1996

Re: About This List; Music/Political Power

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0209.  Friday, 15 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Todd M. Lidh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 12:12:36 -0500
        Subj:   About This List

(2)     From:   Robin Headlam Wells <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 17:11:43 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: Q: Music/Political Power


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Todd M. Lidh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 12:12:36 -0500
Subject:        About This List

I have to take some exception with what has been said about this "new list"
which will somehow avoid such things as "Questions that are obviously from
undergrads fishing for ideas (also called plagiarism)." While I'm not condoning
plagiarism (please), I can safely say that undergrads have been the minority
when it comes to fishing for ideas on SHAKSPER.

After all, hardly a day goes by when someone does not post asking for feedback,
bibliographical recommendation, or outright help on a particular topic. These
have ranged from the performing of older female characters to Welsh
characterizations in Shakespeare's plays.

If we are not free to do this kind of collegiate interaction without the
spectre of plagiarism being cast over it all, where does one go for such
interactivity? It seems to me that this very concept is part of what instigated
the formation of SHAKSPER in the first place.

Also, how do we choose to define "excessive discussion on a topic?" Number of
posts? What if the discussion is ground-breaking? Or just interesting? Who
decides? Or, will it be decided which topics merit longer discussions?

Is no one else trouble by what that implies?

I don't mean to sound reactionary or blow things out of proportion ("shoot from
the hip," as it were), but I do wonder about the motivation behind this
movement to form a new and better list, one "free" from these annoyances of
true interactive discussion.

Todd M. Lidh
UNC-Chapel Hill

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Headlam Wells <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 17:11:43 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        Re: Q: Music/Political Power

On Thu, 14 Mar 1996, Cherrie Gottesleben wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> I'm thinking of a graduate thesis that links the power of music with political
> power in the English Renaissance.  Speech and rhetoric -- language and its
> emotional tones might somehow be the bridge. If anyone can supply some
> bibliographic information it would be welcome. Thanks!
>
Dear Cherrie,

May I immodestly offer my own book, *Elizabethan Mythologies* (Cambridge
University Press, 1994). It deals, amongst other things, with music as part of
the process of political myth making. But I should warn you that it's a bit
rude about some Cultural Materialist and New Historicist myth making.

Good luck with your dissertation.

Robin Headlam Wells, Editor, Renaissance Forum, Department of English,
University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX, UK

Re: Older Female Characters and Early Modern Acting

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0208.  Friday, 15 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Helen Ostovich <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 11:51:11 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: 7.0204 Re: Older Female Characters and Early Modern Acting

(2)     From:   James Schaefer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 13:25:46 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   [Older Female Roles]

(3)     From:   Katherine Rowe <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 15:22:40 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Older Female Characters and Early Modern Acting

(4)     From:   David Carnegie <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 15 Mar 1996 10:39:10 +1200
        Subj:   Re: Older Female Characters and Early Modern Acting

(5)     From:   Martin Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 21:53:53 GMT
        Subj:   Re: Older Female Characters and Early Modern Acting

(6)     From:   David M Richman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 15 Mar 1996 09:35:51 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: Older Female Characters and Early Modern Acting


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Helen Ostovich <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 11:51:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Re: 7.0204 Re: Older Female Characters and Early Modern Acting

It might be interesting to discover, if possible, how old Dick Robinson was in
1616.  He is the actor requested by name in _The Devil is an Ass_ to play the
part of the Spanish Lady.  In the play, Dick is not available, and the part
goes to Wittipol instead.  But the character Wittipol was played by Dick
Robinson.  So does anyone know how old Dick was?

Helen Ostovich
Department of English / Editor, _REED Newsletter_
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada  L8S 4L9

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Schaefer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 13:25:46 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        [Older Female Roles]

Bradley Berens' query about who played older female roles is interesting.
Quentin Crisp's protrayal of Queen Elizabeth in the film of Orlando was
completely convincing to me (and the performance was additionally complicated
by the female actor who played -- let's see, at that point (1584, when the
Thames froze over) Orlando was still male.

I suppose there is a discussion that could be started about the androgyny of,
if not old age itself, then of old people as depicted (sometimes) by
playwrights.  Odd that for the last 20-odd years most of the discussion I've
heard about androgyny has been about the _young_ (and the young-to-middle-aged
-- David Bowie, et al).

Jim Schaefer

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Katherine Rowe <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 15:22:40 -0500
Subject:        Re: Older Female Characters and Early Modern Acting

The "mysterious woodcut" sounds very like the title pages of the 1620 pamphlet
exchange about cross dressing, taken out of context.  See *Hic mulier: or, The
man-woman and Haec-vir: or, The womanish-man*. (This was reprinted from the
1620 eds. published b [Editor's note: part of message appears to have been
lost.  HMC]

Cheers,
Katherine Rowe
Yale University

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Carnegie <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 15 Mar 1996 10:39:10 +1200
Subject:        Re: Older Female Characters and Early Modern Acting

Two recent books tend to reaffirm our understanding that there was a sharp
division in the acting profession (so-called 'boys' playing women's roles, and
'men' playing men):  T J King, *Casting Shakespeare's Plays: London Actor's and
their Roles, 1590-1642* (Cambridge 1992), and David Bradley, *From Text to
Performance in the Elizabethan Theatre: Prepaing the Play for the Stage*
(Cambridge, 1992).  King says categorically that 'the boy actors with these
companies do *not* play adult male roles, nor do adult actors play female
roles' (p. 6); but his dogmatism is undercut by the inclusion of the example of
the young Dick Jubie playing both a woman and a man in *Alcazar*.  Bradley's
book is much the more useful, because less mechanistic (and freer of error),
but he also finds any alteration from the standard pattern very rare.

