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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: May ::
Re: Romeo and Juliet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1233  Friday, 3 May 2002

[1]     From:   Sam Small <
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        Date:   Thursday, 2 May 2002 16:04:27 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Romeo and Juliet (Protagonist v Antagonist)

[2]     From:   John V. Knapp <
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        Date:   Thursday, 2 May 2002 19:16:29 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Response to SHK 13.1216 Re: Romeo and Juliet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <
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Date:           Thursday, 2 May 2002 16:04:27 +0100
Subject: 13.1216 Re: Romeo and Juliet (Protagonist v
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1216 Re: Romeo and Juliet (Protagonist v
Antagonist)

Larry Weiss says:

> Octavius is an antagonist, which is not the same thing as a villain.
> Iago, Edmund and, arguably, Claudius are both.  Macbeth is the
> protagonist AND the villain.

Not in my view.  Every story, if it is a story, has a clear protagonist
and antagonist.  Macbeth is clearly the protagonist but the antagonist
is invisible (apart from the witches).  Macbeth's ambition is driven by
superstition and magic - and that is the dark force of antagonism of the
story.  It is Shakespeare's genius that gives us so many invisible
antagonists.  The feud in R&J for instance.  Very few modern
storytellers/screenwriters take this rather progressive approach.

SAM SMALL
http://www.passioninpieces.co.uk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John V. Knapp <
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Date:           Thursday, 2 May 2002 19:16:29 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: SHK 13.1216 Re: Romeo and Juliet (fwd)
Comment:        Response to SHK 13.1216 Re: Romeo and Juliet (fwd)

Dear Jimmy Jung, et al. --

I understand the word Hamartia to reflect the concept of "error" rather
than "flaw."  Indeed, using that word, one wonders, commonsensically, if
the character's "flaw" is a representation of something metaphysical,
genetic, narratival, and/or social?  OTOH, "error" is more in keeping
with what we know of the human race and its representations: we are
creatures who think, feel, act, and in so doing, reflect choices, some
of which are mistakes or errors, and in some cases massive mistakes and
very large errors.

Does it follow then that generations of lecturers on *The Poetics* have
appeared to suggest that a poor or erroneous choice (an error) by a
character is really a crack in the self, a "flaw" in the personality
that reflects what?  an attribution from god, from genetic markers, from
a story-telling mechanism?  Make no mistake: is it a flaw to use "flaw"
and not error, or is it merely an error to ignore error and use flaw?
Whadda think?

JVK

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