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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: October ::
no spirit dares stir
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2039  Tuesday, 21 October 2003

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Oct 2003 06:04:37 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2028 no spirit dares stir

[2]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Oct 2003 14:39:50 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2027 no spirit dares stir

[3]     From:   Edmund Taft <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Oct 2003 12:40:20 -0400
        Subj:   no spirit dares stir

[4]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Oct 2003 19:24:22 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2027 no spirit dares stir


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Oct 2003 06:04:37 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.2028 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2028 no spirit dares stir

Brian Willis writes, "I seem to misunderstand the argument here.  And
seemingly, Bill Arnold misunderstands mine and proceeds to talk down to
his responders as if we are children."

OK: you all *are* who you perceive yourselves to be.

But I can guarantee you all one thing: you will never again *doubt* that
*spirit* is a big issue in the opening scenes of Hamlet the play by Will
S, and never again treat it as a trivial Caspar the Ghost ghost story.

So let us stay with the crux of "no spirit dare stir."  And please note
I have *NOW* left off the [spirit vs. ghost] tag in the subject heading.

In the opening five scenes of Hamlet the play by Will S, we note: the
question of a spirit from heaven vs. a spirit from hell is posited.  And
the spirit from hell [or below] is really a Dantean spirit.  Sure, this
spirit is Virgilian in disguise, and accompanies Hamlet the character
not into the portals of purgatory or paradiso, but stays on the
battlements dressed in armor, angry, ready for revenge of a *murder* and
now we accept that fact.  And me: the Devil's Advocate?  Si, amigoes.
But, and this is a big but, and my way of offering a balanced
presentation: but the ghost of Hamlet's father says, "I am thy father's
spirit."

The ghost of Hamlet's father does not say, "I am thy father's ghost."
No way.

And what, pray tell, is the point: the point is that some still call
Hamlet mad, unjustified in taking out and finding out the murderer: "The
time is out of joint: O cursed spite, That ever I was born to set it
right."

Well, OK: they rhyme, don't they: "spite, right."

WHY: why does Will S make a big issue in his opening scene salvos about
spirits good vs. bad, right vs. wrong, murder vs. what?  Would any dare
suggest that "no spirit dares stir"?  Stir for what?
Right and Spite, Spite and Right?

Well the spirit did stir, and he stirred for a reason: and that was to
point out that murder had been committed in secret.  I guess some would
be happier if Gertrude had met Hamlet on the battlements and whispered,
"I *SAW* Claudius poison thy father." Sheesh.  Tres moderne, out of
evening Buffy the Vampire Slayer stuff.  Will S was above that with his
otherwordly E.T.!  Will S was more down-to-earth in his spirituality!

And despite all those who I read months ago who thought the ghost a
mistake, well, they ought to take heart that the ghost was *not* a
mistake, as the *SPIRIT* was right on with spite!  Spite to set it
right!  Remember: right?

In order to set things right, we have laws, and law enforcers call
police men and police women.  Who were the police which Hamlet the
character was to go to?  Name them?  What was his redress, once he
discovered a true murderer in Elizabethan times?

Note: the ghost/spirit of Hamlet's father said leave Gertrude to
heaven.  He did not say hell.  It is the Hamlet-Claudius story we are
about here, and brother-on-brother crime which violated the laws of
society.  Beware, the spirit walks at midnight!

Author: Hamlet the Sly Fox: "Fair and balanced, you decide."

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

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Oct 2003 14:39:50 +0100
Subject: 14.2027 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2027 no spirit dares stir

Martin Steward wrote:

>Well, yes - that's exactly how the KJV translators used the word "ghost"
>- that was the point of my admittedly lighthearted post from a few days
>ago. Maybe I should have been more blunt. But I cited the word, chapter,
>verse, and all!

Never mind the KJV, in William Tyndale's 1526 New Testament it appears
as "...and he was eatyn of wormes, and gave uppe the goost."

John Briggs

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Oct 2003 12:40:20 -0400
Subject:        no spirit dares stir

The spirit (if not the letter) of Bill Arnold's argument is that we must
all learn to give up the ghost.

Not yet, Bill, not yet.

--Ed Taft

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Oct 2003 19:24:22 +0100
Subject: 14.2027 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2027 no spirit dares stir

Martin Steward <
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 > writes,

>"The humorist received a copy of Robert Browning's latest work (which
>one, I have forgotten).  As he read the new work, he began to perspire
>because the words did not make sense."
>
>I don't know who the protagonists were, but the poem in question was
>almost certainly "Sordello".

http://anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=344

"One day while Douglas Jerrold was recuperating from a serious illness
at a seaside resort, a parcel arrived containing Robert Browning's
abstruse philosophical poem Sordello ... "

This may draw on an earlier remark (apochryphally?) attributed to John
Stuart Mill, that he'd only understood two lines in "Sordello":

The first: "Now shall you hear Sordello's story told," and the last:
"Now have you heard Sordello's story told."

Robin Hamilton

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