"The mind is a compact, multiply connected thought mass with internal connections of the most intimate kind. It grows continuously as new thought masses enter it, and this is the means by which it continues to develop."

Bernhard Riemann On Psychology and Metaphysics ca. 1860

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

What Did Mr. Shakespeare Actually KNOW About Machiavelli?

"When first we practice to deceive"
Niccolo Machiavelli was one of the foremost partisans of the future American experiment (whether he knew it or not.) It is undeniable, for any fair reading of his "The Prince," inter alia, that Niccolo was squarely on the side of humanity.  For-- the abject idiocy of set piece warfare slaughter, according to Hoyle, as it were, old chap, had come a cropper.--Merely mow the red rapscallions down from behind the thickly forested New World "City on the Hill." Easy pickin's, eh what?
But for Shakespeare, Machiavelli, that evil malevolent angel, was downright pure calculated evil. It is simply too easy to pooh-pooh Shakespeare's supposed insouciance literary licence in this instance as just the touch of dumb stage management, as it were...He, just picking up on the dumb touchstone of popular opinion then reigning. Really? Shakespeare-- forgiven as literally all too naive? He, the king of the double and even triple entendres-- simply a babe in the woods? Hmm... hard to believe, somehow.
But what if the vaunted literature of ye Jolly Olde England be tainted be with the whiff of something else?
To be continued... with p'raps my head tucked underneath my arms, if I know what's good for me...

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