1999

Re: Touchstone (Jesters)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0244  Friday, 12 February 1999.

[1]     From:   Brian J. Corrigan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 11:56:12 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0232 Re: Touchstone (Jesters)

[2]     From:   Michael Friedman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 16:28:33 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0223 Q: Touchstone


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian J. Corrigan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 11:56:12 EDT
Subject: 10.0232 Re: Touchstone (Jesters)
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0232 Re: Touchstone (Jesters)

Writes Drew Mason:

>Interesting to note, Touchstone was originally written for the great
>comic actor Will Kemp, who had been taking to improvisation and show
>stealing.  Shakespeare sought to keep Kemp within his own terms, and
>those of the play.  So the dialog written may not be inherently funny in
>order to have kept Kemp on his toes.

I wonder at this statement. If Kemp sold his share in the Globe property
shortly after the theatre was built in 1599, and if chronologies are
correct in asserting that AYL is from that first Globe season, would the
part not be Robert Armin's?

The Kemp parts we may acknowledge, Peter, Dogberry, (Launce?), seem
written in a lower, earthier style than the later, more sophisticated
clowns Armin performed such as Feste. Touchstone seems to me a step in
the Armin direction, and I confess to having always thought it to have
been Armin's part. I would be happy for any additional evidence and
arguments for or against this opinion-may we expand our discussion into
some general commentary regarding Armin, Kemp, and even Tarlton's comic
careers and approaches? Who is currently examining the Renaissance
popular clowns?

Cheers,
Brian Jay Corrigan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Friedman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 16:28:33 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0223 Q: Touchstone
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0223 Q: Touchstone

Judy,

I have looked all over my notes, but I can't find the source of the
following observation, made in a perceptive review of Branagh's Much Ado
that I read circa 1994.  This critic recalled that Branagh played
Touchstone in a production directed by Judy Dench, and his performance
was not well received.  This experience instilled in him a profound
distrust of Shakespeare's clowns that carried over into his film's
portrayal of Dogberry. If anyone can remind me who wrote this review, I
will provide a more exact quotation

Although I'm very much looking forward to Branagh's musical version of
LLL, I'm a little worried about what might happen to Costard.

 Michael Friedman
 University of Scranton

Re: Bloom [Arche and polari]

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0243  Friday, 12 February 1999.

[1]     From:   Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 15:32:58 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0236 Re: Bloom

[2]     From:   Brian Haylett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 19:34:42 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0210 Re: Bona Bard

[3]     From:   Maijan H. Al-Ruwaili <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Fri, 12 Feb 1999 01:40:02 +0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0236 Re: Papp Lear; Bloom


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 15:32:58 -0000
Subject: 10.0236 Re: Bloom
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0236 Re: Bloom

>>>Speech
>>>will always escape the nets of writing and reading. Poor Bloom.
>>
>>>T. Hawkes
>
>>>Tell that to Socrates ...
>>>Robin Hamilton
>
>Better yet, tell it to Derrida.  Arche-writing, anyone?
>
>David Knauer

But what position would Molly take in this debate?

Robin Hamilton

[Editor's Note: What about Edith as de Man notes his discussion of
"What's the difference" in "Semiology and Rhetoric"? --Hardy]

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Haylett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 19:34:42 -0000
Subject: 10.0210 Re: Bona Bard
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0210 Re: Bona Bard

>I thought i(t) was (despite the obvious etymology) "polari",

>I followed the spelling of Partridge's 'Dictionary of Historical Slang'
>where he refers to 'the parlary'. {Snip} A plague on both their >latties. Speech will always escape the nets of writing and reading. >Poor Bloom.
>
>T. Hawkes

Oxford Companion to the English Language heads its entry as POLARI,
which is also used in the titles of the two books it quotes. However, it
does allow the alternatives of PALARIE, PARLYAREE and (hooray) PARLARY.
Thus are we spared the horror of Hawkes following a Partridge on a
flight of fancy.  And I like Bloom.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Maijan H. Al-Ruwaili <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Fri, 12 Feb 1999 01:40:02 +0300
Subject: 10.0236 Re: Papp Lear; Bloom
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0236 Re: Papp Lear; Bloom

David Knauer wrote

>>>Speech
>>>will always escape the nets of writing and reading. Poor Bloom.
>>
>>>T. Hawkes
>
>>>Tell that to Socrates ...
>>>Robin Hamilton
>
>Better yet, tell it to Derrida.  Arche-writing, anyone?

