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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: January ::
Re: Mousetrap; Daughters; Richard 3; Astronomy
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0061.  Wednesday, 15 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Rick Jones <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 10:47:29 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0047 Re: The Mousetrap

(2)     From:   Anthony Haigh <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 12:44:40 -400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0043  Question about Resources

(3)     From:   Ed Pixley <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 16:53:03 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0032  Re: Richard III, Lover

(4)     From:   Chris Gordon <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Jan 97 21:41:00 -0600
        Subj:   SHK 8.0054 Shakespeare and Astronomy


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rick Jones <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 10:47:29 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 8.0047 Re: The Mousetrap
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0047 Re: The Mousetrap

I'm perfectly willing to buy an argument that Claudius cannot remain
stone-faced through the Mousetrap scene.  But we should be careful not to
confuse Claudius's "admitting his guilt" with Hamlet's (and perhaps Horatio's)
*perception* that he has done so.  Were I to direct the play or play Claudius
(both unlikely but not altogether implausible eventualities), I would center on
Hamlet's running commentary, calling attention in particular to the fact that
the murderer in the enactment is the king's nephew.

Just as Macbeth believes himself invulnerable because of all that Birnam Wood,
from woman born stuff, so does Hamlet believe that he has proved Claudius's
guilt by enacting the means of the murder.  But Claudius can plausibly claim he
was responding to the relationship of murderer to victim.

The problem is that we tend to see such problems in disjunctive terms: Claudius
either is or is not proven guilty.  I think it is a reasonable position to
believe that the LAPD framed a guilty man in the O.J. Simpson case.  It is also
reasonable that Hamlet (however inadvertently) has done the same to Claudius.

Rick Jones

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Anthony Haigh <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 12:44:40 -400
Subject: 8.0043  Question about Resources
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0043  Question about Resources

In reply to Susan Mather's questions regarding Shakespeare and his daughters...

Two summers ago I attended the summer Institute in Stratford and one of the
ongoing seminars was on Shakespeare and his relationship to his daughters and
the whole question of father/daughter relationships in the plays.  As the only
father in the group I was somewhat backed into a corner (not always an
unpleasant experience!) and was cast as the defender of fatherhood. I have been
playing with the idea ever since - it seems a powerful, and underdeveloped one.
 Are Helena/Hermia, Rosalind/Celia, Olivia/Viola different versions of
Susanna/Judith?  Why do daughters betray their fathers?  Are fathers too hard
on their daughters?  Are daughters mere property, or does William offer us a
more modern, and less paternalistic paradigm?  Good questions all.

Is there anyone else from that seminar (run by Ruth Ann Henderson of the
University of Turin) on the list?  Could we begin to reconstruct the debate as
the starting point for a discussion?

I would direct Ms. Mather to Peter Whelan's excellent play "The Herbal Bed"
and, of course to Bond's "Bingo."  The RSC recently toured a double bill of
"The Tempest" and "Bingo."  The double casting worked very well, but the Bond
faired less well against a superbly directed and acted "Tempest."  Did anyone
else see these productions?

I felt that Whelan's Susanna was very sympathetically drawn and could indeed
have been the Bard's daughter.  Am I right to detect a somewhat less
sympathetic reaction to her marriage to the prosaic Dr. Hall?

I look forward to hearing from wiser heads than mine.

Cheers,
Tony Haigh
Centre College, KY

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Pixley <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 16:53:03 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0032  Re: Richard III, Lover
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0032  Re: Richard III, Lover

Christine:  What a refreshing treatment of Richard's response to himself as
lover!  You have, for me, generated considerable thought, not just on Richard
III (as tragedy), but also on the regenerative power of love as a motif that
could inform much of Shakespeare.  You mentioned Edmund, but isn't Lear himself
restored to sanity by the realization that Cordelia not only does but "can"
love him?  The forgiveness scene between them is one of the things that makes
the final scene so "awe"ful. I won't dwell on this now, but Leontes _WT_ and
Benedick seem also to benefit from the power of love, and I believe one could
even make a case for Petruchio.

Thank you,
Ed Pixley
SUNY-Oneonta

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Gordon <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jan 97 21:41:00 -0600
Subject: Shakespeare and Astronomy
Comment:        SHK 8.0054 Shakespeare and Astronomy

For anyone intrigued by Bill Godshalk's posting from _The Times_, hie thee to
your astronomy colleagues: the January/February issue of _Mercury_, the Journal
of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific has "Shakespeare's Astronomy" by the
same Peter Usher as the cover story. The astronomer friend with whom I serve on
the board of the Minneapolis Planetarium (I'm the token humanist) brought it to
our meeting today--to which I had brought copies of Bill's post.

Chris Gordon
 

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