Abstract

In the first words that Hamlet speaks to Horatio after Claudius rises from his seat and Polonius calls for the lights, ending The Mousetrap, Hamlet pairs "sleep" and "watch" in an unusual rhyme that is difficult to decipher (III.ii.265-8). When we restring the early modern web of meaning that held sleep and watch as opposites bound together in the maintenance of civil, bodily, and spiritual health, the terms emerge together as a pair that has the potential to illuminate both Hamlet's rhyme at act III, scene ii and his behavior with respect to the ghost.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 407-426
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-27
Open Access
No
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