. The courtier would like to go to France,
too, at least to see the "part a gentleman would see:" the ladies. For
plain reading, the courtier means that Laertes, himself, is the "best
part of the world." The idea of a gentleman seeing the ladies of
France is significant further along.

98 his . . . you
Arden couldn't read the play. Hamlet's line is a joke. Hamlet is
saying to the courtier, in modern expression, 'although you're the one
praising him, that isn't enough to damn him.'

99 *dazzle
The Q2 word, "dazzie," may be Shakespeare's own. It may be "daze"
expanded on the pattern of "dizzy," and it would then mean both to
bewilder and to fool. Arden's editorial change may have caused them to
miss a genuine Shakespeare coinage (again.) The exact Q2 word should
be used in the playtext, with a note as to the possibilites, lest a
possible genuine coinage go unremarked.

Further, if "dazzie" is the right word, it is probably intended to be
pronounced the same as "daisy." The possibility of flower wordplay
would indicate that pronunciation. The Q2 word should be retained, in
the text, but perhaps modernized to a spelling of "dazie."

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-12-05 23:10:17 UTC
Permalink
A5s2 line 100 to 150.

Relevant links.

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http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

100-1 and . . . sail
The Arden note is wrong, basically because they adopted the wrong word.

100 *yaw
The correct word is "raw" as Q2 shows. It means "unfinished." Hamlet
is saying that because Laertes improves so quickly, any attempt to list
his good qualities must forever remain unfinished. The Folio word is
wrong; it is apparently an attempt by the Folio editor(s) to connect to
the "sail" metaphor.

Also, the mention of Laertes's "quick sail" is a tongue-in-cheek
subtlety from the author, in recognition that he sent Laertes to
France, and brought him back, faster than is humanly possible.
Shakespeare gave Laertes a "quick sail."

102 great article
Also connects back to "more matter with less art." The undertone is a
facetious comment on the "art" the courtier is using to describe
Laertes.

103 dearth
The words should not be simply treated as synonymous here, since
"rareness" is on the Feast motif.

105 umbrage
Umbrage does mean "shadow," but shadow then implies "ghost." Hamlet is
unintentionally predicting Laertes's death, when he speaks of Laertes
being traced (followed) by his shadow (ghost.)

106 infallibly
Confirms "fellingly" as the right word earlier.

109 Sir?
Ostrick is puzzled because he doesn't realize he has failed to tell
Hamlet why he's talking to Hamlet about Laertes. This is similar to
the earlier conversation of G with Hamlet, after the 'Mousetrap Play,'
when G asked for an answer without realizing he had failed to tell
Hamlet the question. While Hamlet was talking, Ostrick forgot the
basic thing he was supposed to tell Hamlet. There is nice irony in
this, after Hamlet's earlier facetious dismay when he begged Ostrick to
remember what he was supposed to tell Hamlet. Here, Ostrick really has
forgotten. And he's still standing there sweating under his ridiculous
hat.

110-11
Horatio is saying to Ostrick: "Don't you understand English?" He is
facetiously casting English as "another tongue" (foreign language) to
the courtier.

Hamlet is sublimely ironic, but sometimes the historical commentary on
Hamlet is equally so, and perhaps even moreso. Generations of English
scholars, and English professors, have been puzzled by a line which
essentially means:

"Don't you understand English?"

111 You will do't
Means "keep trying, you'll get it.

111 really
Is the right word, of course. One apparent reason the historical
commentary on Hamlet is often inept to the point of idiocy, is because
commentators habitually fuss with their own words instead of paying
attention to the words in Hamlet. As to the dearth of "really" in the
Shakespeare writings, the author obviously had better things to do than
toss the word around the way modern speakers do. He generally had much
better words to use. Really. Here, the word suggests "royally,"
connecting to the courtier being sent by Claudius.

119 I would you did
The Arden paraphrase is wrong. Hamlet is saying he wishes Ostrick did,
indeed, know his "ignorance" - Hamlet's "ignorance" is about the reason
Ostrick is talking to him. The stupid courtier still hasn't revealed
why he's talking to Hamlet. Hamlet is saying he wishes the courtier
would realize he has yet to identify the point of the conversation, and
would just tell Hamlet what he wants.

120 approve
Hamlet is saying that if the courtier knew him well enough to know what
Hamlet is ignorant about, in general, it would not compliment Hamlet
for his choice of acquaintances.

125 *his weapon
One does not call it a "clarification" when genuine writing by
Shakespeare is omitted, as the Folio did. The Folio change in the
single word, 'his' to 'this,' may be true error correction. However,
the Q2 wording can also be interpreted as it stands: the courtier calls
it "this weapon" because he foolishly thinks he already mentioned
Laertes's swordsmanship. The original Q2 word "his" should be handled
carefully, because it does offer a plausible interpretation with
respect to the courtier's characterization as a dunce.

