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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: July ::
Re: Stoicism; Shrew
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0658  Wednesday, 15 July 1998.

[1]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Jul 1998 17:02:05 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0646  Re: Stoicism

[2]     From:   Bill Gelber <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Jul 1998 04:17:46 -0300
        Subj:   Re: Shrew


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jul 1998 17:02:05 -0400
Subject: 9.0646  Re: Stoicism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0646  Re: Stoicism

Ben Schneider wonders whether there were any Christian Humanists in
Shakespeare's England, in terms (provoked by Ed Taft) that want to wall
whatever that means off from Stoicism, whatever that means.  Those of us
who got our introduction to early modern English culture 40 years ago,
from the likes of Paul Oskar Kristeller, C. S. Lewis, E. M. W. Tillyard,
Douglas Bush, Herschel Baker, were taught that most of the canonical
figures from the period could be fitted into that classification: that
is, all those professing Christians-Pico, Castiglione, Erasmus, More,
Cheke, Ascham, Sidney, Spenser, Ralegh, Hooker, and dozens more, up to
some kind of definitive summary in Milton-who also embraced and absorbed
ideas and images and attitudes from the classical authors whose work (in
Christian frames) comprised the standard syllabus.  Things like Hamlet's
"What a piece of work is a man" speech placed him in the group; things
like "As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods" pushed him over toward
the edge of it.  In any case, the category included, rather than
excluded, various versions or visions of Stoicism; people who before
they were 16 had already read lots of Cicero and Seneca and Plutarch,
and at least a little Marcus Aurelius, had certainly ingested a
substantial dose of Stoic thought. It was certainly a commonplace of
that generation's Shakespearean criticism that the plays exhibited Stoic
attitudes, most clearly in *JC* and *Ham* and *Lr*, but locally from
*Tit* to *Tem*.  Clear expressions of Christian metaphysics (though not,
I think, Christian ethics) are harder to find.  But in any case an
effort to mark the plays as one thing or another, as though you had to
choose which primary ballot you could carry into the booth, seem to me
to ignore the way most people's intellectual stock-in-trade, including
Shakespeare's, gets formed.

Christian Stoically,
David Evett

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Gelber <
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Date:           Wednesday, 15 Jul 1998 04:17:46 -0300
Subject:        Re: Shrew

Tanya Gough wrote:

> Has anyone ever done a version of Shrew where
> Petruchio literally beats, rapes and starves Kate into submission?  I
> have heard of a feminist version where Kate delivers her final "duties
> of the wife" speech with such sincerity that all at the table recoiled
> in horror at the transformation.

Charles Marowitz adapted Shakespeare's Shrew to produce just such an
ending to the play: Petruccio rapes Kate. The earlier scenes between
them suggested brainwashing.

Michael Bogdanov directed a production of "Shrew" with Jonathon Pryce in
which "the table recoiled in horror."  Pryce also played Sly at the
beginning of the piece.
 

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