Discussion:
Hamlet: "bounded in a nutshell" & "a king of infinite space"
(too old to reply)
Berkeley Brett
2010-04-02 11:16:02 UTC
Permalink
Hello all:

What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could be
bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were
it not that I have bad dreams"?

I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the thoughts
of others on this.

Here's the context (likely familiar to you):

http://www.bartleby.com/46/2/22.html

Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II. Scene II, 216-230:

[Hamlet]: What’s the news?
[Rosencrantz]: None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.
[Hamlet]: Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me
question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved
at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
[Guldenstern]: Prison, my lord?
[Hamlet]: Denmark’s a prison.
[Rosencrantz]: Then is the world one.
[Hamlet]: A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.
[Rosencrantz]: We think not so, my lord.
[Hamlet]: Why, then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
[Rosencrantz]: Why, then your ambition makes it one. ’Tis too narrow
for your mind.
[Hamlet]: O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
[Guldenstern]: Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
[Hamlet]: A dream itself is but a shadow.
[Rosencrantz]: Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.
[Hamlet]: Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
outstretch’d heroes the beggar’s shadows. Shall we to the court? for,
by my fay, I cannot reason.

Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....

--
Brett (in Berkeley, California, USA)
http://www.ForeverFunds.org/
A plan to ERASE poverty from the World
b***@yahoo.com
2010-04-02 20:51:34 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2 Apr 2010 04:16:02 -0700 (PDT), Berkeley Brett
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could be
bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were
it not that I have bad dreams"?
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the thoughts
of others on this.
http://www.bartleby.com/46/2/22.html
[Hamlet]: What’s the news?
[Rosencrantz]: None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.
[Hamlet]: Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me
question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved
at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
[Guldenstern]: Prison, my lord?
[Hamlet]: Denmark’s a prison.
[Rosencrantz]: Then is the world one.
[Hamlet]: A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.
[Rosencrantz]: We think not so, my lord.
[Hamlet]: Why, then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
[Rosencrantz]: Why, then your ambition makes it one. ’Tis too narrow
for your mind.
[Hamlet]: O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
[Guldenstern]: Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
[Hamlet]: A dream itself is but a shadow.
[Rosencrantz]: Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.
[Hamlet]: Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
outstretch’d heroes the beggar’s shadows. Shall we to the court? for,
by my fay, I cannot reason.
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
And I notice Hamlet also says, ". . .; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

Critics have a category for this kind of rationalizing by Hamlet to
account for his inability to act out a revenge plot. One version is
that this motive is like a seed from an oak tree planted in a too
fragile pot, so as the seed grows the pot is unable to contain it, and
the pot splits. I suppose the dynamics of this psychology involve the
ideas of revenge and rationalizing getting bigger, so the "pot" spins
out of control and cracks up. bookburn
lackpurity
2010-04-04 04:09:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by b***@yahoo.com
On Fri, 2 Apr 2010 04:16:02 -0700 (PDT), Berkeley Brett
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could be
bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were
it not that I have bad dreams"?
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the thoughts
of others on this.
http://www.bartleby.com/46/2/22.html
[Hamlet]: What s the news?
[Rosencrantz]: �None, my lord, but that the world s grown honest.
[Hamlet]: �Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me
question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved
at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
[Guldenstern]: �Prison, my lord?
[Hamlet]: �Denmark s a prison.
[Rosencrantz]: �Then is the world one.
[Hamlet]: �A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o the worst.
[Rosencrantz]: �We think not so, my lord.
[Hamlet]: �Why, then tis none to you; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
[Rosencrantz]: �Why, then your ambition makes it one. Tis too narrow
for your mind.
[Hamlet]: �O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
[Guldenstern]: �Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
[Hamlet]: �A dream itself is but a shadow.
[Rosencrantz]: �Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow s shadow.
[Hamlet]: �Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
outstretch d heroes the beggar s shadows. Shall we to the court? for,
by my fay, I cannot reason.
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
And I notice Hamlet also says, ". . .; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
Some of us don't worry about reincarnating in this world. Others
would like to avoid it like the plague. So, Shakespeare is correct.
It all depends on our personal opinions.
Post by b***@yahoo.com
Critics have a category for this kind of rationalizing by Hamlet to
account for his inability to act out a revenge plot. �One version is
that this motive is like a seed from an oak tree planted in a too
fragile pot, so as the seed grows the pot is unable to contain it, and
the pot splits. �I suppose the dynamics of this psychology involve the
ideas of revenge and rationalizing getting bigger, so the "pot" spins
out of control and cracks up. �bookburn- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
Michael Martin
Peter Groves
2010-04-04 03:03:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could be
bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were
it not that I have bad dreams"?
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the thoughts
of others on this.
http://www.bartleby.com/46/2/22.html
[Hamlet]: What’s the news?
[Rosencrantz]:  None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.
[Hamlet]:  Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me
question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved
at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
[Guldenstern]:  Prison, my lord?
[Hamlet]:  Denmark’s a prison.
[Rosencrantz]:  Then is the world one.
[Hamlet]:  A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.
[Rosencrantz]:  We think not so, my lord.
[Hamlet]:  Why, then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
[Rosencrantz]:  Why, then your ambition makes it one. ’Tis too narrow
for your mind.
[Hamlet]:  O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
[Guldenstern]:  Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
[Hamlet]:  A dream itself is but a shadow.
[Rosencrantz]:  Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.
[Hamlet]:  Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
outstretch’d heroes the beggar’s shadows. Shall we to the court? for,
by my fay, I cannot reason.
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
--
Brett (in Berkeley, California, USA)http://www.ForeverFunds.org/
A plan to ERASE poverty from the World
I think it's about his relation to Stoicism: he admires it enormously
as an ideal ("Give me the man that is not passion's slave ...") but
can't quite believe in it as a practice: if it were true, after all,
he could indeed be bounded in a nutshell and count himself a king of
infinite space, but he can't be king of his own mind because those bad
dreams represent the irruption of something else not dreamt of in
rational Stoic philosophy and parallelled by the irruption of the
ghost into the world of Elsinore.

Peter G.
lackpurity
2010-04-04 04:19:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Groves
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could be
bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were
it not that I have bad dreams"?
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the thoughts
of others on this.
http://www.bartleby.com/46/2/22.html
[Hamlet]: What’s the news?
[Rosencrantz]:  None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.
[Hamlet]:  Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me
question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved
at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
[Guldenstern]:  Prison, my lord?
[Hamlet]:  Denmark’s a prison.
[Rosencrantz]:  Then is the world one.
[Hamlet]:  A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.
[Rosencrantz]:  We think not so, my lord.
[Hamlet]:  Why, then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
[Rosencrantz]:  Why, then your ambition makes it one. ’Tis too narrow
for your mind.
[Hamlet]:  O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
[Guldenstern]:  Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
[Hamlet]:  A dream itself is but a shadow.
[Rosencrantz]:  Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.
[Hamlet]:  Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
outstretch’d heroes the beggar’s shadows. Shall we to the court? for,
by my fay, I cannot reason.
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
--
Brett (in Berkeley, California, USA)http://www.ForeverFunds.org/
A plan to ERASE poverty from the World
I think it's about his relation to Stoicism: he admires it enormously
as an ideal ("Give me the man that is not passion's slave ...") but
can't quite believe in it as a practice: if it were true, after all,
he could indeed be bounded in a nutshell and count himself a king of
infinite space, but he can't be king of his own mind because those bad
dreams represent the irruption of something else not dreamt of in
rational Stoic philosophy and parallelled by the irruption of the
ghost into the world of Elsinore.
Peter G.
Actually, Shakespeare was King of infinite space. He, as God,
appeared on earth, and sacrificed himself for us. His attention went
out to the world, as he laid foundations for eternity. It was the
same for Hamlet.

Michael Martin
Peter Groves
2010-04-04 08:17:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Groves
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could be
bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were
it not that I have bad dreams"?
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the thoughts
of others on this.
http://www.bartleby.com/46/2/22.html
[Hamlet]: What’s the news?
[Rosencrantz]:  None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.
[Hamlet]:  Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me
question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved
at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
[Guldenstern]:  Prison, my lord?
[Hamlet]:  Denmark’s a prison.
[Rosencrantz]:  Then is the world one.
[Hamlet]:  A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.
[Rosencrantz]:  We think not so, my lord.
[Hamlet]:  Why, then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
[Rosencrantz]:  Why, then your ambition makes it one. ’Tis too narrow
for your mind.
[Hamlet]:  O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
[Guldenstern]:  Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
[Hamlet]:  A dream itself is but a shadow.
[Rosencrantz]:  Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.
[Hamlet]:  Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
outstretch’d heroes the beggar’s shadows. Shall we to the court? for,
by my fay, I cannot reason.
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
--
Brett (in Berkeley, California, USA)http://www.ForeverFunds.org/
A plan to ERASE poverty from the World
I think it's about his relation to Stoicism: he admires it enormously
as an ideal ("Give me the man that is not passion's slave ...") but
can't quite believe in it as a practice: if it were true, after all,
he could indeed be bounded in a nutshell and count himself a king of
infinite space, but he can't be king of his own mind because those bad
dreams represent the irruption of something else not dreamt of in
rational Stoic philosophy and parallelled by the irruption of the
ghost into the world of Elsinore.
Peter G.
Actually, Shakespeare was King of infinite space.  He, as God,
appeared on earth, and sacrificed himself for us.  His attention went
out to the world, as he laid foundations for eternity.  It was the
same for Hamlet.
Michael Martin
Brett, you will have spotted by now that Michael Martin is a nutter.
I'm afraid they infest this particular newsgroup in disproportionate
quantities: for some reason, Shakespeare draws the deranged as a
honeypot draws flies.

