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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: September ::
Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1892  Tuesday, 30 September 2003

[1]     From:   Claude Caspar <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Sep 2003 09:15:51 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1875 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

[2]     From:   Alfredo Michel Modenessi <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Sep 2003 02:44:01 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Claude Caspar <
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Date:           Monday, 29 Sep 2003 09:15:51 -0400
Subject: 14.1875 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1875 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

As you know, narratology has established multiple, distinct "I's" for
Proust's "Search"- the numbers range from 2 to, I believe, 7, for
Muller-see Roger Shattuck's masterful summary of the issue in "Proust's
Way.".  This is no small intellectual exercise, but revelations of
identity & narrative, a deepening of consciousness perhaps analogous to
the way modern astrophysicists talk glibbly about 10 dimension, not
content with a mere four... The recent literature is vast. I read Bal,
Genette & Ricoeur.

I suppose its trajectory is the disassociation & dislocation that we see
first here in Shakespeare, what Bloom calls the self-overhearing, and
others soon after, such as Eliot...

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alfredo Michel Modenessi <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Sep 2003 02:44:01 -0500
Subject: 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1861 Addressing Self as 2nd Or 3rd Person

Ben Spiller says: "I am sure there are plenteous others..."

Indeed! Surprisingly, though, only Michael Friedman seems to have
mentioned _Julius Caesar_ in earlier responses. Isn't that the play with
the greater number of instances? More significantly, perhaps, it is not
only JC himself who does it, and at times it looks meaningful beyond
"characterization".

Starting with the title character himself at 1.2.15, more than a dozen
follow: Brutus immediately afterwards (1.2.46) and somewhat later
(1.2.171ff). Then it's Cassius's turn (1.3.90), and Casca's (1.3.116).
The orchard scene features Portia's "...If it be no more,/ Portia is
Brutus' harlot, not his wife" (2.1.285-6). Next, JC is at it again:
2.2.10, 28-9, 42, 44, 45, 48, 65, 68, and then no more, (because he's
been persuaded by Decius to go to the Capitol?); Brutus closes the scene
with something of an instance, however (2.2.128-9).

Then it's murder at the Capitol, and more of JC's cases. First there is
3.1.32, before Mettellus Cimber contributes his own ("Metellus Cimber
throws before thy seat/ An humble heart: 3.1.33-4), and then 3.1.40 and
47-8 (the one Jonson disliked, if I remember well), before Cassius adds
one (3.1.56).  And then, the grand finale: "...Then fall, Caesar"
(3.1.77).

Brutus's speech at the funeral (3.2.12-40) contains three or four
instances, but the really interesting case (which may not be one,
strictly speaking, but I'd still suggest it has something to do with the
pattern) is Antony's: "But were I Brutus,/ And Brutus Antony, there were
an Antony/ Would ruffle up your spirits..." (3.2.219-21).

Finally, Brutus picks up where JC left (4.3.79-82), Cassius follows suit
(4.3.93-4 and 112-4), and Brutus closes (4.3.121-2). Before the battle
there's Cassius (5.1.47), Octavius (5.1.53-4), Cassius again (5.1.72),
and Brutus (5.1.110-1). Curiously, Pindarus has his own (5.3.49-50). I
may be missing some, but the last instance, fittingly, seems to be "So
fare you well at once, for Brutus' tongue/ Hath almost ended his life's
history." (5.5.39-40).

Hope this helps.

Alfredo Michel Modenessi

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