1999

Re: Lear and Suffering


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0847  Wednesday, 12 May 1999.

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 May 1999 14:18:32 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0844 Re: Lear and Suffering

[2]     From:   Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 May 1999 20:18:02 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0844 Re: Lear and Suffering


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 May 1999 14:18:32 +0000
Subject: 10.0844 Re: Lear and Suffering
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0844 Re: Lear and Suffering

Julia K. Taylor asks,

>So on that note:  what do you think is Shakespeare's
>overarching worldview?  Particularly, does he portray a chaotic,
>nihilistic universe in Lear, or does he attempt to reinforce the
>stability and order of the Great Chain of Being?

Doesn't this exclude an awful lot of other possibilities?  Would the
world be value-less just because nature is chaotic?  Is ethics
necessarily linked to natural order?  Bear in mind that Calvin thought
humankind completely depraved, and the world therefore irredeemable, but
also believed in providence rather than coincidence or chance.  Could
the world of Lear call for an ethical response, without positing an
ethical order to which we have to conform ourselves?

Cheers,
Seán.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 May 1999 20:18:02 -0400
Subject: 10.0844 Re: Lear and Suffering
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0844 Re: Lear and Suffering

Lear is a Worst Case Scenario. Neither God nor personal individual
virtue will save anyone under a bad leader in a kingdom divided by civil
wars. Lear against his daughters is the ultimate in civil strife. Lear
resigning his crown's responsibilities while intending to maintain its
privileges is the Unforgiveable Crime in Shakespeare. It leads to the
destruction of every good thing.

What lesson could be learned if, as in some much later versions, the
virtuous Cordelia lived? That virtue triumphs? A nice Victorian comfort
of no use whatever to Shakespeare. In civil wars, virtue dies like
everybody else. In religious wars, every combatant is pious. Shakespeare
of England feared war on English soil. He feared a bad king who would be
the cause of such war.

 

Re: Chooseth


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0878  Thursday, 20 May 1999.

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 19 May 1999 08:54:35 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0876 Re: Chooseth

[2]     From:   Susan C Oldrieve <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 19 May 1999 17:45:56 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0876 Re: Chooseth

[3]     From:   Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 19 May 1999 21:34:04 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0876 Re: Chooseth


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 19 May 1999 08:54:35 +0000
Subject: 10.0876 Re: Chooseth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0876 Re: Chooseth

>Interestingly,
>Shylock's use of interest is condemned because it breeds wealth, but
>Antonio seems condemned because he cannot breed as Portia can.

Even more interestingly, in my humble opinion, usurers and sodomites
occupy the same circle of Hell in Dante's Inferno.

Cheers,
Seán

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan C Oldrieve <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 19 May 1999 17:45:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 10.0876 Re: Chooseth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0876 Re: Chooseth

In support of Ed Taft's comment that

>(1) Bassanio need not be gay for Antonio to fall in love with
>him, and (2) as recent studies have emphasized, bisexuality may have
>been more common in the Renaissance than it is (or appears to be) today.
>Thus, the "love triangle" could still exist, if only in Antonio's mind,
>because since time immemorial, ardent lovers have mistaken friendship
>for love on the part of the beloved,

consider another Antonio-in Twelfth Night.  He also seems to have an
"unrequited" apparently erotic attraction, to the young man Sebastian,
who, like Bassanio, "leaves" Antonio for a woman.

And both Twelfth Night and Merchant leave actors and directors with the
difficult question of what to do with Antonio at the end of the play.

Susan Oldrieve

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 19 May 1999 21:34:04 -0400
Subject: 10.0876 Re: Chooseth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0876 Re: Chooseth

Two Antonios (Twelfth Night and Merchant of Venice) who love a young man
who seems to reciprocate, then dumps his Antonio for a woman? Any
others?  And goodness, where have I heard this plot before? He pairs
flaws with Claudios too. Does anyone know any other instances of using a
name twice with similar characters?

 

Assorted Responses

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0920  Monday, 31 May 1999.

[1]     From:   Melissa D. Aaron <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 30 May 1999 06:40:14 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0910 Child Roland

[2]     From:   Edmund M. Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 06 Sep 1956 21:36:42 +0000
        Subj:   Chooseth

[3]     From:   Lyn Wood <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 29 May 1999 16:07:01 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0913 Shaw's "Cymbeline Revisited"

[4]     From:   Skip Nicholson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 29 May 1999 22:29:19 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.0892 Merry Wives Question

[5]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 28 May 1999 11:44:19 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0912 Various Responses


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa D. Aaron <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 30 May 1999 06:40:14 -0400
Subject: 10.0910 Child Roland
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0910 Child Roland

>In the quarto text of King Lear, Edgar's famous line (Sc. 11. 167 of the
>Oxford edition, end of 3. 4. in Folio-based texts) reads 'Child Rowland,
>to the darke towne come,', whereas the Folio has 'Tower came'. Either
>noun could easily be a misreading of the other. In preparing an edition
>based on the quarto I feel a duty to preserve 'towne', which makes
>perfectly good sense. ('come' I take to be the old form of the past
>tense.) Can anyone tell me, however, whether there is anything in
>Arthurian legend which would support 'Tower'?

I do not seem to have a decent translation to have in my office, but I'd
look at Orlando Furioso.  Some vague memory prompts that Orlando arrives
at the tower of a wizard and is incited to attempt the fidelity test
which then results in him running mad.

In a more generic sense, the questers of Spenser and Ariosto et al more
often run into towers than towns.