Peter G.
lackpurity
2010-04-04 17:50:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Groves
Post by Peter Groves
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could be
bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were
it not that I have bad dreams"?
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the thoughts
of others on this.
http://www.bartleby.com/46/2/22.html
[Hamlet]: What’s the news?
[Rosencrantz]:  None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.
[Hamlet]:  Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me
question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved
at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
[Guldenstern]:  Prison, my lord?
[Hamlet]:  Denmark’s a prison.
[Rosencrantz]:  Then is the world one.
[Hamlet]:  A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.
[Rosencrantz]:  We think not so, my lord.
[Hamlet]:  Why, then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
[Rosencrantz]:  Why, then your ambition makes it one. ’Tis too narrow
for your mind.
[Hamlet]:  O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
[Guldenstern]:  Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
[Hamlet]:  A dream itself is but a shadow.
[Rosencrantz]:  Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.
[Hamlet]:  Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
outstretch’d heroes the beggar’s shadows. Shall we to the court? for,
by my fay, I cannot reason.
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
--
Brett (in Berkeley, California, USA)http://www.ForeverFunds.org/
A plan to ERASE poverty from the World
I think it's about his relation to Stoicism: he admires it enormously
as an ideal ("Give me the man that is not passion's slave ...") but
can't quite believe in it as a practice: if it were true, after all,
he could indeed be bounded in a nutshell and count himself a king of
infinite space, but he can't be king of his own mind because those bad
dreams represent the irruption of something else not dreamt of in
rational Stoic philosophy and parallelled by the irruption of the
ghost into the world of Elsinore.
Peter G.
Actually, Shakespeare was King of infinite space.  He, as God,
appeared on earth, and sacrificed himself for us.  His attention went
out to the world, as he laid foundations for eternity.  It was the
same for Hamlet.
Michael Martin
Brett, you will have spotted by now that Michael Martin is a nutter.
Groves often loses these types of debates. He's a metrician. I have
45 years experience with Masters and muses.
Post by Peter Groves
I'm afraid they infest this particular newsgroup in disproportionate
quantities: for some reason, Shakespeare draws the deranged as a
honeypot draws flies.
Repeating allegations reminds me of Crowley, Franz, and Art. Yet, you
claim to be a Stratfordian? Maybe you should go back to counting
meters? LOL You won't score many points with your unmitigated
pigeonholings. Brett, he claims to be a "scholar," too. LOL I'll be
happy to leave it all to the sagacity of the readers. All that
scholarship has left him with nothing but dime-a-dozen allegations.

Michael Martin
Post by Peter Groves
Peter G.- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
nordicskiv2
2010-04-05 19:39:18 UTC
Permalink
In article
<fa305a38-7698-4422-8705-***@r18g2000yqd.googlegroups.com>,
Peter Groves <***@gmail.com> wrote:

[...]
Post by Peter Groves
Actually, Shakespeare was King of infinite space.  He, as God,
appeared on earth, and sacrificed himself for us.  His attention went
out to the world, as he laid foundations for eternity.  It was the
same for Hamlet.
Michael Martin
Brett, you will have spotted by now that Michael Martin is a nutter.
I'm afraid they infest this particular newsgroup in disproportionate
In the early days, the newsgroup's acronym h.l.a.s. might well have
stood for hilarious.lunatics.anti.stratfordians. The recent novelty
is the appearance of one or two "Stratfordian" loons, so that one can
no longer safely gloss "Stratfordian" as "sane."

However, lunatics' revelations still constitute the newsgroup's
main charm: where else could one learn that Old English was still
spoken in the nineteenth century (and on the moon!), that Shakespeare
sounded like Beowulf, that "aether theory" is undergoing a revival,
that there are "hundreds of billions" of Chinese, that the Emperor
Claudius banished Ovid (to Yugoslavia, no less!), that Newton engaged
in a rancorous priority dispute with Hegel (perforce posthumously)
over the discovery of the calculus, that "Verulam" means "state of
truth" in Latin, that "shake-scene" meant "stage hand," that the flat
geometry of Minkowski space is "hyperbolic," that the Earl of
Southampton played female roles on stage convincingly, that the King
of Navarre is a character in _As You Like It_, that the majority of
pre-Civil War English literature is written in "floundering" English,
that Queen Elizabeth had a half dozen or so illegitimate children,
etc.?

And the above gems are just a small sample of the surprising
"facts" that one can learn from *Elizabeth alone*; when one includes
the more pedestrian contributions of lesser geniuses like Paul
Crowley, Art, "Dr." Faker, Stephanie Caruana, Senator Streitz, Mr.
Innes, and others -- that only one of Shakespeare's plays is set in a
foreign country other than Italy, that the "Ray Mignot" sonnet was
penned by the Earl of Oxford, that "vier" is Spanish for "four," that
Cervantes wrote in Old Castilian, that Virgil predated Herodotus, that
Anne Hathaway was Shakespeare's mother, that the Apollo lunar landings
were faked by NASA, that Franck wrote an organ symphony, that AIDS is
"a hoax," that aeronautical engineers don't understand how airplanes
fly, that Shakespeare was Caxton's contemporary, that Elizabethan
Londoners could not speak English fluently because it was not taught
in the schools, that English possesses a "negative case," that
speakers of Andean Spanish do not know about stem-changing verbs, etc.
-- one sees why h.l.a.s. remains such an irresistible and apparently
inexhaustible cornucopia of comedy!
Post by Peter Groves
for some reason, Shakespeare draws the deranged as a
honeypot draws flies.
Peter G.
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-05 11:56:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Groves
I think it's about his relation to Stoicism: he admires it enormously
as an ideal ("Give me the man that is not passion's slave ...") but
can't quite believe in it as a practice: if it were true, after all,
he could indeed be bounded in a nutshell and count himself a king of
infinite space, but he can't be king of his own mind because those bad
dreams represent the irruption of something else not dreamt of in
rational Stoic philosophy and parallelled by the irruption of the
ghost into the world of Elsinore.
You are half right - only half because you relate the play
to a movement in philosophy instead of to life itself.
The nut-shell is the human skull (the human brain
resembling a walnut), the infinite space within is the
world we behold with our eyes and apprehend with our
mind "in god-like manner," the king is our conscious
mind, also Freud's ego (Ich), also any rational system
we use in explaining the world, and the bad dreams are
the problems encountered at the margin of any closed
system and too rational doctrines that exclude the
unconscious and the unknown. Which is also a problem
of the sciences that are prone to generalize and absolutize
a successful paradigm. The most successful mechanical
paradigm led to the clockwork universe and to the belief
that animals are mere automata, unable of feeling (every
child can tell you better), while Darwin's model of gradual
evolution, generalized by Ernst Haeckel et al. led to the
eugenic nightmare of the twentieth century, for which
Big Science never apologized.

Removing the bard from life and relating him to philosophy
is turning a giant into a dwarf. The same is found only
too often in academic art history where paintings are
explained as echoes of other paintings instead of linking
them to life.
Peter Groves
2010-04-05 12:45:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by Peter Groves
I think it's about his relation to Stoicism: he admires it enormously
as an ideal ("Give me the man that is not passion's slave ...") but
can't quite believe in it as a practice: if it were true, after all,
he could indeed be bounded in a nutshell and count himself a king of
infinite space, but he can't be king of his own mind because those bad
dreams represent the irruption of something else not dreamt of in
rational Stoic philosophy and parallelled by the irruption of the
ghost into the world of Elsinore.
You are half right - only half because you relate the play
to a movement in philosophy instead of to life itself.
The nut-shell is the human skull (the human brain
resembling a walnut), the infinite space within is the
world we behold with our eyes and apprehend with our
mind "in god-like manner," the king is our conscious
mind, also Freud's ego (Ich), also any rational system
we use in explaining the world, and the bad dreams are
the problems encountered at the margin of any closed
system and too rational doctrines that exclude the
unconscious and the unknown. Which is also a problem
of the sciences that are prone to generalize and absolutize
a successful paradigm. The most successful mechanical
paradigm led to the clockwork universe and to the belief
that animals are mere automata, unable of feeling (every
child can tell you better), while Darwin's model of gradual
evolution, generalized by Ernst Haeckel et al. led to the
eugenic nightmare of the twentieth century, for which
Big Science never apologized.
Removing the bard from life and relating him to philosophy
is turning a giant into a dwarf.
Like all antistratfordians, you're incapable of reading anything
except through the distorting goggles of your own fantasy. Only a
fantasist could arrive at this bizarre interpretation of my remark
about Hamlet and his search for meaning.

