1999

Re: Curative Waters

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1984  Monday, 15 November 1999.

[1]     From:   Matthew C. Hansen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 13 Nov 1999 01:57:17 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1975 Re: Curative Waters

[2]     From:   Werner Broennimann <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 13 Nov 1999 14:24:21 +0000
        Subj:   SHK 10.1947 Curative Waters

[3]     From:   Martin Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 13 Nov 1999 16:30:29 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1975 Re: Curative Waters


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew C. Hansen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 13 Nov 1999 01:57:17 -0600
Subject: 10.1975 Re: Curative Waters
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1975 Re: Curative Waters

>What I am  after is any skinny about Elizabethan belief in the therapeutic value of
>ocean, sea, air water so forth. Is there any passage along these lines
>in Shakespeare that comes to mind. Music for sure-but I have a dim
>apprehension that sea and waves as agents of healing must be there,
>somewhere...
>
>best hr greenberg md endit

It seems that there is something of this in Ferdinand's lines from The
Tempest:

FERDINAND

       Where should this music be? i' the air or the earth?
       It sounds no more: and sure, it waits upon
       Some god o' the island. Sitting on a bank,
       Weeping again the king my father's wreck,
       This music crept by me upon the waters,
       Allaying both their fury and my passion
       With its sweet air: thence I have follow'd it,
       Or it hath drawn me rather. But 'tis gone.
       No, it begins again.

His sitting on the bank, watching the waters-his tears full salt and all
that is something of a curative.  Not that he has much place else to
seek solace on a desert island.

Matthew C. Hansen
Graduate Teaching Fellow
University of Nebraska - Lincoln

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Werner Broennimann <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 13 Nov 1999 14:24:21 +0000
Subject: Curative Waters
Comment:        SHK 10.1947 Curative Waters

Have a look at Spenser's The Faerie Queene, I.11.30, referring to the
curative powers of the well of life:

For unto life the dead it could restore,
And guilt of sinful crimes cleane wash away,
Those that with sicknesse were infected sore,
It could recure, and aged long decay
Renew, as one were borne that very day.
Both Silo this, and Iordan did excell,
And th'English Bath, and eke the german Spau,
Ne can Cephise, nor Hebrus match this well:
Into the same the knight backe overthrowne, fell.

Personally I prefer Vals in the Grisons (Switzerland) to wash away
sinful crimes, although my friend and list member Markus Marti will
probably root for Leukerbad to seek catharsis from a lifetime habit of
fancying figures in apocryphal books.

Werner

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 13 Nov 1999 16:30:29 -0500
Subject: 10.1975 Re: Curative Waters
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1975 Re: Curative Waters

Shakespeare's Sonnets 153 and 154, both in the main translations of an
epigram in the Greek Anthology, but each with a different ending not in
the original Greek, deal with the curative powers of a certain bath (but
not  with ocean waters). The endings Shakespeare supplied state, in
slightly different ways, that the baths cannot cure the malady of love
(which many commentators on the Sonnets suggest should be interpreted
literally as well as figuratively).  This is discussed in many  articles
and books; see especially James Hutton's writings  on the Greek
Anthology-also my own "Wriothesley's Roses, etc.," pp 69-77.

Re: Innogen

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1983  Monday, 15 November 1999.

[1]     From:   Michael Friedman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 12 Nov 1999 12:00:12 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1946 Re: Innogen

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 12 Nov 1999 12:44:04 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1968 Re: Innogen

[3]     From:   Judith Matthews Craig <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 12 Nov 1999 12:11:11 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1968 Re: Innogen

[4]     From:   Judith Matthews Craig <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 12 Nov 1999 12:36:29 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1968 Re: Innogen

[5]     From:   Judy Lewis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 14 Nov 1999 11:00:12 +1300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1968 Re: Innogen


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Friedman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 12 Nov 1999 12:00:12 -0500
Subject: 10.1946 Re: Innogen
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1946 Re: Innogen

