1995

Re: Importance of Shakespeare

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0776. Wednesday, 11 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Robert Appelbaum <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 18:53:28 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0766 Re: Importance of Shakespeare
 
(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 22:12:03 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0772  Re: Importance of Shakespeare
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Appelbaum <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 18:53:28 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 6.0766 Re: Importance of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0766 Re: Importance of Shakespeare
 
From Paul Crowley:
 
1. > The first question is: How did the Brits and then the Americans become the
> world's most powerful nations?  To summarize Western history in two lines we
> could say that they did it by having very stable governments. They got this >
from democracy - in a broad sense (many were excluded or had restricted >
rights).  But within the group recognised as "citizens" the rule of law >
prevailed, rights were respected, freedom and the individual were recognised.
 
However, the sailors who manned the great British Navy were frequently
impressed.  The wealth that the British and Americans acquired during the 18th
century was frequently achieved through the sale and exploitation of slaves
(millions -- literally millions -- of them).  The land the Americans exploited
was literally stolen from the Native Americans, millions of whom died for the
sake of stability of "democracy."  The land the British exploited was literally
stolen from more peoples than I have the space here to mention, millions of
whom died for the sake of "King and Country."  And the violation of the rights
of American and British citizens by the American and British governments is a
central part of British and American history.  Conversely, the Swiss
Confederacy has been practising representative government longer than any
Anglophone nation; and it has never, as far as I know, conquered any foreign
country. Obversely, the Russian nation had a stable government without even the
suggestion of representative democracy; and its own empire, though it collapsed
five years ago, lasted longer than the United States has lasted so far as a
nation.
 
2. > > The recognition of the individual is also the foundation stone of
literature. > Literature and the absence of tyranny (in other words: a broad
democracy) go > hand in hand.
 
This is plain hooey.  There is no record of King James summoning Parliament and
granting it new rights in the aftermath of attending a play by Shakespeare.
There is, however, a record of SHAKSPERians mistaking hegemony for democracy
and conquest for culture; and there is a record of SHAKSPERians dismissing the
dignity of other cultures, other languages, and other peoples in the name of
"literature" and "freedom."
 
Robert Appelbaum
UC Berkeley
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 22:12:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0772  Re: Importance of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0772  Re: Importance of Shakespeare
 
Terence Hawkes asks:
 
>What makes Paul Crowley so sure that Shakespeare produced 'Literature'? He
>didn't. And what makes him so sure that you can't come from a performance of
>most of the plays 'in a mood prepared to tolerate tyranny'? Audiences in Nazi
>Germany did. {Apparently Tudor and Stuart audiences did too!} Finally, who
decides who 'all those who matter' are?
 
I'd say that Shakespeare produced "literature" IF we say he produced
literature.  Each of us can decide what we think Shakespeare produced.  Some
folks may have a cruder noun to described his output!
 
But as Terry suggests, let's not allow our enthusiasm for the Big S to cloud
our vision. The study of Shakespeare will not make students "better people or
citizens."  And most Americans (I wouldn't speak for other nationalities) don't
think of Shakespeare every day, nor do they find his plays essential reading.
Those of us who read, study, and enjoy Shakespeare's poems and plays are in a
distinct minority.  Are we a "culture" onto ourselves?  Can we demand cultural
recognition? Are we culturally better than the Joyceans?
 
Yours, cynically, Bill Godshalk

Re: *MV* and Antonio

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0775. Wednesday, 11 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   David Evett <R0870%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday,  10 Oct 1995 18:07 ET
        Subj:   MV and the Law
 
(2)     From:   John Boni <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 17:05:36 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0771 Re: Antonio and *MV*
 
(3)     From:   Shirley Kagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 13:54:11 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0776 Re: Antonio and *MV*
 
(4)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 21:56:39 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0771  Re: Antonio and *MV*
 
(5)     From:   Naomi Liebler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 11 Oct 95 01:01:00 EST
        Subj:   RE: SHK 6.0771  Re: Antonio and *MV*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <R0870%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday,  10 Oct 1995 18:07 ET
Subject:        MV and the Law
 
