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Written by John F
(6/13/2003 6:23 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Why I love Hamlet, penned by Elysha
] I have not spent nearly as much time with this play as you and many of the other people here have; however, I do love both the play and the person Hamlet. How do I love them? Let me count the ways. :-)
] For now, I'm just going to discuss Hamlet the person.
] 1. He doesn't take the situation at face value.
True. I'll give him that.
] > Hamlet asks the basic questions of life: Why are we here? What is our purpose? What should we do with our lives?
] 2. Yes. Hamlet's response to his father's regicide is to probe those fundamental questions, and I admire that.
Yes, that is also true. However the contemplation (with the exception of the Fortinbras soliloquy) doesn't have much relevance to his eventual action, IMHO.
This introspection may seem tortured and indecisive, but it takes some courage to go through the process without sinking into a bath of self pity.
Elysha, are we reading the same play? He spends most of it in self pity, flagellating himself, aggravating his wounds to stir himself into action, and still doesn't do a thing. Sorry, but I don't see it.
] 3. His relationships with Horatio and with the acting company, and his teasing of the spies dogging his footsteps show his human sense of respect and friendship for people, and his sense of humor.
True. I'll give you that too. But I note that his sense of humour is rather vulgar-Making jokes about Polonius minutes after spitting him is rather bad taste. Ditto sexual jesting with innocent girlfriend, and grappling with said girlfriends brother at funeral in the open grave after driving said girlfriend mad. (Some of this might be put down to antic disposition, but not all of it, right up into the last act, and before he decides in Act I: 'Well said old mole? I hear him in the cellarage? What planet is this guy on?)
] 4. He forgives his mother. It can be difficult to see a parent as a person with strengths and weaknesses.
Where exactly is this? After she's dead, or in her closet when he bullies her into doing what he wants?
I'm sorry, I don't see it.
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