Thank you to Phyllis Gorfain and Tom Bishop for their kind consideration
of my article concerning Innogen.  Tom's most recent thoughtful response
brings up an issue that I had to confront when directing Much Ado that
I've never written about, so I thought I'd introduce it now.  It's
absolutely true that Innogen is not mentioned at all after 2.1, so
introducing her after that scene would involve something less than a
strict adherence to the QF stage directions.  The problem with Much Ado
(and nearly all of Shakespeare's plays, I imagine) is that an absolutely
strict adherence to entry directions leads to several contradictions
within a production. For example, I've always wondered who exactly is
supposed to be present at the wedding in 4.1.  The Folio entry
directions read: "Enter Prince, Bastard, Leonato, Frier, Claudio,
Benedicke, Hero, and Beatrice."  If we take these directions literally,
these eight people alone are in attendance, but this situation tends to
contradict other elements of the play.  First, Leonato, in 2.1, denies
Claudio's desire for a wedding on the following day and insists on at
least a week to make preparations.  This sounds like a major social
event hosted by the Governor of Messina rather than a small affair for
the immediate family.  Second, all of the characters act as if Claudio's
accusations of Hero have damaged her reputation so thoroughly that she
will hardly be able to recover it.  Would this be true if only the eight
characters listed above were present?  Or does it assume that anybody
who is anybody in Messina is there to witness Hero's disgrace?  I don't
think I have ever seen a production of the play that did not place just
about everyone in the cast on stage for the beginning of 4.1; Branagh's
film also includes dozens of extras.  My suspicion is that this
particular entry direction only refers to those characters who will
speak in the scene, and it is not intended to limit the number of
characters who people the platform.

What about Antonio, for instance?  Are we to assume that Leonato would
marry off his only daughter without inviting his brother, with whom he
is clearly intimate?  This issue is muddled further by the ambiguity of
Antonio's actions in 5.1; it seems impossible to determine for certain
whether he, like Leonato, merely pretends that Hero is dead when he
confronts Claudio and the Prince, or whether he, like the rest of
Messina, genuinely believes that she died as a result of Claudio's
accusations.  Was Antonio entirely absent from the nuptials, or did he
simply withdraw with the rest of the crowd at the exit of Claudio, Don
John, and the Prince and therefore simply miss the Friar's plan?  If it
is possible to believe that Hero's uncle is supposed to be there, along
with lots of other people, although they are not mentioned in the entry
directions, is it much of a leap to imagine Hero's mother would be there
as well?

Perhaps I'm applying 20th century logic and assumptions to this issue,
but my guess is that mothers usually attended the weddings of their
daughters in Shakespeare's time as they do today.  As with any case in
which two or more parts of the text conflict, a director has to make a
choice either to resolve the contradiction or to let the anomaly stand.
In my case, I elected to try to resolve it in such a way that the
solution conveyed the notions about wives and silence that my reading of
the rest of the play confirmed.  As Tom notes, I can't claim that my
strategy in any way "solves" the puzzle of Innogen.  I can only assert
that the character is a feature of the text, and that she provides the
opportunity for meaningful performance choices.

Michael Friedman
University of Scranton
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 12 Nov 1999 12:44:04 -0500
Subject: 10.1968 Re: Innogen
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1968 Re: Innogen

>Surely the point at the end of
>this play is that marriage represents a formal silencing of the woman,
>whose generic "noisiness" is aligned throughout with the negative
>influence of the bastard Don John.

So writes John Drakakis. Beatrice's verbal abilities are "aligned" with
the "negative influence" of Don John?  I don't think this is
transparent, and I'd like a little construction.  In fact, doesn't
Margaret's silence aid Don John's plot?

Bill Godshalk

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judith Matthews Craig <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 12 Nov 1999 12:11:11 -0600
Subject: 10.1968 Re: Innogen
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1968 Re: Innogen

This discussion of the Innogen problem reminds me of the
"Katherine-Rosaline tangle" (LLL, 2,1) which editor R. W. David ascribes
to "failure to cancel a rejected draft" (Arden, intro. xx-xxi).  He
explains that Shakespeare scrawled his cancellations illegibly or
"roughly" (xxi), and the compositor's misreadings were responsible for
incoherent texts.  Moreover, "the speech-headings suggest two different
drafts" (xxii) in that certain characters, Navarre and particularly the
comic figures, sometimes have personal names and sometimes generic
names.

