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TOPIC: Hamlet Q2 version

Hamlet Q2 version 7 years 3 weeks ago #565

A3s3, this.....

~~~~~
He took my father grossly, full of bread,
~~~~~

It shouldn't have a comma after "grossly."
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Hamlet Q2 version 7 years 3 weeks ago #566

A3s3, this.....

~~~~~
At game, aswearing, or about some act
~~~~~

No comma after "game" in Q2. The absence of a comma is confirmed by Hamlet elsewhere referring to "dicer's oaths." Hamlet means gambling and swearing at the same time.
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Hamlet Q2 version 7 years 3 weeks ago #567

A3s3, this.....

~~~~~
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays.
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days.
~~~~~

This is a tough one to punctuate. Actually, it's impossible to punctuate, because the lines have an intentional double meaning.

Hamlet means both.....

... My mother is waiting.
This "medicine" (of letting you live) only prolongs your sickly days.

And.....

My mother prevents
This "medicine," for you from me, which prolongs your sickly days.

The word "stays" means both "waits" and "prevents" -- at the same time! But it creates a problem for punctuation.

For the "prevents" meaning, no punctuation would be used after "stays." But for the "waits" meaning, a period or semicolon or comma would be used. As a result, however, it's impossible to punctuate. It needs both a punctuation mark, and also no punctuation mark, at the same time. Can't be done.

Shakespeare gets called a genius. Most people don't really know, and they only throw the word around. But it's true, he was a genius. This is a little example. He was so good, he could "beat the system" of English punctuation. This doesn't mean punctuation mistakes, or anything like that. He could outright go beyond what English punctuation can handle. Wild.

Well, what to do. The original Q2 shows a comma after "stays," and it's probably best to follow that exactly. At least we'd do no worse than the original printing did.
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Hamlet Q2 version 7 years 2 weeks ago #569

Now to Act 3 scene 4, this.....

~~~~~
Queen. I’ll warrant you;
~~~~~

That's Folio. Q2 has it: I'll wait you;

Gertrude is using "wait" as in "waiter," with a meaning of "attend." She means she'll attend to what Polonius has said. She uses a very brief form of expression because she thinks she hears Hamlet approaching, which he is, of course. And it's ironic because Polonius is actually her "attendant," not the other way around.
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Hamlet Q2 version 7 years 2 weeks ago #570

Willedever wrote:
A3s3, this.....
~~~~~
And so am I revenge. That would be scanned.
~~~~~

It almost certainly needs a question mark after "revenge." The original only used a comma, but the original used commas as "catch-all" punctuation for almost anything.

I think I'll defer to the Q2 on this and keep the comma.
Willedever wrote:
The original Q2 shows a comma after "stays," and it's probably best to follow that exactly. At least we'd do no worse than the original printing did.

Exactly...

Well, now that those points are fixed, what's your take on Hamlet's lisp/list(en) line to Ophelia in III, 1 ? Some swear "lisp" and some swear "list"...
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Hamlet Q2 version 7 years 2 weeks ago #571

shakespeare wrote:
... what's your take on Hamlet's lisp/list(en) line to Ophelia in III, 1 ? Some swear "lisp" and some swear "list"...

"Lisp" is mandatory, because it's directly relevant to something very important at the Mousetrap Play. Also, "lisp" is supported by the undertone of Hamlet's speech, which gives a double meaning to what he says.

Also, in that speech, "jig" should be "gig," exactly as Q2 shows it. There's no misprint in the original. "Gig" is an old word that refers to how a woman moves her, ahem, "lower back" when she dances.
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Hamlet Q2 version 7 years 2 weeks ago #572

Willedever wrote:
"Lisp" is mandatory, because it's directly relevant to something very important at the Mousetrap Play. Also, "lisp" is supported by the undertone of Hamlet's speech, which gives a double meaning to what he says.

Can you be more specific about the relevance in the mousetrap play? And also about the double meaning you're referring to?
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Hamlet Q2 version 7 years 2 weeks ago #573

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Hamlet Q2 version 7 years 2 weeks ago #574

Awww...fine... :P
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Hamlet Q2 version 7 years 2 weeks ago #575

Well, alright, I'll describe all this as briefly as I can, about the lisp. What the heck. :) "The play's the thing."

Ophelia's word "twice" at the 'Mousetrap Play' is actually a lisp. She didn't mean to say that. What happens is:

In the Nunnery Scene, Hamlet condemns Ophelia's lisp, loud and clear. She remembers that.

At the 'Mousetrap Play' when Hamlet says "two hours" it sounds strange to her. She doesn't realize he's using a roundabout way of referring to the length of the play. A standard play runs about two hours, and we're supposed to take it that this Mousetrap Play would be standard length, if it ran normally.

