1999

Re: Psalm 46

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0102  Wednesday, 20 January 1999.

[1]     From:   John Savage <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 10:45:32 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 10.0088 Re: Psalm 46

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 08:48:24 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 10.0079 Re: Psalm 46; Sh. in Love; Spin-off

[3]     From:   Carl Fortunato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 13:32:28 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0097 Re: Psalm 46

[4]     From:   Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wed, 20 Jan 1999 04:02:15 -0000
        Subj:   SHK 10.0097 Re: Psalm 46


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Savage <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 10:45:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Psalm 46
Comment:        SHK 10.0088 Re: Psalm 46

>Surely the amazing side of this story, which I have mentioned to classes
>for some thirty years, is that someone sat down at page 1 of the Bible
>with the intention of finding something about Shakespeare somewhere in
>that thick book - and stayed with it until he did.

But is that indeed what happened?

What is wrong with the theory that someone just stumbled upon the
remarkable Psalm 46 "coincidence" while reading the Bible?  Seems much
more likely to me.
>But didn't you read the rest of Thomas Larque's post, and my post on the
>subject?

I did indeed.  And I'm afraid it all left me a bit confused.  Perhaps
you can help me.

>Those who worked on the Old Testament all were Hebrew scholars
>who knew the language.

One reason for the confusion.  How do we know all were Hebrew scholars?
You quoted Butterworth: "We do not possess a complete list of the
fifty-four men thus appointed; indeed the fullest list we have includes
but forty-seven names."  From your quote it would appear that some were
indeed Hebrew scholars, some were Greek scholars, and some were-may we
say we can't be sure what the others were?

>The way you've taken the above quote out of context seems
>pretty disingenuous.

I would never accuse anyone of disingenuousness, but I take the liberty
of noting that in your post you do not even address the theory, advanced
as a strong possibility, that one of the 54 scholars may have, as an
academic jest or prank, buried the Stratford chap's name in Psalm 46.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 08:48:24 -0800
Subject: Re: Psalm 46; Sh. in Love; Spin-off
Comment:        SHK 10.0079 Re: Psalm 46; Sh. in Love; Spin-off

>Those who don't like the idea that Shakespeare had a hand in the KJV
>will be happy to know that there is no proof that he did.

>On the other hand, there is no proof that those 50 odd men appointed to
>the job did the work either.

And neither did hundreds of thousands of others.  I feel confident in
believing they too did not translate the KJV.

Richard, I don't mean to be unkind, but this is a rather obvious
critical thinking error.  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.

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

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

It has been demonstrated that everyone known on the translation team was
an expert in their field.  Look up the posts from last November from an
even fuller account.  Shakespeare almost certainly did not know Hebrew.
Psalm 46 was translated from Hebrew.

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.  If the ocular proof is the lovely language, then you
should find evidence all over the place.  I hate to give Stephanie
Hughes any encouragement, but you would have to posit that Shakespeare,
or a team of poets were at work here too unless maybe, just maybe,
several of the translators had a gift for using the English language
well.  Is that really too remarkable to contemplate?

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

With little cheer,
Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carl Fortunato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 13:32:28 EST
Subject: 10.0097 Re: Psalm 46
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0097 Re: Psalm 46

>>I've been trying to find a copy of the Psalm 46 in the Geneva Bible
>>without luck.  In the samples I've seen of the Geneva Bible, it often
>>reads word for word like the King James, so I suspect that may also be
>>the case here.
>
>Here's the Geneva Psalm 46 text, downloaded from LION (a very useful
>source). I have only added hard returns at the verse divisions, and not
>done any cleanup otherwise: the format is tricky, given the sidenotes
>(which are links away, not on the page).

Where do you find this LION?

Actually, this lends a bit of credence to the conspiracy theorists.  In
the Geneva Bible, as in the KJV, the words are both "shake" and "spear,"
but they are the 47th word from the beginning and 44th word from the
end.  But from the word "spear" until the end, the Geneva and King James
read precisely the same, with 2 small exceptions:

1) in verse 9 the KJV has "chariot" for the Geneva's "chariots," and

2) also in verse 9, the KJV adds the two words "in sunder":  The Geneva
says, "[H]e breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear," whereas the KJV
says, "[H]e breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder."

This addition of two extra words makes the count equal 46.  And
according to "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible" (Not really
scholarly, but handy, and usually accurate), "in sunder" does not appear
in the Hebrew.