Not wishing to oversimplify anything, let me nevertheless suggest that there
are generic as well as local reasons why the Duke cannot abrogate the law. It's
a general feature of comic plots to spring from situations where law or custom
restrain life-giving or life-seeking desire from achieving its goal, even when
the law or custom is manifestly irrational or irrelevant.  At the beginning of
_Err_, the Duke must deny his expressed sympathy for Egeus and condemn him do
death if he cannot find his bail.  At the beginning of _MND_ Theseus must pass
sentence on Hermione at her father's insistence: death or the convent if she
refuses to marry Demetrius.  The irrationality of the feud supplies the ground
in which _Rom_'s initial comic movements have their roots. At the beginning of
_Mer_ Portia is constrained by the terms of her father's world. (Tragedies, by
contrast, are likely to take off from acts--of those in authority, not those
subjected--that deny or violate law or custom, such as Titus's effective denial
of the responsibilities of fathers or Lear's division of the kingdom.) Under
the circumstances it is predictable that the Duke will plead helplessness. The
development of comic plots, to be sure, leads by processes that on close
inspection almost always look arbitrary to the abandonment of legal or
customary rigidity.  Theseus decides that he can override Egeus after all.  The
Duke of Ephesus rescinds the fine.  The implication here is that in the comic
world actions do not necessarily have their normal consequences.  By the same
token, in the tragic world causality is remorseless. Somebody in the current
discussion (it's not a thread, it's a frigging hawser!) suggests that Shylock
is a tragic character (sorry, representation) trapped in a comic plot--where,
indeed, he escapes the strictest letter of the law on which he has, of course,
insisted--that is, is obliged to accept the consequences of life in a world of
inescapable linear causality.
 
Dave Evett
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Boni <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 17:05:36 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 6.0771 Re: Antonio and *MV*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0771 Re: Antonio and *MV*
 
I agree with Terry Ross' call for decorum in our discourse.
 
Regarding Antonio & Shylock, perhaps it has all been said, but then, perhaps
about Shakespeare it has all been said.  Years ago, I reached the conclusion
that Shakespeare had painted himself into an artistic corner with Shylock,
allowing a character (or an element of the overall design) to become too large
for the play (the design).  A novelist friend told me she was having trouble
with a work in progress because she had become too interested in a major
character.
 
The remarks about the interplay of the conventions of tragedy and comedy in
*MV* seem to the point.  And there is another way to look at it, Shakespeare's
wonderful, maddening tendency to give with one hand and take away with the
other.  In *Shakespeare and the Common Understanding* Norman Rabkin treats that
idea, the presence of unresolved opposites, very thoroughly.  I tell my
students to think while reading Shakespeare of a continual process of
"yes/but."  So here.  No, the Venetian Christians aren't all that forgiving.
But, then, perhaps what Shylock has attempted would stretch any human's creed
of forgiveness.  And, yes, Shylock has been horrible to Antonio, but then no
one appreciates being rated and spat upon in public.
 
Is a play about anti-Semitism necessarily an anti-Semitic play?, asks David
Richman.  Not necessarily.  (Witness, say, *The Deputy*.)  But, it is likely,
isn't it, that a liberal-minded Shakespeare writing for a mostly educated
twentieth-century, mostly liberal audience might have drawn his Jew slightly
less fanged.  He was "of an age."
 
Recently, I viewed *The King of Comedy*, a favorite film.  My viewing companion
described it as a film in which no character is likeable.  Is that the case
with *MV*?
 
John Boni
Northeastern Illinois University
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Shirley Kagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 13:54:11 -1000
Subject: 6.0776 Re: Antonio and *MV*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0776 Re: Antonio and *MV*
 
In a recent post John Owen remarked that Shylock's business dealings are
unscrupulous enough that he "will commit murder to remove a hated business
rival."  I would just like to point out that in normal cases of murder, the
victim does not have much of a choice.  Antonio does.  I am not trying to take
anything away from Shylock's general nastiness, but I am shocked at the amount
of Antonio apologia and justifications for his clear anti-semitism that is
coming over this line.  Antonio goes into the bargain with Shylock against the
protests of his friend Bassanio and with so much macho bravura that it is a
REAL stretch to refer to it as generosity.
 