Ophelia tries to politely correct Hamlet, that it's actually been two months since his father died. But she accidentally lisps the "two." She makes the sound "twies" (or "twice.") She instantly corrects the lisp, because she's afraid it will get Hamlet yelling at her again. And she goes on to correctly say "two months..." etc.

For all this to work the way it's supposed to, Ophelia has to actually lisp, and the Nunnery Scene word has to be "lisp" (which is how the First Folio did print it, correctly. Q2 has a printing error.)

At root, the word "twice" is formed from "two" plus the ending "-es." (The "-es" doesn't mean a plural, btw, it's a "genitive singular" ending, which is nerdy grammarian jargon.) The Middle English spelling of "twice" was "twies." That is the sound of "two with a lisp" (or close enough.) English pronunciation has changed somewhat since Shakespeare's day. It probably doesn't work quite as well now for "two-with-a-lisp" as it used to. (It reveals Shakespeare knew that "twice" as it was spoken in his day, sounds like "two-with-a-lisp.")

When Hamlet goes on to say "two months," he's right, and he's actually repeating, correctly, what Ophelia meant. That's what Ophelia tried to say.

Shakespeare did it that way to get "twice" into the dialogue, so he'd have reference to the events of Hamlet Sr's death happening "twice" - first in fact, and then again in depiction at the play. It's fantastically clever. When interpreting Hamlet or any other of his writings, a person has to keep in mind that it's an absolute fact he was a genius with words. He used Ophelia's lisp to get the "twice" he wanted, so that he could have reference to the events happening "twice," so to speak, first in fact, and then again in portrayal in the play.

In phonetic modern spelling, Ophelia's 'Mousetrap Play' line would be something like

Nay, 'tis two-es two months, my lord. (But you can't really do that, because it has to show the word "twice" to the reader.)

And, in speaking the line, you would put just a very slight pause between "two-es" and "two" as Ophelia hesitates for a slight moment. It's too short a pause for a comma in printing, though.

And yes, it's all dam' complicated. Shakespeare was great not only with ordinary words, but with "word structures," you might say. I've never read anything else quite like what he could do.

So that's one reason we know the Nunnery Scene word has to be "lisp." There's another reason, also, which is in the undertone of that Nunnery Scene speech of Hamlet's. To understand it, you have to know what Hamlet is thinking about Ophelia, which is a whole different thing, that takes a long time to explain. Again, it's "madly" complicated. I can only give the "bare facts" here.

~~~
... You gig and amble, and you lisp, and nickname God’s creatures, and make your wantonness, ignorance. ...
~~~

"gig" -
For plain reading, refers to the way a woman moves her lower bod when dancing, in a way that can be sexually suggestive; Hamlet is strongly objecting to the idea of Ophelia acting in that immodest way.

In undertone, "gig" means "whirligig," something that spins around; when they used to take a walk in the afternoon, sometimes Ophelia would do a little spinning dance in the sun, that Hamlet loved to see. (And this establishes that the Q2 spelling, "gig," is exactly right, because it has to have the "whirli-gig" undertone, for "spinning." The word "jig" is WRONG.)

"amble" -
For plain reading, Hamlet is objecting to the way harlots "innocently" stroll down the street, trying to look casual; Hamlet despises that kind of thing.

In undertone, Hamlet is referring to the way Ophelia would stroll casually beside him on their walks; he loved that.

"lisp" -
For plain reading, Hamlet means the way a courtesan might pretend to have a lisp, because some men think it's cute; Hamlet condemns that kind of thing.

In undertone, Hamlet truly loves Ophelia's real lisp, he thinks it's sweet as can be.

"nickname God's creatures" -
For plain reading, refers to the "nickname" harlots have for their customers: John; Hamlet is condeming such things. (Men are "God's creatures.")

In undertone, Hamlet is referring to Ophelia's nickname for him: Robin. ("Bonnie sweet..." etc) Hamlet loved it that Ophelia had a nickname for him (and then when she's so formal in addressing him in the Nunnery Scene, it breaks his heart. She doesn't use his special nickname.) For this, Hamlet is one of "God's creatures."

"wantonness, ignorance" -
For plain reading, Hamlet condemns the way harlots pretend ignorance of how wanton they are.

In undertone, "wanton" means "playful," and "ignorance" means "innocence;" Hamlet loved how Ophelia was innocent in her playfulness when they spent time together.

So in plain reading, surface meaning, Hamlet is condemning Ophelia, but in undertone he's talking of all the things he loves about her.

I suppose most people who see this post won't be able to follow a dang bit of it. Sorry, but that's the best I can give it, in one forum post. To learn Hamlet, really learn it, you have to spend not just hours, but days and weeks, and maybe months, on it. Maybe years. There is no 'royal road' through Hamlet.
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