2003

All Holinshed Online

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2029  Monday, 20 October 2003

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 17 Oct 2003 13:10:08 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2026 All Holinshed Online

[2]     From:   Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 17 Oct 2003 13:07:17 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2026 All Holinshed Online


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 17 Oct 2003 13:10:08 +0100
Subject: 14.2026 All Holinshed Online
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2026 All Holinshed Online

Michael Egan (no relation) wrote

>This [the digitization image of Holinshed] has to
>be the single most useless enterprise in the history of the
>Internet. The downloads are slow to appear, unreadable,
>and almost impossible to navigate.

Speed of downloading is likely to be strongly conditioned by the
facilities at the viewer's end of the line, most importantly the speed
of one's connection to one's Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the
speed of the connection maintained by that ISP.

The images are perfectly readable on my office-standard screen (1024 x
768 pixels) at the 4x magnification and the width of the book
conveniently fits the width of the screen.  (The book, of course, is
tall and narrow while the screen is short and wide, so naturally one
can't get a whole page on the screen at once.)

This is all quite an achievement, since standard CRT and LCD screens are
currently limited to about 100 dots-per-inch and ink-on-paper, as we all
know, can achieve at least an order of magnitude better than that.

I hope Al Magary doesn't think the work is unappreciated. I for one
applaud it and would encourage other possessors of important paper
resources to make them freely available in this way.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 17 Oct 2003 13:07:17 -0700
Subject: 14.2026 All Holinshed Online
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2026 All Holinshed Online

As a user of Penn's facsimiles (Hall's Chronicle is also online; see
list below), I'm unhappy that Michael Egan is unhappy...but I wonder if
he's unhappy with Penn or with his own computer setup.

Until a few days ago I had only a dialup connection of about 49K, and,
yes, the Internet was often like molasses--sweet but slow.  Now I have a
(TV) cable connection of 1.7MB and my mood has improved considerably.
But now I notice that my turn-of-the-century PC doesn't have enough
memory or graphics capacity to cope, and that leavens my mood.

But I am terribly grateful to Penn (and the NEH, too) for their fine
efforts to put much of the primary material of the English Renaissance
online, for free.  A b&w photocopy of several chapters of Sir Henry
Ellis' Holinshed once upon a time cost me considerable.  Now, for free,
I can see every little type nick and paper pore in beautiful color
facsimiles.

Hall's Chronicle (1550) has of course been online for some time but the
facsimile set has recently been replaced with a higher-resolution set.
Hall begins at
http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?TextID=halle&PagePosition=1

SCETI also has these historical titles of interest:

--Samuel Daniel, Collection of the History of England (1621):
http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?textID=daniel_collection&PagePosition=1

--Samuel Daniel, The Ciuile wares betweene the Howses of Lancaster and
Yorke (1609):
http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?textID=daniel_civil&PagePosition=1

--John Foxe, Actes and Monuments (1610)--2 vols.:
http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?textID=foxe_actes_book1&PagePosition=1

--Sir Thomas More, three editions of Edward V/Richard III-index page:
http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/advancedSearch.cfm?author=More,_Thomas,_Sir,_Saint,_1478-1535&CollectionID=furness&visited=furnessAuthor

--John Stow, Survey of London (1618):
http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?textID=stow&PagePosition=1

--Mirror for Magistrates (1610) is represented right now only by Richard
Niccols' Queen Cordelia:
http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?textID=mirour_selections&PagePosition=1

Teachers should look into ERIC--English Renaissance In Context:
http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/furness/eric/index.html The blurb
says, "ERIC comprises two separate but integrated units: a set of
tutorials on some of Shakespeare's plays and on the making and selling
of books during the Early Modern period; and a database of scanned
texts..."  Contributors to the tutorials include a couple of names
familiar to this list.

There's a lot of Shakespeare online, too, including the first folio:
http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?TextID=firstfolio&PagePosition=3

If the access cost to me is further upgrading of my computer, I say, I'm
on my way to the computer store right now.

