Miles and Hamlet - No major spoilers (was Re: More on Martha Wells)

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Tue Jul 15 11:09:06 EDT 2003

>Interesting. I too was puzzled over the Hamlet
>Miles comparison. I don't know Hamlet very well,
>in fact Hallie, now that I've seen your reasoning
>I feel I know him a lot better! However while I
>was musing on the subject I had decided you must
>mean Memory for a different reason. I was
>thinking of Simon Illyan as representing the
>"dead" father (he is sort of around as his own
>ghost) and thus Spoiler as a combination of
>Gertrude and Claudius. Simon has also stood in as
>surrogate father in some respects for Gregor and
>Ivan (who are both involved in the operation to
>find and deal with Spoiler) and, as they are both
>the only sons of  murdered fathers the  Hamlet
>theme is particularly apposite for them too. Of
>course  in Gregor's case that father is unavenged
>and, well, there are some pretty ramifications in
>that! As for Ivan  in Memory he is confronted
>with his mother finally finding herself a new

:-)  I don't know why this way of using Spoiler seems so funny to me. 
It's all the same Spoiler throughout your post, right?  Otherwise 
I've got this seriously muddled.  Aren't expandable 'theories' (and I 
use the word in its loosest possible sense!) wonderful ?  You came up 
with all sorts of things which hadn't crossed my mind (and I use that 
word in its loosest possible sense also.)  :-)   Happily Ivan's 
mother had a better sense of timing than Gertrude, as I really don't 
think I could have stood Ivan's going off the emotional deep edge as 
well as Miles in one book!

>I'm straining my knowledge of Hamlet, but I seem
>to remember a late scene between Gertrude and
>Hamlet where she is trying to get him to accept
>the status quo and behaving in a kind of
>seductive manner (but this may have been the
>actors' reading of the scene) which reminds me of
>when Spoiler tempts Miles.

I think it was likely the actors or director who went for that 
reading, and would say fair enough, unless it was the <censors own 
language firmly> Zeffirelli film version, in which case I just have 
to restrain myself or all sorts of unacceptable opinions (starting 
with 'Bad!') will fall out.  In that one, in the 'closet scene' 
Gertrude grabs Hamlet and initiates a passionate kiss, which does at 
least have the merit of explaining Hamlet's terror when his father's 
ghost appears!  But I find the Freudian explanation of the play 
fairly boring anyway, so am not greatly taken with adding in 
Gertrude's returning the feeling (would that be a Jocastal complex?).


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