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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: March ::
Re: Hamilton; Anachronisms; Desdemona's Guilt;
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0310.  Monday, 3 March 1997.

[1]     From:   John Robinson  <
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        Date:   Sunday, 2 Mar 1997 22:10:11 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0303 Re: Will, *Cardenio*; Canon

[2]     From:   Bob Marks <
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        Date:   Monday, 03 Mar 1997 07:17:34 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0300  Re: Anachronisms

[3]     From:   Trace Shelton  <
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        Date:   Sunday, 2 Mar 1997 22:35:01 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0283  Qs: Desdemona's Guilt

[4]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Monday, 3 Mar 1997 11:08:37 GMT
        Subj:   Re: Ideology


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Robinson  <
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Date:           Sunday, 2 Mar 1997 22:10:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0303 Re: Will, *Cardenio*; Canon
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0303 Re: Will, *Cardenio*; Canon

Well, I have learned a valuable lesson; namely, to be more careful what
I say and how I say it. When I first replied on the subject of Cardenio
and Mr Hamilton's books I wrote the "just because no one has a better
theory does not mean we have to accept a crazy one."  I should have put
"crazy" in quotes since I was responding to, and using, Mr Wasserman's
word choice regarding acceptable theories about  SMT.

I also felt my choice of qualifiers "it seems to me" and "I believe"
would make it clear that I was reconstructing my opinion from memory-I
read In Search of Shakespeare several years ago. At any rate, if I was
"off the beam" (an interesting expression in my case since I used to be
a high-steel worker) thanks for the correction, I'll be more careful in
the future.  Now to the business at hand. I have never heard of the
above listed poem "There was a Lover and His Lass" what can anyone tell
me about it.

Thanks
 John Robinson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Marks <
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Date:           Monday, 03 Mar 1997 07:17:34 -0800
Subject: 8.0300  Re: Anachronisms
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0300  Re: Anachronisms

Lear has many anachronisms. Supposedly set in England something like 800
BC. Yet clearly not much more than medieval or even modern in King James
day.

Bob Marks

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Trace Shelton  <
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Date:           Sunday, 2 Mar 1997 22:35:01 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 8.0283  Qs: Desdemona's Guilt
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0283  Qs: Desdemona's Guilt

>I have a question that no one has seemed to be able to answer, or that I
>haven't found the right sources.  At the end of "Othello"  Desdemona
>accepts her death at Othello's hands and I want to know why.  I have
>been searching our feeble library for possibilities and they are few and
>far between.
>
>Does anyone know where I should look/ How about some feedback?
>
>My argument is that Desdemona seems to be an independent woman who would
>not take any sh@t from a man, regardless of how much she loves him.
>
>Thanks for any suggestions,  Michelle Walker

My advice would be to check out the World Shakespeare Bibliography on
CD-ROM.  It includes every article on Shakespeare or his work written in
the last few years.  I cannot emphasize enough how much more useful this
database is than, say, MLA International, at least for Shakesperian
researchers.  As for your argument, I would respond that Desdemona is
not all that independent, except for the first Act, and takes sh@t from
Othello throughout the course of the play.  He actually strikes her in
the presence of Lodovico, and she yet attempts to regain his good
graces.  I think it is to her credit, in one sense, that she tries in
vain to prove to Othello that she is a loving wife, but she is far too
naive to realize how far gone Othello is at this point.  Furthermore, I
would argue that she does not "accept" her death, but rather pleads for
mercy:  "O, banish me, my lord, but kill me not!"  At this point, she
has only rhetoric as a possible weapon, as Othello is physically
stronger by a long shot.  This is only my personal opinion, of course.

Excelsior!
Trace Shelton

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Monday, 3 Mar 1997 11:08:37 GMT
Subject:        Re: Ideology

Charles Ross asks

> Is there a difference between a decision
> and an existential decision?

Yes, as there is between a car and a red car. Which part of this is
unclear?

> The convicted murderer looking at me with hate-filled
> eyes across the TV screen knows he can't win and
> he also knows he should not win. The revolutionary
> who attracts my sympathy often knows he cannot win
> but it may be that he should win. To feel sorry for
> Satan requires the latter, Romantic reading.

Literary effects (ah, my Romanticism is exposed) can evoke from me the
sympathy for the convicted murderer which, as you say, I should reserve
for the revolutionary. Doesn't Milton first bring me to feel sympathy
precisely in order to force a later re-assessment in favour of the moral
distinction you make?

As so often happens in these discussions, it's turned out that we are in
complete agreement after all.

Gabriel Egan
 

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