1999

Re: A Slip of the Quill

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0361  Wednesday 3 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 02 Mar 1999 11:28:45 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0350 A Slip of the Quill

[2]     From:   Peter Hillyar-Russ <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Mar 1999 08:14:58 -0000
        Subj:   A Slip of the Quill (It's me)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 02 Mar 1999 11:28:45 +0000
Subject: 10.0350 A Slip of the Quill
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0350 A Slip of the Quill

Regarding the slip of the quill suggested by Mr. Al-Ghamdi,
Shakespeare's use of "between you and I" in MOV, it may well have been a
mistake on the part of the compositor. If not, Shakespeare, or his
compositors, was/were guilty throughout of a number of grammatical
errors to our present way of thinking, including a plentiful use of
double negatives.

Modern grammar rules were in their infancy in Shakespeare's time, as was
modern spelling, and most writers left it up to their compositors to
follow whatever format they and their printer deemed proper. There was
little as yet that was agreed on by all. What these rules were to be was
a source of much discussion and argument at the time. We do need to give
the Bard the benefit of any doubt we may have.

Stephanie Hughes

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Hillyar-Russ <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 3 Mar 1999 08:14:58 -0000
Subject:        A Slip of the Quill (It's me)

Ali A. Al-Ghamdi says of "It's me"

>That's grammatically wrong. Good English, of course, invokes the law of
>the predicate nominative, which calls for "It's I." Even better English,
>which eschews contractions, would be, "It is I."

Well, certainly, every one says so - but I think there is a grammatical
error being made by the critics in assuming that "me" can only be an
accusative pronoun. Certainly "To be" is an intransitive verb, so "It is
+ [accusative]" would be a solecism. But surely "me" here is not an
accusative, but an ethic dative. The French use "C'est moi" in these
circumstances, and a similar dative form exists in classical Greek (and
I presume, without knowledge, in Latin too).

The grammatical purists to whom Ali alludes are not, (in my very humble
opinion), as grammatically literate as they think.

Peter

Re: Shakespeare on Cosby

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0360  Wednesday 3 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Richard A Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 02 Mar 1999 16:11:03 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby

[2]     From:   Annalisa Castaldo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 1999 18:01:55 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby

[3]     From:   Joe Conlon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 1999 17:39:08 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard A Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 02 Mar 1999 16:11:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby

I didn't see it, but a colleague did.  She tells me that the episode
begins with a girl reciting lines from R and J and then asking Cosby
what they means.  He doesn't know, but hides his ignorance by supplying
her with preposterous interpretations.  He privately acknowledges that
he never understood Shakespeare.  That night, he has a dream in which
Shakespeare appears.  Characters from the show play Hamlet (with the
skull of Yorick) and Cosby's daughters play Goneril and Regan.  They act
out the scene from Lear in which both daughters refuse him a large
retinue.  The issue here is Cosby's retirement (he's Lear).  The dream
is set in Elizabethan England (all the characters are dressed in period
costume).  The episode ends with Cosby being able to explain to the girl
what the lines from R and J actually mean.

>I came home from class tonight and decided to relax in front of the tube
>with a little Cosby humor, and tonight's episode has Cosby's character
>dreaming about a conversation with Shakespeare.   I missed the first ten
>minutes or so, and I'm not sure why he's having this dream, but it's
>amusing after a long day.  Perhaps someone else on the mailing list
>caught it and will share in more detail.
>
>Regards,
>Mariann

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Annalisa Castaldo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 1999 18:01:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby

I missed the first few minutes, but watched the rest. It seems that
Cosby, after rejecting Shakespeare in his waking hours, was visited by
both Shakespeare and Cosby's sixth (1) grade teacher in an effort to
help him "get it" (it being that Shakespeare is about you and all of
us).  Characters from the show perform snippets of Hamlet (to be or not
to be), Macbeth (the sleepwalking scene) and King Lear (a very
abbreviated version of Regan and Goneril taking away Lear's train).
During the last scene, Cosby, who was forced into early retirement,
finally "gets" that this is about him and the last scene shows him awake
and helping a young girl understand both the language and the meaning of
Romeo and Juliet.

An odd side note. At one point, Shakespeare claims to be the author of
44 plays. Any idea why that number might have been used, rather than the
canonized 36/37?

