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Ray Eston Smith
01-26-2009, 05:49 PM
When "your clowns speak...some necessary QUESTION of the play be then TO BE considered." Should we not take this advice from Hamlet as clue to the play in which he himself is embedded? Do the clowns (the grave-diggers) consider some necessary question of the play? Could it be the "crowner's quest" (slang for "coroner's inquest" or pun for "Crown Prince's question)?

- Ray Eston Smith Jr

Gladys
01-27-2009, 02:14 AM
Should we not take this advice from Hamlet as clue to the play in which he himself is embedded? Do the clowns (the grave-diggers) consider some necessary question of the play? I struggle to understand you. Is this post simply your pun on 'TO BE, or not to be- that is the QUESTION'?

Hamlet is advising the Players that frivolous tomfoolery by the clowns will wantonly distracts audience attention from some serious issue raised by the 'mousetrap' play. Are you also suggesting that the gravedigger 'clowns', distract from the life and death struggle in which the Crown Prince, Hamlet, is engaged? Do the gravediggers distract?

Ray Eston Smith
01-27-2009, 12:25 PM
First of all, Hamlet's advice to the players indicates that Shakespeare believed that plays should have some "necessary question." That advice wasn't just random. Nothing is random in this play. I believe Shakespeare, via Hamlet's advice to the players, was advising the audience to look for the "necessary question" in "Hamlet." More than that, he was giving a specific clue about where to look: when the "clowns speak."

The grave-diggers are referred to as "clowns" in the stage directions. Furthermore, they are discussing "the crowner's quest" which is an obvious pun ("Crown Prince's question") on the most obvious question in the play: Hamlet's "To be or not to be. That is the question."

The clowns were discussing Ophelia's possible suicide, but as an example, they were discussing not her, but a man. If that man goes to the water and drowns himself, then he is guilty of suicide. But if the water comes to him (perhaps in a flash flood) and drowns him, then he is not guilty of suicide. This relates to Hamlet's "to be or not to be." Hamlet was trying to decide whether to "take arm's against a sea of troubles." That would be like the man going to the water. I believe Hamlet was talking about attacking Claudius. If he attempted to kill Claudius, he would likely lose his own life in the attempt. So attacking Claudius would be like "taking arms against a sea of troubles," like the man going to the water, like committing the sin of suicide. So Hamlet was NOT trying to decide whether to kill Claudius OR kill himself. Rather he was trying to decide whether or not to attempt to kill Claudius (which might ALSO be suicide). (When Hamlet finally killed Claudius, it was after "the water had come to him." Claudius, with help from Laertes, had already murdered Hamlet.)

Incidentally, "what dreams may come" echoes an earlier discussion with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern:

HAMLET
O God, I could be bounded in a nut shell and count
myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I
have bad dreams.

GUILDENSTERN
Which dreams indeed are ambition

Hamlet was afraid that by attacking Claudius he might be yielding to sinful ambition - killing to obtain land, as his uncle and his father had done.

What I'm doing here is something almost all the "authorities" fail to do. I am looking at the play as an integrated whole and extracting meaning from the interplay (especially word-play) of lines in different parts of the play. Hamlet is not just a random collection of lines. It's an integrated artistic whole.

- Ray Eston Smith Jr

Ray Eston Smith
01-27-2009, 01:30 PM
G'day Gladys,

It has occurred to me that in my previous response to your response I failed to respond to the specific objections you raised. So here goes.

The clowns won't be a distraction if they "speak no more than is set down for them." In this case, what was "set down for them" was the consideration of the "necessary question of the play." Shakespeare didn't want his clowns to "ham it up" so much that laughter would drown out their words (as it frequently does in performances of the "crowner's quest" scene).

It's true that, ostensibly, Hamlet was coaching the players on "The Mousetrap." However, there are now clowns in "The Mousetrap." That lends credence to the idea that Hamlet was really referring to the clowns in the larger play in which he himself was embedded.

I think this business of a play referring to itself is called "self-consciousness" and it's common in Elizabethan and especially in Shakespearean plays. My favorite modern example is the "Burns and Allen Show," where George Burns would look into the camera and comment to the audience about what was happening in the sit-com (I THINK that also falls into the category of "self-consciousness"). Shakespeare frequently blurred the line between the play and "the real world," which makes the audience leave with a little bit of the play mixed into to their own "real worlds."

Ray Eston Smith Jr

Gladys
01-28-2009, 03:42 AM
I find your entire argument novel, compelling and fascinating. 'Looking at the play as an integrated whole' appeals to me also. One question though.


