The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0539  Wednesday, 10 September 2008

From:       Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Monday, 8 Sep 2008 13:49:10 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 19.0531 Aaron Manson
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0531 Aaron Manson

Felix de Villiers writes:

 >I must thank Sam Small for reminding me in which play
 >that monstrous Aaron comes up, as I think about him quite a
 >lot. He is the one character In Shakespeare that is defiant in
 >his evil doings until the bitter end, like Don Giovanni who
 >goes on unrepentant until he is swallowed by the flames of hell.

But Felix,

Doesn't Aaron's unrepentant company include

   --Antonio (TEMP)
   --Claudius and Ghost (HAM)
   --Cloten and Iachimo (CYMB)
   --Don John (ADO)
   --Goneril & Regan (LEAR)
   --Iago (OTH)
   --Macbeth (MAC)
   --Parolles (AW)
   --Richard III (H6; R3)
   --Tarquin (LUCR)
   --Tybalt (R&J)
   --Volumnia (COR) ?

 >So Aaron is a key figure in Shakespeare. There is so much violence
 >and cruelty around him that he is, in a way, its logical conclusion. Both
 >Aaron and and Charles Manson where the products of the world they
 >lived in, the difference being that the one lives in fantasy and the other
 >lived in reality. I would not like to encounter a real Charles Manson and
 >if I did I would call the police. Yet slamming and punishing them and
 >being morally indignant about monsters is not enough : The real ones
 >get loads of fan mail in prison. We have to understand the social
 >background that breeds such creatures.

Others (Shakespeare himself?) might argue that heart-hardening Original Sin, 
Nature's thing of darkness within, sows such breeding grounds. And that undue 
overemphasis on man as solely a social creature undermines personal 
responsibility, leading to ever more Mansons. No?

Joe Egert

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