Cheers,
Al Magary
Hall's Chronicle Project

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S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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Basileus

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2028  Monday, 20 October 2003

[1]     From:   Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 17 Oct 2003 12:53:59 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.2025 Basileus

[2]     From:   Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 19 Oct 2003 15:08:24 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2025 Basileus


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 17 Oct 2003 12:53:59 +0100
Subject: 14.2025 Basileus
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.2025 Basileus

"a basileus king was a hereditary king... So there's at least an
etymological link between religion and hereditary kingship in the Greek
language, made clear in the English cognate word 'basilica.'  Does
anyone know of any evidence that this sort of etymological argument is
at all relevant to the construction of the doctrine of Divine Right?
That is, was such a rhetorical strategy employed by 16th- or
17th-century proponents of Divine Right?"

Do you mean, apart from the fact that James's key text on divine right
was called "Basilikon Doron"? And that the posthumous Caroline
hagiography was called "Eikon Basilikae"?

These are a good place to start, I'd suggest.

m

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 19 Oct 2003 15:08:24 -0400
Subject: 14.2025 Basileus
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2025 Basileus

>Does anyone know of
>any evidence that this sort of etymological argument is at all relevant
>to the construction of the doctrine of Divine Right?  That is, was such
>a rhetorical strategy employed by 16th- or 17th-century proponents of
>Divine Right?

The series of texts from James I's Basilica Doron through Icon Basilica
to Milton's Iconoclastes constitutes an argument regarding divine right.

1) Hart, Vaughan. Art and Magic in the Court of the Stuarts.

"The Triumph was, however, unlike the masque in enabling the king to
spread his solar virtue to the city at large through his actual
presence. James himself made reference in Basilikon Doron (1603) to the
concept of the God-King spreading the light of his virtues down through
the descending hierarchy of a heavenly ordered society via his physical
presence:

Remember then, that this glistering worldly glory of Kings, is given
them by God, to teach them to preasse so to glister and shine before
their people, in all workes of sanctification and righteousness, that
their persons as bright lamps of godliness and virtues, may, going in
and out before their people, give light to all their steps. (James I
1918:12)" 161

"...in his Palladio [Inigo] Jones noted that this antique portico was
taken in part from the Temple of Peace in Rome. This temple, also known
as the Basilica of Maxentius, was [thought to] have been the repository
of the plundered trea


no spirit dares stir

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2027  Monday, 20 October 2003

[1]     From:   Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 17 Oct 2003 12:28:54 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 14.2020 no spirit dares stir

[2]     From:   Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 17 Oct 2003 12:34:33 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.2020 no spirit dares stir

[3]     From:   Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 17 Oct 2003 14:26:16 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2020 no spirit dares stir

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 17 Oct 2003 12:28:54 +0100
Subject: no spirit dares stir
Comment:        SHK 14.2020 no spirit dares stir

So - Bill Arnold's sole point behind these interminable ravings is
simply that "spirit" is a more "serious" word than "ghost". And there
was I thinking (rather charitably) that there was some profound
theological undercurrent to it all that I was somehow missing out on.

"Can you all *imagine* the Elizabethans translators of the English AV or
what we Americans call the KJV opting for the resurrection scene of Will
S's "Saviour" [invoked in SCENE ONE]-- with the "ghost" of Jesus
confronting Doubting Thomas?"

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!

I guess Bill Arnold only reads his own posts...?

m

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 17 Oct 2003 12:34:33 +0100
Subject: 14.2020 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.2020 no spirit dares stir

"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".

m

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 17 Oct 2003 14:26:16 +0100
Subject: 14.2020 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2020 no spirit dares stir

>OK: let's start at the top: philosophy of the word *spirit* vs.
>philosophy of the word *ghost* to maintain sensibility with the play
>Hamlet by Will S.
>
>OK: the opening four scenes of Hamlet the play are clearly a lexical
>analysis of the philosophy of the word *spirit* vs. the word *ghost*!

