1998

Re: Chariot; Clergy; Q1 Ham; Swords; Branagh

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0996  Wednesday, 14 October 1998.

[1]     From:   Stanley Wells <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Oct 1998 10:54:21 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0989 Re: Titus's Chariot

[2]     From:   Jerry R. Adair <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 16:57:38 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Clergy

[3]     From:   David J. Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 23:30:21 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0983 Re: Q1 Ham

[4]     From:   Karen E Peterson-Kranz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Oct 1998 10:27:19 +1000 (GMT+1000)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0990 Shakespeare Without Swords

[5]     From:   Drew Whitehead <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Oct 1998 08:55:06 +1000 (GMT+1000)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0985 Re: New Shakespeare Films by Branagh


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stanley Wells <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 14 Oct 1998 10:54:21 +0000
Subject: 9.0989 Re: Titus's Chariot; Q1 Ham.
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0989 Re: Titus's Chariot; Q1 Ham.

From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

>I don't I agree with Professor Wells that the speech necessarily means
>that the chariot is "in sight."  The sense of the speech is that Titus
>is making his gift in the sight of  Rome, i.e., representatives of the
>City, whom he calls upon to witness his gift as an act of fealty.  The
>presents do not necessarily have to be on stage, although the sword and
>prisoners certainly are.  Is it also possible that Titus does not mean
>"chariot" literally; it could be a figure for his military prowess, but
>this is obviously more problematic.

Professor Wells did not say that it was 'necessarily in sight'. He said,
very carefully, that this is something he does 'not dogmatically assert'
but that he regards as 'entirely plausible.'

SW.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jerry R. Adair <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 16:57:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Clergy

Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> sez:

>Isabella is as false a cleric in Measure as Angelo and the Duke: all
>three believe themselves above human passions. The point of the play is
>to topple each. Thomas and Peter are euphemisms for penis.

Eh...I suppose this is one way to look at it.  Having just done the Duke
this past summer, I know I didn't play him that way.  I don't think our
Angelo nor our Isabella played their characters like that either.  My
Duke was quite passionate about being a good governor who focused on the
needs of the people, whom he rarely saw.  His concern for them was so
great that it (in part) lead him to a considerable number of bad
judgements.  These resulted in the condition of the Vienna we see when
the play opens.  There was a great deal of guilt there too, but now I'm
really straying.

The point I wanted to make is, in the end, perhaps just a qualification
on your assertion: these three don't feel as though they're above "human
passions" but rather that they are morally and emotionally pure; above
the fallible nature of the human condition.  They *are* however
passionate in their views on the subject and in "maintaining" their
purity, as it were.  They specifically apply this passion to the issue
of love/lust and they illustrate this by their stances on the issues
surrounding Claudio's sentencing, though perhaps less so by the Duke.
It struck me as quite interesting that, by contrast to Angelo and
Isabella, the Duke takes his fall from grace rather quickly (in Act I)
and, perhaps more importantly, by his own admission.  This smacked of
nobility to me and though I found little else to support it, I played
the nobility thing to the full; especially in Act V.

Sooooooo...I suppose that I should sum up and say then that it seems to
me the point of the play, as you've called it, is to see them fall from
this holyer-than-thou, superhuman status (about which they *were*
passionate) and come down to earth with the rest of us.  And that is how
it came across in our production (so I've been told).  This is of
course, only one answer.

Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> sez:

>There's something else about the friars. Thomas appears once, in the
>early part of the play when the Duke's behavior is the most craven, and
>isn't mentioned by name in the dialog. The friar who deals with the Duke
>when he has taken charge of events is Peter, and the name is mentioned
>once. There is no logical reason for two friars. Certainly they could
>have doubled the tiny parts.  In the same play, there's a Gentleman 1
>and a Gentleman 2. So why were Thomas and Peter named at all?

As the Duke, I always took this distinction to be necessary because
Friar Thomas *knows* of my plan and knows who I am under that garb.
Friar Peter on the other hand doesn't know any of this and therefore
serves as a more convincing party in my public exposing of Angelo.  To
drive this home a little (not too much), when I gave the letter to
Isabella in Act IV and said "This letter then to Friar Peter give" there
was a bit of a kick (emphasis) on 'Peter'.

Jerry R. Adair
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David J. Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 23:30:21 +0100
Subject: 9.0983 Re: Q1 Ham.
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0983 Re: Q1 Ham.

