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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: February ::
Re: Antonios; Gilligan; Nietzsche; Bona Bard
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0204  Sunday, 7 February 1999.

[1]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Friday, 05 Feb 1999 12:38:12 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0195 Re: Antonios

[2]     From:   Gerry Morgan <
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        Date:   Friday, 05 Feb 1999 08:58:52 +0000
        Subj:   Re: Gilligan

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Friday, 05 Feb 1999 16:29:43 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0183 Nietzsche's Critique of Hamlet: A Query

[4]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Sat, 06 Feb 1999 22:56:48 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0181 Bona Bard


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Friday, 05 Feb 1999 12:38:12 +0000
Subject: 10.0195 Re: Antonios
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0195 Re: Antonios

If
>>we give him a long career, it is no surprise that he used a scene more
>>than once. These repeat scenes may tell us that the plays in which this
>>kind of repetition occurs were not current with each other.
>
>An easier solution than saying that he recycled ideas from earlier plays
>of his own would be to say that he often reused ideas by other
>playwrights.

Easier only if you are able to accept that the most imaginative and
creative of all writers would, not merely adapt to his purposes, but
take word for word, lock, stock and barrel, from the works commonly
regarded as his sources. This simply makes no sense.

  After all, the first reference to him is as "an upstart
> Crow, beautified with our feathers" (on-line at
> http://daphne.palomar.edu/shakespeare/timeline/crow.htm )

As John Dover Wilson and Dolly Wraight and others have shown, to my
satisfaction, the "upstart crowe" was the actor/manager Edward Alleyn,
an attribution that makes sense in terms of the timing, tone and text of
Greene's Groatsworth. There is no evidence whatsoever that William
Shakespeare was involved in the theatre scene of 1592. It is not good
scholarship to use a single highly-ambiguous term as fact when there are
no other facts to support it.

Stephanie Hughes

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gerry Morgan <
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Date:           Friday, 05 Feb 1999 08:58:52 +0000
Subject:        Re: Gilligan

In addition to the Hecuba reference, there's a marginal cross-dressing
theme with Miss Mary-Anne as Laertes; Ginger as Ophelia nagging
Gilligan's Hamlet to be less moody ("Hamlet, dear, your problem is
clear/Avenging thy father's death/You seek to harm your uncle and
mom/but you're scaring me to death!"); an amusing "To be or not to be"
sung by Gilligan (yes, this music is from Carmen); and a rousing, upbeat
musical finale with Claudius & Gertrude (Mr. & Mrs. Howell), Hamlet,
Ophelia, Polonius (Skipper), and Laertes (none of whom survived the
play) singing lyrics from Polonius' "To thine own self be true" speech
to Laertes.  An altogether amusing, clever parody from a rather dumb,
pedestrian television series.

That I remember so much of the episode is partly the result of a paper I
wrote as an undergraduate in 1989-90 discussing comic parodies of
Hamlet, including Gilligan; an episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus
in which Terry Jones plays Hamlet in therapy, frustrated with constant
questions about his relationship with his mother; and the Ernst Lubitsch
film "To Be or Not to Be," with Jack Benny as an actor in WWII Poland
whose famous routine is "Highlights from Hamlet."  Perhaps it's time to
pull out those old notebooks...

>But just to give GILLIGAN all the time it merits, the episode in
>question guest-starred the ultimately obnoxious Phil Silvers as famed
>producer Harold Hecuba, and the musical adaptation of HAMLET featured
>music, if I can remember correctly, from CARMEN.  I don't know why I
>remember this stuff.  I just do.  I coulda been in pool halls, I
>suppose.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Friday, 05 Feb 1999 16:29:43 -0800
Subject: 10.0183 Nietzsche's Critique of Hamlet: A Query
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0183 Nietzsche's Critique of Hamlet: A Query

>N. says that Hamlet has "once looked truly into the essence of things"
>and the resulting nausea has rendered him unable of committing any
>action. In his own words "an insight into the horrible truth outweighs
>any motive for action".

I think this comes in Hamlet's so-called "loss of innocence" before the
play begins.  His first words alone-O that this too, too solid flesh
would felt [quoting from memory]--seem to echo the wisdom of sylvan god,
Silenus, that the best thing for man is not to be.  The world seems
meaningless and perverse to Hamlet, at it does to the Dionysian man
returning to the everyday world from his revels.  Hamlet has come to
this state of mind, moreover, before whatever learning process is traced
in the first two acts.

I don't think Hamlet is returning from Dionysian raptures, though the
result is much the same:  he's had an insight into the (nihilistic)
essence of things.  In the Kaufmann translation, which I'm quoting just
because it's on my shelf, "the Dionysian man resembles Hamlet."  It's
only a metaphor.  Hamlet isn't himself a Dionysian man.

It's cheering to see someone applying philosophy to literary texts.
Good luck with it.

Ciao,
Se

 

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