Hmm, I wonder, since Hamlet is assigned reading for school does that I mean that I get extra credit for dreaming about the characters?
Anyways, I want to take notes on the first scene of the first act, and I figured that I may as well do it on my blog. If you find it fascinating that's great, if you don't really care then skip this post. Whichever. :)
I do want to note that the rest of this post probably won't make sense if you aren't already familiar with the play.
-- The scene starts at midnight, but in only a few minutes it is dawn. What's going on? Either Shakespeare is playing with time (that is, taking artistic license) or there's some meaning to the time moving so quickly.
-- What does "how now" mean? Is it their way of saying "how are you?" I'm pretty sure this phrase is in each of his plays that I've read.
-- Hm. They are really spooked by the ghost showing up. But then I guess I probably would be too.
-- I like how they explain the situation with Norway so that it just fits in. Of course, I didn't understand it on my first reading...
-- "Neptune's empire"!!! A Greek god is mentioned!!! :D
-- There's a small section which isn't in some versions of the play. Do the lines really make any significant difference to the play? (Other than mentioning Neptune, which got me excited.)
-- I wasn't familiar with the idea of spirits being unable to roam in daylight.
-- Horatio assumes that the ghost has a message. Well, I guess the ghost does have a message!
-- They regret that they showed it violence. Maybe they should have thought of that in the first place?
-- God of day!! Apollo!!! (Yeah, this Pagan is sorta going nuts...)
-- Speaking of Pagan... there's the line "Exhorted treasure in the womb of the earth" when Horatio is trying to figure out why the ghost is up and about. Hmm, "womb of the earth." Do I detect some leftover Pagan references in common usage in Shakespeare's time? (Yeah, this Pagan is really really going nuts with these Paganistic references...)
-- I find the following passage fascinating:
"It fades on the crowing of the cock.I'm not sure what it is about this that makes me stop and take another look at it, though.
Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Savior's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long,
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad.
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is the time."
-- Again, I note the passage of time. Odd. What does it mean?
-- So there are four references to religion (sorta) in this scene. There are the three Pagan things I already pointed out, and then Marcellus is talking about Christmas in the passage I shared.