EPISODE 24 - A GREEN GIRL

TEXT:

LAERTES
Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.

POLONIUS
The time invites you; go; your servants tend.

LAERTES
Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well
What I have said to you.

OPHELIA
Tis in my memory locked,
And you yourself shall keep the key of it.

LAERTES
Farewell.

Exit

POLONIUS
What is't, Ophelia, he hath said to you?

OPHELIA
So please you, something touching the Lord Hamlet.

POLONIUS
Marry, well bethought:
Tis told me, he hath very oft of late
Given private time to you; and you yourself
Have of your audience been most free and bounteous:
If it be so, as so tis put on me,
And that in way of caution, I must tell you,
You do not understand yourself so clearly
As it behoves my daughter and your honour.
What is between you? give me up the truth.

OPHELIA
He hath, my lord, of late made many tenders
Of his affection to me.

POLONIUS
Affection! pooh! you speak like a green girl,
Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.
Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?

OPHELIA
I do not know, my lord, what I should think.

POLONIUS
Marry, I'll teach you: think yourself a baby;
That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay,
Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more dearly;
Or - not to crack the wind of the poor phrase,
Running it thus - you'll tender me a fool.

NOTES:

Mothers and Daughters
As mentioned in this episode, mothers and daughters very seldom share the stage in plays by Shakespeare. The only ones I can think of Queen Isabel of France and her daughter Katharine in Henry V, Mistress Page and her daughter Anne in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Thaisa and Marina in Pericles, Hermione and Perdita in The Winter’s Tale, Lady Capulet and her headstrong child in Romeo & Juliet, and perhaps their distant cousin the Widow Capilet and her daughter Diana, who is instrumental in making sure that All’s Well That Ends Well. A formidable trio of women appears in Coriolanus (Volumnia, his mother, Virgilia, his wife, and Valeria, 'a noble lady of Rome') - but they are not directly mother and daughter. Lear, Prospero, Titus Andronicus, Duke Senior, Shylock, and Brabantio have fascinating children, but none of them have wives any more. It's such a startling absence from what is otherwise so rich a canon of characters and human experiences.

Marry
There's a long tradition of what are known as 'minced oaths' in Shakespeare - given that he was writing under the watchful eye of a censor, in a time when Puritans were gaining influence he couldn't write the full versions of any curses or swearwords or expletives. As a result we have various items - sblood, zounds, and the very common 'Marry' - which is a contraction of 'By the Virgin Mary'. There's even an argument that the word 'bloody' as a curse word came into use as a contraction of 'By Our Lady'! 

Mrs. Polonius
As promised, here is the link to Anne Harris' (hopefully deliberately) hilarious exploration of the evidence for the character of Mrs. Polonius, published in The Spectator in March 1933. I'm not sure if it's out of copyright, so I haven't included the entire text on the website. 

Doll Display
I think that Ninagawa's use of the hinadan, or doll-display stand, is one of his most ingenious staging devices in all of the Shakespeare plays he put on. The idea featured repeatedly in several of his productions of Hamlet over the years, and in some cases was extrapolated further through the play in different ways. Jon Brokering wrote an excellent article on this - you can access it here (if you have a way of getting in to JSTOR!) 

  A traditional  hinadan  ( 雛段 ) - the idea of it is also memorably used in Akira Kurosawa's film Dreams. 

A traditional hinadan (雛段) - the idea of it is also memorably used in Akira Kurosawa's film Dreams.