125-6 in . . . meed
It's a reference to Laertes's servants, the people in his employ. The
courtier is trying to cover up that Claudius instructed him to praise
Laertes's swordsmanship, so the courtier is pretending he heard about
Laertes's skill from the servants, which is absurd. For one thing,
it's manifest that the way this courtier is, he would not chitchat with
servants, he would think it beneath him. Then, there's the point that
Hamlet already knows Claudius sent him. The courtier's attempted
evasion on this incidental issue is ridiculous, and especially when
Hamlet hasn't even asked him who told him about Laertes's skill.

There is a fantastic, subtle undertone to what the courtier says.
Polonius's servants are now Laertes's servants. So, Reynaldo would now
be Laertes's servant. Reynaldo is the only one we know about, who
would be Laertes's servant. The courtier implies that Reynaldo could
affirm Laertes is the best with a sword. How would Reynaldo know that?
He would know that because of the skill Laertes showed in killing him.
The courtier's remark is an allusion to the death of Reynaldo.

127 What's his weapon
Of course Claudius was lying, to flatter Laertes. Claudius is the
villain. Lamord praised Laertes, but Claudius exaggerated what Lamord
said, to flatter Laertes. This should not be taken to imply Laertes is
not good with a sword; he definitely is. And yes, Hamlet wishes the
courtier would get to the point.

131 has impawned
The courtier's "as I take it" is sincere. He doesn't have a solid
grasp of what the bet means. This is part of his characterization as a
dunce. He isn't entirely certain about the bet, although he does
remember the facts Claudius told him. His phrase, "as I take it," is
not directly because of the word "impawned." It's characterization, as
he gives his "take" on the bet, as best he can. The Folio editor(s)
apparently misunderstood, leading to their insertion of "impawned"
later, inappropriately.

132 poniards
Arden fails to note that the original Q2 spelling is "Poynards," which
is probably supposed to be "Ponyards," showing the word "Pony" within.
It would give wordplay on a bet of "horse" versus "pony." Arden has
probably missed some of the author's intended wordplay here, by failing
to note the original spelling.

135 liberal conceit
Liberal conceit = lewd "take" = nude women. Laertes has brought back
some sword equipment from France with designs of nude women. Goes back
to the courtier's mention of the "part a gentleman would see." The
swords and equipment are done in a sexually-suggestive design involving
nude women. Laertes has porno swords from France. Tsk! This courtier
is extremely impressed by the designs, which are dear to his fancy. He
wishes he had some porno swords, too.

145 Why . . . it
Arden couldn't read the play. Hamlet is simply asking the courtier:
'Why are you telling me about all this?' Arden's comma after "Why" is
wrong (and is not in Q2.)

146-8 The . . . nine
The 'insoluble problem' has a ridiculously easy answer. The foolish
courtier has simply subtracted 3 from 12 and gotten 9, that's all. He
does not know how to calculate it correctly, so he just does a simple
subtraction. This is intended as something for those who know better
to chuckle at. It is a little joke at the courtier's expense. One is
not supposed to go crazy trying to figure it out as though it were
somehow right. It is intentionally not right. The author
intentionally wrote it to be wrong, in keeping with the courtier's
characterization. The problem of the numbers is not solved through
arithmetic, it is solved through observing the courtier's
characterization. He is a dunce, and he got it wrong, in a
simple-minded way.

One must keep the characterizations in mind when interpreting Hamlet.
This courtier is a dunce, who cannot calculate the match correctly. He
does only a simple subtraction, (12-3=9,) and he thinks he has it. He
doesn't.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-12-07 05:15:40 UTC
Permalink
A5s2 line 150 to 200.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

151 How . . . no?
Requires a note. Hamlet is asking what he will relinquish by not
participating. But the courtier has nothing to tell him (and so,
misunderstands what Hamlet is asking.) Claudius didn't think of
offering Hamlet anything for his participation, because Claudius
doesn't expect Hamlet to be alive to collect anything. It's a
significant oversight by Claudius, which contributes to Hamlet's
uneasiness that he'll express to Horatio.

158 the odd hits
The Arden note is wrong. Hamlet's use of "gain" is contrary here. He
means he'll suffer some hits from Laertes.

163.1 SD
The stage direction placement is wrong. It should follow Ostrick's own
line. He doesn't instantly vanish, and Hamlet's "Yours" is spoken, not
loudly, and with a bit of sarcasm, as the courtier walks away.

165-6
Arden couldn't read the play. Horatio's line is a setup for Hamlet's
joke. Horatio means: 'he's leaving with his hat on.'

