1999

Think any of this is true?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0982  Friday, 11 June 1999.

From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 14:18:55 -0400
Subject:        Think any of this is true?

This came to me from someone who thought it was amusing.  The list may
find it intriguing too.


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Life in the 1500's:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in
May and were still smelling pretty good by June.  However, they were
starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the
b.o.

       *************************
Baths equaled a big tub filled with hot water.  The man of the house had
the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men,
then the women and finally the children.  Last of all the babies. By
then the water was so dirty you could actually loose someone in it.
Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water".

       *************************
Houses had thatched roofs.  Thick straw, piled high, with no wood
underneath.  It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the
pets dogs, cats and other small animals, mice, rats, bugs lived in the
roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would
slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and
dogs."

       *************************

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed
a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could
really mess up your nice clean bed.  So, they found if they made beds
with big posts and hung a sheet over the top, it addressed that problem.
Hence those beautiful big 4 poster beds with canopies.

       *************************
The floor was dirt.  Only the wealthy had something other than dirt,
hence the saying "dirt poor."  The wealthy had slate floors which would
get slippery in the winter when wet.  So they spread thresh on the floor
to help keep their footing.  As the winter wore on they kept adding more
thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping
outside. A piece of wood was placed at the entry way, hence a "thresh
hold".

       *************************
They cooked in the kitchen in a big kettle that always hung over the
fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot.  They
mostly ate vegetables and didn't get much meat. They would eat the stew
for dinner leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then
start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been
in there for a month. Hence the rhyme: peas porridge hot, peas porridge
cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

       ****************************
Sometimes they could obtain pork and would feel really special when that
happened. When company came over, they would bring out some bacon and
hang it to show it off. It was a sign of wealth and that a man "could
really bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with
guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

       *************************
Those with money had plates made of pewter.  Food with a high acid
content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food. This happened
most often with tomatoes, so they stopped eating tomatoes ... for 400
years.

       *************************
Most people didn't have pewter plates, but had trenchers - a piece of
wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl.  Trencher were never
washed and a lot of times worms got into the wood. After eating off
wormy trenchers, they would get "trench mouth."

       *************************
Bread was divided according to status.  Workers got the burnt bottom of
the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the
"upper crust."

       *************************
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey.  The combination would
sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the
road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were
laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would
gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom of holding a "wake".

       *************************
England is old and small and they started running out of places to bury
people. So, they would dig up coffins and would take their bones to a
house and reuse the grave.  In reopening these coffins, one out of 25
coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized
they had been burying people alive. So they  thought they would tie a
string on their wrist and lead it through the coffin and up through the
ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the
graveyard all night to listen for the bell. Hence on the "graveyard
shift" they would know that someone was "saved by the bell" or he was a
"dead ringer."

Re: Chooseth

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0981  Friday, 11 June 1999.

[1]     From:   Thomas Cartelli <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 12:14:46 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0969 Re: Chooseth

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 13:53:23 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0969 Re: Chooseth


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Cartelli <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 12:14:46 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 10.0969 Re: Chooseth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0969 Re: Chooseth

On Portia providing or not providing hints to Bassanio, I think Barbara
Palmer's representation of the DC production demonstrates that "keeping
one's word" in the world of this play means different things than it
does in the world of idealized understandings of Shakespeare.  Just as
in her "mercifixion" of Shylock, Portia shows she is a savvy Venetian
here who knows both how to get her way and to legitimize the getting of
it.  Does she 'cheat'?  Yes, she probably does but in the worldliest of
ways, demonstrating that she is very rich in the "virtues" of her world.

                        TC

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 13:53:23 -0400
Subject: 10.0969 Re: Chooseth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0969 Re: Chooseth

Judith Craig wrote:
>
>>I would argue from the woman's point of view that Portia loves her
>>father and respects his judgment:
>
>Try doing a word study
>of the words forswear, lie, and their derivatives and synonyms sometime
>throughout the canon.  It is very instructive.
>
>This is why I am confident Portia does not tip off Bassanio as to which
>casket to chose.  It is inconsistent with her character through the rest
>of the play.  She absolutely believes [in] keeping [her] word, but also in
>forgiveness.

If "keeping her word" includes truth telling, I think this point of view
has a problem. In 3.4., Portia tells an out-and-out lie, claiming that
she's made a secret vow "To live in prayer and contemplation" until
Bassanio returns (28).  She then disguises herself as a man, pretends to
be a learned judge, and, as far as we can tell from the script, spends
no time in prayer and contemplation.

I think (because of 1.2.77-83, Norton ed.) that Portia would use certain
techniques to bypass her dad's will.  And, further, I believe (with
absolutely no evidence) that her father knew full well that she would
use his will to get the man she wanted.  Dad put the will in place to
save her from the miseries of enforced marriage.  Portia uses the will
and the test to reject the men she does not accept, and to accept the
man she wants.  That's the way it works.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

Re: Cultural Interpretations

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0979  Friday, 11 June 1999.