Is this and the disappearing Innogen of Much Ado an example of the
problem of "originary texts?"  I have never understood perfectly either
the term "originary" nor the crucial, death-defying, edifice-collapsing
nature of such problems.  Pardon my ignorance for asking for a fuller
discussion.

Judy Craig

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judith Matthews Craig <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 12 Nov 1999 12:36:29 -0600
Subject: 10.1968 Re: Innogen
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1968 Re: Innogen

More problems with Innogen.  As John Drakakis writes:

<  Surely the point at the end of>
<this play is that marriage represents a formal silencing of the woman,>
<whose generic "noisiness" is aligned throughout with the negative>
<influence of the bastard Don John. The only way to silence "nothing"
in>
<this play, to give female chastity a voice that replicates the>
<patriarchal register of Messina, is to appropriate it, to
re-articulate>
<it, according to the demands of marriage.>

<Of course, as in a number of Shakespearean texts, the process of>
<incorporation demystifies (whether intentionally or otherwise is>
<immaterial) the very institution that the play's dominant aesthetics
aim>
<to sustain.>

How marriage represents a "formal silencing of women" I will never
understand, but more to the point, to believe that Beatrice is
associated with the "negative" influence of Don John who "cannot hide
what I am" (1.3.12-13, Arden) is incredible.

Beatrice does nothing but try to hide what she is-attracted to
Benedick-with scorn and high wit.  She is involved in a "merry war"
(1.1.56) which ends in mutual happiness while Don John is by his own
mouth "a plain-dealing villain" (1.3.30) who has "decreed not to sing in
my cage" (1.3.32).  If anyone sings in her cage, it is Beatrice.

Judy Craig

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judy Lewis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 14 Nov 1999 11:00:12 +1300
Subject: 10.1968 Re: Innogen
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1968 Re: Innogen

I've been very busy lately and only just caught up with the discussion
on Innogen, so here's my two pence worth.

Much Ado shows every sign of being written in haste - one of those
examples so lamented by Ben Jonson when he complained that Shakespeare
never 'blotted' a line.  I have no doubt that Innogen, like Antonio's
son, was originally envisaged but then dropped when Shakespeare realised
not that they were unnecessary but that they were actually a hindrance
to his developing scenario.  If - as was suggested in Shakespeare in
Love - the actors had the first scenes before the whole play was
written, this would explain why he did not go back and delete those
names.

Innogen's absence is essential - a mother would control her household,
supervise her daughter closely, and take good care to see that her
virtue could not be called into question, in a way that the waiting
gentlewomen cannot and Beatrice probably wouldn't even think to.  It is
inconceivable that she would remain silent at the wedding, were she
there, which she clearly isn't.  The very looseness of the behaviour in
this household - Margaret at Hero's window etc - suggests a household
without a woman at its head.

Similarly, Antonio cannot have a son - if there were a male cousin, it
would be his job to challenge Claudio, but it is essential to the plot
that Benedick be forced into that role.

The issue of Margaet's silence is an interesting one - another example,
I think, of Shakespeare's haste.  Branagh showed her horrified and
running away, as though scared to confess.  In my own recent production,
I took the liberty of having her absent herself from the wedding by
going off beforehand with the messenger, clearly for a romantic tryst -
done in a short mimed scene, just before the wedding.  This gave her an
excuse for not being where she would otherwise be, and at the same time
reinforcing the characterisation of her as a bit of a lightskirt.
Having Don John threaten her is an interesting idea, but it suggests
collusion which Borachio repudiates and which Leonato seems to dismiss
also.

Re: Seeking the skinny

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1981  Monday, 15 November 1999.

