- Hamlet and the Word
Associate Professor of English, University of Minnesota
1. Even the word Cock is a folk corruption of God. See the “By Cock” of Ophelia’s bawdy song (IV, v, 62).
2. Hamlet’s deep affection and respect for the players, as expressed in his scene of welcoming them to the court, seems to me to invalidate not only Wilson’s notion that Hamlet doubts their abilities, but also the entire emphasis of his interpretation of the play within the play.
3. By Laertes and Polonius, for example. And that Polonius played Julius Caesar at the university has a very special complex of significances attached to it, especially if we remember Shakespeare’s Caesar, the disabilities of age, the vacuous pomposities, the blind folly, and so on, and Polonius’ not knowing that the fictive role is the measure of the actor’s reality.