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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: August ::
Re: Faust; Incest; Rape Laws; Music; Bible; Anagrams;
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0727  Tuesday, 4 August 1998.

[1]     From:   David Kathman <
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        Date:   Monday, 03 Aug 1998 11:30:32 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0720  Re: Tempest and Faust

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 03 Aug 1998 09:44:01 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 9.0711  Re: Incest -Reply

[3]     From:   Evelyn Gajowski <
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        Date:   Monday, 3 Aug 1998 11:45:34 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0709 Re: MM Legal Question

[4]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Monday, 03 Aug 1998 15:53:35 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0713  Re: Twelfth Night Sheet Music

[5]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Monday, 03 Aug 1998 22:28:27 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0723  Re: Bible

[6]     From:   Dani Javier <
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        Date:   Monday, 03 Aug 1998 13:52:27 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 9.0717  Anagrams -Reply

[7]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Monday, 03 Aug 1998 09:33:26 -0700
        Subj:   The Times Worries about the Globe


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Kathman <
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Date:           Monday, 03 Aug 1998 11:30:32 -0500
Subject: 9.0720  Re: Tempest and Faust
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0720  Re: Tempest and Faust

Joe Conlon wrote:

> To reply to Stuart:  First, thanks for an excellent and thought
> provoking post.  You got me thinking about historical figures who lay
> down their power willingly.  I came up with two examples that I think at
> least come close: The ancient Romans had Lucius Cincinnatus who assumed
> the dictatorship in time of his country's need and then as soon as the
> crisis was over, renounced his position and returned to being a farmer.
> Secondly would be George Washington who declined to run for a third term
> as president although begged to do so by nearly everyone.  It is said
> that King George III and the English thought this was so astonishing
> that it was almost unbelievable.  I have read that Washington did have
> the Cincinnatus example in mind when he declined.

Someone (I forget who) once said that the real beginning of democracy in
America was not the signing of the Declaration of Independence, or the
ratification of the Constitution, but the first orderly transition from
one President to another.  Washington could have effectively become
ruler for life if he had wanted, but the precedent he set was powerful.
So powerful, in fact, that when FDR chose to run for a third term, his
enemies cried that he was trying to become an emperor.

Dave Kathman

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[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Monday, 03 Aug 1998 09:44:01 -0700
Subject: Re: Incest -Reply
Comment:        SHK 9.0711  Re: Incest -Reply

With due respect to Roy Flannagan, and he is due quite a lot, I  want to
take issue with his off hand example:

> No offence meant, but the fact that the insane Ophelia sings a few
> dirty songs does not make her promiscuous or incestuous.  Someone's
> ancient aunt with Alzheimer's might well talk dirty while wandering in
> mind

In our book _Alzheimer's: The Answers You Need_, my collaborator and I
try to stare down this near myth.  Many people who contract Alzheimer's
are fearful that they will act just this way.  Incidents of it are
actually very rare.  Mind you, not unheard of, but few Alzheimer's
patients embarrass themselves or their caregivers in this way.

AD has such a stigma that many patients try to hide their diagnosis from
the world.  There is actually a greater danger they will embarrass
themselves by trying to cover it up, than by saying the wrong thing,
undressing in public, or engaging in several of the other plausible but
unusual Alzheimer's "behaviors" of common legend.  It would help
patients immensely if we could get over the stigma brought on by such
expectations.

If Roy or anyone else on this list has a rare relative who has actually
acted like this, I sympathize and don't mean to make light of a
difficult situation.  Statistically however, it is not only rare, but
for that few who do behave this way, it is also usually quite
temporary.  Smart care giving can often prevent such behavior from
occurring or repeating itself.  This should not be a major concern of an
Alzheimer's patient or those who care for them.  There are far more
important issues to deal with.

Roy, I may not like your example, but you made your point well.  While I
have not made up my mind completely about Ophelia's virginity, I lean
strongly to agreeing with you.  As for the incest.  Well...  If
Shakespeare wanted to make that part of the story, I suspect it he would
have made it clear and not a read-between-the-lines matter.

