Hamlet Rennovation

I tidied up the Hamlet concordance this past week and have found myself thinking of the word “Rosencrantz” –roseencrantz. Wikipedia says that it, along with Guildenstern, was a common Danish name in the 1500’s, yet it is peculiar that the word crants (if the Johnson reading is right) is, in all of Shakespeare, mentioned only here, in Hamlet, and that this name Rosencranz evokes both it and the rose, which is so significant in Shakespeare and, arguably, in Hamlet as well…. I don’t suspect it’s a question with an answer and yet all the same a curious thing to ponder: what if there were a rose in Ophelia’s virgin crants, what would it mean? What would it have to do with the character of Rosencranz?

2 Responses to “Hamlet Rennovation”

  1. hollyet Says:

    well, i read that the rose is the flower of england and also symbolized the virgin mary. the rose in her garland could’ve been a sign of honor? romantic love? or something to do with the death of innocence? o i don’t know. but the rose in crants is a nice play on words if so, and a good catch on your part.

  2. ferdinando Says:

    I lean toward a defiling of innocence type interpretation but I’ll make a post with Hamlet’s rose mentions so it can be looked into a little more closely.

    I guess one reason that reading a lot into “Rose-en-crantz” seems to me provocative is that it gives you a reason to compare Rosencrantz and Ophelia, which the play doesn’t directly invite. (What is Rosencranz relative to Ophelia, what would were their interaction be like?)

    Meanwhile, the Olivier version of Hamlet arrived here today and I’m hoping to give that a look-see tonight. I’ve heard some good reviews of it and am eager to see it.

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