However, it should also be pointed out that the KJV frequently adds the
words "in sunder," when it doesn't appear in the Hebrew.  Other
occurences are:  Ps 107:14, Ps 107:16, Isa 27:9, Nahum 1:13, and Luke
12:46.  So there may be nothing more to it than a common piece of
phraseology coincidentally popping up in the right place.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wed, 20 Jan 1999 04:02:15 -0000
Subject: Re: Psalm 46
Comment:        SHK 10.0097 Re: Psalm 46

>At Job 41: 29 we read thus:  "Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth
>at the shaking of a spear."

If this was evidence of Shakespeare's involvement in the project, then
he must have been very busy - as well as dangerously treacherous.  The
Douay-Rheims Old Testament (originally published in 1609-1610, before
the King James Version - but too late to influence it in any serious
way) has "As stubble will he esteem the hammer, and he will laugh him to
scorn who shaketh the spear" (Job 41:20).

Since this was a Catholic Bible, produced on the Continent by English
Exiles - traitors to Shakespeare's England - it seems extremely unlikely
that Shakespeare could have been involved.  It is even harder to believe
that he was working on both Bibles at the same time, or that translators
in two violently opposed camps decided to commemorate Shakespeare in
exactly the same way.

The Douay-Rheims text can be read online at:
http://davinci.marc.gatech.edu/catholic/scriptures/douay.htm

>This was the original KJV reading.  I suppose the learned scholars might
>have known exactly what they were translating, and yet we find in the
>Oxford Univ. Press edition of the Bible a marginal correction which
>makes out the correct translation to be "Clubs are counted as stubble:
>he laugheth at the rushing of a javelin."

The similarity between the Douay-Rheims reference and the King James
neatly collapses this argument, but it may still be helpful to look at
some other English translations of the Bible to see how they relate to
the King James.

The "Bible Gateway" site ( http://bible.gospelcom.net ) and "The Bible
Search Engine" ( http://www.thechristian.org/bible/bible.htm ) together
with the Douay-Rheims Bible listed above give these English language
translations of Job 41:29 ...

NIV [New International Version - 1978]
A club seems to him but a piece of straw; he laughs at the rattling of
the lance.

RSV [Revised Standard Version - 1946]
Clubs are counted as stubble; he laughs at the rattle of javelins.

NASB [New American Standard Bible]
Clubs are regarded as stubble; He laughs at the rattling of the javelin.

KJV [King James Version]
Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear.

DBY [John Nelson Darby's tranlsation - 1890]
Clubs are counted as stubble; he laugheth at the shaking of a javelin.

YLT [Young's Literal Translation - 1898]
As stubble have darts been reckoned, And he laugheth at the shaking of a
javelin.

NKJV [New King James Version]
Darts are regarded as straw; He laughs at the threat of javelins.

ASV [Authorised Standard Version]
Clubs are counted as stubble: He laugheth at the rushing of the javelin.

DOU [Douay-Rheims]
As stubble will he esteem the hammer, and he will laugh him to scorn who
shaketh the spear

So in all but two of these translations the weapon is always shaken or
rattled - it is only "rushing" in the ASV, and the NKJV describes it as
threatening instead.

The NIV and DOU, like the King James, substitute another word for
"javelin" (although the NIV uses"lance" rather than "spear") and four of
the translations replace "club" with either "hammer" or "darts".

"The learned translators might have known exactly what they were
translating", but this doesn't mean that they always agreed on how best
to translate it, then or now.  There are significant variations between
most of the translations of Job 41:29 - and only the ASV matches the
translation noted by the Oxford University Press.

>It will need some Biblical scholar to tell us why this suggestion was
>put forward.  ... Is the word "rush" like "shake", and "javelin" like
>"spear?  We need someone to tell us about this.

I'm no Biblical scholar myself, and cannot comment on the accuracy of
Biblical translations - hopefully somebody else will tell us how the
original text relates to English - but a look at the choices made in
other English translations gives a good indication of the answer to
these questions.

The word "shake" was apparently close enough to the original text for
about half of the translations I've seen to use it in some form, and the
weapon is almost always either shaken or rattled.  Nobody except the ASV
uses the word "rushing", and so there seems no reason to expect the KJV
to have used it.

There seems to be a greater consensus among these translations for the
use of the word "javelin" rather than "spear" in this verse, but the
relatively recent NIV edition - like the KJV - offers an alternative
("lance") which suggests that there is enough flexibility in the text to
allow more than one interpretation.  The Douay-Rheims agrees with the
King James that the weapon is a "spear".