Peter G.
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
The same is found only
too often in academic art history where paintings are
explained as echoes of other paintings instead of linking
them to life.
Peter Groves
2010-04-05 12:59:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Groves
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by Peter Groves
I think it's about his relation to Stoicism: he admires it enormously
as an ideal ("Give me the man that is not passion's slave ...") but
can't quite believe in it as a practice: if it were true, after all,
he could indeed be bounded in a nutshell and count himself a king of
infinite space, but he can't be king of his own mind because those bad
dreams represent the irruption of something else not dreamt of in
rational Stoic philosophy and parallelled by the irruption of the
ghost into the world of Elsinore.
You are half right - only half because you relate the play
to a movement in philosophy instead of to life itself.
The nut-shell is the human skull (the human brain
resembling a walnut), the infinite space within is the
world we behold with our eyes and apprehend with our
mind "in god-like manner," the king is our conscious
mind, also Freud's ego (Ich), also any rational system
we use in explaining the world, and the bad dreams are
the problems encountered at the margin of any closed
system and too rational doctrines that exclude the
unconscious and the unknown. Which is also a problem
of the sciences that are prone to generalize and absolutize
a successful paradigm. The most successful mechanical
paradigm led to the clockwork universe and to the belief
that animals are mere automata, unable of feeling (every
child can tell you better), while Darwin's model of gradual
evolution, generalized by Ernst Haeckel et al. led to the
eugenic nightmare of the twentieth century, for which
Big Science never apologized.
Removing the bard from life and relating him to philosophy
is turning a giant into a dwarf.
Like all antistratfordians, you're incapable of reading anything
except through the distorting goggles of your own fantasy.  Only a
fantasist could arrive at this bizarre interpretation of my remark
about Hamlet and his search for meaning.
Peter G.
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
The same is found only
too often in academic art history where paintings are
explained as echoes of other paintings instead of linking
them to life.
And, I might add, it's a bit rich coming from an imbecile who wants to
read the plays as allegories.

Peter G.
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-05 18:44:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Groves
And, I might add, it's a bit rich coming from an imbecile who wants to
read the plays as allegories.
Professor Peter Groves, I do not read "the plays"
as allegories, I read Titus Andronicus as allegory.
The other plays are different, each devoted to
another issue. Don't make an imbecile of yourself,
professor Peter Groves.
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-05 18:52:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Groves
Like all antistratfordians, you're incapable of reading anything
except through the distorting goggles of your own fantasy.  Only a
fantasist could arrive at this bizarre interpretation of my remark
about Hamlet and his search for meaning.
Apparently you are not acquainted with the idea
of a subtext in Renaissance art, as are many here
in this group, so you may consider my interpretation
of Leonardo da Vinci's mural Last Supper in Milan
that is concerned with a rather similar issue as
Hamlet, a philosophical problem of the same rank
www.seshat.ch/home/ls.htm
And if you go on offending me instead of speaking
of the plays I will have to search for that line where
the bard says that one of his figures can't shine
her light on a fool or else all of it returns and blinds
her, meaning the fool can't absorb any of it, all is
reflected, and so bright it will hurt her eyes, in
Cymbaline, as I remember, said much more
elegantly than I can render it here from my memory.
Peter Groves
2010-04-06 00:09:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by Peter Groves
Like all antistratfordians, you're incapable of reading anything
except through the distorting goggles of your own fantasy.  Only a
fantasist could arrive at this bizarre interpretation of my remark
about Hamlet and his search for meaning.
Apparently you are not acquainted with the idea
of a subtext in Renaissance art,
And so you continue to demonstrate that like all antistratfordians,
you're incapable of reading anything except through the distorting
goggles of your own fantasy. Rational people don't come here to argue
with posters like you; we come here to observe -- and frequently to be
amused by -- a new kind of <lusus naturae>, Bombastes Internetticus.

Peter G.
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
as are many here
in this group, so you may consider my interpretation
of Leonardo da Vinci's mural Last Supper in Milan
that is concerned with a rather similar issue as
Hamlet, a philosophical problem of the same rankwww.seshat.ch/home/ls.htm
And if you go on offending me instead of speaking
of the plays I will have to search for that line where
the bard says that one of his figures can't shine
her light on a fool or else all of it returns and blinds
her, meaning the fool can't absorb any of it, all is
reflected, and so bright it will hurt her eyes, in
Cymbaline, as I remember, said much more
elegantly than I can render it here from my memory.
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-06 05:59:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Groves
And so you continue to demonstrate that like all antistratfordians,
you're incapable of reading anything except through the distorting
goggles of your own fantasy. Rational people don't come here to argue
with posters like you; we come here to observe -- and frequently to be
amused by -- a new kind of <lusus naturae>, Bombastes Internetticus.
And you, professor Peter Groves, are another version
of Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream who
can't allow the lion to roar, fearing that he might frighten
the ladies and you all will be hanged -- you fear that you
might provoke the peers and be excluded from publishing
and who can't publish must perish, modern equivalent
of being hanged for an edu, so your Bottoms propose
to roar gently like a sucking dove or a nightingale ...
Hamlet conveys an important philosophical message:
every closed system raises problems, be it in religion
or philosophy or politics or the law; or be it the beliefs
and rules of the feudal society; also too rigid a mind
schooled in dogmatic doctrines, as explained in my
two long messages from yesterday. Did you read them?
or just the summary I addressed to you? I want to talk
about the plays. Never ending meta-discussions and
meta-meta-discussions and meta-meta-meta-discussions
are the drag of the Usenet. So please talk about Hamlet.
Read my interpretation in two parts and point out the
biggest blunder I made in your opinion. Then I will reply,
and we may discuss in a scholarly manner.
Peter Groves
2010-04-06 09:30:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by Peter Groves
And so you continue to demonstrate that like all antistratfordians,
you're incapable of reading anything except through the distorting
goggles of your own fantasy.  Rational people don't come here to argue
with posters like you; we come here to observe -- and frequently to be
amused by -- a new kind of <lusus naturae>, Bombastes Internetticus.
And you, professor Peter Groves, are another version
of Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream who
can't allow the lion to roar,
Royal he was, he was namore aferd;
He fethered Pertelote twenty tyme,
And trad as ofte, er that it was pryme.
He loketh as it were a grim leoun;
And on his toos he rometh up and doun,
Him deyned not to sette his foot to grounde.
He chukketh, whan he hath a corn y-founde,

Chaucer, <Nonnes Preestes Tale>

I'm afraid we can never discuss anything "in a scholarly manner"
because you really have no clue about scholarly method or the nature
of evidence: just like Art or Crowley, your research method is to pull
stuff out of your arse and then admire it like Chauntecleer -- except
that he only "chukketh, whan he hath a corn y-founde": he knows a
grain of corn from his own turds. This explains, incidentally, your
(and Crowley's) antagonism towards academia, which has developed ways
of distinguishing between the two kinds of product.

Peter G. (not a professor, but I do understand that there's no use
telling you anything).
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
fearing that he might frighten
the ladies and you all will be hanged -- you fear that you
might provoke the peers and be excluded from publishing
and who can't publish must perish, modern equivalent
of being hanged for an edu, so your Bottoms propose
to roar gently like a sucking dove or a nightingale ...
every closed system raises problems, be it in religion
or philosophy or politics or the law; or be it the beliefs
and rules of the feudal society; also too rigid a mind
schooled in dogmatic doctrines, as explained in my
two long messages from yesterday. Did you read them?
or just the summary I addressed to you? I want to talk
about the plays. Never ending meta-discussions and
meta-meta-discussions and meta-meta-meta-discussions
are the drag of the Usenet. So please talk about Hamlet.
Read my interpretation in two parts and point out the
biggest blunder I made in your opinion. Then I will reply,
and we may discuss in a scholarly manner.
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-06 10:19:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Groves
Royal he was, he was namore aferd;
He fethered Pertelote twenty tyme,
And trad as ofte, er that it was pryme.
He loketh as it were a grim leoun;
And on his toos he rometh up and doun,
Him deyned not to sette his foot to grounde.
He chukketh, whan he hath a corn y-founde,
Chaucer, <Nonnes Preestes Tale>
I'm afraid we can never discuss anything "in a scholarly manner"
because you really have no clue about scholarly method or the nature
of evidence: just like Art or Crowley, your research method is to pull
stuff out of your arse and then admire it like Chauntecleer -- except
that he only "chukketh, whan he hath a corn y-founde": he knows a
grain of corn from his own turds.  This explains, incidentally, your
(and Crowley's) antagonism towards academia, which has developed ways
of distinguishing between the two kinds of product.
Peter G. (not a professor, but I do understand that there's no use
telling you anything).
I notice that you say nothing about a play again,
only meta-stuff, plus an insult in order to mask
your shortcoming and failure. That makes your sort
so unappealing. You defend your position by spouting
reproaches and invectives and ad hominems, but you
can't speak about the plays. You have a list of questions
that can be posed, and a very long list of questions
that may never be posed, or else you are spitting
invectives again. For example the question how
an author of such a psychological depth, never
heard of before, could keep his plays completely
away from his life, and vice versa. I pose the question
nevertheless, and pray wipe your arse and wash your
hands this time before replying.
b***@nut-n-but.net
2010-04-06 14:50:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Groves
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Removing the bard from life and relating him to philosophy
is turning a giant into a dwarf.
Like all antistratfordians, you're incapable of reading anything
except through the distorting goggles of your own fantasy.  Only a
fantasist could arrive at this bizarre interpretation of my remark
about Hamlet and his search for meaning.
Peter G.
One thing about authorship wacks like this bird and Crowley and
Farey that I do identify strongly with is the urge to cross-examine
EVERYTHING for its SECRET meaning, lusting after the thrill
of discovering something no one else is savvy enough to see.

