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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Eroticism; Marriage Age; Gower; Iago
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0479  Wednesday, 17 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Mar 1999 10:33:35 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0467 Eroticism on the Early Modern Stage

[2]     From:   Bruce Young <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Mar 1999 14:07:10 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0456 Assorted Responses to Past Postings [Re: Marria

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Mar 1999 18:00:46 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0466 Re: Negatives; Names; Women, Iago, Harfluer

[4]     From:   Maijan H. Al-Ruwaili <
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        Date:   Wed, 17 Mar 1999 15:57:05 +0300
        Subj:   SHK 10.0466 Re: Negatives; Names; Women, Iago, Harfluer


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Tuesday, 16 Mar 1999 10:33:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0467 Eroticism on the Early Modern Stage
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0467 Eroticism on the Early Modern Stage

Stevie Simkin writes:

>In the opening scene of Dido Queen of Carthage, written for the Children
>of the Chapel Royal, the stage direction reads: "There is discovered
>JUPITER dandling  GANYMEDE upon his knee, and MERCURY lying asleep."
>There follows an unambiguously homoerotic scene between Jupiter and
>Ganymede.
>
>Jackson I. Cope points out that the part of Jupiter may well have been
>played by the Master of the choir, with obvious implications for sexual
>abuse ('Marlowe's Dido and the Titillating Children' in English Literary
>Renaissance vol. 4, no.1, Winter 1974, p.319).
>
>Anyone got any thoughts on this?
>
>I would imagine that the Boys' companies would throw an interesting new
>light on these debates.

Were my dissertation/forthcoming book here with me, and were I not
leaving for Ohio in one hour, I could venture a longer reply. But I
would recommend your looking into Thomas Middleton's prose satire
"Father Hubbard's Tales," the first tale which tells of a prodigal who
plans to visit the Blackfriars Theater to see "a nest of boys able to
ravish a man." A marvelously ambiguous phrase. And, though I have my
disagreements with the argument, I also recommend for its information
Theodore Leinwand's article "Redeeming Beggary/Buggery in Thomas
Middleton's Michaelmas Term"; this appeared in ELH around 1995.

Hope this helps.
Jack Heller

P.S. Thanks to the many for useful replies on Ross and Macduff.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bruce Young <
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Date:           Tuesday, 16 Mar 1999 14:07:10 +0000
Subject: 10.0456 Assorted Responses to Past Postings [Re:
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0456 Assorted Responses to Past Postings [Re:
Marria

I'm sorry not to have replied more quickly to the request for
documentation on age at marriage.   I would add the following to Frank
Whigham's list (he mentioned Ralph Houlbrooke, The English Family,
1450-1700: 63ff. &  Keith Wrightson, English Society, 1580-1680: 68ff.):

Several books by Peter Laslett: Family Life and Illicit Love in Earlier
Generations; Household and Family in Past Time; The World We Have Lost;
Bastardy and Its Comparative History  (ed., with Karla Oosterveen and
Richard M. Smith).

Ann Jennalie Cook, "The Mode of Marriage in Shakespeare's England,"
Southern Humanities Review 11 (1977): 126-32

Bruce W. Young [that's me], "Haste, Consent, and Age at Marriage: Some
Implications of Social History for Romeo and Juliet," Iowa State Journal
of Research 62 (1987-1988): 459-74.

Michael Anderson, Approaches to the History of the Western Family,
1500-1914.

According to Michael Anderson (page 18), the average age at marriage for
women in Western Europe during (as well as long before and after)
Shakespeare's time was about 25 or 26; for men, 27 or 28.  For England
from 1550 to 1650, Peter Laslett has gathered data indicating almost
exactly the same ages: approximately 25 for women and 28 for men
(Bastardy 21).  See also Laslett, Family Life 29, 218; and Houlbrooke,
English Family 63.  (Houlbrooke gives 26 as the mean age of marriage for
women, 27 to 29 as the mean age for men, in Elizabethan and Stuart
England.)

The average age of marriage was somewhat lower for the aristocracy of
Renaissance England than for other classes (Laslett, World 86, 285;
Houlbrooke, English Family 65, 128).  But it was still in the twenties
(about 19 to 21 for women, 24 to 26 for men).

For information on Tuscany, see my article (listed above), which refers
to several authorities on the subject.  My article also discusses
attitudes toward early marriage-which did, of course, take place, even
if much less often than many have assumed.  The common view seems to
have been that early marriages were undesirable as well as rare, in part
because lack of physical maturity could endanger the life of a too-young
mother, also because the marriage of an immature bride and groom might
not be grounded in "real and solid love."

Bruce Young
Department of English
Brigham Young University

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Tuesday, 16 Mar 1999 18:00:46 -0800
Subject: 10.0466 Re: Negatives; Names; Women, Iago, Harfluer
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0466 Re: Negatives; Names; Women, Iago, Harfluer

Mike Jensen writes:

>We came to different conclusions about the meaning off all this.  Mr.
>Haylett concluded that Gower is a spin doctor.  OK, I'd like to learn
>from that.  Please show me in the text, folio or quarto (I imagine you
>know they are quite different), that Gower is doing this.  Does he lie
>at other times?  How many other instances are there of him attempting to
>control perception?

I'm wondering, does anyone find naming Gower after a poet and
"authority", later chosen as the chorus for Pericles, a bit indicative
of reliability?

I don't really have a clear view on this.  There could be a Gower in the
source, for instance, but I'm interested if anyone else has a reading of
this.

Cheers,
Se

 

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