Cheers,
Mike Jensen

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Evelyn Gajowski <
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Date:           Monday, 3 Aug 1998 11:45:34 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 9.0709 Re: MM Legal Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0709 Re: MM Legal Question

T. E. outlines the history of English rape laws from before the conquest
to the time of Elizabeth in *The Law's Resolutions of Women's Rights*
(London, 1632), Bk. V, Sections xx. - xl.  Sec. xx. says "So drunken are
men with their own lusts and the poison of Ovid's false precept, '*Vim
licet appellant, vis est ea grata puellis*' ['It is allowed to call it
force, (but) it is a force which pleases girls'] that if the rampier of
laws were not betwixt women and their harms, I verily think none of them
above twelve years of age and under an hundred, being either fair or
rich, should be able to escape ravishing."  Sec. xxi.  distinguishes
between two kinds of rape: that in which the rape survivor is left in
her house or bed, and that in which she is abducted *sit invitis illis
in quorum est potestate* ("against the will of them in whose power she
is").  Sec. xxxviii mentions Elizabeth's enactment of a law which closed
the last loophole of rapists, the benefit of clergy: "they which were
found guilty . . . of or for such felonious rapes . . . should suffer
death . . . without allowance of privilege, or benefit of clergy." Joan
Larsen Klein provides excerpts and analysis of T. E.'s *L's R* in
*Daughters Wives, and Widows*.

Catherine MacKinnon deals with contemporary rape law in her chapter,
"Rape: On Coercion and Consent," in *Toward a Feminist Theory of the
State*.  She notes that the law, generally speaking, "defines rape as
intercourse with force or coercion and without consent"; points out the
redundancy of the two elements, "with force and without consent";
remarks that the crime of rape centers on penetration; problematizes the
intersection of sex and violence; underscores that the concept of
"consent" is problematic in a male supremacist society in which "men are
systemically conditioned not even to notice what women want."

Hope this proves to be of some relevance and help.

Evelyn Gajowski
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Monday, 03 Aug 1998 15:53:35 -0400
Subject: 9.0713  Re: Twelfth Night Sheet Music
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0713  Re: Twelfth Night Sheet Music

The most familiar version of "When and I was" is the early modern one
that used to be ascribed to Thomas Morley.  There are dozens of others.
Richard Burt might want to contact Berthold Carriere, the music director
of the Stratford (Ont.) Festival, who did some nifty Cole-Porterish
settings of songs for this years "Much Ado" (including a couple not in
the play, to see if he has one of this one.

Dave Evett

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Monday, 03 Aug 1998 22:28:27 -0700
Subject: 9.0723  Re: Bible
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0723  Re: Bible

> >Is there any evidence that Shakespeare could have been a member of the
> >translating team?
>
> Aside from the laughable Psalm 46, I don't think so.  The names of the
> King James translators are known, and were published at the time.  The
> KJV has a vocabulary of only about 8,000 words, whereas Shakespeare's is
> usually estimated at something like 25,000.  And (most obviously)
> Shakespeare knew neither Greek nor Hebrew.

Most obviously? Speak for yourself, Carl. His Greek is pretty obvious to
me, as it has been to others who have studied the matter for themselves.

The translators names may have been known to someone, but not all of
them are known to us. There were six or eight that were never given. The
forty or so that were given were all upright Anglican clerics, not one
of whom, as far as I know (and I may be wrong about this) ever published
another thing of any consequence. Marvelous how Shakespearean their
prose! Just another one of those little miracles that causeth one to
wonder.

Funny that Shakespeare never translated any of the Bible. Or Mary
Sidney, who wrote such marvelous translations of the psalms. Or John
Donne. He wasn't too bad either, when it came to writing religious
stuff. And what about those six or eight that were never named?
Curiouser and curiouser.

Stephanie Hughes

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dani Javier <
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Date:           Monday, 03 Aug 1998 13:52:27 -0700
Subject: Anagrams -Reply
Comment:        SHK 9.0717  Anagrams -Reply

I loved the Hamlet one.  And I thought I was good at mind games!
egads.  It's always nice to be humbled on a Monday afternoon!

Dani

[7]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Monday, 03 Aug 1998 09:33:26 -0700
Subject:        The Times Worries about the Globe.

>From the Arts section, August 3:

Apple-throwing and ad-libbing - has the 'authentic' audience
participation at Shakespeare's Globe gone too far? Benedict Nightingale
is worried

"Send out the clowns at the Globe"

The other day a foreign student was walking into the replica of
Shakespeare's wooden O on Bankside when she was grabbed by a bizarrely
dressed man. He was Marcello Magni, the Italian clown who was about to
play Launcelot Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice, but she did not know
that. Why was this tiny, frenetic lunatic seizing people's sandwiches,
pouring water over them, and behaving in ways that in nice sedate
countries would have people phoning the police and asking for the
straitjacket squad?  The girl freaked out, and had to be taken by
ambulance to hospital.

