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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: May ::
Re: Lights; Orsino; Teaching
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0393.  Wednesday, 4 May 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Kenneth Meaney <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 3 May 94 11:23:48 +0300
        Subj:   Re: Othello's Lights
 
(2)     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 3 May 94 12:38 BST
        Subj:   RE: SHK 5.0372 Qs: Orsino
 
(3)     From:   Peter Novak <PNOVAK@SCU.BITNET>
        Date:   Tuesday, 03 May 1994 16:31:44 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0387  Teaching *Tmp.* and *Ant.*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth Meaney <
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Date:           Tuesday, 3 May 94 11:23:48 +0300
Subject:        Re: Othello's Lights
 
>RE: "Put out the light."  The syntax helps me decide Othello's meaning. He
>refers first to the candle he is (usually) holding, and mentions that he can
>relight (relume) that.  But the greater act (and loss) is that of putting out
>the light of Desdemona which cannot be relit.
 
Yes, the text supports the reading that the first light is the candle and
the second Desdemona. I think that Othello intends the murder is to be done
in darkness, but is then caught up in the thought of the irrevocability of
what he is about to do. "_If_ I quench thee", he says: I don't think that
Othello has to extinguish the lamp at all.
 
Ken Meaney
University of Joensuu, Finland
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Tuesday, 3 May 94 12:38 BST
Subject: 5.0372 Qs: Orsino
Comment:        RE: SHK 5.0372 Qs: Orsino
 
Dear Dwight Maxwell,
 
Forget about Orsino's character. He doesn't exist and so he doesn't have one.
If you were my student, I'd suggest that you started with the play's title.
Find out what 'Twelfth Night' means. That should help to explain all the
references to food, eating etc. And don't forget that one of the characters is
called Belch. Then look up Puritanism and the anti-theatrical debate. There's
more going on in this play than 'love', matey. Enjoy!
 
T. Hawkes
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Novak <PNOVAK@SCU.BITNET>
Date:           Tuesday, 03 May 1994 16:31:44 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 5.0387  Teaching *Tmp.* and *Ant.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0387  Teaching *Tmp.* and *Ant.*
 
I have been teaching The Tempest for the past two years and have a brief
ten-minute videotape that I have been using which is a translation of Act I,
scene II (Prospero, Caliban, Miranda) into American Sign Language. The scene is
extremely powerful and actually provokes excellent discussion into the
relationship of Caliban and Prospero. The scene is subtitled and includes some
description on how to discuss the nature of sign language and linguistic
oppression...some good post-colonial themes of the play.
 
The curses exchanged between Prospero and Caliban are much more intense in the
ASL translation than what we normally hear. Prospero's line, Poisonous slave,
got by the devil himself upon thy wicked dam, come forth" is rendered visually
so that Prospero actually shows Sycorax spreading her legs, the Devil drooling,
mounting her, and Sycorax giving birth (painfully) to this thing which is
Caliban. It's very powerful.
 
Peter Novak
Santa Clara University

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