A quick check shows that the various translations frequently disagree on
which Bible verses actually refer to javelins.

The King James Bible, as a whole, makes very limited use of "javelin".
With one exception (Numbers 25:7) the word only appears in KJV in the
book of 1 Samuel (18:10, 18:11, 19:9, 19:10, 20:33) - all of these being
references to a "javelin" that Saul throws at David.

The only other translation to agree with the KJV about Saul's "javelin"
is "Young's Literal Translation".  The other seven have Saul attacking
David with a "spear".  Opinion is more evenly divided on the KJV's use
of "javelin" in Numbers 25:7, with four other translations opting for
"javelin" (ASV, DBY, NKJV and YLT) while three prefer "spear" (NASB, NIV
and RSV), and the Douay-Rheims translation refers to "a dagger".

The 19th & 20th Century translations (excluding the KJV and DOU) use the
word "javelin" unanimously in only three verses.  These are : Joshua
8:18, Joshua 8:26 and 1 Samuel 17:6.  The KJV and DOU disagree on all
three occasions.

The KJV translators used "spear" instead of "javelin" in Joshua, but
seem to have made a huge mistake in 1 Samuel.  All of the other
translations state that Goliath has a "bronze javelin" or "javelin of
brass" slung over his shoulders, the KJV calls it "a target of brass".
In other words the KJV translators thought that Goliath was carrying a
shield, while the more modern translators thought it was a javelin.

If this is a mistake, then the DOU translators are still more
inaccurate, calling the "javelin" in Johsua a "shield" and giving
Goliath "a buckler of brass".

The repeated conflict between translations on whether or not to use
"javelin" is well illustrated by Job 41:26.  This verse is particularly
interesting since the use of words meaning "spear", "dart" and "javelin"
(or something similar) in the same sentence makes it impossible for the
translators to use the words "spear" or "dart" in their translation of
the final word.

NIV
The sword that reaches him has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart
or the javelin.

RSV
Though the sword reaches him, it does not avail; nor the spear, the
dart, or the javelin.

NASB
The sword that reaches him cannot avail, Nor the spear, the dart or the
javelin.

KJV
The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart,
nor the habergeon.

DBY
If any reach him with a sword, it cannot hold; neither spear, nor dart,
nor harpoon.

YLT
The sword of his overtaker standeth not, Spear -- dart -- and lance.

NKJV
[Though] the sword reaches him, it cannot avail; Nor does spear, dart,
or javelin.

ASV
If one lay at him with the sword, it cannot avail; Nor the spear, the
dart, nor the pointed shaft.

DOU
When a sword shall lay at him, it shall not be able to hold, nor a
spear, nor a breastplate.

Since this reference occurs only three verses before the proposed cypher
in Job 41:29, the disagreement between the translations is all the more
significant.  Once again, something which the other translations refer
to as a javelin is confused by the Renaissance translations who refer to
it as protective armour (a "habergeon" is a chainmail shirt).

Before reaching any firm conclusions about the use of "javelin" and its
alternatives in the various texts, it would be useful to know which
Hebrew words were being translated in each case - and whether or not it
was always the same word.

Without this information, it is still clear that the use of the word
"javelin" in other translations is no indication that the word will
appear in the KJV.  So there seems to be no intrinsic mystery about the
KJV's failure to use "javelin" in Job 41:29 - and there seems just as
little mystery about the KJV's failure to use the word "rushing" in the
same verse, since most of the Bibles listed above describe the weapon as
shaken or rattled instead.

In any case, a reference to a spear being shaken can never be considered
firm evidence of Shakespeare's involvement in a text, as similar phrases
appear in a wide variety of sources including (from a quick Web search)
:

"... shaking his murderous spear" - Bacchylides 13.120.
"... shaking a sharp spear" - Homeric Hymns 28.5.
"... the challenger shaking his spear" - Three Kingdoms (a 15th Century
Chinese text)

The likelihood of any of these texts having been written by Shakespeare
is fairly minimal.  I would suggest that the same is true of both the
King James and Douay-Rheims translations of the Bible.

Thomas.

Re: Brush Up . . .

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0101  Wednesday, 20 January 1999.

[1]     From:   Tom Dale Keever <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 09:26:46 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   . . . Start Quoting Him Now

[2]     From:   Andy Drewry <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 13:52:43 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0099 Oh Geez, I can't resist.

