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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: March ::
Re: A Few Good Men
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0265.  Friday, 25 March 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Naomi Conn Liebler <
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        Date:   Thursday, 24 Mar 94 11:57:03 GMT
        Subj:   SHK 5.0262 Re: A Few Good Men
 
(2)     From:   Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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        Date:   Thursday, 24 Mar 1994 09:09:59 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0262 Re: A Few Good Men
 
(3)     From:   Lonnie J Durham <
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        Date:   Thursday, 24 Mar 1994 18:02:49 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Good and evil characters
 
(4)     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 24 Mar 1994 11:05:41 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0262  Re: A Few Good Men
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Naomi Conn Liebler <
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Date:           Thursday, 24 Mar 94 11:57:03 GMT
Subject: Re: A Few Good Men
Comment:        SHK 5.0262 Re: A Few Good Men
 
Depends, of course, on the definition of "good," as my old friend Aristotle
used to say. I've always thought--and think so still--that ALL the tragic
protagonists are GOOD men and women, even Macbeth who starts out as loyal
thane defending his king and his feudal structures against "that most disloyal
traitor / The Thane of Cawdor."
 
That's the trajectory of tragedy (you should pardon the alliteration): the
destruction of good guys.
 
Cheerfully,
Naomi Liebler
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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Date:           Thursday, 24 Mar 1994 09:09:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0262 Re: A Few Good Men
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0262 Re: A Few Good Men
 
Dear Everybody out there concerned about "good men" in Shakespeare's plays. My
problem is that I can hardly think of a single "good" man (or maybe woman too)
in the plays who isn't tinged with a shadow. Good, dear old Adam in AYL verges
on being an Uncle Tom; Horatio may be the last of the Romans but he's also
something of an enigma, maybe a little sneaky; Tranio is close to a buffoon;
Kent smacks of the "plain dealer" syndrome,  etc.  etc. Is this because I've
been repositioned in history, because the plays are some kind of a Rorschach
inkblot test, because I can't read, or because Shakespeare in his genius
created characters with real virtues and warts? I think it may be all of the
above but I favor the last theory. Ken Rothwell
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lonnie J Durham <
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Date:           Thursday, 24 Mar 1994 18:02:49 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Good and evil characters
 
As several contibutors to this topic have already suggested, the categories
"good" and "evil" may not be particularly relevant except on a superficial
level.  I am thinking especially about the cases of the Vice-Misrule types like
Diccon in *Gammer Gurton*.  He and his ilk work to stimulate (and ultimately to
purge) repressed animosities.  RIII is really this type rather than a tragic
hero; Hamlet is this _and_ a tragic hero. Tamburlaine is a cosmic example,
Feste a local, comic one. If to have a pharmacological function is "good," then
certainly all of these are good characters, despite appearances. No? Maybe?
Cheers to you all.  Thanks for the happy chatter.
 
Lonnie Durham  
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(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 24 Mar 1994 11:05:41 -0400
Subject: 5.0262  Re: A Few Good Men
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0262  Re: A Few Good Men
 
The reason Horatio becomes Claudius' go-for is that Theobald added a stage
direction at 4.5.74.  Even if we accept this emendation, Horatio's co-option
doesn't make him a bad person, but shows how insidious the court drama is, in
being able to enslave *even* so good a person.
 
        Cheers,
        Sean Lawrence.
 

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