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Hamlet and Orestes
Gilbert Murray, LL. Deb., D. Litt.
Regius Mentor of Traditional in the College or university of Oxford
Fellow from the
New york city
Oxford School Press American Branch
35 West 32nd Street
THE UNITED KINGDOM ACADEMY
THE ANNUAL SHAKESPEARE LECTURE
Hamlet and Orestes
Gilbert Murray, LL. D., G. Litt.
Regius Professor of Greek inside the University of Oxford
Fellow of the Academy
Oxford University Press American Part
35 Western world 32nd Street
Copyright in the United States of America
by the Oxford College or university Press
MARCH 22 1914
ANNUAL SHAKESPEARE LECTURE,
HAMLET AND ORESTES
A STUDY IN TRADITIONAL TYPES
By Gilbert Murray, LL. G.,
FELLOW FROM THE ACADEMY
I i am no Shakespearian scholar
I have embarked, at the
to simply accept the risky honour of deliv-
Annual William shakespeare Lecture
invitation of the
in sequence to academics,
whose specialist on this subject matter is
much larger than mine, it is to get a definite explanation. In studying the general advancement Tragedy, Greek, English, French and
Mediaeval Latin, I have found myself haunted by a inquisitive problem, difficult to state in exact conditions and perhaps not possible to answer, which I should very much like to place before a group such as this. This concerns the interaction of two elements in Literature, and especially in Drama, a very simple and in-born kind of materials I mean the 2 elements of tradition and technology, or the subconscious and the mindful. The problem has been raised in three quite recent discussion posts: I mention them in
chronological order. My own note on the Ritual Forms in Greeh Tragedy, printed in Miss Harrison's Themis; Mr. F. Meters. Cornford's publication on the Beginning of Loft Comedy; and a span of lectures presented at Oxford by Miss Spens of Lady Margaret Hall
in the occurrence of guests,
on The Scapegoat in Disaster, which I wish to see published next year.
I actually am certainly not proposing to-night to argue in preference of the
any of these
sidering, in a single salient illustration, a large problem which appears to As for my own, personal tentative solution,
I will only mention that
friend features assured
has brought in exclusive two criticisms.
knew it before another
that every a single
has observed that most discovered men, at some point, go a
ANNUAL SHAKESPEARE SPIEL,
mad on several
subject or other, and this I
almost the right
age to begin.
My personal subject is definitely the study of two wonderful tragic heroes, Hamlet and Orestes, viewed as Traditional Types. I do certainly not compare get play, although simply persona with personality, though for the duration of the evaluation I shall of course consider the conditions in which my personal heroes are put, and the different persons with whom they are associated.
Orestes in Ancient greek language
very evidently a traditional personality.
after poem, in tragedy after tragedy, various
slightly in each a single but often true to type.
I think, the
most central and standard tragic main character on the Greek stage; and he ^eight if we
happens in at least seven of our extant tragedies
count the Iphigenia in Aulis, in which he is a child whereas
Oedipus, for instance, just comes in 3 and Agamemnon in
I shall use these seven performs as materials
Choephori and Eumenides; Sophocles, Electra; and Euripides,
Electra, Orestes, Iphigenia in Tauris, and Andromache.
just before any of these...