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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Tragic Hero
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0960  Friday, 27 April 2001

[1]     From:   Stevie Gamble <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Apr 2001 11:22:29 EDT
        Subj:   SHK 12.0917 Re: Tragic Hero

[2]     From:   Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Apr 2001 08:52:12 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0942 Re: Tragic Hero

[3]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Apr 2001 09:00:20 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 12.0942 Re: Tragic Hero

[4]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Apr 2001 18:50:41 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0942 Re: Tragic Hero

[5]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Apr 2001 23:18:52 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0942 Re: Tragic Hero

[6]     From:   Dana Shilling <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 Apr 2001 02:22:09 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0942 Re: Tragic Hero


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stevie Gamble <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Apr 2001 11:22:29 EDT
Subject: Re: Tragic Hero
Comment:        SHK 12.0917 Re: Tragic Hero

Please accept my apologies for the confusion on this; my first response
to the comments made by Stephanie Hughes was an unfinished draft which
was dispatched by my automatic mail programme. For ease of reference I
have included it again here together with the further observations.
>  The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0917  Tuesday, 24 April 2001
>

>  From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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>  Date:           Monday, 23 Apr 2001 09:33:25 -0700
>  Subject:        Re: SHK 12.0897 Re: Tragic Hero
>
>  >Stephanie Hughes wrote,
>  >
>  >>In considering Shakespeare's attitude towards Shylock and his purposes
>  >>in dramatizing him as he did, it might be well to consider that the
>  >>Protestant reformers regarded themselves to a great extent as the
>  >>inheritors of the legacy of the original Jews of the Old Testament, a
>  >>return to basics after the excesses of Rome. This was the beginning of
>  >>what would become a sense of connection with the Old Testament Jews
>  >>themselves, obdurate, chosen, beleaguered, not at all against lending
>  >>money at interest, family centered, fond of wearing black, etc., that
>  >  >has lasted to the present day.
>
>  To which Stevie Gamble responded:
>
>  >The notion that the Protestant reformers were not at all against lending
>  >money at interest is one of those notions which seems to have got itself
>  >tied into a particular view of history as progress, the triumph of
>  >rationality over superstition and the belief that economics is a science
>  >which, like physics, can absolutely accurately predict future events.
>  >None of those statements is true, of course.
>
>  I'm confused. What is "not true," that Protestant reformers were not
>  against lending at interest?

I'm sorry that you are confused; you asserted that the Protestant
reformers were not at all against lending money at interest, and I was
observing that this is untrue. You appear to be unaware that Luther,
that most protesting of reformers, viewed usury as a sin; see, for
example his pamphlet of 1520 in which he castigated the philosophy of
"pay up or give interest for I must have my profit!" (Quoted in Skrine,
Peter, Images of the Merchant in German Renaissance literature, Bulletin
of the John Rylands Library, Vol. 72, 1990, p.189]). Calvin's acceptance
that in some circumstances making a profit on loans to wealthy merchants
was not sinful, was no more than had already been ceded when the triple
contract had been approved. He insisted that the taking of even moderate
usury should never be made one's occupation, and that all habitual
usurers were to be expelled from the house of God and the well ordered
state. ( In Viginti  Ezechielis prophetae capita, C.18:8, col. 431).
His assertion that the French had invented the term "interest" to evade
the laws of usury, on the grounds that "Never was there any kind of
usury among the ancients which today is not comprehended under that
title." (In Viginti Ezechielis prophetae capita, C.18:8, col. 4311) was
part and parcel of his determination to re-establish usury as a real
sin. And once the Spanish writer Michael Servetus had been lured to
Geneva, and burnt there in 1553 at Calvin's instigation, it was clear
that sinning under the new regime might carry a heavy price.  All in
all, the overall attitude of the Reformed religions might be accurately
guaged by the fact that  in 1581 usurers - along with acrobats and
brothel-keepers- were excluded from communion in the Protestant northern
provinces of the Low Countries, then in need of God's aid against the
armies of Spain.  (John Hale, The Civilisation of Europe during the
Renaissance, Fontana Press, London, 1994, p381)

>or the projections based on this fact?

