2004

Ullah!

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1250  Monday, 14 June 2004

From:           Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 12 Jun 2004 16:13:08 +0000
Subject:        Ullah!

David Bromwich reviews Orson Welles: The Stories of his Life, by Peter
Conrad (Faber 2003. ISBN 0571209785) in London Review of Books, Vol.26,
No.11, 3 June 2004 and has much to say about the fat port salesman's
productions of Shakespeare films and plays.

For a full reading it will be necessary to obtain the book and a copy of
LRB (access to the archives is for subscribers only).

There is a great deal of fascinating material. At about 4000 words the
review is too lengthy to provide a synopsis - Sorry! But definitely
worth obtaining if only for the opinions and insights on the films.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Teaching Position

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1249  Monday, 14 June 2004

From:           Brother Anthony <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 14 Jun 2004 17:28:11 +0900
Subject:        Teaching Position

The English Department of Sogang University (Seoul, Korea) has recently
advertised a position in "British Drama Before 1900" in (among other
places) the Chronicle of Higher Education. The advert is at
http://chronicle.com/jobs/id.php?id=292155 and a link to the
university's notice with application forms etc can be found in the
pop-up available at http://www.sogang.ac.kr/english/

The person appointed would be expected to be able to teach not only
Shakespeare but also a number of other aspects of specified period. The
email address of the Department Chair is included in the advertisement.

Brother Anthony (An Sonjae)
Sogang University, Seoul, Korea

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

The Murder of Gonzago

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1247  Friday, 11 June 2004

[1]     From:   Pamela Richards <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 05:24:53 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago

[2]     From:   Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 09:40:52 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago

[3]     From:   Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 07:49:03 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago

[4]     From:   Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 12:13:11 -0400
        Subj:   The Murder of Gonzago

[5]     From:   David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 14:02:41 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago

[6]     From:   David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 14:16:59 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago

[7]     From:   David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 13:35:22 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago

[8]     From:   David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 14:29:51 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pamela Richards <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 05:24:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1228 The Murder of Gonzago

David Cohen writes:

">D.  Augury in itself prevents or causes events."

 >"Any vocalized prediction will affect others, of
 >course, especially the vulnerable.  I hope you don't
 >really mean by "event" big events, for example,
 >predicting that the market will go up tomorrow will
 >make it happen.  That would be a form of magical
 >thinking, e.g., if I prick this doll, that person will
 >fee pain.  An example of augury or preventing or
 >causing "an event" would be useful."

It is not my intention to defend this position; in fact, as an augurer,
it makes no sense to me at all in terms of ordinary, non-magical
prediction.  It is my position rather that it is almost always fate that
determines the conclusion of an event, and that is why its outcome can
be predicted.  I listed "augury in itself prevents or causes events" as
a commonly-held current-day belief, which does not represent beliefs
typical of the Renaissance period.

First, to place Renaissance experiences of augury in a cultural context,
the uses of astrology in everyday life were numerous.  Astrologers
planned battle strategies, as we have mentioned; your physician would
have been an astrologer who examined a sample of your urine, along with
a chart of the time he was presented with it, to diagnose your illness
and form a treatment strategy.  The timing of events like the coronation
of Queen Elizabeth would have been determined by an
astrologer--Elizabeth relied on Dr. John Dee.  Sailors and farmers alike
looked to the published predictions of astrologers to determine future
weather conditions.  Those who demanded of astrologers predictions on
the outcomes of everyday matters included mavens, merchants, and
matchmakers.  Students of University were committed to exhaustive
studies of astrology.  Astrologers were employed as spies; Dr. John Dee
also served Queen Elizabeth in this capacity.

Since you asked for examples of augury, events, and outcomes, I can
offer a few from my experience.  They do not demonstrate that "spoken
prediction causes events".  In fact, they suggest a different conclusion
entirely.  This material is not intended to convert you to "my" belief
system, but simply to demonstrate that Renaissance beliefs about augury
operate in ways that we cannot extrapolate from current-day beliefs.

