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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: September ::
Shylock, Hamlet, et al.
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1444  Thursday, 1 September 2005

[1] 	From: 	Joseph Egert <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005 18:42:40 +0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al. [2]

[2] 	From: 	V. K. Inman <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005 15:16:39 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al.

[3] 	From: 	Robin Hamilton <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005 21:15:08 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al.

[4] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005 19:03:18 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al.

[5] 	From: 	Bill Arnold <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005 19:57:52 -0700 (PDT)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al.


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Joseph Egert <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005 18:42:40 +0000
Subject: 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al. [2]
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al. [2]

 >In the quest for Hamlet's father, Stuart Manger begs to be reassured, 
"this is a joke, right?"

Sorry, no joke, Stu. Stuart Manger is in denial, while the ground 
trembles beneath his feet. Blinder than those who cannot see are those 
who will not look. Look through the telescope, Stu. There are spots on 
the Sun; the planets have moons. Eppur si muove!

Florence Amit, in her perceptive reading, dubs Hamlet a "Reformation 
Protestant under siege." His plight, I fear, is far more complex and 
turbulent. In the roiling cauldron of Hamlet's conflicted   soul there 
are many currents. It is tossing on a tempestuous sea of motive and 
circumstance. The Ghost's Old Testament/pagan command for blood 
vengeance contends with both enervating Humanist doubt and a 
guilt-ridden Wittenberg conscience. This Christian conscience, while 
Oedipally driven, is only partially unconscious--one source for his 
love-sick melancholy. Hamlet at the same time yearns nostalgically for 
an earlier (Catholic?) world of unmaimed rites and unwhited churches. 
Can lasting love between man and maid bud and flourish in this new 
suffocating atmosphere of distrust and indirection? Now, Polonial policy 
(the Cecils?) turns family and friends into instruments of state; spies 
lurk behind every curtain. "Doubt" spreads by ear through this society 
like a leprous distillment-- a contagion blasting both young and old 
alike. Gertrude (the English people?) has succumbed to the new Claudian 
order (the Anglican police state?) whose joint rulers are themselves 
conflicted. Hamlet, in his role as minister (Father Confessor?), pushes 
his mater from material lust to spiritual grace and repentance.

In his Fatal end, however, the Prince as scourge remains "subject to his 
birth." That transplanted Old Mole of vengeance from slaughtered 
Fortinbras emerges triumphant.
The Old Adam has won again.

Regards,
Joe Egert

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		V. K. Inman <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005 15:16:39 -0400
Subject: 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al.
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al.

Quoting Kenneth Chan

 >If a blind man wants to walk off a cliff because he insists on his right
 >to believe that there is no cliff, are we just going to sit back and do
 >nothing more than respect that right? Surely, we would plead with him to
 >at least examine the evidence before proceeding.
 >
 >So, in the same vein, I am pleading that we also examine the evidence
 >carefully before denying the priceless legacy that Shakespeare has left
 >us. Please, please look at the evidence.

You just don't get it.  We (at least I and some of the others) don't buy 
your view of Shakespeare, and we have looked at the evidence.  Instead 
of getting hung up on this point, go on and present your views.  Just 
remember that we don't all buy them.  Otherwise you will go to grave 
trying to convince us-it just won't happen.

V. K. Inman

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Robin Hamilton <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005 21:15:08 +0100
Subject: 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al.
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al.

Kenneth Chan writes:

 >Shakespeare's messages are not derived from a mere intellectual
 >interpretation of any particular religion's scriptural doctrine. The
 >nature of the messages strongly suggests that they are the direct
 >realizations of an advanced mystic who has actually undertaken the
 >arduous task of transforming his life and personality towards the
 >spiritual ideal. True aspirants of the spiritual path - the saints and
 >the bodhisattvas - attain their realizations from direct experience.

Ah, right, Shakespeare the Sufi.  I rather like that idea.  Puts him 
right up there with Omar and Hafiz.

(And obviously his audience -- the inner Illuminate audience -- were Zen 
monks who clapped with one hand.)

Robin Hamilton

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005 19:03:18 -0400
Subject: 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al.
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al.

 >I am pleading that we also examine the evidence carefully
 >before denying the priceless legacy that Shakespeare has
 >left us. Please, please look at the evidence.

A close examination of the evidence for spiritualism offered by friends 
Amit, Basch and, now, Chan, is best left to the proctology list.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Bill Arnold <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005 19:57:52 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al.
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1431 Shylock, Hamlet, et al.

Kenneth Chan writes, "Shakespeare's messages are not derived from a mere 
intellectual interpretation of any particular religion's scriptural 
doctrine. The nature of the messages strongly suggests that they are the 
direct realizations of an advanced mystic who has actually undertaken 
the arduous task of transforming his life and personality towards the 
spiritual ideal. True aspirants of the spiritual path - the saints and 
the bodhisattvas - attain their realizations from direct experience. 
Shakespeare's plays are designed to impart profound messages in a truly 
unique manner. The plays are carefully crafted to make us learn via 
direct emotional experience. This is a far more effective way to convey 
a message than merely stating it in words. Shakespeare's plays are thus 
more akin to initiations, where one learns because one has effectively 
lived through it."

Well, Kenneth, with all due respect, I do believe you are a lover of 
great literature.  Nothing wrong in that.

My friend Henry Miller who penned some wonderful works which do exactly 
what you describe above was responsible for New Directions publishing 
Siddhartha in America in English because he felt about the work the way 
you describe Will Shakespeare's life and plays.

In fact, that was why I wrote Jesus: The Gospel According To Will, and 
constructed it like I did.

So: what are we saying here?  For twenty-three years in Massachusetts I 
was a licensed motion picture projectionist and saw my fair share of 
movies.  Film accomplishes the same thing.  Can you sit through Easy 
Rider, or Deliverance without getting up and walking out of the theatre? 
  Powerful drama?  How about Burton and Taylor in Who's Afraid of 
Virginia Wolff?  Take any Tennessee Williams play and you have the same 
effect.  How about Brando screaming "Stellllllllllaaaa!"

Yes, good theatre, whether on stage or on film, accomplishes all you 
suggest.  But so does a good book.  I was so moved by any number of 
famous works from Madame Bovary to Herzog.

I would be careful of making Will Shakespeare's works into a work of 
scriptural doctrine and its author a son of God, unless you grant we are 
all daughters and sons of God!

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

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