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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: November ::
Re: Burgundy and France
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1963  Friday, 12 November 1999.

[1]     From:   Ed Taft <
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        Date:   Thursday, 11 Nov 1999 13:27:02 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   France and Burgundy

[2]     From:   Tom Bishop <
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        Date:   Thursday, 11 Nov 1999 13:31:18 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1954 Re: Burgundy and France

[3]     From:   Pervez Rizvi <
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        Date:   Friday, 12 Nov 1999 07:52:53 -0000
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.1959 Re: Burgundy and France


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Taft <
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Date:           Thursday, 11 Nov 1999 13:27:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        France and Burgundy

Bill Godshalk observes that Goneril's "further compliment of
leave-taking" may be ironic in that she means that the two kings are
offstage raging at each other." In a play where sound is so important, I
think Bill's suggestion should be taken seriously. What if they are
off-stage but we can faintly hear them arguing?  It would make sense
that both men are still plenty mad, and France, after all, can get mad
at Lear because both men are "equals." The importance of sound in this
play is indicated by the change from Leir to L(ear) -- one indication
among many.

--Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Bishop <
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Date:           Thursday, 11 Nov 1999 13:31:18 -0500
Subject: 10.1954 Re: Burgundy and France
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1954 Re: Burgundy and France

>>An oddity relating to Burgundy is Goneril's 'There is further compliment
>>of leave-taking between France and him.' (end of 1. 1, same in both Q
>>and F) Why should Lear be complimenting France?

I had always understood this in another way than those proposed
concerning "courtesy and ceremony"-Goneril to be using "compliment"
where we would use "complement" to mean "sequel", "additional material"
and hence to be responding to Regan that "Yes, not only Kent's
banishment, but we still have to get through the business of France's
departure ceremonies, and God knows what he'll do there-we'd better do
something together fast."  As Gloucester later informs us, the
"leave-taking" does not got well: "Kent banished thus, and France in
choler parted."  Goneril's reference to "leave-taking" may even
anticipate some such open breach, as Shakespeare's characters often do:
"this may lead to a collapse of our foreign policy, and now we (almost)
have power, that's something that concerns us."  I too would ask Stanley
Wells to reconsider emending to Burgundy here.  A change to a reference
to Burgundy diverts the main current of the sisters' concern, which is
with the dangers Lear's instability continues to pose for their
new-gained political clout. Why talk about Burgundy here when
maintaining good relations with Paris is in jeopardy?

Tom

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pervez Rizvi <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 12 Nov 1999 07:52:53 -0000
Subject: 10.1959 Re: Burgundy and France
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.1959 Re: Burgundy and France

>Stanley Wells' proposal to explain the difficult passage
>by altering it and then calling the change an "emendation" puts him
>directly in the Humpty Dumpty  school of interpretation: [a word] "means
>just what I choose it to mean-neither more nor less."   What's wrong
>with a modest comment on the difficulty, and a suggestion that
>performers may wish to follow Hanmer's ancient proposal to substitute
>Burgundy for France?  The catacombs of Shakespeare scholarship are
>filled with the the dry bones of hedge scholars who uncovered examples
>of supposed "authorial inadvertance."   I take it the page proofs still
>lie in the future.
>Please, Stanley, reconsider.

I may be old-fashioned, and I normally steer clear of controversy on
this list but, even if these remarks were not a travesty, was it
necessary to show such disrespect to a scholar of Professor Wells'
eminence (or anyone for that matter)?
 

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