1999

Re: Beginner and Order

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0122  Friday, 22 January 1999.

[1]     From:   Tiffany Rasovic <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 08:58:03 -0500
        Subj:   Beginner in Shakes.

[2]     From:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Kirk
Hendershott-Kraetzer)
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 10:27:26 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0109 Order of plays?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tiffany Rasovic <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 08:58:03 -0500
Subject:        Beginner in Shakes.

 Heather,

1- For literary terms and help with things like prose, poetry, iambic
pentameter, etc., I would get a book called A Glossary of Literary
Terms, by M.H. Abrahms.  It is very helpful and once you understand
iambic pentameter you will know when you are reading verse and when you
are reading prose.  Of course, then you have to decide what it means
when a character uses one or the other...that's the fun part.

2-I would avoid reading critical essays for the time being.  What will
be good is to find editions of the plays in your local bookstore which
have long introductions and lots of good notes.  The editions that you
have in the school bookstore might not be as good as some others.  Here
are the editions I think would be good for "intro" level studies:  the
very best are the Oxford School Shakespeare editions-great format, easy
to read, space for your margin notes, (the "regular" Oxford are good
too, but much more "advanced"-scholarly speaking); and I also like the
Folger Library editions, but they are not easy to write in.

3- Most likely, you are going to be reading a few scenes or acts for
each class, so you should try your best to read the scenes more than
once.  This way, you can read the first time without feeling like you
have to catch it all. Then the second time you will be amazed at what
you see once you have the plot and characters down!  This really
works-remember, most of the people on this list have read play over more
times than we can count, and as for particular scenes and passages-most
of us have probably memorized some of them just by virtue of repetition.

4-Try to approach Shakespeare the way you approach any other literature,
and trust yourself!  There aren't any tricks here-have fun...the more
you read, the better it will get.

Keep us posted,
Yours,
TR

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Kirk
Hendershott-Kraetzer)
Date:           Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 10:27:26 -0500
Subject: 10.0109 Order of plays?
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0109 Order of plays?

Theresa Ramsayer writes,

>1) If you were advising me, what plays would
>you suggest I read, and in what order;

The list you have seems fine.  I'm sure you'll get as many suggestions
about content and sequence as there are atoms in the air, so I won't add
to the confusion.  Stick at least with the play you've started on.

>2) someone to take me under their
>wing & work with me on whatever play I'm on [which is King Lear at the
>moment]

If you have questions, feel free to address them to me at the email
address below.  I don't have all the answers, God knows, but I'm happy
to try to help.  I assume others will be as well.   At least, I hope
they will be.

Ask around your circle of friends, acquaintances, coworkers, peers.  You
may find that there are others you enjoy or are curious about
Shakespeare.  There may even be readers' or discussion groups in your
community that would enjoy a go at a play you yourself are curious
about.  Usually, all you need to do is suggest it.

>3) everybody's patience when I post simple questions! [No
>question is stupid, if you really want to know].

You'll find that members of the list like to argue; they also like to
tease.  To their credit, I find it difficult to remember times when they
have rubbished a sincere question, no matter how "simple."  They react
more negatively to puffed-up, bellicose or dogmatic positions, as I'm
sure you've seen.  As an example, more than a year ago, in SHK 8.0837,
Professor Hawkes, who can be withering, offered a response to a broad
assertion about the Globe (which he could have savaged) which was both
stern and friendly; had it been to me, it would have encouraged me to
think further, which I'm sure was how it was intended.

So:  ask your questions.  You may take some hits, but you'll more than
likely get well-intended and helpful advice.  Maybe even more than you
want.

k
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Re: Psalm 46

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0121  Friday, 22 January 1999.

[1]     From:   Carl Fortunato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 08:55:06 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0117 Re: Psalm 46

[2]     From:   John Savage <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 09:10:56 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 10.0102 Re: Psalm 46

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 08:54:47 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0117 Re: Psalm 46

[4]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 09:41:26 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 10.0117 Re: Psalm 46

[5]     From:   Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 23:21:18 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0102 Re: Psalm 46


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carl Fortunato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 08:55:06 EST
Subject: 10.0117 Re: Psalm 46
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0117 Re: Psalm 46

>Great as my admiration for the bard may be, I find it hard to think that
>he not only translated the psalm, and inserted his cryptographic
>signature, but also corrected an oversight made by S. Jerome when he
>translated the Hebrew into Latin, without dealing with the problem of
>that uncounted final "Selah".
>
>  Peter Hillyar-Russ.

Excellent.   Thank you for the information, which explains the addition
of the two words very clearly.  And far as I'm concerned, this is the
last word on the subject.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Savage <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 09:10:56 -0500
Subject: Re: Psalm 46
Comment:        SHK 10.0102 Re: Psalm 46

>Shakespeare is hardly in the same category as
>those who worked on the KJV in that we have most of their names and da
>Bard ain't on the list.

