1997

Richard III vs. Iago

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1102.  Friday, 31 October 1997.

From:           Brian P. Pezza <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 22:02:25 -0500
Subject:        Richard III vs. Iago

"Who is more 'evil,' Richard III or Iago?"

This is a question I asked my Shakespeare class (for which I am teaching
assistant) today as we discussed _Richard III_.  Their responses were
limited to comparisons; no one would venture an opinion.

How about the portrayed 'evilness' of Kenneth Branagh as Iago and Sir
Ian McKellan as Richard?  McKellan (RSC Iago ) v. McKellan????

I would love to hear any arguments.

Brian Pezza
Susquehanna University

Re: Hamlet; Puck; Accents

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1091.  Friday, 31 October 1997.

[1]     From:   Matthew Gretzinger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 11:42:59 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1088  Q: Hamlet/Ophelia/Laertes

[2]     From:   Juul Muller-van Santen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 18:56:54
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1090  Q: Puck

[3]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 21:49:31 +0
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1073   Elizabethan Accents


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Gretzinger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 11:42:59 -0500
Subject: 8.1088  Q: Hamlet/Ophelia/Laertes
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1088  Q: Hamlet/Ophelia/Laertes

>Why does Hamlet feel that his romantic love for Ophelia is threatened by
>her own brother?

Another answer to this question (as there is probably no end to
conjecture): Hamlet may recognize in Laertes his familial bond of love
w/Ophelia, something with which he cannot compete.

In performances of _Hamlet_ I often see directors paint Laertes as a
selfish [insert expletive], overly concerned with his sister's sex life,
quick to thoughts of death & revenge, and in general a snotty,
kiss-up-to-Daddy little man who has little or no business interfering in
Hamlet's personal life. Wouldn't it be interesting if this were not so,
if in fact he were very much more like the Hamlet we love: strong, full
of potential, very concerned with his obligations to his father and his
family.  It is certainly recognized by some that the author was
attempting to draw a parallel between them.  What if the bond between L.
and O. was very, very strong? if they loved each other very much?
People who love each other often do treat one another poorly.  All of
Laertes' mistakes and terrible decisions then take on a painful quality,
and his corruption via Claudian politics becomes tragic.

True, he does turn "his father's death into a career opportunity," but
it is possible to see that as an attempt to defend/restore his fallen
House-to defend the rights of his dead father.  I think in so many ways
H.  and L. are more alike than they are different.  I think the lapse of
their love ("I loved you ever") is a huge part of the tragedy.

Anyway, to salvage a point: yes, the jumping in the grave is sexual
competition, yes, 'the bravery of his grief' puts Hamlet into a
'towering passion,' and certainly Hamlet's guilt plays a part.  But may
it not also be a little jealousy of the authentic and rightfully brave
grief of a man who loses his father and his sister and who isn't afraid
to get torqued off about it?

-Matthew

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Juul Muller-van Santen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 18:56:54
Subject: 8.1090  Q: Puck
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1090  Q: Puck

Minor fairies (see Lang aven FANTASIA) look female, usually, but major
one can be gendered, it seems. In the 1670/74 TEMPEST (Dryden &
Davenant) Puck certainly appears to be male.  Discussions about their
status however often turns on mortality rather than sex. And Gilbert's
parliamentary Strephon was "only a fairy from the waist down"
(IOLANTHE)...

Julia Muller
Amsterdam

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 21:49:31 +0
Subject: 8.1073   Elizabethan Accents
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1073   Elizabethan Accents

Peter Hillyar-Russ writes

> One respected English theatre
> company "Northern Broadsides" tours, internationally, with north of
> England actors who use their natural local accents - to very great
> effect. This sounds very different from BBC English, but it has no
> less claim to validity.

Northern Broadsides get through Antony and Cleopatra in two and a half
hours with almost a full text. Since this is a good hour less than many
modern companies can manage, and is about as long as original
performances seem to have been, they could have a strong claim to be
using near-original pronunciation.

Of course, we can argue about the evidence for length of original
performances and, most interestingly, whether original performances cut
text.

Gabriel Egan

Re: Student Journals

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1099.  Friday, 31 October 1997.

[1]     From:   Rick Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 09:20:23 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1094  Re: Student Journals

[2]     From:   Peggy O'Brien <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 31 Oct 1997 00:10:51 -0500
        Subj:   Student Journals


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rick Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 09:20:23 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 8.1094  Re: Student Journals
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1094  Re: Student Journals

The journal David Skeele is thinking of is, I suspect, Theatre Studies.
Address: Theatre Research Institute, The Ohio State University, 1430
Lincoln Tower, 1800 Cannon Drive, Columbus, OH 43210-1230.

