Arrant Knave!! : LUSENET : Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet : One Thread

"There's ne'er a villain dwelling in all Denmark, but he's an arrant knave":

So says Hamlet in I.v., but I never really understood what he was saying here. So, help me out all you great guys; What does Prince Hamlet mean?

-- Bastard Norris (, July 27, 2003


By the way, I know what "arrant knave" means - I don't want an explanation for that, in case you thought I was a real prize prick!

-- Bastard Norris (, July 27, 2003.

Not that I'm a specialist in Shakspeare, my educated guess would be that he is saying that a villain cannot exist in Denmark, for it is a great kingdom etc. but Claudius comes close. That's my guess, but I could very easily be wrong...

-- Rachel (, July 30, 2003.

Yes, I think you're wrong.

-- Bastard Norris (, August 01, 2003.

As a translation: Any villain living in denmark is an outright villain. That is, as Horatio's response points out, it's Hamlet stating the bloody obvious. Hamlet, if he's thinking clearly at all at this point, says it to avoid answering what Horatio and Marcellus are asking him, which is, what the ghost really told Hamlet. But I think Hamlet really is also just be babbling 'wild and whirling words', not coming up with clever witticisms.

-- catherine england (, August 01, 2003.

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