Hamlet Versus Christ

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Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 05:21 pm
Hamlet represents, for me, the vortex made possible by continual self-subversion. Hamlet is a whirlpool of self-consciousness and negative capability (see that thread for more.) "Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so." "I could be bound in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space." "Words, words, words." "It is a question left us yet to prove, whether love lead fortune or else fortune love."

Jesus represents for me the man of mystic truth. "The kingdom of God is within you." "I and my father are one." "Before Abraham was, I am." "I am the truth, the way, the light." "I am the alpha and omega, the beginning and end." "The eyes are the windows of the soul." "God is a spirit, and wants to be worshiped in spirit and in truth..."

I see these two literary characters as good examples of the two philosophical positions I personally find most exciting and convincing. Hamlet is endless first-philosophy. Jesus connects to Plato and Pythagoras. Hamlet creates and destroys "truth" constantly. Jesus has discovered or is the truth. Hamlet as vortex, becoming, process. Jesus as stasis, being, transcendence.

Any thoughts?

---------- Post added 02-21-2010 at 06:50 PM ----------

 
sometime sun
 
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 06:09 pm
@Reconstructo,
'...I have heard
That guilty creatures, sitting at a play
Have by their very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul that presently
They have proclaimed their malefactions:
...The plays the thing.
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King' (act II scene ii)

We must be human we must live in order to learn to be as God.
at least trying not to plroclaim.

Must we live to learn how to die?

A fool, the audience, a mocker, the mocked, a crowd pleaser, the patron.
A servant before we can be a King.

'Hamlet versus Christ', why must we be against to hold ourselves up?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 06:17 pm
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;130860 wrote:


A fool, the audience, a mocker, the mocked, a crowd pleaser, the patron.
A servant before we can be a King.

'Hamlet versus Christ', why must we be against to hold ourselves up?


I feel like both Hamlet and Christ. Of course Hamlet-as-Vortex is going to have his Christ-fevers.
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 06:27 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;130864 wrote:
I feel like both Hamlet and Christ.

Best to feel like both while we still have the oportunity.

I feel like Superman and Lex Luthor, each one knowing they have the bigger right of way, the better story to tell, yet only Lex is trying to prove something. (joke, sort of)
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 09:05 pm
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;130865 wrote:
Best to feel like both while we still have the oportunity.

I feel like Superman and Lex Luthor, each one knowing they have the bigger right of way, the better story to tell, yet only Lex is trying to prove something. (joke, sort of)


I like this. Joyce split his God/Shakespeare character into two warring sons. The word doubt comes from the word for two. It's the old 1-2. A unity that sometimes plays at duality?
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 11:14 pm
@Reconstructo,
My focus with Hamlet always goes back to the question of whether he was actually mad or just pretending to be mad. Was there method to his madness? As you likely know in the original Danish legend of Amleth, the young prince pretended to be a crazy fool so that he would appear harmless to the usurping fratricidal uncle. Once he was old enough Amleth slaughtered his uncle reclaimed the throne. Shakespeare's Hamlet is different in many ways from Amleth but the general plot points and characters are all there. Elizabethean England would have known the Danish legend and would have gone to the play expecting to see the story of a sane man pretending to be mad in order to exact revenge. So I focus on Hamlet's cleverness at faking madness and does that cleverness slip over into true madness?

When I think of Jesus I often have a similar focus. Was he mad? Did he really believe he was the son of God come to die for the sins of the world? Or was he just trying to change the world? I focus on Jesus' cleverness at playing the messiah and does that cleverness slip over into the truly messianic?

Not that I mind, but why is this in epistemology?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 12:55 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;130892 wrote:
My focus with Hamlet always goes back to the question of whether he was actually mad or just pretending to be mad. Was there method to his madness? As you likely know in the original Danish legend of Amleth, the young prince pretended to be a crazy fool so that he would appear harmless to the usurping fratricidal uncle. Once he was old enough Amleth slaughtered his uncle reclaimed the throne. Shakespeare's Hamlet is different in many ways from Amleth but the general plot points and characters are all there. Elizabethean England would have known the Danish legend and would have gone to the play expecting to see the story of a sane man pretending to be mad in order to exact revenge. So I focus on Hamlet's cleverness at faking madness and does that cleverness slip over into true madness?

