1997

Re: Edgar, Gloucester, and "Dover Cliff"

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0142.  Wednesday, 29 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Mary Jane Miller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Jan 1997 10:34:50 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0135  Re: Edgar, Gloucester, and "Dover Cliff"

(2)     From:   John Boni <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Jan 1997 13:37:12 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0135 Re: Edgar, Gloucester, and "Dover Cliff"

(3)     From:   Wes Folkerth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Jan 1997 12:02:19 -0500
        Subj:   Edgar, Gloucester, and "Dover Cliff"

(4)     From:   Chris Stroffolino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Jan 1997 03:02:08 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0135 Re: Edgar, Gloucester, and "Dover Cliff"


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Jane Miller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Jan 1997 10:34:50 -0500
Subject: 8.0135  Re: Edgar, Gloucester, and "Dover Cliff"
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0135  Re: Edgar, Gloucester, and "Dover Cliff"

" In this case it is the placebo that is the successful cure."

But it doesn't work  At the end of IV vi, still seeking death,   Gloucester
tries to run on Oswald's sword.His endurance and acceptance are very
fragile.When he learns of Edgar's true identity, caught without warning between
two 'truths' he dies smilingly --  but he dies.

Mary Jane Miller,
Brock University,

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Boni <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Jan 1997 13:37:12 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 8.0135 Re: Edgar, Gloucester, and "Dover Cliff"
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0135 Re: Edgar, Gloucester, and "Dover Cliff"

I agree with Ed Friedlander's assertion that Edgar's actions in *Lear* reflect
the emphasis on humans to aid (or hurt) other humans--in contrast to Albany's
continued assertions that the gods will reward, punsih, defend, etc.  (This
view constitutes a basis for the assertion that Edgar, not Albany, properly
closes the play, an earlier topic of exchange.)

Edgar loses his identity, assumes a number of shapes, and helps several of the
principals, most notably the father to whom he owes little, except the "bond"
of family, and humanity.  Edgar's lies are generous, not unjurious, even his
lie to the mortally wounded Edmund, which, to me, paints an inspirational
portrait of Gloucester's death, one successfully designed to achieve Edmund's
conversion, "exchange forgiveness with me...."

As Derek Wood writes, "too much truth" is problematic.  "Speak what we feel,
not what we ought to say."

John M. Boni,

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Wes Folkerth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Jan 1997 12:02:19 -0500
Subject:        Edgar, Gloucester, and "Dover Cliff"

Hi all,

Early on in the "The Gutenberg Galaxy," Marshall McLuhan argues that
Shakespeare in this scene gives us the first poetic representation of
three-dimensional space, with Edgar's description of the cliff.

I'm writing a chapter on sound and the Shakespearean theatre, and would like to
consult the list members concerning the viability of one of my ideas, which is
that, given Shakespeare's translation of the technique of perspective from the
visual to the poetic medium, and that he has Edgar use this technique to trick
Gloucester into believing he's positioned somewhere other than where he
actually is (and, according to some of the previous messages concerning this
scene, the audience can be taken in as well) -- could Shakespeare be
experimenting with a kind of verbal anamorphism in this scene?

I welcome any feedback, positive or negative, on this one.

Yours,
Wes Folkerth
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Stroffolino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 29 Jan 1997 03:02:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0135 Re: Edgar, Gloucester, and "Dover Cliff"
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0135 Re: Edgar, Gloucester, and "Dover Cliff"

I'd like to consider the recent question David Richman asks--"does the audience
think the ground is flat or that it is 'horrible steep'?"--in terms of genre.
If we "believe" the ground is flat, then the scene becomes 'comic' (like its
precursor with the Gobbo's in MV); if we accept Edgar's version (or 'lie'),
then we accept tragedy--the idea of the fortunate fall, for instance--(and this
can comment on the LEAR plot too--the idea of a larger than life character
shaking of the superflux). In a sense, the blind Gloucester becomes is the
audience who, initially skeptical of tragic machinations, comes to accept
them---or, Gloucester represents the part of the audience that NEEDS the tragic
lie, Edmund's recognition of this need for tragedy in the part of his audience
may be seen metadramatically. Edmund is actor-playwright--but the dual
perspective (like Pyramus and Thisbe's snug-the-joiner-lion) does not resolve
itself into an either/or dichotomy. The ground IS flat, even if that flatness
is necessarily the "ground" (or material base) of the theatre (in the round
globe).

