1999

Re: Pyrrhus Speech

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2228  Thursday, 16 December 1999.

From:           Nicolas Pullin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Dec 1999 11:06:31 -0600
Subject: DC - Hamlet, Shakespeare's R&J -Reply
Comment:        SHK 10.2206 DC - Hamlet, Shakespeare's R&J -Reply

Re: Hamlet's request for the Pyrrhus speech, which I am sure will
generate numerous responses.

Pyrrhus is also a revenger who successfully kills a father figure.
Ironically, Pyrrhus' pause with sword aloft foreshadows Hamlet in the
prayer scene.  The speech also comes from an early form of tragic drama
where characters narrate actions rather than perform them; yet the moral
questions of revenge are simplified or, indeed, do not apply.

For fascinating psychoanalytic discussions of these echoes and
Shakespeare's use of them, read Lupton & Reinhard's "After Oedipus" and
Kerrigan's recent tome on Revenge Tragedy.

Canterbury on Playwriting

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2227  Thursday, 16 December 1999.

From:           Tad Davis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Dec 1999 11:58:28 -0500
Subject:        Canterbury on Playwriting

Re-reading "Henry V" (in the 1995 Arden edition, edited by T. W. Craik),
I was struck by a passage in Act I, Scene 2, that (to me) could be taken
as summing up Shakespeare's own attitude toward playwriting. The speaker
is the Archbishop of Canterbury, lines 204-214:

"... I this infer,
That many things having full reference
To one consent may work contrariously,
As many arrows loosed several ways
Come to one mark,
As many several ways meet in one town,
As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea,
As many lines close in the dial's centre.
So may a thousand actions once afoot
End in one purpose and be all well borne
Without defeat."

Tad Davis

Re: DC - Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2225  Thursday, 16 December 1999.

From:           Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Dec 1999 11:27:17 EST
Subject: 10.2222 Re: DC - Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.2222 Re: DC - Hamlet

One more comment I neglected to make, since it is a positive one: having
the Ghost dance lovingly and tenderly with Gertrude all the while Hamlet
was doing his "how she hung on him" speech, she obviously reciprocating
his adoration, was a really nice touch: rancor mixed with poignance,
through the mind's eye of his memory, so to speak.  H Pere also stroked
Gertrude's cheek as he said "Look how amazement sits on thy mother's
face-speak to her, Hamlet" in the closet scene-both of which emphasized
the son's perception of the love between his parents, and made his
abhorrence of her relationship with Claudius that much more justified.

Carol Barton

Re: Q1 Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2226  Thursday, 16 December 1999.

From:           Terri Mategrano <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Dec 1999 11:46:53 EST
Subject: 10.2215 Re: Q1 Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.2215 Re: Q1 Hamlet

<John Briggs wrote,

<I am a bit perturbed by the "based on": is it the first quarto text or
<not?

According to Jonathon Holloway, the director of the Red Shift Theatre
Company's "'Hamlet: First Cut," the production is "using the first
quarto in the Harvester edition, and we are sticking very carefully to
the text. We have made some cuts, but not many, and have not introduced
any padding material from other versions of the text."

The reviews so far have been very positive, or, (I am quoting Holloway
again) "near ecstatic.

The company has a web-site; www.rstc.dircon.co.uk

I hope this helps.

Terri Mategrano

To Nicolas Pullin:

Ah, but you are wrong Mr. Pullin. I saw you as Claudius in "Hamlet, Bad
Quarto, Good Play?" last April at Loyola University in Chicago. The
production was very well done and the comparison scenes were invaluable
to me. A large part of my dissertation on Q1 Hamlet has to do with
recent theatrical productions using the Q1 text, and your production is
described in detail. The time you and your fellow actors (players?) and
Professor Worthen spent in discussion/questions/answer periods was
fascinating, and more helpful to me than I can tell you in this message.
I am hoping that the paper I have spun off of that chapter will soon be
in print with the cast and content of your production highlighted.

Thank you very much for bringing theater and scholarship together.
Something that should be done more often.

Terri Mategrano
Northern Illinois University

Re: Nicknames as Surnames

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2224  Wednesday, 15 December 1999.

From:           Tom Reedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 14 Dec 1999 19:56:44 -0600
Subject: 10.2211 Nicknames as Surnames
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.2211 Nicknames as Surnames

>A paper by David Postles (University of Leicester), " 'Oneself as
>Another' and Middle English nickname bynames", Nomina, Vol. 22 (1999),
>pages 117-132, has just been published.  Although interesting, this
>paper would be considerably off-topic if the author had not discussed
>(briefly, and in passing) the question of whether the surname
>Shakespeare and its cognates Shakeshaft, Shakelaunce and Wagstaff were
>sexually-marked or -charged nickname bynames or simply indicative of
>persons with violent tempers.  Other nickname bynames are unmistakably
>sexually-charged and as such are unsuitable for a moderated list ...
>
>Professional Honigmann sceptics may be interested to note that a John
>Shakeshaft is to be found in the Lancashire Poll Tax of 1379.
>
>John Briggs

I've often wondered if the name Shagspere on his marriage license wasn't
a deliberate sexual pun.  It sounds like the kind of joke an 18-year-old
groom might make in his adolescent pride of seducing an older woman.
However, mid-18th century is the earliest I can date the word "shag"
used as a slang term for sexual intercourse.  It's impossible to guess
when this particular use of the word entered the language, but it seems
likely that given the rich sexual vocabulary of Elizabethans it may have
been common long before it appeared in print.

Tom Reedy

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