1997

Re: Various Questions Related to *Ham.*

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0710.  Wednesday, 25 June 1997.

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 08:18:00 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.0705  Various Questions Related to *Ham.*

[2]     From:   Scott Crozier <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 10:02:01 +1100
        Subj:   Polonius / Laertes

[3]     From:   Louis Marder <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 1 Jul 1997 12:59:33 PST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0705  Various Questions Related to *Ham.*

[4]     From:   Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 00:15:36 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0705  Various Questions Related to *Ham.*

[5]     From:   Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 19:32:56 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Hamlet's Melancholy

[6]     From:   John Lee <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 09:40:39 +0900 (JST)
        Subj:   Hamlet and Madness


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 08:18:00 -0700
Subject: 8.0705  Various Questions Related to *Ham.*
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.0705  Various Questions Related to *Ham.*

>Is there an online bibliography of books/journals dealing with criticism
>of Shakespeare?

It isn't online, but most libraries have the series "Shakespeare
Criticism" from Gale.  It's a bit dated, but then again, the question of
Hamlet's madness seems to have enjoyed its zenith some time ago as
well.  I seem to recall my grandfather saying that his professor at
Trinity (a man named Macauley, I think) was always going on about the
issue.  One of the classical resolutions is A. C. Bradley's description
of Hamlet as "melancholic" (in _Shakespearean Tragedy_).

Cheers, and good luck with your essay,
Sean

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Crozier <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 10:02:01 +1100
Subject:        Polonius / Laertes

Chris Clarke asks why Renaldo is sent to check on Laertes.  There is a
hint that Laertes enjoys a little dalliance in Ophelia's farewell to
him.  Maybe he does know the "primrose path" and is a "puffed and
reckless libertine"

Regards,
Scott Crozier

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis Marder <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 1 Jul 1997 12:59:33 PST
Subject: 8.0705  Various Questions Related to *Ham.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0705  Various Questions Related to *Ham.*

Dear Chris:  You are apparently a young student.  Don't drive yourself
mad on the madness of Hamlet.  Hamlet is snots mad.  He doesn't
hallucinate, he does not rave,  he is not even irrational considering
the circumstances.  To believe in the Ghost is part of the play.  Had he
lived after the final duel he would have been rational, not mad.  You
may have fun playing with the subject, but regardless of your analysis
you will never be able to reach a conclusion.  The will always be a mad
scholar to argue with you.  All you can do is make a list of opinions
and count them up like a poll,  so many pros, so many cons, so many
can't make up their minds.  Making your annotated bibliography will keep
you busy for years.  I have about 75 books on Hamlet. I would be daunted
to even cull them for quotations on the subject.

Bernard Grebanier's The Heart of Hamlet has a chapter on Hamlet and the
Critics - about 85 pages.  See also: K. R. Eissler's Discourse on Hamlet
and _Hamlet_: A Psychoanalytic Inquiry.  Also C. H. Williamson, Readings
on the Character of Hamlet, compiled from  over 300 sources.  Enjoy
yourself.   When you finish your compilation, you can send it to the
Shakespeare Data Bank at my address for use of the students of the
world.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 00:15:36 +0100
Subject: 8.0705  Various Questions Related to *Ham.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0705  Various Questions Related to *Ham.*

Or, Chris, that he's not mad at all? Having him mad simply does not work
on stage IMHO [In My Humble Opinion]. If the assessment of the role of
right reason, the quest for nobility, for honour is uppermost in Hamlet,
then how he deploys his intellect in circumventing patronising
triviality, unsubtle casuistry, blatant stupidity, and downright
machiaveliian manipulations, not to mention dealing with the appalling
weight of the ghost's demands, seems essential. so, we must see that
reason as subtle to shift its operational mode as the challenges it
faces. I can't go with Hamlet as mad at all, and his own words - those
you quote - sure cinch it/ he knows perfectly well what he's at, and I
for one am simply unconvinced.

