The general consensus of opinion is that the earlier play was by Thomas Kyd, the author of the Spanish Tragedie. Nash's preface to Greene's Menaphon , already alluded to, contains a punning reference to "the Kidde in Aesope's fable. In both the motive is revenge; the ghost of the victim relates his story; the hero feigns madness; in each play there is a faithful friend named Horatio; each contains a play within a play; the innocent and guilty alike are involved in the catastrophes.
Although no actual trace of this earlier play has been found, many scholars believe that a German manuscript, dated October 27, , and published in , preserves some material from the original version. This manuscript is possibly a modernized copy of an older one which was first translated when a troupe of English actors visited Germany at the end of the sixteenth century.
Fratricide Punished, or Prince Hamlet of Denmark. It opens with an allegorical prologue which shows unmistakable Senecan influence. Likewise Polonius is here called Corambus, which corresponds with his name 'Corambis' in the first Quarto. It is, however, devoid of all literary merit.
To sum up: the story of Hamlet was taken by Belle-Forest from Saxo's chronicle. Shakespeare received it either from Belle-Forest, direct, or from an earlier unknown publication of the translation of Belle-Forest of which the Hystorie of Hamblet is a later edition, or he founded his play on an earlier tragedy which was probably by Thomas Kyd.
The traces of Senecan influence in Shakespeare's Hamlet are due either to this earlier play or to the general and common influence of Seneca upon Elizabethan tragic playwrights. Hamlet , III. Hidden category: Subpages. Namespaces Page Discussion. Views Read Edit View history. Display Options. You may have already requested this item. Please select Ok if you would like to proceed with this request anyway. WorldCat is the world's largest library catalog, helping you find library materials online. Don't have an account?
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Hibbard [ed. And his own early plays succest the he was well aware of the alternative positions. Bowers traces the revenge structure of the play:. The Danes are bursten-bellied sots , that are to bee confuted with nothing but Tankards or quart pots, and Ouid might as well haue read his verses to the Getes that vnderstood him not, as a man talk reason to them that haue no eares but their mouths nor sense but of that which they swallowe downe their throates. Shakespeare's Library. I shall obey your command with all my heart, and for the present shall remain here and not go away.
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