It's true that, ostensibly, Hamlet was coaching the players on "The Mousetrap." However, there are now clowns in "The Mousetrap." That lends credence to the idea that Hamlet was really referring to the clowns in the larger play in which he himself was embedded. How does 'that lend credence'?

Ray Eston Smith
01-28-2009, 12:33 PM
G'day Gladys,
(I don't mean to make fun of your name or your country
or harp on something that to you is probably an old joke,
but "G'day Gladys" is so damn symmetrical I can't resist it.)

I typed "now clowns," but meant "no clowns." The only situation in "Hamlet" where there are clowns in the graveyard scene.

I think the "water come to him" and "sea of troubles" argument is a necessary question of the play because it clarifies the "to be or not to be" soliloquy. It never made sense to me that the son of a murdered father would be anguishing over whether to kill himself instead of whether to kill his father's murderer. My own father was killed in a head-on collision with a joy-riding druggie on Christmas Day, 1986, while my mother and I were following in my car. (We were on our way to my sister's house in Prescott, Arizona. I'd never been there before, so my mother was riding with me to guide me through Prescott to my sister's house in case I became separated from my father's car in the city traffic.) My father's killer was eventually sentenced to "community service" for felony drug possesion - not a single day in jail - no mention of my father's death, that was plea-bargained away. (That same week an Arizona man was sentenced to 2 years in prison for killing an endangered species of deer.) For years, I felt guilty for not revenging my father's death, but I never contemplated suicide. In 1991, I saw Mel Gibson's gutsy Hamlet and I read the Hamlet chapter in Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare and I began to suspect that Hamlet was not really an indecisive suicidal wimp, but rather a valiant soldier of the spirit, fighting a desperate internal battle for the sovereignty of his soul. So, on Christmas Day, 1991, I began to read Hamlet, looking for evidence that he was not suicidal.

When I came to "or that the Everlasting had not fix'd his canon 'gainst self-slaughter," I thought it was all over - clearly Hamlet was contemplating suicide. I stared morosely at that passage for a minutes, then I noticed the echo of a cannon. Claudius (cloud-ius?) had just proclaimed that he would fire HIS cannon to the clouds. If the too solid flesh of Claudius melted and dissolved into a cloud, then Cloud-ius' cannon would be aimed at himself - a form of metaphorical self-slaughter. Hamlet was indeed contemplating suicide - Claudius' suicide. If Claudius would slaughter himself, then Hamlet would be spared the unpleasant task of "weeding the garden" (killing the king).

In the end, Claudius did, at least metaphorically, slaughter himself. "It is a poison temper'd by himself." And Claudius drinking was linked in several places with the firing of cannon. So, metaphorically, Claudius slaughtered himself with his own cannon.

Ray Eston Smith Jr

Ray Eston Smith
01-28-2009, 04:56 PM
G'day Gladys,

I've been browsing through recent threads, and I see that some of my recent comments to you have been "preaching to the choir."

You said:
<<"To be or not to be" seems to me to reflect on the dire (probably fatal) consequences of action (killing a king) rather than a procrastination.">>

And you said:
<<"Are the soliloquies standalone speeches or do they, in every way, integrate with what precedes and follows them? Explain how the soliloquies relate to the lines that immediately precede them and how they lead into the lines that immediately follow them, referencing plot, characterisation and mood.

Moreover, indicate how the soliloquies relate to the big picture: the themes of the play.">>

However, I still stand by my assertion that most authorities fail to see the "big picture" and that almost everybody misinterprets "To be or not to be" as being about direct suicide (due to excess "melancholic fluids" or some such nonsense) rather than being about a possibly suicidal attack on the king.

Maybe, being from "Down Under" (or do you call it "Up Over" down there?), you too were influenced by Mel Gibson's interpretation of Hamlet. Or does everybody in Oz (or do you spell it Aus?) have a superior understanding of Hamlet?

Ray Eston Smith Jr

Beewulf
01-29-2009, 07:21 PM
When "your clowns speak...some necessary QUESTION of the play be then TO BE considered." Should we not take this advice from Hamlet as clue to the play in which he himself is embedded? Do the clowns (the grave-diggers) consider some necessary question of the play? Could it be the "crowner's quest" (slang for "coroner's inquest" or pun for "Crown Prince's question)?