As for the disgraceful Polonius / Reynaldo snooping mission, what's
strange? This is a man so steeped in the habit of surveillance, that he
is prepared to use the manifest distress and delicate young love doubts
of his own daughter in the service of the state, and spy on the queen in
private conversation with her son to probe for the king's sake - the
good of the realm, and HE is the one who suggested it too - no
reluctance, or very little. So the son of the Prime Minister / Chief
minister / Chief of Police goes abroad to university - are you telling
me that when the sons of the King of England go to university there are
no surveillance officers in the vicinity? Think what scams a young blade
might get up to in naughty Paris? I think there's quite a lot of
likelihood in Pol sending Reynaldo. Now if you are asking for textual
support...... don't think I can help. But the temper of the times was
for secret spying, paid informers - and who better than an actor in
Shakespeare's day to know that, given what we now know about Marlowe,
and perhaps Kyd and Greene?

Stuart Manger

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 19:32:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Hamlet's Melancholy

If you look up certain scholarly editions of the play, you will find
several passages concerning the disease Melancholy appended to the
script.  It seems to me that a fruitful study of Hamlet's madness should
always begin with an attempt to understand it as his contemporaries
did.  After that, of course, you're free to speculate more deeply, but
IMHO many attempts to analyze Hamlet fall flat because they don't take
the nature of his disease into account.

The "Mad north by northwest" line is a case in point.  Melancholy (a
disease of the blood, as they saw it, involving shifts in mood we might
call clinical depression) was thought to be cured by, among other
things, a trip to a southern clime.  Hamlet's saying that, like all good
melancholics, he's especially vulnerable when the weather is cold.
"When the wind is southerly", i.e., when it's warmer and sunnier, his
symptoms abate.  This also explains one of Claudius' rationales for
sending Hamlet off to England-he is allegedly hopeful that the warmer
weather to the south (what, was he thinking of Brighton?) will cure the
Prince of his ills.

Laertes, in his dismissal of Hamlet's love for Ophelia, refers to "the
flash and outbreak of a fiery mind", which can be taken to imply that
Hamlet is not exactly a calm presence in the court.  His speeches are a
jumble of seemingly conflicting and unconnected thoughts, "Too, too
solid flesh" being an example.  One minute he's begging God to
understand why he just wants to disappear, the next he's flipping the
bird at the entire court ("Fie" is from the French "Fi, donc!", the
'fig' being the Renaissance equivalent of the middle finger).

As for his love of his father being extreme, I beg to differ.  It seems
to me that there is a tendency among modern theorists (and especially
among the likes of Michael Pennington, whose "User's Manual" was written
entirely from the Claudian perspective) to cut the Prince down, and
remove almost any trace of reason, honesty and responsibility from him.
There is a line that has been crossed many times this century, from that
of Hamlet being an anti-hero, to that of Hamlet being a non-hero.  If
you say that there's no reason for Hamlet to prefer his natural father
to his uncle, you're starting down that very slippery slope of making
Hamlet an utterly useless human being, and not worth the 3 hours'
watching.

Recently, Milosevich's Serbian National Theatre performed a Hamlet in
which the Claudian point of view was so thorough in its influence, the
Prince's death was cause for celebration-in the Serb's eyes, of course,
Hamlet is a counterrevolutionary, a traitor to the race.  So, tread
softly on the Dane.  He's been rather viciously bashed about of late.

Andy White
Arlington, VA

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Lee <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 09:40:39 +0900 (JST)
Subject:        Hamlet and Madness

Oscar Wilde saw Hamlet's discussion of playing as holding the mirror up
to nature as the indisputable evidence of the Prince's madness.

John Lee

Re: Final Scene of *The Changeling*

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0709.  Wednesday, 25 June 1997.

