1998

Kamholtz's All's Well

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1145  Monday, 16 November 1998.

From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 13 Nov 1998 13:46:05 -0500
Subject:        Kamholtz's All's Well

It is a critical commonplace that Lavatch in <italic>All's Well That
Ends Well </italic>is not funny. But last weekend, at Jon Kamholtz's
production of the play, I learned that Lavatch on the page is different
from Lavatch on the stage, or, at least, on the stage at Wilson
Auditorium at the University of Cincinnati, and play by Randall T.
Sullivan.  Sullivan played a boyish, pert, lively clown with a limited
range of facial expression, his pout perhaps being most memorable, and
he was immediately an audience favorite. Sullivan's short physical
stature added to his boyishness and to the comedy, and he got the
laughs.  Kamholtz admitted to me after the short run (November 5-7,
1998) that he had considered cutting Lavatch as inessential, but that
Sullivan had taken the role and proven how essential it is, or how
essential it was to this production.

Lavatch's boyishness reflected the boyishness of Scott Ticen's tall,
gawky Bertram (who reminded me of my seventeen year old son).  Ticen was
totally convincing as a socially inept young courtier, who feels much
more at home with the boys than he does with the young woman who is
actively courting him. Helena (played by Carrie Adams) was rather
matronly and mature, compared to Bertram, and Adams took a rather
motherly approach to the role.  In the last scene, she entered obviously
very pregnant (or stuffed with pillows?). In any case, the implicit
sexually of her curing the king was played down. Matthew McLean (the
king) told me that the production had not explored the possibility that
Helena had lain with the king in order to cure him, an interpretation
hinted at by Lafew and effectively used in some productions to explain
why the king must find Helena a husband. In this production, the king,
bald, spent his first scenes in a wheel chair.  (I suppose the baldness
suggested that his disease was venereal.) By the last scene, he has
"grown" long hair, and is obviously cured.

Dominic Bogart's Paroles-with-dreadlocks seemed to grow into his role,
and to become more convincing as his costume became more outlandish.
This is not to denigrate Bogart's performance, which was quite
excellent.  His nemesis, Lafew, was played by Tim Minger as a
middle-management executive, with a precise beard, and a black briefcase
from which he could work at odd moments in the action.  The two
characters were neatly contrasted in this production.

The Widow (Jo Tyler) and her friend Mariana (Alysson Beck who also plays
the extra-textual Maudlin in the last scene) were the merry tipplers
with Diana (Gina Ramsden) as the sober daughter. One audience member,
himself an actor, pointed out to me that this group was slow in
responding to their cues. Jo Tyler's Widow was wonderfully disconcerting
in her inappropriate expressions and gestures.

Fanny Silverman played the stiff-legged Countess, who walked with a
cane, and who was every inch an aristocrat from southern France.

This was an impressive production that played to packed houses. Too bad
it was scheduled for only one weekend.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

Re: King James Bible

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1144  Monday, 16 November 1998.

[1]     From:   Sara Vandenberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 13 Nov 1998 09:32:36 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1134  Re: King James Bible

[2]     From:   Richard J Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 13 Nov 1998 11:09:35 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1134  Re: Isabella


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sara Vandenberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 13 Nov 1998 09:32:36 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 9.1134  Re: King James Bible
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1134  Re: King James Bible

To supplement David Kathman's posting, people might consult _Translating
for King James; being a true copy of the only noted made by a translator
[John Bois] of King James's Bible, the Authorized Version, as the Final
Committee of Review revised the translation of Romans through
Revelations at Stationers Hall in London in 11810-1611_, ed. Ward Allen
(Vanderbilt University Press, 1969).

Sara van den Berg
University of Washington

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 13 Nov 1998 11:09:35 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 9.1134  Re: Isabella
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1134  Re: Isabella

David Kathman is wrong in supposing that the trick with Psalm 46 is
repeated in an earlier or later translation of the Bible.  Possibly he
gets his information from Friedman, and Friedman was wrong about this.

Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1142  Monday, 16 November 1998.

