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From his lowest note to the top of his compass

Brett Dean
Glyndebourne Festival Reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement, June 23 Why wait? As with many of the questions often asked of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, not least by the character of himself, to ask why Hamlet delays revenging his father is like asking why Oedipus stabs out his eyes, or why Macbeth can’t stop at one murder, or why water freezes at zero degrees. It is in their nature. Only Hamlet’s bewildered nature is the impetuous Oedipus’ opposite: the latter’s impatience with words, putting them all too hastily into action, contrasts with the former’s impatience with action and reaction, his need to draw reality’s dull mechanics into gleeful word and thought. Hamlet’s relationship with the players expresses this status, as someone whose sphere of doing lies apart, outside the realm in which the play’s other characters interact. His father knew it, as did Claudius and Gertrude, which is why – another of those questions that seems always to present itself – the success…

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