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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: July ::
Re: ArdenNet; Stoic Hamlet; Iago, Sh. References
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0622  Monday, 6 July 1998.

[1]     From:   Nick Kind <
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        Date:   Friday, 3 Jul 1998 14:09:33 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0617  ArdenNet

[2]     From:   Ben Schneider <
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        Date:   Saturday, 4 Jul 1998 13:53:18 +0000
        Subj:   Stoic Hamlet

[3]     From:   Mike Sarzo <
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        Date:   Saturday, 4 Jul 1998 18:25:59 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Iago and Cassio... gay?

[4]     From:   Richard A BURT <
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        Date:   Saturday, 04 Jul 1998 19:27:56 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   2 girls and a guy


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nick Kind <
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Date:           Friday, 3 Jul 1998 14:09:33 +0100
Subject: 9.0617  ArdenNet
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0617  ArdenNet

ArdenNet has not been dead since May - it has been moderated and
monitored throughout. As I explained to all subscribers who wanted to
receive such updates in an email before I went, the June update hasn't
happened because I have been on holiday. Expect a full update next week.

Regards,
Nick

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ben Schneider <
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Date:           Saturday, 4 Jul 1998 13:53:18 +0000
Subject:        Stoic Hamlet

Carol Barton argues that Stoicism is not relevant to Hamlet because in
the Renaissance the old kind of hero in Homer and Virgil is no longer
viable.   She cites "Steadman, et. al."    Steadman I don't know, but
perhaps I do  have some acquaintance with "et. al."    Both Curtis Brown
Watson (S and The Renaissance  Concept of Honor) and Norman Council
(When Honor's at Stake)  posit a similar rejection of the classical
hero.  Erasmus and friends pleaded with princes to avoid war (until it
became absolutely necessary) and they opposed Henry VIII's adventures.
Maybe this is where the idea of "Christian Humanism" comes from.
Puritans opposed adventurism, also, but Shakespeare, with his patrons,
couldn't possibly be a Puritan, even a closet Puritan. Nor do I think
the "Christian Humanism"  dreamed up by modern scholars applies to
Shakespeare.   It wasn't mainstream.  Stoicism was.

1.  Ruth Kelso compiled  bibliographies of conduct books for the
gentleman and lady of the 16th century comprising about. 1500 titles.
She said that most of the wisdom they contained came from Cicero,
Seneca, Plato, and Aristotle.

2.   Elyot's Governour, Erasmus's, Education of a Christian Prince,
Plutarch's Lives,  Montaigne's Essays,  Hall's Characters, Castiglione's
Courtier, and James I's Baslikon Doron  promote  Stoic doctrines,

3.  Sidney's Arcadia is a showcase of Stoic virtues, and there's nothing
Christian in it.  The whole fiction takes place in  antiquity.

4.  Spenser's Faerie Queene is a demonstration of Stoic virtues.

5. The European gentleman is a Stoic creation

6  Holdings of the British Library show that the popularity of  Stoic
primary sources peaked in the  16th century, particularly Cicero's De
Officiis.

7.   In Roger L'Estrange's 17th -century  edition of De Officiis, he
calls it "the commonest schoolbook that we have."

8.  It is not hard to pick out Stoic themes in Shakespeare's plays. See
my articles entitled  "Granville's Jew of Venice, a Close Reading of
Shakespeare's Merchant,"  (Restoration, Fall 1993)  in which the
Merchant is shown to be a dramatization of Seneca's De
Beneficiis; "King Lear in It's Own Time; the Difference that Death
Makes,"  (EMLS 1, 1995)  in which Kent is shown to be a paragon of Stoic
virtues against whom to measure everyone else; and "'Are We Being
Historical Yet': Colonialist Interpretations of Shakespeare's Tempest,"
(Shakespeare Studies XIII) in which Prospero, like a good Stoic, is
shown to master his anger.

9.  If the moral basis of S's plays wasn't  Stoicism, what was it?   He
was socially constructed, wasn't he?

Yours ever,
BEN SCHNEIDER

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Sarzo <
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Date:           Saturday, 4 Jul 1998 18:25:59 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Iago and Cassio... gay?

> From:           Trace Shelton <
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> Date:           Wednesday, 19 Feb 1997 14:48:45 -0600 (CST)
> Subject:        Homoerotic Iago
>
> Thank you Joan Hartwig, David Reed, and Brad Berens, for your responses,
> and especially for the inclusion of helpful source material.  I would
> like to say a few things in further defense of my assertion that Iago
> holds "homoerotic" attractions for Cassio, as well as Othello.

It has always seemed to me that the most notable aspect of _Othello_
with respect to any homoerotic overtones could be found in Iago's
accusation of Cassio acting on a dream he was accused to have had about
Desdemona on Iago... and in the fact he chose to make the focus of his
accusation Cassio's supposed desires for Desdemona rather than the
actions he supposedly took on Iago.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard A BURT <
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Date:           Saturday, 04 Jul 1998 19:27:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        2 girls and a guy

There's a reference to _Hamlet_ in James Toback's 1997 film _Two Girls
and a Guy_ (with Robert Downey, Jr., Heather Graham-of _Drugstore
Cowboy_ and _Boogie Nights_-- and ?).  Heather Graham cites Gertrude's
line "O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twin" (34.  147, Norton
ed.).  Downey responds:  "Where'd you line that?  I didn't know you knew
Shakespeare."

There's also a comedy coming out called _Whatever_ that may have a
reference to Shakespeare in it  I saw a trailer and there's a scene in a
class where the teacher is referring to scene 3.2.  The play is
unmentioned in the trailer, but I'd bet the play is _Romeo and Juliet_.
Will confirm or deny once I've seen the film.

Best,
Richard

P.S. There was a spoof of Jerry Springer the other day performed by a
Shakespeare troupe (on Talk Soup) and a _Julius Caesar_ assassination in
the same episode (with a spoof on Antony's line about his borrowing
countrymen's ears).  I also saw an episode of the sit-com _Full House_
in which one of the boys (who never went to college) is trying to
impress his girlfriend (who is hobnobbing with an upscale, educated set)
by appearing to be literate.  He gets everything wrong and finally
leaves a party (hosted by a man he thinks his girlfriend will dump him
for) by insulting Shakespeare to her, saying that anyone who has men
dress up as women sucks (a friend earlier warned him to stay away from
Shakespeare at the party and gave him, as a piece of supposedly
recondite trivia, the fact that Shakespeare's theater was a transvestite
theater).  The episode ends with the guy serenading his girlfriend
before her balcony.  The girl calls the by "Romeo" before they make up.

Best,
Richard
 

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