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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: November ::
Re: Hazle
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1178.  Thursday, 20 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Julie A. Blumenthal <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 19 Nov 1997 10:05:24 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: Hazle

[2]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 19 Nov 1997 10:49:28 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1170  Re: Hazle


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Julie A. Blumenthal <
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Date:           Wednesday, 19 Nov 1997 10:05:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Re: Hazle

>Having spent a good deal of time in Italy, I can confidently state
>that there are very dark-skinned women there who are extravagantly
>beautiful.

Yeowch.  Led with my chin on that one.  Yes, I can state that too.
However, my point was, and question is, does it work as a compliment _in
this scene_?  I've never seen the first scene between Kate and P. work
if he is straightforwardly complimentary and lovey-dovey throughout.
Has anyone else?  Even if he enters with only the best intent (which in
itself may or may not be seen to be the case), I don't think it can last
the entire scene.

Any thoughts?

Julie

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Wednesday, 19 Nov 1997 10:49:28 -0500
Subject: 8.1170  Re: Hazle
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1170  Re: Hazle

I suppose people are disposed to interpret the hazelnut reference as an
insult because the preceding terms of his praise are so patently
false-she has conspicuously not been "pleasant, gamesome, passing
courteous, . . .  slow in speech," etc.  But it seems to me a compliment
if the actor playing Katherine does in fact move well ("Why does the
world report that Kate doth limp?"), is indeed "straight and slender,
and  . . . brown in hue"). These qualities are instantly verifiable, and
by switching the register from the obvious persiflage the precedes set
up Petruchio's play with the normative fair-brown hierarchy.  Note how
he expands the simile: "sweeter than the kernels"-this woman is hard
outside but sweet within (as indeed she turns out to be if her later
transformation is taken straight).  It's another matter, to be sure, if
the actor is dumpy and hobbling.

Nuttily,
Dave Evett
 

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