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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: January ::
Re: Revenge; Globe; Boy Actors (Homoeroticism);
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0040. Friday, 20 January, 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Harry Keyishian <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Jan 1995 17:09:16 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.1026 Qs: Revenge
 
(2)     From:   Joe Nathan <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Jan 1995 18:39:06 -0800
        Subj:   London Globe Theatre
 
(3)     From:   Catherine Kozubei <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Jan 1995 21:57:42 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Homoeroticism in Shakespeare
 
(4)     From:   E. L. Epstein <epstein@QCVAXA.BITNET>
        Date:   Friday, 20 Jan 1995 00:09:55 EDT
        Subj:   RE: SHK 6.0034  Re: Greek (Athenian) Tragedy
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Keyishian <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Jan 1995 17:09:16 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.1026 Qs: Revenge
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.1026 Qs: Revenge
 
I can't resist answering Bill Godshalk's query of 26 December about revenge by
touting my book The Shapes of Revenge:  Victimization, Vengeance, and
Vindictiveness in Shakespeare, published this month by Humanities Press.  It
deals with the psychology of revenge, as derived from Renaissance books on the
passions, and treats revenge as a reaction to victimization.
 
Revenge is a species of punishment and serves the similar ends of retribution,
deterrence, and rehabilitation of offenders, though in different order of
priority than punishments in criminal law.  Revenge consists of a harmful act
performed by an individual in response to a malicious injury.  The "malicious"
part is important:  for the revenge to be authentic, the injury must be
intentional and must do psychic as well as physical harm.  Victims of malicious
injury feel diminished, demeaned, violated;  they retaliate to restore
selfhood, vindicate justice, and deter further harm.  Avengers act on behalf of
victims, out of indignation, though they may, like Hamlet, develop their own
cause for revenge in process.
 
Shakespeare deals with the destructive effects of victimization:  Ophelia and
Lear go mad;  the Duchess of Gloucester, unavenged, pines away and dies.
Genuine revenge can regenerate the revenger, as it does Macduff and Edgar, who
also vindicate justice and redeem the state.  Their are many successful comic
revengers, including the wives of Windsor (clearly revenge is not "gendered
male.")
 
Vindictiveness is the evil twin of revenge:  subjectively, it feels the
same--Richard III and Iago perceive themselves as aggrieved persons--but
Shakespeare (and Webster and Chapman, et al.) invited us to see it as a
personality flaw, based on envy and false pride, traits that endow characters
with a grudge against all those who are more successful, happier, or fulfilled
than they.  The most interesting are the mixed cases:  Hamlet and Othello, in
differing ways, slide fatally into vindictiveness at crucial moments.
 
As to whether revenge is tied to an ideology:  certainly it reflects
individualism, as the injured party assumes the rights of the sovereign to feel
outrage, to judge, and to punish (cf. Foucault on punishment). The spectator is
invited to follow the arc of action and become similarly empowered through
sympathy with a just revenge.
 
Harry Keyishian, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Madison NJ 07940

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joe Nathan <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Jan 1995 18:39:06 -0800
Subject:        London Globe Theatre
 
Several people asked me for more info on my recent visit to the restoration of
the Globe Theatre in London.  I did indeed prepare that info and tried to send
it to SHAKSPER as an attachment.  Evidently it didn't work, so here is another
attempt.
 
1) Restoration progress: The restoration itself is well along.  The stalls are
up, the thatched roof is being completed.  The "groundling area" is finished.
The stage is blocked out, and may very well be under construction right now.
The area above the stage (for lifting scenery, producing deus ex machina
effects, etc.) is completed, and the area below the stage (for trap doors,
rising ghosts, etc.) is pretty well finished also.  All this is done using
authentic clay brick, green English oak, thatch, and lime plaster.  A real
labor of love. They are planning on a grand opening in 1995 with the Queen
attending! In addition, work is planned for restoring the surrounding area.
There are several other period buildings and of course the Swan Theatre is not
too far away.
 
2)  Some interesting findings:  They discovered a curving wooden chute which
ran from well above the stage to well below, and it contained rounded boulders.
 They have deduced that rolling boulders from top to bottom produced sounds of
thunder, cannon, etc.  Clever. It was also determined that the "groundling
area" which is shaped like a dish was also pitched in such a way that the
outside perimiter was 8" higher than the center.  This allowed water to drain
to the center where there was a drain, and also helped the groundlings in the
back look over the heads of those in front.
 
3)  The visit:  Highly recommended.  The guides are excellent - knowledgeable,
charming, and excited about the project.  They have a video which is pretty
good and shows the beginning of the concept with Sam Wannamaker.  There are
also booklets, brochures, etc.
 
4)  For more info:  Contact The Globe Tourism Office, Shakespeare's Globe, New
Globe Walk, Bankside, London, SE1 9EB.  Telephone is 071 928 6406.  Fax is 071
928 7968.
 
5)  Donations are welcomed.  We became a "Friend of the Globe" and "bought" a
brick while we were there for 10 pounds sterling. It is also possible to have
your name included on one of the flagstones and you will receive a map showing
where your flagstone is located.  If interested in helping out here are the USA
and Canadian offices:  Shakespeare Globe Centre (USA)Inc., 20 No Michigan Ave,
Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60602, and Shakespeare Globe Centre of Canada, 212 King
St West, Sixth Floor, Toronto, Canada, M5H 1K5.  If you do become a friend, you
will receive mailings, and bulletins which will keep you up to date, and forms
to write for tickets when they open.
 
Hope this is helpful.
Joseph Nathan

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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Catherine Kozubei <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Jan 1995 21:57:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Homoeroticism in Shakespeare
 
[Catherine Kozubei shared SHK 6.0021 Re: Boy Actors with Bruce Smith, who
asked that his response be sent to the members.  --HMC]
 
Concerning boy actors and homoeroticism, you might want to pass along the title
of my book, since it does take a middle position, suggesting that boy actors
COULD play for homoerotic appeal in certain genres, in certain circumstances.
I conservatively would limit those circumstances to comedy, and to situations
in which the script specifically calls attention to the boy's body beneath the
female costume--usually when a boy actor is disguised as a girl disguised as a
boy.  Anyhow, the book is called "Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare's England:
A Cultural Poetics" and has just come out in paperback from University of
Chicago Press.  There is also a solid new book on the subject of cross-dressing
by Michael Shapiro:  "Gender in Play on the Shakespearean Stage," just out from
University of Michigan Press.
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           E. L. Epstein <epstein@QCVAXA.BITNET>
Date:           Friday, 20 Jan 1995 00:09:55 EDT
Subject: 6.0034  Re: Greek (Athenian) Tragedy
Comment:        RE: SHK 6.0034  Re: Greek (Athenian) Tragedy
 
You are right about Euripides; he is the odd man out of the tragedians. He
seems to have been unpopular with conservatives, who would rather that Athens
got a good press from everybody!  E.L.Epstein
 

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