This only seems to be clear to Bill Arnold.  Most people would recognise
that something which is absolutely clear to only one person, and
completely unrecognised by everybody else, is either not very clear at
all - by contrast, it must be amazingly subtle, such that Bill Arnold is
the first person ever to have understood what Shakespeare intended - or
is simply not there.

>You cannot as a Globe Groundling get past those opening four scenes
>without a clean understanding that the spirit on the battlements in
>battle dress is *none* other than the "spirit" of the father of Prince
>Hamlet.  Indeed, in scene five, as soon as Hamlet puns the spirit with
>the words "Alas, poor ghost!" the *spirit* admonishes his son, boldly:
>
>"I am thy father's spirit."
>
>How *B-L-U-N-T* must Will S be?  What part of "spirit" do you all
>*N-O-T* understand?

Arnold seems to have "understood" something here that the character
Hamlet rather obviously did not.  Hamlet continues to refer to his
father's ghost as a ghost for the rest of the play.  "How *B-L-U-N-T*
must Will S be" in showing us that Hamlet thinks he has spoken with his
father's ghost (or else, his only alternative suggestion, a devil in
disguise)?  Arnold seems unable to accept the words of Shakespeare's
play when they do not suit him, and seems instead to be channelling
peculiar messages that nobody else has ever heard.  If the message from
the ghost was intended to be so obvious by the author, then how come the
major character of the play, the only person to whom the ghost is
talking, fails to notice it?

>Will S has the *spirit* of Prince Hamlet's father make these opening
>scenes a discussion of the lexical meanings of "spirit" vs. "ghost"!

Again, this is Bill Arnold's reading, there is nothing to suggest that
it was Shakespeare's.

>It seems that the play Hamlet by Will S has been dissed for far too long
>by some Shakespeareans who wish to treat it as a Disneyesque production
>with Caspar the Ghost haunting the stage.

Again, Arnold seems unable to understand the difference between his own
point of view, and that of historical figures.  The idea that a "ghost"
is a cartoon character or a man in a sheet that has never been somebody
alive is something that was established in modern secular times.  The
Elizabethans believed that ghosts were things of awesome import, the
spirits of dead people wandering restless in the human world for some
terrifying and significant reason (otherwise they would have been at
rest in paradise, or tormented in hell, or - for a Catholic - possibly
in Purgatory, but certainly in the other-world of the afterlife).

Caspar would not be quite so child-friendly and amusing if it was made
obvious that he was the disturbed and restless spirit of a small child
that had died prematurely of some nasty illness or horrible accident or
murder, and was unable to find rest in either the Christian paradise or
a humanist oblivion.  The idea of a ghost as some sort of never-alive
creature, whose previous life was unimportant is a modern invention.  I
doubt it can be traced back much further than the 19th century at the
earliest.

>OK: let's get as *serious* as the opening of the play Hamlet by Will S
>as viewed by a Globe Groundling!

Bill Arnold is not a Globe Groundling, and I can still see nothing in
his interpretation that would make it the view of a Globe Groundling.
All that I see is the view of Bill Arnold projected backward into
history.

>So--you have recently lost a parent--or God forbid, a child!  And you
>come to the play in the Globe with a heavy heart after you have been to
>the funeral of your loved one.  Did the Rabbi or the Priest or the
>Preacher speak of the *ghost* of your departed relative, rather than the
>*spirit*?

Well, two points here.  Firstly in the modern sense of "ghost", they
would not talk of your father's ghost at his funeral because his spirit
would have been expected to have made a transition directly between
being a "soul" or "spirit" within a human-body, to being a "soul" or
"spirit" in the afterlife.

A "ghost" in the modern sense, and the sense used in "Hamlet" (although
Shakespeare had alternatives not usually available to us), is a spirit
that is walking without a body in the human world.  Unless somebody has
seen the spirit of your dead father walking around in the real world
without its body, then there would be no "ghost", so there would be no
reference to a "ghost".  If your dead father had taken to wandering
around in the church in the middle of the night, and had been seen by
you and by the Priest, then the Priest might well talk - quite correctly
- about his ghost.  The fact that such a thing is very unlikely to
happen in the modern world (largely because there is no such thing as a
real ghost) explains why such references are not commonly made in
funerals.  In a literary world, however, such references are quite
possible, and indeed expected in stories that involve such ghostly
visitations.

