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TOPIC: the Nunnery Scene

the Nunnery Scene 7 years 2 months ago #947

(Continuing.....)

Hamlet keeps talking.....

~~~~~
... I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I do, crawling between earth and heaven? ...
~~~~~

Hamlet's reference, to being proud, primarily expresses the gross insult he sees in this situation. It's a severe insult to his pride, that Ophelia would dump him like this. Also, he is proud of being the Prince, and his father's son. Pride of parentage is not a very sinful kind of pride.

When Hamlet says he's revengeful, it's entirely true. At this time, he wants revenge against Claudius not only for his father, but for himself.

He's also now ambitious, in a way he was not, earlier. As King, he could buy back Ophelia, he thinks (unaware that no such thing is really necessary.)

The offenses he now has at his beck are the killings of both Claudius and Polonius. His thoughts whirl as he tries to figure that out, to imagine the consequences, whether he could somehow get away with it, and so on.

When Hamlet asks what he should do, he's wondering if he should kill Claudius and Polonius even with Ophelia there. But if he does, what about heaven, for himself, and the effect on her, and what will she think of him (which is something he still cares about,) and so on.

~~~~~
We are arrant knaves, all; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. ...
~~~~~

He says men are all worthless, again, still trying to persuade Ophelia to reject all men, because of how he thinks she is.

When Hamlet says "nunnery" this time, he speaks so fiercely it startles Ophelia. She drops the book, and brings her hands up into a defensive position in front of her chest. (Keeping her hands below her face, of course. Ophelia mustn't hide her face from the audience.)

Hamlet's still thinking about how this situation, as he imagines it, could happen. What's Polonius's role in it? Her father has to be involved, somehow. Hamlet knows that Polonius views his daughter largely in terms of what she's worth. We saw that in the Scene where Laertes left for France, in the way Polonius talked to her. Polonius makes his attitude toward Ophelia so obvious that any careful observer can see it, and Hamlet is a respectably careful observer, most of the time, when he's not worked up emotionally. Hamlet also knows that Polonius is extremely intent on proving his loyalty to Claudius, in connection with Polonius wanting to be sure he keeps his job in the new government. Polonius has made that obvious, also. Hamlet puts those facts about Polonius together, and reaches another logical conclusion.

Polonius must have found what Ophelia is worth to him. Polonius has used her to bribe Claudius, to keep his job. She was happy to go along with it for the expensive gifts a King could give her. Polonius has pandered his own daughter!

~~~~~
... Where’s your father?

Oph. At home, my lord.
~~~~~

Hamlet asks the question very angrily.

Ophelia glances at the arras as she speaks. She truly loves Hamlet, and she always tells him the truth, as best she can, one way or another. If it isn't possible to tell him in words, which it isn't here, she'll still find a way. Here, a look does it. Now Hamlet knows for certain where Polonius is. He's with Claudius, behind the arras.

Hamlet puts his hand on his sword. Polonius, that fleshmongering rat behind the arras, Hamlet is going to kill him!

Hamlet says.....

~~~~~
Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool nowhere but in’s own house. ...
~~~~~

This "house" Hamlet has in mind is the 'maison'/"massen," the 'maison mortuaire,' the 'house of the dead.'

Hamlet won't kill Polonius with Ophelia here, but if he can get her out of the room, Hamlet is going to 'shut the door' on Polonius's grave, where Polonius can play the fool as he pleases, underground. (This anticipates the Graveyard Scene, with Yorick, the King's jester; but in this case, Hamlet has in mind to put a different 'king's fool' in the graveyard, a fool by the name of Polonius.)

If Hamlet can get Ophelia to leave, he's going to kill Claudius and Polonius, now.

(Continued.....)
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the Nunnery Scene 7 years 2 months ago #948

(Continuing.....)

Hamlet says.....

~~~~~
... Farewell.
~~~~~

Hamlet is trying to get Ophelia out of the room. He means he wants her to leave. She doesn't understand that. It's on her mind that she's supposed to stay near the arras.