[1]     From:   Ronald Macdonald <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 12 Nov 1999 16:32:43 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1965 Re: Seeking the skinny

[2]     From:   Jeffrey Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 14 Nov 1999 09:16:42 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.1965 Re: Seeking the skinny


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ronald Macdonald <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 12 Nov 1999 16:32:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.1965 Re: Seeking the skinny
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1965 Re: Seeking the skinny

Rosalie Colie's _Shakespeare's Living Art_ was published by Princeton
U.P. in 1974, just after the author's death.

--Ron Macdonald

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jeffrey Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 14 Nov 1999 09:16:42 -0500
Subject: 10.1965 Re: Seeking the skinny
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.1965 Re: Seeking the skinny

Rosalie Colie, _Shakespeare's Living Art_, (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1974).

Jeff Myers

Re: Gertrude

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1982  Monday, 15 November 1999.

[1]     From:   Fran Teague <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 12 Nov 1999 11:41:20 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1962 Re: Gertrude

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 12 Nov 1999 11:53:27 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1962 Re: Gertrude

[3]     From:   David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 12 Nov 1999 17:40:23 GMT
        Subj:   'Truth' and 'Lies'

[4]     From:   Alan Pierpoint <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sun, 14 Nov 1999 22:39:34 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1962 Re: Gertrude

[5]     From:   William Taylor <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   14 Nov 99 20:51:09 PST
        Subj:   Re: [SHK 10.1962 Re: Gertrude]


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fran Teague <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 12 Nov 1999 11:41:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.1962 Re: Gertrude
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1962 Re: Gertrude

Some of the recent comments on HAMLET recall the late, great comic,
Jeremy Collier. In his ground-breaking analysis of THE IMMORALITY AND
PROFANENESS OF THE ENGLISH STAGE (1698), Collier wrote, "Had Shakespear
secur'd the point [of modest behaviour] for his young Virgin Ophelia,
the Play had been better contriv'd. Since he was resolv'd to drown the
Lady like a Kitten, he should have set her swimming a little sooner. To
keep her alive only to sully her Reputation, and discover the Rankness
of her Breath, was very cruel." She should, in short, have gone into the
brook before her mad scene, according to Collier.

Fran Teague http://www.arches.uga.edu/~fteague

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 12 Nov 1999 11:53:27 -0500
Subject: 10.1962 Re: Gertrude
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1962 Re: Gertrude

Roy Flanagan makes a good point when he says

>Could it be that this is just one of those Shakespearean arias, during
>which the audience is supposed to suspend disbelief, forget action,
>while an actor describes something beautifully.  Examples include
>Desdemona's willow story and song, the Nurse on Juliet's youth, the
>murderer's description of the two little princes, Clarence's description
>of his dream, even the various apostrophes to the dawn in Hamlet or in
>Romeo and Juliet.  Action stops in wonder as something beautiful comes
>out of the mouth of an actor.

But these are all events which the describer knew from personal
knowledge. Ophelia's death is different, unless:

1.  The court employed an excellent forensic pathologist who
reconstructed the event;

2.  Gertrude was there but was too drunk (or overdressed, as Carol
Barton surmises) to do anything about it.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 12 Nov 1999 17:40:23 GMT
Subject:        'Truth' and 'Lies'

The discussion of whether Gertrude is, or is not, telling 'lies' in
describing the drowning Ophelia raises, as some respondents have pointed
out, questions about the nature of dramatic, as opposed to novelistic
veracity.

There are a comparable set of questions in The Tempest.  When Ariel
sings 'Full fathom five' he is telling a lie - though representing the
situation as Ferdinand believes it to be.  The same is almost true of
Ariel's speech as a harpy to Alonso etc., when he says 'thee of thy son
... The have bereft'  - though I suppose one might argue that there is a
quibble here, in that it is Alonso, not Ariel, who takes that to mean
that his son is dead.  These 'untruths' make, however, sense within
Prospero's larger strategies (however one views them).

