Who Knows Who Knows Who’s There?
An Epistemology of Hamlet
(Or, What Happens in the Mousetrap)

Steve Roth

Roth, Steve. "Who Knows Who Knows Who’s There? An Epistemology of Hamlet (Or, What Happens in the Mousetrap)". Early Modern Literary Studies 10.2 (September, 2004) 3.1-27 <URL: http://purl.oclc.org/emls/10-2/rothepis.htm>.

    I know. You know I know. I know you know I know. We know Henry knows, and Henry knows we know it. We’re a knowledgeable family.

    — From The Lion in Winter, Prince Geoffrey to his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, speaking of her husband, his father, Henry II.

  1. There is one singular and important item about Hamlet that I believe has never been recognized. Unlike all previous revenge tragedies (Elizabethan and classical), and unlike the play’s source in Belleforest’s Histoires Tragique, in Hamlet nobody even knows that the primal murder has occurred. Claudius knows, of course. Hamlet knows (sort of). And Horatio knows (even more sort of). But no other character knows that King Hamlet was murdered—even (especially) at the end of the play. To repeat: this is not true of any other revenge tragedy before Hamlet. In all those plays, the characters’ knowledge of the murder is the driving force of the drama. In Hamlet it is exactly the opposite.

  2. This singular fact is among other things a dramatic device addressing the central problem of revenge tragedies—once the revenge happens, the play’s over. How do you keep the audience interested in endless delay? The characters’ ignorance is responsible for much of Hamlet’s dramatic force, effect…and duration. It’s what drives the action of the play (or lack of same). Hamlet is remarkable in dramatic history for that alone; Shakespeare builds a four-hour play on this traditionally slender scaffolding.[1] But it also encapsulates one of Hamlet’s central and oft-discussed themes: the uncertainty of knowledge that’s epitomized in the opening line—“Who’s there?”—and that echoes throughout the play.

  3. I will not detail here all the examples of uncertain knowledge in the play; they’re ubiquitous. But I would like to explore one area of what I’ll call the Epistemology of Hamlet: the central item of King Hamlet’s murder, and what various characters and the audience know about it at various times. In the course of that discussion I hope to illuminate the theme of uncertain knowledge that rears its head throughout the play, a theme that is fundamental to Hamlet’s oft-noted role as a turning point from medieval to modern thought.[2]

    Murder Most Foul

  4. So to begin: who knows what about King Hamlet’s murder, and when? We can assume that Claudius knows of the murder throughout the play. He reveals his guilt to the audience twice, in passages discussed below.

  5. After his contretemps with the ghost, Hamlet believes (and wants to believe) that his father was murdered, but he doesn’t know it. The reliability of the ghost is questioned throughout the play—by the guards, Horatio, and especially Hamlet. If Hamlet’s need for the mousetrap isn’t demonstration enough, Prosser, McGee, and Greenblatt have shown quite conclusively that the ghost’s provenance and credibility, take them as Hamlet will “for a thousand pound,” would not be trusted at face value by Elizabethans.[3] Hamlet and the audience cannot but give the ghost credence, but neither can they give it certain credence. So even after the ghost’s revelation, only Hamlet and the audience know of the murder; and Hamlet’s knowledge, in particular, is far from certain.

  6. Horatio hears of the murder from Hamlet sometime prior to the mousetrap, when Hamlet speaks of “the circumstance/Which I have told thee of my father’s death” (3.2.74–75).[4] But Horatio has only heard a secondhand report, of damned uncertain provenance, transmitted through an interlocutor of more-than-questionable reliability. The audience hears only a fleeting, secondhand reference to this report, emphasizing its tenuous nature.

  7. We as audience get unambiguous confirmation of the murder, and Claudius’ guilt, just prior to the nunnery scene, when Claudius says, “How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience.../The harlot’s cheek.../Is not more ugly.../Than is my deed.” (3.1.49–52) From this point forward, we know the murder happened, and that Claudius did it.

    What Happens in the Mousetrap

  8. It’s in the mousetrap that the epistemology of Hamlet has been most misconstrued—and debated. Here I enter quite a fray, whose fascinating but convoluted history I will not attempt to review.[5] The contentions generally revolve around John Dover Wilson’s arguments in the various editions of What Happens in Hamlet,[6] so to avoid a confusing and for my purposes unnecessary trip through complex critical arguments, I will use Wilson’s assertions as my springboard.