Second point.  Actually, at the time that Shakespeare was writing, the
word "ghost" could be used in at least two senses, one of which was the
one that we would recognise (so that Hamlet can say, "Alas poor ghost"
and mean that his father's soul is walking around without a body,
haunting people), but the other of which was simply a identical synonym
of the word "soul".  It is for this reason that we still talk of "giving
up the ghost" - meaning dying and letting the soul ("ghost") leave the
body .  Shakespeare uses this very phrase in 3 Henry VI 2.3.22, in which
Richard, telling Warwick with sympathy of his brother's death, says to
him:

And in the very pangs of death he cried,
Like to a dismal clangour heard from far,
'Warwick, revenge - brother, revenge my death!'
So, underneath the belly of their steeds
That stained their fetlocks in his smoking blood,
The noble gentleman gave up the ghost.

The parallels with the ghost in Hamlet as seen by Nashe, crying "Hamlet
revenge!" are remarkable, and possibly even significant here, but
Warwick's brother cried for revenge while still alive, and his soul
presumably travelled directly to the afterlife (from a religious point
of view) but Shakespeare is *still* quite happy to refer to his "ghost"
in a speech designed to appeal to and sympathise with his brother.  If
calling a dead man's spirit a ghost was such an insult as Arnold
imagines, then Richard would certainly not have used the word here.

>Of course not.  God forbid.

Although not a funeral sermon, Richard's reference to the "ghost" of
Warwick's brother appears in a similarly reverential and sympathetic
circumstance, as Richard informs Warwick for the first time of his
brother's death.

>OK: tell me it is as serious to call your *dead* relative a *ghost*!?

If your dead relative is wandering around the world in spirit form, then
that would simply be a technically correct description even now.  In the
Renaissance they were rather more familiar with talking about the
spiritual world and its relationship to the everyday world of human
life, so this would have been even more acceptable then than now,
especially since "ghost" was commonly used to describe the soul during
or even before its departure from the body.

>You would be *horrified* if the Rabbi or the Priest or the Preacher did
>that at your relative's funeral.  Mortified, you would think the
>supposed cleric to be Daffy Duck!

Again, this sounds rather suspiciously like Bill Arnold talking about
his own feelings.  What happened to that imaginary Globe Groundling?  I
rather think he is simply Bill Arnold in disguise.

>Trust me on this: we are *not* talking comics here, folks!

The word "ghost" was not considered comical in Shakespeare's time.  The
reappearance of spirits after death was apparently taken with deadly
seriousness by the vast majority of the population.

>SCENES ONE through FIVE are *S-E-R-I-O-U-S* business about the
>philosophy of the *spirit* and are not mere *ghost* matters!

Again the distinction between comical "ghost" and serious "spirit" is
one made by Bill Arnold.  Shakespeare's contemporaries would apparently
not have recognised such a distinction.

>Get *real* with Hamlet the play by Will S!  Treat it with the respect it
>deserves.  Prince Hamlet is *L-I-T-E-R-A-L-L-Y* at the funeral of his
>dead dad and you all are treating this *drama* as if it is *A Midsummer
>Night's Dream*!  Which it ain't. I mean to tell you all that the *whole*
>world is reading and *watching* this discussion of the *WATCH* scenes.
>There are some heavy hitters on board, and some very heavy hitters who
>browse Hardy's message board each day before they step into class, or
>write that review, or clarify a new book on the bard.  Inquiring minds
>want to know, the whole truth, and *not* fluff.  We are the delight of
>Shakespeareans worldwide.  So let's *not* open Hamlet the play with
>Caspar the Ghost, OK?