But Prospero also describes clearly the appearance of Sycorax (though
never having seen her) - is this a 'lie' of the same sort?  The matter
is of some moment in that 1.2 is largely constructed as a series of
rememberings and histories which Prospero generates.  The
trustworthiness of memory - and of his memory in particular - can become
a critical issue in the reading of the play.  So, one might argue,
having 'caught him out' in something that must be a fiction, the rest of
his narratives of the past become less trustworthy.

I personally think that this is to engage in some very inappropriate
strategies of reading, involving a set of novelistic assumptions that
simply do not function as one is watching the play on stage.  I think
the same is true of Gertrude's speech on Ophelia, which is bracketed off
as a formal rhetorical set-piece.  I am sure others on the list can come
up with many more examples - and can pursue further the central question
of appropriate criteria or tests of truth and falsehood in dramatic
statements of this kind.

David Lindley
School of English
University of Leeds

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alan Pierpoint <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sun, 14 Nov 1999 22:39:34 EST
Subject: 10.1962 Re: Gertrude
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1962 Re: Gertrude

Hamlet's real father?  Who else but Fortinbras Senior?  "Pricked on by a
most emulate pride . . . [Hamlet Sr.] did slay this Fortinbras . . ."
Horatio, lovable dummox, may believe the official line, that two
monarchs dueled to the death over some land, but we know better.
Clearly, HamSr came upon Gertrude and Fort in medias res and offed him
with his sword (like a lot of impotent guys, HamSr practiced a lot with
weapons).  The rumor got back to Norway, though, probably via those
know-it-all servants.  FortJr. knows the truth:  "I have some rights of
memory in this kingdom."   Sure.  He's the only living relative of the
newly dead prince.

Obvious, isn't it?    -Alan Pierpoint / Southwestern Academy

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Taylor <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           14 Nov 99 20:51:09 PST
Subject: 10.1962 Re: Gertrude]
Comment:        Re: [SHK 10.1962 Re: Gertrude]

Despite the unanimity of opinion against me, so far, I am not dissuaded
from my reading of Gertrude's description of Ophelia's death.  Roy
Flannagan says:

"Could it be that this is just one of those Shakespearean arias, during
which the audience is supposed to suspend disbelief, forget action,
while an actor describes something beautifully. Examples include
Desdemona's willow story and song, the Nurse on Juliet's youth, the
murderer's description of the two little princes, Clarence's description
of his dream, even the various apostrophes to the dawn in Hamlet or in
Romeo and Juliet. Action stops in wonder as something beautiful comes
out of the mouth of an actor."

But in none of those "arias," does the something beautiful coming out of
the mouth of the actor contradict either common sense or evidence to be
found elsewhere in the play on a crucial issue of plot, character, or
theme.

Gertrude's speech is not an irrelevant purple passage.  The details of
her description are all directed to establishing that Ophelia was "one
incapable of her own distress," and that her death, therefore, was a sad
accident, not suicide.  This is a matter of consequence, as we learn in
the next scene, which opens with an extended conversation on the
difference between accidental drowning and deliberate suicide, a
distinction which the Gravediggers understand very well.  And they are
firmly of the opinion that this young woman deliberately committed
suicide, and would not be buried in sanctified ground were she not a
gentlewoman.  The priest is of the same mind, and Laertes' response to
his opinion suggests that Gertrude was wise in painting the scene as
prettily as she did and relieving Ophelia of responsibility for her own
death.

I do not understand an interpretation which gives a speech a meaning
which is inconsistent with the character or situation, and then
dismisses the problem by asserting that it isn't really the character
speaking, but Shakespeare informing the audience of something he
couldn't figure out how to inform them of otherwise, or entertaining
them with a bit of poetic irrelevance.  I'd like to make the speech
work, if I can, without making excuses for it.  Why not assume a more
complex Gertrude, rather than an inept or self-indulgent Shakespeare?
(Thank you, Anthony Burton, for that turn of phrase.)

