The Hamlet odyssey is approaching its end for this time. The rough draft of my text is written. Only one movie remains to be seen. My reflections have mostly been reflected. And most of the material in this report is, coincidently maybe, connected to Hamlet. But then most things in life are, aren’t they?
From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary:
· Aeneas is related to Priam, the King of Troy. Oddly, the dictionary does not mention that Hamlet uses Aeneas and Priam in his appeal to the First Player to give them a speech. Says Hamlet: “One speech in it I chiefly loved, ‘twas Aeneas’ tale to Dido, and thereabout of it especially where he speaks of Priam’s slaughter.” A rather major omission from the Dictionary!
· Agincourt, and the battle and English victory led by Henry V, is given historical explanation.
Shakespeare sightings, very few this week, all from one novel:
- The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson, who wrote in the 70’s a book about Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Magnanimity: Four Tragic Heroes, Their Friends and Families (co-author with Wilbur Sanders), Chatto & Windus, 1978, which unfortunately is only available used from Amazon. Since I didn’t much like this novel I don’t know how much I will pursue the Shakespeare book. Here’s the Shakespeare in this one anyway:
- Main character Julian Treslove is interested in the Ophelia Complex.
- He and his friend Sam Finkler quote Hamlet to each other, in this case “There are more things in heaven and earth, Samuel, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
- Donald Wolfit, who had played Hamlet, is mentioned. According to Google he was a renowned British actor of whom had I not previously heard. Do all British people know who he was?
- “To what base uses we may return,” says Samuel to Julian, who isn’t in the mood to reply this time.
- Finkler says,”If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, absent thee from felicity awhile.” Julian is supposed to say, “Who’s Felicity?” but it doesn’t feel like playing this time either.
- Depressed Julian thinks, “It was a good job that no fragile shiksa with a watery Ophelia expression had come into the bar in which he drank. He might have taken her back into the park and drowned them both.” Cheerful guy, our Julian.
Further, since the last report:
- Watched: Hamlet with Adrian Lester, directed by Peter Brook.
- Watched: Hamlet with Kevin Kline, directed by Kevin Kline.
- Continued reading: Harold’s Bloom’s text about Hamlet. It’s very long and says very little but once in awhile there are some gems.
- Continued reading: Hamlet, Contemporary Critical Essays, edited by Martin Coyle.
- Finished writing: my text on Hamlet. Now just the revision left. Will be posted next week, hopefully!
- Finished writing: “Doing Something About Hamlet” for Ruby’s Reflections and/or Blogging Shakespeare, to which it has been sent.
Posted this week:
· This Monday report
· “Doing Something about Hamlet” in Ruby’s Reflections.