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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Feste; Henry; Iago; Shrew; Macbeth; Garrick
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0513  Tuesday, 22 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Cornelius Novelli <
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        Date:   Monday, 22 Mar 1999 15:26:48 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0503 Re: What did Feste know?

[2]     From:   Ed Taft <
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        Date:   Monday, 22 Mar 1999 14:38:15 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Henry's order to Kill His Prisoners

[3]     From:   Ed Taft <
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        Date:   Monday, 22 Mar 1999 14:59:02 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Iago

[4]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Monday, 22 Mar 1999 19:28:25 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0501 Re: Shrew

[5]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Monday, 22 Mar 1999 19:51:50 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0505 Re: Ross and Macbeth

[6]     From:   Mary Jane Chaffee <
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        Date:   Monday, 22 Mar 1999 16:54:39 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0508 Re: Garrick's Text


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cornelius Novelli <
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Date:           Monday, 22 Mar 1999 15:26:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0503 Re: What did Feste know?
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0503 Re: What did Feste know?

We did TWELFTH NIGHT at Le Moyne College, and director Bill Morris had
Feste realize that Cesario is a woman.  As we performed it (I played
Feste) Feste is sitting next to Viola, takes her hand to show how a
cheveril glove "may be turned outward," and as he looks at her hand sees
that it's a woman's.  Never lets on, but realizes that he's out of his
depth, so that "Who you are and what you would are out of my welkin" is
a distancing from whatever is going on.  Viola doesn't know that he
knows, but in any case she always has a residual anxiety about being
found out, and Feste's manner doesn't help.    --Neil Novelli

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Taft <
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Date:           Monday, 22 Mar 1999 14:38:15 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Henry's order to Kill His Prisoners

Larry Weiss is unfair to Gower: Gower gives two reasons, not one, and
the first (the killing of the boys) is primary. The real question-and
perhaps Larry will agree-is why Gower gets the sequence of events wrong.
I don't know the answer to that, but here are two possibilities: (1)
cause and effect often get muddled in the heat of battle, and this may
be the way that Gower wants to remember events; (2) it takes time for an
order to be passed down from regiment to regiment. By the time the order
got to Gower's camp, the attack on the boys may already have begun!

I might add, finally, that the tremendous historical uncertainty
surrounding Henry's order just highlights a theme that dominates the
mature histories. For example, did Henry IV "order" Richard's death?
Read R2 5.4.1-11 carefully.

--Ed Taft

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Taft <
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Date:           Monday, 22 Mar 1999 14:59:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Iago

Thanks to Sean Lawrence for pointing out that my suggestion about Iago's
motivation-"a sense of injured merit"-is in A.C.  Bradley's essay on
Othello; I'll reread him, which is always a pleasure. Lawrence Manley
points out that Harold Bloom develops a similar idea: that Iago feels
betrayed by God. I have not yet had the pleasure of reading Bloom, but
what he says sounds right to me. I'd just add that 5.1 in Othello seems
designed to show us a cast of characters all in hell. Like a burning,
fallen angel, Cassio calls for light and yells in vain for help! There's
more, but that will do for starters in this chilling scene.

Also, as has been pointed out before, the name Othello contains the word
hell, Iago is a version of Ego, and Desdemona contains the word demon.
I'd suggest that Othello (the play) CAN sustain an allegorical reading,
and I suspect that the next "move" in Shakespeare studies will be "back
to the future": that is, like Spenser, Shakespeare will be seen to be
full of different levels of allegory. Indeed, this is already happening
in reading of Henry V (really about Ireland/Wales) and Troilus and
Cressida (really about Essex and Elizabeth's court).

Finally, John Velz, as usual, is dead right. Iago is indeed "regular"
army, and Cassio is a ROTC type, or, even better, an OCS type, or, even
better, a "90-day wonder," as new officers in WW2 were called.

--Ed Taft

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Monday, 22 Mar 1999 19:28:25 -0500
Subject: 10.0501 Re: Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0501 Re: Shrew

I believe the Stratford, Ontario company did a video of The Shrew with
the Sly scenes from "A Shrew" restored.  It has been broadcast on PBS
occasionally, and the video might be available.  Tonya?

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Monday, 22 Mar 1999 19:51:50 -0500
Subject: 10.0505 Re: Ross and Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0505 Re: Ross and Macbeth

JUDY Lewis wrote:

>I think it is misreading "Macbeth" to expect it to be like a detective
>story with all the clues given; it is a psychological study of a man,
>showing of the effects of his committing a crime.  Surely this scene is
>there to give information to the audience - that Macbeth's original
>single murder has escalated into tyranny - rather than to simply be part
>of an advancing plot.

I agree, and find it interesting to contrast Macbeth's regicide with
Claudius's, for whom the elimination of King Hamlet was the end all and
the be all, until, of course, he was forced by a quite understandable
instinct for self-preservation to attempt one further assurance.
Claudius, unlike Macbeth, is not essentially tyrannical.  On the
contrary, he seems to go to lengths to make certain that his council
concurs in advance of most important decisions.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Jane Chaffee <
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Date:           Monday, 22 Mar 1999 16:54:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0508 Re: Garrick's Text
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0508 Re: Garrick's Text

Many, many thanks go out to both Jim Shaw and Peter Holland for your
detailed, concrete, helpful replies to my query. I really appreciate
it.  Thank you-Mary Jane Chaffee (
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