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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: November ::
Heroes
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0623  Sunday, 2 November 2008

[1] From:   Larry Weiss <
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     Date:   Saturday, 25 Oct 2008 17:10:26 -0400
     Subt:   Re: SHK 19.0612 Heroes

[2] From:   David Evett <
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     Date:   Sunday, 26 Oct 2008 00:28:15 -0400
     Subt:   Re: SHK 19.0612 Heroes


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Larry Weiss <
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Date:       Saturday, 25 Oct 2008 17:10:26 -0400
Subject: 19.0612 Heroes
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0612 Heroes

 >the conditio sine qua non of heroism is unselfishness, or to put
 >it broadly, a capacity for honest self-sacrifice. ... if we use the
 >criteria defined by the NPR broadcast, and add to that the virtue
 >of unselfishness, there are several characters that might meet
 >our standard: Cordelia, Bottom, Lear's Fool, and Horatio.

Bottom? Isn't this the guy who wants to play all the parts?

If unselfishness and self-sacrifice is the defining characteristic of heroism, 
we can add Desdemona and both Portias. Interesting, isn't it, that the only 
characters I can think of are women.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       David Evett <
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Date:       Sunday, 26 Oct 2008 00:28:15 -0400
Subject: 19.0612 Heroes
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0612 Heroes

"To my mind, the conditio sine qua non of heroism is unselfishness, or to put it 
broadly, a capacity for honest self-sacrifice. . . . However, if we use the 
criteria defined by the NPR broadcast, and add to that the virtue of 
unselfishness, there are several characters that might meet our standard: 
Cordelia, Bottom, Lear's Fool, and Horatio."

Jason Rhode's list is curious--just what Bottom and Horatio "sacrifice" is not 
clear to me. Among those who authentically risk their present security for some 
good end add the other disobedient servants besides Cornwall's--Hubert in *KJ*, 
Pisanio in *Cym*, in his way Flavius in *Timon*.

But these are secondary personages. Remember, indeed, that the concept comes 
from classical epic, not classical drama: no heroes in Aeschylus, Sophocles, 
Euripides--why expect them in Shakespeare?

Serviceably,
David Evett


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