1996

Re: Physical Size of Elizabethans

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0229.  Wednesday, 20 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 18 Mar 1996 01:06:04 +0200
        Subj:   Re: Size of Elizabethans

(2)     From:   Andrew Gurr <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 18 Mar 1996 10:12:07 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0210 Q: Physical Size of Elizabethans


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 Mar 1996 01:06:04 +0200
Subject:        Re: Size of Elizabethans

> I'd therefore expect average stature to have generally increased
>with wealth/social status, and would be interested to know of any evidence,
>literary or otherwise, that this was so.

To Ann Chance:

Isn't also the amount of calcium in the diet crucial? And what about wet nurses
who had few children vs. aristocratic ladies who had too many births? One would
suppose that the yoeman's child has the advantage here.

                                                             Florence Amit

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Gurr <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 Mar 1996 10:12:07 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 7.0210 Q: Physical Size of Elizabethans
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0210 Q: Physical Size of Elizabethans

Measurements of skeletons give the average size of Tudor figures as 10% less
than the modern (western) average. But there are anomalies -- the Tudor seamen
on the Mary Rose when raised in 1984 turned out to be about the modern average.
Whether they benefitted from a better diet (the main cause of size difference,
allowing for a potato-free diet before 1600) in royal employ, or whether Henry
VIII wanted big men on his ship, we don't know.

Andrew Gurr

Re: Funeral Elegy

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0228.  Wednesday, 20 March 1996.

(1)     From:   David Evett <R0870%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 16 March 1996 5:17pm ET
        Subj:   SHK 7.0214  Re: Funeral Elegy (a

(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 17 Mar 1996 17:38:37 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0214  Re: Funeral Elegy (and Sonnets)

(3)     From:   Joseph M Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 16:57:30 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0222  Re: Funeral Elegy

(4)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 17:52:06 -0800
        Subj:   Funeral Elegy

(5)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 22:23:01 -0800
        Subj:   Dr. Dodypoll


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <R0870%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 16 March 1996 5:17pm ET
Subject: Re: Funeral Elegy (a
Comment:        SHK 7.0214  Re: Funeral Elegy (a

Is the matter of while/whiles/whilst/whilest a potential authorial signature,
or is the record too contaminated by scribal and compositorial variation to be
useful in this connection?  I note that all 4 variants are monosyllabic, so the
choice has no metrical significance; the additional consonants would affect the
flow of the sound a bit.  At a quick glance, I can't discern any obvious
patterns, such as the use of one or another form before a word starting with a
consonant (though all 11 of the instances of whilest in Spevack precede
pronominal forms).  As so often, a few minutes with the concordance and the
complexities begin to multiply; for example Spevack does not discriminate
between "while" by itself, "a while," and "the while," and lists "awhile" as a
separate form.  Nor does Spevak more generally try to discriminate among
substantive, adverbial, and conjunctive uses.   Tracing the relationships among
these forms and trying to sort out the effects of regional and social
variations would be an onerous task.  All these complexities help explain why
the spellings in and of themselves won't do the kind of work Richard J. Kennedy
puts them to.

Just whiling (whilesing, whilsting, whilesting) away the time,
Dave Evett

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 17 Mar 1996 17:38:37 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0214  Re: Funeral Elegy (and Sonnets)
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0214  Re: Funeral Elegy (and Sonnets)

Regarding "whiles,"  Don Foster sends me the following which supplements my
former posting:

"Note that "whiles" appears in all or most of those texts that are thought to
have been prepared from Shakespeare's own papers--and in the only extant MS in
Shakespeare's own hand (Hand D, STM), neither *while* nor *whilest* nor
*whilst* appears--only *whiles*."

Spevack does note the *Sir Thomas More* line: "whiles they are o'er the bank of
their obedience."  So Don hints that Shakespeare may have preferred "whiles" in
his manuscripts, a usage modernized by scribes and compositors. And all the
evidence seems to suggest that this modernization process was not unusual in
sixteenth and seventeenth century England.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joseph M Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 16:57:30 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 7.0222  Re: Funeral Elegy
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0222  Re: Funeral Elegy

I hope that I am not the first to point out that the elegy is obviously a
forgery committed by the Dark Lady of the Sonnets that was understood by its
understanders as Shakespeare's lament over his failed sexual powers.  The title
gives it away and the Dark Lady would be just cunning enough to have this
forgery printed.  Life ran high in those days.

