Saturday, May 26, 2007

Your Loves

So maybe Hamlet doesn't trust the Ghost either (it's his information that's important, not his "character"). And even if he maybe hadn't suspected the King of precisely being a murderer with "o my prophetic soul," just of being a creep that's certainly capable of murder and that there was something suspicious about his father's death and his mother's hasty marriage, his world is nevertheless collapsing bit by bit. What's so endearing and moving to me about Hamlet is that in spite of the lies and deception all around him, he's not only not a cynic, he's warm and open and affectionate to his true friends -- especially of course Horatio -- whom he rewards with his absolute loyalty.

It occurs to me that this is also what's so wrenching to Gertred and why she's so grateful to God for not taking her son away after what she's done (and she never loses him; she dies before he does): She sees the purity and the big heart in her child. He's her moral anchor and against the backdrop of his unrelenting, uncompromising search for the good, the pure, the honest, she feels doubly dirty and ashamed. And yet, the way we're playing it, he's also capable of immediately forgiving her and showing her his love again.

(I think it must be said that this is all true for Q1. The Q2/Folio is more complicated.)

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