2003

no spirit dares stir

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2109  Friday, 31 October 2003

[1]     From:   D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 07:44:33 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.2096 no spirit dares stir

[2]     From:   Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 08:37:08 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2096 no spirit dares stir

[3]     From:   Jay Feldman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 18:57:17 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2096 no spirit dares stir


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 07:44:33 -0600
Subject: 14.2096 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.2096 no spirit dares stir

Edmund Taft writes:

"Terence Hawkes writes that the Ghost in Hamlet presents a "direct and
unanswerable challenge to the sort of discursive logic we inherit."
That's right.

"It's worth noting that Hamlet never solves the question of whether Old
Hamlet's command represents "the will of heaven." He can't; no one can.

"But there are ways of interrogating the text that raise grave doubts
(so to speak) about the Ghost. For example, what loving father would put
a son in the position that old Hamlet puts young Hamlet in?"

I am inclined to agree here, but I think that Ed implicitly answers his
own question. If the Ghost is doing "the will of heaven" then it is
irrelevant what a loving father might wish to do or not do. You may
question what a loving Father is up to with such a command, but the
answer would tend to be based not on scholarly reasoning but on whether
you go to church o' Sundays, and if so, where.

Now you can assume that the Ghost is not so doing, but then you have
some difficult alternatives. Is it doing "the will of Hell" (something
Young Hamlet certainly worries about)? But if so, it is still not a
"loving father" that we have to worry about. If neither, then how does
it happen to be there?

This last question suggests that it should be regarded as an independent
agent with a will of its own. But then we have to concoct a theory of
spirits of the dead who are connected with neither Heaven nor Hell, and
who can, at their own whim, return to the world of the living and
communicate with them in the fashion described.

There is nothing innately wrong with such a theory, but the text seems
to support (rather strongly) the first thought -- that the spirit is not
free, but imprisoned in Purgatory (the Hell of the Heaven-bound) and
given a kind of pass in order to require Hamlet to do "the will of
Heaven" and purge Denmark of regicide, fratricide, and incest in the
monarchy.

I realize that this is a dreadfully traditional reading, but the Ghost
keeps talking about Heaven and Purgatory, and Hamlet about Heaven and
Hell, and Claudius about Heaven. They may all be lying or loony, of
course, but once more it seems to me that the simplest explanation of
what is going on is best, no matter how obvious and superficial.

Cheers,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 08:37:08 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.2096 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2096 no spirit dares stir

Edmund Taft writes, "It's worth noting that Hamlet never solves the
question of whether Old Hamlet's command represents 'the will of
heaven.' He can't; no one can.  But there are ways of interrogating the
text that raise grave doubts (so to speak) about the Ghost. For example,
what loving father would put a son in the position that old Hamlet puts
young Hamlet in?"

Well: for one, I am not willing to over-throw several millennia of
western culture for the nonce.  I thought *T-R-U-T-H* was/is the mandate
or "the will of heaven"?  Isn't that why in western cultural *law*
settings, a Bible [mind you *all* I am not making this up; even though
conflicted levels of our American court system finds it *necessary* to
take the OT ten commandments out of the lobby of court house in the Deep
South] is produced, and the TRUTH-seekers are asked to *SWEAR* as the
spirit of Hamlet's father invoke innumerable times: "the whole truth,
nothing but the truth, so help me God!"?

And: wasn't the spirit of Hamlet's father, in the context of the play by
Will S, a *witness* to the crime?  And aren't those in on ACT ONE's
*T-R-U-T-H* or "the will of heaven" so asked to "Swear!"?  I see *no*
grave doubt, your pun acknowledged, but the *Will* of Will S* and the
mandate of Heaven invoked by the end of ACT ONE.

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

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jay Feldman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 18:57:17 EST
Subject: 14.2096 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2096 no spirit dares stir

Ed Taft asks:

>But there are ways of interrogating the text that raise grave
>doubts (so
>to speak) about the Ghost. For example, what loving father would
>put a
>son in the position that old Hamlet puts young Hamlet in?

The ghost is conversant with past and present events, but apparently has
difficulty predicting the future. Had he been properly prescient to
foresee the end results of his charge to Hamlet, he might have provided
more precise instructions. Instead, he relied on his son's intelligent
initiative, as indicated in part by his: "I find thee apt..."

On the other hand, if you wish to use this instance as evidence that the
visiting spirit was indeed a devil assuming a pleasing shape to damn
Hamlet, you'll get no argument from me.

Jay Feldman

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Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed by

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2108  Friday, 31 October 2003

[1]     From:   Allan Axelrod <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 10:46:45 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2098 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed by
Stanley in TLS

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 12:50:37 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2098 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed by
Stanley in TLS


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Allan Axelrod <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 10:46:45 -0500
Subject: 14.2098 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2098 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed
by Stanley in TLS

This thread is going afield

The legal fact that someone could, with impunity,  use her
newly-discovered WS   quarto for  kindling leads some threaders to say:
'there ought to be a law!!'.  Her children, with normal thoughts about
money, on discovering her intention would quickly have her property put
into guardianship.   Anyway don't get too upset about the lack of
criminal sanctions for quarto-destruction:  if people began to use their
newly-discovered quartos for kindling, there would be a law pretty
fast.  True, it might take a couple of quartos on the way, but don't we
have enough Shakespeareiana on hand already to satisfy all but
acquisitive collectors and scholars?

