1997

Re: Hamlet as Gertrude's Heir

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1166.  Tuesday, 18 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 17 Nov 1997 11:04:48 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1160  Re: Hamlet as Gertrude's Heir

[2]     From:   Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 17 Nov 1997 11:33:21 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1160  Re: Hamlet as Gertrude's Heir

[3]     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 17 Nov 1997 11:34:07 CST6CDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1160  Re: Hamlet as Gertrude's Heir

[4]     From:   Lysbeth Benkert-Rasmussen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 17 Nov 97 12:23:00 CST
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.1156  Re: Hamlet as Gertrude's Heir


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 17 Nov 1997 11:04:48 -0500
Subject: 8.1160  Re: Hamlet as Gertrude's Heir
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1160  Re: Hamlet as Gertrude's Heir

>I hate to strain a point, but I don't believe that "election" always
>implies a vote in early modern English.

Certainly not, e.g., "but he sir had the election" (Iago speaking of
Cassio), where it specifically refers to an appointed position.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 17 Nov 1997 11:33:21 -0500
Subject: 8.1160  Re: Hamlet as Gertrude's Heir
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1160  Re: Hamlet as Gertrude's Heir

>In the Folio text (TLN 864), Hamlet speaks to Horatio of "our
>Philosophy." That "our" gives quite a different feel to the line.

Yes, but even if it's your it doesn't mean Horatio's philosophy, any
more than

        Your fat king and your lean beggar are but variable service

refers to a king and beggar belonging to Claudius.  Your grammarian
knows the technical name for this construct.  It's a colloquial,
generalizing sort of your that survives today in phrases like "it's your
basic boy-meets-girl story."

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 17 Nov 1997 11:34:07 CST6CDT
Subject: 8.1160  Re: Hamlet as Gertrude's Heir
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1160  Re: Hamlet as Gertrude's Heir

We have recently discussed the question of Gertrude and Claudius's
relationship in the "Introduction to Shakespeare" course that I am
teaching this quarter and one question that arose is related to the
Ghost's reference to Claudius as "that incestuous, that adulterate
beast" (1.5.42); are incestuous and adulterate synonyms, or does the
former refer to the current relationship between Claudius and Gertrude
and the latter imply a relationship before King Hamlet's death? Or, as
one student pointed out, does the "adulterate" merely mean that Claudius
might have been having his way with other married women? Later in the
same speech, the ghost states that Claudius "won to his shameful lust /
The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen"; he doesn't say _when_ this
happened. And despite the ghost's request to leave Gertrude to heaven,
he certainly succeeds in poisoning young Hamlet's mind even more in
terms of his relationship with his mother.  How have others interpreted
this line?

Chris Gordon

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lysbeth Benkert-Rasmussen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 17 Nov 97 12:23:00 CST
Subject: 8.1156  Re: Hamlet as Gertrude's Heir
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.1156  Re: Hamlet as Gertrude's Heir

>The new king acts quickly and decisively to: (a) prepare
>the country for war, and (b) initiate a diplomatic overture that
>promptly bears fruit by (i) avoiding war, and (ii) turning the invasion
>against a traditional enemy.  What a king is this!

I'm not quite sure I agree totally with Larry Weiss and Kristine Batey.
Claudius may have given the reassuring appearance of being in charge,
yet after he gets Norway to chasten his nephew,  the first thing
Claudius does is to give Fortinbras permission to move his troops
through the middle of Denmark.  Surely not the wisest move given the
young man's proven disposition.

Lysbeth Em Benkert
Northern State University

Re: Hazle

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1165.  Tuesday, 18 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Julie Blumenthal <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 16 Nov 1997 10:44:11 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Hazle Shrew

[2]     From:   William Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 17 Nov 1997 10:24:35 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1159  Re: Hazle

[3]     From:   Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 17 Nov 1997 12:04:49 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1159  Re: Hazle

[4]     From:   Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 00:51:14 -0500
        Subj:   Hazel-Brown

[5]     From:   Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 00:55:48 -0500
        Subj:   Hazel-Brown


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Julie Blumenthal <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 16 Nov 1997 10:44:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Hazle Shrew

Having examined this scene a number of times in scene-study class, the
interpretation we always found worked best here was if Petruchio's
compliments are only superficially meant.  Both Kate and P. are smart
enough to see through his "honeyed words" - in this particular bit, I
think he's laying it on with a trowel, and intentionally choosing things
for his analogies that can be seen through to what they really are -
insults.  The scene works quite well if it's a drag-down knock-out power
play, and also doesn't force Kate to seem foolish or weak in yielding so
soon.

Hence I guess the answer to "how can you compliment someone by calling
them brown of hue?" is : you can't.