[1]     From:   Richard A Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 10:16:30 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0704  Q: Final Scene of *The Changeling*

[2]     From:   Richard Bovard <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 10:06:29 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0704  Q: Final Scene of *The Changeling*

[3]     From:   Chris Clark <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 14:29:35 -0400
        Subj:   Final Scene of *The Changeling*


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard A Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 10:16:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0704  Q: Final Scene of *The Changeling*
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0704  Q: Final Scene of *The Changeling*

> I . . .  am interested in how B-J dies. . . . is
> it possible that B-J also stabs herself in this scene at line 180?
> Could the "token" that D-F gives B-J (176) be the knife he uses on
> himself?  Or could the "token" be his willingness to commit suicide?
> And does she then follow suit?

I'm no expert in the textual matters of this play, but your reading
seems plausible enough to me.  The play (at least the main plot) is very
much _Sid and Nancy_.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Bovard <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 10:06:29 -0500
Subject: 8.0704  Q: Final Scene of *The Changeling*
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0704  Q: Final Scene of *The Changeling*

Students in my Renaissance Drama course this spring were also puzzled
about what happened in the closet.  Some argued for DeFlores's wounding
Beatrice-Joanna; some argued for her suicide.  Our textual editor
assumed the wounding.  While most decided that the wounding was more
consistent with DeFlores's character than the suicide with
Beatrice-Joanna's character, all were willing to recognize yet one more
"secret" in the play . . . or at least one more instance of the limits
of human knowledge.  They were a tad uncomfortable with experiencing the
same thing that the characters experienced, however.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Clark <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 14:29:35 -0400
Subject:        Final Scene of *The Changeling*

I am 17 from the UK and have just done an exam on The Changeling, so I
know it pretty well... I'll view your question, and give you my personal
response...

Could I see what you've written so far please?

Here's my twopennorth:

In my opinion, we must consider Beatrice's death symbolically... her
subconscious attraction to De Flores is fatal, and the danger he
presents is reflected Platonically in his corrupt appearance.
Considering that he is clearly a violent, Machiavellian villain [murders
Alonzo and  Diaphanta], it is fair to say that he is dangerous, and that
it is he that causes her trouble (even if it is through her fatal flaw,
which is not knowing herself, or to term it crudely being 'mad') - it is
therefore logical that as he condemned her, he should also be the one to
kill her, even if it is just for the symmetry of the play.. also, the
text I use (New Mermaids, ed Daalder, 1990), quotes the entry of B & DF
as 'Enter DE FLORES bringing in BEATRICE [wounded]'

When Beatrice says on line 158, 'my honour fell with him, and now my
life' that to me implies that she already knows that she is going to
die, and is not talking intention, because the possibility would [if she
had not already been stabbed] still exist that she could be kept alive.

I accept the possibility that the 'token' is the penknife, and that she
is to kill herself too, but I consider it more likely that this is 1)
just another sexual ambiguity, 2) a sign of his 'love' for her, 3)
expression of his willingness to die for her.

Regardless of whether it happens in the cupboard, the knife is
suggestive of the phallus, which has destroyed Beatrice [he says 'I am
so stout yet' - this allusion is obvious, but perhaps it also refers to
the knife, ready for one final use?] and himself.

I don't think you can really argue that what De Flores and Beatrice feel
for each other is 'doomed love.' Beatrice says she loves De Flores, but
she is by definition as according to the subplot insane like De Flores,
and driven by lust.. neither of them love each other, they are driven by
animal passion and selfishness.

The theme of the tale is madness, which is shown by the madhouse scenes,
which mirror the subplot... so, no, love is a form of insanity [change
of the wind for Alsemero, failure to see with the eye of judgement for
Alonzo..], as is the lack of awareness of her own feelings that Beatrice
has, and the cynical and evil concentration of De Flores upon pleasure.

I hope my suggestions are of some value, please feel free to contact me
if you so desire...

What other texts are you studying by the way?

Cheers,
Chris

Re: Accents and Pronunciation: N. Broadsides, H5, H6,

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0707.  Wednesday, 25 June 1997.