That said, here are a few examples of everyday "augury" and outcomes:

1) A woman called to ask if her boyfriend would be offered the contract
for services he had wanted.  A chart was drawn for the time the question
was asked; her boyfriend was not aware that she had asked the question.
  The chart showed him getting a contract in the immediate future, in
the direction of the North Northwest.  Within minutes of the prediction,
she called back to say that he had just at that moment recieved the call
and accepted the job in the North Northwest.  He did not know of the
prediction; neither was the outcome in his hands.  But the outcome (he
got the job offer) was still predictable.

2) A woman asked if she would be able to buy the house she was now
renting.  The chart showed that the house would become available to her
in eighteen months.  She insisted adamantly that the matter needed to be
resolved well before then.  She refused to believe it would take so
long.  Due to matters in the hands of her landlord and her bank, the
opportunity only came about after the predicted time had elapsed.  In
this instance, the prediction was contrary to the personal beliefs of
the person involved, and although the prediction was articulated
verbally, there were still factors at play that were outside her
control.  Yet the outcome (she would not have an opportunity to buy the
house for eighteen months) was predictable.


3) A woman asked whether the car her son had just bought would be of
service to him.  Her name and his were both on the title; the chart
showed no serious problems with the car, except that the woman (not her
son) was going to lose ownership of it shortly.


Within a few weeks, the woman felt she might have to file bankruptcy.
She had forgotten the particulars of the prediction and was afraid that
her son was at risk of losing the car to pay off her debts.  She rushed
to have her name removed from the title.  When she consulted with me
shortly afterward, we looked at the prediction again for clarification.
  Her memory of the prediction was incorrect.  Yet in fact, she (not her
son) had lost ownership of the car, as predicted.

So although she was conscious of the prediction, her memory played a
trick on her.  She had consciously attempted to avert fate, but fate
still won the day.  The outcome (she lost ownership of the car) was
predictable.

I see examples like these constantly.  I only mention them to
demonstrate what I mean by terms like "outcome" and "event", and to show
that we cannot demonstrate that in augury, a "vocalized prediction
affects others" to the point of producing the outcome of the event.

Regards,
Pamela Richards

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 09:40:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago

I don't know if this thread has arrived yet, but just in case, I'll ask:
Is there a prize for starting the longest-running thread on Shaksper?

Jack Heller

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 07:49:03 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago

Edmund Taft writes, "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)."

OK: on behalf of a lot of us readers of SHAKSPER who might not respond
to the above, let me say that your interpretation above is precisely
that: *YOUR* interpretation, and I can follow your logic, although I
cannot say more strongly that I am one-hundred and eighty degrees
opposed to it.  Sorry, some of us do *NOT* see the play *Hamlet* this
way at all.

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

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 12:13:11 -0400
Subject:        The Murder of Gonzago

Of the weapon exchange in 5.2, Jack Hettinger writes, "James Jackson in
a 1990 article indicates such an exchange signified skill more than
chance." I appreciate the reference Jack provided and will look up the
article. But a provisional observation (subject to correction after
reading Jackson's essay) is that the double maneuver he discusses may
involve both great skill and very long odds - in other words, both human
action and chance or fate.

Ed Taft

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 14:02:41 -0500
Subject: 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago

Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

 >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


New Shakespeare Novel - "Will" by Grace Tiffany

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1248  Monday, 14 June 2004

From:           Richard Nathan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 12 Jun 2004 02:39:38 +0000
Subject:        New Shakespeare Novel - "Will" by Grace Tiffany

Grace Tiffany, who previously wrote the novel "My Father Had a Daughter"
(a novel about Judith Shakespeare) has a new novel out about Shakespeare
entitled "Will."

I thought it was worth reading, but nearly as good as "My Father Had a
Daughter."

The best bits in the book are expressions of the same ideas the author
expressed in "My Father Had a Daughter" - but in this novel they are
seen from Shakespeare's point of view, rather than Judith's point of view.

If you have any interest in reading a novel by this author on the
subject of Shakespeare, "My Father Had a Daughter" is the one to read.

Richard Nathan

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Hamlet's Ghost

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1246  Friday, 11 June 2004

[1]     From:   Claude Caspar <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 11:14:13 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1237 Hamlet's Ghost

[2]     From:   Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 17:59:51 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1188 Hamlet's Ghost

[3]     From:   David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 13:04:43 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1237 Hamlet's Ghost

[4]     From:   David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 13:35:22 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago

[5]     From:   Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 20:35:59 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1237 Hamlet's Ghost

[6]     From:   Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 22:09:12 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1237 Hamlet's Ghost


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Claude Caspar <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 11:14:13 -0400
Subject: 15.1237 Hamlet's Ghost
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1237 Hamlet's Ghost

 >I guess only Jesuits can explain Shakespeare.