Not a very serious affair, maybe, but one that reactivates a worry which
had begun to gnaw at the front as well as the back of my head. Is what
is ponderously called "audience participation" going to spoil work at
Shakespeare's Globe in ways that rainstorms and passing helicopters have
failed to do? Are we en route to the Hamlet in which Claudius makes
V-signs at the groundlings, and the groundlings yell "Go for it, boy" at
the hesitant prince? As Mark Rylance's theatre begins its previews of
two new productions, Dekker's Honest Whore and Middleton's Mad World, My
Masters, it is time to offer him a friendly warning. If things continue
the way they are going, the artistic director had better have several
ambulances on standby, just to take serious playgoers to a place where
the blood-pressure can be professionally reduced.

Let's instantly agree that the Globe, now in its second full year, is in
many respects proving a great success. There have been enjoyable
productions, such as the As You Like It still in the rep, and good
performances, not least from Rylance himself as a sly yet forlorn
Proteus in Two Gentlemen of Verona and a hilariously comfy, smug cuckold
in Middleton's Chaste Maid in Cheapside. But how does he feel when he
stands in the Doge's court as Bassanio in the current Merchant of
Venice, and hears Shylock booed and his forced conversion to
Christianity received with the same cheers that have apparently
sometimes greeted the grossly anti-Semitic Gratiano? Well, maybe there
was the same reaction back at the time when Dr Lopez, Jewish physician
to the Queen, was being tortured to death for allegedly plotting against
her.

From the start, Rylance has made it clear that he wishes his groundlings
to feel as free as their Elizabethan predecessors to move about, heckle,
even chuck orange peel at the stage. He can also reasonably point to the
configuration of the Globe, which thrusts actors out deep into the
audience and, unlike today's proscenium-arch playhouses, forces them to
acknowledge the spectators' existence even at intimate moments. So why
not make an aesthetic virtue of theatrical necessity?

Some such reasoning doubtless lies behind the exercises in sharing now
to be found at the Globe. In As You Like It, apples are thrown into the
audience and returned with interest. The wrestling match between Orlando
and Charles doesn't merely spill into the pit, but ranges around it,
sending groundlings spinning as fall follows fall. There are hisses for
wicked Duke Frederick and bad Oliver, and loud spoof sighs for poor,
rejected Silvius. Meanwhile Magni continues to run spectacularly amok in
The Merchant, doing horse impressions, miming death-throes and I don't
know what.

Last year it was much the same. The audience made its feelings about the
Agincourt campaign very evident. The dastardly Gauls were booed and even
Henry V's decision to kill his prisoners cheered. If a French couple had
come to the Globe via the provocatively named Waterloo, they would have
concluded their nation was spiritually at war with England, and gone
straight back to Paris. That way, they would at least have avoided the
excesses of Chaste Maid, in which Elizabethan Londoners were ad-libbing
about Peter Mandelson and chasing one another round the Globe's
balconies and almost up to its thatched roof.

I don't think I'm being a killjoy, a pedant, or both, when I say it is
time for Rylance to draw back. The first, most obvious reason for a
rethink is that plays are in danger of being more coarsened than a big,
tall theatre open to the sky makes inevitable.

One critic felt that the morally intricate hostilities between the
Jewish and Christian factions in The Merchant had been reduced to the
level of "an Arsenal-Tottenham football day", and several of us have
talked ominously of a house-style that tends to push even Shakespeare
towards melodrama or panto. An audience which jeered Iago or yelled
"Look out, he's lying" to his victim would doubtless be an involved
audience; but they would be unlikely to end up with a very searching,
subtle Othello.

Maybe the reason the Jacobeans rated Shakespeare no higher than his
contemporaries is that the plays they saw were a lot more crudely
staged, performed and received than is the case today. And here we come
to the nub of the problem. Should the authenticity the late, great Sam
Wanamaker wanted at the Globe really extend from the building to the
bond between actors and audience? Indeed, how can it do so?

These days the groundlings are not the smelly, seething mix of
apprentices, workmen, layabouts, rakes, prostitutes and pickpockets that
enraged the Elizabethan puritans, but a mainly middle-class blend of
students, backpackers, Japanese tourists, American professors and people
unwilling or unable to get a 

 

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