[3]     From:   Catherine Loomis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 13:05:18 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0096 Re: Brush Up Your Shakespeare

[4]     From:   Scott Oldenburg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 13:08:06 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0082 Brush Up Your Shakespeare

[5]     From:   John Robinson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wed, 20 Jan 1999 02:08:21 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0089 Re: Brush Up Your Shakespeare

[6]     From:   Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 16:34:00 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0099 Oh Geez, I can't resist


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Dale Keever <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 09:26:46 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        . . . Start Quoting Him Now

Cora Lee Wolfe asks a very good question re: my complaint against Henry
Hyde's allusion to Macbeth, 4.5.27 (Alexander numbers):

>That seems a pretty apt allusion.
>Would you mind explaining to me why it is inappropriate?

I'd be happy to.

Larry Weiss, and a number of others apparently, have failed to "unpack
the metaphor" as we often ask our students to do.   What is "full of
sound and fury, signifying nothing," is not merely "a tale told by an
idiot."  It is "life" which is being characterized as "a walking shadow,
a poor player" (24), etc.

I've only recently become an "academic" Shakespeare scholar. In my
former life as a performer, or "poor player,"  I spoke these lines many
times during the nine month run I did in the role at New York's Bowery
Lane Theatre in 1976-77.  It was the totality of life and human
existence that my usurper had suddenly seen diminished to the hollow and
meaningless cries of an actor upon a stage.  The revelation was profound
and terrifying and I struggled to make my audiences understand it in all
its complexity and horror.

When a metaphor or image which, in its original context, refers to a
concept of huge import is applied to a smaller, less profound, object,
even one as dignified as the legal system, the effect is comic to those
who fully understood and appreciated the scope of the original
referent.   Shakespeare and his contemporaries appreciated the rich
humor to be derived from putting Latin tags and classical allusions in
the mouths of fools who did not appreciate their original context.  Hyde
achieved the same comic effect inadvertently, but the distance between
him and Holofernes is very small.
The title of my first post, and of this one, allude to the brilliant
Cole Porter lyric which exploited that comic effect.  Since not all the
respondents recognized the allusion or understood it, I am appending the
lyrics to this post.  The two singers are a pair of cheap hoodlums
(Harrry Clark and Jack Diamond on stage in 1949, Keenan Wynn and James
Whitmore in the 1953 film) advising each other on how to use Shakespeare
quotes to impress the gullible dames they are hitting on.  My intention,
for those who missed it, was to suggest that Rep. Hyde was making
similar use of his quote, not to make a profound observation, but simply
to impress his hearers with what a classy guy he was.  "Brush up your
Shakespeare / And they'll all kowtow" indeed!

The parallel between Representative Hyde and a couple of gangsters can
be extended, since he was exploiting his Shakespeare allusion to impress
his audience with his reverence for the rule of law.  For those
unfamiliar with Representative Hyde's past encounters with the rule of
law, he was the only member of Congress caught with his own hand in the
Savings and Loan cookie jar when the Reagan era "deregulation" of that
industry was revealed to be little more than a mid-west bank heist on a
colossal scale.  The rest of his Congressional cohorts settled for huge
campaign contributions from the S&L profiteers but Hyde dove in to take
part in the looting first hand.  The entire board he served on was found
guilty of "gross negligence and mismanagement" of an Illinois S&L that
enriched a handful of fly-by-night real estate developers before it went
belly up, sticking the US taxpayers with millions of dollars in bad
debts.  Though he was ordered to pay a fine, he refused and stuck his
partners with the bill.  So much for his reverence for "our cherished
system of law."
Though Hyde's role in the scandal as an S&L manager was shameful, his
role as a legislator is even more disgraceful.  Few of his colleagues
realized, when he introduced an amendment to the Bush bail out that
would have weakened capital rules and limited the exposure of investors
and board members like himself, that the amendment stood to benefit him
financially.  [Day, Kathleen, "S&L Hell: The People and Politics Behind
the $1 Trillion Savings and Loan Scandal," New York: Norton, 1993, p.
325] It was precisely this sort of abuse of government power for
personal gain that the writers of the Constitution sought to protect us
against when they spoke of "bribery .  . and other high crimes and
misdeamors," not cheap sex scandals.