  9. The mousetrap is at the very center of Hamlet—both literally and dramatically. What happens there shapes the meaning and import of the whole play. But despite some centuries of athletic discussion and debate, Wilson and every other major critic and editor has failed to realize a fairly crucial point: the mousetrap doesn’t work. With only a handful of exceptions that I have found (with only two full-throated examples), every critic and editor has both assumed and concluded that the mousetrap gives Hamlet proof and certain knowledge of Claudius’ guilt.[7] But Wilson himself refuted that view, unconsciously though quite conclusively.[8] When he says that “The truth of the Ghost’s story has been proved up to the hilt” in the mousetrap, that “Hamlet is left with no shred of excuse for doubting his uncle’s guilt”,[9] he fails to realize that the statement is contradicted by his own important insights. The play of knowledge in the mousetrap scene is both simpler and more complex than is generally allowed, and the dramatic tension arising from that knowledge-play is far more intense.

  10. As Wilson points out, the courtiers don’t see Gonzago as a reenactment of Old Hamlet's murder; they don’t even know about the murder.[10] Just before the poisoning, Hamlet announces that Lucianus is nephew to Gonzago. So what the courtiers see represented is the king’s nephew poisoning the king and taking his crown. This is in a play put on by the nephew of the current king, who only three months back preempted the nephew’s succession and inheritance, and arguably whored his mother. To the courtiers, the Gonzago play looks like a not terribly well-veiled threat against the king’s life. Gertrude, Ophelia, Polonius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and all the rest must be feeling deucedly uncomfortable watching this scene, and the scene surrounding it—mighty opposites and all that. (And we, as audience, should be sharing that discomfort in spades.)

  11. But that crucial insight about the nephew—so obvious once Wilson stated it so clearly—failed to answer for Wilson his own vexing question (addressed by many others before and since): why doesn’t Claudius react to the dumb show? Wilson suggests that Claudius is in hugger-mugger conversation with Gertrude and Polonius during the dumb show, and isn’t watching—a suggestion which has no support in the text.[11] I find a simple explanation more persuasive: if Claudius reacted to the dumb show, it would confirm his guilt to Hamlet. Claudius is far too consummate to react at that point. Once Hamlet names Lucianus as nephew, though, Claudius’ anger is perfectly justified by anyone’s lights.

  12. And Hamlet knows that. This is the key fact that Wilson and others have failed to note. Far from proving guilt, Hamlet knows that Claudius could just as well be reacting to the blatant threat against his life, put on before the whole court. Or he could be reacting to both; Hamlet doesn’t know. He wants to believe that he’s gained proof, of course, and arguably he does believe it on some level. But considering the above, “I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound” is more self-convincing than conviction. Horatio’s typically circumspect response is hardly resounding in its support:
    Hamlet: O good Horatio! I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound. Didst perceive?
    Horatio: Very well, my lord.
    Hamlet: Upon the talk of the poisoning?
    Horatio: I did very well note him.
    Consider what’s going through Horatio’s mind at this moment: “Yes, I saw you put on a play before the court threatening the king’s life, with you as chorus, and he got really angry in response. Yes, I saw that.” His is not a ringing endorsement.[12]

  13. So who learns what in the course of the mousetrap?

  14. So even after Gonzago, Hamlet doesn’t know if Claudius knows he knows; he still doesn’t know for sure if there’s anything to know. And Claudius doesn’t know with what certainty or proof Hamlet knows. This is to phrase the situation in an admittedly Byzantine manner, but it aptly evokes the Italianate cat-and-mouse game that’s at play.

    Wherefore the Dumb Show?

  15. This understanding also explains the knotty problem of why the dumb show is there in the first place. It’s not just Kydian detritus, or Shakespeare’s slovenly unconcern for dramatic or narrative logic, as various have averred. Nor is it some kind of “double test” to give Hamlet more certainty (the much-disparaged “second-tooth” theory—Claudius can stand one tooth being pulled, but the second one finally gets to him).[13] And it doesn’t much matter for this discussion whether Hamlet or the players are responsible for the dumb show. Its dramatic purpose in Hamlet is simple: to reveal Hamlet’s knowledge to Claudius[14] (and equally, to reveal to the audience that Hamlet’s knowledge has been revealed to Claudius). All the loaded jibes and veiled attacks in the rest of the scene (“they do but jest, poison in jest—no offense i’ the world”) build on the tension of Hamlet and Claudius’ barely-hidden knowledge, and the inner and outer audiences’ different states of knowledge—a disparity and tension brought about by the revelation of the dumb show.

