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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: April ::
Hegel and Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0188  Monday, 27 April 2009

[1] From:   David Evett <
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     Date:   Saturday, 25 Apr 2009 16:04:40 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0182 Hegel and Shakespeare

[2] From:   Felix de Villiers <
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     Date:   Sunday, 26 Apr 2009 08:34:28 +0200
     Subj:   Hegel and Shakespeare

[3] From:   Jason Rhode <
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     Date:   Sunday, 26 Apr 2009 18:20:59 -0500
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0182 Hegel and Shakespeare

[4] From:   Jennifer Bates <
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     Date:   Monday, 27 Apr 2009 12:14:29 -0400
     Subj:   Hegel in Berlin and Reading Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       David Evett <
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Date:       Saturday, 25 Apr 2009 16:04:40 -0400
Subject: 20.0182 Hegel and Shakespeare
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0182 Hegel and Shakespeare

Add to the Shakespeare-Hegel list David Schalkwyk's work on Shakespeare 
and the many aspects of love.

David Evett

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Felix de Villiers <
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Date:       Sunday, 26 Apr 2009 08:34:28 +0200
Subject:    Hegel and Shakespeare

Hegel and Shakespeare

I have found a book advertised on the Internet which has a chapter on 
Hegel and Shakespeare

Roger Paulin  The Critical Reception of Shakespeare in Germany, 1682-1914.

If well-written, it could be very interesting as it treats the reception 
of Shakespeare by a whole variety of German authors, Gottsched, Lessing, 
Wieland, Hegel, the Schlegels, Goethe, Heine etc.etc. in chronological order

Here is a bit of meat perhaps for readers who are not specialising in 
this subject, from the site, Hegel's Aesthetics (Stanford encyclopedia 
of Philosophy:

"The third fundamental form of romantic art depicts the formal freedom 
and independence of character. Such freedom is not associated with any 
ethical principles or, indeed, with any of the formal virtues just 
mentioned, but consists simply in the "firmness" (Festigkeit) of 
character (Aesthetics, 1: 577; PKA, 145 -- 6). This is freedom in its 
modern, secular form. It is displayed most magnificently, Hegel 
believes, by characters, such as Richard III, Othello and Macbeth, in 
the plays of Shakespeare. Note that what interests us about such 
individuals is not any moral purpose that they may have, but simply the 
energy and self-determination (and often ruthlessness) that they 
exhibit. Such characters must have an internal richness (revealed 
through imagination and language) and not just be one-dimensional, but 
their main appeal is their formal freedom to commit themselves to a 
course of action, even at the cost of their own lives. These characters 
do not constitute moral or political ideals, but they are the 
appropriate objects of modern, romantic art whose task is to depict 
freedom even in its most secular and amoral forms. (Felix: this subject 
obviously needs to be enlarged)

"Hegel also sees romantic beauty in more inwardly sensitive characters, 
such as Shakespeare's Juliet. After meeting Romeo, Hegel remarks, Juliet 
suddenly opens up with love like a rosebud, full of childlike naivety. 
Her beauty thus lies in being the embodiment of love. Hamlet is a 
somewhat similar character: far from being simply weak (as Goethe 
thought), Hamlet, in Hegel's view, displays the inner beauty of a 
profoundly noble soul (Aesthetics, 1: 583; PKA, 147 -- 8)."

Felix

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Jason Rhode <
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 >
Date:       Sunday, 26 Apr 2009 18:20:59 -0500
Subject: 20.0182 Hegel and Shakespeare
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0182 Hegel and Shakespeare

 >This is a query posted for a friend. Does anyone know anything
 >about  Hegel's personal experience of Shakespeare on stage
 >(i.e., in  Berlin) or actually even on the page (did he read
 >English? did he  know German translations?)? Or does anyone
 >know of someone who might  have written on this?

Click here to get what you want:
http://www.google.com/search?as_sitesearch=www.marxists.org%2Freference%2Farchive%2Fhegel%2F&hl=en&ie=8859-1&oe=8859-1&as_occt=body&num=30&btnG=Google+Search!&as_epq=Shakespeare&as_oq= 


The Doctrine of Essence (Appearance):
www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/sl/slappear.htm

The Positivity of the Christian Religion by Hegel 1795
www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/pc/ch02.htm

Hegel's History of Philosophy
www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/hp/hpplato.htm

Hegel's Philosophy of Right: Introduction
www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/pr/printrod.htm

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Jennifer Bates <
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 >
Date:       Monday, 27 Apr 2009 12:14:29 -0400
Subject:    Hegel in Berlin and Reading Shakespeare

In my forthcoming book Hegel and Shakespeare on Moral Imagination (SUNY 
2010), I address this question briefly in the Introduction. I've 
attached the section. Please realize that the book is now under contract 
so I am guessing you will need to reference the book.

Excerpted from Jennifer Bates' forthcoming book Hegel and Shakespeare on 
Moral Imagination (SUNY 2010):

(From my "Introduction" -NB the footnotes here are not numbered as they 
appear in the "Introduction")
3) In What Language Did Hegel Read Shakespeare?
	