Shirley Kagan
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 21:56:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0771  Re: Antonio and *MV*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0771  Re: Antonio and *MV*
 
My apologies to John Owen for misquoting him. John wrote: "Nor does Antonio try
to skin Shylock alive in public." Actually, Shylock is to have "A pound of
flesh . . . /Nearest the merchant's heart" (Riverside 4.1.232-3).  I perhaps
was objecting to John's allusion to flaying -- which is not in the text.
 
And, yes, I agree that we should try to be civil.  My communications may sound
angry, and, if so, I apologize.  I obviously like to argue a point (any point
will do!), and I may get carried away.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Naomi Liebler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 11 Oct 95 01:01:00 EST
Subject: 6.0771  Re: Antonio and *MV*
Comment:        RE: SHK 6.0771  Re: Antonio and *MV*
 
Regarding Bill Godshalk's most recent spewing: "Antisemiticism [sic] is in the
eye of the beholder." This time you've gone too far, Bill. Whom have you been
talking to? Louis Farrakhan? Leonard Jeffries? What's next? The holocaust never
happened? This latest in your seemingly endless string of thoughtless,
undisciplined, downright ignorant abuses of this list is finally intolerable.
I'm not sure whether I am more offended by your antisemitic vomit or by the
fact that absolutely no one on this list has called you out on it. I had to
wait 24 hours before I could calm down enough even to write this. And don't
bother to offer your usual "Gee, I guess I was wrong; I didn't really mean
THAT." I won't accept it. If you "didn't mean it," then you are only an
irresponsible jerk; if you did mean it, then there are a few other things I can
think of to call you, perhaps most notably neo-nazi racist. And let's have no
whimpering about how we should all be too professional to "call names." If you
think antisemitism is "in the eye of the beholder," I can send you a list of
the names of my relatives whose ashes never left Auschwitz. Their eyes beheld
altogether too much of what you deny.
 
"Quo usque tandem abutere, Catalina, patientia nostra?"--Cicero.
"Never again."--The survivors and the remnant, and we  mean it.
 
--Naomi Liebler

Re: Neoplatonism; Rosalind; Importance of Shakespeare

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0773.  Tuesday, 11 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Chris Stroffolino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 09 Oct 1995 19:20:42 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0768  Qs: Neoplatonism
 
(2)     From:   Sarah Cave <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 08:37:34 EST
        Subj:   Re: Thoughts on Rosalind
 
(3)     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 17:11:18 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0766 Re: Importance of Shakespeare
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Stroffolino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 09 Oct 1995 19:20:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0768  Qs: Neoplatonism
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0768  Qs: Neoplatonism
 
Dear Alison Horton--Peggy Munoz Simond's recent book on CYMBELINE (1992, Assoc.
Univ. Press) provides a good background on much Neoplatonic thought in
Shakespeare and much of this could be usefully applied to MND.....chris
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sarah Cave <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 08:37:34 EST
Subject:        Re: Thoughts on Rosalind
 
SHAKESPERians:
 
In response to Naell Dennoui's request for insights on Rosalind, would you mind
posting replies to all of us? I, too am looking for some interesting ideas
regarding AYLI, but especially this strong female character.
 
Thank you.
Sarah Cave
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 17:11:18 GMT
Subject: 6.0766 Re: Importance of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0766 Re: Importance of Shakespeare
 
What makes Paul Crowley so sure that Shakespeare produced 'Literature'? He
didn't. And what makes him so sure that you can't come from a performance of
most of the plays 'in a mood prepared to tolerate tyranny'? Audiences in Nazi
Germany did. Finally, who decides who 'all those who matter' are?
 
Terence Hawkes

Re: Shakespeare on CD ROM

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0774.  Tuesday, 11 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Stephen Gagen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 11 Oct 1995 04:26:41 +1000 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: R and J CD-ROM
 
(2)     From:   Michael Best <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 13:02:40 -0700
        Subj:   Shakespeare on CD ROM
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Gagen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 11 Oct 1995 04:26:41 +1000 (EST)
Subject:        Re: R and J CD-ROM
 
>Has anyone seen or used a new CD-ROM of _Romeo_ developed by the BBC and Attic
>a Cybernetics in the UK? I ran across a review lately in "CD-ROM Power"
>magazine which rated it highly (a 9 out of a possible 10). It is designed to
>run under Windows.
 
