A Not So Small Change

https://i1.wp.com/images.zap2it.com/images/movie-18814/hamlet-2.jpgIn english class, we are currently reading Hamlet.

It’s funny how different lines are open to different interpretations. By that I’m referring simply to how the meaning of the line is dependent on how the actor says it. Sentences can have entirely different meanings and set off different emotions with the slight variation of one word.

Take for example Hamlet’s quote to Horatio : “There are more things in heaven and earth; Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Now read it this way : “There are more things in heaven and earth; Horatio, than are dreamt of in our philosophy.”

Notice the difference? The first one has, what I believe to be, limited meaning in comparison to the second one. It is but a condescension that seems to belittle Horatio’s view of the world.

The second quotation seems more like an open proposition. The use of the word “our” includes Hamlet and refers to every single person in the world, and therefore holds more meaning than if it were to refer only to Horatio.

My point is, once again, it is important to note the slight variations in line interpretations. Slight variances of tongue and tone can hold exponentially different meanings.

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One Response to A Not So Small Change

  1. Chris, you have made precise, concise, yet insightful observations of this one line, supported it beautifully with an articulate explanation, in just the right measure. Really well done! In fact, exponentially well done!

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