2003

no spirit dares stir

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2089  Wednesday, 29 October 2003

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Oct 2003 06:14:51 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2078 no spirit dares stir

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Oct 2003 13:52:41 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 14.2078 no spirit dares stir


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Oct 2003 06:14:51 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.2078 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2078 no spirit dares stir

Anthony Burton writes, "But unless I've missed a key contribution, it
seems that no one is invoking the principal witness, William
Shakespeare, that 'ghost' really does mean 'spirit' in the broadest of
theological senses and isn't just a Hollowe'en spook."

OK: you make my point after all these discussion, perfectly; and you
take the rug out from under Tom Larque's argument that *none* see the
"spirit" of Hamlet's father in ACT ONE as Caspar the Ghost.  You
*obviously* do; or are you being misread here?  Care to rephrase?

OK, as well: I do believe you have missed a *key* contribution, which is
in the SHAKSPER archives many times by now; and that is Will S's
*contribution* to the translation question of KJV and the opening ACT of
Hamlet the play.  As I have noted: in *Christology* the words "Soul,"
and "Breath," and "Spirit," and "Ghost," and "Will" find themselves
often translated by translators as synonyms: but I would remind you
*all* that they have *connotations* quite different, and inasmuch as
they are unique words, they *are* different.

Beware that various Biblical texts interchange the words according to
the translator's whim!  It might be added, beware of the exegeses of
Hamlet the play by Will S which do not take into account these
Shakespearean Age *usages* of the connotations of these words, which are
quite *different* in their readings.

So, where does *morality* come from according to Hamlet, in his various
monologues and dialogues, particularly with Horatio in ACT ONE?

His answer *IS* from the "spirit" world, from a higher calling?  From a
*meta* physical realm.  Heeding the New Testament, Will S invokes, "They
kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as in heaven."  Even Prince
Hamlet invoked this portion of the "Lord's Prayer," in his rebuke to
Horatio, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are
dreamt of in your philosophy."

In this context, the equating of the words "Soul," and "Breath," and
"Spirit," and "Ghost," and "Will" cannot be ignored!

No king was above the law, as far as Will S was concerned.  Queen
Elizabeth I ought to have seen *through* the Hamlet narrative to the
lexical theme: no king or queen was above the law and *all* will pay
with their spirits!  Jesus said: you know a tree by its fruits.  His
point?  Our acts condemn us, our words notwithstanding.  Our *acts* are
like fruit on a tree, and *define* us as individuals.  Hamlet invokes
Meta-physics.  Physics is not the total answer.  If it were, Hamlet
would have merely killed king Claudius in spiteful revenge.  Instead, he
sought the *MANDATE* of heaven, and the right of the Divine Law from on
high.  We can argue till the cows come home whether or not it was New
Testament, which I believe it was--[note Will S's nearly two thousand
Biblical referents; myriad of them from the NT].

But the point is that Hamlet's raison d'etre after his encounter with
the *spirit* of his departed father partook of a *spiritual* quality
that the rest of the characters in the play Hamlet seem to have ignored,
other than Hamlet the father and Hamlet the son and the Holy Ghost on
the battlements, the Trinity of Will S's religion, and the religion of
his queen and king!

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

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Oct 2003 13:52:41 -0500
Subject: no spirit dares stir
Comment:        SHK 14.2078 no spirit dares stir

I think we're missing the point. The Ghost in Hamlet is no gibbering
spook, but a serious contributor to the play's concerns. Its essence
lies in a wholesale involvement in repetition. It never appears, it only
re-appears: 'has this thing appeared again? . . . Look, where it comes
again'. In French (a point made by Derrida) it would be called a
'revenant'.  This constitutes the nub of its direct and unanswerable
challenge to the sort of discursive logic we inherit -one which will
always demand 'Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself'. This Ghost
wholly defeats the 'unfolding', sequential requirement of that kind of
reasoning, particularly its embodiment in the court of Claudius.

T. Hawkes

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Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed by

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2088  Wednesday, 29 October 2003

From:           Gary Kosinsky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Oct 2003 16:07:24 -0800
Subject: 14.2084 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2084 Shakespeare's "first serious critic" revealed
by Stanley in TLS

Once again, thanks to Allan Axelrod, this time for his information on
the illegality of destroying money, even your own.  Go ahead and destroy
a work of art, if you like, but don't let us catch you tearing up any
dollar bills!

For Larry Weiss, my condolences.  It would be a different situation if
you had knowingly purchased such a building beforehand.  But to be the
owner at the time a new law is made does seem to mean that you are
subjected to some unfair consequences, as your post made clear.

I'm not very knowledgeable about the Berne Convention, or how it applies
to citizens of different countries.  If an eccentric billionaire decided
to buy a copy of the First Folio and use it as kindling in his
fireplace, could anything be done to him after the fact because of this
convention?

And for R.A. Cantrell - I could use a Rembrandt painting to hide a stain
on the wall, if that could be arranged.  However, I take your point.  It
is easy to insist that other people assume responsibilities and
obligations to further a perceived public good. And I suspect that if I
was fortunate enough to own some item of historical or artistic
interest, my opinions on this matter might change.