"Speech is arche-writing because that is the Law." (Of Grammatology:
quoting from a failing memory). But then most of the discussion on this
list is phono(logo)centric if not phallo(logo)centric; it should be so,
it seems, because everyone seems to want, as Derrida puts it, to
"hear-one-self speak." As Derrida quotes Nietzsche(?) in Dissemination,
"Socrates is he who does not write." One would love to know why,
throughout history, are those who are against writing are the ones who
heavily depend on writing (whether actually such as Rousseau or Plato
who believes that a good teacher should "writing" on the soul of his
student). Perhaps one should consult Derrida's reading of Hamlet in his
Specters of Marx or his comments on RJ in Acts of Literature.

Maijan

Re: Early Myth

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0241  Friday, 12 February 1999.

[1]     From:   Maria Concolato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 16:08:51 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0208 Q: Early Myth

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 14:58:30 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0215 Re: Early Myth

[3]     From:   Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 15:06:22 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0234 Re: Early Myth

[4]     From:   Timothy Peterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 08:26:43 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0234 Re: Early Myth

[5]     From:   Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 12:52:24 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0234 Re: Early Myth

[6]     From:   Armando Guerra <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wed, 10 Feb 1999 18:54:07 -5000
        Subj:   Early Myth

[7]     From:   Laura Fargas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 17:02:21 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0228 Re: Early Myth


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Maria Concolato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 16:08:51 +0100
Subject: 10.0208 Q: Early Myth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0208 Q: Early Myth

Considering the various answers, I dare add mine too. The first thing
that came to my mind was the story of St Christopher. It is rather
different, but one never knows with one's memory.Here it is from Jacobus
de Voragine, "The Golden Legend", tr. by W.G.Ryan (Princeton U.P., 1993,
II, p.12):

"Many days later he [St Christopher] was resting in his shelter when he
heard a child's voice calling him: "Christopher, come out and carry me
across !"[...] The third time he responded to the same call and found a
child standing on the riverbank. The child begged him to carry him
across the river, and Christopher lifted him to his shoulders, grasped
his great staff, and strode into the water. Bit little by little the
water grew rougher and the child became as heavy as lead: the farther he
went, the higher rose the waves, and the weight of the child pressed
down upon his shoulders so crushingly that he was in dire distress. He
feared that he was about to founder, but at last he reached the other
bank....".. Christopher belongs to III century (?).There is a vast
bibliography on the subject. However, there is no old man. Best
greetings Maria Concolato

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 14:58:30 -0000
Subject: 10.0215 Re: Early Myth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0215 Re: Early Myth

>Are you thinking of the story of Robin Hood and Friar Tuck
>
>Kristine Batey

I checked this out, and the friar in the ballad isn't Friar Tuck but
another one-the (unnamed) friar of Fountains Abbey-see "Robin Hood and
the Curtal Friar" (Childe, no 123).

I think there may also be some Zen teaching stories that involve monks
and being carried across rivers.  The only one I can half-remember
off-hand runs roughly as follows:

Two monks came to a river, where a rather pretty young woman was waiting
to cross.

One of the monks, much to the disapproval of the other, packed her up,
put her on his shoulders, and carried her across.  On the other side,
the monk put her down, and she went one way, he and his companion
another.

After some considerable time of walking and brooding, the second monk
said to his companion, "Do you really think you should have done that?"

"Heavens to Betsy!", said the other, "+I+ put her down hours ago."

Robin Hamilton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 15:06:22 -0000
Subject: 10.0234 Re: Early Myth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0234 Re: Early Myth

>Yes, it was Antaeus who wrestled Hercules, not Proteus. Proteus was a
>sea god who could change his shape at will, and apparently it was
>Menelaus with whom he had a wrestling bout, though my source isn't
>in-depth enough to resolve whether it included the god's refusal to let
>the hero go. Sorry for the mistake.
>
>Stephanie Hughes

Further to ballads and fights involving protean shapechangers, there's
"The Two Magicians" (Childe, no. 44), which draws on (according to
Childe) widespread continental analogues.  The male magician (a
coal-black smith) pursues the lady.  A typical stanza (and the only one
involving water) runs as follows:

She turnd hersell into an eel,
   To swim into yon burn
And he became a speckled trout,
   to gie the eel a turn ...