[1]     From:   Barbara R. Hume <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 13 Nov 1998 10:28:02 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1117  Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

[2]     From:   Sarah Werner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 13 Nov 1998 14:33:22 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1136  Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

[3]     From:   Jean Peterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 09:23:03 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   shrew

[4]     From:   Linda Stumbaugh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sun, 15 Nov 1998 13:32:28 -0800
        Subj:   Shrew, etc

[5]     From:   Brooke Brod <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 16 Nov 1998 02:18:35 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1136 Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

[6]     From:   Ed Peschko <epeschko@den-mdev1>
        Date:   Saturday, 28 Nov 1998 04:52:13 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1136 Re: Shrews Behaving Badly


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Barbara R. Hume <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 13 Nov 1998 10:28:02 -0700
Subject: 9.1117  Re: Shrews Behaving Badly
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1117  Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

>Yep, one of the ways I misspent my girlhood was in reading
>romance novels.  That's not too surprising, it's a popular and
>characteristic pastime for modern females.   In the
>overwhelming majority of these books, the basic requirement of the hero
>is that he is supremely masterful, and possesses a devastating sexual
>attractiveness.  Arrogance and reprehensible behavior (to the point of
>cruelty) are the keynotes in his pursuit of his true love.

You might try reading Mary Jo Putney, in my opinion the best historical
romance writer of the 90s. Try _One Perfect Rose_ or _Shattered
Rainbows_, in which the heroes are strong, but not reprehensible at all.

Even better, try reading a book of essays called _Adventurous Women and
Dangerous Men_, edited by Jayne Anne Krentz, another top writer in the
genre. These essays explain the appeal of romance fiction. They point
out, for instance, that romance readers know that these novels are
fantasy-no one expects their real-life husbands to be devastatingly
attractive. They also point out that the movement of a romance novel is
to "tame" the hero-he usually starts out as a big jerk, socialized by
his male culture to consider himelf inherently superior. But by the end
of the book, the heroine has, through her own virtues and capabilities,
forced him to acknowledge that he loves her and cannot live without her.
He gives up his mistress, his wild ways, and his arrogance in order to
win her. She brings the alpha male to his knees. Talk about female
fantasy!

The male in the story is both hero and villain. The woman must banish
the villain without destroying the hero. It's an interesting task.  The
next time a devastatingly handsome, sexually irresistible, incredibly
wealthy, tall, muscular, intelligent aristocrat finds himself drawn to
me, I will willingly embark upon it.  I must save him from his dark
side. It is my duty.

Barbara Hume

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sarah Werner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 13 Nov 1998 14:33:22 -0500
Subject: 9.1136  Re: Shrews Behaving Badly
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1136  Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

This thread has clearly become about people other than shrews behaving
badly.  What started off as a potentially productive discussion about
Shakespeare's play has been appropriated by personal diatribes.  While
Jean Peterson, Carol Barton and others both spoke from differing points
of view about the play, occasionally incorporating personal revelation
in the service of their arguments, Jerry Adair's post seems to have
little purpose other than to vent and insult.  Clearly Jean is onto
something in wondering what it is about _Shrew_ that provokes such
deeply personal responses.  But the sort of diatribe, bad behavior and
wholesale maligning recently displayed should have no part in our
discussion on SHAKSPER.  I won't deign to address the slanders against
women and feminism that have recently come up on the list; since they
are not thoughtfully expressed they are hardly deserving of a thoughtful
response.  Perhaps those of you who feel betrayed and disappointed in
today's women can start your own listserv to talk about those feelings.
But leave the rest of us out of it.

Sarah Werner

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jean Peterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 09:23:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        shrew

Of Jerry Adaire's absurd and venomous tirade, the only part I feel
compelled to answer seriously is his implication that I am "the type of
woman" who "scoffs" at an interracial couple.  Anyone who knows  me can
verify that the imputation to me of such racist behavior and thinking is
groundless and false.

Might I suggest that other SHAKSPERians tempted to use this list to air
the details of their love lives and dating preferences find a more
appropriate venue for their fascinating intimate revelations-like maybe
"The Jerry Springer Show"?  I'm sure there's a segment upcoming on "Men
Who Resent Women Who Don't Know Their Place."

Jean Peterson
Bucknell University

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Linda Stumbaugh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sun, 15 Nov 1998 13:32:28 -0800
Subject:        Shrew, etc.

Dear Mr. Cook and Members of the list -

Could we kindly move on to different thread other than the Shrew?  I
seem to remember reading most of this a year ago.  If not, could we move
beyond the likes of Jerry Adair's most recent posting telling us how
most women are hypocritical and operate under a double standard (yes, I
am a feminist and proud to be so).  His remarks in the last post do
nothing to further Shakespearean studies.

Respectfully,
Linda Stumbaugh

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brooke Brod <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 16 Nov 1998 02:18:35 -0600
Subject: 9.1136 Re: Shrews Behaving Badly
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1136 Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

I would certainly appreciate it if Mr. Adair and Ms. Lee would be so
kind as to provide further explanation for the following:

>Women want it all

How do you define "all?"

