Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Honan; TV; Lists; Othello
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0348  Tuesday 2 March 1999.

[1]     From:   John Cox <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 01 Mar 1999 13:23:28 -0500
        Subj:   Interview with Park Honan

[2]     From:   Stephanie Cowell <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 01 Mar 1999 12:46:41 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0333 Shakespeare in Love on TV Sunday

[3]     From:   Roger Schmeeckle <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 1 Mar 1999 10:26:59 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0332 Q: Modern drama / Romantic poetry

[4]     From:   Peter T. Hadorn <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 01 Mar 1999 14:16:31 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.0331 Re: Othello


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Cox <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 01 Mar 1999 13:23:28 -0500
Subject:        Interview with Park Honan

For those interested in Park Honan's new biography of Shakespeare, a
review by Lois Potter is available in the New York Times Book Review for
Feb. 28.  The NYT also offers a 45-minute audio interview with Honan
online at

http://www.nytimes.com/books/yr/mo/day/specials/honan.html

Cheers,
John Cox

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Cowell <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 01 Mar 1999 12:46:41 -0500
Subject: 10.0333 Shakespeare in Love on TV Sunday
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0333 Shakespeare in Love on TV Sunday

I would also like a copy of the television behind the scenes documentary
of Shakespeare in Love's production, if anyone films it. Maybe someone
could go into a side business out of this, selling copies?

Thanks!
Stephanie Cowell

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger Schmeeckle <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 1 Mar 1999 10:26:59 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 10.0332 Q: Modern drama / Romantic poetry
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0332 Q: Modern drama / Romantic poetry

I've just learned of a Byron group.  Go to
www.onelist.com/subscribe.cgi/Byron.

Roger

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter T. Hadorn <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 01 Mar 1999 14:16:31 -0600
Subject: 10.0331 Re: Othello
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.0331 Re: Othello

Sean Lawrence writes that Desdemona "had to ask [Othello] to woo her.
This isn't the work of one of nature's pick-up artists."

I would ask him to look again at Othello's own description of their
falling in love:

Of his adventures, "These things to hear/ Would Desdemona seriously
incline.  . . .  She'd come again, and with a greedy ear/ Devour up my
discourse; which I observing, / Took once a pliant hour, and found good
means/ To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart / That I would all my
pilgrimage dilate.  . . .  [After his stories,] She thanked me/ And bade
me, if I had a friend that loved her,/ I should but teach him how to
tell my story,/ And that would woo her.  Upon this hint I spake."  I
don't take this as meaning that he had to be told to woo.  I take this
rather, to mean, that Desdemona was, in a round about way, declaring
that she was already won.  I would suggest that Othello knew exactly the
effect his words would have.

In response to my suggestion that Othello didn't really see the monsters
on his journeys that he claimed he did, Lawrence responds:

"Why not?  Elizabethan travel narratives were littered with such
things.  I don't think we should expect that a fictional character would
be constructed based on what we now know."

I would respond: Why not?  Shakespeare used magical/supernatural
elements very judiciously.  My point about Othello is that he likes to
woo with his words and is not above lying to do so.  Why not here as
well.

Lawrence: "Why couldn't his father give his mother a handkerchief with
magical powers?"

Because of the lie he told to Desdemona about the origins of the
handkerchief.  He told her: "That handkerchief/ Did an Egyptian to my
mother give.  She was a charmer, and could almost read/ The thoughts of
people.  She told her, while she kept it/ 'Twould make her amiable, and
subdue my father/ Entirely to her love. . . ."  It's only later that he
admits that it was his father, and not an Egyptian, who gave the
handkerchief to his mother.

Referring to my assertion that King Harry V CLAIMS ineptness in wooing
Katherine, Lawrence responds: "Keep in mind that his ineptness is
elicited by Katherine.  Every time he gets off on a courtly tangent,
comparing her to an angel or a goddess, she drags him back forcefully."
I admit that their exchanges are indeed structured in this way.  But I
would also point out that towards the latter part of their speech it
becomes apparent that he is no slouch at understanding and speaking
French.  Alice, the "interpreter" at one point tells Henry: "Your
majeste entend bettre que moi."  Yet he chooses to "woo" in English.

Finally, Lawrence writes: "In other words, Shakespeare's effective
lovers and leaders may manipulate language, but never very consciously.
"  As you can tell, I disagree completely.  I think they are very
conscious of their own abilities to manipulate language.  Are we to
think that King Harry doesn't realize what he is doing when, in speaking
to his soldiers at the city walls of Harfleur in the "Once more unto the
breach" speech, he ennobles his men, while in speaking to the Governor
of Harfleur, he calls his soldiers savages?

Regarding Brian Haylett's response:

"I fully agree, except for the trifling point that he originally tells
the stories to Brabantio while she overhears. It is because the stories
are untrue that I believe he is insecure. He has brought Desdemona to
believe in a false image - the nurturing of which he felt was his only
chance to get her - and is disconcerted when there is no war for her to
admire."

I won't disagree with this assertion about Othello's insecurity and its
being the basic cause of the tragedy.  After all, even though he is
essentially wooing Desdemona with the stories, she must give him
permission before he can woo her openly (Sean Lawrence's point).

Peter
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.