I must admit that Bloom's version of Hamlet is the one I was focused on and also that this Hamlet is a creative (mis)reading. Especially because we have only the text and not the music/movement of the actors, I experience the text as demanding the risk of a misreading.
Does Shakespeare subvert the Revenge Play? You may know this, but Shakespeare's first and only son was named Hamnet. He died at 11. Do you know that part of Joyce's Ulysess? Joyce's conspiracy theory concerning Hamlet and Hamnet. (Shakespeare probably acted the part of the ghost.)
Bloom thinks Shakespeare remains high tech. Considering Falstaff, Hamlet, Edmund, Iago, others I'm leaving out, I believe him. His characters show a leap of self-consciousness. Some of Hamlet's lines seem like proto-Finnegans Wake. Hawks and Handsaws. Nutshells containing infinite space. (The head of the dreamer H.C.E.). Nietzsche tackled Hamlet in the Birth of Tragedy, as perhaps you know. Hamlet is a theme to riff on. He's a prince in black, an arrogant murderous detached melodramatic self-entertainer. He plays at being in a revenge play. But all this is creative misreading perhaps.

---------- Post added 02-22-2010 at 02:03 AM ----------

Deckard;130892 wrote:

When I think of Jesus I often have a similar focus. Was he mad? Did he really believe he was the son of God come to die for the sins of the world? Or was he just trying to change the world? I focus on Jesus' cleverness at playing the messiah and does that cleverness slip over into the truly messianic?


Which brings me to Jesus.I feel that Christ must be assemble by the reader. I simply can't accept the same character saying those often contradictory lines. I don't know what the current theory is, but I've read that his historical existence is doubt-able. For me, the Gospels seem like a clumsy masterpiece. How strange and fascinating that there are four! I mean that four were allowed in the canon. Four winds. Four bedposts. The cross. Jung talks of this, as if there were an archetype for fours. I'm not 100% convinced but I do feel something about crosses and squares and so on. (Not all-sober: forgive the digression).

I guess then there's no answer for me as to whether Jesus was mad or not. For me, he is the prophet poet magic man from Nazareth. He tosses off some great lines, some of the very best. "Before Abraham was, I am." Now that is a brilliant use of grammar, a minimal mystical poem. Who knows? Is the translator as responsible for its resonance as the author?

I think whether he believed or not would make him one of two quite different characters. If one made two movies, one for each hypothesis --how different they would be. This made me think of Wise Blood. Maybe you've seen it. If not, you should check out this clip. The actor went on to play Doc in Deadwood.
YouTube - Wise Blood 3

---------- Post added 02-22-2010 at 02:10 AM ----------

Deckard;130892 wrote:

Not that I mind, but why is this in epistemology?


I see the Jesus-type as someone who is firm in the truth. He just has it, this knowledge thing. In fact, He is the truth.

I see the Hamlet as a first philosopher, an ironist. He is the impossibility of closure, continual self-subversion. I suppose that Hamlet and Christ could serve as polar epistemological opposites. But only by my eccentric reading of them perhaps.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 01:19 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;130907 wrote:
But all this is creative misreading perhaps.


I don't think there is one reading of Hamlet that renders all other readings misreadings. The greatness of a work of art is often directly proportional to the number of readings it has. The author isn't dead (though it was clever for Barthes to say so); nevertheless, the reader is very much alive. Whatever can be said can be understood in many ways, where one cannot speak one must pass over in silence but that second part is tautological and superfluous (or perhaps it is unclear).

Here are some semi-rhetorical questions: Do you think that the exoteric is a misreading when compared to the esoteric? Is this the difference between high art and low art? The secrets Shakespeare kept about the personal meaning of Hamlet are they true meaning of Hamlet? Did Paul make something untrue out of the life of Jesus?

Yet at the same time I don't want to undervalue the esoteric to spare the feelings of the exoteric, nor high art for the feelings of the low, nor the original meaning for the feelings of the many meanings that this original gave birth to.

