The Nebraskan. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1892-1899, November 01, 1892, Page 26, Image 14

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    26
THE NEBRASKAN.
the leading modern authorities. The lecture
was rather for those who had not made a
close study of the play. The chief point in
which his presentation differs from the view
generally held is his declining to recognize
that if Hamlet had struck the king in the
moment of opportunity, it could not have
seemed to Denmark anything hotter than
personal assassination. Hamlet was too
scrupulous as to his good name and honor as
his father's son to consent to stand in such a
light before his people. But he does not
know why he cannot reek vengeance as the
ghost commanded. He has a nineteenth
centur' mind; yet he does not know, as we
should know, what influences held him back.
The principal proof of this is. contained in
the words of the ghost itself:
"But howsoever thou pursuest this net,
Taint not thy mind." ,
If the vengeance was to be but a personal
assassination, if Hamlet's duty was to strike
the king down an'wherc or at any time,
without reference to public sentiment, how
could he taint his mind? Hamlet did not
specifically bear these words in mind as
spoken by the ghost, but was unconsciously
subject to the same instincts in his own soul.
Not until the king was openly detected in an
act of villiany to cover his own crime did
Hamlet feel that he could strike without
taint to his honor. Yet even then until
Horatio shall tell his story, reporting him
and his cause aright to the unsatisfied, he
feels that only a wounded name will live be
hind him.
Mr. Clapp dismissed the insanity theory
as on its face untenable, since if true, it
would have spoiled the play. Similarly, if
Shakespeare really has made a hero that is
that is not in intention and in his best ability
heroic, he has certainly succeeded less than
he should, or might. Hamlet is a "tragedy
of thought ;" that is, the tragedy consists in
Hamlet's failure to interpret the antagonism
he .finds within himself between obligation
imposed by the ghost to avenge his father
and his obligation to himself. That is right
and true material for tragedy. The fact is
Mr. Clapp, while pronouncing Hamlet not
only unheroic but contemptible, really con
fesses that in his feelings he finds him a hero
all the while. He is all the time belaboring
the man that is in fact his hero. Can a con
temptible man inspire the emotion of the
sublime? There is no question but that
Hamlet is a sublime hero. Mr. Clapp's views
upon Hamlet were held in the last genera
tion but are not now generally accepted.
It is rather hard to interest people in a
lecture on the "Merchant of Venice," as it
requires previous study almost as much as
some of the tragedies. The play is a comedy
and the fifth act makes everything come out
nice, a fitting consumation of tHe whole.
Shakespeare's comedies are all light anyhow.
A more satisfactory play might have been
selected like "Lear" or "Macbeth." Ideas
might have been given to many upon these
profounder play: that they might not other
wise have reached.
FOOT-BALL.
NEBPlKfi B, ILLINOIS 0.
The University of Illinois were defeated
in a well played game at Lincoln Park
October 24th. It was the opening game of
the season and a large crowd was present,
Manager Johnston having advertised it well.
The game showed up the playing abilities of
the men. Taking their short term of train
ing into consideration, they did remarkably
well. It was the best game ever seen in
Lincoln. Jones, J. G. Yont, Church, A. E.
Yont, aud in fact, the entire rush line, put up
a very good game. Pace receives the ball
well and his play was fine. Oliver does not
seem to fully understand his position, being
new to it, but kicks very well. Flipnin and
Johnston played a brilliant game It was
their repealed "bucking" the line and their
end runs that won the game. Captain John
ston does not talk to his men enough ; he
should talk to them all the time. The men
do not watch the ball. The team is very
weak in tackling ; none of the men tackle