Hamlet gestures toward the door with his left hand (presuming he's right handed.) He's trying to point Ophelia to the door. However, he has that little parcel crushed in his hand, so he's making the gesture with his fist. It doesn't look like pointing to Ophelia, it looks like Hamlet is waving his fist in a threatening way. She doesn't see his intended meaning.

When Hamlet says "farewell" he starts to draw his sword. Hoping Ophelia will leave, Hamlet is going to kill those rats behind the arras.

But Ophelia is the one who gave his things back, and she's the one seeing his murderous anger, right in front of her.

When Ophelia sees Hamlet start to draw his sword, she thinks he's going to kill her. Now! She thinks Hamlet has just told her "farewell" from the land of the living. The man she loves is going to kill her. Now.

She turns pale, trembles, her eyes grow wide. She prays.

(Ophelia's prayer move is simple. She's already dropped the book, and she has her hands in front of her chest, in a defensive posture. She brings her hands together, into the prayer position, and she looks upward. Try it yourself. An easy move.)

~~~~~
O, help him, you sweet heavens.
~~~~~

She doesn't say "help me." Why not? - She's devoutly religious, and she knows that if Hamlet kills her it will be a mortal sin against his soul. She'll never see him in Heaven. That scares her more than anything, the idea of Hamlet going to hell. She's asking God, and all the angels, to stop Hamlet from killing her, so that he won't have a mortal sin against his soul. Or, if that isn't possible, she's asking God to suspend the Commandments, just for a second, while Hamlet kills her, so that it won't count against him.

Earlier, Hamlet hoped that Ophelia would forgive him in her prayers. She's doing much more than that now, right in front of him. In her agony of fear, she's praying fervently to save his soul. Not her life, his soul.

Hamlet hears her say "him" and thinks she means Claudius. He thinks she's praying for the life of her sugar daddy, who gives her rich gifts, because she wants more diamonds.

Hamlet sees that Ophelia isn't leaving, and he angrily slaps his sword back into the scabbard. He isn't going to kill them with Ophelia present.

To Ophelia, it looks as if her prayer worked. Maybe it did.

Hamlet thinks of more to say to her.

~~~~~
Ham. If thou dost marry I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. ...
~~~~~

Hamlet means she won't escape slander, since rumors that she's untrue to her husband will circulate because she's been a courtesan, (under his logical conclusion.)

Hamlet should stop and think about his own words. She isn't escaping calumny now, from him, as he slanders her in his own thoughts.

(Continued.....)
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the Nunnery Scene 7 years 2 months ago #949

(Continuing.....)

~~~~~
Get thee to a nunnery, farewell. ...
~~~~~

Again Hamlet tries to get Ophelia out of the room. He gestures toward the door with his fist again, which she only sees as threatening behavior.

~~~~~
Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool, ...
~~~~~

Hamlet is feeling like a fool, completely taken advantage of, by Claudius, and Polonius, and by Ophelia leading him on only because she expected him to be King. "Marry a fool" he says, as he feels like a total fool. Even when he doesn't intend to, he's asking Ophelia to marry him. He can't help it.

~~~~~
... for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too. Farewell.
~~~~~

Hamlet tries again to get her out of the room, and starts to draw his sword, again. And again, Ophelia thinks he intends to kill her.

She prays, again. (Same prayer move, of course, from defensive posture to prayer position.)

~~~~~
Oph. O heavenly powers, restore him!
~~~~~

Hamlet angrily slaps his sword back into place, again, when she doesn't leave. Again, it looks to Ophelia as if her prayer worked. Could be.

Hamlet berates her more.

~~~~~
Ham. I have heard of your paintings too, well enough; God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another. ...
~~~~~

When Hamlet says "heard of" he means he's heard about courtesans and harlots, but has no personal experience with them.

His following "gig and amble" etc. lines are intricate and take a while to explain.

~~~~~
... Go to . . . I’ll no more on’t;
~~~~~

He starts to tell her to go to a nunnery again, but stops in frustration that he can only think of repeating the same thing.