But I do not think that Edgar's lie CURES G's despair (contra Derek Wood, and
others)---if anything, it suspends it, keeps it temporarily at bay, but does
not have a lasting influence....

chris stroffolino

Early Modern Literary Studies; SSE '97 Tour

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0141.  Tuesday, 28 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Joanne Woolway <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 1997 18:38:46 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Early Modern Literary Studies - New Issue

(2)     From:   The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 1997 15:00:59 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   SSE '97 Sweet Smoke of Rhetoric Tour


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joanne Woolway <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 1997 18:38:46 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        Early Modern Literary Studies - New Issue

The December issue of Early Modern Literary Studies (2.3) is now available at
        http://purl.oclc.org/emls/emlshome.html
and at our Oxford mirror site at
        http://purl.oclc.org/emls/UK/emlshome.html

The new issue contains material listed in the contents page below as well as
links to electronic resources, interactive EMLS (including calls for papers,
conference programs, work in progress and electronic papers), and to several
other projects.

Submissions and enquiries should be directed to

Joanne Woolway
Oriel College, Oxford
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Raymond G. Siemens     Joanne Woolway
Editor                 Co-Editor

Articles:
* Popular Hermeneutics: Monstrous Children in English Renaissance Broadside
Ballads. Helaine Razovsky, Northwestern State University.
* Production Resources at the Whitefriars Playhouse, 1609-1612. Jean
MacIntyre, University of Alberta.
* "Ay me": Selfishness and Empathy in "Lycidas." Jean E.Graham, The College
of New Jersey.

Note:
* Reflections on Milton and Ariosto. Roy Flannagan, Ohio University.

Reviews:
* Robert Weimann. Authority and Representation in Early Modern Discourse.
Ed. David Hillman. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP,1995. Anthony Johnson, Abo
Akademi University.
* Thomas H. Luxon. Literal Figures Puritan Allegory & the Reformation Crisis
in Representation. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1995. David Gay, University of
Alberta.
* Rebecca W. Bushnell. A Culture of Teaching: Early Modern Humanism in
Theory and Practice. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1996. Charles David Jago,
University of British Columbia.
* Graham Parry. The Trophies of Time: English Antiquarians of The
Seventeenth Century. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995.  F. J. Levy, University of
Washington.
* Simon Jarvis. Scholars and Gentlemen: Shakespearean Textual Criticism and
Representations of Scholarly Labour, 1725-1765. Oxford: Clarendon P, 1996.
Bryan N.S. Gooch, University of Victoria.
* Susan Bennett. Performing Nostalgia: Shifting Shakespeare and the
Contemporary Past. New York: Routledge, 1996. Robert Grant Williams,
Nipissing University.
* Garry Wills. Witches and Jesuits: Shakespeare's Macbeth. Oxford and New
York: Oxford UP / NY Public Library, 1995. Michael T. Siconolfi, Gonzaga
University.
* Naomi Conn Liebler. Shakespeare's Festive Tragedy: The Rituals Foundations
of Genre. New York: Routledge, 1995. Jeffrey Kahan.
* Gordon Williams. A Dictionary of Sexual Language and Imagery in
Shakespearean and Stuart Literature. 3 vols. London and New Jersey: Athlone
P, 1994. Douglas Bruster,University of Texas, San Antonio.
* W. S. "A Funeral Elegy for Master William Peter." Compact disk recording
read by Harry Hill. Dir. Paul Hawkins. Text Ed. Donald W. Foster. Montreal:
Concordia University, 1996.Sean Lawrence, University of British Columbia.
* Sir Thomas More. Utopia: Latin Text and English Translation. Eds. George
M. Logan, Robert M. Adams and Clarence Miller.Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1995.
Romuald I. Lakowski.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 1997 15:00:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        SSE '97 Sweet Smoke of Rhetoric Tour

The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express has recently begun its '97 Sweet Smoke of
Rhetoric Tour, which includes Love's Labor's Lost, I Henry IV, and A Midsummer
Night's Dream.  Shakespeareans can look for us at the Folger Shakespeare
Library in May and at the SAA conference in Washington D.C. on March 27.  At
the conference, we will perform Love's Labor's Lost, co-directed by Tom Berger
and Ralph Cohen, and offer a forty-five minute workshop.  Come join us for an
afternoon of high-spirited play.  For more information, please contact our
offices at (540) 434-3366, e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or check out our
website at http://www.shakespeare.com/ShenandoahExpress

Re: Cordelia and the Fool

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0139.  Tuesday, 28 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Edward Pixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 1997 14:43:50 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0128  Re: Assorted

(2)     From:   Edward Pixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 1997 15:03:27 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0119  Cordelia and the Fool


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Pixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 1997 14:43:50 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0128  Re: Assorted
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0128  Re: Assorted

I, too, am fascinated by the many wonderful insights introduced by Syd Kaston's
thread on Fool/Cordelia equations.  But, like Michael Friedman's reference to
Desdemona's commitment to life with her husband, I wonder what we do with
Cordelia's own I.1 statement, "Sure I shall never marry like my sisters, / To
love my father all."

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Pixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 1997 15:03:27 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0119  Cordelia and the Fool
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0119  Cordelia and the Fool

Caveat! Before anyone jumps on me for now recognizing that the last part of the
Cordelia speech I quoted is not in the first folio, we still have her earlier
lines from the same speech:  "Why have my sisters husbands if they say / They
love you all?"  For her to go into the disguise of the Fool following these
lines not only fails to give her the spoken entries to the disguise that we see
in Kent and Edgar, it suggests a deception more akin to what we find in Edmund.
 Though even Edmund revels in the deception of his disguise.  Though the thread
has revealed marvelously evokative Cordelia/Fool parallels, and actual disguise
seems to defy the conventions for disguise that Shakespeare uses elsewhere in
the play.

If I might add to the thread about Edgar's feigning hill climbing, I think it
was in _Shakespeare our Contemporary_ that Jan Kott got such wonderful mileage
out of this being a scene which could work only on that bare platform stage,
because illusionistic scenery would have to show us whether it is a hill or
whether it is a plain, and all the ambiguity is, thus, gone.

Re: Drab; John Gilbert; Branagh's Ham; Iago

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0140.  Tuesday, 28 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Lisa Hopkins <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 97 09:57:00 GMT
        Subj:   A Very Drab

(2)     From:   Judy Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 1997 15:22:26 -0400 (AST)
        Subj:   Re: Sir John Gilbert

(3)     From:   Eric Armstrong <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 1997 22:29:44 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Branagh's Ham

(4)     From:   Brad Morris <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 1997 18:47:22 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Iago, Homosexuality and Psychosis


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lisa Hopkins <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 97 09:57:00 GMT
Subject:        A Very Drab

You could try Kay Stanton, 'Hamlet's Whores', in _New Essays on Hamlet_, edited
by John Manning and Mark Thornton Burnett (AMS Press, 1994).

Lisa Hopkins
Sheffield Hallam University
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judy Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 1997 15:22:26 -0400 (AST)
Subject:        Re: Sir John Gilbert

Sir John Gilbert (1817-1897) is listed in the Encyc Brit 11th ed ( the only ref
I have at home), and I'm sure he's in the DNB, Bryan's Dictionary,
Thieme/Becker, and Benezit, all of which should be in a university library.
Hodnett, in *Five Centuries of Book Illustration* (1988) has something on him.
I believe the Folger fairly recently purchased the originals of his
illustrations for Staunton's ed.