Nor do I want to undervalue my own personal reading in some sychophantic deference to the original.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 01:35 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;130917 wrote:
I don't think there is one reading of Hamlet that renders all other readings misreadings. The greatness of a work of art is often directly proportional to the number of readings it has. The author isn't dead (though it was clever for Barthes to say so); nevertheless, the reader is very much alive. Whatever can be said can be understood in many ways, where one cannot speak one must pass over in silence but that second part is tautological and superfluous (or perhaps it is unclear).

Great post. Yes, great art often is great by means of its suggestiveness. It's blurriness. Author as dead was hip. I couldn't help but enjoy it. Tried to feel my way into it. Maybe I did. But all and all I doubted. Indeed, the reader is alive. And a reader is always already a director. For written words are the score, not the music. Always the reader adds music, and often quasi-visual content.
Yes, text always requires interpretation. Always. But sometimes this interpretation is so banal it goes unnoticed. A lack of self-consciousness. An absorption in the object that forgets that the "object" is a synthesis of subject and object.
Yes, that last part is tautologous. It's funny but I never noticed that till you said it in another post. I automatically translated it into what I thought it should mean. An accidental misreading. Not my favorite kind. Wittgenstein and Cage? Silence as the perfect music. Nothingness as the ideal sculpture. What is cleaner than non-being? Wittgenstein as Mr. Clean? He was a sex-crazed man. A lover of violent movies. A beater of children. A suicidal heroic soldier. Wrote the TLP in the trenches? Austere engineer. What does his homo-eroticism possibly have to do with it all? The inner female and linguistic-social-practice holism.
Perhaps unclear. Certainly poetic. Sort of an anti-mystic as Heidegger was the ultimate negative theologian. (More creative misreadings? I almost started a thread called In Praise of Misreading but I created these two instead...)
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 01:44 am
@Reconstructo,
Here's a quip: Hamlet and Jesus were both obsessed with their dead fathers.
Reconstructo;130921 wrote:
What does his homo-eroticism possibly have to do with it all? The inner female and linguistic-social-practice holism.

Here's another quip: I'm pretty sure Wittgenstein was a topper but that didn't make him any less of a fag.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 01:47 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;130926 wrote:

Here's another quip: I'm pretty sure Wittgenstein was a topper but that didn't make him any less of a fag.


Depends if you ask an ancient Greek or a modern Texan?

---------- Post added 02-22-2010 at 02:49 AM ----------

Deckard;130926 wrote:
Here's a quip: Hamlet and Jesus were both obsessed with their dead fathers.

That's a good one, D. Here's a nice little painting.

At the school, Wittgenstein spoke in an upper-class accent, with a slight stutter, wore very elegant clothes, and was highly sensitive and extremely unsociable. It was one of his idiosyncrasies to use the formal form of address with his classmates and to aggressively demand that they too (with the exception of a single acquaintance) address him formally, with "Sie" and "Herr Ludwig".
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 02:09 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;130927 wrote:
Depends if you ask an ancient Greek or a modern Texan?

That's a good one, D. Here's a nice little painting.

At the school, Wittgenstein spoke in an upper-class accent, with a slight stutter, wore very elegant clothes, and was highly sensitive and extremely unsociable. It was one of his idiosyncrasies to use the formal form of address with his classmates and to aggressively demand that they too (with the exception of a single acquaintance) address him formally, with "Sie" and "Herr Ludwig".


Who knows maybe he was a bottom. I think I read in Cosmo that wo/men in positions of power are often submissive in the bedroom. I want to say it doesn't matter but I think that may be PC conditioning. His homosexuality does sort of cast a shadow on his work. I'm more orientated towards heterosexuality but back "in college" I wasn't so sure so I have an understanding of some of these things. It is willful ignorance to say there isn't a difference between top and bottom or straight and gay for that matter (two very different dichotomies). Yet all of these are human and share a common human language. So perhaps it does not matter and I was exaggerating the shadow that W's orientation cast upon his work? But then again, the mania for clarity, for a common language? Could that have been born of the alienation that comes with being different from the other guys? Was it all an attempt to "only connect" as Forester put it? Newton? Kant? Nietzsche? Turing?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 02:32 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;130935 wrote:
Who knows maybe he was a bottom. I think I read in Cosmo that wo/men in positions of power are often submissive in the bedroom. I want to say it doesn't matter but I think that may be PC conditioning. His homosexuality does sort of does cast a shadow on his work. I'm more orientated towards heterosexuality but back "in college" I wasn't so sure so I have an understanding of some of these things. It is willful ignorance to say there isn't a difference between top and bottom or straight and gay for that matter. Yet all of these are human and share a common human language. So perhaps it does not matter and I was exaggerating the shadow that W's orientation cast upon his work? But then again, the mania for clarity, for a common language? Could that have been born of the alienation that comes with being different from the other guys? Was it all an attempt to "only connect" as Forester put it? Newton? Kant? Nietzsche? Turing?