The ballads concludes as you might expect.

Robin Hamilton

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Timothy Peterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 08:26:43 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 10.0234 Re: Early Myth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0234 Re: Early Myth

One more crossing myth, as long as people still seem interested:  As I
remember it, Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up and Fly Right" is a musical
version of an old African myth.  The lyrics, from
http://fangz.com/~fingers/lyrics/stratnup.txt :

A buzzard took a monkey for a ride in the air
The monkey thought everything was on the square
The buzzard tried to throw that monkey off his back
But the monkey grabbed his neck and said "Hey, Listen Jack"

Straighten up and fly right . . . [etc.]
Cool down Daddy don't you blow your top

The buzzard told the monkey "You're choking me
Release your hold and I'll set you free"
The monkey looked the buzzard right dead in the eye
And said "You're story's so touching, but it sounds like a lie"

Straighten up and fly right . . .
Cool down Daddy don't you blow your top

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 12:52:24 EST
Subject: 10.0234 Re: Early Myth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0234 Re: Early Myth

>Yes, it was Antaeus who wrestled Hercules, not Proteus. Proteus was a
>sea god who could change his shape at will, and apparently it was
>Menelaus with whom he had a wrestling bout, though my source isn't
>in-depth enough to resolve whether it included the god's refusal to let
>the hero go. Sorry for the mistake.

I think it was Odysseus who was to wrestle Proteus into submission, to
force him to return to his (prototypical?) shape.

Carol Barton

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Armando Guerra <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wed, 10 Feb 1999 18:54:07 -5000
Subject:        Early Myth

Hellen,

I think the myth you're looking for is Proteus, but I can't remember the
other character.

There is also -and this is what came first to my mind- the story of
Sindbad the Sailor, in the Arabian Nights, who in one his voyages
shipwrecked in an island where an old man, very gentle looking, asked
him to carry him on his back or shoulders to reach some fruits. The
result was a nightmare for Sindbad. It has been years since I read it,
but I could tell you that it impressed me very much.

Best,
Armando Guerra
School of Foreign Languages
University of Havana

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Laura Fargas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 17:02:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0228 Re: Early Myth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0228 Re: Early Myth

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

>There  are a lot of recurrent themes and
>situations in mythology (cf. the recent thread re camels and needles'
>eyes).

From a long-ago study (1970's) of comparative mythology and folklore, I
recall that a scholar named Eirik Vandvik was attempting to construct a
kind of Dewey decimal system for cross-referencing myth motifs from all
cultures.  It was much more detailed, though less fun to read, than the
cross-cultural mythographies by critics such as Levi-Strauss or popular
works by Robert Graves and Joseph Campbell.  Motifs such as wrestling
the earth-giant repeated in a number of cultures, and Vandvik was
cataloguing variant details.

Vandvik's goal, as I recall, was to attempt to map whether such stories
appeared spontaneously around the world, or could be traced in a
diaspora from a specific culture of origin-I think he was a proponent of
a diaspora theory. At the time, only a precis of his work, about 80-100
pages, had yet been translated into English from its original
Scandinavian tongue (sorry, I don't recall which), and if he'd been
translated into French or German, Berkeley's Doe Library didn't have the
books (which led me to assume he hadn't been).  Anyway, he might serve
as a good jumping-off point for research on the Hercules/Antaeus legend.

Laura Fargas

Re: Groundlings & Literacy

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0242  Friday, 12 February 1999.

[1]     From:   Charles Whitney <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 06:59:19 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0233 Re: Groundlings & Literacy

[2]     From:   Rick Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 09:39:52 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0233 Re: Groundlings & Literacy

[3]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 09:02:59 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0233 Re: Groundlings & Literacy


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charles Whitney <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 06:59:19 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 10.0233 Re: Groundlings & Literacy
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0233 Re: Groundlings & Literacy

Citizens and artisans were an enduring and vital part of early modern
public theater audiences.  Playwrights and players must have taken this
into account in the composition and production of plays.  That is an
important point on which I think most people would agree (see Gurr 1985,
1996). The exact proportion of different audience segments is not the
only important issue.  How different segments might have affected
production and what their theatrical experience might have been in
different venues and periods seem central to me.