Let me say proactively to those who find my last post offensive that
though I was raised not to play with my food, I never outgrew the
temptation.  One touch of Nature makes the whole world kin- whoever said
that warms my heart when I see killer whales play with, but not eat, a
baby seal... Being natural comes naturally to me.

 >Peter Bridgman writes, "As all the Orthodox churches deny the existence
 >of Purgatory, there is unlikely to be a 'non-Romish' doctrine.

The two recent internationally acclaimed scholarly works/authors I have
trusted are:

Jacques Le Goff's "The Birth of Purgatory"

Jean-Claude Schmitt's "Ghosts in the Middle-Ages"

Here is a chapter from Greenblatt's "Hamlet in Purgatory":

http://pup.princeton.edu/chapters/s7024.html

and a review:

http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.cgi?path=204401032241909

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 17:59:51 +0100
Subject: 15.1188 Hamlet's Ghost
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1188 Hamlet's Ghost

In the jumble of books by my bedside I noticed that the New English
Bible had resting on it no other than Machiavelli's "The Prince".  I
marvelled at the incongruity of the arrangement but also mused that
Shakespeare must have been heavily influenced by both.  "The Prince"
still shocks even in our own age.  Machiavelli declares himself a
Christian but reports on the methods of successful rulers as far back as
Alexander in order to propagate good government.  He propounds ideas
such as "never keep your word"; the idea of getting someone else to
murder and destroy for you then deny the connection and have that person
punished; subtlest such as 'keep your enemy healthy but not too strong
that they may invade you.'

Machiavelli's main thrust is that, for a ruler, any action is
permissible in order to maintain an orderly state so that the population
can go about its business without fear of chaos.  For him, good
government is the protection of the people and its defence.  On the
other hand bad governments allow themselves to be invaded or at least
preside over chaos and crime.  The shocking thing about Machiavelli is
that his argument is compelling.  It is almost impossible to fault his
logic - even when translated to modern times.  At the root he is saying
that it is impossible to be a good man and a good ruler.

For someone who takes the teachings of Jesus seriously - or who at least
takes his moral cues from that area - and also finds himself in a
position of political power, there is a serious and terrifying dilemma.
  I believe that this dilemma is at the heart of Hamlet the play.

Hamlet's roots are in mediaeval Christianity - Catholicism, if you like.
  Hamlet senior is very much part of that world.  Claudius and Gertrude
are new politicians - part of the new political renaissance, the new
politic real.  Claudius, in killing Hamlet Senior, is restoring order to
Denmark.  This would have got Machiavelli's approval.  Therefore the
ghost is part of medialivalism - those that are part of it see it - the
new politicians do not.  That the audience sees it is not dramatically
significant, but they do see who sees it and who does not.

Therefore there are two distinct realities in Hamlet with vastly
opposing values and perceptions.  Hamlet junior had one foot in each
world viewing everything through Shakespeare's world weary eyes.  No one
can have sympathy for both worlds and remain loyal to one.  Hamlet tried
and failed.

SAM SMALL

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 13:04:43 -0500
Subject: 15.1237 Hamlet's Ghost
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1237 Hamlet's Ghost

Jack Hettinger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

 >"The central theme of the book is the Protestant denial of purgatory,
 >which severed the intercessory link between the living and the dead. It
 >would be easy to explain early modern ghost stories as an expression of
 >the trauma created by the disappearance of Purgatory -- that is, a deep
 >anxiety about the fate of the dead, welling up from the Protestant
 >collective unconscious. Marshall, though, is sceptical of such
 >explanations, which he sees as reflecting 'a rather functional view of
 >religious belief-systems, in which purgatory served primarily to channel
 >and resolve social and psychological needs which were capable of finding
 >other outlets, indeed forced to do so.' Instead, he stresses the
 >confusions and contradictions in Protestant theology. How far was it
 >possible to pray for the repose or resurrection of the dead? Would we
 >meet our friends again in heaven? Did ghosts really exist, and, if so,
 >how should they be interpreted? These were questions to which English
 >Protestant writers had no clear or unanimous answers."