Allan Axelrod

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 12:50:37 -0500
Subject: 14.2098 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2098 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed
by Stanley in TLS

>I'd just like to clarify the question of
>"moral rights".  This wouldn't ban the destruction of any item.  What it
>bans is the republication of an item either without crediting the true
>author, or with alterations  which the author does not approve of.

Actually, depending on the circumstances, destruction, alteration,
non-attribution and false attribution may all violate the act.  See 17
USC 106A.

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Skin Review in NY Times

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2106  Friday, 31 October 2003

From:           Ann Carrigan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 11:03:41 -0500
Subject: 14.2099 Skin Review in NY Times
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2099 Skin Review in NY Times

Thanks -- my favorite pseudo-Shakespearean headline review for "Skin"
was "A Fox on both their houses" in the San Bernardino Sun
(http://u.sbsun.com/Stories/0,

Ann Carrigan

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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
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Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2107  Friday, 31 October 2003

[1]     From:   Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 14:01:56 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2101 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge

[2]     From:   Mari Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 10:46:02 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.2101 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge

[3]     From:   Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 13:41:54 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2035 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge

[4]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 31 Oct 2003 11:21:36 0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2101 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 14:01:56 -0000
Subject: 14.2101 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2101 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge

>Thomas Larque writes a tome on Bill Arnold

... and once again Bill Arnold writes a tome without confronting any of
the major errors in his previous postings, which together make his
theory collapse comprehensively, and without any attempt to advance the
debate or deal with real Renaissance sources rather than Arnold's
assumptions about what they must say (if only he could get around to
reading them!).

I say again, a theory that is based entirely on false statements and
obvious misreadings is a false theory.  Arnold is free to try to defend
the many (inaccurate) factual statements on which his theory rests from
the many and detailed rebuttals that he has received.  He should either
respond to these rebuttals by quoting and analysing Shakespeare and
other Renaissance sources in a way that shows his opponents to be quite
wrong and his own statements of supposed fact to be accurate, or he
should stop repeating claims based on these false statements of supposed
facts, since claims without supporting evidence are worthless and
pointless.

It doesn't surprise me that Arnold is a journalist rather than a student
or scholar.  Although a person's job is no indicator of their ability to
put forward workable academic theories, the most shallow form of
journalism involves writing stories that sound good but are not
necessarily accurate because the journalist simply does not have time to
do detailed research, and is basing everything on gut instinct and his
own personal beliefs and prejudices.  Arnold's "ghost"/"spirit" theory
clearly falls within this category.  He might get away with publishing
it in the middle of a small local newspaper read by people who know
nothing much about Shakespeare or the Renaissance, but it certainly
doesn't stand up in a scholarly list read by Shakespearean and
Renaissance enthusiasts.

Unless Arnold is willing to defend his supposedly scholarly claims using
the standards of scholarly debate (that is, by producing evidence from
Renaissance sources to support his own point of view, in answer to
rebuttals that produced evidence from Renaissance sources against it)
then his claims certainly are not scholarly and they do not belong on a
scholarly list.

All historical claims depend upon reading written sources to establish
what those in past generations actually thought.  Bill Arnold tries to
dress his theory up in historical clothes - endlessly claiming that he
is looking at the play through the eyes of a Globe Groundling - but he
has made no effort at all to support any of his readings with the points
of view expressed in genuine Renaissance texts.  Pseudo-historical
theories of this kind are all very well for novel-writers, but not for
people who are criticising others for not understanding the true meaning
of a Renaissance author.

I see no real point in continuing a discussion that consists merely of
Arnold repeating endlessly that he is right, without producing any
evidence to support that view and without answering the critics who have
shown him to be comprehensively wrong.  If Arnold produces any more
factual statements supported by evidence, or at least by what Arnold
assumes to be evidence, then I will continue to answer these with
detailed citations from Shakespeare and other Renaissance sources.  If
he simply continues to post self-congratulatory nonsense claiming that
he's right because he's right because he's right because he's right,
then I will try to ignore him.

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

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mari Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 10:46:02 -0500
Subject: 14.2101 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.2101 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge

Journalist/tabloid author/Shakespeare reader Arnold is entitled to his
"humble opinion" about Shakespeare's "Christology" and even to his
hobbyhorse riding of what significance Shakespeare's choice of a
particular synonym signifies on religious and literary levels.

However, having presented these arguments ad nauseum, having denigrated
list members by speaking to them in diminutive (I have never seen Mr.
Larque refer to himself as "Tom" for instance), having to this point
been unable to point to a single primary source (beyond the KJB which is
a translation) to support his theories nor to refute the sources offered
by those who dismiss his assertions, having thrown in the Caspar the
Ghost red herring repeatedly even after it was quite well picked clean
of flesh by listmembers, Mr. Arnold needs to recognize that it is time
to lay down his tattered banners, pick up the bones of his red herring
for disposal, and amble off into the sunset, muttering whatever prayers
and/or imprecations he chooses -- under his breath, if possible.