Melissa D. Aaron
University of Michigan
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mdaaron/index.html

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund M. Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 06 Sep 1956 21:36:42 +0000
Subject:        Chooseth

In my view, Brian Haylett idealizes Portia in much the same way that an
earlier generation of critics idealized Henry V and the Duke in Measure
for Measure.  Like her father, Portia is an agent of control whose chief
function is to exclude "others" or to accept them on a conditional
basis, e.g. Jessica, who "converts."  Portia excludes Morocco and Aragon
and effectively disables both Shylock and Antonio.  She not only rigs
the casket scene in favor of Bassanio but in the trial scene also
pretends to qualifications and expertise that she clearly does not have,
much like the Duke in MM, except that, unlike the Duke, she goes too far
and destroys a man when she does not have to.

Some basic observations: (1) I never said that Portia is a racist, but
the shoe may fit.  My point about "complexion" is that earlier editors
tended to "gloss" the word only in its benign sense, when both are
clearly intended, as Bevington points out in his recent edition of the
plays.  (2) Brian's observation that Portia gives Shylock three chances
"to escape his predicament" is literally true but carries little force.
After all, Shylock wants revenge and thinks that the law is on his side.
Portia knows that he will not accept her "offers," and so the offers
themselves are a way to justify the ensuing judgment, which reeks of
revenge in its own right.

So my point still stands.  In effect, Portia represents "old money" and
the power old money asssumes it has to bend or break the rules whenever
it wants.  Porita is really a kind of gatekeeper who lets in "the right
sort" and keeps out "the riffraff."

Idealizing Portia simply causes us to miss too much of what really
happens in the play.  Like Antonio, Portia suffers from not knowing
herself well enough. She recognizes, I think, that she is working in her
own self interest, but I think that she is only dimly aware of her
function as an enforcer of class, social,  and religious values.

MV is really about the limits of multi-culturalism in a society that is
highly stratified and dominated by one religion.  It accurately
reflects, for example, the hegemony of upper-class, Protestant America
until about 1950.  It's not a pretty picture,  no matter how hard we try
to justify/idealize it.

--Ed Taft

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lyn Wood <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 29 May 1999 16:07:01 -0700
Subject: 10.0913 Shaw's "Cymbeline Revisited"
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0913 Shaw's "Cymbeline Revisited"

John T. Aney writes

>I am currently involved with doing some dramaturgical work on a
>production of "Cymbeline" to be performed here in the Seattle area in
>July.
snip
>Does anyone know if it has ever even been performed?

There was a staging at the Embassy Theatre in London, beginning 16 Nov
1927 and apparently not lasting very long, of *Cymbeline* with Shaw's
rewritten 5th act.  J. C. Trewin mentions it in his book *Shakespeare on
the English Stage, 1900-1964*.  He says, "Amiable Shaw; but after the
Embassy production . . . it slipped from sight."

Lyn

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Skip Nicholson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 29 May 1999 22:29:19 -0700
Subject: 10.0892 Merry Wives Question
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.0892 Merry Wives Question

>A colleague asked if I could recommend a Shakespearean expert on *Merry
>Wives of Windsor,* whose work on the play he could review, as he
>translates the play into Spanish for an on-going project he is working
>on to produce first-rate foreign language editions of Shakespeare's
>plays.
>
>Any ideas, suggestions, and/or comments applicable to this type of
>project would be greatly appreciated.

Jeanne Roberts of Washington D.C. (American University and the Folger
Shakespeare Library) has the first (and maybe still the only)
book-length study of the play, _Shakespeare's English Comedy : The Merry
Wives in Context_.

Cheers,
Skip Nicholson
South Pasadena (CA) HS
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 28 May 1999 11:44:19 -0400
Subject: 10.0912 Various Responses
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0912 Various Responses

In response to the inquiry about pages, Dale Lyles mentions the page in
the Sly scenes in T/S.  I wonder if anyone agrees with me that Grumio is
addressing this character when he says in I.ii "Help, mistress, help!
My master is mad." Theobald amended "mistress" to "masters"; but I think
he is wrong.

Trip to Stratford and London in August

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0921  Monday, 31 May 1999.

From:           Joe Conlon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 30 May 1999 19:08:22 -0500
Subject:        Re: Trip to Stratford and London in August

Dear Hardy and friends,

It looks like I may be able to swing a lifelong dream of visiting
Stratford and London in early August.  I remember reading a post earlier
about a conference in Stratford around that time, but I can't find the
post.  I'd be interested in attending and I'd like to do more while I'm
there than just the typical tourist visit.  Do we have any SHAKSPER
members in either Stratford or London that you could put me in touch
with?  I'd also be interested in staying with a family instead of a
hotel if that was possible.  My place in Indiana would be available for
a trade if anyone is interested in a visit to the states at that time.

Joe Conlon, Warsaw, IN, USA

Various Hamlet Postings

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0919  Monday, 31 May 1999.

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 30 May 1999 18:11:55 +0000
        Subj:   Translation of Hamlet in French

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 28 May 1999 10:14:48 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0914 Re: Hamlet

[3]     From:   Lucia Anna Setari <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 28 May 1999 13:00:48 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   RE: HAMLET

[4]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 28 May 1999 17:38:51 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0914 Re: Hamlet

[5]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 29 May 1999 13:39:43 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0914 Re: Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 30 May 1999 18:11:55 +0000
Subject:        Translation of Hamlet in French

Hello, all.

My library has only one copy of Hamlet is French, that of Clara
(Longworth) comtesse de Chambrun.  Would any of you folks know if this
is the "standard" French translation, and whether it would have enjoyed
such a status in the late 1940s?

Thanks,
Se


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