I once did hold it, as our statists do, A baseness to write fair and labour’d much How to forget that learning, but, sir, now It did me yeoman’s service.

This is much more complicated than its face value. I mean, it’s very simple on one level: he tried to forget how to write like a bureaucrat but it was helpful in this instance. Very simple. But also complicated!

What is this reference to statists? Is he using it as it’s used now? Is it a dig at Claudius? Or some other oppressive government? He does not see himself as a part of the statists but shared a belief with them. So I have questions about that. And forgetting this learning makes me wonder how or why he learned it. Was there legitimately some training in that writing style? I was joking about it in the previous post but now I’m not so sure there wasn’t some. Where did he unlearn this style? At Wittenberg? And what made him try to unlearn it? This makes me wonder the exact trajectory of Hamlet’s education and how much of it was related to his royal duties and how much was his own interest.


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