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 14:10:16 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0702   Accents and Pronunciation

[2]     From:   Wes Folkerth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 10:01:11 -0400
        Subj:   Accents and pronunciation

[3]     From:   Bill Gelber <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 09:46:25 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0702  Re: Accents and Pronunciation

[4]     From:   Joseph Tate <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 00:04:11 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Shylock's Speech


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 14:10:16 -0600
Subject: 8.0702   Accents and Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0702   Accents and Pronunciation

I can't make a contribution on accents, but Dave Evett solicits comments
on Northern Broadsides.

The best show in the Wanamaker Globe 'prologue' season (autumn 96) was
the Northern Broadsides Midsummer Night's Dream. An especially thrilling
moment was when Bottom, in support of the claim "I could play 'Erc'les",
noticed and pointed to the keystone of the central opening upon which
was depicted Hercules supporting the globe. In imitation of this
picture, Bottom raised his joint-stool over his head, and his theatrical
colleagues looked back and forth between the boastful clownish claimant
to the role and the ideal embedded in the fabric theatre.

The company arrived at the Globe in the morning, rehearsed in the
afternoon, and performed in the evening. (Presumably that's what an
Elizabethan touring company would do in a new town). The metatheatrical
resonances of Pyramis and Thisbe were undoubtedly amplified by authentic
staging conditions.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Wes Folkerth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 10:01:11 -0400
Subject:        Accents and pronunciation

Speaking of accents and pronunciation, I was wondering if anyone on the
list knew whether or not the real Henry V spoke French?  One would
imagine, given his noble upbringing, and time spent on the Continent,
that he could probably have managed at least a little "franglais."

Wes Folkerth
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Gelber <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 09:46:25 -0700
Subject: 8.0702  Re: Accents and Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0702  Re: Accents and Pronunciation

Lisa Hopkins was talking about the possible French accents in Henry VI,
and I was reminded of Peggy Ashcroft's French accent in the Wars of the
Roses which I thought very effective (although at times the "w" sound
which replaced the "r" reminded of parodies of Barbara Walters).  She
also played the character on the Caedmon recording of Richard III with
Robert Stephens and used the accent for Margaret again there. What
struck me though was the idea that she was now speaking English but
retaining some of her former accent.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joseph Tate <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 00:04:11 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Shylock's Speech

In regards to the recent postings on pronunciation, I have a question
regarding Shylock's English.

Although certainly speaking a fluent English, Shylock's speech often
repeats words and sounds to an extreme that a character feels justified
to mock.

In 1.3.1-7 Shylock simply repeats all that Bassanio says and ends each
line with "well." The scene with Tubal in 3.1 especially: "What, what,
what? Ill luck, ill luck?" and "I am very glad of it. I'll plague him,
I'll torture him. I am glad of it." Those are only two of the lines of
many from 3.1. In 4.1 his long speech responding to the Duke repeats the
words pig, cat, answer, reason, etc. a number of times.

Shylock's repetition is even mocked by Solanio in 2.8:

As the dog Jew did utter in the streets:
"My daughter! O, my ducats! O, my daughter!
Fled with a Christian! O, my Christian ducats!
Justice, the law! My ducats, and my daughter! ...

Could this repetitive speech that Solanio mocks be an instance of rage
unable to find other words or possibly a foreigner unable to find other
words?

Joseph Tate
Graduate Student
Department of English
U. of Washington, Seattle

Re: *Lear* and *Leir*

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0708.  Wednesday, 25 June 1997.

[1]     From:   Syd Kasten <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 18:29:13 +0200 (IST)
        Subj:   Love in Lear

[2]     From:   David Mycoff <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 12:12:52 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Assorted Lear Questions

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 08:25:05 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.0706  Re: *Lear*

[4]     From:   John E. Perry <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 01:31:21 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0706  Re: *Lear*

[5]     From:   Gabriel Wasserman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 13:46:11 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0535  Re: Leir


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Syd Kasten <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 18:29:13 +0200 (IST)
Subject:        Love in Lear

It might be of interest to those discussing love in the light of
religious thought to see what the *Ethics of the Fathers*, (a section of
the Mishnah, the oral Rabbinic tradition that was set down in writing in
the second or third century of the Christian era) has to say about love:

"If love depend on some material cause, and the cause passes away, the
love vanishes too; but if it do not depend on some material cause, it
will never pass away.  Which love was it that depended on a material
cause?  This was the love of Amnon and Tamar (II Samuel, 13, v.1ff). And
which love was it that was not dependent on a material cause?  Such was
the love of David and Jonathan.        (I Samuel 18, v.1; II Samuel, 1,
v. 26)"

        Mishnayot Nezikin, Avot (Fathers),Ch.V, 16
        Ed. Philip Blackman, The Judaica Press, New York

Goneril and Regan on the one hand and Cordelia or Kent on the other
could serve as equally good illustrations to the rabbinic aphorism,
substituting wealth and power for "some material cause".

Best wishes,
Syd Kasten

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Mycoff <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 12:12:52 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Assorted Lear Questions

(1) Elton's KING LEAR AND THE GODS is still very good in showing why it
is quesionable to characterize LEAR as doctrinally "Christian" in a
sense that would be recognizable to its contemporaries.  Elton's view is
consistent with Carl Fortunato's point on the question.

(2) On Fortunato's question of whether or not Lear thinks Cordelia still
lives as he himself dies, Rosenberg's THE MASKS OF KING LEAR provides
interesting history of the varieties acting choices that have been made
in response to this open question (along with much else, of course).

(3) If forced to pick one passage that would "summarize the philosophy"
of the play, I don't think I'd take the "wanton flies" one.  How about,
instead, the concluding lines, variously attributed to Albany or Edgar
(I prefer Edgar for interpretative, not textual-critical reasons):  "The
weight of this sad time we must obey, / Speak what we feel, not what we
ought to say. / The oldest have borne most.  We that are young / Shall
never see so much, nor live so long."  If the play affirms anything, it
is honesty of vision ("see much"-and consider how often the audience and
characters are called upon to see and witness to what is too unbearable
to behold); endurance ("live long"); and a language that tries to be
true to the heart's response to what is seen and endured since language
fails repeatedly to present a more "objective" or rationally verifiable
description of the reality of the world and neither silence nor cries of
animal pain are answerable human responses (Lear lapses into human
speech after his "Howl, howl, howl" and his first words are to excoriate
the silence of the "men of stone.")  I think of Kurosawa's definition of
the artist as "one who does not avert his eyes."  Look upon the
unbearable and bear human witness to it.  I suppose that all tragedies
that escape narrow critical formulas demand that of their characters and
audiences.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 08:25:05 -0700
Subject: 8.0706  Re: *Lear*
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.0706  Re: *Lear*

>While there is a great amount of "Christianity" in the play, in many
>ways it seems to depict a world a chaos and randomness, that is almost
>anti-Christian.  Many people see in Gloucester's famous line:

>        "As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods.  They kill
>        us for their sport."

>a summation of the entire philosophy of the play.  And it is
>particularly noticeable that Albany says of Cordelia, "The gods defend
>her" just before: "*Enter Lear with Cordelia in his arms.*"

>This most unacceptable thing in the play - the death of Cordelia - is
>the one thing that most enforces this feeling that all is random and
>*the gods don't care.*   This, of course, is Shakespeare's own addition
>to his source, and is so unacceptable that the ending was usually
>changed by editors until fairly recently.

I agree that there's a strong sense of alienation from God (or, 'the
gods'), but don't think that makes the play anti-Christian.  Leaving
aside the fact that 'the gods' aren't God, and it may only be the pagan
gods who are alien, there's a good possibility of reconciling alienation
with salvation within Christianity.  To Luther, the difference between
the Deus absconditus and the Deus revelatus lies largely in its
appropriation by the sinner/redeemed.  To the faithful, suffering is the
means by which God shows himself, though 'hidden.'  To the sinner, it is
a function of God's mere absence.  But to Luther, in his more
exististential moments, one must experience a sense of alienation in
order to be saved.