And, although I feel that Richard Kennedy's poem is vastly superior to the
elegy and that the only way Shakespeare could have written the elegy is to have
initiated a new type of "plain style" which required writing as if you had
recently suffered a cerebral accident, I must side with those who attribute
that poem to Will because I have just learned that Stephen Greenblatt himself
(so careful of the type) will include it in the NORTON.

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 17:52:06 -0800
Subject:        Funeral Elegy

In comparing the Funeral Elegy with the first 578 lines of the Sonnets, I
noticed that Shakespeare only twice began a line with "of".  W.S. did it 30
times.

Don Foster answered (13 March) that this difference is because the Elegy is
highly enjambed, many more lines carried over than is normal for Shakespeare.
I understand.  A line carried over must begin with > something<, and most often
a little word serves.  And so, says Foster, that explains this huge difference
-- Elegy 30, Sonnets 2.

I also noticed that the word "and" was skewed in its use  It's another of those
little words that help to carry over a line. According to Foster's theory, the
Elegy should use "and" to initiate a carry over line considerably more often
than Shakespeare, such as the case for "of".  But it doesn't.  The Elegy only
uses "and" in this place 28 times, and the Sonnets 66.  That's retrograde to
Foster's argument.  Foster's rule of enjambment holds up for "of", but fails
for "and" in comparison with the first 578 lines of the Sonnets.

The outcome seems to be that the unknown W.S. was fond of carrying over a line
with "in", but Shakespeare shunned that word, favoring "and" for the use.

The Funeral Elegy and the Sonnets are parted by several other stylistic
differences as well, which have been noticed but not explained.  For example,
why such a great difference between the use of 4 syllable words?  Elegy 75,
Sonnets (first 578 lines) 15.  That seems an excellent word-print.

I might add to that:                            4 syllable words

Funeral Elegy 578 lines.                        75
Venus and Adonis 578 lines                      11
The Rape of Lucrece 578 lines                   19
The LAST 578 lines of the Sonnets               14

(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 22:23:01 -0800
Subject:        Dr. Dodypoll

Sydney Kasten brings up a good point about The Wisdome of Doctor Dodypoll.
It's anonymous and I say it's very like Shakespeare.  I agree with Kasten that
we've got to be very careful when we're examining Elizabethan poetry and plays.
Ben Jonson thought so, too.  He prefaced the quarto edition of The Alchemist
with this:

        "TO THE READER --  if thou beest more, thou art an
        understander, and then I trust thee.  If thou art one
        that tak'st up, and but a pretender, beware at what
        hands thou receiv'st thy commodity's, for thou wert
        never more fair in the way to be coz'ned than in this
        age of poetry, especially in plays...."

That's either a warning not to meddle too much, or an invitation to a
masquerade party.  Doctor Dodypoll is one of the literary puzzles quite common
back then.  Evidently it played well.  I say it's Shakespeare.  Please answer
personal if someone would be willing to type it up, possibly we could post it.

Re: The Future; Size of Elizabethans

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0226.  Sunday, 17 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 16 Mar 1996 16:54:37 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   Shakespeare, the Future, & Semantics

(2)     From:   Ann Chance <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 17 Mar 1996 22:33:07 +0800 (WST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0216 Re: Physical Size of Elizabethans


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 16 Mar 1996 16:54:37 +0000 (HELP)
Subject:        Shakespeare, the Future, & Semantics

Paul Hawkins was teaching Hamlet I.i this week and was astonished to find that
a goodly number of his Shakspeare students at Marianopolis College in Montreal
did not know what "mourning" was, then doubly surprised when some more admitted
they had never seen or used the word "dew".

I think we may revert when teaching *anything* to the old "learn these twenty
words today and twenty more tomorrow" of our high schools.

Accessibility has often been a problem with Shakespeare, but I think this most
recent innocence is a signal to us to teach less thematically and politically
and more semantically and linguistically. These plays are almost nothing at
all, without their words and the rich ambiguities and resonances wihin them.