As I have pointed out Shakespeare had never heard of Caspar.  I also
suspect that many of the important people reading this discussion will
have long ago created their own readings of the play, which would for
the most part look nothing like the one produced by Bill Arnold.  Is
Bill Arnold really so self-deluded that he dismisses all of these
readings (produced by "heavy-hitters" infinitely more significant to the
world of Shakespeare studies than Arnold or myself) as "fluff" and
falsehoods, unless they agree completely with Arnold?  The idea that
only Arnold's view is serious and correct is rather comical in itself.

>Can you all *imagine* the Elizabethans translators of the English AV or
>what we Americans call the KJV opting for the resurrection scene of Will
>S's "Saviour" [invoked in SCENE ONE]-- with the "ghost" of Jesus
>confronting Doubting Thomas?

Jesus, of course, was not technically a "ghost" after his death because
he had been resurrected, and was present in the flesh.  That's why he
makes Thomas touch his wounds.  I'm an atheist with no particular
knowledge of Christian doctrine, and what little I know comes mainly
from my study of literature and history, but I know this.  Why doesn't
Bill Arnold?  It rather spoils his attempts to reconstruct the thinking
of a Globe Groundling, if he doesn't even understand the basic elements
of the faith by which that Groundling viewed the world.

Anyway, let us ignore the instance of Jesus as a resurrected non-ghost,
and look at the Bible itself.  Does it use the word "ghost" in a
respectful, serious, non-comical fashion?  Of course.  What about the
"Holy Ghost"?  Is that a Caspar-ish figure in Arnold's reading?  If so,
then he has sadly misunderstood Christian doctrine and Renaissance
sensibilities.

The "ghost" of Jesus gets a reference too, although in the sense of his
spirit as it leaves his body, not the haunting figure without a body
that he never became.  Both King James and Douay-Rheims translate all
four gospels to say that Jesus "gave up the ghost" on the cross (Mark in
the King James, for example, has "And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and
gave up the ghost").  The King James uses the exact same phrase in
relation to such respected biblical figures as Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac,
and Jacob, among others.  If Arnold feels that the translators of the
Bible intended to be comical or disrespectful when describing the deaths
of the Biblical patriarchs, and even of Jesus himself, then once again
he has seriously misinterpreted both the Bible and Renaissance English.

>OK: go ahead and tell me they are synonyms.  Sure, they are; but they
>have *D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-T* meanings.

They both had a variety of meanings, but when used in the same way they
meant exactly the same thing.  When the word "spirit" was used to mean a
human soul wandering the real world in insubstantial form after death,
then it meant exactly the same as "ghost" when that was used to mean a
human soul wandering the real world in insubstantial form after death.
There was no difference at all.

>Seasoned professionals on SHAKSPER will not be *conned* by connotation
>vs. denotation sleight-of-hand tricks.  None doubt they denote the same
>to Globe Groundlings, but there is a substantial difference between the
>connotations of *ghost* as opposed to the connotations of *spirit* and
>it is precisely the latter word and its connotations which Will S
>invoked.

So please try to apply your claims to all the other plays in which
Shakespeare uses "spirit" as a synonym for "ghost".  If the exchange has
the significance that you are trying to give it in "Hamlet" then it
*must* have the same significance in these other plays, or your argument
collapses because then it becomes obvious that "ghost" is an exact
synonym for "spirit" used interchangeably by Shakespeare.

>OK: the two words are synonymous but not the same!  Get real. It might a
>*synonym* be: but Will S chose to make it a *big* issue in SCENES ONE
>through FIVE, and you all ought to finally take note, and stop finagling
>with Hamlet the play as other than a most *serious* play.
>
>I have already said that *Macbeth* is *not* on the same caliber of play
>as *Hamlet* and you all know that *Hamlet* is the more intellectually
>challenging of the two: so put your analytical caps on on deal with the
>cards Will S dealt!

So Arnold, after lecturing us endlessly on how we must take "Hamlet"
seriously (which apparently means that we must give up our own opinions,
and accept those of Bill Arnold) now tells us that he does not take
"Macbeth" as seriously as he takes "Hamlet", so we can just ignore the
fact that Arnold's claims don't hold up in the second play.

