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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Re: SHAKSPER Description; Adaptations; Oath; Shrew
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0261  Thursday, 26 March 1998.

[1]     From:   Marilyn Bonomi <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Mar 1998 18:36:52 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0247  Announcing ArdenNet

[2]     From:   Irmgard Pohrer" <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Mar 1998 13:54:59 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Shakespearean Adaptations

[3]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Mar 1998 22:12:30 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0255  Q: Hamlet's Oath

[4]     From:   Steve Urkowitz <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Mar 1998 21:36:01 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0241  Re: Shrew


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marilyn Bonomi <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Mar 1998 18:36:52 -0500
Subject: 9.0247  Announcing ArdenNet
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0247  Announcing ArdenNet

Re the Arden.net description:

>"The electronic mailing list SHAKSPER includes many eminent scholars as
>its members, but unfortunately also has many high school and
>undergraduate students and amateurs. It has suffered increasing
>trivialisation as Internet access has spread beyond academia. An
>unmoderated Shakespeare Usenet newsgroup exists but its discussions
>rarely rise above high school level."

I suppose I'm one of those amateurs the Ardenites are mocking here...
What makes this list so exciting is that I, the humble high school
English teacher (albeit one who is a graduate student in English at an
accredited university), can participate in a discussion about everything
from the existence of anti-Semitism in Early Modern England (YES, Ira
Abrams, it DID exist-the Holocaust did NOT create anti-Semitism!) to the
meaning of Juliet's request that Romeo swear not by the moon, to the
meaning of "rooky wood" (that fascinated me!).

Do other SHAKSPERians feel that the list should be reserved for
"scholars" and the rest of us should at best be allowed to lurk on the
sidelines observing the debate?  Or do we actually have something to say
that can stimulate discussion even from those lofty "scholars" Ardenites
seem to find the only worthy participants?

Gee, maybe I should UNsubscribe from Arden?  After all, it sure doesn't
sound like they want *me*!

Defensively yours,
Marilyn B.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Irmgard Pohrer" <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Mar 1998 13:54:59 +0100
Subject:        Re: Shakespearean Adaptations

There is one thing I can add which is not in the Spinoff Bibliography -
it's the musical "From a Jack to a King", an adaption of Macbeth done by
Bob Carlton, the man who gave us "Return to the Forbidden Planet". The
story is transferred to a rock group:
Eric Glamis gets rid of the band's lead singer, Terry King, by loosening
the wheels of his motorbike. "Is this a spanner which I see before me?"

Much darker than "Forbidden Planet", as far as I remember (I saw it in
'91), but just as good!

BTW, if anybody else happens to know it and can tell me if the lyrics
have been published (as with Forbidden Planet), I should be very
grateful!

Irmgard Pohrer

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[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Mar 1998 22:12:30 -0500
Subject: 9.0255  Q: Hamlet's Oath
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0255  Q: Hamlet's Oath

Clifford Stetner writes:

>I am seeking any approaches to an interpretation of the oath on Hamlet's
>sword. I am interested in the possibility of a veiled allusion to the
>"Oath of the Horatii."  Has this connection ever been made? Have any
>critics addressed this scene?

Harold Jenkins in his Arden edition remarks: "The cross of the sword was
often used for this purpose," and cites <italic>Henry V</italic>  2.1.
98: "Sword is an oath."  Horace H. Furness in his New Variorum edition
of <italic>Hamlet</italic> writes a long note on 1.5.147.  There is a
history of oaths taken upon swords, but Furness does not appear to
mention the Oath of the Horatii.  Possibly Farmer, Steevens, and/or
Caldecott do, since Furness informs us that they give many instances of
the custom.

What I find interesting is the (almost?) comic nature of the oath.  The
ghost roams under the stage shouting "Swear" while Hamlet Junior leads
Horatio and Marcellus around the stage, apparently trying to find a spot
where the ghost cannot follow them.  Why? Jenkins offers a long note on
the passage in which he calls the passage "puzzling."  He wants to know
the dramatic reason for this business.  Me too.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 25 Mar 1998 21:36:01 EST
Subject: 9.0241  Re: Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0241  Re: Shrew

I agree with John Perry about the general shape of SHREW.  The
alternative to the kinds of willing entry into the obvious fictions of
marriage seems to be traced out in the violence of civil warfare in the
Henry VI plays and the early tragedies.  Kate's lines about her
husband's dismal toil on her behalf are deliciously skewed from what
she, Petruchio and we know is the case.  Throwing oneself fully into a
plausible but definitely un-real fiction is indeed the player's most
delightful skill and daily practice.  Is the player demented therefore?
Hey, sure.  Is the player open to attack by moralists who don't see the
point of the game?  Yes, again.  Today and back then too.

Be of good cheer.  Thems what don't like to play at tiddly-winks can
instead do cops-and-robbers or tennis.  But the essence of a happy
schoolyard is that the t-'winkers don't bonk the cops-'n-robbers when
there's room enough for 'em all to play.  Alas, too many folks feel that
their own games allow  or require them to sneer at those who choose not
to play.

Ever from the margins of the schoolyard,
Steve Urkowitz
 

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