167 'A did so
Hamlet means, in modern terms: 'he didn't take his hat off to his own
mother when he suckled.' It is a joke, about the courtier's bad
manners. The Q2 wording is unshakeably right. The Folio change is
wrong; the Folio editor(s) either did not know the joke, or had
forgotten it.

168 Thus . . . breed
The Folio word "bevy" in place of "breed" has credibility in connection
with the characters occasionally being described in terms of birds. In
that way it goes well with Ostrick (the ostrich.) Also, "bevy" comes
from a root meaning referring to drinking, which tends to go along with
the Feast motif, and then particularly with Claudius's rouse. It works
for plain meaning, and also for motif, and undertone. If "bevy" is
editorial in the Folio, it is a surprisingly apt choice. "Bevy" is
likely a genuine authorial change, which did not make the Q2 printing.

171 *yeasty
Arden is wrong. Arden really, truly needs to get over the crazy idea
that they can read a manuscript which does not exist. And of course,
if some reading error is involved, it is far more likely to be in the
Folio, where the source papers were 20 years older. The Folio is
wrong. Q2 "histy" is correct. It's from Greek 'histos' meaning a web.
"Histy" means "webby." Hamlet is saying the courtier has only
"caught" a few manners, like a spider collecting a few insects in its
web, by chance. The idea of chance is on the Wheel of Fortune motif.
The Folio editor(s) either did not know the word, or couldn't read it
on those old papers, and tried "yeasty" in an attempt to connect to the
"bubbles" idea, L173. The phrase "histy collection" means "webby
collection," like insects collected in a spider web.

171-2 which . . . opinions
The Arden paraphrase is wrong. The second "through" means "gets them
by." Hamlet is saying: '... carries them through, and gets them by..."

172 *profane and winnowed
The meaning of "profane" is "uninitiated," i.e. ignorant. It goes
back, ironically, to the courtier, himself, speaking of ignorance.

Then, "winnowed" means "windy," referring to talk/gossip/rumor, the
"wind" of voices. "Winnow" has a root meaning of "wind," the air
motion. "Winnowed" is on the Slander/Rumor motif, in respect to people
talking. Hamlet means "ignorant" and "windy" opinions (hardly
"selective.") Arden's gloss for "winnowed" is exactly wrong. Common
talk is unselective in what it repeats. "Winnowed" has high
credibility as the right word, because of the "wind" meaning at root,
leading to "blow" in the next line, 173. Further, it would go back to
the courtier's own "wind," as he spoke preposterously, at length.

The image, for "winnowed," is not of grain being left behind, but of
chaff being blown around. Hamlet means that popular praise of the
courtier is only chaff on the wind, of ignorant voices.

173 blow . . . out
Hamlet means that if you put such people as the courtier to the test of
a personal encounter, their reputations pop like bubbles.

174.1-186 Enter . . . me
This Lord appears for several reasons relevant to the play. First, he
provides stark contrast to Ostrick, in how the Prince ought to be
addressed. This Lord is informative, and to the point, and he doesn't
rudely waste the Prince's time with a lot of silly blather. The
characterization is vastly different, showing how a Lord ought to
behave in conversation with the Prince. Second is the amusement, at
Ostrick's expense, that Claudius apparently couldn't understand what
Ostrick tried to tell him, so he sent somebody else to check. Further,
the prompt appearance of the Lord reveals that Claudius is impatient
for the match to begin, which is something Hamlet will notice.

180 his fitness speaks
The Arden note is wrong. The word "his" refers primarily to Laertes.
Reference to Claudius is only secondary, in undertone. In Hamlet, the
word "fit" refers to madness, which gives the ironically amusing
undertone to Hamlet's line of Hamlet saying, 'if he's as crazy as I
am.'

188-9 Since . . . practice
Arden is wrong to see contradiction. There is no reason to think
Hamlet's "custom of exercises," as a scholar at Wittenberg, included
fencing. "Custom" is reference to Hamlet's habitual activities.
Fencing that he recently began to practice does not qualify. There is
no actual contradiction to be found.

197-8 special . . . sparrow
The fall of the sparrow is Hamlet's reference to the death of Ophelia.
The Bible reference, to Matthew, is highly relevant. Also, in the
surviving writings of Sappho, the chariot of Aphrodite is said to be
pulled by sparrows. The fall of the sparrows would be the fall of
Love.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-12-07 23:22:35 UTC
Permalink
A5s2 line 200 to 240.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

200-1 since . . . betimes
The Arden paraphrase is wrong. Hamlet says: '...since no man, because
of how little he leaves, knows what it is to leave early.' Hamlet
feels he'd leave little behind him, since Ophelia is dead, so he
doesn't much care to live now. There's little for him in this world.
He does suspect Claudius is up to something.

