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Hamlet 3.4

There is so much that has been said of this scene: The inherent sexism. The Oedipal undertones. Books and doctoral dissertations’ worth of words, words, words.

And here are some more. It is said that conversation and swordfighting have much in common: A person’s argument is an attack that attempts to make a point. The adversary may block, parry, deflect. The adversary might make a counterpoint, a retort, reply, riposte. So it goes here: Gertrude attacks and is deflected and struck with Hamlet’s retort. She becomes a frightened by his hot-blood-drinking passion and cries for help, to which the hidden Polonius cries out, and Hamlet kills him thinking—hoping—it is Claudius caught spying. Alas, the wrong ass behind the arras.

“Thou find’st to be too busy is some danger”:  you should’ve kept your nose out of my business.

We will briefly touch upon the sexism and hypocrisy in Hamlet’s condemnation of his mother.

The ghost shows up—to Hamlet’s eyes only—with a time’s-a’wastin’-best-get-on-it message.

 


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