Apt Shakespeare reflections upon the rule of law could be found, if the
good Congressman wished to look further than the old favorites.  Why not
silence those critics who complain of the pettiness of the alleged
offence and the chorus of federal and state prosecutors who agree that
such "perjury" is never prosecuted with this resounding affirmation of
the need for justice:

   The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept.
   Those many had not dar'd to do that evil
   If the first that did th'edict infringe
   Had answer'd for his deed.  Now 'tis awake,
   Takes note of what is done, and, like a prophet,
   Looks in a glass that shows what future evils -
   Either now of by remissness new conceiv'd,
   And so in progress to be hatch'd and born -
   Are now to have no successive degrees,
   But here they live to end.
          - Measure for Measure, 2.2.90-99

The quote would be more apt on several levels, since it not only relates
to the law but, given the original speaker, it comments to the true
attitude of those who are mounting their pompous defense of "our
cherished legal system."

I would have raised the same objection I did to Hyde's misuse of
Shakespeare if Sam Ervin or Barbara Jordan had diminished the scope of a
Shakespeare reference to "Life" or "Human Destiny" or any of the largest
issues of human concern to which Shakespeare refers in order to grab the
chance to spice up their rhetoric with a pretentious literary allusion.
I have not examined the 1974 Congressional Record to be certain, but I
am reasonably sure that they had too much class to do so.

- - -

Brush up Your Shakespeare
    (from "Kiss Me Kate")
          Cole Porter

Verse

The girls today in society
Go for classical poetry
So to win their hearts one must quote with ease
Aeschylus and Euripides
One must know Homer and, b'lieve, bo,
Sophocles, also Sappho-ho.
Unless you know Shelley and Keats and Pope,
Dainty debbies will call you a dope.

But the poet of them all
Who will start 'em simply ravin'
Is the poet people call
The bard of Stratford-on-Avon.

Refrain 1

Brush up your Shakespeare,
Start quoting him now.
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow.
Just declaim a few lines from "Othella."
And they'll think you're a hellava fella.
If your blonde won't respond when you flatter 'er
Tell her what Tony told Cleopaterer,
If she fights when her clothes you are mussing,
What are clothes?  "Much Ado About Nussing."
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kowtow.

Refrain 2

Brush up your Shakespeare,
Start quoting him now.
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow.
With the wife of the British embessida
Try a crack from "Troilus and Cressida,"
If she says she won't buy it or tike it
Make her tike it, what's more, "As You Like It."
If she says your behavior is heinous
Kick her right in her "Coriolanus."
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kowtow.

Refrain 3

Brush up your Shakespeare,
Start quoting him now.
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow.
If you can't be a ham and do "Hamlet"
They will not give a damn or a damlet.
Just recite an occasional sonnet
And your lap'll have "Honey" upon it.
When your baby is pleading for pleasure
Let her sample your "Measure for Measure."
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kowtow.

Refrain 4

Brush up your Shakespeare,
Start quoting him now.
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow.
Better mention "The Merchant of Venice"
When her sweet pound of flesh you would menace.
If her virTuesday, at first, she defends - well,
Just remind her that "All's Well That Ends Well."
And if still she won't give you a bonus
You know what Venus got from Adonis!
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kowtow.

Refrain 5

Brush up your Shakespeare,
Start quoting him now.
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow.
If your goil is a Washington Heights dream
Treat the kid to "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
If she then wants an all-by-herself night
Let her rest ev'ry 'leventh or "Twelfth Night."
If because of your heat she gets huffy
Simply play on and "Lay on, Macduffy!"
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kowtow.

Finale:

Brush up your Shakespeare,
Start quoting him now.
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow.
So tonight just recite to your matey,
"Kiss me, Kate, kiss me, Kate, kiss me, Katey."
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kowtow.

[from "The Complete Lyrics of Cole Porter,"  Robert Kimball, ed., New
York:
Random House, 1984, pp. 395-396]
                          - - -

Tom Dale Keever
Graduate Fellow - Columbia University
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.columbia.edu/~tdk3

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andy Drewry <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 13:52:43 -0800
Subject: 10.0099 Oh Geez, I can't resist.
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0099 Oh Geez, I can't resist.

Pat Dolan wrote:

To return to the Hyde allusion, for instance. I think the allusion's
weakness is precisely this: the law isn't a tale. It's a field in which
tales get told. One tale in this instance concerns "limitless abuse"
(who'd he kill again?).

