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Hamlet

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QiScorpion
578691.  Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:37 am Reply with quote

Shakespeare's longest play

Quite Interestingly (i feel), "The Lion King" is a loose adaptation of it. Bang goes the innocent love i had for it as a child :P


Also a settlement which, in England, does not have a church, which rules it out of being a village.

 
GL5
578743.  Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:10 am Reply with quote

Interesting paragraph in the Wikipedia article on the source of the name "Hamlet":

Quote:
Most scholars reject the idea that Hamlet is in any way connected with Shakespeare's only son, Hamnet Shakespeare, who died in 1596 at age eleven. Conventional wisdom holds that Hamlet is too obviously connected to legend, and the name Hamnet was quite popular at the time. However, Stephen Greenblatt has argued that the coincidence of the names and Shakespeare's grief for the loss of his son may lie at the heart of the tragedy. He notes that the name of Hamnet Sadler, the Stratford neighbor after whom Hamnet was named, was often written as Hamlet Sadler and that, in the loose orthography of the time, the names were virtually interchangeable. Shakespeare himself spelled Sadler's first name as "Hamlett" in his will.

Though the play is set in Denmark, it's also interesting to note that there is no such word as hamlet in Danish. The closest I can find in my Danish dictionary is hamle, which is used in the phrase kunne hamle op med en meaning "to be a match for someone". (Well, I suppose Hamlet is a match for just about all his adversaries in the play.)

 
Jenny
578746.  Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:21 am Reply with quote

The Danish phrase for hamlet in the English sense of a settlement smaller than a village is 'lille landsby'.

 
Celebaelin
578806.  Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:39 am Reply with quote

Quote:
And enterprises of great pith and moment

Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1 (in the soliloquy)

is not a line which appears universally. The text given on Wiki for example quotes it as

Quote:
And enterprises of great pitch and moment

The same Wiki article tells me that in the First Quarto the final lines are missing altogether and that the soliloquy ends with

Quote:
I that, O this conscience makes cowardes of vs all,

missing out

Quote:
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

The First Quarto is, in fact, written in essentially much plainer English and is consequently a good deal more self-explanatory.


Last edited by Celebaelin on Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
Celebaelin
578818.  Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:06 pm Reply with quote

Variations from the play we know in the First Quarto of " The Tragicall Hi⌠torie of HAMLET Prince of Denmarke" (1603, also called the "bad" Quarto as it contains only about half the text of the Second Quarto of 1604/05) are common of course eg

Quote:
194: O that this too much grieu'd and sallied flesh
195: Would melt to nothing, or that the vniuersall
196: Globe of heauen would turne al to a Chaos!

for

Quote:
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!

but one interesting one is that the father of Laertes and Ophelia is not Polonius this character, who speaks the lines

Quote:
366: This aboue all, to thy owne selfe be true,
367: And it must follow as the night the day,
368: Thou canst not then be false to any one,

,but apparently has nothing against borrowing or lending, is called Corambis.

I can't find the symbol for 'one of those things that looks like an f without the cross-bar that they used to use' so I've used half an integral instead, I hope it doesn't offend anyone.

 
zomgmouse
579109.  Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:18 am Reply with quote

Apparently there has been a book or short story named after every line in the "To be or not to be" speech. Or am I thinking of the "Tomorrow" speech in Macbeth?

 
mckeonj
579135.  Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:12 am Reply with quote

Somebody, possibly Mark Twain, wrote that: "Shakespeare was no great writer, he just strung together a lot of quotations."

 
djgordy
579138.  Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:38 am Reply with quote

GL5 wrote:

Though the play is set in Denmark, it's also interesting to note that there is no such word as hamlet in Danish.


Hamlet is probably in part based on a Scandinavian tale called Hrólfs saga kraka, the Saga of King Hrólf kraki.

Quote:
The saga begins with a conflict in which Fróði kills his brother Hálfdan in order to become king in Denmark. Despite Fróði’s attempts to destroy Hálfdan’s two young sons, Hróarr and Helgi, they manage to avenge their father by burning Fróði in his hall. Hróarr then marries the daughter of a king in England and Helgi succeeds to the Danish throne. He sets his heart on marrying Ólof, a beautiful but formidable queen in Saxland (Germany) who is said to dress like a warrior king and have no intention of marrying. At their first meeting Ólof sends Helgi to sleep with a magic sleep-thorn, shaves off his hair, and has him carried back to his ship in a sack while she summons an army. Helgi takes vengeance by returning to Saxland in disguise bearing two treasure chests with which he lures the avaricious Ólof into a forest. He abducts the queen and forces her to sleep with him. She later gives birth to a daughter, whom she names Yrsa after her dog, but the girl’s birth is kept secret and she is given to foster parents. Helgi encounters her on a return.


http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13133

 
Celebaelin
579227.  Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:51 am Reply with quote

Professor T.J.B. Spencer wrote:
Towards the end of the twelfth century, a Danish chronicler collecting information about his country's past wrote down the story of Amleth, Prince of Jutland. Although Saxo Grammaticus*, the author of the Historiae Danicae, obviously shaped and elaborated his material, he did not invent it. Amleth's revenge upon Feng, the uncle who had treacherously murdered Amleth's father and married his mother, was part of Saxo's Northern inheritance.

