1993

Re: Subjectivity in *Hamlet*

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 918.  Friday, 10 December 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 09 Dec 1993 16:31:14 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0912  Re: Subjectivity in *Hamlet*
 
(2)     From:   Robert Burke <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 09 Dec 1993 18:38:14 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0912  Re: Subjectivity in *Hamlet*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 09 Dec 1993 16:31:14 -0400
Subject: 4.0912  Re: Subjectivity in *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0912  Re: Subjectivity in *Hamlet*
 
Hold it, Jim.  Does your theory that meaning may be vague as a result of
courtly innuendo really different from Julie's?  Both represent a vacancy,
either of meaning or of courage.  The two aren't unrelated, either.
I notice that the uncertain and the cowardly use double-meanings more
often than the stable and courageous, who simply "stand and deliver."
Where Macbeth rails, Macduff relegates words to his sword.  Benedick before
Hero's fall says hardly a single straight line, and in challenging Claudio
is conspicuous for the simplicity of his message.  The subjectivity of
Hamlet's prose probably reflects his malaise, while that of the court
probably reflects its poisoned cowardice.
 
        Cheerio,
        Sean Lawrence (AC.DAL.CA)
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Burke <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 09 Dec 1993 18:38:14 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 4.0912  Re: Subjectivity in *Hamlet*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0912  Re: Subjectivity in *Hamlet*
 
Is not that same "authoritative ambiguity" not the same that Queen Elizabeth
resorted to in commanding (?) the death of Mary Stuart - and that example,
having taken place as recently as 1587, had to be very close to the
consciousness of the Elizabethans close to the Court.

Re: Shakespearean Daughters (Was Jessica)

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 917.  Friday, 10 December 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Janis Lull <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 09 Dec 1993 11:22:46 -0900
        Subj:   [Shakespearean Daughters]
 
(2)     From:   A.G. Bennett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 9 Dec 1993 17:25 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0915  Re: Jessica
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Janis Lull <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 09 Dec 1993 11:22:46 -0900
Subject:        [Shakespearean Daughters]
 
> Is there a Shakespearean daughter besides Juliet who has a
mother still living??
 
Mistress Page, Diana in *AWW*, Princess Katherine in *H5*, and
especially Perdita all have living mothers.  *AW*'s Helena also
has a formidable mother-in-law.  Many people think that Hero has
a living mother who never speaks, and Terence Hawkes has
suggested that "old Nedar" in *MND* may be Helena's mother.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           A.G. Bennett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 9 Dec 1993 17:25 EDT
Subject: 4.0915  Re: Jessica
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0915  Re: Jessica
 
Helen Ostovich asked if any Shakespearean heroine besides Juliet has a mother
still living-- I can only think of one: Perdita in _The Winter's Tale_.  And
while she does not have the aristocratic responsibilities that Jessica might
have in her father's household, she does have to take care of her adoptive
father, and is then catapulted immediately into the demanding role of
aristocratic wife once her marriage is approved by her real parents....
 
Just my $.02...
 
Alex Bennett
(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Re: Jessica

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 915. Thursday, 9 December 1993.
 
From:           Helen Ostovich <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 8 Dec 1993 13:17:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0909 Q: Jessica
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0909 Q: Jessica
 
Jessica came up for a lot of discussion in my class this year.  One of the
responses she evoked was pity for a girl forced to take over household
responsibilities too young, as a result of the mother's death?  (Is there
a Shakespearean daughter besides Juliet who has a mother still living??)
Shylock gives his daughter the keys when he goes out [2.5.12], asks her to
"Look to my house", and warns "Perhaps I will return immediately."  I did
not hear this last line as an implicit warning that Jessica had better
behave or else -- I took it to mean he was reluctant to eat with
Christians and might change his mind -- but students heard it as parental
threat of checking up.  Shylock's habit of quoting proverbs and his fear
that Jessica will "clamber" up to look at masquers from her window suggest
a repressive home atmosphere.  Another student suggested (on the basis of
her sociology course) that Shylock is really more of a Puritan than a Jew.
The connection between Jews and certain Puritan sects comes up in
*Bartholomew Fair* when Rabbi (sic) Busy resolves to gorge himself on pork
to prove he's not Jewish.  Given the antitheatrical and anti-pleasure
attitude in general among Puritans, Jessica's quest for more fun may have
prompted the elopement.  Family resentment could also explain her wasting
of money in Genoa, reported by Tubal [3.1] and her theft of the turquoise
ring, a love-gift from Leah, the defunct mother.  The trading of the ring
for a monkey suggests disrespect for both parents, especially given the
sexual symbolism of rings (see Act 5) and of monkeys:  she is essentially
turning her mother's token into a token of whoredom, or indiscriminate
desire.  The elopement scene itself is strange:  Jessica insists on
finding more and more money to throw down to her lover -- to make herself
more attractive to Lorenzo?  We also discussed the implications of the BBC
*Merchant of Venice* video, which focusses on the isolation of Antonio,
and the corresponding isolation of Jessica at Belmont.  Portia, for
example, says nothing directly to Jessica: she delegates that job to
Nerissa.  Why?  The feeling in the class was that Jessica was at Belmont
on sufferance only, as Lorenzo's barely acceptable wife; just as Antonio
is there on sufferance, only as Bassanio's friend, but still a merchant,
not a real gentleman.  The only person who really likes Jessica is
Lancelot, and he's a fool.
 