Harry Hill
Montreal

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ann Chance <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 17 Mar 1996 22:33:07 +0800 (WST)
Subject: 7.0216 Re: Physical Size of Elizabethans
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0216 Re: Physical Size of Elizabethans

As I understand it, physical stature is quite significantly influenced by the
(net rather than proportional) amount of animal proteins in the diet during
childhood. I'd therefore expect average stature to have generally increased
with wealth/social status, and would be interested to know of any evidence,
literary or otherwise, that this was so. (Offhand, I don't remember any such
thing, myself, apart from the still prevalent general association in fictional
representation of physical stature with *individual* - and particularly male -
social, moral, and spiritual stature.) However, I'd imagine that an even
slightly visible positive correlation between stature and social stratum would
have been made much of, especially in reinforcing notions of hereditary
superiority and inferiority (nobility of 'blood', 'breeding', etc).

Ann Chance
The Univerity of Western Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re: About This List

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0227.  Wednesday, 20 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Richard Kincaid <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 17 Mar 1996 15:52:57
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0220  Re: About This List

(2)     From:   Shirley Kagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 15:38:41 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0223 Re: About This List

(3)     From:   Peggy Galbraith <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 22:41:42 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0223 Re: About This List

(4)     From:   A. E. B. Coldiron <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Mar 1996 07:34:54 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0223  Re: About This List


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Kincaid <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 17 Mar 1996 15:52:57
Subject: 7.0220  Re: About This List
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0220  Re: About This List

I have been a member of SHAKSPER for one month now and I have enjoyed most of
the postings. From what I've observed, it doesn't seem that there are anymore
stupid questions asked by non-intellectuals than there are excessive discussion
on a topics (i.e., the Funeral Elegy) by scholars who seem more intent on
showing themselves to be right than by enlightening anyone. But,  if someone
asks something inappropriate or beleaguers a point,  I just say "yadayadayada"
and press the delete. (try it, it works!). And what is a stupid question, if it
is sincere?

On a more philosophical note, I do have to ask: What  good is knowledge if it
is not to be shared, and who better to share it with than those less learned
than yourself. It seems to me that "scholarly"  discussion amongst ones peer is
just a step above mental masturbation. Some of you write as though you are
writing doctorate thesis. If that=92s the same tone you  use with your
students, I have  to  wonder if you're reaching them at all.

I know some of you spend your day teaching Shakespeare to students who for the
most part are only there for the credits, whereas all I have to do get on stage
and make it real and vital to an audience weaned on sitcoms, sound bites and
sensationalism, and maybe you don't want to have to deal with the less learned
on your own time, and if that's the case than I can understand. But I'll bet
that none of you who make a new group will leave this one. I don't want to be
cut out of the loop. I enjoy the discussions, as dry as they might get
("yadayadayada" --delete), and I believe I and others like me bring something
to the party, an open mind, a different perspective, an appreciation of His
works as an expression of the human spirit that goes beyond the quantifying of
feminine ending and the usage of  "of". That's my thoughts, and if I've
offended anyone, well, enjoy your list.

Rick Kincaid

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Shirley Kagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 15:38:41 -1000
Subject: 7.0223 Re: About This List
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0223 Re: About This List

Dear Gabriel Egan,

In response to your recent remarks:

>Does anybody have a definition of a community with which they would like
>to share their opinions which is not elitist?

>That last is not a rhetorical question. I'd like to hear responses from
>undergraduate subscribers to SHAKSPER (one of the groups I would
>exclude) who wouldn't mind if school children joined in our discussions.

Although I am not an undergraduate (I am currently finishing up an MFA in
Directing) I would most certainly NOT mind it if school children joined in our
discussions.  On the contrary, I would find it refreshing and bewildiringly
heartening to know there are school children out there who care.  My teaching
career has not yet been long and is far from being formidable, but at this
early stage I still view education as a symbiosis.  My desire to educate does
not limit itself to whom I would care to educate; if through my theatre and
teaching I can reach someone - anyone, then I have done a good thing.  In the
same way, I do not have any set rule about whom I may be educated by; it
usually means that those who are older and wiser teach me, but I have been
consistently surprised by the number of times I have learned something from
those who are beneath me in the academic food chain.