To Mr. Adair only:

> This notion brings me back to the point I made in my original reply to
> the subject: the passionate, unselfish love between two strong,
> fundamentally good people.  Kate and Petruchio.  Neither of them are
> perfect and both of them do certain things that are reproachable, but
> this isn't important, to do so is human.  What *is* important is the
> type of love that they discover both in themselves and in each other.
> It is the nature and the spirit of that love that embodies the
> aforementioned personality attributes that I advocate: truth, honor and
> the concept of what I call "doing the right thing at every turn in
> life."

Do the ends justify the means?  Does "doing the right thing at every
turn in life," in fact only hold true occasionally?

~ Brooke

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Peschko <epeschko@den-mdev1>
Date:           Saturday, 28 Nov 1998 04:52:13 -0700 (MST)
Subject: 9.1136 Re: Shrews Behaving Badly
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1136 Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

> > human nature to acquire what is desired at a bargain price, or to get it
> > for free.  It is the art of the deal, and the talent for shrewd dealing
> > is much admired throughout most (all?) of this world's societies.
> > [...] The automatic rejoinder to this is "Why not?"  "We cannot have it both
> > ways" is not a sacred commandment or a law of physics, and even if it
> > was, sacred commandments and laws of physics were only made to be
> > amended or superseded.  Since I was a child I have never seen the point
> > in having your cake if you cant eat it too.
>
> Another oh boy. <shudder><groan>  I must admit that I find these
> comments difficult to take seriously because they are so extreme and
> unreasonable in nature; it makes me wonder if the author really isn't
> some twisted youth in some dimly-lit, back corner of his/her parent's
> house trying to see what kind of trouble they can stir up.  However,
> I'll play and take them on face value: no, Neth what is admired
> "throughout most (all?) of this world's societies" is honor, truth, and
> being a man/woman of your word, at least by those whose judgement is
> worth the breath they use to articulate that judgement in words.

The problem is that the world applauds the principle that you describe,
but seldom applauds the practice. I look around my office today, and the
ones who are most valued, listened to, and generally honored are the
ones who have been shrewd enough to negotiate themselves into positions
of power. Those who hold to 'principles' and are willing to speak up for
them are either gone, or relegated to low positions.  I have to work
2.5 times as hard to get away with 'the rather selfish luxury of
pursuing moral principles'.

And in case you don't think this truism scales up to positions of higher
power, just look at people like JD Rockefeller and Bill Gates. Tons of
respect, power, prestige, and honor. Moral fiber? Are you kidding?

Ed (in a cynical mood)

Re: Woody; Romeo; Lion King; MND

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1143  Monday, 16 November 1998.

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 13 Nov 1998 12:23:05 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1132 Re: Welles, Woody, Branagh & the Bard

[2]     From:   Leslie Kuo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 11:18:50 +0800
        Subj:   How to act as Romeo, again

[3]     From:   Justin Bacon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 11 Nov 1998 13:55:24 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1078 Re: Lion King 2; Reference; Teaching Sonnets

[4]     From:   Justin Bacon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 11 Nov 1998 14:00:39 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1082 MND


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 13 Nov 1998 12:23:05 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 9.1132 Re: Welles, Woody, Branagh & the Bard
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1132 Re: Welles, Woody, Branagh & the Bard

> Allen's character in _Annie Hall_ mentions Shakespeare in the Park.

From memory it's:

Allen: "You shouldn't be doing this rubbish, you should be doing
Shakespeare in the Park"

Allen's Manager "I did Shakespeare in the Park. I got mugged. Somebody
tried to steal my leotard."

Gabriel Egan

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Leslie Kuo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 11:18:50 +0800
Subject:        How to act as Romeo, again.

Hi,

Thanks for your suggestions. However, I have to apologize that I forgot
to describe my situation. The fact is that I am in a Chinese university,
Wuhan University to be exact. The Shakespeare Drama Society is run by
the English Department and we put on one or two plays each year and this
year it should be R&J. The English majors, especially the society
members, should have no big problems in understanding the original play.
But the acting is open to all the school and about 90 percent of the
audience will be non-English majors. In that case, some of the audience
will feel it difficult to understand the lines. We will try to outline
the story during the intervals between scenes so that they can
understand what is going on more easily. As to adjusting the words,
there is a fierce dispute among the members. I personally oppose the
idea, believing it is a kind of profane act toward Shakespeare. Since I
am the assistant director, besides acting as Romeo, my proposal has been
reluctantly accepted. But changing the words is still under discussion
by some members.