Nietzsche had that line about one's sexuality extending to the heights of one's spirit. A female elephant would know. To background my prejudice in either direction, I must say that I find Jung convincing on the Anima archetype. Also considered sex-psyche important for various reasons. <--Not exactly a model of clarity, or is it?
I suspect in my prejudice toward holism that sex and spirit are a spectrum. Male chimps take feminine sex-position to salute the dom. Is this the source of the taboo on bottoming? Is this the core of misogyny or at least of chauvinism? What does the penis symbolize, beyond its biological presence?
Kojeve said the master is master because he is willing to risk his given-being, his biological life for recognition as master. Or for honor. Man as master as negative sign. The spiritual penis as negation. Of course Kojeve sees Man as Time and Time as the negation of Space. Then we have the personal pronoun "I" which is visually phallic. Also the number 1. I = 1. Of course the 0 is a nice complement to this 1. Is it just a coincidence that binary code is an orgy?
The TLP will can cut your fingers with its right angles. Is the style alone a sort of "spirit porn?" Is the Overman Nietzsche's sexual-spiritual fantasy?
On the other hand Truth is a Woman. But then he was rough with Truth.
I find myself more sympathetic to bisexual orientations than to unalloyed male homosexuality. But that's just aesthetics. I'm kind to the kind. Also, I seen if not always participated in some dirty days. Settled down, I still endorse an alchemy of the imagination. 13 years of commitment will do that. And then Jung makes it sound like a gold mine. (I'm no hard core Jungian but his critics seem to smear him.) Anyway, it makes sense that a psyche rich in "feminine"/submissive eroticism will offer up paintings of the alpha, of dominance. Linguistic philosophy has so often been a power play. An impressive power play.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 03:14 am
@Reconstructo,
I'm a fan of both Lacan and Foucault though not really a friend of Dorothy; I was always disappointed when she wanted to be "just friends"; I would rather be the wizard than those waiving goodbye as she floated away in the wizard's balloon. Foucault's work is terribly boring to read but I've always liked what I understood of his sexual politics. Foucault is the radical freedom to shape ones self or at the very least to recognize that ones self has been shaped: socially constructed; and once that much is recognized then there is the possibility of changing it; of being power also rather than just knowledge. I think of Lacan as Foucault's opposite somehow. Lacan (as far as my superficial understanding goes) advocated getting down to the core desire as something that is Real and thus (by Lacan's definition) beyond symbolism and the structures of symbolism - even if that core desire turns out to be disappointing (thus courage is required). Lacan/Foucault: a dichotomy? But this is all extremely superficial for whereas Foucault is often too boring to read, Lacan is often too inscrutable to understand - the difference between a mother and a father? But now I will take advantage of a very subjective and thus rather inscrutable synchronicity: it is also the difference between Hamlet and Christ; between the goal of revenge and the goal of crucifixion. What does it mean to be a man and know it?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 03:38 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;130953 wrote:
I'm a fan of both Lacan and Foucault though not really a friend of Dorothy; I was always disappointed when she wanted to be "just friends"; I would rather be the wizard than those waiving goodbye as she floated away in the wizard's balloon. Foucault's work is terribly boring to read but I've always liked what I understood of his sexual politics. Foucault is the radical freedom to shape ones self or at the very least to recognize that ones self has been shaped: socially constructed; and once that much is recognized then there is the possibility of changing it; of being power also rather than just knowledge. I think of Lacan as Foucault's opposite somehow. Lacan (as far as my superficial understanding goes) advocated getting down to the core desire as something that is Real and thus (by Lacan's definition) beyond symbolism and the structures of symbolism - even if that core desire turns out to be disappointing (thus courage is required). Lacan/Foucault: a dichotomy? But this is all extremely superficial for whereas Foucault is often too boring to read, Lacan is often too inscrutable to understand - the difference between a mother and a father? But now I will take advantage of a very subjective and thus rather inscrutable synchronicity: it is also the difference between Hamlet and Christ; between the goal of revenge and the goal of crucifixion. What does it mean to be a man and know it?