I have just acquired this CD-ROM and it seems to live up to its promise. The
BBC was most unhelpful in supplying this CD.  I read a review in "BBC
Worldwide" magazine some months ago, and tried to get a copy from them.  I
faxed and phoned them in London, and after being passed from branch to branch
was eventually told they do not sell overseas except through their agents.
Their agents in Australia did not stock it, and had never heard of it. Then,
miracles of miracles, a solitary copy turned up in my local computer store, in
a job-lot of CD-ROMs the owner had bought in.
 
On the subject of Shakespeare CD-ROMs, I was very disappointed in Voyager's
Macbeth (for the Mac), which I bought at the same time: it is very slow in
operation, has a cumbersome installation procedure, and has very poor quality
video clips, and not many of them.
 
Both these CD-ROMs were reviewed in the May edition of "Computers and Texts",
published by the Office for Humanities Communication, Oxford, UK.  The review
said that the R and J CD-ROM could be obtained from Attica Cybernetics, Unit
Two, Kings Meadow, Ferry Hinksey Road, Oxford OX2 0DP, Telephone +441865
791346, Fax +441865 794561.
 
Stephen J. Gagen.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Best <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 10 Oct 1995 13:02:40 -0700
Subject:        Shakespeare on CD ROM
 
The original query about Shakespeare CD ROMs was asking for information about
those available for teaching. I know of at least three that are up and running,
including my own _Shakespeare's Life and Times_ (no relation to the similarly
named product recently mentioned on the list from Norman Ross Publishing).
Several other projects of varying ambition are in the works. Those here are all
at the level of senior high school / introductory university.
 
_Shakespeare's Life and Times_ allows students to introduce themselves to the
renaissance background of the plays: life, stage; social, historical,
intellectual and literary backgrounds; colour graphics, renaissance music, some
video clips. The texts are there too, but are not fully edited versions, mainly
provided for convenient cut-and-paste and for a hypertext concordance. The hard
drive version of the program was reviewed for this list by Nate Johnson a
couple of years ago. Macintosh only. $89.00. (Site licence available.) Order
from Intellimation.
 
  PO Box 1922
  130 Cremona Drive
  Santa Barbara CA 93116-1922
  Tel: 800-3INTELL
  Fax: 805-686-9685
 
_Macbeth_ (ed. A.R. Braunmuller) is available from Voyager. Based on the
Braunmuller's New Cambridge text, includes critical commentary, sources, sound
(complete) and video (selected scenes). Macintosh. $50.00.
 
  578 Broadway
  Suite 406
  New York
  N.Y. 10012,
  Tel: 212-431-5199
  Fax: 212-431-5799
 
_Romeo and Juliet_ will be available from CAMBRIX Publishing (they say in the
next couple of weeks). Windows. No price quoted, but is about 50 pounds in the
UK. I've heard some good things about it but have not seen it.
 
  6269 Variel Avenue,
  Suite B
  Woodland Hills
  CA 91367
  Tel: 800 446-2001
  Fax: 818-992-8781

Virtual *H5*; Decorum

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0772.  Tuesday, 11 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Marilyn Mosher <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 9 Oct 1995 18:28:25 -0300
        Subj:   Virtual Henry V
 
(2)     From:   Terry Ross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 9 Oct 1995 17:51:33 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Decorum
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marilyn Mosher <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 9 Oct 1995 18:28:25 -0300
Subject:        Virtual Henry V
 
The following site contains a hyper-texted Henry V, including movie clips from
both the Kenneth Branagh and Olivier films, still photos, and definitions of
archaic terms:
 
http://sec-look.uiowa.edu/henry/preface.html
 
Marilyn Mosher
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terry Ross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 9 Oct 1995 17:51:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Decorum
 
Judging by several recent contributions, one might be forgiven for thinking
SHAKSPER members a touchy and testy lot.  If I want to read flames, I can go to
"alt.barney.dinosaur.die.die.die" or some such newsgroup.  If there must be
invective, at least let it be Shakespearean (e.g., "You blocks, you stones, you
worse than senseless things").

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