The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1927 Thursday, 12 October 2000.
From: W. L. Godshalk <
Date: Tuesday, 10 Oct 2000 17:05:19 -0400
Subject: 11.1915 Re: Fops
Comment: Re: SHK 11.1915 Re: Fops
Don Bloom is puzzled by my comment:
>>Perhaps part of our problem is that we tend to confuse literary
>>characters with real people. Literary characters are merely words on
>>paper (or on the computer screen), and they don't have basic sexual
>We analyze literary characters because
>they are like human beings. If we were linguists or philosophers we
>might concentrate only on the words. But the essence of literature, as I
>understand it, is that it is human and concrete. That's what we're
>interested in (or at least many of us): the replication of human
Well, actually, words on a page are not at all like human beings. We
make believe that these words are human-like, and replicate human
experience, but really they are marks on a page or on a screen. These
marks are concrete only in the sense that they exist on the page or on
the screen. Furthermore, a painting of a dead duck is NOT a dead duck.
If, for example, you genuinely believe that Iago is in reality a
homosexual, then you are mixing up the real with the imaginary, pretense
with reality. Iago will not step off the page and out of the closet.
Actors may, of course, interpret the words as they wish.
Yours, Bill Godshalk