--Bob G.
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-06 15:12:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
One thing about authorship wacks like this bird and Crowley and
Farey that I do identify strongly with is the urge to cross-examine
EVERYTHING for its SECRET meaning, lusting after the thrill
of discovering something no one else is savvy enough to see.
As a teenager I saw a Hamlet movie, and Othello
on the stage; that was all. I never read the plays.
A couple of years ago I bought the Complete Works
for the price of a sandwich, and tried to read some
of the poems and plays, but failed, they are brimful
of odd remarks I simply didn't understand. And then,
in past February, I heard Kurt Kreiler on the radio.
He made me curious, and I began to read some plays.
I read seven plays in quick succession, for the first
time understanding. My profession is understanding,
and I let people participate in my understanding.
What is wrong about this? There is an eros of
understanding, you know.
b***@nut-n-but.net
2010-04-06 16:11:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
One thing about authorship wacks like this bird and Crowley and
Farey that I do identify strongly with is the urge to cross-examine
EVERYTHING for its SECRET meaning, lusting after the thrill
of discovering something no one else is savvy enough to see.
As a teenager I saw a Hamlet movie, and Othello
on the stage; that was all. I never read the plays.
A couple of years ago I bought the Complete Works
for the price of a sandwich, and tried to read some
of the poems and plays, but failed, they are brimful
of odd remarks I simply didn't understand. And then,
in past February, I heard Kurt Kreiler on the radio.
He made me curious, and I began to read some plays.
I read seven plays in quick succession, for the first
time understanding. My profession is understanding,
and I let people participate in my understanding.
What is wrong about this? There is an eros of
understanding, you know.
Did you read anything about the authorship controversy? Are
you familiar with all the evidence that Shakespeare, not
Oxford, wrote the Shakespearean plays? If not, why not?

--Bob G.
b***@nut-n-but.net
2010-04-06 14:52:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by Peter Groves
I think it's about his relation to Stoicism: he admires it enormously
as an ideal ("Give me the man that is not passion's slave ...") but
can't quite believe in it as a practice: if it were true, after all,
he could indeed be bounded in a nutshell and count himself a king of
infinite space, but he can't be king of his own mind because those bad
dreams represent the irruption of something else not dreamt of in
rational Stoic philosophy and parallelled by the irruption of the
ghost into the world of Elsinore.
You are half right - only half because you relate the play
to a movement in philosophy instead of to life itself.
No, he doesn't. He relates one line of Hamlet's to
a movement in philosophy, not the whole play. And
he is not saying that the line relates to that movement
in philosophy and to nothing else. Like all the most ardent
authorship wacks, though, you automatically fall into binary
thinking whenever considering an opponent's argument. You
can't believe there can be more than two meanings for a
line: your correct one and your opponent;s incorrect one.
The line has to do with philosophy or with life, it can't do
with both, as it obviously does.
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
The nut-shell is the human skull (the human brain
resembling a walnut), the infinite space within is the
world we behold with our eyes and apprehend with our
mind "in god-like manner,"
Absurd. Why would Hamlet say he could be bound
in a nutshell if he already is? The nut-shell is a nut-shell.
Hamlet is saying he could be squeezed into a nut-shell
which would seal him off from all perceptual contact with
the external world but not mind it . . . if not that he would
still have bad dreams. In other words, if he were solipsified,
with total control over his thoughts, he wouldn't mind it,
but he can't be--bad dreams he has no control over would
still afflict. From the context, it makes sense to assume
the bad dreams are about his father's death, so he is
probably simply saying he'd love to entirely forget the world,
but he can't--he has to do something about his father's
death. He would like to shirk all responsibilities but can't.
Bad dreams keep reminding him of them.

This, Peter, is a restatement, I think, of what you said, and
maybe a slight extension of, or variation on it.
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
the king is our conscious mind
no king is mentioned.
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
also Freud's ego (Ich), also any rational system
we use in explaining the world, and the bad dreams are
the problems encountered at the margin of any closed
system and too rational doctrines that exclude the
unconscious and the unknown. Which is also a problem
of the sciences that are prone to generalize and absolutize
a successful paradigm. The most successful mechanical
paradigm led to the clockwork universe and to the belief
that animals are mere automata, unable of feeling (every
child can tell you better), while Darwin's model of gradual
evolution, generalized by Ernst Haeckel et al. led to the
eugenic nightmare of the twentieth century, for which
Big Science never apologized.
Removing the bard from life and relating him to philosophy
is turning a giant into a dwarf. The same is found only
too often in academic art history where paintings are
explained as echoes of other paintings instead of linking
them to life.
What art historian explains paintings ONLY as echoes of
other painting. Here's the wack's binary thinking cropping
up again.

--Bob
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-06 15:27:05 UTC
Permalink
No, he doesn't.  He relates one line of Hamlet's to
a movement in philosophy, not the whole play.  And
he is not saying that the line relates to that movement
in philosophy and to nothing else.  Like all the most ardent
authorship wacks, though, you automatically fall into binary
thinking whenever considering an opponent's argument.  You
can't believe there can be more than two meanings for a
line: your correct one and your opponent;s incorrect one.
The line has to do with philosophy or with life, it can't do
with both, as it obviously does.
"He relates one line of Hamlet's to a movement in
philosophy" - but he should relate it to life, and only
then to philosophy.
Absurd.  Why would Hamlet say he could be bound
in a nutshell if he already is?  The nut-shell is a nut-shell.
Hamlet is saying he could be squeezed into a nut-shell
which would seal him off from all perceptual contact with
the external world but not mind it . . . if not that he would
still have bad dreams.  In other words, if he were solipsified,
with total control over his thoughts, he wouldn't mind it,
but he can't be--bad dreams he has no control over would
still afflict.  From the context, it makes sense to assume
the bad dreams are about his father's death, so he is
probably simply saying he'd love to entirely forget the world,
but he can't--he has to do something about his father's
death.  He would like to shirk all responsibilities but can't.
Bad dreams keep reminding him of them.
Quote the lines before you do your bob grumman

O God, I would be bounded in a nutshell,
and count myself a king of infinite space,
were it not that I have bad dreams.

He would be bounded, he would believe in religion
or a philosophical movement or in the system of law
or any other closed system and count himself king
of an infinite space - as all firm believers in any closed
system do -, but every closed system raises problems,
and if that closed system is internalized via doctrines
it results in bad dreams, you can't completely rationalize
your mind, the unconscious would rebel, the repressed
return.
no king is mentioned.
O God, I would be bounded in a nutshell,
and count myself a * king * of infinite space,
were it not that I have bad dreams.
What art historian explains paintings ONLY as echoes of
other painting.  Here's the wack's binary thinking cropping
up again.
Relating paintings to paintings is very common in
the history of Renaissance art, almost an academic
maladie. I could show you letters from the renowned
Warburg Institute.
b***@nut-n-but.net
2010-04-06 16:09:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
No, he doesn't.  He relates one line of Hamlet's to
a movement in philosophy, not the whole play.  And
he is not saying that the line relates to that movement
in philosophy and to nothing else.  Like all the most ardent
authorship wacks, though, you automatically fall into binary
thinking whenever considering an opponent's argument.  You
can't believe there can be more than two meanings for a
line: your correct one and your opponent;s incorrect one.
The line has to do with philosophy or with life, it can't do
with both, as it obviously does.
"He relates one line of Hamlet's to a movement in
philosophy" - but he should relate it to life, and only
then to philosophy.
Consider the possibility that he takes it for granted
that it is related to life and is merely pointing out
another relation.
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Absurd.  Why would Hamlet say he could be bound
in a nutshell if he already is?  The nut-shell is a nut-shell.
Hamlet is saying he could be squeezed into a nut-shell
which would seal him off from all perceptual contact with
the external world but not mind it . . . if not that he would
still have bad dreams.  In other words, if he were solipsified,
with total control over his thoughts, he wouldn't mind it,
but he can't be--bad dreams he has no control over would
still afflict.  From the context, it makes sense to assume
the bad dreams are about his father's death, so he is
probably simply saying he'd love to entirely forget the world,
but he can't--he has to do something about his father's
death.  He would like to shirk all responsibilities but can't.
Bad dreams keep reminding him of them.
Quote the lines before you do your bob grumman
The lines were quoted. I didn't need to requote them,
although I should have reread them, for I forgot the middle one.
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
  O God, I would be bounded in a nutshell,
  and count myself a king of infinite space,
  were it not that I have bad dreams.
He would be bounded, he would believe in religion
or a philosophical movement or in the system of law
or any other closed system and count himself king
of an infinite space - as all firm believers in any closed
system do -, but every closed system raises problems,
and if that closed system is internalized via doctrines
it results in bad dreams, you can't completely rationalize
your mind, the unconscious would rebel, the repressed
return.
no king is mentioned.
  O God, I would be bounded in a nutshell,
  and count myself a * king * of infinite space,
  were it not that I have bad dreams.
Right. In my rush, I forgot that. But the king
does not refer to any particular king. He is
merely saying he would consider himself completely
in charge of a infinity of space.
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
What art historian explains paintings ONLY as echoes of
other painting.  Here's the wack's binary thinking cropping
up again.
Relating paintings to paintings is very common in
the history of Renaissance art, almost an academic
maladie. I could show you letters from the renowned
Warburg Institute.
It's very common because it makes sense. But no
art historian, I think, believes that the only fact of
any consequence about a painting is how it
relates to other paintings. Although no doubt some
specialize in the interrelationship of paintings.

