Good morning and welcome to the last day of the 2017 Blackfriar's Conference! This is Lauren Romagnano and I will be writing about this morning's final plenary session.
We begin with Abigail Montgomery's "By a brother's hand": To Double or Not to Double Ghost and Claudius in Hamlet. Her paper focuses on the casting decisions made about who the Ghost of King Hamlet should be doubled with: Claudius or Fortinbras. While many companies choose to double the two kingly figures, Montgomery argues that this compromises the emotional alliances audience members make. She believes that the doubling of the Ghost and Fortinbras is a much stronger choice. Montgomery invites three actors to the stage to stage both depictions of doubling. While the familial relationships and brotherhood are more visible by the casting of one man, it changes the sympathies of the audience to either distrust the Ghost or empathize with Claudius.