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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: May ::
Re: Polonius's Name; Orsino; Character
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0408.  Saturday, 7 May 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Martin Mueller <
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        Date:   Friday, 6 May 1994 10:58:44 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0401  Re: Polonius's Name
 
(2)     From:   Skip Shand <
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        Date:   Friday, 6 May 1994 12:59 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0403  Re: Orsino
 
(3)     From:   William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
        Date:   Friday, 06 May 1994 21:12:34 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Character and Lady Macbeth's "faint"
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Mueller <
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Date:           Friday, 6 May 1994 10:58:44 -0500
Subject: 5.0401  Re: Polonius's Name
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0401  Re: Polonius's Name
 
>"Corambis," of course, is a satirical version of the Latin motto of Cecil,
>"Corunum, via una" -- and hence *very emphatically* to be avoided in any
>official publication of the play.
 
I'm a moderately accomplished Latinist, but the of-courseness of the
explanation eludes me. Please explain.  As for Plonius,  I had naively thought
that Polonius was simply a name designed to add Baltic flavoring and establish
the play's setting the Northeast Territories.
 
Martin Mueller
Northwestern University

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Skip Shand <
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Date:           Friday, 6 May 1994 12:59 EDT
Subject: 5.0403  Re: Orsino
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0403  Re: Orsino
 
For folks out there who might like to pull their wellies on and wade into the
character muck with Terry Hawkes and Bill Godshalk, there's an intriguing
chapter on the issue in Alan Sinfield's *Faultlines*--and, yes, the Lady's
faint/feint does figure interestingly in it. Odd, that.
 
                                                Skip Shand
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Friday, 06 May 1994 21:12:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Character and Lady Macbeth's "faint"
 
Terence wants me to tell him if Lady Macbeth "really" faints. I have just read
Alan Sinfield'd review (was it really a review?) of Graham Bradshaw's
MISREPRESENTATIONS in the TLS (April 22), and I know now that Cultural
Materialists have a difficult time with "really." Do you mean, Terence,
"really" in the fictional world of the play, i.e., the primary reality of
MACBETH? Or do you mean, "does the actress that plays Lady faint"?
 
The answer to the second question would seem to be "usually not." The answer to
the first question is in dispute -- but it is a sound question. You see,
Terence, characters in plays do have characters (in a certain sense). I know
you've read Kendall Walton's MIMESIS AS MAKE-BELIEVE (Cambridge, MA: Harvard
UP, 1990), or at least read about it in Vickers's APPROPRIATING SHAKESPEARE, a
book that mentions your name quite often, though hardly with "faint" praise. So
you know that we (auditors) make believe that dramatic characters have
characters. You might want to call it the willing suspension of disbelief. We
"take" actors for "real" people with "real" problems.
 
Do Cultural Materialists believe (make believe?) that genuinely real people
have characters? Or are we just nodes of cultural activity? Does the culture
live us, rather than we making the culture?
 
Yours, curiously, Bill Godshalk
 

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