202.2
Ostrick is part of "the state" and requires no entry here by name.
It's alright to give him an entry by name, in modern printing, but not
necessary. He actually "enters," by Q2 standards, at line 231 when
Hamlet calls for the foils. It's at that point that Ostrick moves into
his speaking position on the stage.

203 this hand
Claudius's action is ominous for Laertes, with respect to the use of
the "hand" idea in the play. R & G bore the mandate (a word from
"hand") for Claudius, and they're dead. The cleric at Ophelia's
funeral spoke of great command (a word from "hand") in a graveyard
setting, a setting of death. The symbolism, of Laertes being
Claudius's "hand," is not good for Laertes's continued health.

204-21
What struck editors, over the many years, would be more impressive if
they had showed more ability to handle the play. Hamlet is right in
what he says, and not being disingenuous. A sword is a deadly weapon,
and it was, indeed, irrational of Hamlet to draw his sword for no more
reason than to expel Polonius from the room. Hamlet did not need his
sword to get Polonius out of the room, he could have done that with
only a firm push and a stern word. But Hamlet drew his sword - that
deadly weapon - merely intending to poke at the arras concealing old,
weak Polonius, with no actual need for the sword, at all. Hamlet's
action was far out of proportion to the need. (In modern terms, it
would be like shooting a gun at a curtain, intending only to scare
somebody behind it, and not knowing exactly where the person is. That
would be crazy.) In consequence of his irrational use of his sword,
Hamlet accidentally killed Polonius, when all Hamlet wanted was to get
Polonius out of the room. Hamlet is recognizing here, in his talk to
Laertes, that he was crazy to act that way with his sword. This does
not mean Hamlet is "really mad," in the sense of clinically insane. It
means he did an irrational, stupid thing, that was not like his normal
self, and he knows that now. Hamlet's description of his action is
basically an honest assessment.

However, Hamlet is being artful with his excuse. He knows that
Claudius has been promoting the idea that he's mad. Hamlet heard
Claudius say it, himself, to Laertes, at the graveyard. Claudius has
been slandering Hamlet as mad, because Hamlet has continued mourning
his father, and it is very much in Claudius's interest to suppress
thoughts about his brother. Here, Hamlet turns the slander to his own
interest. Claudius has been attacking Hamlet as "mad," and Hamlet now
uses the propaganda against him in his own defense. In that way, it's
fair enough. So, although Hamlet is fundamentally telling the truth,
about his irrational action, he is being clever about it, and not
telling the plain and simple truth. He's doing it all in a good cause,
to try to be friendly to Laertes, so Hamlet's artfulness is
forgiveable. And there is no "perhaps" about Hamlet's behavior being
in response to Gertrude's request. Hamlet would obey Gertrude if she
were ten times his mother.

209 exception
It's used in the sense of taking exception to something.
"Dissatisfaction" is a poor gloss.

217
The Folio line contains "Audience" which obviously fits the Putting On
A Show theme. The line has credibility on that basis. There isn't
enough to draw a solid conclusion whether the line is authorial, but it
should probably be included in any complete printing of Hamlet, since
it's clearly thematic, and therefore plausibly authorial.

221-9
Laertes isn't being disingenuous, he's outright lying. Hamlet's
statement was truthful, fundamentally, but Laertes's statement is not
truthful from any angle. Laertes is merely making a nice-sounding
speech in front of an audience. He's being a politician. However,
Hamlet's statement will gradually get to Laertes's conscience, as we'll
see.

226 precedent
Not just "example," it's used in a technical way, like speaking of a
legal precedent.

227 all
This Q2 word is correct. Means "during." The Folio change is
incorrect.

230 frankly
Means "honestly," for plain reading. Laertes is lying.

233 star
Goes back to Barnardo's mention of the star, in the first Scene, just
before the Ghost appeared. Here, the mention of the star portends more
than one ghost soon to rise.

238 has . . . odds
Carries the nice undertone that Claudius has "bet on the Devil," which
is the "weaker side" against God. "Grace" should probably be
capitalized in modern printing. "Grace" is ironic, as Hamlet
unknowingly insinuates Claudius betting on the Devil. For plain
reading, Hamlet simply means: 'you've favored the weaker contestant,
with your personal bet.'

240 better
This Q2 word is unshakeably correct. One simply observes that it puns
with "bettor." "Better" works both for plain meaning, and also gives
the nice little pun. The Folio word is wrong. Also, factual truth is
not discourteous; Arden has odd ideas. Hamlet already said he knew
Laertes is better than he.

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-12-10 01:22:26 UTC
Permalink
A5s2 line 240 to 280.

Relevant links.

