Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

Note to Hamlet, 1.1.63: "sledded Polacks"


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Hamlet,
Act 1, Scene 1, line 63
This is a famous crux (a passage which invites different interpretations). The two versions of Hamlet published in Shakespeare's lifetime, the First Quarto and the Second Quarto, have "sleaded pollax," which doesn't make good sense. The First Folio (the first collected works of Shakespeare, published after his death by two of his fellow-actors) has "sledded pollax." Edmond Malone (1741 - 1812), famous editor of Shakespeare, emended the "pollax" to "Polacks." However, King Hamlet was at war with the King of Norway, not the Poles, and so some editors emend the phrase to "leaded pole-ax."