[1]     From:   John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 17:08:44 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.0976 Cultural Interpretations of Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Peter Berek <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 15:02:00 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0976 Cultural Interpretations of Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 17:08:44 +0100
Subject: 10.0976 Cultural Interpretations of Shakespeare
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.0976 Cultural Interpretations of Shakespeare

There was a quite extraordinary heavy rock version of Lear done in the
Globe Centre in Tokyo in 1991 which you might find of interest.  I
imagine that some Japanese Shakespearean has written the performance up
somewhere or other.  Try in the proceedings of the World Shakespeare
Congress for 1991.

Cheers,
John Drakakis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Berek <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 15:02:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 10.0976 Cultural Interpretations of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0976 Cultural Interpretations of Shakespeare

You might begin by looking at two books by Marvin Rosenberg: "The Masks
of King Lear" and "The Masks of Macbeth."

                                Peter Berek

Re: Henry VI, pt 1

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0980  Friday, 11 June 1999.

[1]     From:   Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 11:54:48 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0973 Re: Henry VI, pt 1

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 12:43:03 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0973 Re: Henry VI, pt 1

[3]     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 13:31:28 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 10.0965 Re: Henry VI, pt 1

[4]     From:   Dana Wilson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 13:40:08 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   HenryVI pt1


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 11:54:48 -0400
Subject: 10.0973 Re: Henry VI, pt 1
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0973 Re: Henry VI, pt 1

"In H6.1,I,ii,144, Charles compares Joan to bright Venus the "fallen"
star.  On an astrological level this refers to the fact that at dusk and
dawn Venus is to be seen just above the horizon.  However, on the other
hand, it seems to be a play on the idea of the "fallen woman"."

Could also be a calm acceptance of lore that Venus (or Lucifer) was
originally a comet.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 12:43:03 -0400
Subject: 10.0973 Re: Henry VI, pt 1
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0973 Re: Henry VI, pt 1

Has anyone considered the notion that this play was revised from an
older Talbot play to form a prequel to 2HVI and 3HVI?  Given the
probable popularity of the Contention plays, it would have made sense
for Shakespeare's company to cobble up an old play by adding relevant
scenes, particularly the Temple Garden Scene and the Margaret scenes, to
convert the Talbot play into an introduction to what would have
otherwise been a War of the Roses trilogy.  Most of Part 1 appears to me
to be in a style foreign to the bulk of the Canon, including the
Contention plays.

I know it has long been suspected that most of the play is by someone
else (Greene, perhaps); but I have not seen anyone develop this
particular idea.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 13:31:28 -0400
Subject: Re: Henry VI, pt 1
Comment:        SHK 10.0965 Re: Henry VI, pt 1

Abigail Quart asks,
>is it a stretch to remember that Elizabeth was "England's rose" before
>Diana?

 Some historians think Elizabeth was as much Welsh as English. Diana was
Princess of Wales.

Terence Hawkes

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Wilson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 13:40:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        HenryVI pt1

I have been working to understand the relationship between color and
plainness in H6.1.  In the temple garden scene, Vernon (ln 46) says that
he chooses the white rose for plainness and clarity; and Warwick (ln 35)
says that he chooses the white rose as he associates all color with base
flattery.  This accords well with the actions of Joan in III,ii.  She
does not for heraldry sake disdain bringing her army into the city under
the guise of simple corn farmers.  However, in ln 25, Charles notes that
the honor of France will not rally to the sign of weakness under which
she has entered the city.  It is my opinion that this is the policy or
stratagem which Talbot calls treason and  treachery; and indeed, a
soldier caught in such a guise would be liable to being hung as a spy.

Charles while respecting the efficacy of Joan's spies feels bound to
uphold his chivalric honor.  In III,iii,12-5, he tells Joan seek out
your wit for secret policy and we will make him famous, being secret no
more but open to light.  Charles demonstrates this penchant again when
he prefers the revenues of half France and the title of king to the
revenues of all France and the title of vice-roy in V,v,139-43.  Far
from being empty ceremony then it seems that Charles sets a dear rate at
the prestige between roi and vice-roy.

Yours in the work,
Dana

Re: Paper Mills

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0978  Friday, 11 June 1999.

From:           Kimberly Nolan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 1999 11:25:00 -0400
Subject: 10.0755 Re: Paper Mills
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0755 Re: Paper Mills

Just in case anyone is still keeping up on Junglepage-today's
illustrious sponsor in the banner ad was the New York Times. I have to
wonder if these companies actually know where they are advertising, or
if the ads are sold in some sort of block.

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