  16. The dumb show is not a superfluity or a mistake; it’s is a well-shaped and purposeful dramatic vehicle, a key part of the intricate dance of knowledge between Claudius and Hamlet—that furtive game of political intrigue that ultimately devolves into the play’s final scene.

  17. This explanation does not, I think, entail any of the (often extraordinary) logical, dramatic, or theatrical contortions that previous interpretations have been heir to. And it leaves intact the important dramatic device of uncertain knowledge about the murder. (We’re only halfway through the play, after all.) So the dramatic and narrative purpose is clear. But at least one psycho-logical question arises: Why does Hamlet give Claudius this easy way out of the trap, by naming Lucianus as nephew? I suggest that it’s inadvertent—that in his manic, jibing, ad-libbed chorusing, he frames the play wrong, presumably in order to threaten Claudius and get his goat. That’s certainly in keeping with his character, and his youth. Again, Wilson supports this view, again without quite knowing he is doing so:
    …it is Hamlet himself who, chorus-like, supplies the information [about Lucianus as nephew]…he uses the play to threaten his uncle in a fashion which no one who sees it can mistake. It is a sudden dénoument, sudden like all Hamlet’s actions, like his assumption of the “antic disposition” or his decision to have the Gonzago-play itself; and I think Shakespeare intended us to consider it unpremeditated.[15]

    As Kill a King

  18. Claudius’ prayer scene after the mousetrap reiterates to the audience that the murder did occur, and that Claudius is guilty. We already know that, of course (those of us who weren’t in conversation during his previous repentance speech), but the scene has other dramatic and narrative purposes as well, which don’t require explanation here.

  19. The only other character to receive even an hint of the murder is Gertrude. It’s often assumed that Hamlet reveals it to her in her closet, but a look at the conversation shows it to be oddly otherwise. Hamlet has just stabbed Polonius, but he hasn’t lifted the arras yet; he still thinks it’s the king who lies behind. (Again, Hamlet’s knowledge is different from Gertrude’s and the audience’s. That disparity generates the irony and dramatic tension of the moment.)
    Gertrude: O! what a rash and bloody deed is this!
    Hamlet: A bloody deed! almost as bad, good mother,
    As kill a king, and marry with his brother.
    Gertrude: As kill a king!
    Hamlet: Ay, lady, ’twas my word.
    These are wild and whirling words; Hamlet is apparently accusing Gertrude of the murder. Gertrude gets an intimation that King Hamlet was killed, but no hint that Claudius did it. And they never return to the subject.

  20. Eighty lines later, the ghost appears to Hamlet, but not to Gertrude, undermining any credibility that Hamlet’s talk of “killing” may have had. (It must also strain Hamlet’s certainty.) This is odd behavior for the ghost, which we could explain by imputing various ghostly motivations. But its failure to appear to Gertrude certainly serves to continue the central dramatic device driving the action of the play—everyone else’s ignorance of the murder. Hamlet goes to some lengths to convince Gertrude he’s not crazy, but given his behavior and his misdirected and only passing reference to the killing, there’s no way we can say that she “knows” of the murder.

  21. And that is the last piece of even tenuous knowledge gained about the murder, by any character in the play. Hamlet refers to it again in conversation with Horatio (“He that hath kill’d my king”), but he’d already told Horatio about it. Even when Laertes reveals Claudius’ perfidy—“the king’s to blame”—he’s not talking about King Hamlet’s murder, because he has no inkling of it; he’s talking about the poisoned cup and foil.