--Bob G.
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-06 18:08:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
Consider the possibility that he takes it for granted
that it is related to life and is merely pointing out
another relation.
No.
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
The lines were quoted. I didn't need to requote them,
although I should have reread them, for I forgot the middle one.
Essential mistake. And in favor of your readers you should
have quoted them anyway.
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
Right. In my rush, I forgot that. But the king
does not refer to any particular king. He is
merely saying he would consider himself completely
in charge of a infinity of space.
The king is most essential, it may be a philosopher
who feels king of the universe, a priest feeling he knows
all about life and heaven and hell, or the conscious mind,
what Freud was to call ego, and Herr 'lord' in his saying
that we are not lord of our own house, Herr im eigenen
Haus. Which the bard anticipated.
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
It's very common because it makes sense. But no
art historian, I think, believes that the only fact of
any consequence about a painting is how it
relates to other paintings. Although no doubt some
specialize in the interrelationship of paintings.
In 1995 a sent a longer version of my interpretation of
Leonardo da Vinci's mural than my concise online version
www.seshat.ch/home/ls.htm to the Warburg Institute,
they told me they were amazed at my English, it will need
few corrections, alas they can't publish my paper for I am
not really doing art history, real art history is concerned
with documents and relations of paintings to other paintings.
All my working life, nearly 36 years now, I am confronted
with such statements. The peer system is the inquisition
of the humanities. But thank Buddha and owing to my good
karma the mature years of my working life coincide with
the era of the rising Internet, so I can publish some of my
ideas online.

(Quoting the second reply)

Did you read anything about the authorship controversy? Are
you familiar with all the evidence that Shakespeare, not
Oxford, wrote the Shakespearean plays? If not, why not?

If why, not not? I am interested in the plays. If you are in the
possession of the truth you can interpret the plays. If you
can't, I am not interested. Talk about the plays.
b***@nut-n-but.net
2010-04-06 22:00:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
Consider the possibility that he takes it for granted
that it is related to life and is merely pointing out
another relation.
No.
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
The lines were quoted.  I didn't need to requote them,
although I should have reread them, for I forgot the middle one.
Essential mistake. And in favor of your readers you should
have quoted them anyway.
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
Right.  In my rush, I forgot that.  But the king
does not refer to any particular king.  He is
merely saying he would consider himself completely
in charge of a infinity of space.
The king is most essential, it may be a philosopher
who feels king of the universe, a priest feeling he knows
all about life and heaven and hell, or the conscious mind,
what Freud was to call ego, and Herr 'lord' in his saying
that we are not lord of our own house, Herr im eigenen
Haus. Which the bard anticipated.
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
It's very common because it makes sense.  But no
art historian, I think, believes that the only fact of
any consequence about a painting is how it
relates to other paintings.  Although no doubt some
specialize in the interrelationship of paintings.
In 1995 a sent a longer version of my interpretation of
Leonardo da Vinci's mural than my concise online version
 www.seshat.ch/home/ls.htm  to the Warburg Institute,
they told me they were amazed at my English, it will need
few corrections, alas they can't publish my paper for I am
not really doing art history, real art history is concerned
with documents and relations of paintings to other paintings.
All my working life, nearly 36 years now, I am confronted
with such statements. The peer system is the inquisition
of the humanities. But thank Buddha and owing to my good
karma the mature years of my working life coincide with
the era of the rising Internet, so I can publish some of my
ideas online.
(Quoting the second reply)
Did you read anything about the authorship controversy?  Are
you familiar with all the evidence that Shakespeare, not
Oxford, wrote the Shakespearean plays?  If not, why not?
If why, not not? I am interested in the plays. If you are in the
possession of the truth you can interpret the plays. If you
can't, I am not interested. Talk about the plays.
You can't interpret the plays if you think they are the autombiography
of some twerp who had nothing to do with their composition.

--Bob G.
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-07 05:27:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
You can't interpret the plays if you think they are the autombiography
of some twerp who had nothing to do with their composition.
Huh? Non capisco. I understand bahnhof. And I see once
more that your are dealing in meta-statements instead
of speaking about the plays. I never could read the plays
that sailed under the name of William Shakespeare,
but now that I read them as the works of Edward de Vere
they begin to make sense. I read and interpreted seven
plays in quick succession. They are not autobiographies
but the playwright is present in them. I always wondered
why a poet of such deep psychological insight should
have kept himself away entireley from his work, now
I see that he is present in it, and most lively.
b***@nut-n-but.net
2010-04-07 11:06:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
You can't interpret the plays if you think they are the autombiography
of some twerp who had nothing to do with their composition.
Huh? Non capisco. I understand bahnhof. And I see once
more that your are dealing in meta-statements instead
of speaking about the plays. I never could read the plays
that sailed under the name of William Shakespeare,
but now that I read them as the works of Edward de Vere
they begin to make sense. I read and interpreted seven
plays in quick succession. They are not autobiographies
but the playwright is present in them. I always wondered
why a poet of such deep psychological insight should
have kept himself away entireley from his work, now
I see that he is present in it, and most lively.
You believe you understand them because you think
Oxford has something to do with them. But he doesn't.
So you don't understand them. Your insistence that
you do in the face of the facts that say your don't means
that you are insane so far as they are concerned.

--Bob G.
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-07 14:43:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
You believe you understand them because you think
Oxford has something to do with them.  But he doesn't.
So you don't understand them.  Your insistence that
you do in the face of the facts that say your don't means
that you are insane so far as they are concerned.
Bob Grumman must once have read the famous saying
by Parmenides (if memory serves)

man is the measure of all things

and have said to himself, which is Bob Grumman:
Well, 'tis true, Bob Grumman is the measure of all things.
What Bob Grumman understands does exist, what Bob
Grumman doesn't understand does not exist. And what
Bob Grumman believes is true, while everybody who
doesn't share Bob Grumman's belief is eo ipso insane.
Bob Grumman locuta, causa finita. Bob Grumman
is near almighty. Only one thing Bob Grumman can't,
speak of the plays.
nordicskiv2
2010-04-07 17:50:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
You believe you understand them because you think
Oxford has something to do with them.  But he doesn't.
So you don't understand them.  Your insistence that
you do in the face of the facts that say your don't means
that you are insane so far as they are concerned.
Bob Grumman must once have read the famous saying
by Parmenides (if memory serves)
  man is the measure of all things
I fear that memory is not serving you so well -- it was
Protagoras, I believe, who said that.
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Well, 'tis true, Bob Grumman is the measure of all things.
What Bob Grumman understands does exist, what Bob
Grumman doesn't understand does not exist. And what
Bob Grumman believes is true, while everybody who
doesn't share Bob Grumman's belief is eo ipso insane.
Bob Grumman locuta, causa finita. Bob Grumman
is near almighty. Only one thing Bob Grumman can't,
speak of the plays.
lackpurity
2010-04-07 23:46:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by b***@nut-n-but.net
You can't interpret the plays if you think they are the autombiography
of some twerp who had nothing to do with their composition.
Huh? Non capisco. I understand bahnhof. And I see once
more that your are dealing in meta-statements instead
of speaking about the plays. I never could read the plays
that sailed under the name of William Shakespeare,
but now that I read them as the works of Edward de Vere
they begin to make sense. I read and interpreted seven
plays in quick succession. They are not autobiographies
but the playwright is present in them. I always wondered
why a poet of such deep psychological insight should
have kept himself away entireley from his work, now
I see that he is present in it, and most lively.
Franz, Shakespeare is laced throughout the works. He has portrayed
himself as the Master, and even as his own disciple in the same play.
Seems you have some favoritism for Eddie de Vere, here. Shakespeare's
lofty teachings go well beyond anything of which Edward de Vere was
capable.

Michael Martin
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-09 16:31:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by lackpurity
Franz, Shakespeare is laced throughout the works. He has portrayed
himself as the Master, and even as his own disciple in the same play.
Seems you have some favoritism for Eddie de Vere, here. Shakespeare's
lofty teachings go well beyond anything of which Edward de Vere was
capable.
I still can't read the canon as the gospel of pietism,
but you are right in one aspect, I find something
Faustian in the plays and in the character of the bard,
which reminds me of two lines in the second part of
Goethe's Faust, near the end of the play

Wer immer strebend sich bemüht,
Den können wir erlösen.

Whoever striving does his best,
Him can we redeem.

A rather humanist belief, consoling, and one that
does not close the eyes before the problems in
the world. Just taking yourself out of any trouble
doesn't improve life and the world a iota, you got
to look at the world and it's dark aspects too
for achieving an improvement, as the bard did
who was very much involved with the going on's
of his time. I am now reading The Tempest,
recognizing in Prospero something of Faust,
or a combination of playwright and scientist,
and if I should arrive at an interpretation, I shall
publish it in hlas.
Peter Farey
2010-04-06 15:09:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Groves
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could
be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite
space, were it not that I have bad dreams"?
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the
thoughts of others on this.
<snip>
Post by Peter Groves
Post by Berkeley Brett
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
I think it's about his relation to Stoicism: he admires it
enormously as an ideal ("Give me the man that is not passion's
slave ...") but can't quite believe in it as a practice: if it
were true, after all, he could indeed be bounded in a nutshell
and count himself a king of infinite space, but he can't be
king of his own mind because those bad dreams represent the
irruption of something else not dreamt of in rational Stoic
philosophy and parallelled by the irruption of the ghost into
the world of Elsinore.
I hesitate to join in, given that all antistratfordians are
incapable of reading anything except through the distorting
goggles of their own fantasy, but is there any place for
Epicurianism, as presented by Lucretius, in this argument?

...and yonder, too, abides
The infinite space and the profound abyss-
Whereinto, lo, the ramparts of the world
Can yet be shivered.

(The distorting goggles in this case of course being the
atheism of which Marlowe was accused by his contemporaries,
and of which Shakespeare is accused by me.)


