1994

Re: Bottom, Titania, Oppression

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0525.  Saturday, 11 June 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Phyllis Rackin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 9 Jun 1994 11:54:40 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0523  Re: Bottom, Titania
 
(2)     From:   Ron Moyers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 9 Jun 1994 13:48:16 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Bottom, Titania, and stuff
 
(3)     From:   Thomas L. Berger <TBER@SLUMUS>
        Date:   Thursday, 09 Jun 94 16:26:02 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0523 Re: Bottom, Titania
 
(4)     From:   Scott Crozier <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 11 Jun 1994 16:56:04 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0508  Qs: Titania and Bottom
 
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Phyllis Rackin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 9 Jun 1994 11:54:40 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0523  Re: Bottom, Titania
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0523  Re: Bottom, Titania
 
> Enough of that, but I do have something to take up with Ron Moyer:
> Wittgenstein, in discussing the limitations of Frazier's *Golden Bough*, says
> that the chief defect in Frazier's thinking was his tendency to treat earlier
> and less technologically advanced cultures as if they were fumbling, each in
> its own benighted way, toward the perfection of 19th Century English society
> (and always getting it wrong!)  I must say that I feel something like
> Wittgenstein's skepticism whenever I read remarks that seem to congratulate
> 20th C. Western culture for its superior understanding of gender roles and
> sexual equality--ESPECIALLY when those remarks represent other periods and
> cultures as pathological in their social organization. They weren't sick and
> we aren't all that healthy. Shirley Garner's work consistently assumes the
> superiority of modern hindsight.
 
I hope Lonnie Durham will amplify these remarks.  Does he mean that the
oppression of women isn't pathological?  As a woman, I'd certainly want
to disagree.  Or, does he mean that modern scholars often overestimate
the extent of women's oppression in earlier periods in order to
overestimate the extent of their equality today?  In that case, I'd agree.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Moyers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 9 Jun 1994 13:48:16 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Bottom, Titania, and stuff
 
Lonnie Durham,
 
I certainly don't want to get in a tiff with Wittgenstein; I basically agree
with you; and I am not proposing that the Ciulei production and/or Garner
article excerpt reflect all (or the majority) of my views of MND.  As we
sometimes criticize past eras for their culturally limited/limiting views, our
own "enlightenment" is conditioned/limited by our culture.  I sometimes wonder
at the irony of folks who attack place-centrism while promoting era-centric
views (I am not suggesting Garner does this, but, oh, it does happen).
 
I don't care to characterize (not that dread word!) Garner's article too
harshly, however, because I've read only an excerpt and because many of her
ideas are stimulating.  I think she taps a pattern in the script that has
special resonance *in our era*.  To me, her exploration damns neither the play
nor the era, but illuminates characteristics of Shakespeare's and many other
times, including our own.  Like Ciulei's production, which had a strongly mixed
reception, her article serves to broaden my awareness of the potentials for a
rich script to speak with multiple tongues, and--in a stew of theatre, reading,
and life experiences--of the potential for an auditor simultaneously to
appreciate multiple, often conflicting, interpretations: thus, one's personal
apprehension of a play develops.
 
Both productions and articles must address contemporary audiences
playing/discussing imperfectly understood works; sometimes the terms of address
are irritating and rejected, sometimes...a pearl.... I keep reminding myself
not to become too exasperated at a production/ writing pretending to be The
Interpretation (or, even, The Method of Inquiry), but as an interpretation
needing to be tested and assimilated in order to enrich appreciation of the
script, past eras, and present times. Likewise, your labyrinthine descent to
the Bottom of foolish fathers is delightful, illuminating, will be part of my
future readings/viewings of these scripts, and may inform production if I get
the opportunity to direct them again.
 
--Ron Moyer
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas L. Berger <TBER@SLUMUS>
Date:           Thursday, 09 Jun 94 16:26:02 EDT
Subject: 5.0523 Re: Bottom, Titania
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0523 Re: Bottom, Titania
 
I had always thought the two had had sex in the bower, if only because Bottom
wants some food and sleep after sex.  Food, and sport (in this case, sex) and
life-preserving rest are what the Abbess prescribes in COMEDY OF ERRORS, after
all.  Men, gotta hate 'em.
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Crozier <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 11 Jun 1994 16:56:04 +1000
Subject: 5.0508  Qs: Titania and Bottom
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0508  Qs: Titania and Bottom
 
If in a post-Brook world we believe that MND is has something to say about
sexual awakening, then I'm sure that Oberon has his eye on more than one fairy:
male or female. I'm also sure that Bottom's request for Hay could be
post-coital. In a production of the play that I am directing, the fairies
embody sexuality and the lovers discover that in losing their clothing, they
also lose the civilised trappings of Athens. Titania and Oberon are the sexual
libidos of Theseus and Hippolyta a la Brook. I am really surprised that it took
around 300 years for the sexuality in the play to be recognised.
 
Regards,
Scott Crozier

Job Announcement: University of Alabama

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0524.  Saturday, 11 June 1994.
 