- Ray Eston Smith Jr

Hi Ray,

In order to give credence to your theory you have cut up the text in a way that suggests you are forcing it to support you against its will. The original passage from which you try to extract you claim is:


And let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them; for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though, in the mean time, some necessary question of the play be then to be considered: that's villanous, and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Act III, scene 2

In this speech, Hamlet warns the acting troupe that the actors who play clownish parts (note, Hamlet is referring to actors, not to characters called "Clowns") are prone to inventing humorous lines not written by the playwright. In addition, those actors will laugh at their own antics and cause less intelligent audience members to laugh along. Unchecked, these comic actors will cause the audience to lose sight of the play's argument, it's necessary question. Causing the audience to miss the point of the play simply for the sake of a getting a laugh is a villanous act. According to Hamlet, any actor who does this is motivated by the lowest standards and is perforce a fool.

In other words, Hamlet is saying that the actors who play clowns get in the way of the play's argument. Only by misrepresenting the original passage can you force the text to support the idea that the passage is a coded message pointing to Act 5, scene 1.

I don't wish to be unkind, but the arguments which follow your original misrepresentation are built on the falacious reasoning. For example, you state,


The grave-diggers are referred to as "clowns" in the stage directions. Furthermore, they are discussing "the crowner's quest" which is an obvious pun ("Crown Prince's question") on the most obvious question in the play: Hamlet's "To be or not to be. That is the question."

Your first phrase, "The grave-diggers are referred to as "clowns" in the stage directions" is true, and it is also true one of one of the clowns uses the term "crowner inquest" to refer to the coroner's inquest of Ophelia's death. But it does not follow that that "crowner inquest" is a pun for "Crown Prince's question." First of all, Shakespeare never uses the phrase "Crown Prince"--not in Hamlet, nor in any other play. So outside of your own imagination, there is no textual support to link "crowner inquest" with "Crown Prince's Question. Second, the term "Crown Prince" did not enter into English usage until 1791 (see Oxford English Dictionary), some two hundred years after Hamlet was written.

Gladys
01-29-2009, 09:17 PM
A literal 'Crown Prince', Beewulf, does not seem to me an obvious pun. Nevertheless "crowner's quest" may mean the quest of him who would follow his father in wearing Denmark's royal crown, as in Hamlet's: "Sir, I lack advancement."


In this speech, Hamlet warns the acting troupe that the actors who play clownish parts (note, Hamlet is referring to actors, not to characters called "Clowns") are prone to inventing humorous lines not written [or intonation and body language not intended] by the playwright. In addition, those actors will laugh at their own antics and cause less intelligent audience members to laugh along. Unchecked, these comic actors will cause the audience to lose sight of the play's argument, it's necessary question. So I understood Ray Eston Smith's original proposition, which still seems to me insightful.


The clowns were discussing Ophelia's possible suicide, but as an example, they were discussing not her, but a man. If that man goes to the water and drowns himself, then he is guilty of suicide. But if the water comes to him (perhaps in a flash flood) and drowns him, then he is not guilty of suicide. This relates to Hamlet's "to be or not to be." Hamlet was trying to decide whether to "take arm's against a sea of troubles." That would be like the man going to the water. I believe Hamlet was talking about attacking Claudius. If he attempted to kill Claudius, he would likely lose his own life in the attempt. So attacking Claudius would be like "taking arms against a sea of troubles," like the man going to the water, like committing the sin of suicide.

If Ray Eston Smith is right, Shakespeare is foreshadowing the technique so masterfully used in the plays of Henrik Ibsen.

Gladys
01-29-2009, 09:49 PM
Claudius (cloud-ius?) had just proclaimed that he would fire HIS cannon to the clouds. If the too solid flesh of Claudius melted and dissolved into a cloud, then Cloud-ius' cannon would be aimed at himself - a form of metaphorical self-slaughter. Hamlet was indeed contemplating suicide - Claudius' suicide. This seems to me a huge stretch, Ray Eston Smith, in that Hamlet continues by speaking of himself, not Claudius.


O that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah, fie!

Ray Eston Smith
01-29-2009, 11:38 PM
But right after that he comes back to Claudius, who is the cause of his dissatisfaction with the world:
"tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely."

Additional support for Claudius as a weed:
When he was trying to persuade Gertrude to separate herself from Claudius, Hamlet said: "And do not spread the compost on the weeds, to make them ranker."

