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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: October ::
no spirit dares stir
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1915  Wednesday, 1 October 2003

[1]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Sep 2003 13:45:23 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1904 no spirit dares stir

[2]     From:   Dana Wilson <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Sep 2003 06:39:57 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1904 no spirit dares stir


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Sep 2003 13:45:23 +0100
Subject: 14.1904 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1904 no spirit dares stir

>'Having noted that the spirit which dared stir is *none other than* the
>resurrected spirit of the departed father of Hamlet, Horatio then
>observes, "A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye."

>This is a bold borrowing from the New Testament, and Will S is directing
>our attention to the sin of brother-on-brother crime, in the KJV,
>Matthew, C 7, V 5, "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine
>own eye; and then thou shalt see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy
>brother's eye."'

Er... "brother-on-brother crime"...?

Where's the crime in the scriptural reference? The crime is hypocrisy -
you have to see clearly before you can criticize someone else for not
seeing clearly. It's nothing to do with chucking one's brother into a
trench full of water.

Besides, "brother" in this instance is obviously being used generically,
to mean "fellow man".

As Bill Arnold says, Shakespeare's audience would have been sufficiently
"steeped" in the Bible and its language (though not the AV's for obvious
reasons) to have avoided making this strange connection.

m

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Wilson <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Sep 2003 06:39:57 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.1904 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1904 no spirit dares stir

Forum,

It occurs to me that critics have never known what to make of the ghost.

My own reading is that H's dad was so mortified to have been cuckolded
that he felt like he was dead.  And he was so ashen-faced that the
profane, supposed he was dead.

Horatio advises that no one should touch the ghost lest a solid touch
remind him that his pain is not
ended.

I suppose the same goes for Ophelia, entangled in her lays, and pulled
under by them, the shame was a living death.

By jumping into the grave and giving her a touch Laertes hoped to remind
her that some pain can be out-lived, and Hamlet enraged to see her pain
trivialized in this way determined to kill L.

D-

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