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Home :: Archive :: 2012 :: May ::
Hebrew Verbs

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0205  Monday, 28 May 2012

 

[1] From:        Hannibal Hamlin < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         May 25, 2012 2:12:28 PM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Hebrew Verbs 

 

[2] From:        Chris Kendall < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         May 25, 2012 10:40:00 PM EDT

     Subject:     Hebrew Verbs--I am and God 

 

[3] From:        John Crowley < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         May 26, 2012 3:20:58 PM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Hebrew Verbs 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Hannibal Hamlin < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         May 25, 2012 2:12:28 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Hebrew Verbs

 

I should let Joe off the hook and take credit or blame for hauling in Coleridge. I do think the “motiveless malignity” idea has merit, even if it seems over Romantic. Sure, Iago mentions several motives, but some of them are absurd (Othello and Emilia?) and none of them seem sufficient to justify (dramatically, psychologically) his behavior. And the fact that he tries out so many of them suggests that he’s not convinced himself, perhaps looking for his own motivation (I think here too of Shylock’s rejection of motivation in the Venetian court, when he likens his hatred of Antonio to the inability of some to hold their bladders on hearing the bagpipe). On the matter of Iago and Satan, I don’t want to push this too far. He certainly isn’t Satan, any more than Desdemona is Christ or Othello Judas. Biblical allusions draw the characters parallel, and the interpretive task for the playgoer-reader is to determine how far the parallel is viable or to what dramatic purpose it is made. I might add too, at the risk of repeating myself, that “I am not what I am,” at least in Iago’s mouth, seems more complex than the “I am not what I seem,” which we might expect. For one thing, having “am” rather than “seem” is necessary to make the allusion to Exodus, but it also suggests a more essential problem than mere dissembling, especially with the implications of the biblical allusion in mind.

 

Hannibal

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Chris Kendall < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         May 25, 2012 10:40:00 PM EDT

Subject:     Hebrew Verbs--I am and God

 

The King James Version had it right. Present tense only. Though this assertion may remain debatable, the God of the Old Testament, and the New, exists outside time, in eternity, where past and future tenses are a nullity. I think this is so as a theological construct whether you are a believer or not. 

 

My impression is that Viola’s “I am not what I am” is a wink to the audience regarding her gender, and the actor’s gender, while Iago’s is a wink to the idea of evil as an animate force.

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        John Crowley < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         May 26, 2012 3:20:58 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Hebrew Verbs

 

Or:  “I will be being what I am being.”

 

John Crowley

 

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