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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: February ::
Solid Flesh Once More
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0136  Wednesday, 27 February 2008

From:		David Bishop <
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Date:		Wednesday, 27 Feb 2008 02:04:24 -0500
Subject: 19.0131 Solid Flesh Once More
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0131 Solid Flesh Once More

Martin Mueller gives an instance from 1600 of "sollid." It seems to me 
that even without the added "l" "solid" could be read as "sallied." 
While I appreciate the value of arguments from image clusters, etc., 
Martin Mueller fails, like so many textual scholars, to make a serious 
argument from the meaning of the words, and the play. The antithesis of 
"solid" and "melt" would still be there, no matter whether or not this 
association cropped up anywhere else. It seems clear to me that Hamlet 
is referring to the youthful solidity of his flesh that strands him so 
far away from a desired death, but since this thought apparently doesn't 
compute with anyone on this list, I must tentatively conclude, with 
pleasant surprise, that I am the only critic who has ever thought of it.

We can't absolutely know, etc. Yet we have to try. In editing 
Shakespeare, my rule of thumb is to produce the best Shakespeare 
possible, which I tend to believe coincides with the real Shakespeare. 
Removing all appeal to meaning and quality in the interest of 
"objectivity" will accelerate the decline of the humanities, as the 
burgeoning non-literary world becomes convinced that nothing of 
potential interest to them is going on in Shakespeare studies.

Best wishes,
David Bishop

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