_______________________________________________________________
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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 14.2086  Wednesday, 29 October 2003

From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Oct 2003 13:47:39 -0500
Subject: The Ethics of Conference Presentations
Comment:        SHK 14.2080 The Ethics of Conference Presentations

In Britain, it's held that regular publication of the same book or
article is a sure sign of academic distinction. Fecundity is a close
relative of vulgarity.

T. Hawkes

_______________________________________________________________
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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 14.2087  Wednesday, 29 October 2003

[1]     From:   Ed Kranz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Oct 2003 08:18:28 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2072 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge

[2]     From:   Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Oct 2003 16:21:19 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2083 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Kranz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Oct 2003 08:18:28 -0500
Subject: 14.2072 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2072 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge

>Well, I hate to be a "wet blanket" myself, but it's "Viz.," with the
>period [ . ] please, inasmuch as it is an abbreviation for "videlicet."

"I'll warrant they'll have her publicly shamed, and methinks there would
be no period to the jest, should she not be publicly shamed."
Merry Wives of Windsor 4.2.102

Ed Kranz

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Oct 2003 16:21:19 -0000
Subject: 14.2083 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2083 Shakespeare and the Theory of Knowledge

>Tom Larque writes, "I am not Bill Arnold, however, and have no direct
>communion with the spirit of Shakespeare, so I am quite happy to accept
>that I might be wrong."
>
>OK: then be "happy," inasmuch as I do believe you are wrong about Will
>S's usages of "Spirit" and "Ghost" in Hamlet the play.

A characteristically Arnoldian response.  Not a single word of
refutation of my many examples of Renaissance sources using the word
"ghost" in ways that Arnold claims would have been impossible,
offensive, and unthinkable.  Nothing about why Hamlet keeps saying
"ghost" after Arnold claims he has been told not to by his father's
"spirit".  No explanation of why there are Biblical references to ghosts
in serious contexts, when Arnold has told us that there would not be.
As usual, Arnold thinks I am wrong but he won't say why - and he
certainly won't support his arguments with detailed citation and
analysis of Renaissance sources, which Arnold is happy to pretend to
understand much better than anybody else (we are all speaking "fluff"
and falsehoods unless we agree with Arnold, apparently) but which he has
apparently never even read.

Arnold's views about "spirit"/"ghost" are quite simply wrong because
they stand on a long string of provably false and remarkably ignorant
claims about the way in which Shakespeare and Renaissance sources used
these words and the nature of their theological beliefs (note especially
that Arnold's theory was originally based on claims that subsequent
editors had inserted the word "ghost" into Shakespeare's stage
directions and that no character called Hamlet's father a "ghost" in the
play - the fact that Arnold was wrong about both of these things should
have caused him to abandon his theory, which stood on nothing else,
instead he simply became more and more determined and started shrieking
insults at anybody who disagreed with him, proving himself much better
at propaganda than at scholarship).

The question about Edmund remains open because neither of us is
depending upon something which can be directly and easily proved to be
false.  The same is not true about the Arnoldian theories about
"ghost"/"spirit", which are based on nothing other than demonstrably
false statements.

>And, as for my "direct communion with the spirit of Shakespeare" I would
>request Tom of *his* proof of his bold statement of fact?

Does Bill Arnold not read his own postings as well as not reading any
Renaissance source material?  If he did, then he would find repeated and
endless claims that Arnold's views are those of Shakespeare and that
anybody who disagrees with Arnold is disrespecting the great author and
can as a consequence be contemptuously discarded with insults.  How
Arnold knows exactly what Shakespeare thought - despite the fact that
nobody else in the entire world seems to agree with Arnold about this
fact - is a mystery if it isn't down to his use of a medium.  It
certainly isn't a result of his close and intelligent reading of the
play, since Arnold makes obvious mistakes about the play, makes obvious
mistakes about its Renaissance context, and bases his views primarily on
having watched "Caspar the Ghost", which Shakespeare knew nothing about.

>Not that I mind him saying that, which I don't, inasmuch as I accept it
>as a *spiritual" fact, but then Tom probably does *not* relate to
>spiritual facts.

Arnold rather obviously doesn't bother with facts (corporeal or
"spiritual"), unless he has just made them up himself.  Otherwise he
would have to consult Renaissance sources before telling us what
Renaissance thinkers undoubtedly thought, instead Arnold just tells us
that whatever he personally thinks was in fact exactly what Renaissance
people must have thought, and doesn't waste his time with things like
books.  History should not just be a matter of self-admiration, and
Arnold needs to stop looking for his "spiritual facts" in his own
mirror, and start reading sources.

>In any event, I would love to *see* his proof.

