Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: February ::
Re: Portia's Voice
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0073.  Sunday, 5 February 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Richard C. Jones III <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 04 Feb 1995 13:04:32 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0070 Re: Portia's Voice
 
(2)     From:   Joan Hartwig <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 05 Feb 95 13:14:38 EST
        Subj:   Portia's Voice
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard C. Jones III <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 04 Feb 1995 13:04:32 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 6.0070 Re: Portia's Voice
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0070 Re: Portia's Voice
 
Naomi Liebler's comments on Portia's not recognizing her own musicians are
lucid and interesting, but I wonder if we aren't over-intellectualizing a bit
here.  This is a play, after all, not a novel.  I've always viewed the passage
in question simply as a means of telling the *audience* what's up, and of
making sure the music cue didn't disappear.  Not the subtlest of devices, to be
sure, but forgiveable, I think....
 
Rick Jones

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joan Hartwig <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 05 Feb 95 13:14:38 EST
Subject:        Portia's Voice
 
Reading Naomi Liebler's response in support of Phyllis Rackin's opinion that
Portia is not "musical," I realized that I am surprised.  I have always thought
that Portia hears the music as unusual, possibly even ethereal, possibly
thinking that she has for an instant been allowed to hear the music of the
spheres.  After all, the audience has been prepared to think in these terms by
Lorenzo's preceding discussion of the "harmony [that] is in immortal souls."
Portia's response to Nerissa's literal reading, "It is your music, madam, of
the house," is somewhat wry to my ear:  "Nothing is good, I see, without
respect. / Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day."  Nerissa, as so many
comic parallel characters do, has the literalizing ear that brings Portia back
to recognize that values cannot be absolute, but are related to their
contexts--a point that Shakespeare seems to be making with the working out of
"vows" violated and forgiven in the final scene, a point that contrasts with
Shylock's adherence to the letter of the law.
 
To differ respectfully,
Joan Hartwig
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.