2014

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.087  Thursday, 20 February 2014

 

[1] From:        David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         February 19, 2014 at 10:22:32 AM EST

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Meaning of Ariel 

 

[2] From:        Michael Luskin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         February 19, 2014 at 10:57:54 AM EST

     Subject:    On Ariel 

 

[3] From:        Ros Barber <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         February 19, 2014 at 11:57:05 AM EST

     Subject:    Re: Meaning of Ariel 

 

 

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

From:        David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         February 19, 2014 at 10:22:32 AM EST

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Meaning of Ariel

 

As concerns the meaning of the name “Ariel” in the Tempest, it is noted that the Catalan definition of it is “water or air spirit.” The definition, which was quoted in Catalan, includes the words, “de la tradicio rabinica,” What does it mean to be “in the tradition of rabinica”?

 

In the Jewish Rabbinic tradition, Ariel, in Hebrew, means “lion of God,” and is the name of the threshold of the Temple altar. Further, in Jewish prayers for Rosh haShonah, the plural, Ariellim, means “angels”—the angels that surround and do God’s bidding.

 

Interestingly, in the Tempest, some of the ship wrecked are alarmed at hearing the roaring of lions, which Ariel imitates.

 

The above definition is in line with the interpretation of the play, The Tempest, as given by Colin Still, that Prospero represents God in the play. In the play, He is both the exiled Duke of Milan and the God Who, when He is robed, is the One Who is exiled from wicked human hearts. Later, He is reconciled with His enemies when they have repented their evil deeds and restored the Duke to rule over Milan, with God restored within their hearts.

 

Colin Still’s 1921 book is available today in facsimile at http://www.amazon.com/Shakespeares-Mystery-Play-Study-Tempest/dp/0766130541

 

David Basch

 

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

From:        Michael Luskin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         February 19, 2014 at 10:57:54 AM EST

Subject:    On Ariel

 

Catalan, if you say so. But the name comes from Biblical Hebrew and has two common meanings. First, with no (implied) punctuation, it means house of God or dwelling of God and stands for Jerusalem. Isaiah refers to it in chapter 29 of his book. More common with (implied) punctuation is Ari - el, which means lion of God. Many Jewish men have this name, including Ariel Sharon, the prime minister of Israel, who recently died. In Zionist circles, the name is usually Arik.

 

It is used in early Kabbbalah, and sort of stands for a benevolent spirit. Actually Shakespeare’s Ariel comes close to the Kabbalistic Ariel. I don’t know for sure but I bet that Ariel is used in Isaac Luria’s writings. Finally I am pretty sure that it appears in Schneur Zalman’s seminal work, the Tanya. If it doesn’t, it should.

 

mbl

 

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

From:        Ros Barber <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         February 19, 2014 at 11:57:05 AM EST

Subject:    Re: Meaning of Ariel

 

Although there is much of interest in The Shakespeare Guide to Italy, Roe’s Caliban argument is spurious, as I have noted in Shakespeare: The Evidence the earliest Catalan dictionary Roe used was dated 1930. It is therefore much more likely Shakespeare informed the Catalan language than the Catalan language informed Shakespeare. Unless someone can find a Catalan source that pre-dates the First Folio, this argument can’t be supported.

 

For others interested in either defending or taking apart Roe’s Italian evidence and much more besides, I hope you’ll take a look at this (ongoing) project (http://leanpub.com/shakespeare).  All contributions are welcome.

 

Ros Barber

 

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