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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: February ::
Re: Marx, Religion, and Nobility
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0241  Thursday, 3 February 2000.

[1]     From:   Judith Matthews Craig <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 2 Feb 2000 20:30:26 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0218 Re: Marx, Religion, and Nobility

[2]     From:   Judith Matthews Craig <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 2 Feb 2000 20:30:26 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0218 Re: Marx, Religion, and Nobility

[3]     From:   Judith Matthews Craig <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 2 Feb 2000 20:30:26 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0218 Re: Marx, Religion, and Nobility

[4]     From:   Judith Matthews Craig <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 2 Feb 2000 20:30:26 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0218 Re: Marx, Religion, and Nobility


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judith Matthews Craig <
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Date:           Wednesday, 2 Feb 2000 17:17:59 -0600
Subject: 11.0232 Re: Marx, Religion, and Nobility
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0232 Re: Marx, Religion, and Nobility

Marilyn Bonomi writes:

<I ask those who are attacking rather than pondering <"aloud" and
<responding to the thoughts of others to fold their <proselytizing tents
<and steal away, leaving intellectual discourse to those <who can keep
<their passions in check long enough to treat others with <respect.

I presume that I am the offender in Ms. Bonomi's eyes:  I am not
proselytizing nor silently folding up my proverbial tents in dismay. I
just am tired of being accused of not treating "others with respect"
when I make every effort to do so, make arguments from the text of the
plays, and try in every way to be scholarly and fair-minded.  It seems
to me that I am the one always passionately asked to leave the
intellectual discourse to others on a subject that I feel that I know
something about.  I assume that we can disagree passionately-I assume
that is what the list is for-and I do not intend to abandon my arguments
just because it makes life convenient for other people.

Judy Craig

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judith Matthews Craig <
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Date:           Wednesday, 2 Feb 2000 18:31:22 -0600
Subject: 11.0232 Re: Marx, Religion, and Nobility
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0232 Re: Marx, Religion, and Nobility

Dave Knauer writes:

<The relative unpopularity of
<contemporarily printed plays (see Peter Blayney), the <paucity if not
<total lack of evidence for piracy of the plays (see Evelyn <May
Albright,
<Steve Urkowitz, and many others), and the lack of <economic incentive
for
<any playwright to participate in the printing of his plays <(see
<virtually any historical account of playhouse economics) <all would
<disqualify Shakespeare's apathy toward his printed plays <as evidence
of
<his good character.

I will certainly check the above references for more evidence that I
provided in my statement (I should not have submitted that plays were
pirated-it seems very difficult to pirate Shakespeare), but I still am
not following the argument Dave Knauer makes that the above evidence
serves as a disqualification for assertions about Shakespeare's good
character.  Certainly a poet of bad character can have an "apathy toward
his printed plays," but the usual presumption is that an author writes
to make money and enrich himself.

Shakespeare does not seem to have embraced greed as his only motivation
for writing (and I think we can all agree that he did have an "apathy
toward his printed plays").  He seems to have cared about what his
audience thought and felt as human beings and could be critical of their
attitudes to his own pecuniary impoverishment-see the evidence above.
To have wanted his name emblazoned in print to "insult" over the
"speechless tribes" (Sonnet 107, line 12) does not seem to have
motivated him either.  In fact, Sonnet 107 emphasizes his "confined
doom" (line 4) and "poor rhyme" (line 11). In fact, he seems to have
thought of the wallet in one context as a place for "alms for oblivion"
Troilus and Cressida 3.3.145-46. One of his contemporaries, Ben Jonson,
personally supervised the collection and printing of his plays.
Shakespeare's plays were collected by his company seven years after  his
death.  The Sonnets, where an aggrandizing attitude toward his "mission"
as a poet is evident (see 17, 19, 55, 63, 65, 81 to mention but a few)
were pirated by Thorpe and evidently published without his consent.  His
plays were the property of the company and published without his
supervision in quartos which scholars argue endlessly over-which is
"good" or "bad" and if these adjectives have any meaning.  To me, this
attitude, and the self-critical and often self-deprecating attitude of
the speaker in The Sonnets bespeaks a man for whom character, truth, and
love mattered in a shifting and duplicitous world.

Judy Craig

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judith Matthews Craig <
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Date:           Wednesday, 2 Feb 2000 19:09:45 -0600
Subject: 11.0232 Re: Marx, Religion, and Nobility
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0232 Re: Marx, Religion, and Nobility

Patrick Dolan writes:

<The problem here is that the argument is that materialism <leads
<inevitably to tyranny, because the lack of belief in <transcendent
values
<(i.e. values outside of materiality) means that no set of <ethics can
be
<sustainable.  Well, the Utopians may have believed that. I <don't. And
I
<think it's unreasonable.

To my mind, most of what you said previous to the above quotation was
reasonable-I just find the argument in the quotation philosophically
untenable.  But I am not a philosopher-I am a Shakespearean!  Certainly
good people can and should hold positions of responsibility in society
and do in our own. It is a fact-and I would even say, God's will, that
we live in a free, multicultural society.  If I cannot deny your freedom
of speech, however, neither can you deny mine.  Christians,
unfortunately, keep "cropping up," messing up the status quo, and the
nature of their religion is that the present is imperfect, evolving
toward a better and happier time. I think even Marxists believe that and
Christians, who have a messier, more poetic approach to politics, (Jesus
certainly had a poetic bent) are supposed to "render unto Caesar the
things that are Caesar's").  Of course, I applaud the efforts of all
good people to make society better, but I do not have to embrace their
ideologies nor be ashamed of mine.

Judy Craig

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judith Matthews Craig <
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Date:           Wednesday, 2 Feb 2000 20:30:26 -0600
Subject: 11.0218 Re: Marx, Religion, and Nobility
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0218 Re: Marx, Religion, and Nobility

Sean Lawrence writes:

<And I wouldn't argue against recognizing the grounds of <one's
theories.
<I would, however, feel that the problem comes in <explaining the
grounds
<of the theory in terms of the theory itself, which ends in <tautology.

I apologize for being behind in responding to this thread--I was out of
town and have been offline for two days.

The above statement bothers me because, if one makes a tautology out of
recognizing the grounds of his theory because it is explained in terms
of his original theory, there are not grounds for
self-examination-surely the basis for all ethics.  The whole business
becomes a philosophical quibble rather than a serious human and social
problem.  Socrates' whole enterprise against the sophists depends on
this sort of thing-and I am certainly not his equal in making an
argument.  However, I am registering an unthoughtout protest here-maybe
I'm just too tired or uninformed to make an argument for my side.

Judy
 

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