It also predisposes a casting wherein Kate is dark and Bianca, as the
lovely, obedient one, is fair.

Try it on for size.

Julie

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 17 Nov 1997 10:24:35 -0600
Subject: 8.1159  Re: Hazle
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1159  Re: Hazle

Hazel is an interesting point, at least in Shakespearean terms.  A quick
check shows that S. used the word only 4 times.  Twice in +Shrew+ in the
passage under discussion and twice in +RJ+ in quite similar context.
Whatever the answer is it certainly is extra-textual.

William Proctor Williams

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 17 Nov 1997 12:04:49 -0500
Subject: 8.1159  Re: Hazle
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1159  Re: Hazle

Surely Katherine *is* brown in hue, and Petrucchio's approach includes
applying the rhetoric of praise to her conventionally unpraiseworthy
actual attributes.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 00:51:14 -0500
Subject:        Hazel-Brown

From Robert Graves' The White Goddess: "Brown are the nuts of the Hazel,
tree of wisdom."

Graves' tree alphabet-calendar also associates a color with each tree.
Coll, the hazel tree, is the letter C with a K sound. The color
associated with Coll is brown.

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997 00:55:48 -0500
Subject:        Hazel-Brown

The Hazel tree is not only the tree of wisdom, but of witchcraft.

Re: A. L. Rowse

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1163.  Monday, 17 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Tiffany Rasovic <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 16 Nov 1997 14:59:40 +0000
        Subj:   A. L. Rowse

[2]     From:   Karen Krebser <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 16 Nov 1997 09:15:05 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1157  Qs: Rowse's Dark Lady

[3]     From:   Jeffrey Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 17 Nov 1997 08:20:33 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.1157  Qs: Rowse's Dark Lady

[4]     From:   Stephanie Cowell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 17 Nov 1997 10:00:13 -0500
        Subj:   Rowse's Dark Lady


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tiffany Rasovic <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 16 Nov 1997 14:59:40 +0000
Subject:        A. L. Rowse

This entry is partly to list member in general, and partly to Ms.
Cowell:

I.  To ALL,

I am currently engaged with a project on A. L. Rowse involving letters
written by him to Peter Levi.  Anyone who has anything at all to say in
favor of/or specific criticisms of Rowse's work, specifically regarding
the post 1975 Shakespeare-related works, please do make your views
known, or direct us to any reviews or scholarship in which you or
someone else has made mention of him.  (I realize that this question was
posed just a few weeks ago, but with no real response...)

II. Ms. Cowell,

I have only just begun to investigate Dr. Rowse's academic work-I came
upon the above mentioned letters rather blindly-so, I am quite unable to
evaluate his Shakespearean/Elizabethan work at this time.  Yet, I would
like very much to correspond with you off the list if you are interested
in my project, as I am interested in your  personal and professional
acquaintance with Dr. Rowse.  Based on the material I have read, he is
indeed a remarkably humorous, kind, and even  passionate, man, who was
not immune to the derision heaped upon him by many Shakespeareans. Do
contact me at my own e-mail account.

Yours, TR

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Krebser <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 16 Nov 1997 09:15:05 -0800
Subject: 8.1157  Qs: Rowse's Dark Lady
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1157  Qs: Rowse's Dark Lady

Rowse was convinced that Aemilia (Bassano) Lanyer was Shakespeare's Dark
Lady. Lanyer was the daughter of a court musician, was fairly musical
herself, of Italian descent (and therefore, perhaps, brunette), brought
up in the household of the Earl and Countess of Cumberland (and
therefore known in court circles), the mistress of the Lord Chamberlain,
Sir Henry Cary, Baron Hunsdon. Yes, *that* Lord Chamberlain, of "The
Lord Chamberlain's Men." She became pregnant with Hunsdon's son, and had
to marry (so she picked Antonio Lanyer, another court musician). She
named her son Henry. No doubt she would have known Shakespeare; whether
or not he was in love with her, or that any other biographical
significance can be attached to the sonnets is still an open question.

Lanyer was a fine poet herself; Susanna Woods has published an edition
of her work (the _Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum_) and writes quite an
interesting introduction to the edition in which she debunks Rowse's
theories.  This edition is published by the Brown University Women
Writers Project.

Karen Krebser

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jeffrey Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 17 Nov 1997 08:20:33 -0500
Subject: 8.1157  Qs: Rowse's Dark Lady
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.1157  Qs: Rowse's Dark Lady

I think his candidate was Aemilia Lanyer.  Since I remember this from
years ago in an interview with Dick Cavett, I don't remember many of the
details other than that she was of Italian ancestry and thus dark.  I
also remember from this interview that the fact that she was the dark
lady also made Shakespeare somehow related to Tennessee Williams.  It's
a great idea, but I'm not sure there's any factual support for it.
Rowse did, if I'm not mistaken, publish an edition of Lanyer's poems,
which should have the evidence for his claim.