Yap, I am fully aware of the fact that we have cut too much from the
play since we will only put on five scenes. I believe it is the best to
act all the scenes out. However, the difficulty is that the fund is
quite limited.  Our society relies solely on public donations and is
quite short of money.  Anyway, I, together with my fellow members, will
work hard to get it done well.

Sincerely,
Leslie Kuo

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Justin Bacon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 11 Nov 1998 13:55:24 -0600
Subject: 9.1078 Re: Lion King 2; Reference; Teaching Sonnets
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1078 Re: Lion King 2; Reference; Teaching Sonnets

> I mentioned the connection between the first Lion King and _Hamlet_ to a
> colleague and we both agreed that the story more closely resembles
> _Richard III_, told from Richmond's perspective (Richmond being Simba).
> _H_ is a possibility, but _R III_ is more likely.  I've tried not to see
> the Disney Video Sequels, as they are generally of lesser quality and
> are just looking to make more money off hapless parents of younger
> children, a practice that I do not feel good supporting.  So someone
> else is going to have to tell me about "Lion King II."

Lion King II, surprisingly, was of the same quality as the first (right
down to the same weaknesses-a strangely over-colored musical sequence
which blasted the mood of the African safari right out of the film; and
a strange musical number connecting the first half of the movie to the
second). I'd rent it, but have no intention of owning it.

I would say, however, that the first Lion King is *much* closer to
Hamlet than R3 -- uncle kills father, marries mother, is revenged by
son.

Justin Bacon
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Justin Bacon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 11 Nov 1998 14:00:39 -0600
Subject: 9.1082 MND
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1082 MND

> 5. Why is Lysander the only one of the lovers targeted for the
> lovejuice?

Demetrius. Because there's no reason to target anyone else.

> 7. If this play is a comedy, then what is your definition of comedy?

A happy ending wherein the main characters aren't dead. It helps if
there are some jokes, which MND contains aplenty.

One wonders, if this play is not a comedy in your opinion, what *your*
definition of comedy is.

> 8. Why is Puck so dejected at the end? So defensive? So SCARED? Read the
> Epilogue; is he happy? or is he scared stiff? And why? Because when
> Oberon needed him to wage war on Titania, he was wanted warmed by power
> from the boss. Once the CEO makes it up
> with Titania, then Puck is redundant as an instrument of mischief and
> revenge - he ceases to ahve afunction, and is close to being cast into
> outer darkness, but in this play without the benediction of the Oberon /
> Prospero figure. Or are we going to hide behind the call-on tradition
> that all Puck is doing is begging the audience for their applause?

Hide behind? That's what Puck is *doing*? Is Rosalind's speech at the
end of As You Like It secretly conveying some message? No, it's just a
theatrical convention. Time to get a hold of yourself.

> I mean, stuff the 'triadic' significances, and tell me about the meat of
> this so-called superficial play. MND is dynamite, under the guise of
> fairydom and post Rackham whimsy and countless college plays with
> simpering girls in tutus. For the Elizabethans, fairies were Other
> World, dangerous, enigmatic, powerfully conscienceless, gleefully
> mischievous. Unlike Dr Faustus where magic is merest cabaret, the magic
> in this play is hugely disruptive, and transforming, life-changing and
> also healing.

Gotta agree.

> So, people, tell me about PUCK!! Who is he?

Now *this*, on the other hand, is a question I think is often
misanswered.  Puck is too often interpreted as being *vindicatively*
mischievousness and spiteful. This is clearly against the grain of
Shakespeare's text, where Puck is presented as mischievous-yes-but a
cheerful, gleeful mischievous.

Justin Bacon
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re: Maps

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1141  Monday, 16 November 1998.