Peter Groves wrote:

>> Well, perhaps I'm missing something but why, without doubt or argument,
>> is it automatically Q2 Hamlet and not Q1?
>
>I would have thought anyone who needed to ask such a question might
>indeed be missing quite a lot.  Consider, for example, what's missing
>from this well-known speech as it appears in Q1,  apart (that is) from
>sense and scansion :
>
>                To be, or not to be, I there's the point,
>                To Die, to sleepe, is that all? I all:
>                No, to sleepe, to dreame, I mary there it goes,
>                For in that dreame of death, when wee awake,
>                And borne before an euerlasting Iudge,
>                From whence no passenger euer retur'nd,
>                The vndiscouered country, at whose sight
>                The happy smile, and the accursed damn'd.
>                But for this, the ioyfull hope of this,
>                Whol'd beare the scornes and flattery of the world,
>                Scorned by the right rich, the rich curssed of the
>poore?
>                The widow being oppressed, the orphan wrong'd,
>                The taste of hunger, or a tirants raigne,
>                And thousand more calamities besides,
>                To grunt and sweate vnder this weary life,
>                When that he may his full Quietus make,
>                With a bare bodkin, who would this indure,
>                But for a hope of something after death?
>               Which pusles the braine, and doth confound the sence,
>               Which makes vs rather beare those euilles we haue,
>               Than flie to  others that we know not of.
>                I that, O this conscience makes cowardes of vs all,
>               Lady in thy orizons, be all my sinnes remembred.

First of all, you've given this passage in unedited form, with the
original spelling and punctuation.  That subtly biases the reader
against it from the get-go.  Second of all, I think the question was
whether Q1 or Q2 is closer to Shakespeare's "original", whatever that
may be.  There are those who believe that Q1 Hamlet (apart from the
obvious misprints, which are nearly as plentiful in Q2 as in Q1)
represents an early version of the play, possibly the one acted by the
Lord Chamberlain's Men in 1594.  This possibility has been suggested in
such places as several of the essays in *The Hamlet First Published*
Steve Urkowitz' essay in *Bad Shakespeare*.  I think the original poster
(sorry, I don't remember who it is, and you've snipped the name) was
questioning the automatic rejection of Q1 Hamlet in favor of Q2.  It's
impossible to judge the above excerpt dispassionately against the
soliloquy from Q2-F1 that we all know so well.  But those who have
produced Q1 Hamlet as it stands (with appropriate editing) have found it
to be a very theatrical and surprisingly entertaining piece of work.
Even though most people would still prefer some conflated version of the
Q2-F1 texts, I agree with the original poster that it's inappropriate to
just banish Q1 from the discussion with a wave of the hand.

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

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen E Peterson-Kranz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 14 Oct 1998 10:27:19 +1000 (GMT+1000)
Subject: 9.0990 Shakespeare Without Swords
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0990 Shakespeare Without Swords

Years ago my brother, a student at a precociously violent high school,
participated in a production of *Arsenic and Old Lace* in which weapons
were indicated but forbidden by the administration.  They solved the
problem by menacing each other with power tools (electric sanders and
routers, to be specific).  While definitely more dangerous than the
forbidden stage knives, pistols, etc., their solution satisfied the
myopic would-be censors and delighted their audiences.

It would be hard to make this work in a tragedy, however.  Hamlet and
Laertes going at it with dueling chain saws, perhaps?  This whole thing
reminds me of the stories over the past couple of years about middle
school students being packed off for drug testing and suspension because
they were caught carrying Advil in their bookbags.

The whole thing is just sad.  No wonder my undergraduates so often seem
incapable of logical thought: consider their role models.

-- Karen Peterson-Kranz

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Drew Whitehead <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 14 Oct 1998 08:55:06 +1000 (GMT+1000)
Subject: 9.0985 Re: New Shakespeare Films by Branagh
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0985 Re: New Shakespeare Films by Branagh

Mary-Anne King wrote:
>
> Branagh, with Henry 5 brought me back to Shakespeare.

Ten years ago it was Branagh's Henry V that brought me back to
Shakespeare after the appalling experience I had had with him in high
school.  Now I have an arts degree majoring in Renaissance Lit., and am
currently writing my honours thesis on several plays by Beaumont and
Fletcher.  If I can get a scholarship for my masters next year I hope to
produce an annotated edition of a B&F play.  I would like to say
thank-you to Mr. Branagh for opening up a world of passion that I had
neglected because of my prejudice of earlier encounters.

Drew Whitehead.

Re: Evil Women

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0995  Wednesday, 14 October 1998.