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http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

242 have . . . length
Hamlet's question will not bother Claudius and Laertes. At this time,
the foils all have the buttons in place on the tips, and none is
poisoned yet. But one foil has been prepared so that the button will
easily come off. Laertes will choose that foil. During the match, he
will wipe the foil with a cloth, which is a very natural-looking thing
to do. When he does so, he'll both take the button off, and apply the
poison he has concealed in the cloth. He'll hold the button in his off
hand, presumably the left, and drop it during the pass. The button
will be found on the floor, as if it accidentally fell off. Hamlet
would see if a foil was unbated here (as would Ostrick,) but Claudius
and Laertes are sure he won't examine the foils carefully enough to
discover that one button comes off easily.

This is an interpretation of the foil setup, by Laertes and Claudius,
and may be an overcomplication. But it does seem necessary to avoid
notice that a foil has no button, at the time they're selected, and the
above is a way to do it. Exactly what the author intended, is unclear,
except that Laertes's foil must be without its button at the necessary
time. A button on a foil tip is a small detail, and would perhaps not
be visible to the audience in a large theater, so it may be the author
did not concern himself with exact handling of the issue, except merely
that the foil must be unbated, as Claudius said. It's interesting,
however, that the button can be handled, easily enough, in a way that
works, even where it's assumed the button is seen.

The "button" idea goes back to R & G mentioning that they were not the
"very button," where "button" in that context meant "a trivial thing."
Buttons are not always trivial, however. A button could be life or
death. (The "button" connection supports the Q2 wording against the
Folio in that earlier passage with R & G, by the way, albeit the foil
button was not expressly mentioned by Claudius, only that the foil
would be unbated. According to Jenkins in the Arden 2, the
Elizabethans did, indeed, use a button to bate a foil, so it's
legitimate to take the "button" idea as implicit in connection with the
foil.)

244 stoups
The word at 5.1.56 was "soup."

246 quit . . . exchange
Claudius means that if Hamlet loses the first two passes, badly, he'll
be expected to decline the third pass, as a gesture of good
sportsmanship, and the match will be over. The cannons, etc., will
then mark Laertes's victory. Claudius is stating a rule for Hamlet to
be a good sport. It is colossal nerve for Claudius to be stating a
sportsmanship rule for Hamlet. The rules mean nothing, though; Laertes
plans to continue the match as long as necessary.

247 battlements . . . ordnance
This is very important to observe. Claudius has ordered "all" the
cannons to fire. Since Fortinbrasse arrives just after the fencing
match, we know he's nearby outside, now. He doesn't know about the
fencing match. What's Fortinbrasse going to think when all the cannons
at the castle suddenly fire? He'll think they're shooting at him and
his army, of course. Claudius, with his stupid cannons, is about to
start "The Battle of Elsinore." By accident.

249 *union
Arden blunders badly in not respecting Q2, in what they intend to be a
Q2 printing. "Onyx" is exactly the right word, from the author's hand.
That is demonstrable. Claudius says "onyx" here in anticipation of
what he plans to do later. This "onyx" is the poison pill. Claudius
has made it to look like onyx for a special reason. Claudius's public
announcement is a display of his "wicked wits." Nobody would expect
him to announce it publicly, when he poisons Hamlet's wine. Claudius
can be remarkably sly. Also, this word "onyx" in Q2 is strong
indication that Q2 was written to be closet drama, for reading, only,
as will be discussed. The word "union" was substituted for stage
performance.

255 Now . . . Hamlet
Claudius does drink (from his own cup) to Hamlet, just as Claudius
says. He's doing a toast to Hamlet, to begin the match. Claudius's
order about the trumpets, etc., if Hamlet gets the 1st or 2nd hit
doesn't mean the noisemakers are used ONLY at that time. Here, as
Claudius toasts Hamlet, the drums are pounded, the trumpets blare, and
the cannons fire, for the King's rouse. The trumpets then continue (as
Q2 says) to announce the beginning of the match. The cannon fire also
has a side effect, outside. Fortinbrasse and his whole army just
jumped a foot in the air.

256 you, the judges
Ostrick is the referee. He'll announce easy judgments, that he can
clearly see, but will turn to the judges at the side if he's in doubt.

258 my lord
The Folio word is wrong. Hamlet is Laertes's lord, since he's the
Prince of the nation, and Laertes correctly addresses him so.
Laertes's earlier "sir," L234, was stated in suspicion that Hamlet was
mocking him, so Laertes insulted Hamlet as "sir." The Folio editor(s)
apparently lacked full appreciation for Shakespeare's pattern of usage
in Hamlet for terms of address.