On money for playgoing: masters who owned their own businesses, even
some small masters, did not depend on wages per se; their ability to
attend depended on what time they could take away for their work and on
the success ofthe business.  As for apprentices and journeymen, studies
by Ilana Ben-Amos and Paul Griffiths have shown that these groups did in
fact have spending money, even those in modest trades.  Sometimes
apprentices did receive casual wages, and journeymen wages beyond the
official rates. Official wage rates may have been only that-official.
My own forthcoming research in Guildhall records  also suggests that
apprentices and journeymen in distinctly unprivileged professions
(carpenter, baker, plasterer, etc.) went to plays in numbers.

Regards to all,
Charles Whitney
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rick Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 09:39:52 -0600
Subject: 10.0233 Re: Groundlings & Literacy
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0233 Re: Groundlings & Literacy

To David Knauer:

You are correct, of course, that we need to be precise about which
Elizabethan/Jacobean audience we are considering, but no one has
suggested that private theatre audiences were much different than what
they are generally thought to be.  The question is whether the
distinctions between those houses and those of the "open and cheap
amphitheaters" is as great as has been generally accepted.  You express
some reservations about reading prologues written during the War between
the Theatres as "sociologically accurate"; I doubt them even more than
you do.  In short, I am not arguing that there were no distinctions, but
the distinctions that did exist have been exaggerated.

To Melissa Aaron:

I should have been clearer: I (sloppily, I confess) used "tourists" as
shorthand for "non-Londoners."  Hence the "people up to London 'on
business' for other reasons" were part of my reasoning.  One might also
suspect that such travelers might stay an extra day or two longer than
their business necessitated, and that going to the theatre might be part
of the attraction.

I also appreciate your comments on the "slipperiness" of terms like
"privileged."  This discussion began as a response to Terence Hawkes's
assertion that Shakespeare's "illiterate" audience helped create _Romeo
and Juliet_.  Literacy, as John Drakakis has pointed out, is a similarly
equivocal concept.  And, of course, the conflation of social and
economic class with literacy is tempting but not necessarily
productive.  We're all just guessing: the point is to make the best
guesses we can.

Finally, I have no argument with your "insist[ence] on the human right
to make impulsive decisions about money."  I merely suggest that, just
as we cannot eliminate people who should have spent their money
elsewhere as prospective audience members, we must also grant that such
extravagances were probably limited, especially in number in an era in
which credit was not so readily available as in ours.  My wife and I go
to the best restaurant in town on our anniversary.  That doesn't mean we
can come close to eating there on a regular basis.

Rick Jones

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 09:02:59 +0000
Subject: 10.0233 Re: Groundlings & Literacy
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0233 Re: Groundlings & Literacy

>I wonder if Stephanie Hughes would be prepared to make a distinction
>between "illiteracy" - a disadvantage in the modern literate world- and
>"non-literacy"- a cast of mind radically different from our own and not
>at all a disadvantage?

>It seems to me that this distinction is crucial.  As for only
>illiterates standing around, I'd be interested to know what the
>sociological evidence for this is.

>John Drakakis

Yes, of course, I meant non-literate. We have a problem in dealing with
so much of the period in terms of our present-day experience. Concealed
behind that rather dry term "oral tradition" lies an immensely rich
culture that has translated rather thinly into our present "literate"
culture, to our loss, I think. That we have as much of it as we do we
owe, in large part, to the chap whose work we love so much. And, I would
think, this culture would have been far more available at that time on
the stage than in anything published. But again, no objective "proof."

>As for braving the elements: since Dale Lyles has introduced sports
>analogies, let me suggest that "common sense" would dictate that the
>good citizens of Green Bay would watch Packers games on TV, or read
>about them in the next day's newspaper.  There is currently a six to ten
>year waiting list for season tickets....... "Being there" is a different experience, one that many
>people are willing to sacrifice comfort to attain.

>As to sources: the best and most comprehensive source I have read is Ann
>Jennalie Cook's doctoral dissertation (Vanderbilt, 1972).  I believe it
>was subsequently published, but I haven't read it in that form.  I'm
>sure there's some more recent material available, hence my question in
>an earlier post.  Anyone?

