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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: November ::
Re: No Matter; Material
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1171.  Wednesday, 19 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Chris Stroffolino <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 14:59:17 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.114 No Matter (Troilus and Hamlet)

[2]     From:   Scott Shepherd <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 16:27:18 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1167  Re: No Matter

[3]     From:   Don Wall <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 18:57:00 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Donne and Soul


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Stroffolino <
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Date:           Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 14:59:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.114 No Matter (Troilus and Hamlet)
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.114 No Matter (Troilus and Hamlet)

Thanks Scott Shepherd for your thoughtful reply to my question- So if we
assume that Troilus' meaning is limited; that he means only that
Cressida gives him mere words and that these words do NOT come from the
heart (and that he is positing a "word" vs. "heart" dualism here), he is
(ironically?) denying the materiality of the word and claiming that the
"heart" is MORE material than the words that are used either to refer to
it, or to CREATE it (the function of vows, etc.).  This of course tells
us more about Troilus than it does about Cressida because we never see
the contents of C's letter. In comparison, Hamlet's remark to Polonious
claims that MATTER is ONLY words.  In Hamlet's little joke matter is
words and not meaning. What is the significance of this contrast? That
Hamlet is disgusted by mere words because they are material, while
Troilus is disgusted by words because they are immaterial? Troilus'
remark comes at a time when he has chosen DEEDS over WORDs, while
Hamlet's comes at a time when he has chosen words over deeds---or more
subtly tries to consider "deeds" as nothing but words (in poststructural
terms, Troilus is more phallogocentric? Hmmmmmm. Any responses?). Chris

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <
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Date:           Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 16:27:18 -0500
Subject: 8.1167  Re: No Matter
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1167  Re: No Matter

>Some say now it goes,
>and some say nay. Apparently there's a perceivable "it" to go.

That the pronoun "it" was used for the noun "soul" doesn't make the soul
material.  And given the above mentioned confusion about whether it goes
or not, its perceivability is questionable too.

If Godshalk could give us a defining example of post-C17 "transcendence
of matter" ideas, then we could set about looking for something similar
among the early moderns.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Wall <
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Date:           Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 18:57:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Donne and Soul

Donne did not believe in a material soul.  The spirits in the blood
("The Ecstasy") were matter as close to spirit as possible; they made a
connection between the soul and the material world possible (they knit
the subtle knot that makes us man).  Yes, the soul had a presence, but
it was not a material one-the laity could not tell when the soul
departed.
 

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