Re: RARA-AVIS: Tragedy Vs. Noir

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 30 Sep 2005

At 11:56 PM 29/09/2005 +0000, you wrote:

>Hamlet's choices and his tendancy to keep putting off, doom him in the
>end. If he had killed off the murderer early, then he could have taken the
>throne and that would have been that. By waiting and acting all funny, he
>inspired two atempts on his life, the second of which succeeded. Not to
>mention contributing to the suicide of Ophelia, a woman he loved, by
>killing her father.

This would make it tragedy in my books. Doom follows from his own tragic character flaw.

If Hamlet had acted more decisively but unsuccessfully, however, plunging Denmark into decades of civil war, only to be conquered by the Netherlands, killing Hamlet, Claudius and the rest of the Danish royals and enslaving the Danes to build dykes against the North Sea, well, that would have been noir.

I know some of you might be tempted to suggest that the Dutch make out fine in this scenario, but what about all those newly unemployed dyke-workers, in the streets of Amsterdam and agitating for reform?

Best, Kerry

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