From:           David Miller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 9 Jun 1994 09:58:27 CST6CDT
Subject:        Job Announcement
 
As you probably already know, David Miller has decided to leave the University
of Alabama and has thus left us with the task of finding a new Director of the
Strode Program in Renaissance Studies.  We would appreciate your contacting us
if you know of potential candidates who might be interested in the position.
We are looking for a tenured faculty member at a senior rank, either a
professor or advanced associate professor.  Administrative experience is
preferred, but not a necessity.
 
If you can help us please contact us by letter, e-mail, fax, or phone; the
relevant numbers are included below.  Thanks for your help and suggestions.
 
 
John P. Hermann and Harold Weber
Co-chairs, Strode Search Committee
Department of English
P.O. Box 870244
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL  35487-0244
 
telephone:  205-348-5065
fax:        205-348-1388
e-mail:     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Qs: Resourse Guide; Bishop of Winchester

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0522.  Thursday, 9 June 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Tilly Dutta <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 7 Jun 1994 12:37:46 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Resource Guide
 
(2)     From:   J F Knight <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 9 Jun 1994 13:58:30 +1000 (EST)
        Subj:   Re : The Bishop of Winchester
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tilly Dutta <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 7 Jun 1994 12:37:46 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Resource Guide
 
Hello !
 
  I am a library science student, halfway through my MLS program, and I am
trying to compile a resource guide on Shakespeare - resources available on the
Internet.  (In another life, back in India, I used to teach English literature
in private college in Calcutta.)  I'm also trying to make list of OPACs which
have excellent collections of Shakespeare criticisms (the operative word here
is "trying").  Any help in this field will be greatly appreciated.
 
Thanking you in advance,
 
Sincerely,
Tilly Dutta
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           J F Knight <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 9 Jun 1994 13:58:30 +1000 (EST)
Subject:        Re : The Bishop of Winchester
 
I'm reading and writing about Henry VI part 1 at the moment, and I'm wondering,
why does the Bishop of Winchester get such a bad rep?  Was he (as a historical
figure) a legendary ratbag, or is this anti-Catholic polemic, or just straight
anti-clericalism.  He's the King's uncle, yet Gloucester the protector sees him
as
 
        ...a most pernicious usurer
        Froward by nature, enemy to peace,
        Lascivious, wanton...
 
and much more besides (III.i.17-19).  Is there a new historicist out there who
can shed some light?
 
JF Knight
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re: Bottom, Titania

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0523.  Thursday, 9 June 1994.
 
From:           Lonnie J Durham <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 08 Jun 1994 20:06:37 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Bottom, Titania
 
Thanks for the comments on MND.  Those of Ron Moyer and Bill Godshalk were
especially enlightening.  I reckon that since the Athenian wood is
"outside the law," we ought to be prepared for a full exposition of all
the perversities those inside the walls are so terrified of--so much so
that they are prepared for the ultimate perversity of infanticide in order to
preserve their control over the most frightening thing in the
Shakespearean world picture, i.e. the "undisciplined" desires of women.
 
I think it also enriches our reading of the play to think of the coupling
of Pasiphae with the Minoan Bull to produce the monster who will lurk at
the center of the labyrinth, a labyrinth that only Theseus is able to
penetrate (with the help of a woman).  The Athenian wood is the labyrinth
in MND, of course, and it helps if one is to descend into it to face one's
personal beast to have it turn out to be merely Bottom.  And as long as I
am free associating here, that's exactly what Hamlet finds when he
descends into the grave, isn't it: that of all the model fathers he has
before him, the one that he instinctively chose to emulate was Yorick.
There are worse things than finding out your father is a fool; but of
course people like Laertes and Fortinbras would't think so.
 
Enough of that, but I do have something to take up with Ron Moyer:
Wittgenstein, in discussing the limitations of Frazier's *Golden Bough*, says
that the chief defect in Frazier's thinking was his tendency to treat earlier
and less technologically advanced cultures as if they were fumbling, each in
its own benighted way, toward the perfection of 19th Century English society
(and always getting it wrong!)  I must say that I feel something like
Wittgenstein's skepticism whenever I read remarks that seem to congratulate
20th C. Western culture for its superior understanding of gender roles and
sexual equality--ESPECIALLY when those remarks represent other periods and
cultures as pathological in their social organization. They weren't sick and we
aren't all that healthy. Shirley Garner's work consistently assumes the
superiority of modern hindsight.
 
Felicitations to All and Sundry,
 
Lonnie

Authorship

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0521.  Thursday, 9 June 1994.
 
From:           W. L. Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Wednesday, 08 Jun 1994 20:50:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Canopies
 
I'd like to add a note to David Kathman's posting. In ALPHONSUS KING OF ARAGON
(printed 1599, written perhaps 10 years earlier), there is a canopy -- a real
canopy -- as one of the essential properties. The reference in sonnet 125 may
be to an acting -- a stage -- event. I wouldn't stake my life on this
interpretation, but it's a possible reading. Perhaps the role of canopy bearer
was a piece of cake.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk

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