The fact that men did not normally play women is not of course an argument that
they were not capable of it: for a slightly later seventeenth century example,
one needs look no farther than Moliere's company in France (Madame Pernelle in
*Tartuffe*, for instance, was a drag role).

David Carnegie, Department of Theatre & Film
Victoria University of Wellington

(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 21:53:53 GMT
Subject:        Re: Older Female Characters and Early Modern Acting

John Ramsay mentions Robertson Davies' "Shakespeare's Boy Actors." This was
published in London in 1939 by J. M. Dent & Sons; Chapter IV is entitled (in
part) "The Old Women in Shakespeare's Plays and the Men who played them."

Also, James H. Forse, in "Art Imitates Business" (Bowling Green State
University Popular Press, 1993) discusses (in Chapter 3) the likelihood that
men (not boys) played the more mature female roles.

Martin Green

(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David M Richman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 15 Mar 1996 09:35:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Re: Older Female Characters and Early Modern Acting

A contribution to the speculation-not-evidence department.  The Nurse and
Mercutio are played by the company's principal comedians.  Like principals in
theatrical companies throughout history, these performers engage in friendly
onstage and offstage rivalry.  The extended sparring match between the Nurse
and Mercutio (R and J II, iv) allows this rivalry to find expression on the
stage. "What saucie merchant is that?" "Farewell ancient lady" (quoting from
memory.)  Might a pair of adult principal comedians engage in similar sparring
matches in *Much Ado about Nothing?*  That adult male actors played older
female roles is a plausible proposition.

David Richman
University of New Hampshire

Qs: Music/Political Power; World Shakespeare

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0206.  Thursday, 14 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Cherrie Gottsleben <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Mar 1996 13:03:16 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   RESEARCH

(2)     From:   Joe Shea <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 02:56:23 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0198 Re: World Shakespeare Conference


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cherrie Gottsleben <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Mar 1996 13:03:16 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        RESEARCH

Hello all,

I'm thinking of a graduate thesis that links the power of music with political
power in the English Renaissance.  Speech and rhetoric -- language and its
emotional tones might somehow be the bridge. If anyone can supply some
bibliographic information it would be welcome. Thanks!

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joe Shea <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 02:56:23 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 7.0198 Re: World Shakespeare Conference
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0198 Re: World Shakespeare Conference

Can someone email me info about the World Shakespeare Conference in in LA on
April 7-14?  Is there a prtess facility there?

Best,
Joe Shea
Editor-in-Chief
The American Reporter

Re: About This List

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0207.  Thursday, 14 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Michael Saenger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Mar 1996 18:31:00 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   About This List

(2)     From:   Harvey Wheeler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Mar 96 22:38:19 UT
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0199  Re: About This List


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Saenger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Mar 1996 18:31:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        About This List

Ever since I first mentioned the idea of an edited list I have gotten requests,
public and private, simply to start one.  I do not want to undermine SHAKSPER,
which I value very highly, nor Hardy, who is doing a fantastic job.  But it is
obvious that I am not the only one who wants a higher level of dialogue, even
among those still on the list.  So, let's do it.  If you want to join this
list, please send me a private message, along with any ideas or advice you have
on how you think this should be done.  In particular, I need input from those
with internet expertise on how to arrange this.  I have no particular passion
to run this list, so I am also entirely open to people who would like to do so.

Basically, these are the rules:

Any one can subscribe

Submissions will be screened

The following will be welcome:

        Naive questions
        Informed discussion
        Diverse points of view

The following will be screened out:

        Cyberspace farts from people who are "shooting from the
                hip": e.g. "I think Hamlet says something about that in
                the middle of the play."

        Excessive discussion on any one topic

        Questions that are obviously from undergrads fishing for ideas
                (also called plagiarism)

        Excessive contributions from any one member of the list

        Questions that should simply be asked to a librarian


Yours,
Michael Saenger

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harvey Wheeler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Mar 96 22:38:19 UT
Subject: 7.0199  Re: About This List
Comment:        RE: SHK 7.0199  Re: About This List

This conference is superbly run and all I need do if the thread gets dull is
delete.

But also, I would like to be able to evesdrop on the discussions of the top
scholars.  So, how about a set of members entitled to post read-only
contributions.  Would this give us the best of both worlds?  The exclusivity
doesn't bother me.  If it did, I would apply to join them, submitting a
contribution designed to earn their vote to admit me.  It is a kind of gloss on
academic refereeing.

