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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: April ::
Various Responses
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0773  Wednesday, 28 April 1999.

[1]     From:   Yashdip Bains <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 20:31:20 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0764 Re: Othello's Last Speech

[2]     From:   Anthony Burton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 21:01:53 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0658 Re: Biondello

[3]     From:   Anthony Burton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 21:23:54 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0759 Stage Devils in Art

[4]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 09:39:24 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0756 Re: Elizabethan Feminism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Yashdip Bains <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 20:31:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0764 Re: Othello's Last Speech
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0764 Re: Othello's Last Speech

In Q1, Othello says "them as they are." E.A.J. Honigmann has noted this
variant in his Arden "Othello."

Yashdip Bains, University of Cincinnati (
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[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Anthony Burton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 21:01:53 -0700
Subject: 10.0658 Re: Biondello
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0658 Re: Biondello

Forgive my tardy continuation of the discussion of "to stuff" in its
sexual meaning.  One of the spicy tidbits that rewarded students dogged
enough to undertake a fourth year of French at my high school, was to
learn that etoffer (I don't know how to do an accent on the first 'e')
-- "to stuff" was (as we all then knew in English) slang for "to have
sexual ntercourse"  -- I observe the amenities of my 1950's instructor
in providing the English equivalent.  Anyhow, the 1966 University Books
reprint of John S. Farmer's 1896 "Vocabula Amatoria"  cites Rabelais for
"etoffe" = "the female pubend," reflecting approximately the same sense
for "stuff" five hundred years ago.  I won't go beyond my own
bookshelves to look further, but for those more intensely committed  to
finding an origin of the English usage,  the likelihod of an early
borrowing from the French seems high, and early English-French
dictionaries, like Cotgrave's (1611), might do the job.  If so, I'd be
glad to receive a report.

Tony Burton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Anthony Burton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 21:23:54 -0700
Subject: 10.0759 Stage Devils in Art
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0759 Stage Devils in Art

You can find one and probably two images of stage devils in Allardyce
Nicoll's 1966 The Development of the Theatre, at figs. 64 and 65; the
accompanying text doesn't make it clear whether the author considers any
of the images in the first illustration to be a devil, but the
identification seems clear enough.

 [4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 09:39:24 +0000
Subject: 10.0756 Re: Elizabethan Feminism
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0756 Re: Elizabethan Feminism

Writers of fiction not only mine their own experience for plots,
characters and themes, they use their writing to work out problems for
themselves. We see children doing this as they play; certainly there is
a fundamental reason for us to use this same term, "play," for our
dramatic art.

Some of the endless and unresolvable arguments that are eternally
arising over Shakespeare's ambiguities come, I believe, from the fact
that he himself was conflicted about some of the themes he dealt with.
Is Shylock a villain or a victim? Or isn't it rather that Shakespeare
was himself conflicted? Did Shakespeare really "have a message" or was
he using the play to work out for himself his own conflict on the
matter, expressing both ways of seeing this character in particular as
well as Jews in general?

I believe that with Shylock we see Shakespeare wrestling with his
personal experience of one or more extremely likeable, educated,
intelligent, generous, loving, talented Jews (namely the Bassanos, the
court musicians that he must have worked with to produce plays at court,
the name of whose patriarch, Antonio, we see him use over and over in
the plays, in every case but one as an exemplary character), and the
general prejudice that he inherited as a member of an extremely
anti-Semitic nation.

I believe that he shows exactly the same sort of tension in his
portrayal of women, and in his portrayal of his male protagonist's
feelings about them and treatment of them. He has no "message," but is
simply revealing himself, as always.

Stephanie H.
 

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