<PROSEQUOTATION>
We know from Rosencrantz's biography that, in his early school years, 
Hegel had a German translation of Shakespearean drama (though it remains 
unknown what edition it was).1 We do know that he used the German 
edition of Johann Joachim Eschenburg (1743-1820).2 Terry Pinkard 
elaborates that "One of [Hegel's] teachers, a Mr. Loffler, gave him at 
the age of eight a present of Shakespeare's works translated by 
Eschenburg, with the advice that although he would not understand them 
at that point, he would soon learn to understand them. (Hegel recorded 
years later in his teenage diary a laudatory remembrance of Loffler when 
he died)."3

The real question is whether Hegel read Shakespeare in English.4 Pinkard 
claims that he did read some:

He also took great interest in the offerings in the various theaters in 
Paris. He was even able to see the great English actor Charles Kemble, 
and the legendary Irish actress Henrietta Smithson, perform Shakespeare 
at the newly opened English Theater in Pars; he followed the plays by 
reading along in the English editions he had procured, although it did 
seem to him that the actors were speaking rather fast.5

There is evidence for the claim that Hegel read Shakespeare in English.6 
In a letter dated November 5, 1823 from Hegel's friend Peter Gabriel van 
Ghert, Ghert promises a single-volume collected works of Shakespeare 
from London.7 There are also two letters that Hegel wrote to his wife in 
1827 from Paris in which he indicates that he went to see Shakespeare 
plays played in English; he writes in one of the letters that he 
deplores the English troop's acting but adds that he was nonetheless 
able to follow because he "read along word for word in the handbook."8

<NOTES>
1 "'Shakespeare's Schauspiele zum Geschenk' Welche Shakespeare-Ausgabe 
Besa? Hegel?" in Auf Hegels Spuren: Beitrage zur Hegel-forschung 
Friedhelm Nicolin, Lucia Sziborsky and Helmut Schneider (Meiner Verlag, 
1996), s. 27-35. p. 27.

2 Ibid. That this was the edition Hegel used was confirmed by the 
current Director of the Hegel-Archiv in Bochum, Germany, Professor 
Jaeschke.  Eschenburg revised Wieland's prose translations, and is 
viewed by some to be the "first great German Shakespeare scholar" who 
left nothing significant about Shakespeare unrecorded (Paulin p. 37 and 
120, cited in Hofele, see my note 51 above).

3 Pinkard, Terry, Hegel: A Biography (Cambridge: Cambridge University 
Press, 2000), p. 5.

4 We ought not to be fooled simply by the fact that in the Surkamp 
German edition of Aesthetics, Hegel cites Shakespeare's Hamlet in 
English. (In later passages in the Surkamp, the Shakespeare passages 
appear in Schlegel's translation without the English.) See Asthetik s. 
300-301; Aesth. p. 231.

5 Pinkard, Hegel, A Bibliography, p. 551.

6 I am grateful to Ian McHugh and John Harvey for their efforts in 
finding substantiations of Pinkard's claim.

7 Hegel, Briefe III, [**], letter 466 p. 35. Of lesser interest is the 
fact that, in Hegel's school Stambuch, a fellow student wrote him a 
passage in English from Shakespeare. "Hegels Stambuch" in Hegel, Briefe 
IV, heraus. von Johannes Hoffmeitser, Band 4 heraus. von Rolf Flechsig, 
(Hamburg: Verlag von Felix Meiner 1960) entry number 58 by M. Seiz, p. 57.

8 ". . . denn ich las Wort fur Wort im Buchelchen nach." Hegel, Briefe 
III, letter 562 p. 192.  In the letters, Hegel mentions that he saw 
Othello and Romeo and Juliet. Of Hegel's dislike for the Shakespearean 
troop in Paris, Pinkard writes:

He was certainly not impressed with British methods of acting; they 
seemed too melodramatic - involving too much "growling" and "grimacing," 
as he put it - to be enjoyable; Hegel also remarked that it was "amazing 
how they [the British] botch Shakespeare," a common sentiment among the 
Romantic Germans and interesting for the fact that Hegel expressed it in 
that context; after all, only one year later he was chiding Ludwig Tieck 
in print for expressing very much that same view - "the English, one 
would think, understand their Shakespeare; they would at the least 
severely ridicule the petit bourgeois narrow-minded obscurity of the 
continent if we were . . .  to elevate our studies above their esteem 
for their poet (Pinkard Hegel p. 551-52).

McHugh suggests that Paul Schlick's description of 19th C. English stage 
craft might enlighten us: the actors would use "highly artificial style, 
and the artifice was insisted upon, to allow the conventions to work. 
Those conventions included spectacle, song, dance, acrobatics, and a 
wide range of performing arts which we today associate more with the 
circus, but which in Dickens' day were readily adapted for the stage." 
(see Schlick, "Introduction" to Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby, Oxford: 
Oxford University Press, 1990, p. xxii-xxiii). Since stage-craft is not 
our concern in this book, I leave this for the historians to clarify.
</NOTES>
</PROSEQUOTATION>

Best,
Jennifer


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