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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: September ::
Re: Elopement and Escape
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0923  Wednesday, 30 September 1998.

[1]     From:   Barrett Fisher <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Sep 1998 11:48:00 -0500
        Subj:   Elopement and Escape

[2]     From:   Bradley Berens <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Sep 1998 10:26:25 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0917  Elopement and Escape

[3]     From:   Stuart Manger <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 29 Sep 1998 23:13:47 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 9.0917 Elopement and Escape


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Barrett Fisher <
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Date:           Tuesday, 29 Sep 1998 11:48:00 -0500
Subject:        Elopement and Escape

Elisabetta Pavan wrote:

>I have recently studied The Merchant of Venice  for my  English
>Literature examination, and I was surprised to notice some affinities /
>differences between 'The Merchant' and 'Othello' as far as Desdemona and
>Jessica elopement/escape are considered. Even 'the stranger'
>(Othello/Shylock) is worth to be compared.

>Has anybody got any suggestions/ideas ?

>I looked for some essays in the library - unsuccessfully.

I would start with Susan Snyder's book "The Comic Matrix of
Shakespeare's Tragedies" (Princeton, 1979).  I don't recall whether
Snyder addresses this particular connection, but her approach is the
kind of analysis that might deal with such a parallel.  (Similarly, you
might note the Othello/Much Ado parallels, including deception,
eavesdropping, patriarchalism, misogyny, and slander; in fact, in last
spring's production of Much Ado at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis,
Claudio was played by a black actor.)

Barrett Fisher
Bethel College (MN)

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bradley Berens <
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Date:           Tuesday, 29 Sep 1998 10:26:25 -0700
Subject: 9.0917  Elopement and Escape
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0917  Elopement and Escape

Dear Friends,

This email is for Elizabetta Pavan, about similarities between Othello
and Merchant.

You might enjoy Leslie Fiedler's book THE STRANGER IN SHAKESPEARE, which
is long on useful insights and short on reliable scholarship.  In other
words, if he presents something that looks like it might be factual or
historical information be suspicious, but if his more interpretative
points can be quite rewarding.

Also, don't forget the Prince of Morocco in Merchant: some of his
language sounds VERY, VERY much like Othello's from the later play.  A.
Barthelme's book Black Face, Maligned Race might also have something
useful for you.

Finally, Stephen Booth has a smart,  interesting, and characteristically
eccentric essay on similarities between Othello and Twelfth Night in one
of those SHAKESPEARE SET FREE volumes edited by Peggy O'Brien.  It's
worth a look and might be inspiring for ways to approach the
Othello/Merchant parallels.

        Best,
        Bradley Berens
        Dept. of English
        U.C. Berkeley

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <
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Date:           Tuesday, 29 Sep 1998 23:13:47 +0100
Subject: Elopement and Escape
Comment:        SHK 9.0917 Elopement and Escape

Spectacular example of elopement is, of course, in MND: Hermia and
Lysander. And interestingly, Shakespeare allows it to go wrong, as he
does (following sources) in R and J. I wonder why?
 

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