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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: May ::
Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0887  Friday, 9 May 2003

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Thursday, 8 May 2003 09:11:48 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0873 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques
(1576)

[2]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Thursday, 8 May 2003 13:15:12 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0873 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques
(1576)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Thursday, 8 May 2003 09:11:48 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.0873 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0873 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires
Tragiques (1576)

Claude Casper writes, " This seems very Greek, but not Shakespeare.  You
have had 'established' in your mind a program that is congenial because
it claims to resolve all questions, though for some it does this only be
ignoring what does not compute. We see the contours of a human mind in
your comments, but it is Grebanier's, not Shakespeare's...Let's simply
take Hamlet as our example!  Reason?  Isn't he also, rash, hypocritical,
irresponsible, selfish, cruel, irrational, as well, at times?  When or
where, exactly, is he pure Reason?  He is a walking contradiction."

Let's back up a bit.  I began this thread with Shakespeare's
indebtedness to Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques (1576).  I got this
awareness from Grebanier.  In reaction to posts about Hamlet, the play
and the character, I stated simplistically, but correctly, that Hamlet
epitomized Reason, certainly in opposition to the Madness of Ophelia.
You really should read Grebanier.  He wrote a book, which I cannot nor
will not compress for this list.

Of course Hamlet is complex, as a play, and as a character, but he IS
Reason in contrast to the Madness of Ophelia.  You deny that at your
intellectual peril and grossly misunderstand the character.  Grebanier
takes on ALL the critics up until his time.  And I might add, he took on
all the critics for all times.  His interpretation is not wanting!  His
book is too complex for me to simplify.  But his presentation is crystal
clear and cuts to the heart of the matter, the heart of Hamlet, the
character.  It appears too many SHAKSPEReans have not read him, and well
they should.

However, I find it insulting to the intelligence of Shakespeare to read
gross misinterpretations of his plays, in particular Hamlet.  Grebanier
has it right, in my reading.  None have done Hamlet justice but him,
again in my opinion, and if you can find a "fatal flaw" in Grebanier's
book, let's have it!  Labeling him an Aristotelian does not do his book
justice.  Have you read it?  His analysis is thorough, and his exegeses
are equally as thorough.  He is far from simplistic.  Mainly, he is
right on, in as far as the best interpretation of the play Hamlet and
the character Hamlet which is out there in scholarship.

Grebanier's Hamlet: The Play Shakespeare Wrote needs to be read.

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Thursday, 8 May 2003 13:15:12 -0500
Subject: 14.0873 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0873 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires
Tragiques (1576)

Much is troubling in Mr. Caspar's response, but I have other fish to
fry. This, however, I cannot let pass:

>But, alas, real emotions, modern
>emotions like the ones we experience everyday, are never discreet, are
>always mixed, compounded, confused.

Alas indeed. When did emotions become confused and thus modern and real?
The 3rd Century b.c.? The 11th Century a.d. The 16th? The 20th?

Cheers,
don

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