Woody Allen once attempted to resolve all this confusion by asserting
his belief that, "When you die, you soul goes to a garage in Buffalo."
I never appreciated what that meant till now.

David Cohen

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 13:35:22 -0500
Subject: 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1238 The Murder of Gonzago

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

 >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.

Yes but isn't THIS the question, whether it be something else?  My point
was simply that operant conditioning is a trivial concept (any animal
trainer knows all about it).  The important point for Shakespeareans, I
would think, is how easy or difficult it is to do it (condition) and to
maintain its effects.  That latter phrase is awfully important.  For
example, your can, by mighty efforts, say in a Head Start program, get
the IQ of kids up maybe 5 or 7 points, but that gain fades to zero in
time.  (Please don't blame me, I am merely the messenger, and this is an
empirical fact.) So, to understand how conditioning may work not just
initially but long-term, you must understand the biopsychology of the
creature (including human creatures) you are attempting to condition.

Try conditioning a congenitally psychopathic child to behave according
to the rules  The child will learn the rules, no doubt, just as he will
learn the rules of spoken language, but he will not conform to those
rules unless there is the equivalent to a gun pointing at his head.  No
amount of conditioning will do anything but create marionette behavior
that reverts to type as soon as the pressure is off.  The animal
conditioning literature is replete with evidence of the difficulty of
maintaining conditioning that is not consisent with the biopsychology of
the creature, i.e., that is not biologically (psychologically) prepared.
With apologies for the length, I here quote myself from "Stranger in the
Nest"

"The classic scientific investigation of reversion was reported by
psychologists Keller and Marian Breland.   In return for food, hungry
pigs learned to carry wooden coins to a piggy bank.  In time, however,
the animals reverted to their piggy ways, rooting the coins with their
snout rather than depositing them in the bank, even though it delayed
getting food.  Such seeming perversity in hungry animals prompted the
Brelands to comment on what they described as instinctive drift.  'After
14 years of continuous conditioning and observation of thousands of
animals, it is our reluctant conclusion that the behavior of any species
cannot be adequately understood, predicted, or controlled without
knowledge of its instinctive patterns, evolutionary history, and
ecological niche.'

Laboratory results fit nicely with naturalistic observations of how
nature limits and channels nurture.  According to ethologist Konrad
Lorenz, a newly hatched Greylag gosling quickly learns to follow the
first object it lays eyes on.  Such instinctive learning, or imprinting,
requires only that exposure to the object occur during a critical period
lasting just a few hours.  Once imprinted, the animal will seek out and
remain close to the object that, in this case, is Lorenz.  Despite the
Greylag's strong attachment to the human, it has an even deeper
preference for goosey ways.  Says the researcher, "While being
completely indifferent to any fellow-member of the species and most
intensely and affectionately attached to its keeper as long as it stays
on the ground or on the water, it will suddenly and surprisingly cease
to respond to the human in any way whatsoever at the moment it takes to
wing in pursuit of another Greylag." Lorenz believes this reversion to
be a complete mental transformation.

Reversion to type, or instinctive drift, represents inborn biases in the
way individuals perceive, learn, remember, and feel about experiences.
This is why preferred habits, even messy, fractious, addictive,
wasteful, self-indulgent, or otherwise harmful habits, resist change and
why, after being suppressed, such habits reappear as if following some
inexorable principle of self-determination.

We can learn to socialize like macaques and to quack like ducks.  In the
end, though, no amount of monkey business will make us macaques; no
amount of quackery will make us ducks.  Children's behavior, even if
incompatible with temperament, can be shaped by parental example and
reinforced by physical and moral suasion; civilized conduct and
educational achievement can be promoted even when learning self-control
and good conduct is as daunting as learning to multiply by seven.

But what does the learned behavior represent: something deep and abiding
or something superficial and evanescent.  As professor Robert Hutchins
once observed, "a student... can learn how to read, but if he does not
read anything thereafter, or if he has no judgment about what he reads,
if the ability to read does nothing to civilize him, we should be hard
put to it to say that any education had taken place."    As it is with a
child's cognitive education, so it is with his emotional education.
Marionette accommodations, often acquired at great psychological cost in
rebellion and unhappiness, have a way of unraveling, as children diverge
from their siblings and from what, over many years, their parents
expected and required.

