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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: September ::
Re: Shakespeare's Politics and Wanamaker's CBE
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 547.  Tuesday, 14 Sept. 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Chris Kendall <
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        Date:   Sunday, 12 Sep 1993 22:41:47 -0600 (MDT)
        Subj:   Shakespeare's politics
 
(2)     From:   Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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        Date:   Monday, 13 Sep 1993 14:12:36 -500 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: Shakespeare's Politics and Wanamaker's Globe
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Kendall <
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Date:           Sunday, 12 Sep 1993 22:41:47 -0600 (MDT)
Subject:        Shakespeare's politics
 
James McKenna's words:
 
> I find myself unable to shake the feeling that seething politics is
> an inadequate explanation for Shakespeare's intensity.
> Understanding--or at
> least being aware of--those politics brings us closer to a literal
> understanding of his works, but of what value is that if our souls
> are unmoved?
 
are close to describing the point of view that led me into this question
and the debate with the friend I mentioned.  I thank Gabriel Egan for
initiating this discourse at such a lofty pitch.  I confess to being
largely ignorant of cultural materialism, but do not intend to remain so.
And thanks to all of you for volunteering your knowledge and opinions.
(But please don't take this thanks as a period to our discussion.)
 
I have one point to contend with Mr McKenna:  can the author of
 
                         "How many ages hence
   Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
   In states unborn and accents yet unknown?"
 
be fairly said not to have been writing for Maya Angelou?
 
Chris Kendall
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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Date:           Monday, 13 Sep 1993 14:12:36 -500 (EDT)
Subject:        Re: Shakespeare's Politics and Wanamaker's Globe
 
Dear Terry Hawkes:
 
The latest blast about Sam Wanamaker's CBE compels me to creep out of the
closet and admit that I was the "naive" dupe who set off this uproar. In
replying to an Australian e-mail query about the address of the Globe Bankside,
I gratituously added that my friend Sam Wanamaker had recently been made an
Hon. CBE.  Maybe I thought that I was somehow basking in the reflected glory.
Little did I suspect that I was oppressing Southwark streetsweepers, condoning
contributions from wicked innkeepers, and cheerleading for British imperialism.
 
I feel sorry for the Southwark streetsweepers, though in Burlington, Vermont,
the streetsweeping is quaintly mechanized. I don't think money laundering for
worthy causes should be too closely examined; G.B. Shaw wonderfully explores
that ethical dilemma with Andrew Undershaft and the Salvation Army in Major
Barbara. As for political Shakespeare, the bard is large enough to contain
multitudes.
 
No, as an American I feel neither guilt nor qualms over my delight in Sam
Wanamaker's honorary title. If Ronald Reagan can be showered with honors why
not Sam Wanamaker? I interpreted the queen's gesture as recognition of his
prodigious labors. The Bankside playhouse will be his monument.
 
Let's hope that the "flaming" over this non-issue soon diminishes to embers. As
our [Episcopalian] bishop always used to say, "Go in peace and remember the
poor."
 
Ken Rothwell
 

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