Thursday, May 31, 2007


Of course looking at the character of Corambis, he is decidedly less than noble when working for his own interests, wanting to control his public image, which the behavior of his son in the world also affects. He goes so far as to send a spy to gather information about Leartes, revealing his lack of trust and respect for even his own family member and his hypocracy: the parental "do as I say not as I do." Then he spies on Hamlet using his own daughter for the dirty work and ultimately, his spying on Hamlet in the closet scene does him in.

Corambis is somewhat of an extreme example of the point Shakespeare is making about how we humans blithely connive our way through our lives as though it meant nothing. Nevertheless, just as none of us is all good or all bad, in order to give Corambis the same shades of gray, it is important, especially in the abridged Q1, that his speech to Leartes be given due weight -- both to let Shakespeare's wisdom be fully heard and to let a good side of Corambis be at least briefly glimpsed so that his kids' grief at his death has more credence.

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