Angry at himself, Ophelia, Claudius and Polonius, and the whole world, he bellows.....

~~~~~
... it hath made me mad. ...
~~~~~

He means both it's driving him crazy, and he's angrier than he ever thought he could be. He bellowed the "mad" line loud enough to make the arras quiver, and shock Ophelia horribly.

(Continued.....)
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the Nunnery Scene 7 years 2 months ago #950

(Continuing.....)

~~~~~
... I say, we will have no more marriages: ...
~~~~~

The thought has crossed Hamlet's mind that if Claudius has taken up with Ophelia, Claudius must have gotten tired of Gertrude awfully fast. Claudius killed his own brother, or so the Ghost said. What would Claudius do with a wife he no longer wants? And then, would Claudius want to marry Ophelia?

It's unthinkable. Unspeakable. Hamlet will try to kill Claudius, Polonius, Ophelia, everybody in the Castle, and himself, before allowing Claudius to marry Ophelia. That's what he means, that she'll never marry Claudius. "No more marriages" (for Claudius.)

~~~~~
... those that are married already, all but one, shall live; ...
~~~~~

Anybody who says too much will eventually say the wrong thing. It always happens. Here, it happens for Hamlet, as he gives Claudius too strong a hint.

~~~~~
... the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go.

Exit.
~~~~~

By "the rest" he means Ophelia, that she is to stay single, for him. Also, that Gertrude is to remain Claudius's wife, keeping as she is. It's also a vow from Hamlet to Ophelia, that he'll stay single, keeping as he is, until and unless he can somehow marry her. He's made it sound different, for his 'audience.'

His parting words are again the order for her to go to a nunnery, which is exactly what he wants her to do.

He takes a long stride toward the door, then realizes he's still clutching that little parcel. He's broken and crushed it in his fist. He hurls the things to the floor, and storms out.

(Outside the room, he goes to a corner or niche where nobody can see him, pounds the wall with his fist, and cries.)

Ophelia thinks aloud, in sorrow and despair.

~~~~~
O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown.
...
O, woe is me,
T’have seen what I have seen, see what I see.
~~~~~

Ophelia's soliloquy takes considerable time to go through. As far as she could tell, Hamlet went crazy.

When she concludes with "seen" and "see" she covers her eyes. She's seen enough.

Devastated, she sinks to the floor in a high kneeling position. Her exact posture is dictated by which side of her the arras is on, right or left. Let's say it's to her right. She covers her eyes with her right hand, keeping her elbow rather high. The elbow is needed. She holds her left forearm across her midsection, hugging herself. She maintains that position, eyes covered, kneeling, for now.

~~~~~
Exit Gertrude.
~~~~~

Gertrude steps quickly from behind the other arras, and goes out the door. Ophelia has her eyes covered, weeping, Hamlet has already left, and Claudius and Polonius haven't emerged yet. None of the others ever knows Gertrude was there. She heard Hamlet say, "those that are married already, all but one, shall live." She's married, to Claudius, and she knows Hamlet doesn't like that. But Hamlet couldn't mean he intends to kill her. Could he?

In the later Closet Scene, Gertrude is quick to jump to the conclusion that Hamlet intends to kill her. This is why.

(Continued.....)
Last Edit: 7 years 2 months ago by Willedever.
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the Nunnery Scene 7 years 2 months ago #951

(Continuing.....)

~~~~~
Enter King and Polonius.
~~~~~

Claudius and Polonius waited to emerge from behind the arras until they were sure Hamlet was well away. They heard how Hamlet sounded. He sounded like he wanted to kill somebody, and neither of them was eager to volunteer. (Their fear of Hamlet provides the time for Ophelia to speak her soliloquy. They wait to be certain Hamlet is gone.)

The thought of coming out to try to protect Ophelia didn't occur to either of them, not even for a moment. They didn't even think of that. They don't care about her at all.