Jeff Myers

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Cowell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 17 Nov 1997 10:00:13 -0500
Subject:        Rowse's Dark Lady

To answer Gregory Koch's query of November 14th: "This came up in my
project group - who did Rowse think the Dark Lady was and why?"

Dr. Rowse was researching the Elizabethan astrologer Simon Forman for a
book when he came across references to a rather loose moraled musician,
Emilia Lanier who had been born a member of the musical Basanno family
from Venice. She had been mistress of the Lord Chamberlain in the early
1590's, when he was patron of Shakespeare's theater troupe. Because of
the proximity of the actor-playwright and the young lady of that time,
Forman's descriptions of her personality, age, looks, musical gifts and
free morals matched the description of the "Dark Lady" in the sonnets,
written during that period.  Rowse also felt that it was the Venetian
Emilia who brought out much of Shakespeare's fascination for Italy and
hence his many plays set there (though according to one of his letters
to me, Elizabethans were in general fascinated with that country), that
he was deeply wounded by her infidelity (as in sonnets) and that,
remembering her years later, he created the capricious, wild Cleopatra.
Emilia was discontent with her uninteresting husband Lanier; she lived
to an old age, far past Shakespeare and his patron Southampton and left
a book of her own poetry which has been published. Rowse has a few books
about her, and what he has to say about her in the introduction to his
new edition of Shakespeare the Man from Barnes and Noble is very
interesting.

Of course there are several contenders for the Dark Lady; I believe it
is more likely to have been Emilia than the others and thus chose her
for my novel "The Players: a novel of the young Shakespeare."  Alas,
Dr.  Rowse made many enemies of his colleagues who are likely to
discount what he has said on the basis of his cantankerous personality!

Qs: French Texts; Shakespeare's Neologism

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1164.  Monday, 17 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Roger Batt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 17 Nov 1997 09:36:13 +0100
        Subj:   Help French Texts

[2]     From:   Pervez Rizvi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
        Date:   Monday, 17 Nov 1997 10:55:32 -0000
        Subj:   Shakespeare's Neologism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger Batt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 17 Nov 1997 09:36:13 +0100
Subject:        Help French Texts

[Editor's Note: Because Roger Batt currently a member of SHAKSPER,
please send any replies directly to him at <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>.
Thanks, HMC]

Dear Hardy,

Some time ago (Feb 97) I expressed an interest in joining the SHAKSPER
Global Electronic Conference; I sent off a biographical note but didn't
hear any more. As it happens I have been very busy and would not have
had time to participate, but I would like a bit of help from you if
possible.

I am going to be directing a performance of Henry V for the Drama Group
of Monaco in the summer in the open air at Roqubrune Castle on the Cote
d'Azur. We are always short of English speaking actors (and I need a lot
of course for a history play), so I have had the idea of performing all
the sections at the French court in French - this means that I can use
some French actors for the French court.

What I am looking for is a translation of Henry V in French on the
internet so I can download it and then "cut and paste" it into the
English script to make a performing edition. Can you ask your
contributors if any of them know of such a translation available?

 Any other thoughts or help that anyone could give me would be
gratefully  accepted.

 Thanking you,
 Roger Batt

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pervez Rizvi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Date:           Monday, 17 Nov 1997 10:55:32 -0000
Subject:        Shakespeare's Neologism

Last week John Velz wrote:

Joseph Crosby suggested that the "rooky wood" in *Macbeth* should be the
*roaky wood*.  Roke or roak is smoke in northern dialect; the allusion
would be to the swirling fog (cf "fog and filthy air" at beginning of
the play) in a thicket of trees at sunset.

I'd always believed that 'rooky wood' meant 'a wood frequented by rooks'
and that is how Riverside glosses the word. Crosby's alternative seems
very attractive. It would be typical of Shakespeare to use roaky to mean
'smoky' while also suggesting the word 'rook' to go with the crow
mentioned on the previous line. Compare Falstaff's:

Give you a reason on compulsion! If reasons were as plentiful as
blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion, I. (1H4,
2.4)

where 'reasons' probably puns on 'raisins', to go with the blackberries.

OED gives both the above meanings for 'rooky'. For the 'smoky' meaning
the earliest use it cites is from 1691 and appears to regard it as an
alternative spelling of roaky. But for the 'frequented by rooks' meaning
it gives this very passage in Macbeth as the earliest use! My suspicion
is that the word 'rooky' never did mean 'frequented by rooks' and
Shakespeare never intended to create a word with that meaning; he was
just punning as usual. The word was misinterpreted as meaning
'frequented by rooks' by people who did not know 'roaky'. The authority
of a supposed use by Shakespeare was then enough for the word to acquire
that meaning.