[1]     From:   Paul Robert Henderson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 14:35:32 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0992 Queries

[2]     From:   Frances K. Barasch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Oct 1998 08:32:34 EDT
        Subj:   Re: reply to SHK 9.0992 Queries


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Robert Henderson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 14:35:32 -0400
Subject: 9.0992 Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0992 Queries

In response to Beck's question about women who provoked a tragic
ending...  I assume that since you did not include Gertrude, that you
believe that she is completely innocent of any wrong doing in Hamlet.
She is certainly not evil, but couldn't her submissiveness to Claudius
be cause to point some of the blame in her direction?  An "O'er hasty
marriage"?

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Frances K. Barasch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 14 Oct 1998 08:32:34 EDT
Subject: to SHK 9.0992 Queries
Comment:        Re: reply to SHK 9.0992 Queries

To Verena Beck:  you might look at Henry VI for evil women, including
the "witch" Joan la Pucelle.  frances k. barasch

Re: Lear on PBS

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0993  Wednesday, 14 October 1998.

[1]     From:   Rick Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 08:59:07 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0988  Lear on PBS

[2]     From:   Gerda Grice <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 12:35:28 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0988 Lear on PBS

[3]     From:   Hilary Thimmesh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 11:56:22 -0500
        Subj:   PBS Lear


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rick Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 08:59:07 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 9.0988  Lear on PBS
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0988  Lear on PBS

Thomas Connolly and I obviously live in different places.  He summarizes
the PBS Lear as follows:

> On the whole, a decent production but wildly over-hyped by PBS.

I haven't actually seen the show yet-I watched Crime & Punishment and
taped Lear-but I must disagree with the assertion that Lear was
"over-hyped."  I'm a reasonably regular PBS viewer, a member of one of
my local stations, and I barely knew Lear was coming on at all.  The
airwaves around here were hardly saturated with talk of the imminence of
the program.  If Mr. Connolly means only that PBS wanted people to think
it was a good production, well... I, personally, have been able to
survive without seeing "must-see TV," and I doubt PBS's ratings would be
inflated by a more honest approach: "watch King Lear-a decent production
of a 400-year-old play, starring someone you've heard of but can't
place, and a couple of co-stars you'll recognize but whose names you
don't know."

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

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gerda Grice <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 12:35:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0988 Lear on PBS
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0988 Lear on PBS

> Bruited as "the Lear of the century", last night's television production
> was at best adequate.  I found Ian Holm's performance quite limited.
> Not as dull as Michael Hordern's but with nothing of Scofield's
> complexity.  Even Olivier's exhausted effort had more in it.
>
> Holm registered two emotions: petulance and rage.  I would appreciate
> hearing from people who saw the stage production.  Holm's redaing
> reminded me of Hal Holbrook's.

I saw the stage production in London and felt, as you felt about the TV
version of it, that it had been wildly over-praised, and that Holm's
performance was underwhelming.  I didn't see the TV production (one go
of Holm's Lear was enough for me) so I don't know if Holm did the "full
Monty" in that, too.  On stage, it had struck me as totally gratuitous.
Also, I found the Cordelia in the RNT production to be the most
unsympathetic Cordelia possible. I could well understand why Goneril and
Regan would hate her.

Incidentally, I normally like Holm as an actor.

Gerda Grice
Ryerson Polytechnic University
Toronto, Canada

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hilary Thimmesh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 11:56:22 -0500
Subject:        PBS Lear

There was quite a lot of out-Heroding Herod in the TV version of Ian
Holm's Lear last Sunday evening, but I found Goneril's momentarily
anguished reaction to her father's mad curse convincing.  At that point
in the action she is not a wholly unsympathetic character.  Other than
Iago and Macbeth's Witches, is there anyone in the tragedies who is
without redeeming qualities?  Lear gains in interest if the three
daughters are all in some sense his victims, however diverse the course
they separately take to depravity or martyrdom.

Re: Marriages

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0994  Wednesday, 14 October 1998.

[1]     From:   Kristen McDermott <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 12:23:20 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0992 Queries - Re: marriage

[2]     From:   Lila B. Geller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 14:01:20 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0992 Queries

[3]     From:   Nely Keinanen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Oct 1998 13:56:12 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0992  Queries


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kristen McDermott <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 12:23:20 -0400
Subject: 9.0992 Queries - Re: marriage
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0992 Queries - Re: marriage

For Drew Whitehead --

An interesting thesis-although I wouldn't say that marriage
relationships are the *primary* plot motivation in Merry Wives; the
gulling of Falstaff is (although the neglectful husbands make this
possible).  You might look at Beaumont/Fletcher's "The Knight of the
Burning Pestle"-the whole play is made possible because of a uxorious
man's desire to show his wife a good time at the theater, and to help
her promote their apprentice.  Their marital exchanges induce almost
every change of scene, and while the play doesn't concern itself with
their relationship as a *subject*, their relationship makes the action
of the play possible.