Helen Ostovich
McMaster University

Graduate Research Assistantship

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 916. Thursday, 9 December 1993.
 
From:           Jean R. Brink <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 09 Dec 1993 09:06:55 -0700 (MST)
Subject:        Graduate Research Assistantship
 
                        PLEASE ANNOUNCE
 
Graduate Student Research Assistantship
 
The Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
and The Graduate College, Arizona State University
 
--Two-year-graduate research assistantship in Medieval or Renaissance
Studies
 
--Half-time employment at the Center during the academic year and full-time
employment in the summer. Anticipated start date: August 16, 1994
 
--Twelve-month support with a stipend of $15,350-16,633, depending on
educational qualifications
 
--Out of state tuition waived; may compete for in-state tuition waiver
 
      ACMRS is a computerized office.  Candidates should be computer
literate on IBM (database manager, spreadsheet, E-mail, LAN).  Excellent
communication skills are  essential.   Responsibilities include advanced
library research, assistance in coordinating lectures and symposia, and
performance of clerical duties as required.
 
      The recipient will be expected to enter a graduate degree program (e.g.,
history, language, literature) and to specialize in the Middle Ages or the
Renaissance.  Please apply separately to an academic department.  Complete
applications for the research assistantship should include the following:
 
--Statement of purpose (2 pages maximum) explaining the student's interest
in graduate study and describe qualifications (languages, computer skills, and
course work)
--vita
--GRE general and subject scores
--Complete transcripts
--Three letters of recommendation
 
       Applications will be screened beginning February 1 and will be
accepted until the position is filled.  Applications for the research
assistantship should be sent to Jean R. Brink, Director, Arizona Center for
Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Arizona State University, Box 872301,
Tempe, AZ 85287-2301.  For additional information, please call (602)
965-5900.

Re: The Paradox of Historicizing Shakespeare

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 914. Thursday, 9 December 1993.
 
From:           Martin Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 08 Dec 93 11:27:20 -0400
Subject: 4.0908 Re: The Paradox of Historicizing Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0908 Re: The Paradox of Historicizing Shakespeare
 
Poor Leo Daugherty! [FN 1] How can he possibly believe that the sensible and
intelligible approach to Shakespeare studies urged by him has any
chance of prevailing in the near future, while we still have active a
generation of writers [FN 2] who, on the  basis of flawed premises
obfuscated [FN 3] by incomprehensible, but impressive, jargon, have
found  ways to rationalize designating as "Shakespeare studies" [FN 4]
their writings about their own phantasies [FN 5] and interests, and those of
their friends, and in which approach they all have a vested [FN 6] interest?
 
But who knows? It may indeed be better to light a candle than to curse
the darkness. Good luck, Leo Daugherty!
 
Martin Green
 
FN 1. I owe this verbal formulation to Joseph Cantor, who has often
used this phrase in reference to me.
 
FN 2. The concept of writers within a generation-group having common
characteristics was suggested to me in a personal conversation by
Thomas F. Bastow.
 
FN 3.  This word was brought to my attention by Florence Packer, who
owns a very good thesaurus.
 
FN 4.  Jerome M. Fleming is the source of this phrase as a way of
describing writings purporting to deal with the well-known Elizabethan
playwright.
 
FN 5. Using this semi-semiotic spelling to reenforce the
"Renaissance" character of this message was the idea of Snigdha Prakash.
 
FN 6. I  am indebted to Emma Brumfield who, by alerting me to the
possibility  of this being construed as an allegation of
cross-dressing, affords me the opportunity to negate the implication,
and hence, I trust, the inference.

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