Judy Kennedy
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eric Armstrong <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 1997 22:29:44 -0500
Subject:        Re: Branagh's Ham

I was pleased to see that the Duke of Marlborough (the Marlboro man as the
audience members around me joked) got a role in exchange for the use of his
magnificent palace. The credits ripped by SO fast that I could catch WHAT
he played. I am right in thinking that Elsinore and Brideshead Revisited
are one and the same, no?

Eric Armstrong

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brad Morris <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 1997 18:47:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Iago, Homosexuality and Psychosis

I have often wondered myself about Iago's sexuality, but being in Oklahoma,
finding someone with which to discuss the issue borders on the impossible. I'm
no Shakespeare scholar, but it seems to me that Iago's sexuality is almost
immaterial. I believe him to be-- plain and simple-- a psychotic, nasty
bastard.

John Mortimer wrote that Iago is not "a nineteenth-century politician scheming
for power." Also, JM states simply, "By behaving as he does, Iago makes the
play work." I would tend to agree.

Rather than being driven by a frustrated homosexual desire for Othello (a case
for which can certainly be made, I can't deny that), I have always thought of
him as, well, the Classic Asshole, if you'll excuse the expression. He's just
plain nuts, and I think Shakespeare was among the first to create such a
character. I wonder if we as 20th-century citizens believe wackos of Iago's
sort didn't exist until recently.

I'm sure many will disagree with me, but that's my opinion. I could be wrong.

Brad Morris

Re: WT Productions

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0138.  Tuesday, 28 January 1997.

(1)     From:   David Skeele <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 1997 12:48:39 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0118  Re: WT Productions and Intermissions

(2)     From:   Thomas Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 1997 15:09:41 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0133  Re: WT Productions


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Skeele <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 1997 12:48:39 -0500
Subject: 8.0118  Re: WT Productions and Intermissions
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0118  Re: WT Productions and Intermissions

>One feature of the production attracted a lot of discussion.  When
>Leontes would utter his jealous fantasies, his wife and his friend would be
>bathed in a reddish light, and they would kiss and grope each other, generally
>acting out Leontes' fantasies.  In a manner that I think would have been clear
>even to an audience member who did not know the story, we were able to look
>inside Leontes' mind.
>
>I heard quite polarized opinions about this feature.  In my view, it worked
>pretty well, because by showing us what Leontes thought he was seeing, it made
>it easier for us to understand his actions.

The practice of realizing onstage Leontes' vision of adultery is not original
to the Ashland production.  Trevor Nunn's 1969 production did the same thing,
though he chose to bathe them in a blue light, and it too caused a bit of a
stir, though I'm not sure what the objections were.  I have heard of college
productions also adopting the idea--to the extent that it almost seems to be
becoming de rigeur for that scene.  I am interested--what did the detractors at
Ashland object to about it?

                                                        David Skeele

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 1997 15:09:41 -0500
Subject: 8.0133  Re: WT Productions
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0133  Re: WT Productions

Norm Holland is right about the need to keep the bear a bear.  A Bear has his
own special poetics, and a Dragon's violence is poetically very different from
a Bear's, tending to be more apocalyptical and less natural. Bears are clumsy,
chaotic, rather muddle-headed. Dragons are calculating, malicious and as sharp
as needles. A Dragon kills no one "by the way" as this bear seems to.
(Antigonus is not Siegfried. Or even Mime.) Again, people have been killed,
even recently, by bears, and they do live in uneasy harmony with pastoralists,
and they have been the subject of hunts. These things are not I think, true of
Dragons, who are the subject of Quests, which are very different. Bears are
naturally occurring and were once reasonably widespread in Europe, even on the
seacoasts of Bohemia. Perhaps most important, bears sleep during the Winter. If
this bear is awake and hungry, it may be that we are supposed to infer that
Winter is now ending, and that Spring may be a-springing. That's a bit of
information you can't get across with a Dragon.

Tom Bishop
Case Western Reserve University

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