Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: November ::
Re: Rooky/Roaky; Editions; Iago; Oth. in DC;
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1196.  Monday, 24 November 1997.

[1]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 21 Nov 1997 12:54:19 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1184   Rooky/Roaky

[2]     From:   John Cox <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 21 Nov 1997 13:03:23 -0500
        Subj:   Comparing Editions

[3]     From:   Jim Helsinger <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 22 Nov 1997 21:53:55 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1121  Re: R3/Iago

[4]     From:   Stevie Simkin <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 21 Nov 1997 22:54:03 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1190  Othello in DC

[5]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 24 Nov 1997 05:53:19 -0500
        Subj:   Anti-Semitism in M of V


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 21 Nov 1997 12:54:19 -0500
Subject: 8.1184   Rooky/Roaky
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1184   Rooky/Roaky

>The reason Crosby doubted "the rooky wood" is that a crow and a rook are
>in general speech the same thing.  I think, as Perez Rizvi does, that
>*roaky* in its sense of smokey is the primary meaning and that *rooky*
>is a characteristically allusive pun of secondary but real significance.

Yes, the "crow/Makes wing to th' rooky wood" (3.2.50-51), and, yes, a
crow is a rook. But perhaps Shakespeare decided against having the rook
make wing to the rooky wood, and decided on variety in his word usage.

In the evening, crows do fly to their special woods, and it's a notable
sight to watch hundreds of crows flock to a certain section of forest.
I've watched the crows fly in from the western hills in the early
evening to roost in a special Cincinnati woods. Possibly Shakespeare
thought of these special woods as "rooky wood,"  as Pervez Rizvi
originally thought.  The rooks certainly make their presence known.

Roaky (from OED1) appears to be a later usage. And I've never seen a
rook fly to a smokey forest. Perhaps others have?

Or perhaps "roaky" is a metaphor for misty? In <italic>Lucrece</italic>
356 Shakespeare writes "misty night."

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Cox <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 21 Nov 1997 13:03:23 -0500
Subject:        Comparing Editions

Peter Holland reviews several editions in TLS, Nov. 7, 1997, including
Riverside II, Norton, and Ardens.  Ardens get extremely high praise.

John Cox

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jim Helsinger <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 22 Nov 1997 21:53:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.1121  Re: R3/Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1121  Re: R3/Iago

Parviz Nourpanah wrote:

>Iago is the personification of pure evil, with no explanation needed or even
>possible.

I respectfully disagree.  Iago explains his reasons for revenge in
several different places. In his speech to Roderigo at the top of the
play he explains that he is mad because he has been passed over by
Cassio and has not been made lieutenant.  Secondly, he tells the
audience that he fears that Othello has cuckolded him and "leaped into
my seat."  He will not be satisfied until he is "evened with him wife
for wife."  He also "fears Cassio with my nightcap too."  Emilia later
mentions that Iago has suspected her with the Moor.  Cuckoldry has been
a motive for many murders today and in the past.  Iago may be wrong in
his assumptions, but I feel that Shakespeare does explain his motives.

As far as the evil question-nothing that I can think of indicates that
Iago has been evil before the events of this play. He has been a proven
member of Othello's previous campaigns.  Cuckoldry and revenge for being
passed over seem to me to be motives that would be accepted in a court
of law today.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stevie Simkin <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 21 Nov 1997 22:54:03 -0000
Subject: 8.1190  Othello in DC
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1190  Othello in DC

> You know, the play about race relations and gender relations and love
> and war.  They're doing Othello in Washington DC, and they're doing it
> with a white Othello and a black cast, which, one would think would
> emphasize the race issues.  But as it turns out, it is the gender
> issues, not the black-white thing that seems the most intriguing.

This was fascinating to read - thank you for your writing about the
production, which I knew was happening.  I believe it's directed by Jude
Kelly, currently one of the high profile directors over here in the UK.
the feminism angle fits with her profile.

>More troubling is the
> depiction of the black Venetian as more violent, more bestial, than any
> white Venetians I remember.  The men that accompany Barbantio to roust
> Othello in the first act are dressed as a street gang. black clothes,
> woolen caps.  The Venetian soldiers come closer to plundering Cyprus
> than in any other production I've seen; the riot includes a sexual
> assault.

This makes me think the director may have read some of Michael Bristol's
work on Othello and charivari. (See relevant chapter in Big Time
Shakespeare, Routledge (in the UK at least), 1996).  But it sounds like
it didn't work very well...

It reminds me of a production I saw a couple of years ago at a small
theatre over here patronised by largely middle aged, upper middle class
English southerners.  A black actor played Othello.  Every time
Othello's emotional temperature was raised - the scenes where he becomes
suspicious, jealous, etc. - the actor fell into these patois-type
rhythms, while in the background we heard the sound of African drums.
This I took to be the distinctly dodgy kind of association that assumes
that black people are fine until you rouse them, at which point their
veneer of civilization washes off and they degenerate into something
bestial and subhuman.  I wish I had had the chance to ask the actor and
director what they thought they were playing at.   There might have been
a some serious thinking behind it, but I couldn't (can't) for the life
of me imagine what it might have been.  It seems there were some
similarities in this DC production of Othello, with the bestial
behaviour transposed to the black Venetians.  The difference (may be)
that your Washington audience would be more sensitive to and aware of
these issues than our fairly specific theatre-goers at Newbury would
have been (who, at the risk of badly over-generalising, were instead
more likely to have existing prejudices fed).

Stevie

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 24 Nov 1997 05:53:19 -0500
Subject:        Anti-Semitism in M of V

One of the most interesting recent discussions of  Anti-Semitism and M
of V is Richard Halpern's chapter 'The Jewish Question: Shakespeare and
Anti-Semitism' in his book 'Shakespeare Among the Moderns' (Cornell
1997).

T. Hawkes
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.