259 one
"Star" was mentioned by Hamlet, L233, and now Hamlet says "one." It
connects back to Barnardo mentioning the star, and then saying "one."
At that time, in the earlier Scene, the first Scene, the Ghost
appeared. If a production wished to do so, they could have the Ghost
appear here, invisible to the people in the room. There is a later
point, a definite point, at which the Ghost will flee the room, if it
appears here. An "invisible" appearance by the Ghost, just after this
word "one," is compatible with the play. This is not to say the Ghost
actually appears here in the Q2 version. There is no direct indication
of that. It's only that the Ghost could appear, and the Q2 dialogue in
this Scene would accomodate it, which is an interesting thing about the
play.

264 this pearl
Claudius does not, of course, drink from Hamlet's cup. He never does
so. He drinks from his own cup. Claudius expressly told us that he
would "prefer" (reserve) Hamlet's cup, 4.7.157 (which Arden glossed
incorrectly.) And Hamlet's wine is now poisoned, by the "onyx."
Claudius knows that, since he's the one who did it.

What Claudius does here, he holds the pearl aloft between his thumb and
forefinger for everybody to see. He has his other three fingers curled
against his palm. In his palm is a real onyx. When he drops the pearl
in Hamlet's cup, he opens his hand and drops the onyx in, also. So,
even though the poison pill "onyx" has dissolved, Claudius now has both
gems in the cup, to go along exactly with what he said. Claudius has
done the palming maneuver to get the physical evidence on his side. He
can now point to the fact that both gems are in the cup, just as he
said. This is how Claudius has carefully planned, in advance, to get
away with it. He has arranged to get the physical evidence on his
side, so he can claim what he did to the wine was only what he said.
He'll say he only put the gems in, and look, there they are. "Wicked
wits," yes.

This is why Claudius said "onyx" in the first place, and made the
poison pill to look like an onyx. It was advance planning. An onyx is
an idea stone to palm, because it's the color of a human fingernail.
The word "onyx" comes from a root meaning of "nail," which refers to
the human fingernail. Claudius planned in advance to use an onyx, to
palm, so that even if he didn't have it well covered in his palm,
anybody who glimpsed the palmed onyx would think they were only seeing
fingernail. The color would match. It's extremely sly by Claudius.
Claudius would almost certainly get away with it, were Hamlet to drink
the wine. Both gems are there in the cup now, the pearl and an onyx,
for anybody to see. Claudius didn't put both gems in the cup at the
TIME he said he did, but you'll never prove it against him, because
nobody notices the onyx he palmed.

We're being told, by Shakespeare, that Claudius would have gotten away
with it. Claudius has arranged the physical evidence on his side, to
give him a strong defense against any accusation that he poisoned the
wine.

That's why the Q2 word is "onyx." An onyx is the color of a human
fingernail. That makes it the perfect stone to palm.

This is evidence that Q2 was especially written to be closet drama,
literature. A person in the theater audience for Hamlet could not see
the onyx Claudius palmed, because it's invisible, by design. The onyx
is not theatrical, with respect to stage performance. In print, the
word "onyx" is as visible as any other word, but on stage, the palmed
stone is invisible. "Onyx" only works in print.

For stage performance, as we see in the Folio, the word was changed to
"union" to get a spoken effect that the audience could appreciate. So,
"onyx" is the literature word, and "union" is the stage word. And Q2,
which shows "onyx," is a closet drama, intentionally written to be so
by Shakespeare. There are various reasons why the author would have
done some closet drama, but that's a larger discussion.

269 fat
Best taken as "flabby," or "plump," although "obese" is not out of the
question. Hamlet is overweight, and has poor muscle tone. Gertrude
was married to a great warrior king for 30 years, and she knows what
being in shape means. So, she knows Hamlet isn't.

274 I . . . lord
Gertrude's tone, properly, is dismissive of Claudius's order. She
politely disobeys. She's always been secretly on Hamlet's side against
Claudius, and here she lets it show a little. She drinks to Hamlet,
and disregards Claudius. She does not know the wine is poisoned.
Wheel of Fortune motif, bad luck for "Hecuba."

275
Arden couldn't read the play. Claudius did not proclaim love for
Gertrude in 4.7, he said he needed her influence to be the King, and
that he wasn't sure if she was his virtue or his plague. That's no
declaration of love.

276 By and by
Is easy to say. But Hamlet will never drink from the cup. And it
means "in a while," it does not mean "immediately."

~~~~~
Willedever
2006-12-11 21:08:22 UTC
Permalink
A5s2 line 280 to end.

Relevant links.

http://www.hamletregained.com/arguments_with_arden3.html

http://www.hamletregained.com/

http://www.hamletregained.com/forums/

~~~~~

284 Nothing neither way
When there's "nothing" there's no hit.

285 Have . . . now
Laertes is certainly not hitting Hamlet before the pass is permitted.
Nonsense. Laertes says it, before the pass, as he "addresses." It
can be read that Laertes has gotten serious now, and will use his skill
to wound Hamlet on this pass. Or, if one is dealing with the detail of
the button, it means Laertes has taken the button off, and poisoned the
foil. In the latter case, Laertes will wipe the foil with a cloth
before he says this line. But Laertes is not jumping the gun on the
proper pass.

