More Shakespeare

   I have a book on King Lear, an article on Hamlet, and the draft of a book in “Psychology,” up above in the menu. These are additional thoughts on Shakespeare.

Late thoughts on Lear:

   The “love test” is what all people in all families do all the time. The bad offspring flatter, while the decent treat the elders according to duty and honor, but even for this very reason will not flatter or change a thing to gain advantage- even when the common good depends or seems to depend upon this. The common good may in truth depend upon the upright, and the correction of the tragedy may be not the job of Cordelia but of Lear.

   Throughout the whole study, it never seems to have occurred to me that the one who bequeaths rule and property has an interest in finding an heir. We need to pass on what we have have and know: the kingdom to a good offspring. Aristotle: roll the golden ball. It will never cease to be amazing that the wise die with what they know.

   The question of succession- for the one who is to die- involves how we see the future and the good- in one sense beyond self-interest.

   David feigned madness and practiced the martial arts, like Edgar. He, like the physician, used lyric poetry to treat the madness of the King. He too gave proverbs to Solomon. “He trains my hands for war” appears twice in the Psalms, and may be the only sentence in the Bible regarding martial arts. David of course could kill a lion and a bear with his hands. But for the armed human giant, he required the sling.

   There is not enough Erasmus in this paper. Its defects may be these: It lacks a reading of Hegel on tragedy, and is ignorant of Erasmus, Colet and Lincere, Grote, Pico and the Renaissance failure of the Platonists. To have never read Burkhardt and Lessing on the “Renaissance is inexcusable, though yet to be remedied. It ignores John Milton and Dante The interpretation is incomplete, because we have yet to unlock the prophecy of the Fool. To the preface might be added it is not clear how much Shakespeare the founding fathers of the United States were able to read, as the German Lessing had yet to introduce Shakespeare to the English. Shakespeare also slipped past the literatures and theologians The most important English writer in the education of Lincoln is probably Jefferson, and it is Jefferson who recognizes the need for an heir. Finally, we are STILL trying to write on The Tempest.

   Certain turns of phrase are not attributed: The golden thread to De Alvarez, “Hyper-ouranians to David Sweet. Jung says that the Gospel is like a magnet in Volume 9.1 of the Collected works, p. 185. It draws out the image of God that is nascent in the soul of each. This, its being nascent, and its emergence in baptism is the root of all psychology. This means that the truth of the Gospel is universal, and did not come to be when the Gospels were written. It means that the nature of man testifies to the truth of the Gospel, and not that “Christianity” in the cave owns psychology. The saying that Shakespeare did not present the divine things as known might be attributed to Michael Platt, that Socrates begins from common sense, to Irving Wasserman. “Statesmanship of the highest order” probably comes from Leo Strauss. There are two kinds of phronesis, regarding the soul, in healing and education, and regarding politics, in ruling the polity and tending the fundamental orders. Though there are meals very rare, Socrates in one sense never leaves common sense, either. I have counted 14 meanings of the sentence regarding ink and paper. The “12 or so greatest minds” is of course meant to allude to the twelve Apostles. John and probably Paul would be among them.

   On clothing and eros: As is said of Plato’s Republic, Shakespeare’s King Lear abstracts from eros. How can one discuss clothing and custom without saying that we are clothed because sight and touch are, especially for the male, the triggers of the act of reproduction? For the young, that is. For the old, we are clothed from politeness!

   Tragedy is said to have been started by Homer, yet the Iliad shows a fine balance, if not quite between justice and fortunes, between the anger and suffering of Achilles, before its resolution in his mercy toward Priam. So we have to re-examine the things said about tragedy and the discovery of nature, and its dependence upon the unhinging of the belief in the harmony of justice and fortunes.