-- Kristen McDermott
Spelman College
Atlanta, GA

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lila B. Geller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 14:01:20 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 9.0992 Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0992 Queries

Certainly Thomas Middleton offers many plots that depend upon economic
intersections with courtship.  I'd especially recommend Chaste Maide in
Cheapside.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nely Keinanen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 14 Oct 1998 13:56:12 +0200
Subject: 9.0992  Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0992  Queries

Drew Whitehead:

You might take a look at Ben Jonson's _Epicoene_ if you haven't
already.  Although I'm not sure whether I'd say that the "main" plot is
about the marriage between Morose and Epicoene, or about the swindle
which brings on the marriage, much of the comic effect comes from
Morose's horror at having married a "real" woman (loud) rather than the
silent woman he was bargaining for.  Moreover, this pair is nicely
contrasted with a married couple in the subplot; here most of the comedy
depends on the "woman on top" motif as the powerful Mrs. Otter orders
her hapless husband around.  I directed this some years ago, and would
be happy to discuss the play further off-list if you became interested
in it.

Your question makes me wonder about the prevalence of romantic comedy in
the early modern period.  If we think about the Restoration, for
example, many of the comedies are focused on married couples, where the
comedy is based on whether one or the other partner will be unfaithful.
There is much less of this in Shakespeare (although clearly some, as in
Merry Wives or the jokes at the end of Merchant).  Does anyone have any
theories about why comedies of courtship would have been more popular in
Shakespeare's age?  Might this phenomena be related to the rise and fall
of the sonnet in the 1590s, as discussed by Arthur Marotti?

 Nely Keinanen
 University of Helsinki

Queries

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0992  Tuesday, 13 October 1998.

[1]     From:   Ilona Goldmane <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Oct 1998 19:52:35 +0200 (WET)
        Subj:   Q: Romeo & Juliet in Film- and Videoversion

[2]     From:   Drew Whitehead <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 15:27:26 +1000 (GMT+1000)
        Subj:   Re: Marriage

[3]     From:   Verena Beck <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 12:40:09 +0100
        Subj:   Evil Women in Shakespeare's Tragedies


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ilona Goldmane <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Oct 1998 19:52:35 +0200 (WET)
Subject:        Q: Romeo & Juliet in Film- and Videoversion

Dear Shakespeareans,

May I kindly ask you to recommend me any appropriate criticism for a
paper entitled "Romeo & Juliet in Film- and Videoversions" in
particular, and some basic works on filmography and film semiotics in
general, which might be helpful for making an analysis of filmtexts.

Thank you beforehand

Sincerely Yours,
Ilona Goldmane

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Drew Whitehead <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 15:27:26 +1000 (GMT+1000)
Subject:        Re: Marriage

Before I go out on a limb in my honours thesis I would like the benefit
of advice from other SHAKSPERians.  Roughly what I want to say is this:

"Representations of marriage on Elizabethan and Jacobean stage are not
uncommon, it is rare, however, to find a comedy that relies upon the
social and economic tensions created by marriage, rather than the
problems of courtship, as the grounds for comic plot."

The three plays that I am looking at are Fletcher's The Coxcomb
(1608-10), The Woman's Prize (1611), and Rule a Wife and Have a Wife
(1624), all of which have marriage as the prime motivator behind the
comic plot.  With the exception of The Merry Wives of Windsor, and
perhaps The Taming of the Shrew, and The Comedy of Errors, does anybody
know of any comedies, Shakespearian or otherwise, which deal
specifically with marital relationships as the primary plot motivation?

Drew Whitehead.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Verena Beck <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Oct 1998 12:40:09 +0100
Subject:        Evil Women in Shakespeare's Tragedies

Dear Shakespeareans,

May I kindly ask you some advice? I am writing an essay about evil women
in Shakespeare's tragedies and so far have not found too much material
on it.  I would like to focus on Lady Macbeth, Goneril and Regan and the
three witches in Macbeth but already thought about enlarging the topic.
It would then be about all women in Shakespeare's tragedies who provoked
a tragic ending.

Thank you beforehand,
Verena Beck

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