Yes, Carol, I grant you the petticoats.  But what were Gertrude and the
mad Ophelia doing together, alone, on the bank of a river, out of
earshot of anyone in the precincts of the castle?  Or maybe Gertrude
couldn't swim, though the petticoat gambit makes that a moot point.  Or
maybe she had climbed up a very tall tree, got those petticoats caught
on an envious sliver, and couldn't free herself in time to come to the
girl's aid.  It may be.  Or maybe Ophelia, mind deranged, but not
insensible of her grief and despair, slipped out of the castle, threw
herself into the stream and died.  At least three characters in the play
think that is exactly what happened.  And if they're right, Ophelia left
Claudius and Gertrude with a big problem: a very inflammable and very
dangerous Laertes.  Does that reading have no grounds in the text?  In
4.5, hasn't Gertrude shown that she fears Laertes might attack Claudius,
and didn't she attempt, actively and repeatedly, to calm and restrain
him?  If Ophelia deliberately killed herself, as several characters in
the play aver, would it be inconsistent in Gertrude's character to try
once again to divert Laertes' fury?  And I need hardly point out, she
succeeds.

Re: Burgundy and France

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1980  Monday, 15 November 1999.

[1]     From:   Heidi Webb Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 12 Nov 1999 14:14:20 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1963 Re: Burgundy and France

[2]     From:   Anthony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 12 Nov 1999 15:34:24 -0800
        Subj:   Burgundy and France


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Heidi Webb Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 12 Nov 1999 14:14:20 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 10.1963 Re: Burgundy and France
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1963 Re: Burgundy and France

I thought sound and silence were an interesting topos for re-reading the
first act of Lear, with thanks to other posts from Drs. Godschalk and
Taft. And, returning to the play, I really appreciated the careful
editorial notations, I'm reminded of William Perkins' comments at the
beginning of his Commentary on Galatians, that only fanatics
(Anabaptists, no offense to any 20th Century persuasions meant here)
would read scripture without scholarly annotation and commentary.

I don't know protocols for the Burgundy and France, discussion, for me
not unlike wondering why some people are always at the window seats at
McDonalds, and have appreciated the informative discussion of protocol
between Burgundy and France. I wondered, for this thread, if the
competition between France and Burgundy could be glossed in terms
similar to the competition between the three daughters, recasting it in
domestic terms? King Lear asks Goneril to speak first as the eldest
(1.1.53-54), is there any evidence that Burgundy would have been elder
to France (1.1.193)? The play may be directing sound to the elders,
which might be a way to see Lear's voice and Cordelia's silence as both
respectfully reinforcing an age-based hierarchy for speech, and sound in
the play.  Which seems to me like a good thing.  (I won't pick on
McDonald's here.)

I would look for references on age-based kin groups but I don't have
those books right here.

best,
heidi

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Anthony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 12 Nov 1999 15:34:24 -0800
Subject:        Burgundy and France

Let me correct the appalling misreading of my note of disagreement with
Stanley Wells' proposed emendation of King Lear, which wrongly makes it
seem that I was impugning Wells' well-earned reputation for excellent
scholarship-in which he has, however, not fled from controversial
positions.  I would not have other readers think I was being either
hostile or disparaging.  Referring to those critics whose forgettable
interpretations rest on a presumed (and forever unprovable) authorial
oversight by Shakespeare, I simply urged Wells to avoid their company,
since in my opinion there was no compelling reason to join with them.
Maintaining profound respect for the admittedly difficult text in our
possession, I offered possible interpretations that were consistent with
it and avoided a need for any emendation at all.  Others contributing to
this thread have also proposed different and probably better ways of
making sense of the received text.  My reference to Humpty Dumpty
pointed to a danger I assume we have all confronted: a pet argument, in
the light of challenges from friends and colleagues, turns out to rest
more on subjective enthusiasm than on concrete evidence.    On this
listserve, I hope it would be considered a duty rather than lese majesty
to air disagreement freely and even employ vivid images to make a point
(It may be different on the listserve for tax accountants). If the
emperor proposes to stroll about starkers, isn't it patriotism and not
treason to speak out?  But if the analogy to Mr. Carroll and his talking
egg be treason, my Yankee inclination is to make the most of it and try
to profit by his example.

Anthony Burton

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