Since this is not a fact the projections would necessarily fail; unless,
of course, you wish to argue them from first principals.

> (It   is a fact that Lord Burghley, certainly a Protestant reformer,

Er, I have a very high regard for Elizabeth's minister but neither he
nor anyone else would have imagined himself to be on a par with Luther
or Calvin.  Perhaps you would explain precisely what you mean by a
'Protestant reformer', if you are excluding Luther and Calvin from your
definition...

>wished to
>see lending at interest made legal.

I should like a citation for that statement; after all, Burghley and
Elizabeth flatly refused to allow anyone to set up  monte pietas in
England.  Admittedly they were both extremely proficient at recognising
a poison chalice when they saw one, but there were plenty of other
opportunities to make lending at interest legal had they wished to.

>As Lord Treasurer he saw that
>  England needed banks and bankers, and that the abuses of unregulated
>  money-lending hurt everyone but the unscrupulous.)

England had banks, and it had bankers, just as today Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait, for example, have banks and bankers; there is an extremely
flourishing Islamic banking market, which operates within the global
financial markets as do other banks. The words banker and money-lender
are not synonymous, and banks come in large number of varieties.

>  >One of the great drivers of
>  >the Reformation was the belief that the wealthy had subverted the usury
>  >laws to the great detriment of the poor; the wealthy could pay the
>  >lawyers to come up with different structures, driving if not a coach and
>  >horses then at least a donkey cart through the intent of the usury laws,
>  >whereas the poor who so often had to pay the interest suffered greatly.
>
>  One more reason why the Protestant reformers wanted the laws changed.

Well, certainly Luther and Calvin wanted the laws changed, but not in
the direction you imagine.

>  >As for the notion that the Jews of the Old Testament period were also in
>  >favour of lending money at interest I have to confess bafflement.
>
>  Sorry about that. I certainly did not mean to say that. A "lapse 'o
>  lingy" as my grandmother would say. A slip of syntax.
>
>  >Usury
>  >laws are not necessarily religious in origin - Hammurabi's were
>  >determinedly secular-but those primarily affecting the European economy
>  >in the sixteenth century were common to the Peoples of the Book, Jews,
>  >Christians and Moslems.  The example cited by Shylock in Act 1 Scene III
>  >of Jacob's creatively acquired lambs reflect that common origin. Of
>  >course there were further subdivisions within Christianity itself,
>  >Franciscans against Dominicans as well as the better known
>  >post-Reformation conflicts, and differing schools of thought within
>  >Jewish and Muslim authorities. Elizabethan England had moneylenders in
>  >plenty, including John Shakespeare, some of them rapacious, but very few
>  >of them Jews.  The central premise of the plot, the taking of interest
>  >by the Jew contrasted with the Christian condemnation of usury, Shylock
>  >who charges and Antonio who does not, was duplicitous from start to
>  >finish, and known by nearly all concerned to be duplicitous.
>
>  I posted in response to the inevitable discussion revolving around the
>  question of whether or not Shakespeare himself was an anti-Semite to
>  suggest that his intention may have been NOT to paint a nasty picture of
>  a Jew but a nasty picture of a seemingly doctrinaire Protestant
>  reformist who dressed in black, named his children after OT characters,
>  spouted religious doctrine at every turn and fulminated in Parliament
>  and Church against the theaters while practicing extortion on the side.

Do you have any specific examples of these individuals?

>  It was this sort of person who was stripping ignorant young gentlemen of
>  their livings in the London of Shakespeare's time, a problem that is
>  well documented

again it would be helpful for citations on this...

>and that would have been far more likely to have been a
>  target of his wrath then Jews of the Rialto, who were a good thousand
>  miles away and offered no threat whatsoever to the ordinary Englishman.

Frankly, I find the notion of Shakespeare getting worked up to the wrath
stage over hard-done-by young gentlemen even more risible than the
notion of him determined to intervene in the Equity dispute. One might
just as well argue that Tolstoy wrote _Anna Karenina_ as a searing
inditement of the gross negligence on the part of the Railway Board's
Safety Executive.

