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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: March ::
Solid Flesh Once More
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0162  Tuesday, 11 March 2008

[1] 	From:	R. A. Cantrell <
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	Date:	Friday, 7 Mar 2008 12:25:05 -0600
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0151 Solid Flesh Once More

[2] 	From:	Walter Cannon <
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	Date:	Friday, 7 Mar 2008 13:43:26 -0600
	Subj:	RE: SHK 19.0151 Solid Flesh Once More

[3] 	From:	David Bishop <
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	Date:	Sunday, 9 Mar 2008 16:12:21 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0151 Solid Flesh Once More


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		R. A. Cantrell <
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Date:		Friday, 7 Mar 2008 12:25:05 -0600
Subject: 19.0151 Solid Flesh Once More
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0151 Solid Flesh Once More

 >What a stunningly good post. Thanks, Martin,
 >
 >Steve

Ditto that

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Walter Cannon <
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Date:		Friday, 7 Mar 2008 13:43:26 -0600
Subject: 19.0151 Solid Flesh Once More
Comment:	RE: SHK 19.0151 Solid Flesh Once More

I'm sorry not to have been following this thread assiduously and have 
just discovered the note on the "a dew/ adieu" pun. I remember a student 
asking me about this possibility back in 1988, and since I had no real 
answer, it became grist for a little article I placed in *The Iowa 
English Bulletin* (Vol 36) 1988, "An Anecdotal Essay on Literary 
Theory." I think it did no harm, and the student has since become a 
successful director working in Arizona.

Walter Cannon

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		David Bishop <
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Date:		Sunday, 9 Mar 2008 16:12:21 -0400
Subject: 19.0151 Solid Flesh Once More
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0151 Solid Flesh Once More

The thought which doesn't compute with anyone on this list, apparently, 
is that "too too solid flesh" refers to Hamlet's youth. Cheryl Newton 
seems to think I claimed to be the first person ever to suggest that the 
correct reading is "solid." I wouldn't even seriously suggest that I was 
the first to see the reference to youth. In the vast corpus of criticism 
I'm sure someone has noticed that, here or there. But where? That is the 
question.

I see no reason to think that "a dew" should be amended to "adieu", 
which though consonant, in a way, with the meaning of the sentence, 
itself does not really make sense.

Steve Roth takes the politically and deconstructionally correct position 
that words can mean anything and everything, and to say that in a 
particular case a word means one thing and not another is mean-spirited, 
narrow-minded, bigoted, etc. If when I hear "solid" I also hear an echo 
of "salad", for example, that doesn't mean Shakespeare intended that 
echo, nor that it adds to my understanding of the play, or to the 
greatness of the play. The more weight is given to this amorphous nimbus 
of suggestibility the more trouble the work will have moving forward, to 
tell a story, though I would certainly agree that Shakespeare packs in 
suggestions that may be inaudible on the stage. This promiscuous 
undecidability can apply to Shakespeare or to today's paper. To follow 
the program would seem to dissolve the possibility of meaning anything 
in particular. Of course words do echo other words, for example in puns. 
Those echoes can have various effects. But it's the ability to 
distinguish between echoes which are intentional, meaningful and 
significant, in different ways, and those that are not, which requires 
critical insight, and argument. The idea that it's meaningless, and 
mean, in general, to argue about what's correct and what isn't--though 
in particular cases that may be true--is often used, I think, to evade 
the point of particular arguments, as for example that Hamlet would not 
use "sullied" at this stage in the play. Those who put forward this 
view, in my experience, seldom invoke it to undermine their own 
particular theories.

Best wishes,
David Bishop


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