Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Songs; Burton's Ham.; Iago
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0485  Thursday, 18 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Nancy Charlton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Mar 1999 08:22:51 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0408 Songs in Shakespeare's Plays

[2]     From:   Jerry Bangham <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Mar 1999 11:19:12 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0472 Re: Burton's Hamlet

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Mar 1999 12:39:01 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0479 Re: Eroticism; Marriage Age; Gower; Iago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nancy Charlton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 17 Mar 1999 08:22:51 -0800
Subject: 10.0408 Songs in Shakespeare's Plays
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0408 Songs in Shakespeare's Plays

Nick Clary asks about audio tapes of Shakespeare songs for a
home-schooler.

In the early 70s I checked out a record set (33 rpm) from the public
library in Bellingham WA.  I don't now recall the performers or anything
else about it, but the music was authentic and the diction modern.  My
children loved it, and I tried without success to find a copy.  It may
have been part of a limited-edition collection.

Whatever it was, my daughter picked up on it, and gathered an amused and
amazed audience when she started singing "When daffodils begin TO peer'
at the supermarket.  She also like "Sigh no more, ladies" and really dug
those hey-nonny-nonnys in "It was a lover and his lass."

Later on, I heard on a broadcast from Canadian radio some Calypso
arrangements of some of the traditional settings-the above, and perhaps
also "When that I was a little tiny boy" and "Come unto these yellow
sands."

If anyone has a clue about the discography of either of these, please do
a public service and post it.

Thanks,
Nancy Charlton
Portland OR

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jerry Bangham <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 17 Mar 1999 11:19:12 -0600
Subject: 10.0472 Re: Burton's Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0472 Re: Burton's Hamlet

>I have seen this available in my video store.  It actually is a video of
>a dress rehearsal.
>
>Bill Fant

That was how the director chose to present the play. It was essentially
a video of the Broadway production (which was staged as a "rehearsal")
designed for a limited cinema release.

I saw it and still have some of the promo materials including a 45 rpm
recording of a couple of the soliloquies.

[Editor's Note: I have a 33 rpm recording and program that was sold
during the screenings. -Hardy]

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 17 Mar 1999 12:39:01 -0800
Subject: 10.0479 Re: Eroticism; Marriage Age; Gower; Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0479 Re: Eroticism; Marriage Age; Gower; Iago

Maijan queries:

>Does the play have any evidence to support "being bookish might be quite
>enough reason for Cassio to hired"?

Only circumstantial evidence, but I find it convincing.  Othello spends
a good deal of his time inspecting battlements, and taking care of
correspondence, if Scene 4.2 is to be believed.  The larger argument, in
my mind, has to do with the increasing use of military science in the
sixteenth century generally.  All languages in Europe were experiencing
a boom of books on military topics.  Digges's Stratioticos is a book of
geometry for soldiers, for instance, and drill manuals were also just
hitting the shelves.  Geometry and history were increasingly coming to
be a part of the soldier's craft, and a part that Othello, trained by
experience, probably lacks.

Iago can't see the point in all this, but then again, Macmorris can't
see the point in Fluellen's disputations concerning the ancient wars.
But Fluellen is the one who knows how large to make the concavities of
the mines, in order to avoid countermining.

>At least she knows more than we do. And what she knows is that Cassio
>was their postman.

She doesn't, I think, know or even claim to know why he was appointed to
his position.  Yes, he was their postman.  Somebody pointing this out
doesn't, in itself, mean that all other possible and imaginable reasons
for his appointment should be ruled out.  And if I'm right in saying
that Cassio's appointment is implicitly justified to the
sixteenth-century military mind, then she has no reason to understand it
in the terms I'm suggesting.

>If one watches how much material gains are exchanged though out the
>play, one cannot miss the importance of Gratiano's seizure of the
>fortunes of the moor. Everyone seems to claim what one's own. In terms
>of inheritance, the Moor's fortunes succeed onto Gratiano. No one else
>can claim them (This is the restoration the play is calling for).

Then why doesn't he make the claim?  Why does someone else have to
remind him of his property rights?  I get the impression that they're
almost tainted goods.

>Not necessarily so. The irony still obtains. In terms of love, the very
>image betrays the spiritual value he claims. It is a priceless love, and
>it proves so.

Not necessarily.  The pearl is also a Biblical image (Matt. 7.6 and
13.46).  Christianity often uses treasurers to refer metaphorically to
spiritual intangibles.

There's a larger issue: does the metaphor betray the spirituality of his
claims?  Or does the spirituality of his claims undermine the apparent
materiality of his metaphor, as one would say of Christ's telling his
disciples not to throw their pearls before swine?  Is he struggling
against and within the constraints of the language of Venice in which he
speaks?

>The statement would go your way had we not been
>indoctrinated into the importance of wealth as early as the opening of
>the play. It is true, however, that all characters other than Iago
>invoke wealth to sacrifice for some other cause.

Which would imply that everyone is, at least potentially, able to
transcend wealth, since they can see to sacrifice it.

>The linguistic Community of Venice is certainly an interesting point.
>However, I do not believe Shakespeare has Venice as such in mind. Venice
>had certainly its parallels though out Europe, and perhaps England in
>particular at that time.

Yes, certainly.  Though Venice also had a reputation throughout Europe
at this time.  The Title Othello, the Moor of Venice would seem to be a
parallel with The Merchant of Venice.

>This is surely Shakespeare's point; the play is its own world according
>to which characters are supposed to act. The initial question was
>whether we sympathize with or scorn Othello. Many critics wish to blame
>Iago for our scorn of Othello, when Iago is only the product of his own
>environment. The curse of service extends from the play to its
>criticism. I am not saying Iago is blameless; I am perhaps saying all other
>characters are as blameful as Iago.

All other characters, certainly, are involved in the (fictive) Venetian
world of materialism, trade and quid pro quo exchange.  And I think that
Shakespeare draws our attention in many plays (I'm currently reading
Lear) to the limits of any sort of "economy" of love, or Grace, or
whatever.  This is, I think, a general theme in 16th century theology,
especially Protestant and Reformed theology.  And it somewhat transcends
a critique of a particular city noted for its economy.

>I do not see your position contradicting mine; I do subscribe to more
>than 90% of what you have so far maintained. Yet I feel that your
>justifications could be (mutatis mutandis) included in my argument.
>Thank you for raising issuing of which I was not aware earlier.

No problem.  I think that at this point we can pretty much agree to
disagree on the few remaining issues.

Cheers, and thanks for an interesting discussion.

Se

 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.