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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: November ::
no spirit dares stir
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2146  Friday, 7 November 2003

[1]     From:   Whitt Brantley <
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        Date:   Thursday, 6 Nov 2003 10:45:29 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2128 no spirit dares stir

[2]     From:   Bill Lloyd <
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        Date:   Thursday, 6 Nov 2003 11:58:29 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2137 no spirit dares stir

[3]     From:   Stan Kozikowski <
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        Date:   Thursday, 06 Nov 2003 13:13:21 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2137 no spirit dares stir

[4]     From:   Thomas Larque <
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        Date:   Thursday, 6 Nov 2003 18:23:45 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2137 no spirit dares stir


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Whitt Brantley <
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Date:           Thursday, 6 Nov 2003 10:45:29 EST
Subject: 14.2128 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2128 no spirit dares stir

>I would be most interested in ...the different
>*connotations* of the terms 'soul', 'spirit', 'ghost' etc. as
>used in early modern England

from the internet:

The answer to these questions regarding the ghost in Hamlet may be found
here:
http://stjohns-chs.org/english/hamlet-new/forewarddone/introduction.html

HAMLET AND THE DAEMONS:AN INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE OF THE GHOST AND ITS
MISSION
by Raymond Nighan, Ph.D.

Shakespeare teases with hints of the irony to come.

Horatio:  If there be any good thine to be done That may to thee do
ease, and grace to me Speak to me...

Ironic not because he articulates the conventions of Elizabethan
demonology, but since no good thing is to be done either for the ghost
or at its bidding. Marcellus' admonition can hardly be the reason the
ghost vanishes. It cares nothing for him or Horatio; it wants Hamlet's
soul.

St. Augustine's City of God establishes the following essentials
relevant to the current question:

Spirits exercise an intermediary potential between God and man, but they
are true enemies of chastity and virtue. (Book VIII, Chapter XVIII)

But these false and deceitful mediators, the devils, wretched in
uncleanness of spirit, yet working strange effects by the arial bodies,
seek to draw us from profit of soul, showing use no way to God. (IX,
XVIII)

Devils are 'without charity.' rendering their knowledge corrupt; they
thus contrast with Christ's humility.
(IX, XX)

The devil may transform himself into an angel of light.
(X ,X)

Devils are used by God for good purposes "that the number of martyrs
might be fulfilled...because they spend their blood...against the power
of impiety."
(X, XXI)

Biblically, the justification for Purgatory is II Maccabees, XII: 46.

Aquinas believes a place must exist for the purgation of those who die
in sin but not meriting damnation as a matter of Divine justice,
Purgatorial torment is twofold: depravation of the Beatific Vision and
"corporeal fire.

Purgatorial pain transcends any earthly torment, and in some cases is
"...in proximity to hell, so that it is the same fire which torments the
damned in hell and cleanses the just in Purgatory.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Lloyd <
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Date:           Thursday, 6 Nov 2003 11:58:29 EST
Subject: 14.2137 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2137 no spirit dares stir

Spirits should be shaken not stirred-- no one dares stir spirits! [Or
did I get that backwards? Apologies to King James Bond.]

I run a bookstore that uses Bowker's Books-in-print download, and Bill
A's book does indeed come up when ISBN 1892582015 is entered. So
bookstore folks [around the world I suppose] who use this "system" would
be able to ACCESS the ordering information-- which *ultimately* leads to
an address in FLORIDA, where Bill A. himself is "listed" as one of the
*proprietors*. So, direct to Bill A., or from your "local" bookstore
amounts to the same thing in the end. Probably faster and cheaper
D-I-R-E-C-T from Bill A.

Oddly, a Bowker BIP search for Arnold, Bill only brings up his Emily
Dickinson book, because Jesus: The Gospel According to Will is listed
under "ArnoArnold, Bill" [sic]. This form of his name should increase
opportunities for anagrams and acrostics.

I find it quite interesting that Shakespeare was apparently the J-Lo of
his day, going by the hip-hop name Will-S.  I suggest that SHAKSPERians
should follow his lead, and that of Ben-Jo, Fran-Bo, Geo-C and others,
and rechristen themselves. It was good enough for Algy-M and Jack-W...

Regards,
B-Llo

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stan Kozikowski <
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Date:           Thursday, 06 Nov 2003 13:13:21 -0500
Subject: 14.2137 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2137 no spirit dares stir

I entirely agree that linking, as GWK does, the "'character'" of Hamlet
with the "ghost scenes" constitutes one of the little-used keys to the
play.  Andrew Gurr recently observes (source not in front of me) that
when Hamlet says "This is I,  Hamlet the Dane" (V.2. 265-6) we are
witnessing  the spirit of the dead King working within his son.
Knight's idea and Gurr's notion point us in a direction little explored
despite some suggestive work on the subject by a few writers, a little
here and a bit there (to my knowledge) on the topic.