>  And his audiences would have understood precisely who the playwright was
>  targeting, although we might not recognize him today unless we know
>  something about the history of the period.

Actually, knowing something about the history of the period is always
helpful; where topics like usury are involved  it's also worth going
back a few millennia, since that is what the people thinking about those
issues were doing.  Once you have done that you may realise that the
play is not an early version of _J'Accuse_

>  Shakespeare portrayed this individual as a Jew much as we today might
>  portray a disliked authoritarian politician of our own time as Hitler.
>  We wish he had not, much as gentle intelligent Germans today must wish
>  we would stop giving every fictional band of thugs in B films German
>  accents, but that does not mean that Shakespeare was lashing out at Jews
>  out of an inherent anti-Semitism of his own any more than the B film
>  director has anything personally against Germans. He took a stereotype,
>  conflated it with a known and hated contemporary figure, and, humanist
>  magician that he was, proceeded to give that stereotype the opportunity
>  to defend himself and his people with stirring rhetoric in the court of
>  public opinion that was offered by the stage.

I will simply comment that your analysis of the play is entirely
contrary to mine, and that in my view if you endeavoured to learn
something about usury you might begin to understand the play a little
better.

>  >But the
>  >play is about usury; usury was one of the intellectual preoccupations of
>  >the age, and since some of the finest minds of the age revelled in its
>  >beautiful complexities, spiced with the always fascinating
>  >characteristic of 'serious' money, it was a subject which featured
>  >largely in religious sermons, writings, and secular literature. It is
>  >usually argued that, whilst virtually all human cultures that we know of
>  >feature gambling in some shape or form, it was not until the sixteenth
>  >century that Pascal put the art of losing money onto a scientific basis.
>  >In the Merchant of Venice Shakespeare created a sustained meditation on
>  >the nature of value and risk; concepts which had been at the heart of
>  >economic and moral debate since at least the days of Aristotle and
>  >probably earlier. They are still of vital importance; third world debt
>  >is a classic usury problem,  bankers continue to lend very large sums of
>  >money to people who have no hope of paying the interest, much less
>  >repaying the principal, and questions of interest law continue to
>  >preoccupy very rich lawyers and fairly poor Civil Servants.
>
>  Thanks for highlighting the multiple resonances of this subject in MOV,
>  more examples surely of what riches are to be found in Shakespeare's
>  works, but are you saying that Shakespeare himself had all this in mind
>  when he wrote? If so, what stunning educations were to be had at the
>  Stratford grammar school.

As I have pointed out the topic of usury was a subject which featured
largely largely in religious sermons, writings, and secular literature.
People without the education afforded to Shakespeare had extensive
knowlege of the doctrines; you are imagining a world shaped in the way
your own is, not the way that it was. In the early 21st century the vast
majority of people in, say, North America, would have no idea where to
start in considering two recent Supreme Court Judgements on interest
questions: firstly the English Law Lords in the case of Macniven (Her
Majesty's Inspector of Taxes) v. Westmoreland Investments Limited, dated
8th February 2001, judgements at:
http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200001/ldjudgmt/jd010208/macniv-1.htm
and secondly  the Supreme Court of Pakistan's judgement of December 1999
prohibiting riba (very loosely translatable as interest) transactions.
Only one of the judgements in the Pakistan case has been translated into
English: http://www.alabalgh.net/Islamic_economics/riba_judgement.shtml
but since that runs to 250 pages, out of a total of 1,100 pages, I can
live with it; even the most devoted of interest specialists tends to
blench at the prospect of judgements running into four figures. In most
of Europe and most of North America today someone deeply familiar with
the concepts embodied in both those judgements is a highly trained
specialist, but in Pakistan, or any other country with a strong Islamic
presence, perfectly ordinary people with no specialised knowlege of
dealing with financial institutions and financial instruments will have
an extensive understanding, as did people in England during
Shakespeare's lifetime. There's nothing startling about it, once you
understand the fundamentals.

