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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: January ::
Re: Dreams; Dumb Show; Education; Revenge
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0002.  Monday, 2 January, 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <
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        Date:   Saturday, 31 Dec 1994 12:18:31 -0800
        Subj:   re: dreams
 
(2)     From:   Kathleen Kendrick <
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        Date:   Sunday, 1 Jan 1995 16:09:34 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.1019 Re: Dreams
 
(3)     From:   Scott Shepherd <
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        Date:   Saturday, 31 Dec 1994 17:04:16 -0500
        Subj:   Re: *Hamlet*: Dumb Show
 
(4)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Saturday, 31 Dec 1994 20:39:25 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.1032  Q: Elizabethan Education
 
(5)     From:   Kathleen Kendrick <
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        Date:   Sunday, 1 Jan 1995 16:24:32 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.1026 Revenge
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <
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Date:           Saturday, 31 Dec 1994 12:18:31 -0800
Subject:        re: dreams
 
                  Of his bones are coral made,
                  those are pearls that were his eyes.
 
The most obvious explanation is that this is poetry, and is not to be ruled by
our conception of language. I'm reminded of Winston Churchill being told that
you should not end a sentence with a preposition. He said, "That is the sort of
nonsense up with which I will not put."
 
The correct "uninverted" English might well be "Coral is made of his bones,"
and so forth, but who would care or remember?  We should not hope, now or ever,
for an explanation of poetry by way of syntax. Throw away your grammar book
when you come to poetry, and come with wonder to find such bones and pearls,
rich and strange, and fathoms deeper than all academic soundings.
 
Kennedy
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kathleen Kendrick <
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Date:           Sunday, 1 Jan 1995 16:09:34 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 5.1019 Re: Dreams
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.1019 Re: Dreams
 
It looks to me like quibbling over typos (on vs. of) -- more importantly, what
is meant.  I think "it *is* the stuff that dreams are made of."
 
Thanks for letting me put in my $.02.  Kitty Kendrick
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <
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Date:           Saturday, 31 Dec 1994 17:04:16 -0500
Subject:        Re: *Hamlet*: Dumb Show
 
>Season's greetings to everyone.  I would like to know what list members make
>of the dumb show in *Hamlet*.  My main query is, why does it take Claudius so
>long to react?  Wouldn't he recognize the accusation as it appears in the dumb
>show? I realize this is a fairly old question, but I'd like to hear what list
>members have to say on the subject.  If anyone can suggest any published
>material on this subject, I would be interested in hearing about that as well.
>
>Wes Folkerth
 
I like Harold Jenkins' characteristically thorough notes on this issue in the
Arden edition.
 
Of course the king's reaction is nonimmediate for purposes of suspense! While
he watches the crime reenacted before him in public, Hamlet and we the audience
are riveted to his face, the expectation is extremely high, and we get nothing
from him. He's keeping his cool, the plan is failing!
 
Can there be any question about the dramatic desirability of this? Isn't that
the tension of the scene? Is he going to blench or not?
 
Imagine the two of them, Hamlet's heart sinking as the king maintains perfect
composure, not a hint of disturbance. Meanwhile the play continues...
 
Suspense!
 
What a mistake to invent some hokey business that makes the king inattentive or
confused during the dumbshow! What a complete misunderstanding of the scene! To
discard THE pinnacle confrontation between hero and villain! David Evett is
right to associate this weak idea with that other one (do they all come from
Dover Wilson?) about Hamlet detecting his eavesdroppers in the nunnery episode,
where again the "problem" being arbitrarily explained away (Hamlet's abuse of
Ophelia) is in fact an exquisite and mysterious kernel of the action.
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Saturday, 31 Dec 1994 20:39:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.1032  Q: Elizabethan Education
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.1032  Q: Elizabethan Education
 
In partial reply to Richard Kennedy's questions, let me recommend R. A.
Houston, LITERARCY IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE: CULTURE AND EDUCATION (1500-1800),
London: Longman, 1988; Chapter 7, Profiles of literacy, has a subsection on Men
and Women. See Houston's bibliography for works by Cressy and Cipolla. You may
also wish to look at Jean Brink's PRIVILEGING GENDER IN EARLY MODERN ENGLAND
(1993), Mary Ellen Lamb's essay in ELR 22 (1992):347ff., as well as books by
Joan Kelly, Linda Nicholson, Sherrin Marshall, Mary Beth Rose, et al.
 
One theory is that women often learned to read, but were not taught to write.
So if you use the "writing criterion," women who could and did read must be
considered "illiterate." So before you start, you have to determine on a
definition of literary.
 
Yours, Bill
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kathleen Kendrick <
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Date:           Sunday, 1 Jan 1995 16:24:32 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 5.1026 Revenge
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.1026 Revenge
 
It seems to me that the "feminine value of revenge" is certainly alive and well
and only more circuitious than the males'.
 

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