St Gertrude of Nevelles is the patron saint of gardeners. http://saintspreserved.com/gertrude.htm

Also St Gertrude was connected to Purgatory and mice:
www.catholictradition.org/Saints/nivelles.htm
"Most representations in art depict [St Gertrude] as an abbess with mice, rats, or cats. Commonly seen running up her pastoral staff or cloak are hopeful-looking mice representing Souls in Purgatory, to which she had an intense devotion."
- Ray

Beewulf
01-30-2009, 01:40 PM
Hi Gladys,

Thanks for replying to my post. I think this is an interesting topic because it explores the tension between imagination and reasoning in literary interpretation.

I think we agree that Hamlet possess remarkable unity. Shakesepare had the ability to weave themes, imagery, patterns of action, etc. into a complex and multilayered whole. The more one studies Shakespeare's plays, the more this complexity reveals itself; however, not all examples of unity revealed by the imagination are supported by reason or evidence.

For example, take the issue of "crowner's quest." Ray takes this phrase to be a double pun: first on the term "coroner's inquest" and then on "Crown Prince's question." In an earlier post I explained why it is untenable to believe that "crowner's quest" is a pun for "Crown Prince's question," but it is equally untenable to call "crowner's quest" a pun.

As we know, a pun occurs when one word is intentionally replaced by another word that sounds similar to the original but means something else: for example, "Good evening, Ladies and Germs!" There are a lot of puns in Hamlet; one of my favorites is Hamlet's, "Not so my Lord, I am too much in the sun" (Act One, scene two) which is a mocking reference to a cloud metaphor made by Claudius and to Claudius referring to Hamlet as his son.

While Hamlet is filled with puns, the etymological evidence behind "crowner's quest" tells us that the phrase is not a pun, but simply an alternate spelling and pronunciation for "coroner's inquest." The O.E.D. provides several instances of the written use of "crowner" for "coroner." For example, here is a citation from 1487, "The crowner upon the viewe of the body dede shuld inquire of hym..that had don that deth or murder," and here's one from 1577, "There are..crowners, whose dutie is to inquire of such as come to their death by violence." In other words, the Gravedigger is not employing a pun, he's simply using a pronunciation that in the following centuries becomes obsolete.

Regarding the suggested connection between "sea of troubles" and the water that drowns a man, Ray has certainly found something that deserves consideration. References to water and the sea come up frequently in the play, and they are repeatedly linked to sorrow, death, and other destructive images and events.

Ray Eston Smith
01-30-2009, 02:01 PM
re: "the tension between imagination and reasoning in literary interpretation...not all examples of unity revealed by the imagination are supported by reason or evidence.” - Beewulf

To quote myself:
http://members.cox.net/jhaldenwang/thyorison.htm#Part_III_-_Whither_Wilt_Thou_Lead

“Thus, although some of the events I describe are unconnected by cause and effect, they are not mere coincidences - rather they are significant coincidences, causeless consequences.”

“Insanity is not the inability to perceive reality. True madness lies in the inability to ignore the meaningless patterns of blind chance. But how can we shut our eyes to the patterns that govern our fates?”

But to quote Polonius: “Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't.”

Ray Eston Smith
01-30-2009, 05:08 PM
Some years ago, as I was assembilng some metal shelves to construct a book case, I noticed that the assembly would have been completely impossible if the parts had been perfectly rigid. It was necessary to bend the shelves slightly in order to assemble them. That seems to be a general principle for everything. To assemble any complex structure, you need flexible parts. Even in mathematics, Godel’s Theorem says that any system complex enough to include counting numbers cannot be both complete and perfectly consistent. In physics, the Uncertainty Principle builds in a little “give” with every physical action. In literature, if an author is attempting to build a complex multi-layered structure, he must have poetic license to mix imperfect metaphors – and that license must be granted by the reader if he hopes to understand the author’s intended meanings.

So analyzing literature is like assembling bookshelves. Sometimes you have to bend the parts, and if you have extra pieces left over with no purpose it means you missed something.

(1) Sometimes a line seems strained and out of place. This might mean the author is bending words taken from another place to fit into this place in order to establish a motif and to make one place say something about the other. Example: Talking about the “water coming to the man” – which is weird in the context of a drowned woman in a placid pond. But it connects with "take arms against a sea of troubles" and bolsters the idea that Hamlet might be considering a suicidal attack rather that a simple suicide.

