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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: June ::
Re: Soliloquy; Devils; *Tmp.*; Suicides; Hal
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0564.  Thursday, 23 June 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Mary Jane Miller <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 22 Jun 94 14:00:51 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0550  Re: Hamlet's First Soliloquy
 
(2)     From:   William Proctor Williams <TB0WPW1@NIU.BITNET>
        Date:   Wednesday, 22 Jun 94 16:48 CDT
        Subj:   Devils
 
(3)     From:   Phyllis Rackin <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 22 Jun 1994 18:32:41 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0551  Re: *Tmp.*
 
(4)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 22 Jun 1994 20:47:35 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0556  Re: Suicides
 
(5)     From:   Patricia Gallagher <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 22 Jun 1994 20:13:06 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Hal and his companions
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Jane Miller <
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Date:           Wednesday, 22 Jun 94 14:00:51 -0400
Subject: 5.0550  Re: Hamlet's First Soliloquy
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0550  Re: Hamlet's First Soliloquy
 
RE HAMLET'S  " break my heart" . How about...
 
a) the court of Claudius is a dangerous place to express doubts about an
'o'er hasty marriage', even for the heir apparent all ungartered later on.
b) he can't prove a thing about his surmise [ which is ?]- and hasn't
talked to the ghost yet
c) as Prince Hamlet anything he says has political ramifications - and a
trusted friend, Horatio hasn't arrived either - though pat he comes to
break off the soliloquy
d) his Mother has been 'Niobe all tears' so he can't find it in himself to
express his grief or fears publically for fear it may also seem
hypocritical or overdone.
e) Despite the fact that its Claudius who later says'His father lost, lost
his...passing through nature to eternity' that is also the truth of the
matter - and Hamlet recognises that he should be trying to achieve some
equilibrium, however tenuous, as time goes on.
 
and so on . As ever, Hamlet keeps his own counsel when questioned - Mary
Jane Miller
 
P.S. Thanks to all for so many  thought provoking ideas and some bouts of
delighted laughter this past academic year. I'm away for a while but I look
forward to catching up when I return
 
Mary Jane Miller
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Proctor Williams <TB0WPW1@NIU.BITNET>
Date:           Wednesday, 22 Jun 94 16:48 CDT
Subject:        Devils
 
This should, I suppose, be sent only to John Cox, but the Devils question seems
to have gotten the list's attention. I have another Devil.  It is in a set of
plays (6) I am editing which were written by Cosmo Manuche (sorry about the
name, but he was English--Merchant Taylors' School and officer in the Royalist
army) three of which were published in 1652 and three of which exist only in
manuscipt.  In any case, in +The Banished Shepherdess+ written in very early
1660 there is a stage devil who not only causes great difficulties for the
other characters but who is also a textual crux.  If anyone, most certainly
including John Cox, wants more information would they please send me a message
off the list.  Send it to the BITNET address not the INTERNET address as I
currently have to pay for the latter out of my own pocket.  Northern Illinois
University is currently the disused off-ramp on the Information Superhighway.
 
William Proctor Williams
Department of English
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL  60115
bitnet:  TB0WPW1@NIU.BITNET
internet:
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Telephone:  (815) 758-4565
                or
            (815) 753-6608
Fax:  (815) 753-0606
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Phyllis Rackin <
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Date:           Wednesday, 22 Jun 1994 18:32:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0551  Re: *Tmp.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0551  Re: *Tmp.*
 
I think it would be  useful to think about Caliban, not as an actual inhabitant
of a colonized place,  but as an early seventeenth-century representation of
such a person, produced in England for English consumption--i.e., for the
entertainment of compatriots of the people who were actually engaged in
colonizing (stealing land, enslaving its inhabitants, raping indigenous women,
etc.).
 
Native men had far fewer opportunities to rape European women than European
male colonizers had to rape native women.  Moreover, in at least one captivity
narrative written by an American female settler, she expresses her surprise
that her native captors did not attempt at any time to violate her.
Apparently, her experience with European culture had led her to believe that
this would happen, but it didn't.
 
The representation of Caliban as rapist helps to justify the colonial project.
In other words, I think we have to take at face value Miranda's and Prospero's
claims that Caliban tried to rape her.  That's written into the play to prove
that Caliban "deserves" to be enslaved.
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 22 Jun 1994 20:47:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0556  Re: Suicides
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0556  Re: Suicides
 
I am amused to read John Drakakis's rather romantic accounts of Othello's and
Cleopatra's suicides. But for Drakakis, these are not suicides; they are
murders. Othello kills, not himself, but some secondary identity imposed by
Venice. Drakakis's account of Cleopatra is more complicated, but again the
actor kills the "character." But which character? The Egyptain Cleopatra? No,
the Romanized Cleopatra (I guess).
 
Drakakis says that I believe what I see. But he should know that Americans
believe only one half of what they see, and nothing of what they hear.
 
Cleopatra, of course, is not the romanticized tragic female-character described
by Drakakis. Like Lear, she ends deceived. She is Caesar's dupe. As Cleopatra
deceives Antony by sending word of her suicide, Caesar deceives Cleopatra into
killing herself by sending word (through Dolabella) of her imminent departure
for Rome. With her death, Caesar wraps things up in Egypt, and the time of
universal peace is near. A cynical reading? You bet. But the Cultural
Materialists should love it. It's a story about POWER, not sentimentality.
 
Yours for golden days and purple nights,
Bill Godshalk
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Patricia Gallagher <
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Date:           Wednesday, 22 Jun 1994 20:13:06 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Hal and his companions
 
In reference to Luc Borot's comments about Hal and his relationship to his
companions. I agree - evil is too strong a word, but I resist calling them
merely non-conformists. They are liars, thieves, and, if we follow Falstaff's
thread far enough ("fodder for cannons"), murderers.
 
Yes, Hal does "know [them] all", and as a result, rejects them and their
principles. And I doubt he sees Falstaff as a father figure. Hal HAS a father;
I think Falstaff shows him how NOT to be a father, and gives him another more
important lesson. By 2HIV, Hal has begun to realize that his father is not as
narrow-minded as he had always assumed.
 
That Hal will ultimately allow one of these "boon companions" to die by the
hangman's noose demonstrates how much regard he has for their system of values.
 

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