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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: September ::
Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1862  Friday, 26 September 2003

[1]     From:   Annalisa Castaldo <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 07:50:02 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

[2]     From:   Ben Spiller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 12:54:49 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

[3]     From:   Ben Spiller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 13:08:41 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

[4]     From:   Bob Linn <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 08:21:58 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

[5]     From:   L. Swilley <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 07:36:50 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

[6]     From:   Michael Friedman <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 11:57:19 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

[7]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 19:37:37 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

[8]     From:   Susan St. John <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 22:10:13 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Annalisa Castaldo <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 07:50:02 -0400
Subject: 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

Although it is not Shakespearean, in Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, Faust often
refers to himself in the 3rd person. There, I think, it is a sign of his
dangerous pride, but I'm not aware of any studies supporting this, or
relating it to other examples.

Annalisa Castaldo
Widener University

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ben Spiller <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 12:54:49 +0100
Subject: 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

Faustus addresses himself in the second person in the opening speech of
Marlowe's play (after the Prologue):

Settle thy studies, Faustus, and begin
To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess:
Having commenced, be a divine in show,
Yet level at the end of every art,
And live and die in Aristotle's works.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ben Spiller <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 13:08:41 +0100
Subject: 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

Another one has just come to mind...  Lady Anne in *Richard III* refers
to herself in the third person when speaking to the corpse of Henry VI
in I.2:

Poor key-cold figure of a holy king,
Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster,
Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood,
Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost
To hear the lamentations of poor Anne...

Also, the sisters in *Macbeth* chant about themselves in I.3:

The weird sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go, about, about...

I'm also thinking of a moment in *The Two Gentlemen of Verona* when
Lance laughs at himself with the audience, and refers to himself in the
third person (probably due to the rapport between the audience and Will
Kemp, or whoever played Lance in the first performances -- his fame was
such that he could play himself, 'outside' the character written for him
by the playwright).

Henry V talks about the king (i.e. himself) with his soldiers on the eve
of battle, but he is disguised of course.  Viola, too, talks about
herself in the third person with Orsino (but in code, as she too is
disguised), as does Rosalind with Orlando.

I'm sure there are plenteous others....

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Linn <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 08:21:58 -0400
Subject: 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

Leeds Barroll in Artificial Persons commented that the practice of
characters addressing themselves in the third person in Elizabethan and
Jacobean drama adumbrated the modern schizophrenic.  I cannot recall
Professor Barroll's examples, but his book has several.

Bob Linn

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           L. Swilley <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 07:36:50 -0500
Subject: 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

Ching-Hsi Perng asks,

>Are there other examples of characters addressing themselves as third
>person...

In "Richard III," Richard says, "Richard loves Richard."(V, 3), and
somewhere in this area of the play, "Richard's himself again."

     L. Swilley

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Friedman <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 11:57:19 -0400
Subject: 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

Marlowe does it pretty often, especially with characters who have a high
opinion of themselves, like Tamburlaine or Faustus.  Shakespeare creates
a similar character in Julius Caesar, who, before his assassination,
employs several arrogant third person references to himself.

Michael D. Friedman
University of Scranton

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[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 19:37:37 +0100
Subject: 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

> Was 't Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet.
...
> Are there other examples of characters addressing themselves as third
> person, as Hamlet does here? And have there been studies on this
> phenomenon?

Richard III, perhaps, after the Ghosts have appeared to him:

        What do I fear? myself? there's none else by:
        Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.
        Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am:
                ...
        Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd
        Came to my tent; and every one did threat
        To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.

Robin Hamilton

[8]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan St. John <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Sep 2003 22:10:13 -0700
Subject: 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

Ching-Hsi Perng asked

>Are there other examples of characters addressing themselves as third
>person, as Hamlet does here?

Polixenes, in the final scene of WT takes on some of the blame for
Leontes' sorrow and refers to himself in the third person:

"Let him that was the cause of this have power
To take off so much grief from you as he
Will piece up in himself."

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