(2) Sometimes a line seems to have no purpose. It doesn’t add anything to the play. The purpose might be to connect two parts of the play. Examples: There was no need for Hamlet to warn the players about clowns in the context of “The Mousetrap.” But it warned the audience that the only clowns (the gravediggers) in the larger play would be discussing a necessary question of the play. There was no obvious need to mention “crowner’s quest law.” But it hooked back to that necessary question and also to "That is the question" and hooked both to the idea of a suicidal attack.

Beewulf
01-30-2009, 05:48 PM
To quote myself:
http://members.cox.net/jhaldenwang/thyorison.htm#Part_III_-_Whither_Wilt_Thou_Lead

“Thus, although some of the events I describe are unconnected by cause and effect, they are not mere coincidences - rather they are significant coincidences, causeless consequences.”

“Insanity is not the inability to perceive reality. True madness lies in the inability to ignore the meaningless patterns of blind chance. But how can we shut our eyes to the patterns that govern our fates?”

But to quote Polonius: “Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't.”

Hi Ray,

Thank you for including some of your views on pattern and structure. They have helped me to understand the mindset that guides your interpretative method, a mindset strikingly similar to a leading character in David Auburn's Pulitzer-Prize winning drama, Proof (2001).

In Auburn's play, Robert is a famed mathematician who struggles with schizophrenia; in particular, he has a passion for assigning unusual significance or meaning to normal events and holding fixed false personal beliefs. Recalling his illness during a moment of clarity, Robert observes, "If I wanted to look for information -- secrets, complex and tantalzing messages--I could find them all around me: in the air. In a pile of fallen leaves some neighbor raked together. In box scores in the paper, written in the steam coming up off a cup of coffe."

Robert's experience suggests that in some circumstances, illusions are maddeningly captivating. I'll try to keep my illusions at bay, and I wish the same to you.

Gladys
01-30-2009, 09:40 PM
I'll try to keep my illusions at bay, and I wish the same to you. Illusions perhaps; but much that Ray presents deals with allusions, for which he supplies evidence, whether sufficient or not. As one who holds that argument must connect with evidence, I find Ray's approach refreshing.


So analyzing literature is like assembling bookshelves. Sometimes you have to bend the parts, and if you have extra pieces left over with no purpose it means you missed something. Poetry so often works this way.

Beewulf
01-31-2009, 11:11 AM
Hi Gladys,

You are right to point out that poetry often relies on allusions. Shakespeare, as a dramatic poet, uses allusions frequently and skillfully. One of my favorite allusions in Hamlet comes in Act 5, scene 2, when Hamlet dismisses Horatio's suggestion that the duel with Laertes be postponed. Horatio senses Hamlet's life may be at risk, but Hamlet shrugs him off, saying:


Not a whit, we defy augury: there's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be
now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all:

Hamlet's allusion is to comforting passage from the Gospel of Matthew, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows" (KJV 10:29-31).

As this example demonstrates, a literary allusion is a linking device that connects something within a character's immediate experience to something beyond it. In a play, an allusion may make a close reference (e.g. to a previous scene, earlier dialogue, or character) or a distant reference (e.g. to another text, a historical event, etc.). In order for a figure of speech to qualify as an allusion the reference must be apparent and if not, the reference must be capable of being explained using non-subjective evidence and logical reasoning. If someone wishes to establish the validity of a non-apparent allusion, the individual carries the burden of proof to demonstrate his or her allusion is valid beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ray has discovered what he believes are significant allusions and other rhetorical devices that reveal a hidden structure and meaning in Hamlet. Like you, I think his work is imaginative and provocative; however, I disagree with your contention that his study has actually uncovered allusions.

While an allusion is an indirect reference, by definition it cannot be a private code. For a figure of speech to operate as an allusion, a larger audience of readers must grasp the reference. In other words, an allusion must not be so arcane or obscure that the reference is understood by only one person.

Rather than discovering allusions, it is more accurate to say that Ray is practicing a form of post-structuralist interpretation called intertextuality. Intertextuality rejects the idea that a text or portion of a text possesses independent or objective meaning. Instead, the meaning of a text is distilled, often unconsciously, by personal and cultural filters operating within and without the reader. Such interpretations are the property of the reader and beyond dispute. They are true because the reader finds them to be true.

Ray Eston Smith
01-31-2009, 12:19 PM
Hi Gladys,
If someone wishes to establish the validity of a non-apparent allusion, the individual carries the burden of proof to demonstrate his or her allusion is valid beyond a reasonable doubt.