>  >Stephanie Hughes also wrote,
>  >
>  >>I wonder if anyone attending this thread has read the 1936
>  >>dissertation by Mark Edwin Andrews, "Law versus Equity in
>  >>'The Merchant of Venice.'", published in 1965. He presents
>  >>a strong case for the author's intention to influence the
>  >>argument, which was gathering in intensity in the late
>  >  >90s and early 1600s, over which court had precedence
>  >>  ver the other, Equity or Common Law.
>  >
>  >Gabriel Egan has dealt with this comprehensively, so I will simply note
>  >that Shakespeare was after much bigger game than some fairly footling
>  >legal developments in a small island just off the coast of mainland
>  >Europe...
>
>  Bigger game? Are you saying that the then current controversy over
>  Equity vs. Common Law was beneath Shakespeare?  That only the eternal
>  verities, such as the nature of value and risk as debated by Aristotle,
>  ever occupied his mind?

Actually, I never suggested that anything was 'beneath Shakespeare'.
I'm suggesting that a playwright writing about usury would be tackling
one of the great questions of the age, and that if you do some basic
research you will realise that the play is hip-deep in references to
aspects of usury theory.  It is, in my view, perverse to suggest that we
ignore all of those and decide that what Shakespeare was really doing
was providing commentary a la CNN on day-to-day life in Jacobean
England.  He wasn't a television reporter consumed with a burning need
to find something *Relevant*, nay *Shocking* to comment on for the
afternoon programme; I think that another poster, Sean Lawrence got it
right when he described that sort of approach to the play as 'a sort of
historicism gone mad'. It seems to me to be equally bizarre to ignore
the overwhelming evidence and take off in pursuit of some mythical
villain apparently easily identifiable by all the audience as being
Shylock in disguise. This is the Merchant of Venice, not an episode of
the X-Files.

Stevie Gamble

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Apr 2001 08:52:12 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.0942 Re: Tragic Hero
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0942 Re: Tragic Hero

Judith Craig writes:

>One thing I have never attributed to men is tender
>egos.  I know that all men are not alike, but most
>men and even women, who are into a lot of sex, are
>very feeling people to the concerns of others.  They
>don't have time, being preoccupied with their sexual
>relationships.

This paragraph is saved from unmitigated bigotry and offensive hostility
only by the fact that logically it makes very little sense.  Perhaps the
most interesting part is the Freudian typo in the second sentence:
clearly Ms. Craig, if she follows the context established in her first
sentence, intended to write "very UNfeeling people."  That she didn't
perhaps highlights the ambiguities which even she feels in attempting to
so tar with one brush all men AND women who are "into a lot of sex."

She continues:

> I don't mean in my readings of MOV to do any ad
> hominem attacks on either Sean or Mike...

No, only on all men and women who are into a lot of sex.

> I try to read the plays as I see them, and I have
> found, like most older people, that experience is a
> good teacher.

Only if, like a good student, one does not willfully twist what the good
teacher attempts to relate.  I also find offensive the parenthetical
implication that all "older people" (and how shall we define "older"?)
will share Ms. Craig's perspective.  I'm 44, "older" by some standards,
and find her perspective repellant.

Going on, we have this:

> Please do not take the above as either an apology to
> Sean or Mike nor as an attack on men.

Well, I doubt that any but the most compulsive misreader would construe
this posting as an apology.  And as said above, it no longer is merely
an attack on men but an attack on a pretty large class of human beings
of both sexes.

> It is just a reading of the play that I believe
> anyone can see is supported by the text if he can
> get beyond his own prejudices.  Surely that is the
> purpose of great art--to teach us great truths about
> ourselves that take time to understand.

So if we do not agree with Ms. Craig's reading of MOV, we have failed to
get beyond our own prejudices.  And the purpose of great art is to teach
us to be prejudiced, hostile, anti-sexual, and arrogantly dismissive of
other's perspectives.

Give me a break.

I apologize to Hardy and to the rest of the list in general for not
counting to two thousand.  I wrote as I did only in the hopes that the
level of discourse of this list might, perhaps, be improved.  I should
follow my own advice, no doubt.

Karen E. Peterson

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Apr 2001 09:00:20 -0700
Subject: Re: Tragic Hero
Comment:        SHK 12.0942 Re: Tragic Hero

Well, Ms. Craig, you've put me in my place.