[1]     From:   Richard Dutton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 13 Nov 1998 16:57:00 -0000
        Subj:   RE: SHK 9.1123  Re: Maps

[2]     From:   R. D. H. Wells <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 15:33:57 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1135 Re: Maps

[3]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 13:02:56 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1135 Re: Maps

[4]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 13:10:04 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1135 Re: Maps

[5]     From:   Michael Ullyot <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 23:14:44 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1135 Re: Maps


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Dutton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 13 Nov 1998 16:57:00 -0000
Subject: 9.1123  Re: Maps
Comment:        RE: SHK 9.1123  Re: Maps

If I dare stick my head over the parapet in the increasingly acrimonious
maps debate, I wonder if it is worth raising the point that it was one
of the great early modern map-makers, John Speed, who-in his 'History of
Great Britain' (1611) -- seems to have castigated Shakespeare as a
Catholic apologist, furthering the agenda of the Jesuit
controversialist, Robert Persons. That, at least, seems to be the gist
of the complaint about the stage treatment of Oldcastle/Falstaff, based
only on the authority of 'this papist and his poet, of like conscience
for lies, the one ever feigning, and the other ever falsifying the
truth' (the passage is more fully quoted in Schoenbaum's 'Compact
Documentary Life, p. 193). Map-making for Speed was an act of Protestant
zeal (as it had been, in rather different form, for John Dee and others
associated with Elizabethan privateering/colonisation). Maps are no more
neutral than any other form of document. Is that why people are getting
so hot under the collar?

Richard Dutton

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. D. H. Wells <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 15:33:57 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 9.1135 Re: Maps
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1135 Re: Maps

On 12 November Terry Hawkes mentioned that among the matters that
'Presentist' criticism concerns itself with is 'the Tudor project of a
new independent national identity'.

I wonder if he could tell us what the governing principles of
'Presentist' criticism are and who its practitioners are?

Robin Headlam Wells

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 13:02:56 -0500
Subject: 9.1135 Re: Maps
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1135 Re: Maps

Terence Hawkes writes:

>'Presentist' criticism engages closely with these issues.

Somehow, the designation "presentist" has evaded my awareness, and I
wonder if I could ask Professor Hawkes for a definition and, perhaps,
for an example.

Thanks.

Yours, Bill

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 13:10:04 -0500
Subject: 9.1135 Re: Maps
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1135 Re: Maps

>Creating a play-world in
>which Bohemia has a sea coast, and where clear references are made to
>the New Testament by pagans who technically should be long dead before
>the gospel is written deliberately dislocates the play from time and
>space in order to universalise it.

I generally agree with Robin Hamilton, but I wonder about the
universalization effect. When a playwright creates a fantasy world that
denies historical and physical reality, is the effect
"universalization"?  Or is something else implied?

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Ullyot <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 23:14:44 +0000
Subject: 9.1135 Re: Maps
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1135 Re: Maps

On this subject of Shakespeare's 'warping' of time and space, Robin
Hamilton writes that his dislocations of time (as in characters
referring to things with which they clearly should not be familiar)
universalises the dramatic present in a kind of trans-temporal Everytime
(I paraphrase).  While I agree with this from an interpretive
perspective, I wonder if we can't forget this problematic issue of
Authorial Intent. Indeed, this author is long dead, but to situate
ourselves in what we know of his cultural context for a (tenuous)
moment, we might view these temporal dislocations in another light: when
Hector speaks of Aristotle in _Troilus and Cressida_ (2.2), or reference
is made to clocks in _Julius Caesar_, Shakespeare may be universalising
his narrative, but what seems more likely is that he was either muddled
about his dates or hoping his audience wouldn't catch his anachronisms.
We critics are more than free, however, to interpret these things as we
will; despite its author's intent, a text can often reveal meanings in
cultures far removed from its original composition. That's Mikhail
Bakhtin, as a mentor of mine was fond of quoting:

It seems paradoxical that ... great works continue to live in the
distant future. In the process of their posthumous life they are
enriched with new meanings, new significance: it is as though these
works outgrow what they were in the epoch of their creation.
(Bakhtin, _Speech Genres and Other Late Essays_, cited in Bristol, M.D.,
_Big-time Shakespeare_, 10)

But who's being anachronistic, now? Here I've presented both sides of
the intent/interpretation argument, apparently without taking sides.
Indeed, both sides present compelling cases-but, to paraphrase Troilus
himself, 'if we talk of [intent], | Let's shut our gates and sleep."
(2.2.45f) What critical work would be left to do if all we could do was
throw up our hands and guess at the minds of authors?

But I digress. Robin's posting makes a number of pertinent points, all
of which are most agreeable. Save for this:

>The (relative) rareness of geographical and temporal errors in
>Shakespeare's plays generally suggests that their co-existence
>here is for a purpose.

Relative, indeed: the histories are riddled with temporal and, in
reference to what prompted this discussion, geographical
reconfigurations.

A final note: can I ask Prof. Hawkes to elaborate on what he wrote about
"presentist" criticism, in the context of Welsh prominence in Tudor
England? It's a term I'd never encountered.

Michael Ullyot

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