One could still E-Mail them privately.

Re: Funeral Elegy (and the Sonnets)

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0205.  Thursday, 14 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Don Foster <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Mar 1996 19:42:05 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Funeral Elegy (and the Sonnets)

(2)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Mar 1996 14:37:24 -0800
        Subj:   Funeral Elegy

(3)     From:   Michael Skovmand <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 09:39:47 MET
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0202  Re: Funeral Elegy (and the Sonnets)


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Foster <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Mar 1996 19:42:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Funeral Elegy (and the Sonnets)

Just when I say that I'll try to avoid arguing with Richard Kennedy, he again
bites his own foot.  He writes:

>The word "of" is a weak word, very useful, but not much for poetic
>expression, lacking tension, emphasis, and so forth.  Worse yet, >you
>wouldn't want to begin a line with the feeble thing. In the >Funeral Elegy, 30
>lines begin with "Of". In the first 578 lines of >the Sonnets, 2 lines begin
>with "Of". I'm as sorry about it as >Shakespeare probably was, but statistics
>are statistics.

The reason that FE has a high percentage of "Of" (1 per 20 lines) will be
perfectly obvious to most SHAKSPERians: The verse is highly enjambed.  Only a
few English poets living in 1612--all London playwrights--sustain a rate of
enjambment as high as that found in FE--and ALL of those poets have a high
percentage of lines beginning with "Of." As Shakespeare's rate of enjambment
rockets upward from 1606 to 1613, so does his frequency of lines beginning with
"Of."  If there were not about 30 lines beginning with "Of" in the Elegy, it
would constitute evidence *against* Shakespeare's authorship.  For example: of
the first 250 lines of Henry VIII (from I.i.1 to I.ii.25, which everyone agrees
are by Shakespeare), 11 begin with "Of" (1 per 23 lines); of the first 250
pentameter lines of TNK (from I.i.26 to II.i.42), 10 begin with "Of" (1 per 25
lines).  And yet both of these are conversational texts, with discontinuous
speeches--so that many more lines must begin a new sentence than in the
continuous quatrains of a poem like FE. Adjusted for differences between
dramatic and nondramatic texts, or between blank verse and continuous
quatrains, we should expect to find about 1 line out of 30 beginning with "Of"
in Sh's portion of H8 and TNK, 1 line out of 20 beginning with "Of" in a poem
by Shakespeare written in 1612.  Lines beginning with "Of" are somewhat *more*
frequent than expected in the opening scenes of H8 and TNK, right on the money
for FE. Once again, Mr. Kennedy has spoken without first checking his facts.
This is, however, the last time that I will respond to his posts.  It is good
for Shakespeare studies, and for critical reception of the Funeral Elegy, when
Mr. Kennedy performs the role of gadfly, but I have no wish to continue
swinging at him.  I wish Mr. Kennedy all deserved success in the months ahead
as he seeks to gain an audience for his views.

Don Foster

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Mar 1996 14:37:24 -0800
Subject:        Funeral Elegy

The comparison of the Funeral Elegy with the Sonnets seems to be a good idea.
To make the chore a bit easier, I've been toting up some items using the whole
578 lines of the Elegy and the first 578 lines of the Sonnets -- which goes 2
lines into sonnet 42. That seems as representative a chunk as any, and fair
enough to the task, seeing as I have no computer program to sic on these
selections.  My counting may be off 2 or 3 either way, but the counting was
done by hand and the tally differences are large enough that a small error
might be excused.

Lines ending with a colon:                      Elegy 10, Sonnets 55

Words with 4 or more syllables:                 Elegy 73, Sonnets 15

The use of ellipses:                            Elegy 8, Sonnets NONE

Total of full-stopped sentences:                Elegy 79, Sonnets 107

Lines carried over w/o punctuation:             Elegy 289, Sonnets 77

Lines beginning with "of":                      Elegy 30, Sonnets 2

Lines with punctuation within:                  Elegy 212, Sonnets 108

Use of question marks:                          Elegy 6, Sonnets 19

Of course you might take 578 lines of the Sonnets from back to front, or select
from the middle, but this seems a good sample, and the differences are quite
easy to see, as well as it is obvious that Richard Abrams is wrong when he
writes in the Shakespeare Newsletter: "Judged by his largely unconscious
linguistic preferences, W.S.'s style seems virtually indistinguishable from
Shakespeare's."

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Skovmand <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Mar 1996 09:39:47 MET
Subject: 7.0202  Re: Funeral Elegy (and the Sonnets)
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0202  Re: Funeral Elegy (and the Sonnets)

I must take issue with the Kathman/Godshalk *radicality* of uncertainty as to
the dating of the sonnets : sonnets 138 and 144 appeared in the miscellany *The
Passionate Pilgrim* in 1599, with only a few insignificant variations in
spelling! And these two, IMHO, are among his most sophisticated and *mature*
sonnets, thematically and stylistically. Shakespeare, in other words, was fully
developed as a sonneteer by 1599. Doesn't this make any dating game involving
FE and the sonnets highly problematic?

Michael Skovmand
U. of Aarhus
Denmark

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