Two tales are important here, the "tail" that Clinton has been chasing
since he has assumed his first office of power, the govenorship of
Arkansas, and the "tale" that his lawyers continue to perpetuate that
Clinton's testimony is not perjury provided that he believed his
statements to be true, rational or not, during the instant in which he
delivered them to the grand jury.  No matter what side, Republican,
Democrat, or neither, you regard the spectacle from it is difficult to
disregard the impeachment as having little at stake.

As for the use of the term "civil rights" it is legalease, and refers to
the usurpation of Paula Jones' right to a comfortable working
environment.  Maybe I spoke too soon, Clinton, after reading your post,
appears more like Lear, forcing Cor. to deliver her sovergnity.

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

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Catherine Loomis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 13:05:18 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 10.0096 Re: Brush Up Your Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0096 Re: Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Can we throw Marlowe into the mix?  When we meet Hero, she's wearing
"Her kirtle blew, whereon was many a staine."  They're bloodstains,
though, and she's wearing a myrtle wreath, not a beret.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Oldenburg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 13:08:06 -0700
Subject: 10.0082 Brush Up Your Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0082 Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Speaking of William Shakespeare/Clinton, I recently heard an NPR host
describe Linda Tripp as Iago....I think a more apt  comparison would be
Tripp as Enobarbus with and Clinton as Antony (both JC and
Antony&Cleopatra).

Cheers,
Scott Oldenburg

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Robinson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wed, 20 Jan 1999 02:08:21 EST
Subject: 10.0089 Re: Brush Up Your Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0089 Re: Brush Up Your Shakespeare

 >I know the year is young and we will no doubt have additional worthy
 >candidates, but I want to be sure that when we are compiling our
 >"Silliest Shakespeare Allusions of 1999" we not forget Henry Hyde's
 >notable contribution to the genre.

Clinton's lawyer surpassed Hyde's allusion when the fool compared all
the fuss about Monica and bill to "Iago and Desdemonia's handkerchief."

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 16:34:00 -0500
Subject: 10.0099 Oh Geez, I can't resist.
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0099 Oh Geez, I can't resist.

And Ruff was just reminded of Iago and the handkerchief.

Oh Geez, I can't resist.

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0099  Tuesday, 19 January 1999.

From:           Pat Dolan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 Jan 1999 21:09:54 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Oh Geez, I can't resist.

As long as we're doing politically pointed Shakespeare references, ever
since 1994 the leadership of the Republican party have been doing a
great imitation of Regan, Goneril and Edmund's power dance.

And you'll note that I recognize that Lear was jerk addicted to hollow
and damaging love affirmations.

By the way, does anyone else find the words "civil rights case" out of
the mouths of Trent Lott, Bob Barr and Strom Thurmond a little odd?

Now, if they had impeached him for the NAFTA or that retarded kid he let
them execute in Arkansas while he was governor...

And most seriously, none of us can claim that our readings, no matter
how edited or considered, exist independently of our politics.  Which,
to my mind, makes the study worth the candle.

To return to the Hyde allusion, for instance. I think the allusion's
weakness is precisely this: the law isn't a tale. It's a field in which
tales get told. One tale in this instance concerns "limitless abuse"
(who'd he kill again?). Another concerns a person who is flawed, and
pursued on the basis of those flaws by people who aren't concerned with
principle or justice, but with their own political agenda. There are
others. (My Republican brother believes that if Clinton weren't
pro-choice, he wouldn't have half the legal trouble he does.) Another
suggests that the viciousness of the battle indicates how little is
really at stake. And on and on.

There are other stories (see Jerry Falwell's video). There are also
other fields-history will eventually be one of them.

Hoo-boy. I must really want to avoid planning tomorrow's classes.

Martin Luther King would have been seventy on Saturday. I think we
should have better off, if he were still around. (Yeah, I know that's
way off Shakespeare, but I think it connects with all the Christmas
greetings exchanged.)

                Pat

Re: Beginning Shakespeare Student

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0100  Wednesday, 20 January 1999.