Claudius says.....

~~~~~
Love, his affections do not that way tend,
Nor what he spake, though it lacked form a little,
Was not like madness. ...
~~~~~

Claudius means it didn't sound like mad babble to him, but rather the tone of what Hamlet said sounded like murderous rage. Yep.

~~~~~
There’s something in his soul
O’er which his melancholy sits on brood,
And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose
Will be some danger; ...
~~~~~

Claudius is now pretty sure what that "something" is. Hamlet wouldn't mind killing him. Claudius doesn't know why, whether Hamlet is ambitious for the crown, like Claudius was, or something else. Either way, it doesn't matter, Claudius knows he needs to act.

~~~~~
... which for to prevent,
I have in quick determination    
Thus set it down: he shall with speed to England
For the demand of our neglected tribute.
Haply the seas, and countries different,
With variable objects, shall expel
This something-settled matter in his heart,
Whereon his brains still beating puts him thus
From fashion of himself. What think you on’t?
~~~~~

Claudius's exact word usage could be discussed at considerable length, not immediate to events.

Since the diplomatic mission to Norway was such a success - Claudius thinks - he decides to try that again. He'll send Hamlet on a diplomatic mission to England. He hasn't thought of the rest of it yet, to try to get rid of Hamlet permanently. Since the mission to Norway was Polonius's suggestion, Claudius asks Polonius about the idea for this one.

~~~~~
Pol. It shall do well. But yet do I believe
The origin and commencement of his grief
Sprung from neglected love. How now, Ophelia?
You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said; ...
~~~~~

All this time, Ophelia has been kneeling there, weeping. Polonius's quick couple lines, spoken almost impersonally, are the only notice either Claudius or Polonius takes. Speaking of "neglected love." What an understatement.

~~~~~
... We heard it all. My lord, do as you please.
But if you hold it fit, after the play,
Let his queen mother all alone entreat him
To show his grief. Let her be round with him,
And I’ll be placed, so please you, in the ear
Of all their conference. If she find him not,
To England send him, or confine him where
Your wisdom best shall think.
~~~~~

The word usage admits of considerable discussion, not directly relevant to events. "Fit" has allusion to madness, "round" is partly a fat joke, etc.

Polonius wants to try the arras bit again. He probably knows a saying about trying again.

~~~~~
King. It shall be so:
Madness in great ones must not unmatched go.
~~~~~

"Unmatched" is the right word, from Q2, in ironic anticipation of the fencing match. Claudius knows nothing of that as he speaks. For his character, it's purely accidental. It's not accidental from the Bard, of course, who knew his own play.

As Claudius and Polonius start for the door, to exit, Polonius reaches down and takes Ophelia by the elbow, and lifts her, like luggage, to her feet. They follow Claudius for a couple steps. Ophelia slips from Polonius's grasp, and goes down again, on all fours.

Polonius has an instant decision to make. He can either pick up Ophelia again, or he can stay close to Claudius. For Polonius it's an easy decision. He hurries after Claudius, and leaves his daughter on the floor.

When Hamlet exited, he threw down the crushed parcel, and the things scattered on the floor. Ophelia notices that the daisy is right in front of her. It just happened to end up there. (Wheel of Fortune motif.) She picks it up, moves to a kneeling position again, and holds it to her heart with both hands, with her head bowed, looking at the daisy through her tears, all alone, crying.

End of Scene.

(In the later Scene with Laertes, when Ophelia is mad and handling the flowers, she says "There's a daisy." She doesn't give that poor little crushed daisy to anybody. She takes it from her clothing, and holds it up for everyone to see, then puts it back over her heart, where she always keeps it. Where'd she get it? A daisy is a "sun" flower, and Hamlet is the "son." Hamlet gave it to her. When and how? The same way you'd get any daisy. One day when they were out walking together, he picked it and gave it to her, with a word of love. The daisy will be found in her clothing, over her heart, when she's dead. Whoever finds it will carelessly throw it away.)
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the Nunnery Scene 7 years 2 months ago #983

Willedever wrote:
Yes. I modernize it to the form shown. It's a Shakespeare coinage, the antonym of "inoculate." The coinage has gone unrecognized.