When Hamlet feels the sting of the scratch, during the pass, it annoys
him, and he steps forward to grapple with Laertes. As they part, they
exchange foils. This can be done in a couple of ways. The best, in
the literature version, is to make it ironic, that Laertes, himself,
does it. He automatically does a foil switch to free himself when they
grapple. Laertes is a well trained fencer, who has practiced doing a
quick foil switch when he tangles with the opponent. Here, he does it
reflexively, from his intense training, without thinking at the moment
that he's giving Hamlet the poisoned, unbated foil in the process.
Laertes's own intense training as a fencer has done him in.

When they untangle and step back, Hamlet swings wildly in an attempt at
defense, and he scratches Laertes with the foil tip. With both feeling
the sting, they both step forward angrily to face each other, at which
point Claudius calls out to "part them."

It's unknown how the author intended the foil switch to occur, in
detail. But I'm confident that, in 'Hamlet,' he would have favored the
most ironic way it could be done. 'Hamlet' is steeped in irony.
Having Laertes himself initiate the switch, reflexively, based on his
training, is the most ironic way I can find. And it does go along with
the mention in the play of a person's acquired habits being sometimes
harmful to himself.

296 Let . . . locked
It can't be done. Claudius said it: "The doors are broke," 4.5.111.
Hamlet was away when Laertes stormed the castle with his rabble, and
doesn't realize at the moment that his order can't be carried out. The
mob broke the doors in the castle. The door can't be locked, which
allows Ostrick to leave and return. Ostrick's exit is best done after
L295, as he rushes to get the doctor for Gertrude. (The doctor was
mentioned earlier, when Hamlet was talking to R & G after the
'Mousetrap Play.') Hamlet sees Ostrick going to the door, and calls
out to lock the door. Hamlet doesn't yet know who might be involved,
in poisoning Gertrude, and he doesn't want Ostrick to leave. However,
Ostrick goes on out through the open doorway.

308 but hurt
Morally, Claudius's line is highly significant. It affirms that Hamlet
has hurt Claudius with the sword, but not inflicted a fatal wound with
the sword alone. It means the poison will kill Claudius, which is part
of Claudius's own scheme. Had Hamlet inflicted a fatal wound with the
sword, itself, the poison would be irrelevant. In that case, Hamlet
would be fully responsible for Claudius's death. However, since the
poison will kill Claudius, his death is on his own head, a victim of
his own poisoning scheme. This is why the author had Claudius announce
that he was only hurt by Hamlet's stab. It makes the poison the lethal
agent, not the sword.

310 Drink . . . potion
"Drink of" is mandatory in a modernized text, because "drink off" is
now generally understood to mean drinking it all, and we know Claudius
doesn't.

Hamlet tilts the cup to Claudius's mouth. Claudius tries not to drink,
but he swallows some. He can't resist wine. Again, this is morally
significant. Hamlet didn't force the poisoned wine down Claudius's
throat, Claudius drank it, himself. It's Claudius's own flaw of
nature, his "vicious mole of nature," (1.4.24,) that truly "douts"
(snuffs) his "noble substance" (kingly existence.) When Claudius
tastes wine on his tongue, he can't help swallowing. He loves wine.
Arden is wrong to say Hamlet forces Claudius to drink; Claudius does
it, himself. The moral imperative, and the "flaw of nature"
connection, assure us of this.

310 union
Should be "onyx" in a literature version. One must know that Hamlet is
displaying mental reasoning, he is not sticking his fingers in the cup.
If he did, he'd be in for a surprise, because, yes, an onyx is indeed
there. Hamlet has correctly deduced that the "onyx" announced by
Claudius was poison, but he didn't see Claudius's palming maneuver, and
the presence of the onyx in the cup would baffle him. Hamlet is right
that the announced "onyx" was poison, but upon finding an onyx in the
cup, he'd think he was wrong.

315 SD
Arden's comment is unwise. The effect of poison, on different people,
is not that predictable. Even with a lesser wound than Hamlet's,
Laertes could die quicker than Hamlet, and it would still be entirely
realistic. So, it's misguided to question this in a fictional work.

320 fell sergeant
Further confirmation that Ostrick's "fellingly" was correct, earlier.

321 strict
"Stern," or "unyielding."

333 SD
The offstage battle is over at this point. Fortinbrasse is firing the
cannons, at Elsinore, in salute to the English ambassadors, because
Fortinbrasse owns the cannons now, at Elsinore Castle.