*That well-known Citroën driver, a bit anal about punctuation but otherwise the salt of the earth.

Other snippets gained from the Prof are such facts as:

Both Hamlet and Brutus mean 'the stupid one', there is a similarity between the ancestor of the Brutus of Julius Caesar and Hamlet in that both he and Lucius Junius Brutus escaped death after the murder of their fathers by pretending to be fools not worth killing.

Equivalents for Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, Horatio, Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern all appear in Saxo as well as Hamlet himself of course.

Although essentially a morality play themed around revenge Hamlet doesn't use a personified Revenge character - the Vice as it is termed.

Revenge plays and the morality of taking revenge were examined dramatically as far back as 458 BC in the Athenian Oresteia and susequent works such as Euripides' Orestes and Pickering's Horestes (1567). This last is more obviously a morality play in the Elizabethan sense but merged with classical elements. The original Oresteia deals with the events before the emergence of the first courts through which the aggrieved could seek redress; specifically in this case for the murder of Agamemnon by his wife Clytemnestra - Orestes is Agamemnon's son.
Shakespeare's immediate source was almost certainly an Elizabethan lost play, the so-called Ur-Hamlet, probably by Thomas Kyd. Little is known about it except that it added the element of a ghost.

 
Celebaelin
579414.  Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:31 pm Reply with quote

Edwin Reed's opinion that there are significant co-incidences between the text of Hamlet and the scientific beliefs of Francis Bacon can be read in excerpts from the book Francis Bacon Our Shakespeare, 1902. Not only does he note some paralells between Bacon's natural philosophy and the text but also in some instances changes that occur in the published versions which appear at the same point as changes in Bacon's thinking on the issues concerned. One of these changed opinions is contradicted in other Shakespeare works which predate by a decade or more the changes to the text of Hamlet but which remained unrevised.

Quote:
At this time, then, Bacon held to the common opinion that the moon controls the tides; but later in life, in or about 1616, he made an elaborate investigation into these phenomona, and in a treatise entitled De Fluxu et Refluxu Maris, definitely rejected the lunar theory.
//
In every edition of Hamlet published previously to 1616, the theory is stated and approved; in every edition published after 1616, it is omitted.

Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616, which might be a question you were asking yourself.

F.C. Hunt in A Hamlet Interpretation draws a comparison between the lack of fulfillment of the political aspirations of Bacon (he wanted to be Solicitor General to Elizabeth I), the recorded affect this had upon his well-being and the progress of Hamlet's state of mind within the play. There are correlations between the timing of various events in Bacon's life with the writing of the play. The suggestion that Bacon actually wrote the play is not made in the article but it is lurking in the background hiding behind a speculation that Bacon and Shakespeare may have known each other.

Quote:
The 1603 Quarto has nothing of this "too much i' the sun," of Hamlet's "lack of advancement," nor of the proverb of the "seely steed." They are all additions found in the published Quarto of 1604, and which are thought to have been written about 1594, at a time when Bacon was, coincidentally, hunting the shade at Twickenham. Query: Could Shakespeare have been one of the "good pens" Bacon had with him about that time?


Last edited by Celebaelin on Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:18 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Curious Danny
579469.  Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:20 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:

Both Hamlet and Brutus mean 'the stupid one', there is a similarity between the ancestor of the Brutus of Julius Caesar and Hamlet in that both he and Lucius Junius Brutus escaped death after the murder of their fathers by pretending to be fools not worth killing.



Shame that didn't work as Hamlet is sent to England to be executed after, through the accidental killing of Polonius, he shows himself to be anything but a harmless fool.

 
djgordy
579497.  Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:50 am Reply with quote

FOOL: ... The reason why the seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty reason.
KING LEAR: Because they are not eight?
FOOL: Yes, indeed: thou wouldst make a good fool.
["King Lear," Act I, Scene V]

There should have been a "fool" thread in the F series. I suppose we'll just have to wait for it to come round again.

 
Celebaelin
579515.  Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:17 am Reply with quote

Curious Danny wrote:
Celebaelin wrote:

Both Hamlet and Brutus mean 'the stupid one', there is a similarity between the ancestor of the Brutus of Julius Caesar and Hamlet in that both he and Lucius Junius Brutus escaped death after the murder of their fathers by pretending to be fools not worth killing.

Shame that didn't work as Hamlet is sent to England to be executed after, through the accidental killing of Polonius, he shows himself to be anything but a harmless fool.

The key word being pretending.

Quote:
"I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw."

Hamlet, Act II, scene ii

 
Gaazy
579641.  Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:00 pm Reply with quote

I still think this short version of the play is a great introduction to the Prince of Denmark for kiddies.

 
graytart
579645.  Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:04 pm Reply with quote

I remember being told in drama class years ago that Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead was the first play ever written about two minor characters in another play. Not sure if that is true, but it could be.

 

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