  22. So at the end, where does that leave Horatio, the only character left who has any idea that King Hamlet was murdered? He has to convince the courtiers that there was a ghost (he has the officers’ word to support that, at least), that the ghost described the murder (he only heard of this from Hamlet, so the courtiers will hear it third-hand), and that it was an honest ghost (Horatio has to wonder—his impression of the mousetrap’s “proof” probably lacks Hamlet’s conviction—so what will the courtiers think?). He doesn’t even know about the ghost’s second appearance. And he has no idea what passed between Laertes and Claudius, so he’ll be hard-pressed to explain the final carnage.

  23. Horatio may try to report Hamlet and his cause aright, but in the end nobody will really know what happened, and what they do know will be uncertain and confused. Excusing the meter, we could adapt Hamlet’s words for Horatio: “O, cursed sprite, that ever I was born to report aright.”[16]

    Let Belief Take Hold

  24. That bleak prospect—of eternal uncertainty, and purposes permanently mistook—is an apt coda to the play’s opening line, and a meet summation of its forever vague, doubtful, and ambiguous portrayal of knowledge. It’s perhaps interesting to note here that words containing “believ-” and “belief” occur twice as frequently in Hamlet as in Shakespeare’s other plays,[17] and more than half of those usages are coupled with negatives (“believe none of us”) or qualifiers (“do in part believe it”).

  25. The uncertainty of knowledge in Hamlet is mirrored in the confused textual situation for the play itself—the multiple, partially overlapping, contradictory versions, and the many equally valid readings that are epitomized in Hamlet’s small and consummate speech on readiness and the fall of a sparrow. (There are at least half a dozen valid readings of the final, resounding sentence.) It’s perhaps merely amusing to think that the author intended all that textual confusion.

  26. Nietzsche’s assertion of Hamlet’s problem—that he has achieved “true knowledge,” that he has “looked truly into the essence of things,” and that his knowledge “inhibits action...outweighs any motive for action,”[18]—is wrong by a hundred and eighty degrees. True, “action requires the veil of illusion”—why should Hamlet live or act when he’s just going to die, and when the rest is silence, unless thinking makes it so? But Hamlet’s achievement lies in his ability to adopt that illusion not in the face of “true knowledge,” but in despite of knowing that he can never truly know.

  27. Or perhaps that is Hamlet’s unique achievement, not Hamlet’s.


[1] Fredson Bowers noted the lack of knowledge early in the play in Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy (Princeton, Princeton UP, 1940, 89–90), and perceived its key innovation as a dramatic method to extend the action of a revenge tragedy. He attributed the innovation to Kyd in the ur-Hamlet, however (a position he later abandoned, but necessarily without commentary, in a note to the 1959 offset reprint edition, p. ix). He also failed to note that the ignorance in Hamlet extends to the end of the play, and beyond (or the implications of that fact): “In the Kydian [style of] tragedy a murder is committed secretly, the name of the murderer is given to the revenger by a medium which he distrusts; delay results until additional facts corroborate the ascription, but then the revenger is hampered by the counterdesigns of his enemy and all perish in the catastrophe.” (104)

[2] Hamlet’s pivotal position in the transition from medieval to modern thought is something of a critical commonplace, notwithstanding quibbles regarding period terminology (is it modern or is it early modern?). Mainstream discussion of that modernity has focused on the depth, interiority, and realism of Shakespeare’s characters, most notably Hamlet. This critical tradition finds its apotheosis in Bloom’s Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (New York: Riverhead Books-Penguin Putnam, 1998). But a widespread though less mainstream body of writings finds that modernity in the play’s widely-discussed obsession with questions and uncertainty (viz, Maynard Mack’s comment that  “Hamlet’s world is preeminently in the interrogative mood” in “The World of Hamlet,” Yale Review 41, 1952: 504). Several authors have explored the relation between Hamlet and the rise of skepticism in the Renaissance (with Montaigne looming large because of his demonstrated influence on Shakespeare’s writings). Examples include Aaron Landau’s “‘Let me not burst in ignorance’: Skepticism and Anxiety in Hamlet” (English Studies 82:3, June 2001, 218-230), which relates Hamlet to “the humanist revival of Academic and Pyrrhonian skepticism in the late Renaissance,” which Landau says “is explained by historians of philosophy as, to a large extent, a response to the 16th century schism in the Church”; and Eric P. Levy’s “‘Things standing thus unknown’: The Epistemology of Ignorance in Hamlet” (Studies in Philology 97:2, Spring 2002, 192-209), which argues that Hamlet “achieves epistemological self-control through acceptance of the limits of knowledge.” Many writers have viewed Hamlet in relation to existentialist thought, even going so far to depict Hamlet as an existentialist hero. Examples include Shakespeare and the dialectic of certainty by Lee A. Jacobus (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992), Michael G. Bielmeier’s Shakespeare, Kierkegaard, and Existential Tragedy (Lewiston, Queenston, and Lampeter: Mellen, 2000), and Christine Gomez’s “Hamlet—An Early Existential Outsider?” (Hamlet Studies 5 [1983]: 27-39). An extension of this body of thinking links Hamlet to the uncertainty inherent in the Theater of the Absurd. See for instance Robert B. Parker’s “Dark Laughter: Hamlet and the Problem of Belief” (Lock Haven Review 12, 1971, 81-89); Eric R. Boyer’s “Hamlet and Absurd Freedom: The Myth of Sisyphus as Commentary on Shakespeare's Creation” (Ball State University Forum 16:3, 1975: 54-66); and A. P. Aichinger’s “Hamlet and the Modern Dilemma.” (Culture 29, 1968: 142-49).