This may sound fanciful but I believe things like this have happened. M.
R. Ridley in his brilliant Arden edition of Othello pointed out that the
word 'beetles' as in Horatio's

    ...........the dreadful summit of the cliff
    That beetles o'er his base into the sea,

is unique to the Folio, the other two texts having 'bettles' and
'beckles' (if my memory serves). Ridley points out that OED cites this
very passage for the earliest use and so this could be another example
of the following sequence: (a) early text misprints something so as to
create a new word, (ii) by looking at the context, readers create a
meaning for the new word, (iii) with an authority no less than
Shakespeare behind it, the new word/meaning enters the language, (iv)
result: we get a new word/meaning which Shakespeare never intended.

I'm thinking of starting a collection of words Shakespeare is supposed
to have invented but which were just misprints. Top of the list would of
course be 'Imogen'. I wonder how many women named Imogen over the years
have realised that they were named after a typo!

Re: Cleopatra and Antony; No Matter

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1162.  Monday, 17 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Joe Shea <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 15 Nov 1997 08:53:38 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1155 Re: Cleopatra and Antony

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 15 Nov 1997 16:31:18 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1155  Re: Cleopatra and Antony

[3]     From:   David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 15 Nov 1997 12:49:12 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1154  Re: No Matter


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joe Shea <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 15 Nov 1997 08:53:38 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 8.1155 Re: Cleopatra and Antony
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1155 Re: Cleopatra and Antony

I thought some on this list might be interested in a review of a new
Antony & Cleopatra in the current AR Theater Review.  It's at

        http://www.american-reporter.com/current/35.html

Best,
Joe Shea
Editor-in-Chief
The American Reporter
http://www.newshare.com:9999

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 15 Nov 1997 16:31:18 -0500
Subject: 8.1155  Re: Cleopatra and Antony
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1155  Re: Cleopatra and Antony

Kristine Batey writes:

> C's death is no more suicide than the biblical Samson's: she's
>far above and beyond her would-be captors.

If anyone has forgotten, I would like to point out that Richard A. Levin
and I have argued that Caesar nudges Cleopatra to commit suicide. Antony
is basically a pawn in an imperial chess match between Caesar and
Cleopatra.  When Antony commits suicide in Act IV, the two chief players
face off in Act V, and Cleopatra blinks. I think she loves Antony-in her
fashion, but, at Charmian's suggestion (4.13.4), Cleopatra sends Antony
word of her (supposed) death. Is there any doubt how Antony will react?
Is there any doubt how Cleopatra will react when Dolabella tells her
that she will be sent, captive, to Rome? Caesar is the unmoved mover of
Sonnet 94.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 15 Nov 1997 12:49:12 -0500
Subject: 8.1154  Re: No Matter
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1154  Re: No Matter

>"Foul wind is but foul breath" (Bevington 5.2.52-53), says Beatrice.
>Isn't she playing with the idea (how can I put this delicately?) of
>"breaking wind"? I'm not sure that she's playing with philosophical
>distinctions.  Remember that Early Modern thought was almost completely
>materialistic: God and heaven were material entities. The soul could be
>seen leaving the body.  Angels could dance on the head of a pin
>(apparently). If everything is material, are some things more material
>than others?

Like Beatrice, Bill Godshalk seems bent on frighting my words out of
their right sense. There is a clear range or hierarchy of materiality:
granite is more substantial than fresh bread, bread than water, water-or
blood-than breath or wind.  Beatrice (less "squaymous / Of fartyng" than
Bill, perhaps) may indeed imply that Benedick's "mere words" to Claudio
have no more meaning or value than the similarly labile matter issued
from his lower orifice; she wants, like Mercutio, to "make it a word and
a blow," because the word all by itself vanishes into the air and is
gone, while the blow changes things substantially-in Mercutio's case
leaves a hole big enough to let the soul escape.  Touchstone develops
the notion at length (Norton *Ado* 5.4.66-75, beginning "He sent me
word. . . . I sent him word again . . . .  he would send me word> . .
.").

But I must confess myself puzzled by Bill's insistence on the
materialism of early modern thought; if medieval culture (angels
tripping the light fantastic on the heads of pins) had tended that way,
and passed that tendency along, the Renaissance had brought a strong
infusion of Platonic idealistic dualism.  Marlowe and Shakespeare may,
indeed, have hung on to the old tradition, but the other was active in
Spenser and Donne.  But, again, that was not my point.

Materially,
Dave Evett

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