Sunday, September 7, 2014

Group 1 Articles Post

Meaning By Shakespeare: Terence Hawkes

In this article, Hawkes states that the meaning of a text is not a standard, definite message to be found, but rather something which may change for the individual depending on their culture, time period, and politics, thereby allowing conversation on this text to continue far after its creation. Additionally, Hawkes implies that Shakespeare may have felt similarly on this subject since in Hamlet, Hamlet's response to Ophelia about creating mischief is representative of Hamlet's use of the play, thus creating a new meaning for The Murder of Gonzago.

"Shakespeare: A Tribute"
  • "this persevering wanderer remains our friend and companion while we observe and admire the other's gigantic strides, following his trail and comparing his stride with our own"
  • "I stood there like a man blind from birth whom a magic hand has all at once given light"
  • "I don't know who first had the idea of putting historical-political spectacles on was he [Shakespeare] who raised this type of drama to a level that we must still take to be the highest"
  • "Shakespeare competes with Prometheus, imitating him by forming human beings feature by feature ...Then he brings them to life by breathing his spirit into them" 


  1. -- "Count for nothing? I who mean everything to myself! Everything I know, I know through myself!"
    -- "For we carry within us the seeds of the achievements we value in others."

  2. -- "Shakespeare doesn't mean: we mean by Shakespeare."
    -- "...'means:' that is, makes the world a significant and habitable space by defining for itself and distinguishing between crucial categories whose status is otherwise indeterminate."
    -- That is, [all texts] always 'take part' in historical milieux, whenever and however they are realized, either initially or subsequently as a result, no final context-free meaning or 'truth' can, should, or need be assigned to them."
    -- The limited notion of historicism must always yield to the view that human beings are permanently involved in a continuing process of meaning-making, one to which all texts, as aspects of human culture, are always subject, and beyond which they may be conceivable but will remain ungraspable."
    -- "To attempt to grasp them at all is inevitably to become involved in the making of meaning in a particular context."