Peter F.
<***@rey.prestel.co.uk>
<http://www2.prestel.co.uk/rey/index.htm>
Peter Groves
2010-04-06 21:57:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Farey
Post by Peter Groves
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could
be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite
space, were it not that I have bad dreams"?
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the
thoughts of others on this.
<snip>
Post by Peter Groves
Post by Berkeley Brett
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
I think it's about his relation to Stoicism: he admires it
enormously as an ideal ("Give me the man that is not passion's
slave ...") but can't quite believe in it as a practice: if it
were true, after all, he could indeed be bounded in a nutshell
and count himself a king of infinite space, but he can't be
king of his own mind because those bad dreams represent the
irruption of something else not dreamt of in rational Stoic
philosophy and parallelled by the irruption of the ghost into
the world of Elsinore.
I hesitate to join in, given that all antistratfordians are
incapable of reading anything except through the distorting
goggles of their own fantasy,
You're right, I should have said "most". You're always an unspoken
exception to these irritated generalisations.
Post by Peter Farey
but is there any place for
Epicurianism, as presented by Lucretius, in this argument?
     ...and yonder, too, abides
     The infinite space and the profound abyss-
     Whereinto, lo, the ramparts of the world
     Can yet be shivered.
(The distorting goggles in this case of course being the
atheism of which Marlowe was accused by his contemporaries,
and of which Shakespeare is accused by me.)
Certainly: the play is about "who's [out] there?" (as well as "what
does it mean to be properly human?", a question Christians shouldn’t
need to ask), and the answers aren't very clear or comforting. Hamlet
moves away from what seems a rather thin and conventional kind of
Christianity (God has only "fixed his canon", arbitrarily, against
suicide) to a position of radical doubt ("that undiscovered country,
from whose bourn / No traveller returns”), and while he comes back to
a sort of trust in providence in the last act it's a personal choice
rather than the play's triumphant vindication of cosmological order
(compare <The Revengers' Tragedy>. Of course, being an atheist back
then wasn't something you wanted to advertise too vigorously.

Peter G.
Post by Peter Farey
Peter F.
<http://www2.prestel.co.uk/rey/index.htm>
Peter Groves
2010-04-07 07:34:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Farey
Post by Peter Groves
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could
be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite
space, were it not that I have bad dreams"?
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the
thoughts of others on this.
<snip>
Post by Peter Groves
Post by Berkeley Brett
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
I think it's about his relation to Stoicism: he admires it
enormously as an ideal ("Give me the man that is not passion's
slave ...") but can't quite believe in it as a practice: if it
were true, after all, he could indeed be bounded in a nutshell
and count himself a king of infinite space, but he can't be
king of his own mind because those bad dreams represent the
irruption of something else not dreamt of in rational Stoic
philosophy and parallelled by the irruption of the ghost into
the world of Elsinore.
I hesitate to join in, given that all antistratfordians are
incapable of reading anything except through the distorting
goggles of their own fantasy,
You're right, I should have said "most".  You're always an unspoken
exception to these irritated generalisations.
Post by Peter Farey
but is there any place for
Epicurianism, as presented by Lucretius, in this argument?
     ...and yonder, too, abides
     The infinite space and the profound abyss-
     Whereinto, lo, the ramparts of the world
     Can yet be shivered.
(The distorting goggles in this case of course being the
atheism of which Marlowe was accused by his contemporaries,
and of which Shakespeare is accused by me.)
Certainly: the play is about "who's [out] there?" (as well as "what
does it mean to be properly human?", a question Christians shouldn’t
need to ask), and the answers aren't very clear or comforting.  Hamlet
moves away from what seems a rather thin and conventional kind of
Christianity (God has only "fixed his canon", arbitrarily, against
suicide) to a position of radical doubt ("that undiscovered country,
from whose bourn / No traveller returns”), and while he comes back to
a sort of trust in providence in the last act it's a personal choice
rather than the play's triumphant vindication of cosmological order
(compare <The Revengers' Tragedy>.  Of course, being an atheist back
then wasn't something you wanted to advertise too vigorously.
Peter G.
Post by Peter Farey
Peter F.
<http://www2.prestel.co.uk/rey/index.htm>
By coincidence I've just stumbled upon this (haven't seen it yet):

Godless Shakespeare
by Eric S. Mallin

Polemic new reading of Shakespeare focusing on atheism, scepticism and
belief.

* Imprint: Continuum
* Series: Shakespeare Now!
* Pub. date: 15 Feb 2007
* ISBN: 9780826490414

144 Pages, hardcover World rights
£50.00 Add to my Catalogue Add to my basket

* Also available in: paperback

Description

Godless Shakespeare is the first book to discuss Shakespeare's plays
from an atheist perspective. Although it is clear that Shakespeare
engaged with and deployed much of his culture's broadly religious
interests - his language is shot through with biblical quotations,
priestly sermonizing and Christian imagery - Mallin argues that there
is a profound absence of or hostility to God in his plays.

Following Dante's three part structure for The Divine Comedy - Hell
represents expressions of religious faith in Shakespeare's plays,
Purgatory sets out more sceptical positions, and Heaven shows
articulations of godlessness - Mallin traces a spiritual ascent from
the unthinkingly devout to the atheistically spiritual. This
polemical, vigorous account focuses on the moral and spiritual
dilemmas of major characters, developing the often subtle transitions
between belief, scepticism and atheism. Finally, Godless Shakespeare
argues for the liberating potential of unbelief.
Table of Contents

Introduction
HELL - Religious Faith
Pericles: God's Bitch
Hamlet: Hamlet's Dark Song
Isabella: Replacement Theology
Titus: Crackers
PURGATORY- Skepticism
Antonio: Conspicuously Failed Christ Figures Named
Portia: The Profit Driven Life
Katherina: Sun, Moon, Loss of Light
Hamlet: Happy Suicide
Leontes and audience: It is Required
HEAVEN- Godlessness
Aaron: Aaron Ascendant
Macbeth: The Life to Come
Bottom: Dreams of Sex and Death
Cleopatra: Her Becomings
References
Index
Author(s)

Eric S. Mallin, Eric S. Mallin is Associate Professor of English at
the University of Texas at Austin, USA. He is the author of Inscribing
the Time: Shakespeare and the End of Elizabethan England (Berkeley: U
of California P, 1995)
Reviews

"Always intriguing, usually provocative and occasionally
infuriating, Godless Shakespeare is a brilliant meditation on
Shakespeare's ways with his characters and the systems of moral values
in which we place them. Mallin's Shakespeare is never constricted by
conventional parameters of religion and belief but instead is a
thoroughly original creator, demanding our engaged moral response to
his creations. In Mallin's excitingly heterodox cosmology, Cleopatra
and Aaron, Pericles and Isabella find themselves with unexpected
companions in the new heaven, hell and purgatory in which Mallin
arranges them. Thinking about Shakespeare and religion has never
seemed such fun."- Professor Peter Holland, Notre Dame University, USA

Professor Peter Holland, Notre Dame University,

"If Nietzsche were put in charge of Dente's afterlife, and then
asked to find appropriate places for Shakespeare's characters, the
result would be something like this. Eric Mallin's perverse and
excoriating anti-metaphysic shows just how many settled assumptions
about Shakespeare are overturned when religion in his plays is taken
seriously. Audacious and innovative, Mallin conflates renaissance
scepticism and modern atheism, scattering light and darkness equally
as he sears Christianity with a torch lit from the Christian flame." -
Professor Graham Holderness, University of Hertfordshire, UK

Professor Graham Holderness, University of Hertfordshire, UK,

"At last! An iconoclastic Shakespeare with a mind and spirit
unconstrained by orthodox religion. Eric Mallin guides us through the
undiscovered country where the bard's spirituality survives in and as
unbelief. Godless Shakespeare is beautifully written, well-conceived,
and irresistibly funny. I felt as though I were encountering the plays
for the first time." - Professor David Riggs, author of The World of
Christopher Marlowe

Professor David Riggs, author of The World of Christopher Marlowe,

"Defying recent Catholic and Protestant claims to Shakespeare's
endorsement, and challenging Stephen Greenblatt’s claim that
Renaissance atheism was merely a defensive shadow cast by
Christianity, Mallin’s wide-ranging book suggests that Shakespeare
recognized Christianity as a defense against the burdens of unbelief,
which has important values of its own. With its taxonomy of characters
into a non-religious ethical hierarchy, Godless Shakespeare jauntily
defies the conventional wisdom about a writer who himself typically
defied such wisdom." - Professor Robert Watson, UCLA, USA

Professor Robert Watson, UCLA,

"Where is Shakespeare now? This question is the brief for a new
series of short books from Continuum, an enterprising publisher trying
to break down the border between academic literary criticism and books
for the thoughtful general reader...Eric Mallan's Godless Shakespeare
helpfully reminds us that the plays are fundamentally engaged with the
art of being human and living in society, not with the different
dispensations of the Catholic and Protestant churches." - Jonathan
Bate, The Sunday Telegraph

Jonathan Bate,

“The book is both fun and funny; it is often exciting and
irreverent. Like Bruster’s and Davis’s books in the same series, it is
able to stimulate thinking with a fairly light…touch. Hearing South
Park’s Eric Cartman weigh in on the Eucharist in a mostly relevant way
was extremely pleasurable.”- Peter G. Platt, Studies in English
Literature, Spring 2008

