Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: March ::
Re: Polonius
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0355.  Friday, 14 March 1997.

[1]     From:   John Cox <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 13 Mar 1997 10:56:32 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Polonius and the Countess Rossillion

[2]     From:   Sean K. Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 13 Mar 1997 20:37:58 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0350  Re: Polonius' Precepts


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Cox <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 13 Mar 1997 10:56:32 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Polonius and the Countess Rossillion

When the Countess Rossillion bids farewell to her son Bertram, she uses
rhetoric and sentiments that are very similar to Polonius' (AWW
1.1.61-68 in the Bevington edition).  I can't think of other stage
parallels offhand, but this one suggests that the parent's farewell to a
child may be something of a setpiece, not necessarily revealing anything
about the character of the speaker. The countess is no doddering fool,
nor is she a manipulative politician.  I'd be interested to know of
other possible examples from Shakespeare or anyone else.

John Cox, Hope College

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean K. Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 13 Mar 1997 20:37:58 -0800
Subject: 8.0350  Re: Polonius' Precepts
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0350  Re: Polonius' Precepts

I once interviewed Douglas Campbell who suggested, citing Tyrone
Guthrie, that Polonius's name might have been changed from the Corambis
of Q1 in order to reflect service in the Polack wars.  This is similar
to how Coriolanus gets to be Coriolanus.

Anyway, that would leave Polonius as neither a senile fool or a
conniving politician, but a slightly washed up, though still vastly
respected old general.  Campbell drew a comparison to Bernard Montgomery
after the second world war.

The production which he directed at Bard on the Beach made this point, I
thought quite effectively.

Cheers,
Sean
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.