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Steve Sohmer

of politics, Shakespeare’s 5.6 has an elusive, almost existential quality. ‘Who’s there?’ is the question of identity which haunts both Faulconbridge and Prince Hamlet. Shakespeare, commencing work on the revision that became Hamlet Q2, remembered his memorial for Henry Carey in King John. The common question tying the two protagonists is legitimacy and the right to

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Steve Sohmer

the sanctity of wedlock through repeated banter about cuckoldry and horns, and Rosalind’s description of a wife’s unruly behavior (4.1.39–46). In 4.2 a deer is given a funeral – another sacrament slighted. All this is pure Marlowe. Shakespeare debunks blood sports with his description of the weeping deer (2.1.33–43), Duke Senior’s doubts about the legitimacy of hunting (2

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind