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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: March ::
Re: Salic; Ghosts; Gibson; A Lover; Critics;
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0332.  Saturday, 8 March 1997.

[1]     From:   David H. Maruyama <
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        Date:   Friday, 7 Mar 1997 09:33:45 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0323 Re: Salic Law

[2]     From:   Gwenette Gaddis <
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        Date:   Friday, 07 Mar 97 12:02:00 EST
        Subj:   Shakespeare's Ghosts

[3]     From:   Billy Houck <
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        Date:   Friday, 7 Mar 1997 13:13:29 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0330 Qs: Road Warrior - Danish version

[4]     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Friday, 7 Mar 1997 17:35:43 GMT
        Subj:   Re: RE: A Lover and his Lass

[5]     From:   Mary Jane Miller <
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        Date:   Friday, 7 Mar 1997 12:09:37 -0500
        Subj:   Rosalind and Celia

[6]     From:   Brian Turner <
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        Date:   Saturday, 8 Mar 1997 22:37:20 +1300
        Subj:   Re: Cordelia and the Fool


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David H. Maruyama <
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Date:           Friday, 7 Mar 1997 09:33:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0323 Re: Salic Law
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0323 Re: Salic Law

In regards to Salic Law, it is made expressly clear I think in the text
that the French are using it as an excuse to deny an inheritance of land
in France.  They do not follow their own excuse.  In the long argument
to convince Henry, Canterbury states that:

'No woman shall succeed in Salic Land'
Which Salic land the French unjustly gloze
To be the realm of France and Paramond
The founder of this law and female bar.
Yet their own authors faithfully affirm
That the land Salic is in Germany,
Between the floods of sala and of Elbe.

Salic law applies in Germany not in France, according to the argument
being presented by Canterbury.  Salic law applies to the lands in
Germany "between the floods of Sala and of Elbe."  France has nothing to
do with it.  Henry's claim is not based on Salic law but rather the
absence of the applicability of Salic law.  Canterbury also notes
further that the French don't follow Salic law either.

d maruyama

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gwenette Gaddis <
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Date:           Friday, 07 Mar 97 12:02:00 EST
Subject:        Shakespeare's Ghosts

Sean K. Kelly asked:

>Is anyone able to share instances where they have found the
>ghosts of Shakespeare to have influenced a work of group of works
>to any great extent.

When I was in grad school, I was fascinated by numerous allusions to
Macbeth in Richard Marius' _The Coming of Rain_.  I had a chance to
talk   with the author when he visited my college campus, and, although
we had a   heated debate about some things I objected to in his book
(don't ask), we   had a quite agreeable discussion about Shakespeare's
influence on his   work.  I've often wondered if his other books reflect
that influence, but   I have not read his other works.

>I would also hope that others might choose to discuss their own thoughts
>on the importance of the ghosts of Shakespeare.

I feel that Shakespeare's ghosts usually serve the purpose of
providing   information that the audience needs in order to understand
the action,   but it's information that the main characters don't know
or can't   provide.  The apparitions invoked by the weird sisters, for
example, seem   more credible than they would if the sisters merely made
verbal   predictions.  And Hamlet's father's ghost provides information
that   Hamlet couldn't discover anywhere else - you don't expect
Claudius to   confess, do you?

And, to some extent, I think the ghosts are sometimes just for
dramatic   effect.  The information conveyed in Lady Macbeth's
sleepwalking routine   could just as easily have been conveyed to the
audience using an   apparition (Lady M seeing an apparition of bloody
hands), but that had   already been done several times in the play.  At
this point, I think it's   just a different dramatic technique.  (I
realize that I'm using the terms   "ghost" and "apparition"
interchangeably here, and some of you may   disagree with that.  I'm
approaching this question from the idea that   both ghosts and
apparitions are supernatural, unreal, intangible.)

Gwenette Gaddis

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[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Billy Houck <
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Date:           Friday, 7 Mar 1997 13:13:29 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0330 Qs: Road Warrior - Danish version
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0330 Qs: Road Warrior - Danish version

I'm concerned about the phrase "for all the wrong reasons..." How wrong
could a reason be if the end result is that the kids dig Hamlet?  It's
only a movie.

My personal problem with Mel is that he looks too old to have just come
from college. This especially bothers my high school students, who are
very age-sensitive. One recently told me thay thought Claire Danes
looked too old to play Juliet.

Billy Houck
Arroyo Grande High School

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Friday, 7 Mar 1997 17:35:43 GMT
Subject:        Re: RE: A Lover and his Lass;

The setting mentioned by David Mycoff  is by Gerald Finzi (not Finza),
and is one of the songs in his Shakespearean cycle 'Let Us Garlands
Bring' - which contains a number of fine settings, especially, perhaps,
that of the 'Dirge' from Cymbeline.

