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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: January ::
Re: Subjectivity in *Hamlet*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0003. Saturday, 1 January 1994.
 
From:           Michael Sharpston <
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Date:           Thursday, 30 Dec 1993 21:18:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 4.0907 Subjectivity in *Hamlet*
Comment:        RE: SHK 4.0907 Subjectivity in *Hamlet*
 
In relation to Julie Travers' original query (SHK 4.0907), and also some
subsequent contributions, I should like to suggest the following framework:
 
          a) The Environment
             How People Perceive that Environment (to themselves)
 
          b) Language to Express Oneself (inner purpose predominates..speaker
             can even be alone)
             Language to Communicate  (focus on recipient)
 
          c) Meaning of a Communication as Perceived by Recipient
 
"Subjectivity" may perhaps be better understood in these different contexts.
If I have just come from Sweden in winter I may perceive a certain outdoor
temperature as warmer than would someone from northern Brazil:  this is (a).
It is not at all the same as Polonius and courtier fiction (with the focus on
pleasing the recipient, Language to communicate, (b)).  Conditioned social/
gender expectations in a person would seem to me nearer to (a).
 
Vacillation, muddy language, to an audience implies that the speaker is using
Language to Communicate, in this case to Deceive.  (I thought Sean Lawrence's
posting [SHK 4.0918] was excellent: "poisoned cowardice").
 
Lastly, people tend themselves to believe what they say. Related I think is the
"authoritative ambiguity" to which Robert Burke refers [also SHK 4.0918], with
the scope it offers not fully to acknowledge one's own evil intent.
 
Positively lastly:  Happy New Year to Everyone!  Thanks to our kind editor
Hardy, and to all of you whose contributions I so much enjoyed reading.
 
          Michael Sharpston
          
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