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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: February ::
Re: Ideology (Various)
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0177.  Friday, 7 February 1997.

(1)     From:   Paul Hawkins <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 4 Feb 1997 14:11:02 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0167 Transcendence and History

(2)     From:   Sean K. Lawrence <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 05 Feb 1997 10:12:43 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0167  Re: Transcendence v. Historicism

(3)     From:   Ed Pixley <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 05 Feb 1997 14:51:04 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0152  Re: Ideology: Category Genes


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Hawkins <
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Date:           Tuesday, 4 Feb 1997 14:11:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0167 Transcendence and History
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0167 Transcendence and History

In order to maintain his position (which for convenience he labels in his
recent post generically "historicism"), Gabriel Egan seems to need to convert
defenders of Shakespeare's transcendence into deniers of history. I am sorry
not to oblige him.

The distinction in my post is between different relationships to history, one
that seems to mark those who claim that Shakespeare is time-bound, one that I
imagine underpins those who affirm Shakespeare's timelessness.

To assert that Shakespeare transcends his time does not mean that one denies he
was there in the first place.  And it sets no limit on one's curiosity about
the past or one's belief in its critical importance.

Similarly, to believe in "common humanity," "human nature,"  "human
universals," is not to deny cultural difference.

Paul Hawkins

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean K. Lawrence <
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Date:           Wednesday, 05 Feb 1997 10:12:43 -0800
Subject: 8.0167  Re: Transcendence v. Historicism
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0167  Re: Transcendence v. Historicism

> One cannot be for transcendence and historicism.

Actually, Gabriel, Sartre's view of consciousness transcending itself proceeds
by a rather linear process from Heidegger's insistence on the historicity of
Dasein.

Cheers,
Sean.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Pixley <
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Date:           Wednesday, 05 Feb 1997 14:51:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0152  Re: Ideology: Category Genes
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0152  Re: Ideology: Category Genes

Thank you Dan Lowenstein for a clear and concise description of the
relationship between ideas and the plays which embody them.  I was also
intrigued by your comparison to the field of law.

However, you may want to be aware that teachers have other reasons for
highlighting "bits and pieces" of Shakespeare in the classroom, as opposed to
always dealing with whole plays, than to focus on the ideas revealed in those
"bits and pieces."  One may do it to examine a particular dramaturgical
technique.  I, for example, frequently focus on the events surrounding the
murder of Duncan to explore what effects are achieved by Shakespeare's curious
plotting choice of not staging the killing, the single event of the story which
cannot be omitted and still retain the essence of the story.  By doing so, with
a play which most of my students already know, my students can readily see how
the artist's choice of what to show and what to tell about allows him to direct
our attention not to the killing but to the mind of the person doing the
killing.  I might also take a scene to explore varieties of ways of staging the
scene and what values are derived through such choices.  I frequently devote a
class period or more to language, choosing scenes which provide prose, blank
verse, rhymed couplets, and mixtures, scenes with stichomythia,assonance,
alliteration, etc., as well as commonplaces and soliloquys.

I'm sure others could provide you with many more values to be gained from a
"bits and pieces" approach. Nevertheless, I thank you again for a well stated
position on the play/idea relationship.

Ed Pixley
SUNY-Oneonta
 

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