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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: October ::
Re: Oth. CD; Borges; Isabella; Te Deum
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1020  Thursday, 21 October 1998.

[1]     From:   William Williams <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 20 Oct 1998 07:53:25 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1015  Q: Othello CD-ROM

[2]     From:   John Velz <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 20 Oct 1998 17:54:16 -0500
        Subj:   BORGES

[3]     From:   Jason N. Mical <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 20 Oct 1998 10:33:00 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Isabella

[4]     From:   Hannibal Hamlin <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 20 Oct 1998 15:21:23 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1004  Re: Non Nobis and Te Duem


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Williams <
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Date:           Tuesday, 20 Oct 1998 07:53:25 -0500
Subject: 9.1015  Q: Othello CD-ROM
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1015  Q: Othello CD-ROM

Well, wherever you find it, it will almost certainly be less, much less,
than Films for the Humanities and Sciences.  Are none of us, aside from
me, offended by the prices charged by this concern?  Much of the cost
must come from the almost daily fliers which arrive in my post.  In
addition, some of the CD-ROMS they are selling are old (5 years) or
based on old technology (Windows 3.1!!!) but that does not cause the
price to go down.  If I had the time I'd organize a boycott of this firm
which is clearly aiming at reducing higher educational media budgets and
making sure the individual pays through the nose.  Compare their prices
for standard videos and what you can get in an ordinary shop.  Some time
in 1997 or early 98 they were asking around $100.00 for Branagh's Hamlet
and my local Target was selling it for $24.95.

WPW

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <
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Date:           Tuesday, 20 Oct 1998 17:54:16 -0500
Subject:        BORGES

Nora Kreimer asks about Borges and Shakespeare.  I recall that he
addressed MLA some years ago on the subject of Shakespeare.  Tremendous
applause, but his critical remarks as I heard them were at some distance
from texts.  Wish I could recall the year.  But it is easily found in
*PMLA* November issues, each of them printing the convention schedule.

Happy hunting,
John Velz

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jason N. Mical <
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Date:           Tuesday, 20 Oct 1998 10:33:00 -0500
Subject:        Re: Isabella

>Is that a fear of sex or an impatience with attitudes about
>chaste young women?  Maybe Mical can show us where he sees this fear of
>sex.

OK, here it goes.  In 2.4, Isabella is conversing with Sister Francisca,
a full member of the order she is aspiring to join.  She tells Francisca
that she "wish[es] a more strict restraint / upon the sisterhood"
(4-5).  This is surprising since the full members of the order cannot
even look upon men; when Lucio comes to fins Isabella regarding
Claudio's crimes in the next few lines, Francisca asks Isabella talk to
Lucio because she cannot, and tells her that the condition is "if you
speak, you must not show your face, / Or, if you show your face, you
must not speak" (13-14).  Isabella desires even more restraint than this
around men; she does not wish to hear them, or speak to them, or even
see them.

Jumping ahead a bit, when Isabella is wheeling and dealing with Angelo
in 2.4, and Angelo makes his "indecent proposal," she says "[b]etter it
were a brother died at once, / Than that a sister, by redeeming him, /
Should die for ever" (112-114).  Keep in mind that Isabella will not
actually die, and since she has not yet taken the vow of celibacy, she
is not bound by the rules of her convent.  Is she talking about her soul
here?  Perhaps.  Keep in mind the play on words with "die," a synonym
for orgasm.  If she "dies forever," will she enjoy sex so much that she
does not want to stop having it and enter the convent?  I believe she is
afraid of liking sex since it is something that she has never
experienced; she does not know experientially that sex is bad, only what
she had been taught by her order and the general teachings of the Church
at the time (women's sexual nature were the cause of sin and other such
patriarchal nonsense).

A quick last point: In 5.1, the Duke, when wrapping things up for the
happy ending, tells Isabella that "life is better, past fearing death, /
Than that which lives to fear" (432-3).  He is telling her that living
in fear of sex and sexual things is not the way to go; it is showing
Isabella the Kantian the Aristotelian Mean of life.  While it is true
that one cannot have sex all the time (nothing would ever get done
except creating a lot of mouths to feed with no one to work the fields,)
so too would celibacy lead to the extinction of the species in a short
amount of time.  The Duke's point (and Shakepseare's as well, I believe)
is that a little bit of sex never hurt anyone, and it is not something
to be feared and condemned, especially if one has not experienced it.

Jason Mical
Drury College

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hannibal Hamlin <
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Date:           Tuesday, 20 Oct 1998 15:21:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.1004  Re: Non Nobis and Te Duem
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1004  Re: Non Nobis and Te Duem

A final note on the Te Deum:

To add to Bob Lockhart's list of triumphal Te Deums, when Henry VIII
conquered Therouanne in 1513, he and the Emperor Charles V "alighted
before the great church where a Te Deum was sung by the King's singers"
(Laurent de Gorrevod to Margaret of Savoy in "Letters and papers foreign
and domestic of the reign of Henry VIII," II, ii, 989).  The singers
were Henry's Chapel Royal, brought along on the campaign, led by the
Master of the Children, composer William Cornysh.  A sung service also
marked the taking of Tournai during the same campaign, though the Te
Deum is not specifically mentioned. The tradition of marking victory in
battle by the singing of the Te Deum is an ancient one, but these events
of the French campaigns of Henry VIII might still have been held in
public memory in Shakespeare's day.

Hannibal Hamlin
 

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