David Lindley
University of Leeds

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Jane Miller <
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Date:           Friday, 7 Mar 1997 12:09:37 -0500
Subject:        Rosalind and Celia

Actually this is regarding  Mark Mann's frustrations, not AYLI

In 1963 in  a guest lecture  at  Stratford Ont   and Artistic Director
Michael Langham  walked to the edge of the Festival stage and  almost
spat out the word" critics". His challenge then was to  the
distinguished critics ( who were there with students and the general
public) to do something useful to help him direct Shakespeare. The
discipline has changed substantially since then but I do understand Mr
Mann's frustrations - which is why I find the discussion on the staging
of Shakespeare in this forum so useful.

A PS - in our university, there are two  courses on Shakespeare taught-
one by the English department and one by the Theatre and Dramatic
Literature programmes in what amounts to a fine arts department. Both
are valuable - and very different.

Mary Jane Miller,
Brock University,

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Turner <
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Date:           Saturday, 8 Mar 1997 22:37:20 +1300
Subject:        Re: Cordelia and the Fool

Syd Kasten in SHK 8.0167.

>In  Act 4 scene iii in which a gentleman describes Cordelia reading a letter,
>presumably from Kent and uttering comments that imply the events of the
>expulsion of Lear are new to her: "What, i'the storm? i'the night? Let pity not
>be believed!"

>However, this raises another question.  A.W. Verity, editor of my high school
>edition credits Bradley with "the acute criticism that there is no other
>character in Shakespeare who, appearing so little and speaking so little, makes
>so profound an impression".  Surely the author could have found a way giving
>Cordelia a few more lines to show her state of mind without damaging her image
>of strength.  Instead he gave them to an anonymous third party just as he did
>with the Fools introduction.  If 4,iii is omitted as in the folio version
>there is no problem.  In the following scene when the messenger tells her of
>the state of her sisters' forces, her answer "T'is known before" refers to the
>information she has gathered herself.  With the previous scene in place we can,
>according to the standard reading, take her to be referring to the contents of
>Kent's letter. But why not have her read the letter to us?  The answer is, as I
>suggested in the previous posting, she is just finishing her costume change and
>isn't available.

I'm sorry about taking so long to respond to the above posting however I
had thought that those with a little more advantage of study than myself
might have been able to resolve this. So I had to think about it.

The questions are: Why is Cordelia's part so short? Why was that funny
little scene included in the quarto and cut in the folio? (I indicated
previously that a costume change would be an unlikely reason.)

A careful analysis of Cordelia's lines is quite revealing. (I utilised
electronic selection.) She has about thirty speeches, none more than
thirteen lines, most much shorter. The most significant aspect is the
simplicity of the writing. There is very little of the complexity of
construction that is frequently found in Shakespeare. The thought struck
me that he was writing for an inexperienced actor.

As we know, Shakespeare was writer in residence for a stable company of
players, and it is quite likely that he had actors in mind for most of
the parts during script development.

We also know that women were not permitted on the stage in Elizabethan
times and the female parts were taken by boys. Hence, naturally, the
actors taking female roles would have less experience than those taking
male roles.  (Shakespeare wrote marvellous parts for women yet one
wonders what he might have achieved had actresses been available.) The
other problem with boy actors is that they tend to grow up quite fast,
so there would be a high turnover and, consequently times when the boy
actors were untrained.  I believe that Shakespeare may well have written
the part of Cordelia for a new boy who was appointed to replace a boy
actor who became too old to play female parts.

The parts of Goneril and Regan are longer and written with greater
complexity of phrase and are obviously meant for more experienced
actors.  Why then was the part of Cordelia allocated to the least
experienced actor?  I could guess perhaps because Cordelia was the
youngest. Also Goneril and Regan are nasty pieces of work and it
requires greater skill to be nasty on stage than it does to be nice.

The purpose of  act 4, scene iii would then be to develop the character
of Cordelia without her having to appear on stage. Perhaps the young lad
was not capable of 'emotional expressiveness'. The scene does not exist
in the folio and, if this represents a revision of the quarto, as many
critics assert, it is probable that Shakespeare removed it when he found
from experience that the play worked quite well without it or it may
have been that the new lad had developed acting skills in the meantime.

Syd's thesis was that the Fool was Cordelia in disguise. Looking at the
lines of the Fool I get the impression that they were written for an
experienced actor, perhaps one who could sing and play the lute, and the
tradition that they were for Robert Armin agrees with this.
 

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