Having a Shakespeare coinage go unrecognized doesn't speak much for its credibility. The term "Evocutate" is unrecognized in the Shakespeare community and the gardening community from what I can see though I am eager for sources on the issue.
Willedever wrote:
There's a way to get "inoculate" to work for the utterance, but the major problem with "inoculate" is that it gives up the "take" concept which is quite significant in the play.
I can see what your looking for but consider this. Its not that Hamlet is looking for Ophelia to "take", i.e. accept, the virtue of men, rather he is explaining the motivation from a man's perspective. She should not have "taken" him because the graft of virtue is not enough to change men's nature, though the taste, hint, suggestion-the relish- makes one think so. Virtue in men is a graft, not nature. The mere taste misled Hamlet to say things that deep down he professes now were not true. She should not have believed him.
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the Nunnery Scene 7 years 2 months ago #988

Jim wrote:
... I am eager for sources on the issue.

You already know the source, I'm sure, since you posted it: the Second Quarto printing of Hamlet. The source is "Shakespeare," the same as for any Shakespearean word. All Shakespearean words are known from the printings of his writings, of course.

"Evocutate" is not the only unrecognized Shakespeare coinage in Hamlet.

Imagion. Shroudly. Comart. That's three more, offhand.
Willedever wrote:
There's a way to get "inoculate" to work for the utterance, but the major problem with "inoculate" is that it gives up the "take" concept which is quite significant in the play.
I can see what your looking for but consider this. Its not that Hamlet is looking for Ophelia to "take", i.e. accept, the virtue of men, rather he is explaining the motivation from a man's perspective. She should not have "taken" him because the graft of virtue is not enough to change men's nature, though the taste, hint, suggestion-the relish- makes one think so. Virtue in men is a graft, not nature. The mere taste misled Hamlet to say things that deep down he professes now were not true. She should not have believed him.

That can't be right, because once grafted, virtue could indeed be taken from men. That's exactly why grafting is done. An original plant is grafted to others, which are then grafted to others, etc. If a graft survives, it's there for the taking. A graft that survives becomes a part of the living plant, available for further propagation.

The fruit that a grafted tree bears is true to the graft. If Virtue works as a 'graft' into men, the 'fruit' that men bear will be virtuous.

In the case of a fruit tree, the "stock" will be a rootstock, and the graft will form the entire upper part of the tree. The grafted part will bear the fruit, and the fruit will be true to the graft.

It can be referred to the Christian model of man. Man is born sinful, evil (at root.) Ergo, Virtue must be 'grafted' into men. If the 'graft' works, men will bear virtuous fruit, or if doesn't work, they won't. The moral 'grafting' for men is done through moral instruction.

One could picture it, I suppose, as Hamlet being "the tree" and Ophelia taking the "fruit" from the tree (the "fruit" being Hamlet's statement that he loved her,) and Ophelia biting into the "fruit," thinking it was good, i.e. that Hamlet's statement was true and virtuous. He's now saying, sorry, my "fruit" is no good, no matter how it seemed at the time - I was lying, I didn't really love you.

In Christian terms, the oldest known woody plant that could be a "stock," that's known by name or at least by description, is the Tree of Knowledge. By the way. So, there's a hint of that old story, with a bit of a twist. Ophelia is Eve, Hamlet is the serpent, tempting her to bite the fruit, in which she finds no virtue. Bitter fruit. The analogy combines the Tree and serpent, making Hamlet both; he'd be both the tempter and the one providing the "fruit." It makes men both the fruit bearers to women, and the serpents, to generalize. (One looks at Genesis because of Cain and Abel, brother kills brother. Also, the story of the Tree includes "thou shalt surely die," which is clearly of interest in connection with the Death theme in Hamlet.)

The Folio language.....

~~~~~
For virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but we shall relish of it.
~~~~~

The way that "inoculate" can be made to work, is first to read "virtue" with a capital V. Capital-V Virtue, the quality of Virtue, cannot be grafted into men (Hamlet claims.) Thus, men have no virtuous "fruits" to offer, although appearance may suggest they do. "Inoculate" is read as "be grafted into."

In other words, for the Folio language.....