I'm just finishing a book on Luther, so am concentrating on him, but the
point is made even more explicitly by Karl Barth in his commentary on
*Romans*, and at least analogous ideas appear, I believe, in a number of
the mystics, particularly those of the 'via negativa'.

Cheers,
Sean

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John E. Perry <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 01:31:21 -0400
Subject: 8.0706  Re: *Lear*
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0706  Re: *Lear*

> While there is a great amount of "Christianity" in the play, in many
> ways it seems to depict a world a chaos and randomness, that is almost
> anti-Christian.  Many people see in Gloucester's famous line:
>
>         "As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods.  They kill
>         us for their sport."
>
> a summation of the entire philosophy of the play.

I'm completely unable to see how Mr. Fortunato arrives at such an
opinion.  Even if we didn't have Edmund's contemptuous dismissal of this
idea (I.2., "This is the excellent foppery..."), every bad thing in the
entire play happens as the result of the deliberate action of a
particular person.  This is in stark contrast to events in other plays,
where often some completely supernatural, or even random, aberration
completely changes the direction of events. I think this why we are
particularly apt to cringe in horror as this play unfolds.

Far from being a philosophy of "the gods kill us for their sport," the
play denies all external influences, plainly exposing people's
deliberate cruelty and disregard for one another, and the susceptibility
of those around them to powerful sinners' selfishness.

This is certainly an overwhelmingly Christian point of view!

john perry
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Wasserman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Jun 1997 13:46:11 -0400
Subject: 8.0535  Re: Leir
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0535  Re: Leir

> From:           David J. Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
> Date:           Sunday, 4 May 1997 00:34:00 +0100
> Subject:        Re: SHK 8.0529  Re: Cordelia; Leontes; Riverside
>
> Patrick Gillespie writes:
>
> >> >And on a related subject: Are the older King Lear
> >
> >> You mean *Leir*?                 [or do you mean Q1?]
> >
> >I mean Leir. Is it seriously being touted as Shakespeare's?
>
> Not by anybody I know of, except possibly Eric Sams, who believes that
> much of the anonymous drama of the 1580s and 1590s is by Shakespeare.

"MUCH of the anonymous drama"?  Eric Sams doesn't believe in
collaborations, so he can only believe that it is ALL by Shakespeare
(which [I think] he in fact does believe {still?  I'm not sure} ), or
NOT by Shakespeare.

Re: *Lear*

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0706.  Tuesday, 24 June 1997.

From:           Carl Fortunato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Jun 97 21:05:00 -0400
Subject:        Re: Cordelia

>We seem to agree that this is a Christian play.  Christians should not
>love the world, although they are commanded to love all other persons,
>including their enemies.  I do not know what you mean when you refer
>to loving the whole world through her love for her father.  Such a love
>seems contrary both to Christianity and to human experience.

While there is a great amount of "Christianity" in the play, in many
ways it seems to depict a world a chaos and randomness, that is almost
anti-Christian.  Many people see in Gloucester's famous line:

        "As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods.  They kill
        us for their sport."

a summation of the entire philosophy of the play.  And it is
particularly noticeable that Albany says of Cordelia, "The gods defend
her" just before: "*Enter Lear with Cordelia in his arms.*"

This most unacceptable thing in the play - the death of Cordelia - is
the one thing that most enforces this feeling that all is random and
*the gods don't care.*   This, of course, is Shakespeare's own addition
to his source, and is so unacceptable that the ending was usually
changed by editors until fairly recently.

Two questions I have about King Lear (that are unrelated to the
"Christianity" in the play) are:

1) Does Lear die thinking Cordelia is still alive?  and

2) What is Gloster referring to with:

        Edg.    Men must endure
                   Their going hence, euen as their coming hither,
                   Ripenesse is all come on.

        Glo.    And that's true too.

What do you think Gloster is thinking of with "too"?  Perhaps Gloster
just finished reading Hamlet, and he was busy pondering "The
*readinesse* is all"?  Any other ideas?

 -  Carl | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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