>Rick Jones

Good point about sports. The problem is that in comparing plays to books
we are talking apples and oranges. Still, the prices of the two and
volume of sales remains a valid comparison.  And I'd appreciate the
title of that dissertation.

>Which theaters are we talking about?  The open and cheap amphitheaters
>or the enclosed and more expensive so-called "private" theaters (e.g.
>Blackfriars)?  Alexander Leggatt's book (Jacobean Private Theatre, I
>think) argues that there was a very clear class distinction between the
>audiences of the two; indeed many dramatic prologues of the era describe
>which kind of audience might be found where, and Leggatt quotes a lot of
>them.  Class certainly bears on literacy.  That doesn't mean, of course,
>that dramatists were above flattering one audience at the expense of
>another across town, and so I don't know if we can read these prologues
>as sociologically accurate, as Leggatt seems to do.

I was referring to the public theaters, which, if memory serves (and it
hasn't lately, I'm afeard) had a much bigger audience, more seats, more
performances, etc. The audience for the private theaters was the same
audience for the pamphleteers. Now, again, that's an inference, based on
a number of comments from the time, but I don't have anything solid to
back it up. I wish I did.

>There are a few reasons not to take this for granted.  The experience of
>reading versus hearing/seeing a play is sufficiently different that
>literates wouldn't necessarily prefer one to the other.  As your data
>about the small size of dramatic editions (500-1000) show, plays weren't
>that available for reading generally, and new plays in performance
>usually weren't available as quartos simultaneously.

>David Knauer

I was speaking of reading for entertainment in general, not just plays.
Reading for entertainment, rather than edification, was a new concept,
as is seen by the poor repute in which writing for entertainment was
held. Thus we are comparing reading for entertainment with going to see
plays for entertainment. The ongoing and often nasty argument over the
value of plays often turned on whether or not plays were edifying or
merely entertaining, in which case both those arguing for them and
against them AGREED they were valueless. Where is the quote that defends
them as entertainment? If there is one I'd like to see it.

>One of the problems with trying to decide these Early Modern class
>issues is that much depends on where you draw the line.  When I am
>suggesting that Shakespeare's audience is "privileged," or
>"working-class,"   I need to define what those terms mean in an Early
>Modern society.   Is a master craftsman who owns his own shop working
>class?  or middle class?  What happens if he decides to shut his shop
>for the day?  If I am an apprentice who hopes to own his own shop, am I
>in a different socio-economic class than my master?  only temporarily?
>"Privileged" is a similarly slippery term;  you can manipulate it so
>that an awful lot of people look privileged, but the tone of the term
>suggests a level of money and power that I'd  rather reserve for the
>extreme upper echelons of society.

>I do, however, insist on the human right to make impulsive decisions
>about money.  As those who study debt and credit know, the Early Modern
>period marks a positive explosion in people spending money they can't
>afford.

>Melissa D. Aaron

Such important points! As far as I know, there is not yet any clear
definition of class, or in-depth discussion of class issues relevant to
the period. Is this perhaps because class issues are still so troubling
that we avoid them? If there IS something solid and definitive, or
something that merely asks the right questions, I'd be happy to know of
it.

Stephanie Hughes

Re: Upstart Crow, etc.

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0240  Friday, 12 February 1999.

[1]     From:   Stevie Simkin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 14:13:17 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0235 Re: Upstart Crow

[2]     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 09:15:53 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0235 Re: Upstart Crow

[3]     From:   Pete McCluskey <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 11:29:55 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Groundlings, Upstarts, and the Man in Black


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stevie Simkin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 14:13:17 +0000
Subject: 10.0235 Re: Upstart Crow
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0235 Re: Upstart Crow

Stephanie Hughes wrote:

>You're right about Kidde/Kyd, if Kyd is indeed the one Nashe was
>referring to. I overstated the case. As for "Merlin's race," I don't get
>it. Anyway, your point is apt.

That would be Marlowe (aka Marley, Morley, Marlin, Merlin, etc.)  Merlin
would have been pronounced as Marlin by the Elizabethans, and Marlin was
a form of his name that was particularly familiar in Cambridge, where
the two men had previously been acquainted.