If Arnold thinks that Shakespeare was deadly serious in "Hamlet" but was
just messing around when he wrote "Macbeth", so did not have to follow
the same rules,  then he seems to have got himself into some strange
parallel Arnoldian universe.  I very much doubt whether Shakespeare
would have agreed with him, and I suspect that very few Shakespeareans
would agree with him either.

>As a campaign, we are only beginning to penetrate SCENE FIVE!
>
>I will make my last point, clean, clear, crisp and piquant:
>
>If you would diss the opening scenes of Hamlet, and insert a *ghost*
>where Will S intends a *spirit* then you ought to look at yourself in
>the mirror?  What do you see?  Would you be at all pleased with a Rabbi
>or Priest or Preacher who called your departed relative a "ghost"?

Looking in a mirror is not a good way of reconstructing the past, or of
understanding the original intention of literature.  I have no doubt
that Arnold has constructed his theory by looking in a mirror and
admiring his own reflection (which is why he has got confused between
what Arnold believes, and what Shakespeare is likely to have believed).
I do not think that it is a good idea that - on Arnold's advice - we all
rush to our own mirrors to create our own view of the play, and even if
we did, we would all see different things since we would be looking at
our own faces (which look nothing like Arnold's).

If my father kept turning up in the street outside my house after his
death (which hasn't happened yet - may he live forever!) then, if I
believed in that sort of thing, I would be quite happy to discuss the
appearance of his ghost.  As it happens, I would describe such a thing
as a hallucination, not a "soul" or a "spirit" or a "ghost", but if my
philosophical beliefs persuaded me that I had really seen him in spirit
form after his death, then the word I would use is "ghost".

>If you would be offended, then note that Prince Hamlet was so offended
>by Horatio making light of the "spirit" of his dead father.  He put it
>bluntly, as the duty-bound filial son:
>
>"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
>Than are dreamt of in your philsophy.
>...
>...Rest, rest, perturbed spirit!
>...
>...The time is out of joint: O cursed spite,
>That ever I was born to set it right."

And then, as Arnold once more conveniently forgets, he goes on and on
referring to his dead father's ghost.  If Hamlet was really annoyed by
Horatio's use of the word "ghost" then he would hardly continue to use
it himself.  Despite the Arnoldian edict on what Hamlet must mean, the
real Hamlet (Shakespeare's creation) has used the word "ghost" just 29
lines beforehand, and uses the word "ghost" 13 lines afterwards.
Neither the ghost's use of the word "spirit" (which Arnold views as an
offended command to Hamlet not to refer to it as a ghost) nor Hamlet's
use of the word "spirit" (which Arnold views as an offended correction
of Horatio) stops anybody - least of all Hamlet himself - from
describing the ghost as a ghost.  Hamlet, supposedly corrected by his
offended father's spirit, uses the word "ghost" again in a soliloquy
just 92 lines later, and then uses the word repeatedly throughout the
rest of the play, including  one instance only a few lines after he has
- in the Arnold world view - supposedly snapped at Horatio for using the
offending G-word.

We are fairly obviously dealing with two things here, the script, and
Arnold's response to the script.  The script contains the word "ghost"
in places that Arnold doesn't want it to be, and he consequently tries
to clamp on interpretations and explanations that put these references
aside and ignore them.  Unfortunately for Arnold's theory, these
explanations do not stand up to the rest of the text, and the word
"ghost" keeps on popping up after Arnold has told us that it should have
been put aside.  Hamlet is supposedly "corrected" by the ghost, and
supposedly "corrects" Horatio, but none of this stops him saying that he
has seen his father's "ghost" over and over again.

Once again, the only conclusion that I can reach is that Arnold's theory
is *NOT* an obvious description of what Shakespeare clearly intended (so
clear that Arnold can insult anybody who disagrees with him for their
stupidity and fluff or their lack of attention to Shakespeare's words),
nor is it even really a credible argument about a possible
interpretation of the script, since - by the rules of standard literary
criticism - Arnold's interpretation is in many places openly
contradicted by the content of the script.

