Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The World As Will

The World as Will and Representation is the title of a famous philosophical work by Schopenhauer which Nietzsche actually cites in The Birth of Tragedy and then there's Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. “The will to power” is also a concept used by Nietzsche.  Besides being Shakespeare’s first name, Will is also a common American name, something that’s a little more than John and less than Joe or Ernest. You imagine guys named Will possessing newspaper routes that they run before school, though many of them might go on to be lawyers or doctors rather than becoming playwrights who deal with immortal themes. Then there is the matter of representation. Shakespeare is thought of as the playwright who probably most fulsomely represented the reality of history and particularly being, with Hamlet being one of the great ontological essays and The Merchant of Venice exemplifying Kant’s deontology in its pursuit of the question of whether it is wrong or right for Shylock to exact his “pound of flesh.” Representation of the world, of course, also poses the question of mimesis. Is visible reality a fair estimate of the nature of things. Not according to Plato who saw puny man as unable to see the writing on the wall.

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