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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: November ::
Re: Burgundy and France
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1913  Tuesday, 9 November 1999.

[1]     From:   Lisa Hopkins <
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        Date:   Friday, 05 Nov 1999 16:01:54 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1906 Burgundy and France Question

[2]     From:   Paul Nelsen <
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        Date:   Friday, 5 Nov 1999 11:33:27 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1906 Burgundy and France Question

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Friday, 05 Nov 1999 09:52:00 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1906 Burgundy and France Question

[4]     From:   Andre G Bourassa <
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        Date:   Friday, 5 Nov 1999 20:29:43 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1906 Burgundy and France Question

[5]     From:   Arthur D L Lindley <
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        Date:   Saturday, 6 Nov 1999 11:33:35 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1906 Burgundy and France Question

[6]     From:   Sarah Werner <
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        Date:   Saturday, 6 Nov 1999 15:36:44 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1906 Burgundy and France Question


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lisa Hopkins <
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Date:           Friday, 05 Nov 1999 16:01:54 +0000
Subject: 10.1906 Burgundy and France Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1906 Burgundy and France Question

'Burgundy' in the early Renaissance meant not just a part of France but
all the area controlled by the Dukes of Burgundy, including a
substantial part of the modern Low Countries.  Under Charles the Bold,
Burgundy posed a serious challenge to French power, so Shakespeare might
well have imagined the two suitors as being more or less equal in
status.

Lisa Hopkins
Sheffield Hallam University

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[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Nelsen <
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Date:           Friday, 5 Nov 1999 11:33:27 -0500
Subject: 10.1906 Burgundy and France Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1906 Burgundy and France Question

Jan Stirm introduces this discussion point:

>We were discussing the opening of Lear in my Shakespeare class
>yesterday, and one of my students asked about Lear's giving Burgundy the
>"first shot" at marrying Cordelia.  My student's question had to do with
>the hierarchy (France seems like a higher title than Burgundy?) and
>related to passages we were looking at where the play talks about
>reversing or challenging hierarchies.

>My base answer had to do with the important dramatic effect of having
>the first suitor turn her down and the second praise her and want to
>marry her.  (Evidently Geoffry of Monmouth's Lear flees to France where
>he's meets up with Cordelia again, leading me to think that she married
>France in Shakespeare's source(s)--none of which are available to me at
>this moment.) I wonder if the group can help me with some other ideas?

In "Cordelia's Plight: 1.1," the opening chapter of READING SHAKESPEARE
IN PERFORMANCE: KING LEAR, James P. Lusardi and June Schlueter offer a
wonderfully lucid analysis of the issue.   Lusardi and Schlueter, with
cogent precision, sort through evidence of the script and summon
differing critical readings of the text (e.g., by Bradley, Boose, Dove
and Gamble, Jaffa, Shand, Hunter, and others).

Jan Stirm's student raises a interesting query.  Have a look at Lusardi
and Schlueter's exposition and assessment of the question.

Paul Nelsen
Marlboro College

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Friday, 05 Nov 1999 09:52:00 -0800
Subject: 10.1906 Burgundy and France Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1906 Burgundy and France Question

Jan Stirm inquires:

>My student's question had to do with
>the hierarchy (France seems like a higher title than Burgundy?) and
>related to passages we were looking at where the play talks about
>reversing or challenging hierarchies.

It is a higher title, but the Dukes of Burgundy were as powerful as the
Kings of France.  Moreover, they were traditional allies of the English,
in the 100 years war, for instance.  Bindoff, in his history of Tudor
England, talks about alliances with the low countries as reviving the
medieval Burgundian alliance.

>My base answer had to do with the important dramatic effect of having
>the first suitor turn her down and the second praise her and want to
>marry her.  (Evidently Geoffry of Monmouth's Lear flees to France where
>he's meets up with Cordelia again, leading me to think that she married
>France in Shakespeare's source(s)--none of which are available to me at
>this moment.) I wonder if the group can help me with some other ideas?

She did.  In the anonymous Leir play, the disaster seems to be provoked
by Leir's determination to marry off Cordelia to the King of Hibernia.
While wandering homeless after refusing her father's choice, she happens
to meet France, who's in England at the time in disguise.

Cheers,
Se

 

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