I was rusty on W of Oz. I didn't know all that had been made of it on this issue.
I've read more about Foucault than I have Foucault, because he is boring. I do like the theme of radical freedom, self-creation. Foucault as an eccentric continuation of Nietzsche? I'm no expert as he's never grabbed me.
I get my Lacan mostly through Zizek, so I don't know how much of that is Lacan and not Zizek. I read a Lacan bio and it didn't much stir me. Also I don't like his face. I do like his Real. I suspect he is often full of crap, but not always. The concept of symbolic castration might tie into the revenge/crucifiction pair. To enter the realm of the symbolic, the real phallus must be tame, clipped, inhibited? Crucifixion as the price of revenge?

The idea that all men are one man. To kill another is to kill oneself. To save another is to save one's self. Of course it would only have a limited mythological "truth." God causes his rain to fall on the just and unjust. (Because he knows that time and chance has shaped them? That they are the exact same clay shaped differently and baked in different ovens?)

Mom says Be All You Can Be. Dad says Face Reality. "He died with his wounds in the front." The General in MacBeth doesn't mind that his son is dead, considering the position of his wounds. Doesn't care in the least.

I work with a flaming gay guy and he's an example of someone who totally rejects the Male Duty/Privilege. Perhaps homophobia is the cognitive dissonance involved in perceiving this rejection. To be a "Man" is a spiritual endeavor. Transcends traditional biology? (An absolute biology would address the totality of life?)
 
Krumple
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 06:15 am
@Reconstructo,
Hamlet vs Christ.

Well I believe hamlet is probably the real thing and Jesus is made up. Hamlet is far more believable character than the Jesus character. Since both are literary characters that are fictitious, I would have to go with Hamlet.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 07:35 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;130983 wrote:
Hamlet vs Christ.

Well I believe hamlet is probably the real thing and Jesus is made up. Hamlet is far more believable character than the Jesus character. Since both are literary characters that are fictitious, I would have to go with Hamlet.


Yes, Hamlet is more believable. I suspect the Christ character is the work of several hands with different intentions. I've got my own vague notion of the Christ character: he's a mystic ironist. He is the truth. Where is Hamlet always only was the truth. If Jesus is a 1, erect and eternal, then Hamlet is a 0. (Zero) Hamlet is Uroboros?
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 07:45 pm
@Reconstructo,
The hole holds all the power.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 10:18 pm
@Reconstructo,
The hole in the soul is the goal of the mole.

---------- Post added 02-22-2010 at 11:19 PM ----------

Gaping at stars, we trip on rats.

---------- Post added 02-22-2010 at 11:24 PM ----------

Hamlet as a rotting pile of memes, a prokaryote.

---------- Post added 02-22-2010 at 11:32 PM ----------

Incipitient Onanismo. Jesus as a charged meme, a viral representation. Jesus is a spirit is an emotion is faith is axiomatic splendor machine grin. Jesus am, bro. Ain't no outside to Jesus. The one-sided Real is grand. Like a multivitamin, Jesus is A to Z.

Jesus is the state of mind of anyone who k(no)ws. Jesus is eternal delight (Blake on Blake), libidinal/numinous, +, "yes." Jesus is happy Space, eager extension. Hamlet is time-as-hole, spaghetti-inspired juxtaposition of pit vipers, the wind in the trees.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2010 01:23 am
@Reconstructo,
I can imagine a Becket type play with Jesus and Hamlet having some long philosophical conversation. Naturally Jesus would be trying to save Hamlet and Hamlet would be deflecting him with various ironic responses to avoid that final decision. Probably it would end where it began. I'd call it "Waiting for Hamlet"
 
 

 
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