Author Topic: Shakespeare and his suicides characters  (Read 3884 times)

DORADA

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Shakespeare and his suicides characters
« on: January 12, 2009, 07:28:53 am »
Shakespeare and the suicide as the ideal easy solution to the problems of his characters
hamlet, Romeo y Julieta, Lady Machbeth el Rey Lear, the public accept the suicide but his public  is christian in that age

Payne

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Re: Shakespeare and his suicides characters
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 02:34:44 pm »
I don't think Shakespeare ever made suicide the easy option. It was always attended with severe mental anguish and usually insanity or something approaching insanity.

I don't believe he ever "marketed" it as a solution, instead using it as a plot device to underline exactly how bad these characters were feeling and how fucked up his characters were from whatever was causing the insanity (Juliet was driven mad by love, Lady MacBeth by guilt and regret).

His audience may have been nominally Christian, but far more importantly his audience was mainly English men and women who were never likely to go to the exotic locations in his plays or have any real connection to the time periods they were set in.

Any way to enforce his characterisation and the audiences connection to them was absolutely important.

LMNO

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Re: Shakespeare and his suicides characters
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2009, 02:52:18 pm »
It's also a way to convey how truly sucky their lives are/how great the emotional pain they feel is.

Like, "suicide is a mortal sin, but any sin is better than the anguish in my heart!"

It's sort of how Whorf was supposed to be a warrior-race badass, but kept getting his ass kicked in order to "show" how tough the bad guy is.

Payne

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Re: Shakespeare and his suicides characters
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 02:54:33 pm »
I said that already.  :argh!:

 :lulz:


EDIT: Not the bit about Whorf though. Which made me giggle a little. 'Cause it's true.

Cain

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Re: Shakespeare and his suicides characters
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2009, 02:55:45 pm »
Uh, Renaissance period ringing any bells?  Honour, glory, duty?  Death before dishonour?  Social mores will always pwn religion, no matter what historical period.

Payne

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Re: Shakespeare and his suicides characters
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2009, 03:00:27 pm »
And given that the audience was Elizabethan, regardless of the settings of the plays, that shit was ALWAYS going to be a hit.

Like reality TV in our times.

Richter

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Re: Shakespeare and his suicides characters
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2009, 03:04:52 pm »
Shakespeare and the suicide as the ideal easy solution to the problems of his characters
hamlet, Romeo y Julieta, Lady Machbeth el Rey Lear, the public accept the suicide but his public  is christian in that age

Halmet contemplated, but never followed through, mostly because of his religions ("or that the almighty had not fixed his canon 'gainst self - slughter").  In an odd kind of way, his suicidal desire, spurned by the death of his father and remarrige of his mother, found outlet in his search for vengeance and his feigning madness.  Ironic it got him killed anyways, you could make an interesting discussion over IF he ever intended to outlive his own plan, or if was just a more elaborate, indirect moethod of suicide.
Horatio was a more interesting case, when seeing his friend / employer die, being ready to kill himself ("I was always more a Roman than a Dane", if memory serves).  It makes him quite a foil to Hamlet and the rest of the male cast in his speed to off himself, yet never killing anyone else.

Anyone ever think about how Richter inhabits the same reality as you and just scream and scream and scream, but in a good way?   :lulz:

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HRD Frederick T Fowyer

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Re: Shakespeare and his suicides characters
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2009, 04:40:57 pm »
I disagree, Richter. While Hamlet's decision 'to be' was influenced by his religious beliefs, it wasn't an ethical or moral decision, but rather a decision made out of fear of reprisal. A Good Christian would avoid suicide because it's against God's plan; Hamlet chooses against it on the basis of "the dread of something after death,/ the undiscovered country from whose bourn/ no traveler returns, puzzles the will/ and makes us rather bear the ills we have/ than fly to others that we know not of."