To continue the suggestion of the inspriting:  After all, how else can
we explain Hamlet's scoring 3 to Laertes' 0 in the duel, when Claudius'
bet is that the score will not exceed 7 to 5 in favor of the obviously
superior Laertes?  King Hamlet, that great duelist who opposed King
Fortinbras, now takes upon himself the task of outdueling his son's
Adversary appropriating a human medium not unlike that used by Claudius.

Many questions about how we treat (or mistreat) the Ghost abound.  For
openers, look at the business of how to direct the Ghost's second
appearance (before the soldiers and Horatio).  Why, for example, in
God's name did Branagh have Marcellus and Bernardo toss "partisans" at
the figure of the King that's dead?  Clearly, and evidently, Marcellus
bemoans the "vain BLOWS" (I.2.146) visited upon the Ghost, which we
later learn has been manifesting itself repeatedly (three times) "a
truncheon's length" away from the soldiers (I.2.204)--a very different
scene than the one popularly staged.  The damn thing won't "stay," won't
"stand," so the guards strike it with their partisans, execution-style,
as if in imitation of an execution, it seems to me.  Gurr, on this
moment, suggests that Horatio is among those who strike a blow--he with
his sword--no partisan partsan he--upon the Ghost.  That's three strikes
against the poor fellow, who like, Hamlet, as Hamlet tells Ophelia, must
'crawl between Heaven and earth' among the others things that he and the
Ghost do and say in strange synchronicity.

'Hamlet' (the "character" and the "ghost" in one) at the conclusion of
the play, most appropriately, returns the three blows.

New critically yours,
Stan Kozikowski

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <
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Date:           Thursday, 6 Nov 2003 18:23:45 -0000
Subject: 14.2137 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2137 no spirit dares stir

I am quite happy to cease combat on this thread at Hardy's request, but
here are a few final and non-combatative remarks, which will mostly be
of interest to those who actually want to buy Arnold's book (which is
clearly to Arnold's benefit rather than his detriment).

Bill Arnold talks about "a Books-in-Print system run by Bowker" and
claims that his book is present on this list.  This may be the case, but
Arnold's book is certainly not listed on either the UK or US
"Books-in-Print" lists subscribed to by my University (from "Whitaker
LibWeb"), which are used by many bookshops and universities around the
world, and quite probably also in America.  His assumption that any
bookshop in the world can provide the book is therefore certainly not
accurate.  Oddly Arnold's other book "Emily Dickinson's Secret Love" is
listed on "Whitaker LibWeb", despite being two years older and from the
same publisher.  Perhaps Arnold's book on Jesus has been omitted from
the "Whitaker LibWeb" list by mistake, but it is certainly not present
on this list, and therefore not available from any bookshop that uses
this list.  It may be worth Arnold's while to contact "Whitaker LibWeb",
or get his publisher to do so, and ask them why his book is not listed
(I have tried searching for author:"Arnold" title:"Jesus" and for
author:"Bill Arnold", which located his other book).

To test this all out I tried ordering Arnold's book from one of the
largest and best known general British bookshop chains, W.H. Smith, and
they confirmed that they had never heard of the book, did not have it on
their database, and therefore could not obtain it for me.

Arnold is wrong about Alibris simply relisting AbeBooks books.  Alibris
and Abe are two different services, as are the second-hand book sections
of Barnes and Noble and Amazon.  Booksellers pay to belong to whichever
of these services they choose, and then list their books there.  The
company which is selling Arnold's book belongs to several of these
services, so the same book appears numerous times if you search them
all, but these are quite different services and often carry different
books from different booksellers (as anybody who searches them regularly
will know), and it is always worth searching them all.  A good way of
doing this is using www.bookfinder.com which searches many of the
services at the same time.

To those who wish to buy Arnold's book, happy hunting!  The best answer
may be to contact Arnold himself.

Although I disagree with Arnold's methods and conclusions, I
congratulate him on having a book in the world, and wish him the eternal
life and long posterity given to those whose works will sit on the
bookshelves of ensuing generations, and be the cause of joy or at least
fascination to the eager second-hand bookhunters of the future.

Thomas Larque.
"Shakespeare and His Critics"       "British Shakespeare Association"
http://shakespearean.org.uk           http://britishshakespeare.ws

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