Peter G. Platt,

"The ambitious project of the Shakespeare NOW series is to bridge
the gap between ‘scholarly thinking and a public audience’ and ‘public
audience and scholarly thinking’. Scholars are encouraged to write in
a way accessible to a general readership and readers to rise to the
challenge and not be afraid of new ideas and the adventure they offer.
There are other bridges the series is ambitious to cross: ‘formal,
political or theoretical boundaries’ – history and philosophy, theory,
and performance."
English Vol. 58, 2009

Peter G.
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-07 14:38:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Groves
Portia: The Profit Driven Life
Portia the profit driven life? According to my interpretation,
The Merchant of Venice is a concealed humanist confession,
veiled because others burned at the stake for having published
such confessions in open form. Calvinism, founded by the
'Switzer' Jean Calvin, prepared the moral grounds for capitalism.
I don't think humanism can be accused of the same. Humanism
and it's first principle - humans come before religion - is rather
the spiritual foundation of a prospering global civilization of
the future. Portia solves the dire conflict of the play, her hard
sentence for Shylock is just a way to bring him to reason,
to accept his wise liberal daughter and appoint her his lawful
heir - he can keep his money and life, as becomes clear
toward the end. In the play I found this grammatical pun

... religion,
What damned error ...

religion, what damned error

that says it all and goes along with what Nelson reports of
Edward de Vere in chapter 40 Atheism. Understanding the
plays properly is also crucial in finding out about the bard's
beliefs and convictions. In Hamlet, the king of infinite space
inside a nut-shell is also a priest or a priest-king who knows
all about the world and heaven and hell, encapsulating life
and the universe in a closed religious system inside the
metaphorical nut-shell of his skull, a cause of very bad
dreams in form of religious persecutions. The message
of the bard remains brand actual in a time when religious
fanatism raises its ugly head again, the ultimate perversion
being doctors implanting explosives in women's breasts
so that they can blow up themselves and men and women
and children around them in the name of an allegedly
merciful god, a god that is just a projection of craving power.
Peter Farey
2010-04-09 16:10:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Groves
Godless Shakespeare
by Eric S. Mallin
Thanks Peter,

My birthday is later this month, so I've put it on the list - although
my vehemently atheist elder son may well have got it for me already!


Peter F.
<***@rey.prestel.co.uk>
<http://www2.prestel.co.uk/rey/index.htm>
lackpurity
2010-04-04 04:05:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could be
bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were
it not that I have bad dreams"?
The "Bounded in a nutshell," refers to human beings. I think most
religions harmonize on the point that the human form is the "temple of
God." Being in the human form, man still has the potential to realize
the Creator. This refers to the quote "King of infinite space." It
is our own mind (bad dreams) which keep us from the infinite level of
consciousness. All worldly thoughts are like "bad dreams," viz-a-viz,
the higher planes....
Post by Berkeley Brett
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the thoughts
of others on this.
Fine.
Post by Berkeley Brett
http://www.bartleby.com/46/2/22.html
[Hamlet]: What’s the news?
[Rosencrantz]:  None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.
[Hamlet]:  Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me
question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved
at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
[Guldenstern]:  Prison, my lord?
[Hamlet]:  Denmark’s a prison.
[Rosencrantz]:  Then is the world one.
[Hamlet]:  A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.
[Rosencrantz]:  We think not so, my lord.
[Hamlet]:  Why, then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
[Rosencrantz]:  Why, then your ambition makes it one. ’Tis too narrow
for your mind.
[Hamlet]:  O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
[Guldenstern]:  Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
[Hamlet]:  A dream itself is but a shadow.
[Rosencrantz]:  Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.
[Hamlet]:  Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
outstretch’d heroes the beggar’s shadows. Shall we to the court? for,
by my fay, I cannot reason.
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
--
Brett (in Berkeley, California, USA)http://www.ForeverFunds.org/
A plan to ERASE poverty from the World
Michael Martin
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-05 08:30:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could be
bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were
it not that I have bad dreams"?
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the thoughts
of others on this.
http://www.bartleby.com/46/2/22.html
[Hamlet]: What’s the news?
[Rosencrantz]:  None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.
[Hamlet]:  Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me
question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved
at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
[Guldenstern]:  Prison, my lord?
[Hamlet]:  Denmark’s a prison.
[Rosencrantz]:  Then is the world one.
[Hamlet]:  A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.
[Rosencrantz]:  We think not so, my lord.
[Hamlet]:  Why, then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
[Rosencrantz]:  Why, then your ambition makes it one. ’Tis too narrow
for your mind.
[Hamlet]:  O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
[Guldenstern]:  Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
[Hamlet]:  A dream itself is but a shadow.
[Rosencrantz]:  Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.
[Hamlet]:  Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
outstretch’d heroes the beggar’s shadows. Shall we to the court? for,
by my fay, I cannot reason.
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2

O God, I would be bounded in a nutshell,
and count myself a king of infinite space,
were it not that I have bad dreams.

What is that mysterious nut-shell? A walnut resembles
the human brain, and so the nut-shell may symbolize the
human skull, small compared to the world, and yet we
behold the world with our eyes and apprehend it with our
mind, with our brain embedded in the skull, "in god-like
manner" the bard says in the play. And what may the king
be? A priest, a philosopher, a doctor, a lawyer, a politician,
everyone defining the world and exerting power within
a religious or philosophical or any other doctrine, even
our conscious mind trained in such doctrines. And what
may the bad dreams be? The inevitable problems that
arise at the margin of every closed system. You may
believe in a good and almighty God, but how can he be
good if he allows all that suffering, and why doesn't an
almighty God end all that pain? Act 4 Scene 5, Laertes
witnessing the suffering of his dear sister Ophelia

Do you see that, O God?

Develop any philosophical system and you encounter
paradoxa at the margin, even when relying on the pure
logic of mathematics, consider the Cretan who says
all Cretans are liars. Hamlet is drawn into the feudal
system of beliefs and rules, another closed system,
and this starts the tragedy.

If there is a subtext in the play, then the message
that closed systems should be avoided, in any realm,
religion, philosophy, science, politics, law, even logic.
Mathematical logic is based on the forumla

a = a

while Goethe, an admirer of the bard, formulated
the wider logic of art, life an nature

All is equal, all unequal ...

and in the play we find these famous lines, Act 1
Scene 5

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Sigmund Freud (re)discovered the unconscious
(Unbewusstes), he spoke of the return of the repressed
(Wiederkehr des Verdrängten) that becomes manifest
in dreams and symptoms, and he said that we are not
lord in our own house (Herr im eigenen Haus) - king of
our nut-shell, as it were. The bard anticipated Freud
who found confirmation in the play.
Franz Gnaedinger
2010-04-05 09:29:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2
  O God, I would be bounded in a nutshell,
  and count myself a king of infinite space,
  were it not that I have bad dreams.
What is that mysterious nut-shell? A walnut resembles
the human brain, and so the nut-shell may symbolize the
human skull, small compared to the world, and yet we
behold the world with our eyes and apprehend it with our
mind, with our brain embedded in the skull, "in god-like
manner" the bard says in the play. And what may the king
be? A priest, a philosopher, a doctor, a lawyer, a politician,
everyone defining the world and exerting power within
a religious or philosophical or any other doctrine, even
our conscious mind trained in such doctrines. And what
may the bad dreams be? The inevitable problems that
arise at the margin of every closed system. You may
believe in a good and almighty God, but how can he be
good if he allows all that suffering, and why doesn't an
almighty God end all that pain? Act 4 Scene 5, Laertes
witnessing the suffering of his dear sister Ophelia
  Do you see that, O God?
Develop any philosophical system and you encounter
paradoxa at the margin, even when relying on the pure
logic of mathematics, consider the Cretan who says
all Cretans are liars. Hamlet is drawn into the feudal
system of beliefs and rules, another closed system,
and this starts the tragedy.
If there is a subtext in the play, then the message
that closed systems should be avoided, in any realm,
religion, philosophy, science, politics, law, even logic.
Mathematical logic is based on the forumla
  a = a
while Goethe, an admirer of the bard, formulated
the wider logic of art, life an nature
  All is equal, all unequal ...
and in the play we find these famous lines, Act 1
Scene 5
  There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
  Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Sigmund Freud (re)discovered the unconscious
(Unbewusstes), he spoke of the return of the repressed
(Wiederkehr des Verdrängten) that becomes manifest
in dreams and symptoms, and he said that we are not
lord in our own house (Herr im eigenen Haus) - king of
our nut-shell, as it were. The bard anticipated Freud
who found confirmation in the play.
The dream dialogue in Hamlet may be understood
as follows. We behold the world with our eyes and
apprehend it with our mind "in god-like manner."
By night, when we close our eyes and sleep, we
may dream. Our dreams are but shadows of the
real world we see by day. Now the word dream
also has the meaning of something we desire,
a vision, as in the case of the famous dream
of Martin Luther King. Ambition, the bard says,
is the shadow of such a dream. By equating both
dreams, the shadow of the world and the sun of
our ambition (also in this anticipating Freud),
he comes to the conclusion that ambition is the
shadow of a shadow. Now the world, in the view
of the ancient ones - a belief still cherished in the
Renaissance - is the macrocosmos, while the
living body is a microcosmos, a mirror image
of the world, yet while the world is self-sufficient
we are depending in many ways, and so we are
not really mirror images of the universe but
shadows - the body is a beggar, the bard says,
full of desires, and desire is expressed in dreams,
so we have the world, below it shadow and dream
and body. Now the shadow of a dream is ambition,
as explained above. The fiercest ambition lives
in a king, so the king is the shadow of a beggar ...
What is highest becomes lowest, everyday logic
doesn't work anymore, the conscious mind fails,
something else takes over, and if it is madness
then it has nevertheless method, as another
famous line of the play states. Freud found in
the unconscious another logic that he could
formulate owing to his studies of dreams.

