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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: June ::
The Murder of Gonzago
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1301  Thursday, 17 June 2004

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Jun 2004 08:08:46 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1290 The Murder of Gonzago

[2]     From:   David Cohen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Jun 2004 17:43:21 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1290 The Murder of Gonzago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Jun 2004 08:08:46 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 15.1290 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1290 The Murder of Gonzago

Pamela Richards writes, "Yes, Bill, not only is Hamlet fictional, his
fictional character lacks the prescience to anticipate which of his
beliefs will have been rejected by scientists 400 years later.  "You're
preaching to the choir now, Brother Bill."

OK: for the record I have no sisters, so you are wrong on the last
accusation that I am related to you.

OK: you are also wrong in your conclusion that somehow scientists of
today have mandated against Will S.'s play *Hamlet*!  Assuredly, they
have not, just as they have not mandated against fictional works like
*E.T.* and *Star Wars*.  Science is deals with non-fiction issues, we
all assume, and *Hamlet* is a work of fiction.  Science does not enter
the realm of the play *Hamlet* in the manner in which you are
suggesting.  I can watch *E.T.* or *Hamlet* without fear of someone
doubting my sanity, just as I can watch Prince Hamlet on the boards
without doubting his sanity, when he confronts characters in the play,
including the spirit/ghost in ACT ONE.

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

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Cohen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Jun 2004 17:43:21 -0500
Subject: 15.1290 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1290 The Murder of Gonzago

Regarding Pamela Richards <
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 > SHK 15.1290

Sounds good-rather psychoanalytical, which I actually have a certain
fondness for-but you need to prove it.  If it is false, you need a
definitive test to show it (falsification criterion).  It is simply not
enough to say that an action is preceded by some unconscious belief,
rather than that a belief is constructed, after the fact, just as
conscious awareness-no belief involved, I would guess-occurs after an
unconscious reaction to avoid hitting a car. My point is that you can
simply say that all actions are preceded by beliefs, that is axiomatic,
and leave at that-your belief, consciously stated-but saying so and
feeling so doesn't necessarily make it so.

 > . . .  Sometimes we
 >learn more about beliefs from behavior than we do from a person's stated
 >thoughts.

Well, that's surely true.

 > . . . We may simply follow the actions of the character to
 >see if there is indeed a set of beliefs that will consistently explain
 >their behavior, and if so, what they might be.

Where do you see it, how do you see it, by what divination? How do you
know if what you "see" isn't, mirror-like, a  reflection of your own
fantasy?

 >The advantage in
 >studying this correlation is that it helps us comprehend the character's
 >possible intentions and motivation.
 >
 >Hamlet warns us . . . Yet some of his odd actions may be evidence
 >of beliefs Hamlet holds which bear further scrutiny and will give us
 >clues to his possible intentions and motivation.

Perhaps you could let us know what you discover, but quotes please, to
show us the textual basis of you inferences.

David Cohen

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