> Please do not take the above as either an apology to Sean or Mike nor as
> an attack on men.  It is just a reading of the play that I believe
> anyone can see is supported by the text if he can get beyond his own
> prejudices.

So anyone who doesn't agree with your interpretation is prejudiced.
Interesting.

And don't fret; I didn't expect you to apologize.  No matter how
offensive your posts, or how many times your dismissive generalizations
are questioned, you have not exactly shown an apologetic spirit, have
you?

Mike Jensen

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Apr 2001 18:50:41 -0700
Subject: 12.0942 Re: Tragic Hero
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0942 Re: Tragic Hero

>Stevie Gamble:
>  >>The notion that the Protestant reformers were not at all against lending
>>>money at interest is one of those notions which seems to have got itself
>>>tied into a particular view of history as progress, the triumph of
>>>rationality over superstition and the belief that economics is a science
>>>which, like physics, can absolutely accurately predict future events.
>>>None of those statements is true, of course.
>>
>>  I'm confused. What is "not true," that Protestant reformers were not
>>  against lending at interest?
>
>I'm sorry that you are confused; you asserted that the Protestant
>reformers were not at all against lending money at interest, and I was
>observing that this is untrue. You appear to be unaware that Luther.
>. . viewed usury as a sin . . .

Of course, most Christians did so and had done for centuries.  The
problem, or one problem, is the definition of usury. Conservatives
defined it as lending money at any rate of interest others simply at
injuriously high rates. It was one of those hot button issues, like
abortion today. At what point is the baby a human? At what point does
interest become usury?

>  >(It   is a fact that Lord Burghley, certainly a Protestant reformer,
>
>Er, I have a very high regard for Elizabeth's minister but neither he
>nor anyone else would have imagined himself to be on a par with Luther
>or Calvin.  Perhaps you would explain precisely what you mean by a
>'Protestant reformer', if you are excluding Luther and Calvin from your
>definition...

Luther and Calvin are your contributions, not mine. They are not English
and have nothing to do with the issue at question, whether or not the
MOV revolves to some extent around attitudes towards English
money-lenders (rather than Jews of the Rialto). The London merchants who
were most interested in laws regulating finance were mostly Protestants
at this time, some could be defined as Puritans. They were interested in
reforms of all sorts, from religious to financial.  What shall we call
them? Burghley was certainly both a Protestant and a reformer. He spent
his life reforming everything from the coinage to the universities. His
close friends were religious reformers and he, like many others, was
wont to spout religious doctrine at every turn.

>  >wished to
>>  see lending at interest made legal.
>
>I should like a citation for that statement; after all, Burghley and
>Elizabeth flatly refused to allow anyone to set up  monte pietas in
>England.  Admittedly they were both extremely proficient at recognising
>a poison chalice when they saw one, but there were plenty of other
>opportunities to make lending at interest legal had they wished to.

I should have said he was for lending at above ten percent. A law passed
in 1572 made it illegal to lend money at a rate higher than ten percent.
Quotes may be found in Conyers Read's biography "Mr.  Secretary Cecil
and Queen Elizabeth" page 274 (NY; Knopf; 1955).

>  >As Lord Treasurer he saw that
>>England needed banks and bankers, and that the abuses of unregulated
>>money-lending hurt everyone but the unscrupulous.)
>
>England had banks, and it had bankers, just as today Saudi Arabia and
>Kuwait, for example, have banks and bankers; there is an extremely
>flourishing Islamic banking market, which operates within the global
>financial markets as do other banks. The words banker and money-lender
>are not synonymous, and banks come in large number of varieties.

Hmmm. My old World Book encyclopedia states that the first bank in
Europe was instituted in 1587 in Venice and that banking as we know it
began in England in the early 1600s, but what do they know. The date
I've been using for MOV is 1597.

snip

>  >I posted in response to the inevitable discussion revolving around the
>>question of whether or not Shakespeare himself was an anti-Semite to
>>suggest that his intention may have been NOT to paint a nasty picture of
>>a Jew but a nasty picture of a seemingly doctrinaire Protestant
>>reformist who dressed in black, named his children after OT characters,
>  >spouted religious doctrine at every turn and fulminated in Parliament
>>and Church against the theaters while practicing extortion on the side.
>
>Do you have any specific examples of these individuals?