I accept the burden of proof, but reject the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt." I don't think any interpretation of literature can meet that standard. I try to understand Hamlet with a large collection of ideas having varying degrees of uncertainty. The main criteria I apply in selecting ideas for my collection is connectiveness. I look for ideas that fit together to make the coherent whole that I believe Shakespeare intended.



I disagree with your contention that his study has actually uncovered allusions....
..
Rather than discovering allusions, it is more accurate to say that Ray is practicing a form of post-structuralist interpretation called intertextuality. Intertextuality rejects the idea that a text or portion of a text possesses independent or objective meaning. Instead, the meaning of a text is distilled, often unconsciously, by personal and cultural filters operating within and without the reader. Such interpretations are the property of the reader and beyond dispute. They are true because the reader finds them to be true.

I don't know the literary term for my style of analysis ("close reading" maybe?). But, though there may be some madness in my method, it is not illusion. As Gladys said (and as Mrs Black, my 10th-grade English teacher taught me), I try to connect argument with evidence. I definitely do NOT believe in interpretations that are only in the mind of the reader. My goal, whether I achieve it or not, is to understand what Shakespeare was trying to communicate.
- Ray

Ray Eston Smith
02-10-2009, 09:40 AM
Testing. This thread appears to have disappeared from the forum. I found it with a Google search and am now responding to see if it reappears in the forum.
- Ray

Ray Eston Smith
02-10-2009, 09:53 AM
Testing. This thread appears to have disappeared from the forum. I found it with a Google search and am now responding to see if it reappears in the forum.
- Ray

Never mind, my threads have reappeared. So I back-tabbed to the screen that had showed all the threads missing & noticed a little link to a private message in the upper right-hand corner. I clicked on the link and got this:

"Database error
The William Shakespeare Forums database has encountered a problem.
Please try the following:
Load the page again by clicking the Refresh button in your web browser.
Open the shakespeareforums.com home page, then try to open another page.
Click the Back button to try another link.
The shakespeareforums.com forum technical staff have been notified of the error, though you may contact them if the problem persists.

We apologise for any inconvenience."

Thank, goodness! For a while there I thought I was losing my mind, or worse, that I had been banished from the Hamlet forum.

-Ray

Ray Eston Smith
02-10-2009, 10:19 AM
I have a reason for being paranoid about this. Several years ago I subscribed to a Shakespeare listserver run by a certain half-baked authoritarian (Hardy M. Cook). On my second post, I included a link to my personal website for further amplification of the point I was making (I think it was the wheel motif). My website contains no advertising. It's nothing but my thoughts on Hamlet and Shakespeare. But Mr Cook sent me a nasty e-mail chastising me for abusing the listserver to promote my website. He rejected that second post and every subsequent post (which had no links) which I submitted.

(I also took it personally a couple weeks ago when Google had a worldwide bug that was telling every Google user that every website on the World Wide Web was malicious.)

Paranoia
by David Friedman

This man I never saw before
At 3 A.M. breaks down the door
To tell me my aspirin is LSD.
"It says right there on the bottle,
Acetylsalicylic Acid."
I tell you doctor, honestly,
It seems like someone's after me.

I don't think fighting is what I'm made for
But this lottery ticket I never paid for
Sold by a pusher known as Sam
Has won me a ticket to Vietnam,
A twelve months, expenses paid, tropical vacation
With a funeral, free, from a grateful nation.
But the doctor says I need therapy
For thinking someone is after me.

And then there are things I just can't ignore
Like the little man in our bedroom door
Says we'll be in jail by the end of the night
Unless we turn over and do it right.
Doctor, Doctor, come and see
There's really someone after me.

Then he asks, as he rips off the sheet,
For our marriage license and tax receipt;
Says "you need a license to shoot at a duck
How come you think that it's free to . . ."
Who so blind as will not see;
The state, the state, is after me.

Ray Eston Smith
02-10-2009, 10:21 PM
Oops. Maybe I am losing my mind. The error message I got was from the other Hamlet forum. My threads were missing because I was looking at the wrong forum. I don't know what the error message was about. Anyway, I think I've said about every thing I had to say about Hamlet, so I don't expect to start any more threads.

Gladys
02-11-2009, 03:20 AM
...so I don't expect to start any more threads. Your past threads, Ray, have left much to ponder. I hope to respond to some in time.

Ray Eston Smith
02-11-2009, 09:40 AM
Your past threads, Ray, have left much to ponder. I hope to respond to some in time.

Thanks, Gladys. I need to think about the points you've raised about Hamlet's depression. I can't deny he's lost his zest for life, but when and why?