Instead of saying his suicidal drive found an outlet in revenge, say rather that his failure to revenge his father lead him to contemplate suicide-- but of course, Hamlet can't kill himself, for the same reason he can't kill his uncle. He's just too afraid to do anything until act five. In short, he's lost in a post-modern haze of uncertainty and confusion-- eristic illusion-- not unlike Dostoevsky's Underground Man.

I agree with Cain-- particularly in Hamlet's case, considerations of suicide had little to do with the Christian, and much to do with the Elizabethan, social value system
I held the sugar cube, I looked at the sugar cube, I wondered when I was going to eat the sugar cube. Then I remember nothing, but the sugar cube was gone, and I had a funny taste in my mouth.

the last yatto

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Re: Shakespeare and his suicides characters
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 09:58:22 pm »
seen Hamlet 2 yet?  :lulz:
Look, asshole:  Your 'incomprehensible' act, your word-salad, your pinealism...It BORES ME.  I've been incomprehensible for so long, I TEACH IT TO MBA CANDIDATES.  So if you simply MUST talk about your pineal gland or happy children dancing in the wildflowers, go talk to Roger, because he digs that kind of shit

Richter

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Re: Shakespeare and his suicides characters
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2009, 04:26:04 pm »


HRD, I like your observation of Hamlet's uncertainty and hesitation, but I'm not sure where you're reading in my assertion about Hamlet's fear of reprisal for suicide.  There was no commentary on my own part about whether his avoidance of suicide was a matter of fear of reprisal vs. acceptance of his religion.  I can't bring to mind anything relevant to that subject from that soliloquy.

Hamlet's hesitation does dance around a good bit, from his play - jacking verify his uncle's guilt, his murder of Polonius (perhaps thinking it was his uncle spying?), and then his decision NOT to kill his uncle while he was praying.  His internal reasoning being he want's his uncle to die as his father did, without confession, but you have a point that this could just be a convenient excuse for his own fear.
Anyone ever think about how Richter inhabits the same reality as you and just scream and scream and scream, but in a good way?   :lulz:

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HRD Frederick T Fowyer

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Re: Shakespeare and his suicides characters
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2009, 04:39:30 pm »
Halmet contemplated, but never followed through, mostly because of his religions ("or that the almighty had not fixed his canon 'gainst self - slughter").

I guess that could be read either way, but in my own mind, fear doesn't qualify as a religion. While Hamlet has a general christian framework informing his fear, really it's his uncertainty that stops him, not his religious convictions per se.
I held the sugar cube, I looked at the sugar cube, I wondered when I was going to eat the sugar cube. Then I remember nothing, but the sugar cube was gone, and I had a funny taste in my mouth.

Richter

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Re: Shakespeare and his suicides characters
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2009, 04:54:43 pm »
Halmet contemplated, but never followed through, mostly because of his religions ("or that the almighty had not fixed his canon 'gainst self - slughter").

I guess that could be read either way, but in my own mind, fear doesn't qualify as a religion. While Hamlet has a general christian framework informing his fear, really it's his uncertainty that stops him, not his religious convictions per se.

Fair enough, how ANYONE will read into this depends on their own religion / faith / spirituality breakdown.  How that happens, with those three factors breaking down into affecting how we conduct ourselves, whether out of fear or not, is a very seperate discussion though.
Anyone ever think about how Richter inhabits the same reality as you and just scream and scream and scream, but in a good way?   :lulz:

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DORADA

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Re: Shakespeare and his suicides characters
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2009, 01:55:16 pm »
thanks  for your comments there are very interesting. I found  in  a good  book of Shakespeare and his religion: " "Shakesperian  plays with suicidad characters are  understood and appreciated  in a considerably
different fashion when they are translated to a non christian culture where suicide does not mean a damnation of one's soul and the does not  invoke  christian god but  g o d s . The only point absolutely  certain  about suicide is that it is neither consistent no clearly defined."  I love Shakespeare but  it is  a easy solution? or it is  a influence  of the books  of the roman's history , i must read more about the religion in the world shakesperian perhaps  this solution is a  attitude  pagan? :?