Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: December ::
Soliloquies - Truth or Lie...or Overheard?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0828  Tuesday, 11 December 2007


[1] 	From:	Carol Barton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Date:	Saturday, 08 Dec 2007 19:27:07 -0500
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0819 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie...or Overheard?

[2] 	From:	Peter Groves <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Date:	Sunday, 9 Dec 2007 12:25:27 +1100
	Subj:	RE: SHK 18.0819 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie...or Overheard?

[3] 	From:	Larry Weiss <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Date:	Saturday, 08 Dec 2007 23:46:00 -0500
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0819 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie...or Overheard?

[4] 	From:	Edmund Taft <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Date:	Monday, 10 Dec 2007 11:25:32 -0500
	Subj:	Soliloquies


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Carol Barton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:		Saturday, 08 Dec 2007 19:27:07 -0500
Subject: 18.0819 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie...or Overheard?
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0819 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie...or Overheard?

For Joe Egert, who asks, "Can one truly seek to deceive oneself at a 
conscious level?"

Sure, Joe. As any woman will tell you, we do it all the time--every time 
we think we've met the men of our dreams!

A little tongue-in-cheeky, but with no malice aforethought,

Carol Barton

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Peter Groves <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:		Sunday, 9 Dec 2007 12:25:27 +1100
Subject: 18.0819 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie...or Overheard?
Comment:	RE: SHK 18.0819 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie...or Overheard?

Don Bloom says "Traditionally, [Hamlet] later knows or suspects the 
presence of the hidden listeners, leading him to ask Ophelia where her 
father is. When does he come to this realization? Clearly, this is a 
director's choice, determined by what he or she wants the audience to 
get out of the scene besides the familiar words. But what scholarly or 
dramaturgical evidence should guide this director?"

To me the cue is in the language: Hamlet's suspicions are aroused by a 
piece of ventriloquism-a plonkingly sententious Polonian couplet in the 
mouth of Ophelia, suggesting that she's been coached and he's been set up:

   Ham. ... Soft you now!
     The fair Ophelia!- Nymph, in thy orisons
     Be all my sins remember'd.
   Oph.                        Good my lord,
     How does your honour for this many a day?
   Ham. I humbly thank you; well, well, well.
   Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours
     That I have longed long to re-deliver.
     I pray you, now receive them.
   Ham.                           No, not I!
     I never gave you aught.
   Oph. My honour'd lord, you know right well you did,
     And with them words of so sweet breath compos'd
     As made the things more rich. Their perfume lost,
     Take these again; for to the noble mind
     Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
     There, my lord.
   Ham. Ha, ha! Are you honest?

Peter Groves
Monash University

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Larry Weiss <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:		Saturday, 08 Dec 2007 23:46:00 -0500
Subject: 18.0819 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie...or Overheard?
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0819 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie...or Overheard?

 >Traditionally, he later knows or suspects the presence
 >of the hidden listeners, leading him to ask Ophelia where
 >her father is. When does he come to this realization?

Hmm. An interesting question young man, and one that has confounded the 
sages for 400 years. But let us look at the text and see if there is a 
clue. Welllll, there is this line "Ha ha, are you honest?," which sure 
looks like an exclamation of realization followed by a questioning of 
Ophelia's bona fides. Can this be the point at which Hamlet's suspicions 
are roused? Perhaps if we look at what precedes that line, we might find 
something that could have induced such suspicions. Beats me; I can't 
find anything but the immediately precedent speech by Ophelia in which 
she lies to Hamlet and concludes with a rhymed aphorism. Nothing odd in 
that, I suppose; except maybe that Ophelia does not typically use 
aphorisms (rhymed or otherwise). We might be closer to solving the 
mystery if we could identify a character who /is /prone to using such 
expressions. But my brain is fatigued now; I will have to leave him to 
someone else to search for.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Edmund Taft <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:		Monday, 10 Dec 2007 11:25:32 -0500
Subject:	Soliloquies

Joe Egert asks: "Can one truly seek to deceive oneself at a conscious 
level?" I think that the answer is yes, Joe.

Have you read Harry Berger on the failure to acknowledge in _King Lear_? 
In essence, Berger argues that humans cannot know what they know if they 
file away in the back of their minds what they fear to examine about 
themselves or others.

It's a powerful way, to my mind, to make sense of Edgar, Lear, and other 
characters in the play. Berger's book is called __'Making Trifles of 
Terrors'_ -- I don't have the complete bibliographic information handy - 
sorry.

Ed Taft

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail 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.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.