Mathematical logic says a = a while Goethe,
another source of Freud, formulated a wider
logic with his world formula, his ever turning key
(a remark in the diary of his Italian journey)

all is equal, all unequal

a formula that doesn't dissolve logic but allowed
Goethe to formulate his wonderful metamorphoses
of plants and animals: one single element is varied
within the body of plant or animal or human being
(a modern confirmation of the metamorphosis
of plants is found for example in Stephen Jay Gould,
The Structure of Evolutionary Theory). Goethe's
work helped prepare the way for evolution, for our
understanding of evolution, that is. And what we
comprehend so far is only a first step, while those
who turned Darwin's model of gradual evolution
into a closed system conjured the bad dream
that plagued the 20th century, breeding a higher
race by eliminating underhumans.

The paradox of the Cretan who calls all Cretans
liars, famous in antiquity, was formulated in a more
demanding way by Kurt Gödel in his theorem of the
incompleteness of axiomatic systems in mathematics.
It shook up the very foundations of mathematics but
didn't leave us without hope, on the contrary, it brings
back intuition into a field of stern logic - formulating
new mathematical ideas can't be done in an dogmatic
way, it requires intuition, almost the mind of an artist.

Every closed system in religion and philosophy
and science and politics and law that claims to have
tamed the irrational and dissolved the unknown will
produce 'bad dreams' and be bound to fail sooner
or later, also feudalism, another conglomerate of
beliefs and rules, another closed system, and one
the Earl of Oxford was a part of and participated in
- one of those "wolfish earls" who are so numerous
in the plays Walt Whitman remarked - and yet he saw
beyond.
b***@yahoo.com
2010-04-05 20:05:07 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2 Apr 2010 04:16:02 -0700 (PDT), Berkeley Brett
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could be
bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were
it not that I have bad dreams"?
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the thoughts
of others on this.
http://www.bartleby.com/46/2/22.html
[Hamlet]: What’s the news?
[Rosencrantz]: None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.
[Hamlet]: Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me
question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved
at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
[Guldenstern]: Prison, my lord?
[Hamlet]: Denmark’s a prison.
[Rosencrantz]: Then is the world one.
[Hamlet]: A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.
[Rosencrantz]: We think not so, my lord.
[Hamlet]: Why, then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
[Rosencrantz]: Why, then your ambition makes it one. ’Tis too narrow
for your mind.
[Hamlet]: O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
[Guldenstern]: Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
[Hamlet]: A dream itself is but a shadow.
[Rosencrantz]: Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.
[Hamlet]: Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
outstretch’d heroes the beggar’s shadows. Shall we to the court? for,
by my fay, I cannot reason.
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
It occurs to me that "bounded in a nutshell" may play on an image of
Queen Mab, who's chariot was the shell of a hazel-nut. To make a
connection with what's going on in Hamlet might require looking at
Romeo's Queen Mab speech, which seems rather Hamlet-like to me.

(quote)
O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone (60)
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep;
Her wagon-spokes made of long spiders' legs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers, (65)
The traces of the smallest spider's web,
The collars of the moonshine's watery beams,
Her whip of cricket's bone, the lash of film,
Her wagoner a small grey-coated gnat,
Not so big as a round little worm (70)
Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid;
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o' mind the fairies' coachmakers.
And in this state she gallops night by night... (1.4.58-100)
(unquote)

Reference to "a round little worm/ Pricked from the finger of a maid;"
sounds evil. Where did he get that?

Possibly involved are Queen Mab's attributes, "described as a
miniature creature who drives her chariot into the noses and to the
brains of sleeping people to compel them to experience dreams of
wish-fulfillment. She would also bring the plague in some occasions.
She is also described as a midwife to help sleepers 'give birth' to
their dreams."

Here's what Sparknotes says about the significance of the Queen Mab
speech in evaluating RJ.

(quote)
Shakespeare includes numerous speeches and scenes in Romeo and Juliet
that hint at alternative ways to evaluate the play. Shakespeare uses
two main devices in this regard: Mercutio and servants. Mercutio
consistently skewers the viewpoints of all the other characters in
play: he sees Romeo’s devotion to love as a sort of blindness that
robs Romeo from himself; similarly, he sees Tybalt’s devotion to honor
as blind and stupid. His punning and the Queen Mab speech can be
interpreted as undercutting virtually every passion evident in the
play. Mercutio serves as a critic of the delusions of righteousness
and grandeur held by the characters around him.
(unquote)

There seems to be quite an archetype that developed about Queen Mab,
who appears in some important English poetry through the 19th century,
especially Shelly, where she's a time-traveler.

See the site at
http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/romeoandjuliet/romeoqueenmab.html

I wonder about applying what a character said to someone else in
another play by the same author; but I do like the possibility of
applying what's said in a play at some point as a way to interpret it.

Another occurrence of "nutshell" in the canon is strange. From OED:
1610 SHAKES. Temp. I. i. 50 I'le warrant him for drowning, though
the Ship were no stronger then a Nutt-shell.

bookburn
r***@gmail.com
2020-05-14 03:01:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could be
bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were
it not that I have bad dreams"?
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the thoughts
of others on this.
http://www.bartleby.com/46/2/22.html
[Hamlet]: What’s the news?
[Rosencrantz]: None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.
[Hamlet]: Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me
question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved
at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
[Guldenstern]: Prison, my lord?
[Hamlet]: Denmark’s a prison.
[Rosencrantz]: Then is the world one.
[Hamlet]: A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.
[Rosencrantz]: We think not so, my lord.
[Hamlet]: Why, then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
[Rosencrantz]: Why, then your ambition makes it one. ’Tis too narrow
for your mind.
[Hamlet]: O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
[Guldenstern]: Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
[Hamlet]: A dream itself is but a shadow.
[Rosencrantz]: Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.
[Hamlet]: Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
outstretch’d heroes the beggar’s shadows. Shall we to the court? for,
by my fay, I cannot reason.
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
--
Brett (in Berkeley, California, USA)
http://www.ForeverFunds.org/
A plan to ERASE poverty from the World
I think a plain reading of his comment in context is his perception that the gross immorality of Denmark makes it a prison. (He welcomes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to the prison of Denmark.) Since he is plagued by the seeping immorality involving the murder of his father the king, Denmark is rotten and Hamlet who studied in Wittenberg, believes that the limit to the infinite nature of man's mind, he possesses an infinity--which is destroyed for him by the rancor.
Donald Cameron
2020-05-14 11:00:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by Berkeley Brett
What do you suppose Hamlet meant when he said, "Oh God, I could be
bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were
it not that I have bad dreams"?
I have my own sense of what he meant, but I'd like to get the thoughts
of others on this.
http://www.bartleby.com/46/2/22.html
[Hamlet]: What’s the news?
[Rosencrantz]: None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.
[Hamlet]: Then is doomsday near. But your news is not true. Let me
question more in particular. What have you, my good friends, deserved
at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?
[Guldenstern]: Prison, my lord?
[Hamlet]: Denmark’s a prison.
[Rosencrantz]: Then is the world one.
[Hamlet]: A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.
[Rosencrantz]: We think not so, my lord.
[Hamlet]: Why, then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either
good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
[Rosencrantz]: Why, then your ambition makes it one. ’Tis too narrow
for your mind.
[Hamlet]: O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.
[Guldenstern]: Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
[Hamlet]: A dream itself is but a shadow.
[Rosencrantz]: Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.
[Hamlet]: Then are our beggars bodies, and our monarchs and
outstretch’d heroes the beggar’s shadows. Shall we to the court? for,
by my fay, I cannot reason.
Thank you for any thoughts you might have on this....
--
Brett (in Berkeley, California, USA)
http://www.ForeverFunds.org/
A plan to ERASE poverty from the World
I think a plain reading of his comment in context is his perception that the gross immorality of Denmark makes it a prison. (He welcomes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to the prison of Denmark.) Since he is plagued by the seeping immorality involving the murder of his father the king, Denmark is rotten and Hamlet who studied in Wittenberg, believes that the limit to the infinite nature of man's mind, he possesses an infinity--which is destroyed for him by the rancor.
I like the concept of "conscience" at odds with "revenge" in the play,
which Shakespeare illuminates ingeniously at this point. See a good
exposition of "conscience" at
https://www.ukessays.com/essays/english-literature/the-role-of-conscience-in-hamlet-english-literature-essay.php

The Wittenburg aspect of Hamlet's concept of conscience might reflect
the predicament of man, that having "eaten of the fruit of the tree of
the knowledge of good and evil," he must sort out good and evil with
conscience as his guide, etc.. AIUI, Luther in about 1521, said
something like what is quoted now, that " For Luther, conscience is
the place where the law, death, and the devil encounter the human
being and drive him into despair."

A contemporary consideration, AIUI, is said to have been that royalty
was concerned about blood feuds, revenge, and dueling, and Elisabeth
and James spoke publicly about this. See an exposition about this at
https://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/culture/literature-and-creative-writing/literature/hamlet-and-elizabethan-england

So it is that my explication of the lines seems to require more than
"plain reading." Interesting that T. S. Eliiot in Sacred Wood says
that Hamlet's predicament poses a problem that was beyond Shakespeare.
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