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Summary

Igor Peshkov Hamlet's author has unfolded himself

The first part of the book is devoted to the authorship problem of Shakespearean canon. Scrutinizing the First Folio (1623) the author of the book has found three strange evidences: 1) the inappropriate word "severall" (on the place of needed "all") in the title of the content-page; 2) unusual misprinting on the last page of the volume (the 993 instead of the 399); 3) 25 pages in the book without pagination at all; 4) in Hamlet the scene with the Ghost (1.4. in the later scene division) is started on the page 156 and finished on the page 257. Then the page 258 follows and so on.

The researcher comes to the conclusion, that these evidences are deeply intertwined. Severall can be regarded as an anagram, which means E. Ver's all or Vere's all, 993 — the Edward De Vere's number, ciphered by the rather simple code and the pages without numbers is explained by the necessity to compose the bloc of the third pagination in 399 pages to mask the 993 as misprinting.

The 399 pages in folio are too much for Shakespeare's tragedies and to compose all the tragedies even roughly in 399 was impossible. But the composers simply add 100 pages for counting between the page number 156 and the page number 257. In the result it was issued more than necessary counted pages, a pair dozens more than 399. And they should apply another device to cut this "a pip out".

In the First Folio there is a hidden play. If we start looking for it, we'll find the tragedy "Troilus and Cressida" (which does not exist in the "Catalogue") between "Romeo and Juliet" and "Timon of Athens". The last page of the "Romeo and Juliet" is the 76th one and the "Timon of Athens" starts on the page number 80. So in the "Troilus and Cressida" we can find the device, with the help of which they finished to compose the block of third pagination in 399 pages: 25 pages of the hidden tragedy do not mark pagination at all! After page 80 of this play there are no folios at all — only black fields instead.

Thus we have 399 pages to mask the 993 as misprinting in the First Folio. And in the Second Folio (1632) there is another hint-misprinting — 399 instead of the correct number 389.

The second part of the book suggests the new interpretations of the play Hamlet by Shakespeare and its translation into Russian.

Chapter 3 (Who's there?) sets the list of problems which combine the ideas of Michael Bakhtin and deep content of Hamlet. As an example of this connection one can regard two starting replies of the tragedy («Who's there?» and «Stand and unfold yourself»), two barbs of the key to the tragedy. Although scholars who investigate the architectonics of Hamlet seems to be concerned exclusively with the first question, almost neglecting the second one, Hamlet nevertheless scrutinises both questions consistently. Thus the tragedy is divided into two. The first half of the play is devoted to the first problem and the latter half — to the second one. The revenge, and in connection with it the outward plot of the play is the third-rate problem («Long live the king!»), which is not a real question at all, but the rather a suggestion of the length of time given to the hero for solving the two first questions.

Chapter 4 (What is there?) suggests the character of Horatio as the key to the genre specification of Hamlet. Horatio normally is not regarded as a complicated or significant issue. As far as we know, the general image of Horatio has been heretofore considered rather uncontroversial: Horatio is a friend of Hamlet. Contrariwise in Russia there has recently emerged a quite opposite view on the character of Horatio: he is not a friend but a hidden enemy of Hamlet. Such a hypothesis seems to be the result of applying methods and criteria of studies on detective fiction.

§6 ("An Ancient tragedy of a Renaissance hero") offers a new interpretation of the literary sources of the most well-known of the Shakespearean tragedies. The authors turn to the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides based on the Orestes myth and conclude that in Shakespeare's Hamlet a relationship between the central hero and Horatio corresponds structurally to the model of relationship between the protagonist of a Greek tragedy and the choir or its coryphée. Horatio turns out to be a personification of a rational "classical" principle, a measure and a reference point for Hamlet's actions. Apart from that, direct comparison the authors also trace the connection between Hamlet and Latin reworkings of Greek plays in the Elizabethan theatre and point out possible importations from Seneca's Agamemnon.

But addressing Horatio, Hamlet has no intention of dealing with his rational alter ego because individual consciousness is incapable of perceiving time «out of joint». Hamlet's address to Horatio is the presentation of a more profound view of reality, beyond the level of individual perception, a view which in Greek tragedy was naturally expressed by the chorus which occasionally could even divulge the truth about the hero and the world.

Chapter 5 (How is there?) deals with the translations of Hamlet into Russian and in some cases into Spanish and other European languages. The notion of translation tradition is introduced.

Chapter 6 (Crisis, Love, Death) develops the conception of crisis time (from the chapter 3), which is connected with the Rhetoric of Aristotle.

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