My proof that you communed with Shakespeare's spirit?  Well, first I
think you should provide some evidence that you understand such things
as irony, sarcasm, hyperbole, and other things known to most literary
scholars and indeed to the average man-in-the-street.  I certainly don't
claim to know whether Arnold really bases his claims on crystal-ball
gazing, spirit writing, or other tools of pseudo-science and
pseudo-history, but Arnold claims an infallible knowledge of exactly
what Shakespeare must have meant and feels free to insult everybody who
disagrees with him.  Since Arnold's view is unsupported by any textual
or contextual evidence - otherwise he would be able to respond point by
point to my point by point refutation of his claims, citing Renaissance
sources and Shakespeare's text in great detail, as I did, without making
obviously false readings of them - then his absolute conviction as to
the Shakespearean nature of his claims must either be based on communion
with Shakespeare's spirit, or on Arnold's complete lack of
self-perception and his use of sheer boastful posturing.  Perhaps Arnold
will let us know which of these two possibilities is the correct one.

Just like any other literary critic, Arnold will have to accept that
once an author is dead he can never prove his theory to be
unquestionably right.  He should also accept that - just like any other
literary critic - he will turn himself into little more than a figure of
fun if he bases his theory entirely upon demonstrably false statements
and ignorant misreadings.  If Arnold is right, then he should be able to
defend himself against the refutations that have been offered - by
myself and by others - to every significant factual claim within his
postings on the "spirit"/"ghost" issue.  Far from providing proof for
every statement that he has made, Arnold has provided proof for none of
them -whenever he has tried to provide proof he has made another obvious
mistake.

In the historical study of literature it is never possible to be
absolutely certain that you are right.  It is - however - possible to be
absolutely certain that you are wrong, if every statement that you make
is based on error and falsehood (unless you are a Gettier case, and have
accidentally stumbled upon the truth despite having no good reason
whatever to think that you have done so, something so unlikely and
unprovable that we should rationally dismiss it as a possibility until
further evidence emerges).

I have shown up the many factual errors in Arnold's posting, and his
theory can't stand without them.  Unless Arnold is willing to show that
his claims are all correct and universally supported by Renaissance
sources and that my postings on this subject are riddled with much worse
errors (which he has not even attempted to do) then the only person
likely to be convinced by Arnold's theory is Arnold, and only because of
his excessive self-belief.

Of course Arnold won't respond to my challenge to provide evidence from
Renaissance sources to support his claims, since there is no such
evidence and he consequently can't produce it.  Again, if Arnold thinks
there is then I suggest that he write a point by point rebuttal to my
point by point refutation of his many false claims (see all my postings
on the "no spirit" thread, but particularly SHK 14.2027  Monday, 20
October 2003).

Somehow I suspect that the rest will be silence, until Arnold starts
chanting "I'm right!  I'm right!  I'm right!" yet again, with still no
evidence of any kind to support him, and no serious attempt to answer
his critics.

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

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Early Theatre 6.2

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2085  Wednesday, 29 October 2003

From:           Helen Ostovich <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Oct 2003 16:47:59 -0500
Subject:        Early Theatre 6.2

/Early Theatre/ 6 Special Volume: Performance, Politics, and Culture in
the Southwest of Britain, 1350-1642

/Early Theatre/ 6 is a special volume dedicated to essays on
/Performance, Politics, and Culture in the Southwest of Britain,
1350-1642/, a collection inspired by REED sessions at the Leeds
International Medieval Congress. Contributors examine subjects as varied
as Corpus Christi celebrations; the dramatic interdependence of towns on
the Somerset/ Dorset border; and the relationship between itinerant
performance and topography. They ask us to consider the influence of
puritan reformers on performance; the inter-relation of civic and
ecclesiastical affairs in a cathedral city; and the ways in which social
conflicts find expression in mimetic activity enacted against rural and
urban landscapes. The cultural diversity within the region also emerges,
especially in studies of its two Celtic zones: South Wales and Cornwall.

The December issue, /ET/ 6.2, features the following articles:
'At the End of the Road: An Overview of Southwestern Touring Circuits'
by Sally-Beth MacLean; 'Minstrels, Morris Dancers, and Players: Tracing
the Routes of Travelling Performers in Early Modern Cornwall,' by Gloria
J. Betcher; 'Plays and Performing in Early Modern South Wales', by David
N. Klausner; 'Crossing County Boundaries: Sixteenth-Century Performance
and Celebration in Yeovil, co. Somerset, and Sherborne, co. Dorset', by
Rosalind C. Hays'; and 'Performance, Politics, and Culture in the
Southwest of Britain, 1350-1642: An Historian's Response', by Peter
Fleming, along with a large selection of book reviews. Abstracts of
these articles are available on our Website at
<http://www.earlytheatre.ca/crrs/early/et6_2.htm>.

Subscription rates for Volume 6 are $30US/$35CAN for both issues. For
further information on rates, visit our subscriptions page at
<http://www.earlytheatre.ca/crrs/early/etorder.htm>.

Please join us as subscribers and as writers of articles or reviews.

Gloria Betcher
Associate Editor, _Early Theatre_
Secretary/Treasurer, Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society
Dept. of English
Iowa State University
206 Ross Hall
Ames, IA 50011
USA

Helen Ostovich
Editor, EARLY THEATRE / Professor, Dept of English
McMaster University
Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4L9
(905)525-9140 x24496  FAX (905)777-8316
http://www.earlytheatre.ca
_______________________________________________________________
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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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