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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: February ::
Hamlet Survey?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0402  Wednesday, 11 February 2004

[1]     From:   Ken Steele <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Feb 2004 18:00:58 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0382 Hamlet Survey?

[2]     From:   J. Kenneth Campbell <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Feb 2004 22:47:06 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0347 Hamlet Survey?

[3]     From:   Edward Brown <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 11 Feb 2004 05:00:47 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0382 Hamlet Survey?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ken Steele <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Feb 2004 18:00:58 -0600
Subject: 15.0382 Hamlet Survey?
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0382 Hamlet Survey?

While I appreciate the appreciative tone with which Bill Arnold accepted
my criticism of the Hamlet survey idea, I do feel obliged to point out
that the major point of my email was omitted from his quotation.  In
suggesting that a survey might help measure popular opinion for cultural
anthropological purposes, I also pointed out:

"...the methodological hurdles are considerable, in trying to distill a
Shakespearean play, or character, into a multiple-choice question, or
even a series of questions. There is a reason that Shakespeare courses
are weighted heavily toward essays and essay answers on exams, and not
toward multiple choice questions."

We simply can't evade that problem, as the other postings on this
subject demonstrate.  Yes or no answers just aren't that interesting,
and simply don't shed light on most of Shakespeare's writing.

As for Sam Small's charge that I am elitist -- guilty as charged.
Perhaps I am a quintessential Canadian in that I distrust the rabble.  I
trust popular opinion when it is also well-informed opinion, but
unfortunately it most frequently is not.  Democracy may be the most
successful political model to date, but it has some major shortcomings, too.

Yours,
Ken

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           J. Kenneth Campbell <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Feb 2004 22:47:06 -0800
Subject: 15.0347 Hamlet Survey?
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0347 Hamlet Survey?

 >Hamlet the main character: was he?
 >
 >(a) mad
 >
 >(b) pretending madness
 >
 >(c) calculating avenger
 >
 >(d) other-suggestions?

(d) Alcoholic. Returns from England sober, mother still a drunk drinks
the poison.

J.Kenneth Campbell
Bardline Academy
visit at bardlineacademy.com

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Brown <
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Date:           Wednesday, 11 Feb 2004 05:00:47 -0600
Subject: 15.0382 Hamlet Survey?
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0382 Hamlet Survey?

I always thought Ophelia said it best:

"Opinion is divided some men hold
That he's the sanest, far, of all sane men
Some that he's really sane, but shamming mad --
Some that he's really mad, but shamming sane
Some that he will be mad, some that he was --
Some that he couldn't be...."

-- W. S. Gilbert, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern"

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