[3]  Prosser, E. Hamlet and Revenge, Stanford, Calif., Stanford UP, 1967. McGee, A. Chapter 3, “The Fellow in the Cellarage” in The Elizabethan Hamlet, New Haven and London, Yale UP, 1987. Greenblatt, S. Hamlet in Purgatory, Princeton, Princeton UP, 2001. Greenblatt cites the other major discussions of this issue, p. 308 n 46.

[4]  All line-number references are to Granville-Barker et. al., eds. The Riverside Shakespeare, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1974.

[5]  The flurry of arguments up to 1939 (with the most significant being between W. W. Greg and J. D. Wilson) is admirably summarized by W. W. Lawrence in “Hamlet and the Mouse-Trap,” PMLA 54 (1939), 709–735. More recent discussions include Andrew J. Green’s “The Cunning of the Scene,” Shakespeare Quarterly 4:4 (1953) 395–404; John Doebler’s “The Play Within the Play: Muscipula Diaboli in Hamlet,” Shakespeare Quarterly 23:2 (1972) 161–169; Lee Sheridan Cox’s Figurative Design in Hamlet: The Significance of the Dumb Show, Ohio State UP, 1973; W. W. Robson’s Did The King See The Dumb-Show? ( Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1975); M. R. Woodhead’s “Deep Plots and Indiscretions in ‘The Murder of Gonzago,’” Shakespeare Survey 32 (1979) 151–161; Eileen Z. Cohen’s “Hamlet and The Murder of Gonzago: Two Perspectives,” Revue Belge de Philologie et d’Histoire LXI:3 (1983) 543–556; Alfred Mollin’s “On Hamlet’s Mousetrap,” Interpretation 21:3 (1994) 353–372; and C. Edelman’s “’The very cunning of the scene’: Claudius and the mouse-trap,” Parergon 12:1 (1994) 15–25.

[6]  Wilson, J. D. What Happens in Hamlet, third edition, Cambridge, Cambridge UP, 1960. Cited below as WHIH.

[7] A prepublication reviewer of this article suggested that this is a “possibility that has been often recognized before.” That is certainly true; most every possibility about Hamlet has been raised before. But the realization is almost completely absent from the mainstream tradition, notably the editors’ notes and commentaries. Surprised by the reviewers’ comment, I re-checked the following editors and commentators: Harold Jenkins, H. H. Furness (and his cited predecessors), Samuel Johnson, E. K. Chambers, George Rylands, A. C. Bradley, William Empson, Fredson Bowers, J. D. Wilson, Harley Granville-Barker, Phillip Edwards, Harold Bloom, and G. R. Hibbard, plus every critic cited in note 5. All take it for granted that the mousetrap actually works—that it gives Hamlet proof of Claudius’s guilt. John Kerrigan is the most significant exception. (See notes 12 and 16.) Of the editors I reviewed, only Anne Barton, in her introduction to the Penguin edition, makes the point, calling the effect of the mousetrap “inconclusive” and saying that “the play is likely to be regarded by an ignorant court (and in some measure even by Claudius himself) as Hamlet’s scandalous threat to the life of an innocent and long-suffering uncle.” (Hamlet, ed. T. J. B. Spencer, New York etc.: Penguin, 1980. 32-33) She fails to note, though, that it is also likely be regarded as such by Hamlet. Future editors and critics might better serve their readers by questioning this editorial orthodoxy.

