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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: February ::
Re: Katherina in Shr. and New Globe Theater
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0192.  Wednesday, 12 February 1997.

(1)     From:   Helen Ostovich <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 10:12:17 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0186 Q: Shrew

(2)     From:   Melissa Aaron <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 14:25:30 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0186  Q: Shrew

(3)     From:   Heather Stephenson <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 11:19:42 U
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0186  Q: Shrew

(4)     From:   Andrew Walker White <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 12 Feb 1997 00:02:58 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0186 Q: Shrew

(5)     From:   Patricia Cooke <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 12 Feb 1997 07:39:11 +1200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0186  Q: Shrew

(6)     From:   Ann Marie Olson <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 19:16:04 -0600
        Subj:   Reply to JoAnna Koskinen, New Globe Theater


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Helen Ostovich <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 10:12:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0186 Q: Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0186 Q: Shrew

I see no reason to invent lurid pasts for characters when a look at any
family's relationships will tell you that jealousy between sisters is common,
and so is playing favorites by parents -- or at least, appearing to play
favorites.  Although Katherine claims that Baptista wants her to remain an old
maid, in fact he announces that Bianca may not marry until her sister is
wedded. Beatrice's situation in Much Ado does not call for an assumption of
bastardy.  It was common practice to send a child into another household to be
educated, or act as companion, before marriage. Indeed it was considered a good
preparation for marriage to observe how other households were run.  The fact
that Beatrice stayed on was also not uncommon, since she and her cousin are
best friends.

Helen Ostovich
McMaster University

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa Aaron <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 14:25:30 -0600
Subject: 8.0186  Q: Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0186  Q: Shrew

The idea that Katherine isn't really Baptista's daughter is certainly
interesting.  I can't really think of any direct eveidence fro it, though. It's
just possibly one of those "Cinderella" situations, where she is his
stepdaughter, but I can't quite believe that Shakespeare would leave that out.

To me the explanation's much simpler:  Baptista really dotes on his youngest
and can't stand his eldest.  Economically, it makes sense to marry her off, but
if you look closely at his behavior, B. tries to sabotage it: "I have a
daughter, sir, called Katherina."  "She is not for your turn, the more my
grief."  Etc.  And though it seems "unnatural,"  plenty of parents just plain
don't like their offspring.  Doesn't Baptista pay for his blindness in the end?

Melissa Aaron

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Heather Stephenson <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 11:19:42 U
Subject: 8.0186  Q: Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0186  Q: Shrew

JoAnna Koskinen asks:
>What do you think? Is it possible that "Kat" (I tend to run along lines of
>animal imagery when speaking of her) was not a child of Baptista?

Of course, it's possible.  As your Much Ado example attests to, many of the
plays could be read to include subtle bastard overtones -- especially when read
today by people who have different attitudes toward the concept of the
"immediate family" than were held when the plays were written.

And:
>If so, then where does the need to marry her off come from, and his
>willingness to pay for it?

Perhaps it would be far worse for a wealthy man of standing to be cuckolded
than to pay a dowry for a child not his own.

Cheers,
Heather

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <
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Date:           Wednesday, 12 Feb 1997 00:02:58 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0186 Q: Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0186 Q: Shrew

We had a production in Urbana, Illinois last summer which treated Katerina and
Bianca as sibling rivals.  If Bianca is daddy's favorite, and if all her beaus
are crazy about her in spite of her obvious lack of wits, the solution is to
show that Kate is the one with the brains in the family, and she is forced to
contend with two nitwits.  You'd have an attitude, too, if you had a father
like that.

It was great fun playing a clueless Hortensio to a truly dizzy Bianca, I have
to say it works well -- especially when she gets extremely tipsy and 'shifts
her bush' at the wedding reception ...

Andy "Which End of a Lute is Up?" White
Arlington, VA

(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Patricia Cooke <
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Date:           Wednesday, 12 Feb 1997 07:39:11 +1200
Subject: 8.0186  Q: Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0186  Q: Shrew

>  JoAnna Koskinen  asks

>Also, does anyone have info on the New Globe Theatre, or knowledge of a link
>with news?

The link is http://www.reading.ac.uk/globe/ which gives news about the new
Globe and links to other sites

Patricia Cooke, Secretary & Editor
Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand Inc

(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ann Marie Olson <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 19:16:04 -0600
Subject:        Reply to JoAnna Koskinen, New Globe Theater

I visited the new Globe in June and can share a few impressions and some solid
information. Impressions: it's wonderful! I've studied Shakespeare for years,
taught it for years on the high school level, done a master's thesis on
Shakespearean comedy, and directed Much Ado on stage. Despite many years of
academic working knowledge of the Globe, being there was eye-opening! The
intimacy of the space informs the dynamics of Shakespeare's language and scenic
structures. It is truly not to be missed. My certificate, indicating that I
financed a small part of the construction, is my most prized souvenir from a
two-week trip. The other impression is that nobody in London seems to know how
to find it! If you go, get good directions ahead of time or take a taxi. Don't
ask Londoners--we encountered many who said, "You're looking for the WHAT?"
Unbelievable! For information, contact: The Globe Exhibition Office,
Shakespeare's Globe, New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9ED. Phone number is
0171 928 6406. Fax 0171 401 8261. You can also join the Friends of
Shakespeare's Globe society by contacting them at P.O. Box No. 70, Southwark,
London SE1 9EN.
 

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