The discussion long ago grew tedious. I am politely asking Bill Arnold
to bring it to an end.  I'm posting in this thread to remove the request
from the hotbed of contentious exchanges in the Hamlet thread; I'd like
to see that thread die and this one return to "The Theory of Knowledge."

Thank you in advance, Mr. Arnold.

Mari Bonomi

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 13:41:54 -0500
Subject: 14.2035 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2035 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge

"I hate to be a wet blanket but since this thread started, I haven't
seen a single suggested instance that I find convincing as *knowledge*."

The question addressed by Gettier is derived from Plato who considers
the necessary and sufficient conditions for "knowledge" at Theatetus 201
and Meno 98. Gettier identifies attempts made in recent years by
Roderick Chisolm and A. J. Ayer to state such conditions as analogous to
knowledge = "justified true belief" which he symbolizes:

"(a) S knows that P IFF

(i) P is true.
(ii) S believes that P, and
(iii) S is justified in believing that P."

He then offers two examples in which these conditions hold, but P does
not qualify as "knowledge." In both cases P has only a portion of the
relevant evidence and manages "justifiably" to draw a true conclusion
from it. In the first case, S concludes that the P: person with ten
coins in his pocket will get job, and in the second case, that, because
one P is true, a set of either P/or a random P2 is also true. The
first, I think, represents inductive inferences and the second deductive
sylogisms. In the first case, Gettier proposes that if an incomplete
knowledge of the conditions leads S to conclude that S2 will get the
job, and he justifiably believes S2 has ten coins, and S doesn't know
that S will get the job and that S has ten coins, S will believe P. P
would be "justified true belief," but based on the false inference that
S2 gets job and clearly not knowledge. In the second case, P = if A then
A or B. S is convinced of A, but A is false. S, however, randomly
chances on a true B, so the proposition "either A or B" remains true.
The deduction is justified, the P is true, S believes it, but P is not
knowledge.

In my Comedy of Errors example, P is the supposed name of the twin from
Syracuse and S is the citizens of Ephesus of whom A of Syracuse says:
"...every one doth call me by my name."

ANGELO        Master Antipholus,--
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE          Ay, that's my name.
ANGELO        I know it well, sir...

Plato et al. would agree; Gettier would not.

Here are two more that both take place in Gettier gardens. The first is
a pure Gettier case, the second is slightly flawed:

1) Benedick and Beatrice believe the other loves them madly because
their friends stage dialogues to that effect, pretending not to know
they are being overheard. Even the friends think it's "no such matter,"
but in fact they do love each other, and each harbors a justified true
belief concerning the other. Although Benedick is justified in believing
Beatrice loves him after overhearing the conversation of Pedro, Claudio,
and Leonato, and although Beatrice does love him, according to Gettier,
what he supposes to be "knowledge" of the fact of her love is no such
matter.

2) Malvolio believes the letter has been dropped for him to find. This
belief is true. The reference to yellow socks and cross garters could
scarcely lead to any other conclusion. The belief is therefore
justified. But there is clearly little knowledge involved which is
demonstrated by the false beliefs it syllogistically implies. This looks
like just a misreading of evidence, but Gettier is concerned with the
status of Malvolio's belief vis a vis the epistemological conditions for
knowledge.

Regardless of Malvolio, Benedick is a perfect Gettier case. Shakespeare
was not thinking of Gettier when he constructed these treacherous
gardens, but he was clearly thinking of epistemology, as the tendency of
his characters to talk to themselves there gives us blow by blow
descriptions of their flawed reasoning.

Clifford Stetner
CUNY

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 31 Oct 2003 11:21:36 0000
Subject: 14.2101 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2101 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge

Can we drop this newly born thread about 'viz.'/viz' (unless one wants
to examine Shakespeare's own use of Latin, etc.) because so far this
thread has nothing to do with Shakespeare? By doing so, not only can we
spend more time and thought on other threads, but we can also save
Hardy's time. Those who want to discuss it can do so off-list, keeping
in mind that in the UK '.' is often (but not always) omitted when a word
is abbreviated (I believe that this is why Ros -- perhaps unconsciously?
-- s

Happy Halloween from the UK (where the final series of Buffy is now
showing on BBC2),
Takashi

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S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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The Ethics of Conference Presentations

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2105  Friday, 31 October 2003

From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 2003 08:31:55 -0500
Subject: 14.2097 The Ethics of Conference Presentations
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2097 The Ethics of Conference Presentations

Is it unethical or vulgar to perform the same play twice?  In two
different cities? Is it unethical to do readings from a book on a book
tour?  The NEA is now supporting a tour of Shakespeare plays in the
U.S?  Is that an unethical use of taxpayers' money since the same plays
will be performed more than once?  Is it unethical for an academic to
accept invitation, all expenses paid and more, to give a talk he or she
has already given?   Is it unethical to publish a talk one has given?

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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