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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: April ::
Re: Sources for Oedipus Theory; Antinomies
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0419.  Friday, 4 April 1997.

[1]     From:   John Boni <
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        Date:   Thursday, 3 Apr 1997 16:39:50 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0409 Re: Sources for Oedipus Theory

[2]     From:   C. David Frankel <
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        Date:   Friday, 4 Apr 1997 07:12:24 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0411  Re: Antinomies


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Boni <
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Date:           Thursday, 3 Apr 1997 16:39:50 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 8.0409 Re: Sources for Oedipus Theory
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0409 Re: Sources for Oedipus Theory

Norman Holland asks about Hamlet's instruction to his mother in
Gertrude's closet after he has murdered Polonius.

What is important is Hamlet's negative exists because his second set of
instructions to Gertrude contradicts the first, given to her only a few
lines earlier.  In the first set, he had posed the possibility of reform
to Gertrude: "Confess yourself to heaven/Repent what's past..." in the
most orthodox terms.

Then Hamlet accepts his role as scourge ("For this same lord/ I do
repent; but heaven hath pleased it so,/ To punish me with this and this
with me,/ that I must be their scourge and minister."  (G. R. Elliott
has a good piece with this title.)

Thus, the "bloody" Hamlet, enjoying the pain of "the bloat king"
'paddling' Gertrude's cheeks and bestowing his "reechy kisses" upon her,
now sets Gertrude as a tool to work on Claudius.  Now comes MY question:
Why does Hamlet instruct her to essentially expose his subterfuge:
"ravel all this matter out,/ That I am essentially not in madness,/ But
mad in craft."

Responses?
John M. Boni

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           C. David Frankel <
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Date:           Friday, 4 Apr 1997 07:12:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0411  Re: Antinomies
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0411  Re: Antinomies

On Thursday, 3 Apr 1997, Chris Stroffolino wrote:

>> Yes. I agree, they (differences) are "transcended" or they "collapse" at  least at SOME point (though it doesn't necessarily get the last  word)--Would you object to the synonymity of those two words in quotes? --Chris S.

Not at all.  In my recent reading of Kenneth Burke, I've contracted
Burkean flu.  He frequently focuses on various linguistic dichotomies
and discusses the way that as levels of generalization change the
original terms get transcended either upward or downward. I think that
sometimes, at least, that means that as one term or the other gets
stressed, we go up or down (each, of course, being relative to the mind
of the interpreter who gets to decide which term is up).

cdf
 

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