Annalisa Castaldo


[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joe Conlon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 1999 17:39:08 -0600
Subject: 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0351 Shakespeare on Cosby

I also missed the first few minutes and wish I had it taped.  I teach a
high school Shakespeare class and would dearly love to use this episode
as a discussion starter.  The show basically answered the question,
"What does Shakespeare have to teach me about myself?"  I felt it was
delightfully done.  If anyone taped it, I would dearly love to have it.
Please respond.

Joe Conlon, Warsaw, IN, USA

Re: Capulets' Ages

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0358  Wednesday 3 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 1999 12:53:57 CST6CDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0347 Capulets' Ages

[2]     From:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 1999 23:52:42 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0347 Capulets' Ages


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 1999 12:53:57 CST6CDT
Subject: 10.0347 Capulets' Ages
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0347 Capulets' Ages

Thanks to Marilyn B. for her delineation of probable ages for character
in Romeo and Juliet. I did see a production in 1987 or so, in which all
the casting was atypical. Romeo and Juliet were in their late 30s-early
40s. Lady Capulet was in her 20s; Friar Lawrence was in his 20s. I
didn't find this disruptive at all; I thought having a young Friar
Lawrence worked especially well, since he clearly knew a lot about the
herbs he used, perhaps because he indulged in them himself. Though he
wasn't a "druggie," he did seem like a scientific experimenter. The
company was Theatre de la Jeune Lune here in Minneapolis, still extant
and doing fine work.

Chris Gordon

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 1999 23:52:42 EST
Subject: 10.0347 Capulets' Ages
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0347 Capulets' Ages

Marilyn Bonomi wrote:

>Since Juliet will be 14 in "a fortnight and odd days" on July 31st
>("Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen") Lady Cap by HER count must
>be around 28.  However, give some exaggeration/preservation of youth
>motivation (she's certainly not happy being married to an old man) and
>"much upon these years" and we can place her anywhere from 28 to her
>early 30's.
(snip)
>Regarding the role of casting here:  I've never seen a production
>(professional, not student :) where Lady C was as young as she claims to
>be.

I agree!  I've always found her speech to Juliet about Paris ('this book
of love') to be some of the most romantic verse in the play.  Adding
that to her dissatisfaction at being married to an older man, I always
want to see a Lady C who is in love, or lust, with Paris.  My fantasy,
and I've never seen it in production.

Tonya

Re: Othello; Iago

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0359  Wednesday 3 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tue, 02 Mar 1999 12:54:11 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0348 Re: Othello

[2]     From:   Kenneth Requa <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Mar 1999 07:45:59 EST
        Subj:   Iago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tue, 02 Mar 1999 12:54:11 -0800
Subject: 10.0348 Re: Othello
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0348 Re: Othello

Peter Hadorn:

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

Thanks for quoting it.

>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.

Sorry, I do take it that he had to be told to woo.  I've told many young
women details of my previous life without expecting, or even hoping for,
a seduction.  There's nothing in the text at all to suggest that he was
wooing all along.  He might just feel that he was an educator, like
Purchas or Hakluyt.  And we can't know the contrary.  Charity, if not
critical modesty, would indicate that we take characters (like people)
at their words as much as possible.

>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.

Of course it's possible.  The burden of evidence is on you, since you're
making the accusation that he's a liar.

Incidentally, I'm not even sure that these examples of wonders would
even qualify of "magical/supernatural elements" to a contemporary
audience.  It might be more like Captain James T. Kirk telling us about
Klingons-perfectly acceptable within the genre of travel narrative, or
science fiction, as the case may be.

>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.

This could mean many things.  Maybe his father paid for it, but his
mother commissioned the work.  Maybe his father bought it from the sibyl
for his mother, and Othello earlier neglected to mention the
middle-man.  In any case, I'm sure an "antique token" could quite easily
be invested with extra significance in a series of pre-Christian
ceremonies.

>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.

Katherine's response "le Fran


Question on Twelfth Night

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0357  Wednesday 3 March 1999.

From:           Jack Hettinger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 1999 11:29:35 -0500
Subject:        Question on Twelfth Night:

A student asked in class this morning why Sebastian waits three months
before taking leave of Antonio, but Viola sets out for Orsino's court
immediately after the shipwreck. (I was stuck for an answer, but
afterwards thought that unlike Viola, Sebastian has shelter and
protection and does not need to go until he feels the "malignancy of my
fate" [2.1.4]). I thank you all for any comments on this matter.

Jack Hettinger

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