[8] William Empson has commented on Wilson’s “odd power of making a deep remark without seeing its implications.” “Up-dating Revenge Tragedy” in Pirie, ed., Essays on Shakespeare. Cambridge, 1986, 79-92.

[9] WHIH 200.

[10] WHIH 164.

[11] This view (first suggested by Tieck and—in Jenkins’ words—“revived by Halliwell-Phillips” and “insisted on by Dover Wilson”) has received wide airing and surprising consideration, given that it rests on a single tender prop. If Claudius saw the dumb show, Wilson wonders, why does he ask Hamlet whether Gonzago has any offence in it? But critics have offered many quite reasonable explanations for that query, and others are not difficult to come up with. Absent any other support in the text, Wilson’s insistence is pretty hard to accept.

[12]  Only one critic that I am aware of has fully grasped the uncertain outcome of the mousetrap, and the noncommittal nature of Horatio’s response. In Revenge Tragedy: Aeschylus to Armageddon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996, p. 79), John Kerrigan ascribes to the old second-tooth theory discussed below, but he also says, “The effects of the playlet are tested on Claudius, and Hamlet declares himself satisfied—though, as Horatio implies [citing Horatio’s lines quoted above], the experimental findings are ambiguous, and, to the end of the play, it can only be a rational probability for the prince (whatever the absolutes of his heart) that the king killed Old Hamlet.” Kerrigan does not note the originality in the genre of this ongoing uncertainty, however, or the fact that no other character knows of the murder.

[13] The “second tooth” moniker was apparently coined by A. W. Pollard in private conversation or correspondence with J. D. Wilson and/or W. W. Greg. I can track no printed source for it. In his 1917 “Hamlet’s Hallucination” (MLR XII:4, 393-421, described by Jenkins as “a notorious article”), Greg speaks in a footnote of “a theory (dubbed by a friend the ‘second tooth’ theory).” (398) (It’s significant the warm credit he gives to Pollard in the first footnote of the article.) In WHIH, Wilson says that the notion “has been wittily described by Dr Pollard as the ‘second tooth’ theory.” (151) In WHIH’s “epistle dedicatory to Dr W. W. Greg,” Wilson says “you can guess how much I have learnt from the criticisms and suggestions of A. W. Pollard.” The theory itself goes back at least to Dowden.

[14] W. W. Lawrence, in “Hamlet and the Mousetrap” (note 5) points out that this dramatic function “was recognized independently by H. D. Gray and by E. L. Ferguson in the same year (1919) that my own analysis [also recognizing this function] was published.” (730)

[15]  WHIH 170–171.

[16] Again, John Kerrigan (Revenge Tragedy, p. 189) has come closest to grasping Horatio’s situation: “Yet, can Horatio report either Hamlet or his cause aright? His brief account to Fortinbras, with its ‘carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts…accidental judgments, casual slaughters’ (380–5), suggests that he cannot, for everything that seems essential to Hamlet’s tragedy is left out. Honest, compassionate, and intelligent though he is, Horatio is not equipped by circumstance to inform the yet unknowing world about the nunnery scene, Claudius’ words to heaven, ‘To be or not to be’ or, indeed, any of those perplexed soliloquies.” To that list I would add the more mundane items of the ghost’s actual words to Hamlet (during either appearance), and Claudius’s conversations with Laertes.

[17]  21 usages in Hamlet for a frequency of .070%, compared to 303 usages in the whole dramatic corpus, for a frequency of .035%. The 16 occurrences in All’s Well match Hamlet’s frequency, which is exceeded only by Measure for Measure, with 25 occurrences and a frequency of .116%.

[18] The Birth of Tragedy, online tr. Ian C. Johnston: http://www.mala.bc.ca/~johnstoi/Nietzsche/tragedy_all.htm.               

Works Cited

Responses to this piece intended for the Readers' Forum may be sent to the Editor at M.Steggle@shu.ac.uk.

© 2004-, Matthew Steggle (Editor, EMLS).