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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: March ::
Re: Sources for Othello; Malfi Video; Volpone; FE
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0167.  Tuesday, 5 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Florence Amit <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 09:23:42 +0200
        Subj:   Re. Sources for Othello

(2)     From:   John Dorenkamp <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 09:55:08 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Malfi Video

(3)     From:   Harry Hill <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 09:11:54 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   Re Volpone

(4)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <
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        Date:   Monday, 4 Mar 1996 19:32:41 -0800
        Subj:   Funeral Elegy


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Florence Amit <
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Date:           Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 09:23:42 +0200
Subject:        Re. Sources for Othello

Here is a source that Emilie Roi recently had posted in the "Jerusalem Post".
She cites the historian A.L. Rowse and a book by David Lasocki and Roger Prior,
"The Bassanos:Venetian Musicians and Instrument Makers in England, 1531-1665"
(Aldershot, Hampshire, Scolar Press)> Roi says that in this Jewish converso,
musician family there were friends of William Shakespeare and even his dark
lady, Emilia Bassano.  She mentions two of the family "members were described
as 'black men.' And is it a coincidence that the mulberry tree [think of the
ornament on Othello's handkerchief] on the Bassano shield is in Italian called
'Moro' for Moor, a dark person?" That would be a twist, wouldn't it be, if
Othello had been a Jew? By the way Othello can be translated from the Hebrew to
mean out= sign, el= god, o= masculine ending. In other words the name can mean
stigmatized; it can also mean circumcised , which applys to Moslems too. The
findings of this book has great relevance for MV and the sonnets as well as
such matters as authorship, musicality and who knows what more. I have ordered
it.

Florence Amit
Email: 
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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Dorenkamp <
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Date:           Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 09:55:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Malfi Video

A few years ago (maybe even 10 if that is possible), I rented a copy of the BBC
Duchess of Malfi from Indiana University's Audio Visual Services.  I suspect it
is still available.  Unfortunately I no longer have their address or phone
number. (It was part of the detritus of which I unburdened myself upon
retirement).  Nonetheless, they were very cooperative and had, as I remember,
an extensive collection.

The Duchess of Malfi, with Eileen Atkins in the title role, was indeed part of
a PBS series called something like "Classic Drama,"  which included a very fine
"Edward II," and (I think, although memory may not serve well here) a good
production of "The Changeling."  Apparently the BBC series became property of
Time-Life (although when I was searching for it, they knew nothing of it).  At
any rate, give Indiana a try.  It's a version well worth seeing.

John Dorenkamp

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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <
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Date:           Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 09:11:54 +0000 (HELP)
Subject:        Re Volpone

You have raise, doubtless without direct intention, the vital question to which
the answer is "It depends who plays Volpone".

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <
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Date:           Monday, 4 Mar 1996 19:32:41 -0800
Subject:        Funeral Elegy

I really don't mean to whip the Funeral Elegy, and I say let the unknown W.S.
rest in peace and say things in heaven to his friend William Peter that he
didn't get down too well in a poem, but all the while we must remind outselves
of Shakespeare, his excellent fancy in recommending his love and his poetry to
the ages.  Here is Sonnet 55.

        "Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
        Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rime;
        But you shall shine more bright in these contents,
        Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time.
        When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
        And broils root out the work of masonry,
        Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
        The living record of your memory.
        'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
        Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room,
        Even in the eyes of all posterity
        That wear this world out to the ending doom.
             So, till the judgement that you yourself arise,
             You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes."

If Shakespeare wrote the Funeral Elegy, you've got to wonder what happened to
him between sonnet 55, a poem which has truely purchased immortal life for the
memory of his man (or woman) and, the half-hearted lease on time that W.S.
takes out for poor William Peter. (FE, Lines 195-204.)

           "What can we leave behind us but a name,
           Which, by a life well led, may honor have?
           Such honor, O thou youth untimely lost,
           Thou didst deserve and hast; for though thy soul
           Hath took her flight to a diviner coast,
           Yet here on earth thy fame lives ever whole,
           In every heart sealed up, in every tongue
           Fit matter for discourse, no day prevented
           That pities not thy sad and sudden wrong,
           Of all alike beloved and lamented."

Anyone who would charge both sonnet 55 and these several lines of the Elegy to
the same man is in danger of being discarded and forgotten within a year's
time,  "fit matter for discourse" only in derision.
 

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