The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2548 Monday, 5 November 2001
Date: Saturday, 03 Nov 2001 16:10:53 -0500
Subject: 12.2536 Re: Merchant
Comment: Re: SHK 12.2536 Re: Merchant
Bruce Young writes,
>For those who claim that play characters have no discernible content, I
>would add that these speculations about Shylock are ones that arise as a
>result of thinking about the words in the text and trying to make sense
>of them. Of course, there's no definitive "life of Shylock" out there
>to check the speculations against.
Of course literary characters are not real people, but we pretend that
they are. I suppose we could call it the willing suspension of
disbelief -- this pretense that words on a page share an ontological
category with real people. I like Kendall Walton's Mimesis as
Make-Believe. We make believe that Shylock is real in the same sense as
we are real, that he had parents, a childhood, feelings of some sort for
Leah -- but, of course, has no need to go to the bathroom.
Yours, Bill Godshalk
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>
DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.