The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.2008  Wednesday, 24 November 2004

From:           D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 23 Nov 2004 07:56:52 -0600
Subject: 15.1996 Real Hamlet
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1996 Real Hamlet

Bill Arnold what

"Sheesh.  So what is the point?  We should burn the TEXTS of Hamlet and
only see the play, and RESTRICT our discussions on SHAKSPER to actor's
deliveries?  And seeing as it is ENDLESSLY ARGUABLE then we ought to
agree to disagree and just plain fogedaboddit?  And seeing as there
ain't much DIFFERENCE between TEXTS and none of us will OFFER AS THE
COMMON GROUND ONE TEXT, then why CITE texts if none of us agree to THIS
or THAT being pertinent?

"Hey, Shakespearean scholars, is THIS the Hamlet we want to portray: as
dubious a character as dubious presentations of dubious scholars and
dubious students of the bard?  I admit it plays into the hands of the
DUBIOUS interpreters.

"But, I ain't buying it.  Y'all get a big fat F!"

There is a point at which any judgment, when challenged, breaks down. It
must then be asserted as Revealed Truth or confessed as "IMHO." It is,
however, a useless exercise to make such rude challenges. Most of us on
this list realize that Absolutes belong to the realm of religious faith.
  But Near-Absolutes-grounds of agreement-can be reached if we
understand our own ideas well enough to explain them, and the premises
they are based on, clearly to people who are eager to learn and have the
good manners to listen attentively and ask politely for clarifications.

(In bar-room versions of the learned academic discussion, politeness and
attentiveness can be dispensed with-but this is only possible among

Placed in the absolute terms of faith, only fanatics would assert that
their Hamlet was the only true Hamlet. But it also serves no purpose to
lapse into relativism, as my students do when they haven't the brains or
the energy to think something through.

Thus, I agree with Bill at least in part. Establish the common ground
and then work out what should logically follow. If you find no common
ground, drop the subject and order another round.


PS: Nice to see a quotation from Cecil the Sea-Sick Sea-Serpent. Where
is Stan Freberg when we need him?

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Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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