[1]     From:   M. W. McRae <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 08:21:33 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help

[2]     From:   Charles Costello <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 09:59:39 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help

[3]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 15:24:34 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help

[4]     From:   Tom Mueller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 16:33:39 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help

[5]     From:   Bruce Fenton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 23:47:23 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           M. W. McRae <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 08:21:33 -0600
Subject: 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help

Always ask yourself why you come to the conclusions about Shakespeare
that you do, and then explore your answers with others.  If, for
example, you think Hamlet indecisive because he is too speculative, ask
yourself whether intense speculation engenders indecisiveness.  Since
most preliminary claims about texts can be expressed as "X is y because
z," the important task is to determine the legitimacy of z.  It's on
these contextual issues that most published scholarship turns, but the
scholarship makes little sense until you recognize your own interpretive
contexts.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charles Costello <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 09:59:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help

Dear Heather,

In order to get at a theme of a particular play, I suggest you read for
patterns: recurring words, ideas, images, situations, objects, animals,
colours, emotions, relationships, timeframes, etc.  The list is
endless.  Make notes as you go. When you have found what seems to be an
important pattern try to understand what it is doing for that play.
Note how the pattern might vary.  This will take some thought, but there
is a great payoff when you realize that you have discovered for yourself
some thing, even a little thing, that Shakespeare has worked into his
play.  When you have come to some kind of understanding, write about it
in as much detail as possible.  At this point in your career, I wouldn't
worry so much about what others have written about the play.  The main
thing is to develop your own analytical skills.

To find the patterns, you have to read very closely and patiently.  As
an undergrad I would read a play by Shakespeare many times as I wrote a
paper on it.  I read The Tempest ten times for one paper.  Given how
hard it was to get through the language just for basic meaning, it was
the only way the more interesting patterns would start to appear.

As you go, you may want to keep in mind a sense of the effects of the
play in performance.  The patterns of a play one sees in the text on a
page may be changed-enhanced, clarified, etc-when that play is presented
by means of the bodies and voices of live actors costumed and
positioning themselves across the performance space. The fact that these
actors are performing before a live audience is often acknowledged to
one degree or another in a play, so test your patterns against what you
can imagine of the whole theatrical event-the personal encounter between
live actors and a live audience.

The patterns you find will not necessarily be any more significant in
the performance or the theatrical event than they are already in the
text.  There is a good chance they will be, though, because the
performance is what the play is meant for.  So, if you find a pattern in
the text it's worth the effort to consider what might be happening to it
in the performance.

Good luck,
Chuck Costello
Graduate Centre for Study of Drama,
University of Toronto

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 15:24:34 -0500
Subject: 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help

Dear Heather,

Since the moderator of this List usually does not pass along posts from
students seeking help, he must have found something special in your
message, such as a well-written expression of a sincere desire to teach
yourself.  I agree with him.

In your case, you may be better off teaching yourself than relying on a
professor who urges you to pay particular attention to the "prose
verses."  There are no such things.  A passage is either prose or verse;
it can't be both.  How do you tell the difference?  Easy.  If all the
lines start with capital letters regardless of whether they are the
beginning of a sentence, it is verse; otherwise, it is prose.

But I would urge you as a beginner to ignore the difference between
prose and verse.  It is true that Shakespeare's choice of one or the
other sometimes helps us to derive his meaning, and the verse can also
be a aid in interpretation.  But to begin an analysis with those
subtleties is a little like trying to appreciate the design of a table
by studying the veneer.  It adds to the overall impression, but it is
better to first find out what the table is made from and how it is put
together.

To a beginner the verse is a distraction.  After you have learned the
general meaning of what a passage says you can go back to see what
additional nuances you find by observing the verse.  At first, it is
better to read the speeches in the plays as sentences.  See where the
punctuation is, and read the lines as you would read anything else.  (It
may be true that Shakespeare himself did not insert the punctuation
marks, but that is something else you can ignore until you feel
qualified to be as much of a nit-picker as everyone else on this List.)

Also, get yourself an edition of the plays you are reading that has good
footnotes located in a convenient place-you don't want to constantly
turn to the glossary in the back of the book to find definitions.  The
Folger series is good for this, with footnotes on facing pages.  If you
are looking for a complete works, the Riverside (footnotes at the bottom
of each column) is pretty good.  Of course, the footnotes are not always
correct, but they are likely to be more right than you are, at least
until you have studied the plays for a while.

Everyone has a study approach which works best for her, but you might
find this one helpful:  First read the entirety of a character's speech
without consulting the footnotes.  Then look at the footnotes applicable
to that speech, and then re-read the speech in light of what you have
learned from the footnotes.  (Do this even where you think you can tell
the meaning without help, as some of the words Shakespeare used have
changed their meanings.  For example, when a character in Shakespeare
says he is "still watching" he means that he is always awake, which is
not the meaning we give the words when we see them today.)  By this time
you should have a fairly good idea of what the character is saying.
When you have finished reading a scene this way (which actually involves
reading all the words twice), you should go back and re-read the entire
scene without interruption.  This should give you a pretty good idea not
only of what the characters say, but what it all means in the dramatic
context.

