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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: January ::
Re: Ideology and Soliloquys
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0096.  Tuesday, 21 January 1997.

(1)     From:   John Lee <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Jan 1997 16:53:06 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   English Education

(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Jan 1997 17:00:00 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0086  Re: Ideology Once Again

(3)     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Jan 1997 23:35:43 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   RE: Soliloquys and truth


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Lee <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Jan 1997 16:53:06 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        English Education

It's a small point, but I would think that few who have passed through the
English Educational System would recognize it from Gabriel Egan's description.

And it's another small point, but some of those Tory ministers's know more than
a few scraps. (Some politicians are stupid, but not many. Some are very bright
-- and particularly good at using language effectively.)  Terence Hawkes, if I
remember rightly, was involved in a head to head. Any comments?

And Rhodes Boyson isn't Minister for Education.  Gillian Shepherd is.

John Lee

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Jan 1997 17:00:00 -0500
Subject: 8.0086  Re: Ideology Once Again
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0086  Re: Ideology Once Again

"The postulate itself, however, cannot be proven; it is merely a prejudice,"
writes Sean Lawrence--I think--correctly.  Meaning is postulated, not proven.
So I believe; I don't really know.

Dale Lyle is apparently fed up with my insistence that entities and actions are
not innately meaningful.  So let me make my point:  it seems to me that the
Marxist Shakespeareans first postulate that there is no innate meaning, no
inherent truth. They then go on to postulate that certain categories (e.g.,
economics, ideology) have innate meanings and are inherently true.

I don't think anyone can have it both ways.  If entities and actions are not
innately meaningful, then they are not innately meaningful. Full stop.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Jan 1997 23:35:43 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        RE: Soliloquys and truth

Louis Swilley writes

> A character, alone on the stage (or speaking to a
> *corpse*, which is the same thing), must be talking to
> himself and delivering his true feelings, call the
> speech a soliloquy or whatever you like.

Why? I may enter an empty stage and say 'I am Cassius, and I feel tired'. Both,
either, or neither might be untrue. Your tone implies that the conventions
operating in early modern drama are clear to us. I suggest that they are far
from clear, but our presumptions seem so reliable that questioning them appears
silly and pedantic.

We mustn't forget that those on the stage are pretending, after all.

> Is it your contention that the audience watching the
> play can be interpreted as a character *in* the play,
> as perhaps a crowd of Romans? Surely not at this point
> in this play.

As you final question indicates, more possibilities exist than are allowed for
in your earlier certainty.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I disagree with everything you said about
transcendental truths, absolutes, "constant selves", and the like. (But let's
not start another relativism thread, eh?)

Gabriel Egan
 

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