The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0733  Monday, 11 March 2002

From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 17:03:14 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0712 Re: Machiavelli
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0712 Re: Machiavelli

Don Bloom writes, "Why fishy? It seems fundamental. We see it all the
time on the list, both in what we write to each other and in what we
understand out of WS.  Writers write and readers understand, to put it
as simply as possible.  If Reader A misunderstands what you write, that
may be your fault or it may be his. But if 95 per cent of your readers
misunderstand you, that is definitely your own fault."

Tell that LAST THOUGHT to Einstein :)

Don Bloom also writes, "Technically, "machiavellian" should only be used
as an adjective accurately summarizing the actual views of Machiavelli.
Practically, it long ago became a word meaning a person who was devious,
deceitful and ruthless because that is what people understood it to
mean, and still do. You may kick against the pricks if you like, but it
won't get you much except a sore foot. (Or is their some meaning to
"fishy" that I'm not picking up on?)"

Yes, I think there is something missed in this wonderful rap.  I applaud
the grand disquisition on the technical meaning of "machiavellian." But
the initial foray into this subject was the thread related to _Hamlet_
and eventually to the Shakespearean audience reactions to _their_
perceptions of "Machiavellian" ideas.  I even suggested they might see
Marlowe's ghost in the ghost of Hamlet's father, and thus have to digest
mentally if the ghost which opened _Hamlet_ was a "Machiavellian"
ghost?  Thus, I would suggest it is the Shakespearean audience
_perception_ of the word which should charge our discussions.  We are
_not_ talking of our modern dictionary or technical meanings of the
word, but what was the _perception_ of the theatergoers who were exposed
to the word in the days of Shakespeare.  Was _not_ the 1590s in London
what set up _Hamlet_ as a play?  Wasn't it really an _allegory_ for
London, and didn't something "smell fishy in London"?  Maybe Hamlet's
father's ghost was the ghost of  the dead Marlowe in Shakespeare's mind,
and the clodding Queen was...well, never mind.  Oh, that would make
Hamlet...  Shakespeare?  Is _not_ this SHAKSPER?

Bill Arnold

S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

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.

Subscribe to Our Feeds


Make a Gift to SHAKSPER

Consider making a gift to support SHAKSPER.