Letter: Winter blues at Elsinore

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The Independent Online
Sir: Christopher Sladen's textual interpretation of Hamlet really won't do (letter, 18 February).

When the prince soliloquises about his mother's frailty in marrying her brother-in-law within "a little month" of her husband's death, he clearly means "a mere month". He is not thinking on the lines of "thirty days hath September... and February twenty-eight", so signalling February as the month of his father's death.

But if Christopher Sladen wants to back up the mid-winter theory he only has to look at Hamlet's arrival on the battlements - "The air bites shrewdly, it is very cold" - which would seem to justify Kenneth Branagh's snow.

IAN FLINTOFF

London SW6

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