Truth is, for better or worse individuals learn best in their own way,
assimilating information as they assimilate food, by breaking it down
into elements that are recreated in their own fashion.  It is why, even
when exposed to the same conditions, biologically different people wind
up different, and also why, even when exposed to different conditions,
biologically similar people wind up similar. It is what limits the
influence of parents."
In short, it's not so much what's up front but what's inside that
counts.  The point can be applied to characters like Othello, for the
power of the Iagos of this world depend on the psychology of their
victims.  The locus of explanation cannot simply be the Skinnerian
"outside," a fact upon which the heroic ship of Skinnerianism has foundered.

 >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.

I really like this part of your post, though I do believe, nevertheless,
that (1) Hamlet remains an introvert (as Reg Grouse nicely pointed out),
so that you are seeing two sides of the introvert coin, as it were-two
sides of the same person-in the developmental change in Hamlet, and (2)
we can infer lack of free will in Hamlet's behavior.  In any case, you
are quite, much of our behavior is indeed unpredictable though we-our
personality-are rather predictable. Twin, adoption, and other evidence
tells us as much, and rather definitively.

David Cohen

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 20:35:59 +0100
Subject: 15.1237 Hamlet's Ghost
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1237 Hamlet's Ghost

Claude Caspar writes ...

 >Peter Milward's recent demise holds promise that he will keep you
 >informed of his research from Purgatory, where he can interview
 >Shakespeare personally, and even the Ghost...

How very generous of you.  Shortly before his death, Peter kindly sent
me one of his 70s books that is now out of print.  I didn't get a chance
to thank him before he died.

 >Whilst you imply that you are more qualified to make final judgments
 >in this regard because you are Catholic ...

I'm an atheist if you must know.  And hope that is completely irrelevant
to this thread.

 >Certainly, you are not
 >saying Greenblatt's work is part of a Jewish, or Satanic, conspiracy....
 >Certainly, you are not saying that, but from a deconstructionist reading
 >what is unsaid is most important, I observe.

All I've read of Greenblatt is the excellent essays in the Norton
Shakespeare.  Having said that, I'm looking forward to reading his
'Hamlet in Purgatory', since it clearly addresses many of the issues
we've been discussing in this thread.  I'm not sure what you're
insinuating here.  If Greenblatt is Jewish or Satanist, Scientologist or
Wiccan, I couldn't give a toss.  He's a good writer.

You claimed the Ghost was the only Catholic in the play.  When I listed
passages where other characters spoke or acted like Catholics, your only
response was to say that the great Dover Wilson had made the claim, ergo
I (and the other posters who disagreed with you) must be wrong.

Shakespeare's Catholicism was not a subject that was taken seriously in
the past.  In Britain it was simply assumed that the National Poet
should be of the National Faith.  Even Catholic writers like Anthony
Burgess took this as a given.  Whether Shakespeare was a Church Papist
(as Gary Taylor claims) or a recusant (Peter Milward et al), one hopes
his religion (along with his homosexuality) can now be discussed without
people getting huffy and pompous.  Or seeing anti-semitism where none
exists.

Peter Bridgman

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 22:09:12 +0100
Subject: 15.1237 Hamlet's Ghost
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1237 Hamlet's Ghost

Bill Arnold writes:

 >Surely we all know, or should know, that Dante wrote his *La
 >Commedia* with its *Purgatorio* as part before his death in 1321.  Thus,
 >Will S. who knew his Plutarch surely knew his Dante, and these
 >references in *Hamlet* might be literary allusions as much as they are
 >religious allusions.

In 'The Stripping of the Altars' (pp 343-344) Eamon Duffy compares
Dante's description of Purgatory with descriptions from England in the
late Middle Ages.  While Dante's Purgatory is a "place of hope and a
means of ascent towards Heaven" in which "the devils are barred by
protecting angels", the English version of Purgatory was "altogether
grimmer", "an out-patient department of Hell, rather than the
antechamber of Heaven".

While WS may well have read Dante, his desciption of a Purgatory in
which sinners are "confined to fast" in "sulphurous and tormenting
flames", seems much closer to the English tradition.

Peter Bridgman

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