-=-=-
For Virtue cannot be grafted into our old stock so, but we shall suggest it has been.
=-=-=

Hamlet would be basically asserting that moral instruction doesn't really work, thus all men remain evil, so Ophelia shouldn't have believed him. It's a gross exaggeration, at best; not true. Moral instruction does work, although not perfectly. Hamlet's statement directly challenges Ophelia's religious beliefs, and Christianity itself, on the value of moral instruction.

But with "inoculate" the meaning is indirect, and requires an additional assumption. That being, the simple assumption that since Virtue isn't there, it can't be taken. "Inoculate" allows for an indirect reading of what "evocutate" expresses directly.

Q2 "evocutate" gives, in equivalent terms, (still assuming capital-V Virtue).....

-=-=-
For Virtue cannot so be extracted from our old stock, but we shall suggest it can be.
=-=-=

It leaves no need to make the additional assumption about "taking," the idea is expressed directly.

"Inoculate" - be grafted into
"Evocutate" - be extracted from

The variation is quite interesting. It could possibly be authorial variation. Alternatively, it could be that the Folio editor couldn't read the word well on the 20-year old papers he had to work with, did the best he could, and came close.

As already mentioned, "relish" has a definition referring to something "evocative." That supports the Q2 word (unless someone would wish to argue "relish," too, which I don't think many would.) "Evocutate" and "relish" go well together.

Well, that's enough for one forum post.
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the Nunnery Scene 7 years 2 months ago #989

Hamlet's mistaken idea about Ophelia is why he makes the indecent remarks at the 'Mousetrap' play. Hamlet gets the idea of using sexual innuendo to shame Ophelia, and Claudius, in public, about what they're doing. Since they're not actually doing anything, Hamlet only ends up looking crazy.
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the Nunnery Scene 7 years 2 months ago #1021

Willedever wrote:
You already know the source, I'm sure, since you posted it: the Second Quarto printing of Hamlet. The source is "Shakespeare," the same as for any Shakespearean word. All Shakespearean words are known from the printings of his writings, of course.

Very clever. I was actually looking for your independent source in modernizing the word from "euocutat" to "evocutate" and then your source for your definition. If you don't have it that's fine. I just couldn't find anything in any of my sources that supported your view.
Willedever wrote:
That can't be right, because once grafted, virtue could indeed be taken from men. That's exactly why grafting is done. An original plant is grafted to others, which are then grafted to others, etc. If a graft survives, it's there for the taking. A graft that survives becomes a part of the living plant, available for further propagation

But the graft has no effect on the old stock it just gives the taste. The graft on the other hand can die or it may not even take, or the rootstock can sucker, or the rootstock can die and the graft dies with it. Grafts are good we just can't lose sight of the rootstock. You see the graft as important, I see the rootsock as important. Since my view is tightly intertwined thematically, your view just doesn't work for me.
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the Nunnery Scene 7 years 2 months ago #1054

Jim wrote:
Willedever wrote:
You already know the source, I'm sure, since you posted it: the Second Quarto printing of Hamlet. ... All Shakespearean words are known from the printings of his writings, of course.

Very clever. I was actually looking for your independent source in modernizing the word from "euocutat" to "evocutate" and then your source for your definition. If you don't have it that's fine. I just couldn't find anything in any of my sources that supported your view.

It is not very clever to ignore what Shakespeare wrote. The 'independent source' is "Shakespeare." I gave you both the source and the definition for "evocutate." But if you don't want them, that's fine. Nobody's trying to force you into anything. However, you might want to consider that if you rely only on old secondary sources, you'll never learn anything new.
Willedever wrote:
That can't be right, because once grafted, virtue could indeed be taken from men. ...

But the graft has no effect on the old stock it just gives the taste. ...

For the analogy, the point is the fruit, or flower. Hamlet's statement of love to Ophelia was a "product" of his, that is, a "fruit" or "flower." Grafting changes the fruit, or flower, of a plant. That is exactly why grafting is done.

The reason why I see grafting as important is because that's what the line in the play is referring to. A person cannot understand Hamlet by ignoring what it says.

You mention "sources" again. What sources? The source for this is still "Shakespeare," and Hamlet. I'm talking about what the play says. What are you referring to?
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