With all good will, it appears we do not have all the names, so how do
we know the Bard wasn't on the original list?

>It has been demonstrated that Ps. 46 does not work as a cipher.

Sorry, don't agree.  My dictionary's definition of a cipher most
definitely doesn't exclude what happens in Psalm 46.

>It has been demonstrated that the position of those words was
>established in earlier translations.

Sorry, can't agree with that either.  The extraordinary positioning of
the words "shake" and "spear" in Psalm 46 of the KJV was not established
in earlier translations.

>It has been demonstrated that everyone known on the translation team was
>an expert in their field.

"Everyone known"-okay.  What about those on the team who are not known?
(And by the way, Shakespeare was an expert in his field.)

>Shakespeare almost certainly did not know Hebrew.
>Psalm 46 was translated from Hebrew.

If, as I believe possible, Shakespeare did some of the writing of the
psalms, he was chosen to do this work because he was a great poet, not
because he knew Hebrew.  He would not have been hired just to do basic
translation; others would have done that.

>Another critical thinking error everyone seems to miss is all the other
>lovely language in the KJV.  No one proposes Shakespeare to have done
>more than Ps. 46.

Sorry, not true.  It has been pointed out that he could have worked on a
number of the psalms, but if he decided to hide his name in the text he
would have done it with only one.  Makes sense, no?

>It is time to stop whipping this poor horse and bury it. <<

But, as is obvious from these posts, the horse is still very much alive
and kicking.

Keep in mind the strong possibility, mentioned several times during this
discussion, that one of the scholars, as an academic jest or prank, may
have buried Our Will's name in the 46th Psalm.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 08:54:47 -0800
Subject: 10.0117 Re: Psalm 46
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0117 Re: Psalm 46

Richard Kennedy writes:

>Thanks to Thomas Larque for his research into the KJV. However, and
>whatever it may mean, it is only the KJV that has the 46th Psalm trick.
>Maybe it means nothing, but it's unique.

It's also imaginary.  In order to discover it, you have to ignore the
word "Selah" (which was printed), the introduction to the Psalm (which
was also printed), assume that Shakespeare was 46 whenever he edited, or
whatever, this peice, and choose to count backwards from the end of the
psalm.  None of this is given.  Nor, an earlier correspondent to this
list assures us, is it in keeping with how Renaissance cryptograms
generally worked.

>More unique, possibly, is that this immense piece of work that lasted
>for 6 years or more leaves us no clue as to the work being done, no
>notes, no letters, no paper at all except for a few Hebrew quibbles by
>Bois, not much helping our doubts that those men "appointed" were
>actually engaged in the work.

Actually, it does leave clues "as to the work being done."  We have most
of the names of the appointees.  We have the source texts.  We even have
some rough notes.  You're just trying to find quibbles on which to
dismiss all such clues.  An argument based on the idea that we know very
little, so that what we actually do know is called into further doubt,
so we can just make up whatever we like based on no real evidence at
all, is a very weak argument, requiring a strange mixture of paranoia
and dogmatism.

Cheers,
Se


Re: Brush Up . . .

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0119  Friday, 22 January 1999.

[1]     From:   William Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Jan 1999 16:59:24 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0110 Re: Brush Up . . .

[2]     From:   Pat Dolan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 07:35:21 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0110 Re: Brush Up . . .


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 20 Jan 1999 16:59:24 -0600
Subject: 10.0110 Re: Brush Up . . .
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0110 Re: Brush Up . . .

All this reminds me of a wonderful piece of WC wit I saw many years ago:
"No matter who you vote for the Government always gets in."

WPW

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pat Dolan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 07:35:21 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 10.0110 Re: Brush Up . . .
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0110 Re: Brush Up . . .

Hey folks,

I didn't start it. The guy who brought up Hyde's quotation started this
particular thread. He then got piled on with people likening Clinton to
various Shakespearean villains. (Richard III!!! Come on.) I think Lear's
best-except he doesn't seem to me to have the capacity to reconfigure
his personality in response to suffering. At least so far. (And who am I
to say anyway.)

I think Hyde has the right to appropriate Shakespeare to whatever
purpose he chooses. And I don't think his particular allusion will even
contend for silliest of the year. ("Neither a borrower or a lender be"
always gets me in the context of capitalism.)

But I do think that my critique of his use is worth thinking about. It's
precisely a notion of the law as one story, instead of a braid of
narratives that gets us into trouble here.

And I notice the analogy of the Republican congress with the power
hungry competitors in Lear has drawn no response.

