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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: June ::
Re: Changling; H5's French; Lear
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0713.  Thursday, 26 June 1997.

[1]     From:   Rosalind C. King <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 14:44:49 GMT0BST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0704  Q: Final Scene of *The Changeling*

[2]     From:   Bill Kemp <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 11:45:36 -0400
        Subj:   Henry V and French

[3]     From:   Evelyn Gajowski <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 09:30:04 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0695 Re: Cordelia and Lear


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rosalind C. King <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 14:44:49 GMT0BST
Subject: 8.0704  Q: Final Scene of *The Changeling*
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0704  Q: Final Scene of *The Changeling*

It may be a critical commonplace that DF stabs B at oh, oh, but since it
happens off-stage and Middleton takes pains not to tell us, its up to
each one of us to imagine it for ourselves. Since he later urges her to
make haste and she says its time to die, I see no reason why, in
production, she should not take his pen-knife and finish herself off and
several reasons why she might. I don't think its 'gushy' or 'kinder' to
suggest, as I do, that the only genuinely loving, consummated,
passionate, human relationship in the entire play is the criminal
adulterous one between DF and B - in fact I think that's quite a
difficult thing for people to come to terms with. The exchange of her
'ring' and the two lines 'forget your parentage to me' and 'made you one
with me' 3.4.137-41 together  all suggest marriage - in all but the
formality of law.  The formal legal marriage between Alsemero and
Beatrice is ironically presented in dumbshow in the next scene and of
course remains unconsummated except by proxy.

Yours
Rosalind King
School of English and Drama
Queen Mary and Westfield College
University of London

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Kemp <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 11:45:36 -0400
Subject:        Henry V and French

Wes Folkerth asks whether or not the real Henry V spoke French-a
question which piqued my curiosity a couple of years ago. His father,
Henry IV clearly did speak French. At least one letter to his English
advisors survives which is written in French. The content is small
stuff, and he doesn't explain why he chose to write in French, but he
did.

In contrast, years later in negotiating with the French some time after
Harfleur, Henry V insisted on having translators present and (my memory
tells me) required drafts of the agreement in both English and French.

All this comes from biographies of the two kings which I can't check
right now because they're at one place and I'm in another. But I did
(casually) conclude that Henry V wasn't fluent in French, so the author
of the anonymous Famous Victories didn't make that feature of his
character up out of whole cloth (or he guessed right).

Bill Kemp
Mary Washington College
Fredericksburg, Va.

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[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Evelyn Gajowski <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Jun 1997 09:30:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 8.0695 Re: Cordelia and Lear
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0695 Re: Cordelia and Lear

As antidotes to the Christian readings of *Lear* which have recently
been discussed on this list, may I humbly suggest two
once-groundbreaking, now-classic articles for list members' perusal?

        Boose, Lynda E.  "The Father and the Bride in Shakespeare."
        *PMLA* 97 (1982): 325-47 (esp. 332-35).  [a historicist/
        anthropological/feminist reading]

        Kahn, Coppelia.  "The Absent Mother in *King Lear*."  In                *Rewriting
the Renaissance: The Discourses of Sexual Difference    in Early Modern
Europe*.  Ed. Margaret W. Ferguson, Maureen             Quilligan, and Nancy J.
Vickers.  U Chicago P, 1986.  33-49.  [a        psychoanalytic/feminist
reading]

Regards,
Evelyn Gajowski
 

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