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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: Hamlet and Grebanier
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1189  Friday, 13 June 2003

[1]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 11:24:43 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1157 Re: Hamlet and Grebanier

[2]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 17:02:10 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1172 Re: Hamlet and Grebanier [the Ghost]


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 11:24:43 -0500
Subject: 14.1157 Re: Hamlet and Grebanier
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1157 Re: Hamlet and Grebanier

 Bill Arnold on that man of the tropics:

>Henry Miller was
>hardly "ineffectual" and some of his best works were not written when he
>was "poverty-stricken" as he had been in his earlier days in his native
>Brooklyn or as an ex-patriot in Paris.

Ah, another one of those exceedingly apt typos. But then, in this
post-OIF, WMD-less political climate, who isn't one?

Cheers,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 17:02:10 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.1172 Re: Hamlet and Grebanier [the Ghost]
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1172 Re: Hamlet and Grebanier [the Ghost]

Claude Caspar quotes me, "...others saw the ghost, as did [Hamlet], so
he had NO reason to doubt his SANITY."

Then Claude Caspar writes, "Actually, Hamlet understood mass hysteria as
well & was as dubious of joint illusion as singular, in other words he
took both red & blue pills at once... Do you think he believed his rep?
I.e., the "public" that mystically flows behind various players & ideas
in the background, but must be reckoned with."

So do I take it you are trying to be humorous, while Grebanier--and I in
his stead--are trying to be scholarly?  Hey, I enjoy a good joke, as do
many on SHAKSPER, but let us get contextual and referential to serious
works, and in a scholarly sense.

Then Claude Caspar writes, "But, my position is that we can posit a
ghost, but we don't yet have a ghost of an idea why Gertrude is
oblivious.  Is it just her nature of denial?  She just doesn't get it.
Though Dover Wilson, his theological assumptions aside, points out that
Old Hamlet reacts when he realizes Gertrude is blind.  Read the meager
text, the ghosts reported retreat, and make of this trace what you can."

If you know what you mean by the latter remarks about Dover Wilson, go
ahead and explain them to me.

You obviously have not read Grebanier.  If you had, you would have
noticed perhaps a hundred pages, at least, of reference to the "ghost"
of Hamlet's father in his discussions.  In particular, you should have
noticed on page 153 that Grebanier writes, "Among these little treasures
was the reprint of the Daemonologie written by King James VI of Scotland
(later James I of England) in 1587.  This work of the bigot-king began
to educate us in Elizabethan lore concerning ghosts.  It is clear from
the Daemonologie that a ghost may be none other than the Devil himself,
masquerading for the occasion in the guise of a person familiar to the
unfortunate mortal favored with the supernatural visit.  James, who
probably never once harbored an original idea in his cranium, was
voicing accepted notions when he wrote the following passage...."

Now, the point is, in my humble opinion, that the Elizabethans of the
time of the staging of Hamlet, which was years later, were as a people
already believers of ghosts and their own king had years before told
them that ghosts were the Devil Incarnate.  That is why, if you consult
the SHAKSPER archives, my remarks on the speech Hamlet gave about the
dichotomy of the good spirits vs. bad spirits is so important to a
scholarly understanding of Shakespeare's play Hamlet.

Hamlet, you see, did "harbor an original idea in his cranium." Hamlet
did not accept the ghost in the guise of his departed father to be
evil.  Would you have expected less of a dutiful prince, beholden to the
memory of his recently dead father who he was still mourning?

Would you expect him to conclude as the author of Daemonologie, anyway?
Certainly not evil, unless you hold sway to the madness theory of Hamlet
the character?  Neither Grebanier nor I follow the latter insane view of
Prince Hamlet.

Read Grebanier.

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

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