Much Virtue in <i>O-Oh</i>: A Case Study
The ‘O, o, o, o’ that follows Hamlet’s ‘The rest is silence’ in Shakespeare's first folio has often been derided, but this signal is found in five other Shakespeare plays and in the words of dramatists as varied as Jonson, Middleton, Fletcher, Massinger, and Brome to indicate that a figure is dying, mortally wounded, or sick, or to generate a comic effect. Shakespeare was adept at using the tools at hand, but to understand his distinctive implementation of those tools requires a working knowledge of the theatrical vocabulary shared at that time by playwrights, players, and playgoers.
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Riverside edition, ed. G. Blakemore Evans (Boston, 1997).
Hamlet, ed. G. R. Hibbard, (Oxford, 1987), 352.
Hamlet Works http://triggs.djvu.org/global-language.com/ENFOLDED/index.php
E. A. J. Honigmann, ‘Re-enter the Stage Direction: Shakespeare and Some Contemporaries,’ Shakespeare Survey 29 (1976), 123.
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Third Edition of Annals of English Drama 975-1700, ed. Alfred Harbage, rev. S. Schoenbaum, rev. Sylvia Stoler Wagonheim (London, 1989)
Alan C. Dessen and Leslie Thomson, A Dictionary of Stage Directions in English Drama (Cambridge, 1999).
Alan C. Dessen, Recovering Shakespeare’s Theatrical Vocabulary (Cambridge, 1995)
Terence Hawkes, That Shakespeherian Rag: essays on a critical process (London, 1986), 73-4.
Martin Coyle, “’O, o, o, o’: Hamlet Again” http://www2.lingue.unibo.it/ACUME/acumedvd/zone/research/essays/coyle.htm
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