Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hamlet's - o t h e r - monologue

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Its spell is only in its diction, not in its content -- disappointing both for those who read it in translation and for those who expect to hear a truly wise word from the West's greatest* poet.



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Meaning:

We can't choose our origin, and so we can't be held accountable for some defects of ours which may have been inherited.

However, sometimes a defect of this kind grows and ends up breaking down the restraints that reason would place on our behaviour.

This way, a single defect may become so prominent that in people's views it outweighs even the greatest virtues, the most brilliant achievements.

Notice that nobody anymore understands "the dram of eale Doth all the noble substance of a doubt...." As far as I know there is no consensus on a probable interpretation either.

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Try to see the extended syntactic span of this monologue. The long quote is all one sentence, as if it were a rubber band that is being pulled tight and tighter until it snaps shut at
"Shall in the general censure take corruption from that particular fault."
This now sounds so dogmatically solemn, as if Shakespeare or Hamlet had suddenly turned into legislators of the Roma locuta kind. I think however that  in Shakespeare's time "shall" was simply a future tense.


Long sentences are a dime a dozen, but never strung up so neatly as to put the reader in a bind.



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Quote "the West's greatest* poet"


Is he not its greatest?
Who else is there?
Dante, who seems parochial in comparison, and
Goethe, well, let's say ...  a tad too special. :-(

Those of the Bible: I am not sure they are still available in the languages they were originally written in, known to very few people, and the Bible was not written in the West.


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