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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: March ::
Re: Ghosts and Weeds
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0606  Wednesday, 14 March 2001

[1]     From:   Sam Small <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Mar 2001 15:41:09 +0000
        Subj:   Ghosts

[2]     From:   Stuart Taylor <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Mar 2001 22:42:38 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0593 Re: Weed Noted


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Mar 2001 15:41:09 +0000
Subject:        Ghosts

I think Takashi Kozuka has said it all on the subject of cannabis.
Unless it was a widely used euphemism the reference would have been
lost.  Something that Shakespeare never did.  His choice of words was
always deadly accurate.

Takashi Kozuka also questions Hamlet's sighting of the ghost as being a
suggestion of hallucinating.  I have always been troubled by this
vision.  If we are to understand that the ghost has allegorical
sub-text, then what does it really mean?  Macbeth and Richard the
third's apparitions are personal manifestations of their guilt, but in
Hamlet Shakespeare labours the point that around four other people have
seen the same spook.  Does this mean that the ghost becomes a
supernatural fact rather than a personal vision?  If so, that is a very
different proposition.  Are there any other ghosts in the works?
There's a brief one in sonnet 27 but this again is personal.  Are
fairies the same thing as in Tempest and MND?  Is Hamlet's ghost unique?

SAM SMALL

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Taylor <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Mar 2001 22:42:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 12.0593 Re: Weed Noted
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0593 Re: Weed Noted

I don't know of any references to marijuana in Shakespeare or
contemporary texts.  However, the _herbal_ was essentially a genre at
the time, although I can't comment on the availability or circulation of
these compendia of botany, medicine and folklore. A few of the
botanicals that were known to be psychoactive and which are referred to
in Shakespeare are:

mandrake/mandragora -- opiate



 

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