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

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no spirit dares stir

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2028  Monday, 20 October 2003

[4]     From:   Dana Wilson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 17 Oct 2003 07:05:01 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2016 no spirit dares stir

[5]     From:   Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 17 Oct 2003 15:53:49 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2020 no spirit dares stir

[6]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 17 Oct 2003 11:35:48 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2020 no spirit dares stir

[7]     From:   Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 19 Oct 2003 03:23:29 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2020 no spirit dares stir


[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Wilson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 17 Oct 2003 07:05:01 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.2016 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2016 no spirit dares stir

Bill, et al,

Bill wrote: "...

>We can consult all the dictionaries on the planet,
>nay, in the universe,
>and it still is not as helpful as contextual
>meaning, agreed?
>
>Why, pray tell, do SHAKSPEReans *refuse* to deal
>with the four cards
>Will S dealt us: SCENE ONE, SCENE TWO, SCENE THREE,
>and SCENE FOUR?
>
>As a Globe Groundlings, we inquiring minds want to
>know?  We've just
>stood through them, our boots all muddied, our
>breath stenched with
>smoke, and we are *convinced* it is the *spirit* of
>the father of Prince
>Hamlet!  Forsooks! what play you all been watching?
..."

I think the point of Robin's reference to the Virgin Reader is that the
play you have been watching is a function of the critical apparatus that
you bring to the performance.

For example, in Hamlet's first scene with R&G, H points up at the
ceiling and says "This roof built by the hand of God".   One reader,
under the suspension of disbelief, simply proceeds on the idea that the
scene is set out of doors.   However, I hear the Bard's irony.   For me,
he is playing with the boundary of reality between the actors and the
characters they are playing.  Furthermore, the epilogue tells us that of
the deaths the audience has witnessed some have died in art and others
in life, but presumably none of the actor actually died.

...or maybe this isn't such a good assumption.  Having studied The
Method for many years I can say that Method actors will carry their
loves and conflicts back-stage to heighten the authenticity of their
performance.   And we have all heard that JWBooth formed the idea to
kill Lincoln while playing Brutus.

It is a pet theory of mine that the movie Shadow of the Vampire was
really an attempt to take the camera back-stage of Hamlet, and view The
Method at work, and obviously no one in that movie died.   My personal
belief is that no one even died in that movie, but this is because of
the lens, or critical apparatus, that I as a reader bring with me to the
performance.

In the work,
D-

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 17 Oct 2003 15:53:49 +0100
Subject: 14.2020 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2020 no spirit dares stir

>OK: let's get as *serious* as the opening of the play Hamlet by Will S
>as viewed by a Globe Groundling!
>
>So--you have recently lost a parent--or God forbid, a child!  And you
>come to the play in the Globe with a heavy heart after you have been to
>the funeral of your loved one.  Did the Rabbi or the Priest or the
>Preacher speak of the *ghost* of your departed relative, rather than the
>*spirit*?
>
>Of course not.  God forbid.
>
>OK: tell me it is as serious to call your *dead* relative a *ghost*!?

A very little research proves that Renaissance audiences were quite used
to people referring to the ghosts of their relatives, or hearing their
relatives described as ghosts, in literature of the period.  Just a
brief websearch for "father's ghost" and "thee" without "Hamlet" (to
remove modern texts and references to Shakespeare's plays) turn up
Thomas Woodstock 5.1:

Thomas of Woodstock, wake, my son, and fly!
thy wrongs have roused thy royal father's ghost
and from his quiet grave King Edward is come
to guard thy innocent life, my princely son,

http://www.hampshireshakespeare.org/notes/TOWact5.html

and Locrine 5.4

My father's ghost still haunts me for revenge,
Crying, Revenge my overhastened death.
My brother's exile and mine own divorce
Banish remorse clean from my brazen heart,
All mercy from mine adamantine breasts.
My father's ghost still haunts me for revenge,
Crying, Revenge my overhastened death.
My brother's exile and mine own divorce
Banish remorse clean from my brazen heart,
All mercy from mine adamantine breasts.

http://www.bookrags.com/books/1ws48/PART30.htm

... in the first instance it is the father's ghost which is speaking, in
the second the ghost is a character in the play (described as "ghost" in
the stage directions and speech cues, once again), and the person
speaking is the ghost's daughter, who is apparently not offended by the
term, since she uses it herself.