Finally, if you have a study buddy to bounce ideas off, you can meet
with her once a week or so to discuss what your conclusions.  You may be
surprised to find that there is no single "answer" to any serious
question of interpretation.  That is why this List exists.

Above all, Have Fun.
Larry Weiss

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Mueller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 16:33:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help

>My professor
>mentioned poetry and prose and said we should pay very close attention
>to prose verses.  How do I distinguish the two?

The way I remembered to distinguish the two was simple, if a paradox.
Verse ("poetry"?) has prosody, which is the study of the metrical
structure of verse. Prose does not.

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

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bruce Fenton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jan 1999 23:47:23 EST
Subject: 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0094 Beginning Shakespeare Student Needs Help

Some may have other ideas but I recommend the following:

I am far from a scholar but I am someone who has received a great deal
of enjoyment from Shakespeare and I hope you can get the same

1) First of all have fun, relax, enjoy the human drama and the words-
you don't need to understand every word nor analyze each action.

2) See as many plays in person as possible.  It might make sense to look
at an outline of the play before you go, this will make it easier to
follow the general story so you can enjoy the general story more without
worrying about what is going on.

3) If it's not possible to see the plays you might like some of the
movies- Kenneth Branah's Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello and
Hamlet are good - the last two have some stars you will recognize.
There is also the 1996 Romeo and Juliet (I think Baz Lurman is the
director-I'm sure I butchered his name) but it stars Leonardo Decaprio
and Claire Danes and the Hamlet starring Mel Gibson.  Your local library
should also have some titles such as the BBC series.  If you like older
movies the ones with Lawrence Oliver are also great.

4) If any speeches or passages from the plays or films you see catch
your eye as particularly interesting go back to the written play and
reread it.  You can then try to further understand the meaning of the
words.  Once you have a grasp you might try reading them aloud - acting
as if you would in the same situation as the character.

5) I mentioned a book in my last post called The Friendly Shakespeare by
Norrie Epstein I recommend this (I think this is the third time I've
mentioned it here but I promise I'm not on the publisher's payroll).
You might also want to go to a large bookstore and look in the
Shakespeare section and see what grabs your attention.

6) I also like Looking for Richard - Al Pacino's documentary about the
play Richard III and the reasons he and other actors enjoy it.  You
might also have fun with Shakespeare in Love - it might not help you
understand the plays better but it is entertaining and fun and might get
you into the right mood to learn more.

7) Sit back and enjoy the movies and plays as you would any other and
relax.

Shakespeare is not rocket science.  True, it can be analyzed to no end
but its primary purpose is to entertain.  So have fun and enjoy the
show.  I hope you get the enjoyment from it that I do.

-Bruce

Re: Italy; Sh. in Love

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0098  Tuesday, 19 January 1999.

[1]     From:   Frances K. Barasch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sat, 16 Jan 1999 09:44:22 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0069 Re: A Quick Question & Answer

[2]     From:   Nancy Charlton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 18 Jan 1999 20:33:51 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0083 Re: Shakespeare in Love


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Frances K. Barasch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sat, 16 Jan 1999 09:44:22 EST
Subject: 10.0069 Re: A Quick Question & Answer
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0069 Re: A Quick Question & Answer

For those interested in Shakespeare and Italy, look at "Shakespeare's
Italy, Functions of Italian Locations in Renaissance Drama," eds.
Michele Marrapodi, A.J. Hoenselaars, et al. (Manchester Univ Pr, 1997);
it's now in second edition.

Also look for issue on Shakespeare and Italy in forthcoming "Shakespeare
Yearbook, X"; and another in "Shakespeare Survey 48 (Cambridge 1995).
Frances K. Barasch

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nancy Charlton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 Jan 1999 20:33:51 -0800
Subject: 10.0083 Re: Shakespeare in Love
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0083 Re: Shakespeare in Love

>Well, he's not a Shakespeare character, but I'd compare Clinton more to
>Don Giovanni.
>
>"In Italia sei cento e quaranta; in Almagna due cento e trent'una, cento
>in Francia, in Turchia novant'una; ma, in Ispagna son gia mille e tre!"

And aren't both sides trying to say to each other, "trema, trema,
scelerato"?

Nancy Charlton
Portland OR

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Search

Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.