Before the Groatsworth reference, Greene  had already made an
envy-fueled attack on Tamburlaine in his Perimedes the Blacksmith
(1588).  In Groatsworth, he talks of  "daring God out of heaven with
that atheist Tamburlan, or blaspheming with the mad priest of the sun",
cleverly associating, even identifying, Marlowe's opinions with those of
his character Tamburlaine's: Marlowe and Tamburlaine, he suggests, are
both blasphemers.  Greene actually associates Marlowe not only with
atheism but also accuses him of being in thrall to the philosophy of
Machiavelli, and we all know what people thought of him back then....

Stevie Simkin

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 09:15:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0235 Re: Upstart Crow
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0235 Re: Upstart Crow

Shaking the Scene

I had always assumed, doubtless romantically, that "Shake-scene" carried
with it the sense of ham acting as in the German term "Kulissenreisser"
[lit. "ripper of the wings"]. As one whose very first professional
appearance as the Bailie in "Johnnie Jouk The Gibbet" on tour in Elgin
on a cold Scots evening in 1959 was marred and marked by my knocking
over a fireplace-flat on myself because of an excess of physical
emotion, I liked to think that actor Shakespeare got carried away with
the verbal baroquetry of "Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast"
while his feet shook the trapdoor on which he stood to deliver some of
the best lines he wrote.

I am of course also reminded in this "Shake-scene" word of Sir Donald
Wolfit's tugging on the act-drop during his carefully choreographed
curtain calls. Audiences, despite the grieving of the judicious, have
clearly adored such shaking. One only has to think of Liberace [see
Michael Bristol's brilliant Big Time Shakespeare or-if one dare place
the two artists in the same sentence, Geraldine Page onstage in the
excessive moods which held her listeners, rightly or wrongly,
spellbound.  The very control of, say, Derek Jacobi's Claudius for
Branagh's film is itself scene-shaking in its intensity.

Obviously, I am going in the direction of saying that Performance or
writing that does not shake scenes lacks an ingredient essential to art.

        Harry Hill
        Montreal

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pete McCluskey <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Feb 1999 11:29:55 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Groundlings, Upstarts, and the Man in Black

Concerning the Crow:

Kevin Donovan writes, "In reply to Stephanie Hughes's assertion that
"nobody is ever referred to by name" in satirical pamphlets like
Greene's Groatsworth, how is the transparent disguise of Shakespeare's
name as "Shake-scene" different from Nashe's reference to "the Kidde in
Aesop" in the epistle "To the Gentlemen Students..."?  Or Greene's gibe
at "such mad and scoffing poets that have prophetical spirits as bred of
Merlin's race"?"

Similarly, Nashe disparaged Thomas Deloney by name, calling him "the
Balletting Silke-Weaver" (in "Have With You to Saffron-Walden").
Perhaps more significantly, Greene, writing as Cuthbert Cony-catcher,
attacks his own pamphlets as hack work worthy of Deloney: "Such triuiall
trinkets and threedbare trash, had better seemed T.D. whose braines
beaten to the yarking vp of Ballades..." ("The Defence of Cony-Catching"
[1592]).  Doubtless there are other examples of pamphleteers naming
names as well.

Concerning Groundlings et al.:

If apprentices were not regular play-goers, why did the civic and state
authorities repeatedly mention them as such?  For instance, on 23 June
1592, the Privy Council closed the theatres (specifically mentioning the
Theatre and the Curtain) and banned other "unlawfull or forbidden
pastymes that drawe together the baser sorts of people."  Chambers
argues that the this order was prompted by a disorder caused by
apprentice feltworkers in Southwark, a disorder reportedly beginning at
a playhouse (_Eliza. Stage_ 4:310-11).  Also that year the Lord Mayor of
London wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury that "the youth thearof is
greatly corrupted . .  . [by] wanton & prophane devizes represented on
the stage" (Chambers, Eliza. Stage 4:307).  These and other documents of
control printed by Chambers suggest that apprentices could and did
frequent the playhouses.

Finally, Concerning the Man in Black:

A Johnny Cash web site claims that "June [Carter] got the idea for [the
song] 'Ring of Fire' out of a book of Elizabethan poetry."  Does anyone
recognize this phrase?  (The song was originally entitled "Love's Ring
of Fire.")  Johnny Cash, Nashville Petrarchan!

Pedantically,
Pete McCluskey

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