These are only the Renaissance texts that can be found easily using
Google, no doubt a LION search would turn up many more.

Once again, this seems to show that Bill Arnold's idea of what was
acceptable in the Renaissance is only really a description of what Bill
Arnold thinks is acceptable now.  What is acceptable in Renaissance
drama is rather more reliably checked against other Renaissance drama
than against the prejudices of a particular modern individual.

Arnold's response to the Ur-Hamlet (in which, again, Nashe is very clear
that the thing that tells Hamlet to revenge is Hamlet's father's
"ghost") was to tell us that such a thing was not Shakespeare, as if
Renaissance audiences thought about things in a completely different way
when watching a play by the Bard!  Rather obviously, to those who
watched his plays, Shakespeare was just one among many equivalent
playwrights, who - even if he was the favourite playwright of a
particular individual - wrote in exactly the same world and was watched
or read in exactly the same way as his contemporaries.  If "my / your
father's ghost" was acceptable in "Locrine", "Thomas Woodstock" and the
Ur-Hamlet, then it was fairly obviously acceptable in Shakespeare's
"Hamlet" as well.

If Bill Arnold didn't have his head in the ground, ostrich-like, then no
such proof would be necessary, since Hamlet himself repeatedly talks of
his father's "ghost", but this simply proves that Arnold has still less
reason to pretend that Hamlet does not mean what he says.

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

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 17 Oct 2003 11:35:48 -0400
Subject: 14.2020 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2020 no spirit dares stir

>How *B-L-U-N-T* must Will S be?  What part of "spirit" do you all
>*N-O-T* understand?
>
>Whatever part differs from "ghost" in the context of this play.

>OK: go ahead and tell me they are synonyms.  Sure, they are; but they
>have *D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-T* meanings.

Huh?  Run that one by me again.  A synonym that has a different meaning,
hmmmm.   BTW, please stop shouting, we are not deaf.

I beseech you -- in the name of the Father, the Son and the other guy --
how do you define the spirit of a dead man as different from his ghost?

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 19 Oct 2003 03:23:29 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.2020 no spirit dares stir
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2020 no spirit dares stir

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. I think that Bill would get less opposition and more kudos
if he were clearer in his arguments and scaled down the authoritarian
tone of his posts. I would like nothing better than to agree that the
ghost or spirit should not be presented as a technical triumph. But if
Bill presented his argument with more matter and less art, perhaps I
could have realized that a week ago.

By the way, I think the term groundlings should be used with a little
more restraint. As eager as I am myself to frequently use the term to
refer to those theatre-goers spectating in the yard as such for
convenience, Shakespeare is the only contemporary to use the term and it
occurs only once. Hamlet uses it as quite a derogatory term. Perhaps we
should be more judicious in the term we use? And the term groundlings
does exclude every other auditor in the amphitheatre. Certainly the
original plays were not just directed towards those standing in the
yard. Actually I think the reference to the groundlings was actually
intended to elicit responses from those sheltered in the stalls. But
this seems to want to become another thread.

Brian Willis

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

All Holinshed Online

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2026  Friday, 17 October 2003

From:           Michael Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 16 Oct 2003 06:02:40 -1000
Subject: 14.2018 All Holinshed Online
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2018 All Holinshed Online

What a disappointment!

This has to be the single most useless enterprise in the history of the
Internet. The downloads are slow to appear, unreadable, and almost
impossible to navigate.

Given Holinshed's importance to Shakespeare, it really is time someone
provided a complete Holinshed in modern type with a usable search engine
and cut-and-paste capabilities. I for one would willingly pay a
subscription for such a service.

--Michael

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

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