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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Qs: Syllabus for Odd Plays; TGV Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0283  Monday, 30 March 1998.

[1]     From:   Ron Dwelle <
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        Date:   Saturday, 28 Mar 1998 11:35:39 -0500
        Subj:   Undergradute Syllabus for Odd Plays

[2]     From:   Michael Friedman <
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        Date:   Sunday, 29 Mar 1998 11:43:55 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   TGV Question


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Dwelle <
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Date:           Saturday, 28 Mar 1998 11:35:39 -0500
Subject:        Undergradute Syllabus for Odd Plays

Realizing that I'm in the final 7-8 years of my teaching career (before
the ultimate post-tenure slump of retirement), I've decided that I'd
like to make sure I've taught every Shakespeare play before I kiss my
university good-bye.

I teach one undergraduate section of "Intro to Shakespeare" each year
(we have no graduate program, and only a rarely offered "advanced"
Shakespeare, which four of us fight over like mad-my turn is not likely
to come again, given that two of the four are in the publish-or-perish
phase of their careers).

These are the plays I've never taught: Comedy of Errors, Two Gentlemen,
LLL, Merry Wives, Henry IV-ii, Henry VI (all three), Henry VIII, King
John, Titus, Troilus & Cressida, Timon, Coriolanus.

Part of the syllabus is more-or-less prescribed. We always teach one of
the "big four" tragedies, a representative from comedy/tragedy,
history/romance categories, and the play that is being produced on
campus for the year (not likely to be one from my list above). We try to
get some variety in, since it's the single Shakespeare that most of our
majors will take (I wouldn't do all the histories at once, for
example).  Still, I normally have two or three plays that I can play
with.

We also try to extract or impose some coherence on the list of six plays
for the course, and this is where I'm befuddled and turn to the
expertise of the members of SHAKSPER.

Does anybody see any teachable "patterns" or "relationships" among my 14
untaught plays so that I could combine them in groups of, say, 3 plays?
They would need to be somehow related to the other 3 "prescribed" plays.

I would appreciate any suggestions.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Friedman <
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Date:           Sunday, 29 Mar 1998 11:43:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        TGV Question

I have a question for the group.  Near the end of *The Two Gentlemen of
Verona*, Julia removes her disguise as a page to reveal her true
identity.  Later, after the Duke arrives in the forest, awards Silvia to
Valentine, and pardons the Outlaws, we get the following exchange:

                      With our discourse to make your Grace to smile.
                      What think you of this page, my lord?
                Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him; he blushes.
                Val.  I warrant you, my lord, more grace than boy.
                Duke. What mean you by that saying?
                Val.  Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along,
                      That you will wonder what hath fortuned. (5.4.163-70)

Nowhere in the criticism of this play have I have read any explanation
for why Julia, having just removed her disguise, would immediately put
it back on again.  Just for the sake of this lame joke on the Duke?  My
suspicion is that Shakespeare has some reason for wanting Julia to
appear as a boy to achieve some visual aspect of the conclusion, but I
can't seem to figure out what that purpose might be.  Does anyone have a
suggestion?

Michael Friedman
University of Scranton
 

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