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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: September ::
Re: Teaching Shakespeare (Ethiop)
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0709, Friday, 22 September 1995.
 
(1)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Thursday, 21 Sep 1995 15:18:44 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0700  Re: Teaching Shakespeare (Ethiop)
 
(2)     From:   John Drakakis <
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        Date:   Friday, 22 Sep 1995 15:24:28 -0100
        Subj:   SHK 6.0705 Re: Ethiop (Teaching Shakesp
 
(3)     From:   Marcello Cappuzzo <
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        Date:   Friday, 22 Sep 1995 00:32:13 +0100
        Subj:   Re:  Teaching Shakespeare
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Thursday, 21 Sep 1995 15:18:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0700  Re: Teaching Shakespeare (Ethiop)
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0700  Re: Teaching Shakespeare (Ethiop)
 
Since several people have accused me of using the royal we, let me explain that
my "WE" had no royalist motives.
 
(1) It was the metaphoric "we" in that I used "we" to mean "our society in
general," "our culture," etc.
 
(2) It was the ironic "we" in that I assumed that the members of this group do
not hold the particular esthetic prejudices I listed -- especially since I am
short, fat, and old.
 
(3) It was the implicative "we" -- as I explained before.
 
Now, haven't we said enough on this non-issue?
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
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Date:           Friday, 22 Sep 1995 15:24:28 -0100
Subject: Re: Ethiop (Teaching Shakesp
Comment:        SHK 6.0705 Re: Ethiop (Teaching Shakesp
 
Where does Stephanie Hughes get the idea that Shakespeare virtually created
the language we speak?
 
John Drakakis
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marcello Cappuzzo <
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Date:           Friday, 22 Sep 1995 00:32:13 +0100
Subject:        Re:  Teaching Shakespeare
 
(1) The term "Ethiop" is present in more than 10 of WS's works.  In certain
cases--e.g., in AYL iv,iii,36 ("Such Ethiop words, blacker in their effect
/Then in their countenance")--its negative value is perhaps even more explicit
than in the scene of MND that has been discussed so far.
 
(2) OED2 CD-ROM:
>**Ethiop**
>A. n. lit. = Ethiopian; hence, usually, a person with a black skin, a
>blackamoor. Phrase, to wash an (or the) Ethiop (white): to attempt the
>impossible.
>1382 Wyclif Jer. xiii. 23 Yf chaunge mai an Ethiope his skyn.
>...
>1509 Hawes Past. Pleas. xxxvii. x, Out there flew, ryght blacke and
>tedyous, A foule Ethyope.
>1599 Shakes. Much Ado v. iv. 38 Ile hold my minde, were she an Ethiope.
>
>**wash v.** 3d
>...
>1596 J. Melvill Autob. & Diary (Wodrow Soc.) 375 We mein nocht to tyne tyme
>in wassing of sic Moores.
>1604 Marston Malcontent iv. iii. F 3, I washt an Ethiop, who for recompence
>Sullyde my name.
>1624 Massinger Parlt. Love ii. ii, For, being censured, Or to extenuate, or
>excuse my guilt, Were but to wash an Ethiop.
>
>**snout n.** 2
>...
>1693 Dryden, etc. Juvenal x. (1697) 250 What Ethiop Lips he has, How foul a
>Snout, and what a hanging Face!
 
(3) It seems to me that Robert Appelbaum is perfectly right in rejecting
certain (too easy) solutions to the problem posed by Thomas Ellis: "Ethiop"
does not indicate just an aesthetic preference--it is a word that carries a
heavy and bulky burden of historical and cultural substance;  it cannot be
discarded as light-heartedly as someone seems to believe. Besides, are we
supposed to show our students only what they can accept--or we presume they can
accept--*without* exercising their critical faculties? What makes me feel
uncomfortable is not the perplexity of Ellis' students; it is the laughter that
preceded it (see Ellis' post of Sept 14).
 
Thanks,
Marcello Cappuzzo
University of Palermo
 

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