I believe that Paula Jones civil rights ought to be protected as
vigorously as anyone else's. It's my reading of Barr and Lott that they
believe that her rights should be protected more vigorously than anyone
else. After all she performed very well at the conservative fundraiser
where she initially raised her charges. Has she been harmed. Maybe. Does
she deserve more of a hearing in court. Probably.

But again, Strom Thurmond began his career as a segregationist.  Lott
and Barr (neither native southerners, by the way) have documented
associations with white supremacist organizations. "Civil rights"
indeed.

Again, I don't want to drop the important point of the thread here. As
any number of critics and theorists have pointed out, Shakespeare and
allusions to Shakespeare are culturally validated counters allowing us,
to for instance, distinguish between cultivated members of the educated
and trailer trash. And that's worth thinking about.


                Pat

Re: Spear-shaking

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0120  Friday, 22 January 1999.

[1]     From:   Tim Perfect <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 05:49:28 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0113 Spear-shaking

[2]     From:   Wes Folkerth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 09:30:02 -0500
        Subj:   Spear-shaking

[3]     From:   Kristine Batey <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 09:35:57 -0600
        Subj:   Re: Spear-shaking


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tim Perfect <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 05:49:28 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 10.0113 Spear-shaking
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0113 Spear-shaking

How about this log on the fire?

Moammar Khaddafi (sp?) claimed that Shakespeare was actually of Middle
Eastern descent.  His proof was all in the name as well. His 'records'
claimed it was actually

"Sheikh Zubayire" (say it out loud)

who wrote the complete works.

I think it's pretty funny.

Tim

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Wes Folkerth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 09:30:02 -0500
Subject:        Spear-shaking

Marion Morford's question about spear shaking tempts me to forward my
own (crackpot) theory concerning the origin of his surname.

Every time I hear the name broken up, it's divided as "shake-speare".
What about "shakes-peare," as in someone who might have harvested fruit
trees?

It's a long shot I know, but I do love to imagine Will's ancestors
making their living by an activity in which "the readiness is all"!

Wes Folkerth
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kristine Batey <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Jan 1999 09:35:57 -0600
Subject:        Re: Spear-shaking

Morf wrote:

>With all of the research regarding WS and KJV (and the 46 conundrum)
>which has been a semi-raging topic recently here on SHAKSPER, perhaps
>it's safe (relatively) for me to raise a question. Several years ago I
>read some books, some with near convincing paintings of WS, which  took
>the position that, in fact, Shakespeare was of African descent (meaning
>Black) hence the relatively unusual name "Shakes-speare." Is this
>reasonable? Does the Shakespeare name (obviously with alternate
>spellings) exist prior to William? Given the British tradition of last
>names being based on vocation or location (Miller, Ford, Baker, etc) at
>this part of the premise strikes me as plausible.

I'm not a scholar, but I know the name was not at all uncommon in
Warwickshire and surrounding counties. It may have been an
"occupational" name for a soldier, although I think there is some debate
about its origins. Morf's sources' association of the name with
spear-shaking African tribes is almost as ludicrous as it is racist.

Kristine Batey
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA
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Civility

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0118  Thursday, 21 January 1999.

From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wed, 20 Jan 1999 14:33:28 -0500
Subject:        Civility

Mike Jensen quoted me as saying

>Let's stop bashing Terry just because its fun.

and added

>It is rather, but the purpose isn't bashing.  We went through this a
>year or more ago, so I'll keep it brief.  Prof. Hawkes deliberately
>says
>rude and provocative things.  Some like it.  Some loath it.  On the
>two
>or three occasions that he has provided real content, I have been
>grateful for his messages.  In my view, the vast majority are just
>pointless exercises of what passes for wit.  It is has been dubbed
>irony
>to justify it.  In my mind there is no justification, but Prof. Hawkes
>and some others persist.

>Besides, his style rather invites it.  We are justified in claiming,
>"Terry hit me first."

>I believe you owe Harry Hill an apology.

I don't think I said anything to offend Harry Hill, even inadvertently.
If I did, I apologize.

In any event, my point was not to defend Terence Hawkes.  Anyone who has
paid the slightest attention to what I have posted here would know that
I would be among the last to defend anyone who describes himself as a
"cultural materialist."  Rather, I was just suggesting that maybe it
might be a good idea to stop treating everything he says as deserving of
opprobrium just because he is "rude and provocative."  In the case in
point, the distinction he made between drama and theatre was a valid
one, and to object just because you don't like the proponent is neither
scholarly nor gentlemanly.

It seems to me that the best reply to someone trying to be provocative
is the most frustrating-don't be provoked.  Ignore it; just as I am
ignoring that lengthy, scurrilous and probably inaccurate attack on Rep.
Hyde, which has nothing to do with the purpose of this List.  You know
the one I mean; the one which ends with an unnecessarily complete
quotation of a work which is undoubtedly still under copyright.

Larry Weiss

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