Submissions are accepted only from graduate students enrolled in theatre
programs [apparently not in English programs] which grant the Ph.D.,
although articles from MA and MFA candidates in those programs are also
accepted.

Rick Jones

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peggy O'Brien <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 31 Oct 1997 00:10:51 -0500
Subject:        Student Journals

Shakespeare Magazine, published by Cambridge University Press and
Georgetown University, entertains submissions from students-and its
circulation is widespread.  Submissions should be sent to SHAKESPEARE,
2200 Custer, Clinton OK 23601 or queries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
This publication-which reaches students, faculty, actors, directors, and
a range of people interested in Shakespeare-is of course interested in
submissions from secondary, undergraduate, and graduate students. It
flies in the face of the more traditional, segmented journals!

Re: Gay Iago; Gay Merchant

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1090.  Friday, 31 October 1997.

[1]     From:   Troy A. Swartz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 14:48:20 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.1097  Re: Gay Iago; Gay Merchant

[2]     From:   Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 15:07:02 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1090  Q: Iago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Troy A. Swartz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 14:48:20 -0500
Subject: 8.1097  Re: Gay Iago; Gay Merchant
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.1097  Re: Gay Iago; Gay Merchant

>Andrew Walker White wrote:
>
>I know he's [Bassanio] in it at least at first for the money, but since their
>romance is
>supposed to be the centerpiece of the play, reducing the marriage to a
>financial proposition would undermine the comedy and render the play a
>tawdry piece not worth the watch.

Interestingly enough, I find the argument for a gay Antonio/Bassanio
more convincing than a gay Iago.  The reason for this is that "Merchant"
is a comedy, and "Othello" a tragedy.  Much of the comedy comes from the
sexual 'confusion' in "Merchant".  We see this in almost all his other
comedies where there is some type of gender/sexuality role-switch.  The
question for a bisexual Bassanio would not "undermine" the comedy, but
fortify it.  Take for instance, the giving of the rings:  one person to
another person to another person.  A married threesome of sorts.  Look
at the film "Threesome", for instance, where the comedy comes from the
namesake.  I do agree, however, that a 'financial proposition' would
undermine the play to an extent, but a bisexual Bassanio (an indecisive
one, for that matter) would ADD comedy.

Troy Swartz

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 15:07:02 -0500
Subject: 8.1090  Q: Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1090  Q: Iago

Some temptations toward reading gay leanings in Iago:

1. His intimate scenes are all with men, usually "seducing" them
somehow.

2. He has no "loving" scenes with his wife.

3. His jealousies, even when they involve his wife, fixate on men
(unlike Othello, whose fixation is Desdemona, not Cassio).

4. He tells a story, apparently a fantasy of his own invention, in which
Cassio, lying with him in bed, performs various sexual acts (I mean hard
kissing, hand wringing, "laying his leg over my thigh," etc) upon him
while sleeping.

S.

Re: Assorted Macbeth Postings

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1098.  Friday, 31 October 1997.

[1]     From:   Richard Nathan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 15:48:18 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1096  Assorted Macbeth Postings

[2]     From:   Louis C Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 15:37:39 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1096  Assorted Macbeth Postings

[3]     From:   Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 13:20:47 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1096 Assorted Macbeth Postings


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Nathan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 15:48:18 +0000
Subject: 8.1096  Assorted Macbeth Postings
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1096  Assorted Macbeth Postings

Joseph Tate <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> asked,

>Are these lines a summary of *Macbeth*?
>
>        Double, double, toil and trouble;
>        Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

I can certainly see how someone might argue that the first line is a
summary of Macbeth.  The "double, double," could refer to things having
a surface appearance but actually being something else entirely - i.e.,
looking like the innocent flower but being the serpent under it.  And
there is certainly a lot of toil and trouble in the play.  However, I
have no idea how someone could argue that the "Fire burn, and cauldron
bubble" is a summary of the play.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis C Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 15:37:39 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 8.1096  Assorted Macbeth Postings
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1096  Assorted Macbeth Postings

If they are, we can delete Macbeth from the corpus of Shakespeare's
works - and good riddance. This is simplification gone mad.

L. Swilley

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 13:20:47 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.1096 Assorted Macbeth Postings
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1096 Assorted Macbeth Postings

Dr. Mullin, whom I have had the great pleasure of working with (as a
humble Grad student, eager to learn about Motley's work with Sir John
Gielgud) has a full growth of beard, and sports a rather natty beret-at
least when he's biking around Illinois.  Can't speak for our friend in
Ohio.

Cheers,
Andy White
Arlington, VA

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