1998

Re: Evil Women

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1016  Thursday, 21 October 1998.

[1]     From:   Sarah Werner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 20 Oct 1998 10:13:09 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1013  Re: Evil Women

[2]     From:   Hugh Grady <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 20 Oct 1998 17:54:24 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1006 Re: Evil Women

[3]     From:   Markus Marti <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 21 Oct 1998 01:52:34 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0998 Re: Evil Women


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sarah Werner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 20 Oct 1998 10:13:09 -0400
Subject: 9.1013  Re: Evil Women
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1013  Re: Evil Women

Is it maybe time in this thread to think about _why_ some of
Shakespeare's female characters seem evil?  I don't mean to be returning
us to our nearly annual debate about whether or not a character has an
individual psychology or is a dramatic device with this question.  But
it seems problematic to me to think about such standards as "evil"
without addressing questions of what are the factors that signal "evil"
to an audience.  The recent opinions about Lady Macbeth show that there
is something more complicated than a simple definition of morality going
on in Shakespeare's depiction of her.  Lady Macbeth is indeed a good
wife, in love with and doing everything for her husband (compare her to
characters like 2H6's Eleanor, who wants Gloucester to have power so
that she may enjoy it).  But it is very hard to think of her as a good
woman, given her apparent blood lust in the play.  What is it about her
and about the play that marks her off as being evil?  I'm not literally
looking for answers to this question (I have my theories about this,
influenced by work of Janet Adelman and Phyllis Rackin among others-the
answer likely lies in the play's construction of motherhood and
wifehood).  But questions like this seem necessary when thinking about
characters in order to avoid flattening out both the plays and our
notions of women.

Sarah Werner
McGill University

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hugh Grady <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 20 Oct 1998 17:54:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.1006 Re: Evil Women
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1006 Re: Evil Women

But why in heaven (or earth) should we assume the witches are "without
redeeming qualities." There're easily the most entertaining part of
"Macbeth," and Terry Eagleton pointed out long ago now that, for any
"astute" reader, they're the secret heroes of the play. Also there's
much to say in favor of Edmund, also a theatrical charmer (when not
played as Conan the Barbarian, as in the Olivier "Lear") who attempts to
do good at the end in despite of his own nature.

I'd be tempted to nominate Goneril, Regan, and Cornwall as fitting the
category, but a little critical ingenuity could probably redeem them. A
lot seems to lie in the beholder's eye, no?

Best,
Hugh Grady

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Markus Marti <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 21 Oct 1998 01:52:34 +0000
Subject: 9.0998 Re: Evil Women
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0998 Re: Evil Women

> I don't think I could think of somebody with a greater degree of evil in
> her soul than Tamora, Queen of the Goths, in TITUS ANDRONICUS. Oh, gosh,
> must I remember?
>
> Nora Kreimer

We men know too well that women are all evil. But was not Tamora on her
knees, begging for the life of her son? It was Titus and his sons who
provoked his, theirs, and her tragic ending.

Do not condemn the queen of  Goths, Tamora.
Did you not leave the doll's house, Nora?

And: What about Des-DAEMONA?

Collecting points from female friends,
Markus Marti

Q: Othello CD-ROM

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1015  Tuesday, 20 October 1998.

From:           RICHARD A BURT <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 19 Oct 1998 23:16:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Othello CD-ROM

I noticed that the CD-ROM advertised at the beginning of the video of
Oliver Parker's _Othello_ lists for 149.00 in a recent Films for the
Humanities and Sciences catalog (1 800 257-5126 item #BTX7067).  Has
anyone seen it available elsewhere for significantly less money?

Re: Evil Women

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1013  Tuesday, 20 October 1998.

[1]     From:   Geralyn Horton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 19 Oct 1998 17:53:43 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1006 Re: Evil Women

[2]     From:   Eric W Beato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 19 Oct 1998 22:28:03 -0400
        Subj:   Evil Woman


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Geralyn Horton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 19 Oct 1998 17:53:43 -0400
Subject: 9.1006 Re: Evil Women
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1006 Re: Evil Women

> The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1006  Monday, 19 October 1998.

I'm amazed that no one has nominated the Queen from Cymbeline.  Women
don't come much worse than that, outside of the Brothers Grimm.

G.L.Horton <http://www.tiac.net/users/ghorton>

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eric W Beato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 19 Oct 1998 22:28:03 -0400
Subject:        Evil Woman

Having been a SHAKPER member for a short few months, I have read with
interest the interplay of ideas.  I decided that I would wait and think
before adding my two cents to the discussion.  The pair of pennies
follows: John Ramsay offers several valid arguments on behalf of
Gertrude, so I would agree that we might leave her name off our list of
"evil women." Lady Macbeth is another matter.  He suggests that 'she is
evil, but to what end?  She never speaks in terms of herself, only her
husband.'   His following comparison is to Othello, who 'loved not
wisely but too well.' My students would disagree. Her  words may not be
overtly self-centered, but her every desire for her husband to become
King may indeed be entirely directed at making her Queen.

Her "evil" credentials may be beyond reproach.   She invites the
'murdering ministers' of the night to enter her and fill her with
cruelty while dismissing her husband as 'too full of the milk of human
kindness.'  She plays her husband's feeling as she might play a violin,
talking him back into the murder plot when Macbeth states unequivocally
that they 'will proceed no further in this business.'  She speaks
disdainfully of her husband in several locations, generally referring to
him as the opposite of a 'man'-in fact, a coward.

The power of the 'give me the daggers' after the death of Duncan
establishes her as belonging on our list of "evil women."  'I would
shame to wear a heart so weak' she adds.  Totally supportive of her
loving husband?  I have always seen her as conniving her way to the
throne-for herself.

Rick Beato
Lisle Senior High School -- Illinois

Q: Jorge Luis Borges & Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1014  Tuesday, 20 October 1998.

From:           Nora Kreimer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 19 Oct 1998 20:39:03 -0300
Subject:        Jorge Luis Borges & Shakespeare

One of my students is writing a paper on Shakespeare's importance in
Borges' work. Can anyone suggest any bibliography to add to her short
list of reference?

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

Re: Marriages

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1012  Tuesday, 20 October 1998.

[1]     From:   Sara Vandenberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 19 Oct 1998 16:34:07 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1007 Re: Marriages

[2]     From:   Sara Vandenberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 19 Oct 1998 17:04:44 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1007 Re: Marriages


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sara Vandenberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 19 Oct 1998 16:34:07 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 9.1007 Re: Marriages
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1007 Re: Marriages

You might check Peter Laslett, _Family Life and Illicit Love in Earlier
Generations_ (1977).

Sara van den Berg
University of Washington

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sara Vandenberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 19 Oct 1998 17:04:44 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 9.1007 Re: Marriages
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1007 Re: Marriages

I meant to mention another source that might be useful: Roger Finlay,
_Population and Metropolis: the demography of London, 1500-1650_ (1981).

Sara van den Berg
University of Washington

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