Sincerely,
Shirley Kagan

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peggy Galbraith <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Mar 1996 22:41:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0223 Re: About This List
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0223 Re: About This List

I just wanted to respond, belatedly, to Michael Saenger's post regarding
undergraduates using this list in a manner which he termed "plagiarism," as
well as to Gabriel Egan's more recent call for undergraduates who would like to
hear from school children.  I do not take objection to the splitting of
SHAKSPER; if it does happen, I'll just subscribe to both and watch and enjoy
quietly from the sidelines as I normally do with the single list we have now.
However, I am disturbed by some of the comments which have surfaced in
relationship to the proposed split. First, the unfounded accusation of
plagairism.  Last year, when I was working my term paper on Shakespeare's use
of the dramatic metaphor, I twice used this list to ask questions of those who
knew more about my topic, and scholarship on my topic, than I did.  In my mind,
this is what SHAKSPER, and education in general, should be about.  In both
instances, I received a great deal of assistance which I otherwise would not
have been able to receive, and my paper, as well as my appreciation of
Shakespeare, benifitted from this exchange.  Virtually every undergrad I know
would have been estactic to get such great help, and would have, as I did,
CITED IT PROPERLY AND TAKEN EVERY CARE NOT TO COMMIT THE DREADED "P" WORD.
Trust me, we're all neurotic enough to follow up on that kind of thing.

Secondly, the implication that no one without a PhD and years of experience has
ever had a new or exciting idea.  I think that it is precisely BECAUSE many
undergraduates (and yes, even lowly school children) aren't confined by
traditional scholarship that they are in a wonderful position to make fresh
insights into plays and sonnets which have been studied extensively for
hundreds of years.  If a sixth grader had an interpretation which I had never
considered, I would welcome reading it on this list.  I am still naive enough
to believe that everyone has something to offer, and it is my firm belief that
even the experts who subscribe to this list can benefit from an intelligent
dialogue which includes "the rest of us."

Sincerely,
Peggy Galbraith
Duke University
Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Class of 1998

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           A. E. B. Coldiron <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 20 Mar 1996 07:34:54 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0223  Re: About This List
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0223  Re: About This List

Dear Prof. Cook and fellow list-readers,

I come to this discussion a little late, so I'll ask that this not be posted if
it repeats what has already been said here.  I understand and share a desire
for academically informative talk on this list.  I also understand the
nonspecialist's desire to have Shakespeare as a "hobby."  But it seems to me we
academics have here a rare opportunity. Instead of being perceived and
stereotyped as ivory-tower-bound, overly-theorized, anti-civilisation,
post-rational, elitist, geekish, or otherwise irrelevant to our culture, we can
in such a forum show ourselves capable of meaningful discourses with a wider
public.  Recent efforts to shrink academic budgets have sometimes used such
stereotypes as justification (well, maybe not the "geek" stereotype); here's a
place we can show that our arcana are not only that, that our work has value in
the world of 1996, that no one need de-fund us on the grounds of perceived
irrelevancy (or worse).

That is--if we can explain ourselves in such a way that specialists will find
our talk illuminating while non-specialists will find it interesting.  I think
we can do that, and everyone will win.  (We can always delete messages or
threads we don't want to read--thanks to Hardy Cook's good work.)

  A. Coldiron
  University of Virginia

Other 17th Century Conferences; Shakespearians in SF

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0225.  Sunday, 17 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Harvey Wheeler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 16 Mar 96 16:49:04 UT
        Subj:   Other 17th century conferences

(2)     From:   Michael Ginsborg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 16 Mar 1996 17:35:38 -0800
        Subj:   For Shakespearians in the San Francisco area


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harvey Wheeler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 16 Mar 96 16:49:04 UT
Subject:        Other 17th century conferences

Actually I am a Bacon specialist.

Does anyone happen to know of other 17th century conferences?

Bacon;
The Baroque

Constitutionalism;

Political Theory;

Civil Wars;

Stuarts

James I

stuff like that there...?

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Ginsborg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 16 Mar 1996 17:35:38 -0800
Subject:        For Shakespearians in the San Francisco area

If you live in the Bay Area, and want to join an informal group to attend local
performances and discuss the plays, please send me an e-mail at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I am considering the California Shakespeare
Festival in Orinda, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the Marin Shakespeare Company,
among other possibilities.

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