Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: June ::
The Murder of Gonzago
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1238  Thursday, 10 June 2004

[1]     From:   Edmund Taft <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 09 Jun 2004 08:55:29 -0400
        Subj:   The Murder of Gonzago

[2]     From:   David Cohen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 08:57:21 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 08:41:34 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago

[4]     From:   Jack Hettinger <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 12:03:48 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago

[5]     From:   Pamela Richards <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 16:03:25 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago

[6]     From:   Pamela Richards <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 21:20:26 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago

[7]     From:   Pamela Richards <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 22:22:21 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago

[8]     From:   Jay Feldman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 20:10:42 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 09 Jun 2004 08:55:29 -0400
Subject:        The Murder of Gonzago

David Cohen writes: "But again, the interesting question is what
determines our intentions, We believe we are free to make them, but are
we, I mean from of the determining influences of our biology and social
conditioning, never mind current events."

Although free will was a given in Renaissance religious thought,
Shakespeare poses several interesting glosses on it. Though David is not
a fan of Skinner, his view of _Othello_ is persuasive and chillingly
accurate in many respects. Whether it's operant conditioning or
something else, Iago does seem to "control" Othello.

In _Hamlet_, despite a whole lot of thinking on Hamlet's part, an
overview of the play suggests that the Ghost, acting as father, simply
overpowers Hamlet (just as Polonius does to Ophelia and uncle Norway to
Fortinbras). In the end, the older generation uses the younger for its
own interests. Hamlet starts as a thinker and a Protestant; he seems to
end as a man of action and a Catholic. He begins the play as a scholar
and ends acting and thinking like a soldier. In the final moments of the
play, he is a walking dead man: that is, he seems to have become the
very image of his father at the start of the play.

In the end, Shakespeare's point may not be that we lack free will but
that the goals and ends of our actions are not predictable (by us). That
seems to be a major point in _Julius Caesar_ as well.

Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Cohen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 08:57:21 -0500
Subject: 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago

Edmund Taft <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >

 >David Cohen asks "[I]f the christianized version of fate (providence)
 >works its way out (as you say, at the end of Hamlet) remorselessly-if it
 >can't be changed by good works or prayer-then how is it functionally
 >different from fate in the pagan sense, and why is it not just as tragic?"
 >
 >The answer, such as it is, can be found in an earlier Shakespeare play,
 >_Romeo and Juliet_, where the lovers are "star-crossed," that is, fated
 >to die, as a way to end the feud between the warring families.
 >Nonetheless, neither Romeo nor Juliet seems to lack free will . . .

"seems"?

 >  . . . or the ability to make choices . . .

That ability does not necessarily imply free will.

 > . . .Free will and fate coexist: that the latter operates . . .

Now you no longer speak of "seems"

 > does not mean that the former does not.

It does not mean that that the former does

 >This is at least a paradox, more probably what Christianity would call a
 >mystery. Scientifically, it makes no sense, which is probably your
 >point . .

probably

 > . . . but theologicans would counter by positing that God's control
 >derives from the fact that He is all-knowing and works in mysterious
 >ways that transcend our limited notions of causality based on space and
 >time.
 >
 >As for the pivotal fencing match, there is where the improbability of
 >the action becomes manifest and has to be dealt with by stage business.
 >The odds of a double disarm, followed by each man then gaining access to
 >the other' foil are astronomical, to say the least. So, have we seen
 >Providence in action? Or just a case of something happening for which
 >there are mighty long odds? Or, if chance is somehow controlled by
 >Providence, have we just seen both?

How about just poetic licence

David Cohen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 08:41:34 -0700
Subject: 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago

David Cohen writes,

 >Here's the amazing thing: Your brain has generated a spike of activity
 >0.3 second before you consciously decided to push the button.  It takes
 >about a third of a second for your brain to get the conscious you
 >going-your brain decides first-and it takes another fifth of a second
 >for the conscious you to complete the act-you decide second.

I'm not sure that this follows:  just because there's a sp

 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.