The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2051 Wednesday, 22 October 2003
Date: Tuesday, 21 Oct 2003 17:47:41 +0100
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*.
Viz, in response to Thomas Larque's most recent mailing: those who
believe in astrology may think Edmund 'rough and lecherous' but that
wouldn't be my choice of words to describe him (or his either, I bet).
Smooth and sexy perhaps. *They* may think what they like. He knows he
would be what he is whatever they mistakenly believe.
Equally Edward doesn't believe that any old G will murder his children.
He temporarily (at least) *thinks* Clarence might. It's not just the
dusty old fake prophecy it's also the explicit lies that Richard tells
us he's going to tell him. Clarence also has children of his own who
stand to inherit - although that's an inferred reason from the unusual
emphasis placed on those otherwise extraneous characters rather than a
stated textual one. Edward knows he's heard the prophecy but then
mistakenly starts believing lies. And it's a T who actually murders the
princes! G[loucester] is rather careful about how he goes about trying
to get others to suggest it first. Once he's had to tell Buckingham what
he wants in that respect, Buckingham's days are over and he is not
allowed to change his mind and agree to the murders although he offers
to do so (4.2.84). Surely that's a really important ethical point. Where
would Richard (or any other tyrant) be if there was no-one who offered
to do their dirty work for them before actually being asked?
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