Sure does feel like there was a whole lot of treasonous sort of stuff flying around our government those last couple of years. I wasn’t ever too interested in treason and what the lines are before. I was maybe a little more relativist and not so concerned with borders, which seemed sort of arbitrary to me. Now that we’ve experienced a hostile foreign power attempting to interfere in our democratic process, I get why treason is important to recognize and address. It’s not just someone doing a regular old bad thing – it’s someone doing a bad thing that damages the nation. It’s actually awful. And yet – there has been very little done to address all the treasonous acts. They are harder to prosecute as treason, I suppose. So smaller crimes step forward.
Um. Who is this “all”? Did Shakespeare’s company have a large chorus of people who could just be on-lookers?
I mean – first there is the question of what this call of treason is referring to. Is it Hamlet who is committing treason by killing the king? That seems the standard definition. But, there is also the treason that the king himself has committed against his office. In that case, these calls of treason became a sort of cheerleading of Hamlet’s vengeance.
But practically – who is part of this “All”? Laertes is dying and unlikely to shout. Horatio is team Hamlet but it’s hard to imagine him shouting “Treason!” Gertrude is dead and cannot call. Hamlet probably doesn’t say it himself. Claudius might. But he’s got other things to do, like managing his injury. Which, of the people onstage – leaves, essentially Osric. Who is not an all.
Basically we have six people definitely onstage and another person with some troops about to come on.
Did the King’s Men bring back the actors playing Polonius and Ophelia and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to come be a crowd and shout “treason!”
From what I remember, Shakespeare’s company was made up of about 15 people – which means this “all” here is probably pretty small.
All? Really? All? Like “that would hang us every mother’s son?” All?
It’s kind of a great word for a whole bunch of people to all decide to say together. “Gentlemen” doesn’t necessarily roll right off the tongue. Who would kick off this all with “gentlemen”? My guess is the priest. And others backed him up.
Or the king, I suppose. But he’s just spoken and no one joined in. I’m sticking with the priest.