The practises of the money-lender John Wolfall are discussed by Charles
Nicholl in "The Reckoning" page 26. Greene's portrait of Gorinus in his
Groatsworth of Witte is a literary portrait of such a one. The most
cursory reading of the social history or the literature of the time will
turn up plenty of examples.

>  >It was this sort of person who was stripping ignorant young gentlemen of
>>their livings in the London of Shakespeare's time, a problem that is
>>well documented
>
>again it would be helpful for citations on this...

The young gentleman who has been fleeced by an unscrupulous money-lender
became a staple of the stage during the Jacobean era and by Congreve's
time he had become a stereotype. As for the period we are examining,
Thomas Nashe complains of it. Greene and Lodge have a debtor complain of
it in "A Lookiing Glass for London." It's all over the place. If you're
interested in the causes and the sorry results I'll be more explicit but
digging up citations for something that is so egregiously plentiful is a
waste of my time . The of estates of young heirs and second sons to
greedy money-lenders was a very great problem that shows up in numerous
documents of the time. If you don't believe me I'll just have to live
with it.

>  >and that would have been far more likely to have been a
>>target of his wrath then Jews of the Rialto, who were a good thousand
>>miles away and offered no threat whatsoever to the ordinary Englishman.
>
>Frankly, I find the notion of Shakespeare getting worked up to the wrath
>stage over hard-done-by young gentlemen even more risible than the
>notion of him determined to intervene in the Equity dispute.

A hearty laugh is always a good thing.

Stephanie Hughes

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 26 Apr 2001 23:18:52 -0700
Subject: 12.0942 Re: Tragic Hero
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0942 Re: Tragic Hero

Stephanie Hughes writes:

>How can suggesting a basis in current events be seen as "strictly
>limiting" Shakespeare's meanings?

One can suggest anything one wants, and of course suggestions are more
or less by definition not limiting, since they open up new areas of
exploration.  What we don't want to get into is the assumption that
Shakespeare is only ever responding to current events.  This assumption
poses two problems:

1. Our construction of what mattered to Shakespeare's time is, at least
in part, derived from works of literature, including the plays.
Therefore the argument becomes circular.  We'll only find what's been
found in the past, since it's all that is considered part of the work's
background, and therefore the only thing available to be considered.

2. It assumes that Shakespeare's horizons (and those of his time) are
rather limited.  There's no particular reason to think that he was
talking about Puritans in writing King Lear rather than (say) the
money-changers that Christ drove out of the Temple, which he also would
have known about, or reports or hyper-inflation in ancient Rome, if they
were available to him, or stereotypes with no such definite origins, or
ideas about human sacrifice sublimated into the liturgy.  In any case, a
great deal more (and, I might add, a great deal which is richer) is
available in the philosophical tradition of the west than in current
events.  There's no reason to rule any of it out simply because it
doesn't get conveniently cashed out as occult references to
contemporaries.

>If we're looking for the origins of a
>play, for the reasons why the author bothered to write this particular
>play at this particular time, we must look for current events and issues
>that are reflected in the play that may have engaged him on a personal
>level. This is common sense, not "not historicism gone mad."

The "must" is the part that's a little absurd.  After all, the plays
engage us on a personal level.  Why might Shakespeare not also have been
engaged by reading Ovid or Plutarch or Plato or the Scriptures?  Why
might he not come to similar conceptions, even without reading them,
from the implicit Ovidianism or Platonism or Christianity of the western
tradition in which he was immersed?

>What kind of "ism" is it to suggest that he plucked the topic of MOV out
>of thin
>air?

Of course he didn't choose the topic out of thin air.  Michelangelo
didn't invent the idea of creating a Pieta, either.  But we don't limit
ourselves to whatever little political games Michelangelo might have
been playing by his artwork to recognize its engagement in great issues,
Ovidian, Platonic and Christian, which dominated the entire western mind
for the last few millenium or so.

Cheers,
Se

 

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