Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: October ::
no spirit dares stir
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1923  Thursday, 2 October 2003

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 1 Oct 2003 06:51:08 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1915 no spirit dares stir

[2]     From:   Dana Wilson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 1 Oct 2003 07:36:50 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1915 no spirit dares stir


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 1 Oct 2003 06:51:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.1915 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1915 no spirit dares stir

Martin Steward quotes me, in part, "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.'"

Martin then writes, "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."

Agreed, on the point about the English AV or the American KJV, which I
have already pointed out is a ready library-shelf reference while
everyone does not have the Breeches Bible in his or her own library.  As
we say in America, it is close enough for government work, and the
differences with Will S's Breeches Bible are minor.

Specifically, in the KJV, in the famous Sermon on the Mount, Matthew C
5, V's 19-26, there is a gloss on the brother-on-brother crime and it
seems to fit the interpretation Martin offers above, about *brother*
being interpreted as one's "fellow man."  Duly noted, and concurred on
the point.

But, respectfully, I have to disagree with the exegesis of the New
Testament interpretations offered, at least as Horatio's literary
allusion applies.  Specifically, Will S's "Saviour" refers to
brother-on-brother crime in the reported passages about a mote in one's
eye, and the literary allusion offered up by Horatio at this time of the
spirit that dares stir in the opening scene of Hamlet.

No doubt, hypocrisy was one of the worst sins spoken of by the "Saviour"
of Will S.  Anyone who reads the myriad words of Jesus in Luke, C's 11
and 12 will understand that.  But by the same token, the greatest
hypocrite in Hamlet is Claudius!  In the KJV, C 12, V 1-3, which echoes
the opening dark scene of Hamlet and the events we learn unfolded before
the opening of the play, Jesus says, "Beware ye of the leaven of the
Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  For there is nothing covered, that shall
not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.  Therefore
whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and
that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon
the housetops."

It is Will S's referent to this chapter of the New Testament by the
words of Horatio which makes this compelling.  There is irony in the
deed done by Cladius of pouring poison into the sleeping ear of his
brother in his closet aka bedroom, and this passage of deeds done in
"darkness shall be heard in the light...in the ear in closets shall be
proclaimed upon the housetops."  Do I think that Will S wanted us as
audience members to be aware of this passage?  Well, my answer is yes!

Remember, brother-on-brother crime is part-and-parcel of this passage,
as noted, C 12, V's 13 through the end!  Particularly, beginning with
13-14, "And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my
brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.  And he said unto him,
"Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?"  The bulk of the
concluding words of Will S's "Saviour" of C 12 make it very clear that
the crime of Cladius will *not* go unpunished and that the opening scene
of Hamlet is *steeped* in New Testament law, as interpreted by Jesus!

Note, when you read the *WATCH* scene of the opening of Hamlet and you
consider V's 37-40, and Jesus' words, ""Blessed *are* those servants,
whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto
you...And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third
watch, and find *them* so, blessed are those servants.  And this know,
that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would
come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be
broken through.  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh
at an hour when ye think not."

Apparently, Claudius did not *heed* the words of the "Saviour" of Will
S's, as noted in this opening scene of Hamlet.

It is not an accident that Will S inserted the word *watch* at least
seven [ 7! ] times in the opening dark scene of Hamlet where the
servants of the castle were on watch!  It is compelling classic
Shakespearean irony that no one had *watched* when Claudius like "the
thief" came in the dark "closet" of the sleeping King Hamlet before the
beginning of the play and in secret killed "the goodman of the house."

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

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Wilson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 1 Oct 2003 07:36:50 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.1915 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1915 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

I suggest that a 'sensible ghost' is more than a mote of trouble for a
sensible eye, to say nothing of aethyreal ghost.

D-

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail 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.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.