335 th'ambassadors of England
Fortinbrasse has not been to Poland. There's this bridge you might be
interested in owning... The characters inside the nutshell of Elsinore
are only repeating what they've heard, without knowing the truth.

337 o'ercrows
Goes back to the rooster crowing in Scene 1, which caused the Ghost to
flee. If a production has the Ghost appear, "invisible," earlier in
this Scene, he flees now at Hamlet's word. The rooster crows. And
Jennens was a little too ludicrous, in his place as an editor of
Hamlet. "O'ercrows" is unchallengeable as the correct word in the
playtext, because of the connection back to the cock crowing in Scene
1.

Also, the rooster crows at sunrise - "son rise." Hamlet, the "son,"
rises, his too too sallied flesh thawed and resolved into a dew. Adew,
adew, remember Hamlet. Hamlet's spirit rises to Heaven, at "son rise."
The author sends his hero to Heaven on the wings of a pun.

340 dying voice
The person who implied Hamlet being born on the same day as King
Hamlet's victory was a Clown. One should be careful about that,
there's a tiger lurking in the area. The Clown was speaking of dates.

342 solicited
Means "tempted," or "lured," and the Arden note is wrong. Hamlet
means: 'Which have lured... (me to my tragic fate.)'

344 angels
The Arden cite of Greenblatt is badly wrong headed. The Ghost was not
from Purgatory.

360 Polack
Even Horatio thinks Fortinbrasse has been to Poland. He's been inside
the nutshell like everyone else at Elsinore. Horatio is a good man,
and true, but he only knows what he's been told. Just like you and me.

~ down curtain ~
Willedever
2006-12-17 02:24:14 UTC
Permalink
Hamlet's clear conscience about the fates of R &G can be interpreted
directly from the known facts of the play. The diplomatic mission to
England is not the first diplomatic mission Claudius dispatched. He
sent Voltemand and Cornelius to Norway in Scene 2 (traditional Act 1
scene 2.)

When Claudius sent Voltemand and Cornelius to bear the letter to old
King Norway, Claudius gave V & C spoken instructions. Hamlet was
present to witness that. Hamlet can therefore easily conclude that
Claudius did the same thing when he gave the royal commission to R & G:
spoken instructions, as he handed over the commission to R & G. It
follows.

There is an identifiable point in the play where Claudius could have
done that, could have given R & G spoken instructions as he handed them
the commission to England. It's just before the start of Scene 12 (Act
4 scene 1.) In the Second Quarto, we find R & G with Claudius at the
beginning of Act 4. R & G have returned from packing for the trip, to
get the commission Claudius wrote after Hamlet refrained from killing
him in the Prayer Scene. The dialogue doesn't reveal that Claudius did
give R & G verbal instructions, revealing that it was a mission to kill
Hamlet, but Claudius could. The opportunity is there, in the flow of
events of the play.

But whether Claudius did give R & G spoken instructions, as he did V &
C, revealing the truth about the mission to England, Hamlet can think
Claudius told R & G, based on Hamlet's own witnessing of the earlier
mission. So, Hamlet thinks R & G know, because he thinks Claudius told
them. Hamlet would be basing his conclusion directly upon his personal
experience, of how Claudius dispatches a diplomatic mission. It makes
R & G murderous conspirators against Hamlet, from Hamlet's point of
view, anyway. Then, when Hamlet changes the orders to England, he
thinks he's sending murderous conspirators to justice. Thus, his clear
conscience.

Willedever
2006-12-13 10:37:27 UTC
Permalink
The idea of self-sacrifice by the pelican is an old one, going back to
pre-Christian times. Perhaps the earliest record of it is the
'Physiologus,' a second-century Christian writing. An unknown writer
described several legends, including that of the pelican, and gave them
allegorical interpretations, in connection to Christianity. The
pelican is mentioned in the Psalms, the writings of Thomas Aquinas, and
perhaps most notably, in relation to Shakespeare, John Lyly mentioned
the legend of the pelican in 'Euphues and His England,' 1580. Queen
Elizabeth used the pelican as one of her symbols, and there is a fine
'Pelican Portrait' of her from about 1575, showing her wearing a jewel
in the shape of a pelican. The pelican legend was well known in the
author's time, and widely used in an allegorical way. The Bard also
made use of the pelican legend in Lear, where Lear speaks of his
"pelican daughters," and in Richard II.

In 'Euphues and his England,' the ostrich (relevant to the courtier
Ostrick) is mentioned in the same passage as the pelican:

~~~
It fareth with me Psellus as with the Austrich, who pricketh none but
hir selfe, which causeth hir to runne when she would rest; or as it
doth with the Pelicane, who stricketh bloud out of hir owne bodye to do
others good: ...
~~~

Learn Hamlet.

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