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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: September ::
Qs: Antonio; Tennyson
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0697, Tuesday, 19 September 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Sam Schimek <
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        Date:   Monday, 18 Sep 1995 16:30:55 -0700
        Subj:   MoV's Antonio in Performance
 
(2)     From:   Snehal Shingavi <
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        Date:   Monday, 18 Sep 95 22:34:53 CDT
        Subj:   Tennyson's IN MEMORIAM
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Schimek <
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Date:           Monday, 18 Sep 1995 16:30:55 -0700
Subject:        MoV's Antonio in Performance
 
I am attempting to survey recent portrayals of Antonio. While the literature on
Shylock is somewhat overwhelming to say the least, the title character tends to
fall by the wayside and is used only to throw Shylock into relief. I am
interested particularly if the following aspects were addressed:
 
1) Antonio & Bassanio's potential homosexuality: Was this mined on stage? Did
it undermine of help the performance? Did it give Antonio more dramatic power
as an outsider a la Shylock?
 
2) Antonio's Anti-Semitism: How was this presented to the audience? How was it
received? Was it glossed over in order to compliment the numerous "good
Antonio" speeches?
 
3) Antonio as Christ-figure: Was this addressed overtly, left as an
undercurrent or ignored? Was any stage-symbolism milked from this?
 
4) In general, what was the final opinion of the play? Worthy of production or
racist script that offends? While my opinion is of the former, one cannot
overlook the large body of opinion leaning towards the latter. Then again,
being offensive never alone makes a play unworthy of production.
 
Thank you in advance.
Sam
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Snehal Shingavi  <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 18 Sep 95 22:34:53 CDT
Subject:        Tennyson's IN MEMORIAM
 
I was reading section 12 of Tennyson's IN MEMORIAM for a class on Victorian
Poetry in which we have discussed the influence Shakespeare played on the
Victorians when the images presented in that passage seemed to remind me very
much of Gloucester's death scene on the cliffs of Dover in KING LEAR.  While I
know (or  at least the very helpful footnote tells me so) that he is talking
about his dead friend, Hallam, who is returning on the boat, I feel very
confident that the image he presents of himself (crazed, animated, confused,
dazed) and the scenes around him (the cliffs, the water) and the things he says
("is this the end? " ... "is he come yet?") are echoes of Gloucester's own
feelings about his son and his own death.  How would such a reading change the
meaning of the poem if at all?
 
I have some thoughts, but am not sure at all.  if the image is one of
patrernalistic love then surely this can be another attempt to bridge the gap
in homosocial discourse that Tennyson feels exists and disrupts the poetic
process (sections 5, 7, and 8).  he can explain his deep rooted sentiments for
Hallam in similar terms as gloucester can explain his love for his son.  if it
is more po litically situated, than the image represents a sort of usurpation
of power that is present (tennyson's own anxieties about the changing critical
and literary  circles and the value and quality of his work) throughout KING
LEAR.  These are all random speculations and any suggestions will be
appreciated as a paper seems forthcoming.
 

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