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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: March ::
Re: ADO Query
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0614  Wednesday, 29 March 2000.

[1]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Mar 2000 11:36:33 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0600 Re: ADO Query

[2]     From:   Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Mar 2000 09:41:30 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0600 Re: ADO Query

[3]     From:   Veronique Booker <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Mar 2000 11:38:26 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0600 Re: ADO Query


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Tuesday, 28 Mar 2000 11:36:33 -0500
Subject: 11.0600 Re: ADO Query
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0600 Re: ADO Query

David Evett is baffled:

>Clifford Stetner feels that Benedick's resolve to go get Beatrice's
>picture must be "clarified with props".  I confess myself baffled by
>this; the literal understanding of the line is surely within the reach
>of C20 spectators even if they do not know about the tradition of
>miniature paintings I referred to in an earlier post.  Does Mr. Stetner
>have no friends or relations who carry photos of their loved ones in
>their wallets?

Well, I confess I was thinking more of the Hamlet closet scene in a
general observation about Shakespeare's use of pictures, but it applies
here, too.  What is this discussion about except for the ambiguity of
the line if there is no prop to define it?   And do Mr. Evett's loved
ones not carry their wallets about them (he asked sarcastically)?

>I would also like to take exception to his smug insistence on "the
>superiority of the poet's art over the painter's, as there is little
>room in a miniature for more than one meaning at a time." Whether the
>visual arts afford exact analogues to verbal irony is a nice and very
>complex question.  But as I have argued in Literature and the Visual
>Arts in Tudor England (280 ff.), pictures, statues, even architecture
>can certainly convey more than one meaning at a time;

If you read smugness into my lines, God knows what you read into
Shakespeare's.  I make no claim for the one or the other, but in your
research you certainly discovered that the debate was popular in the
Renaissance among poets and painters alike.  Vision standing highest on
the Platonic ladder of the senses, visual artists claimed supereminence,
while defenders of poetry like Sidney claimed virtually divine status
for their art.

>and whether by the
>inclusion of symbolic items, or more subtly by the exaggeration or
>suppression of formal and gestural conventions within the framing
>tradition of early modern portraiture, even something as small as a
>miniature might inscribe for a sophisticated viewer a complex set of
>significations.

Painter: 'Tis common:

A thousand moral paintings I can show
That shall demonstrate these quick blows of Fortune's
More pregnantly than words. (TA I.i.90)

>In any case the remark comes oddly in connection with
>work written for the theater; it appears to privilege radio over the
>stage, and silent reading over both.

The dramatist may be making a claim to combine the best of both worlds.

Clifford

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 Mar 2000 09:41:30 +1000
Subject: 11.0600 Re: ADO Query
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0600 Re: ADO Query

>>I would be interested to know
>>whether there are other examples in the period of it being the woman's
>>image rather than the man's that is said to be painted or printed when a
>>child is 'got'.

I was so certain that someone else would cite the following, from
Twelfth Night, that I did not originally respond.  But no one did, so I
will:

    Vio.    Good madam, let me see your face.
    Oli.    Have you any commission from your lord to negotiate with my
face?  You are now out of your text; but we will draw the curtain, and
show
you the picture.  Look you, sir, such a one I was this present.
[Unveiling.]  Is't not well done?
    Vio.    Excellently done, if God did all.
    Oli.    'Tis in grain, sir, 'twill endure wind and weather.
    Vio.    'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on.
Lady, you are the cruell'st she alive
If you will lead these graces to the grave,
And leave the world no copy.        (I.v.230-243)('74 Riverside)

Cheers,
Karen Peterson-Kranz
University of Guam

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Veronique Booker <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 Mar 2000 11:38:26 EST
Subject: 11.0600 Re: ADO Query
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0600 Re: ADO Query

Greetings,

I've been reading this thread with great interest over the past couple
of days.  The discussion about sonnet 3 prompted me to join in.
Presently, I'm writing my masters thesis on Shakespeare's sonnets. In
one of my chapters I discuss this issue with painting... It seems, to me
at least, that the idea of "painting" can be a symbol of
artifice/falsehood-in some of the plays as well as in the sonnets. In
Hamlet, the mousetrap scene. Hamlet tells Ophelia, " I have heard of
your paintings, well enough. God hath given you one face, and you make
yourselves another..." (3.1.42).

And I find sonnet 3 problematic. Yes, it is the mothers image that is
repainted, but it seems only for the purpose of reproduction. But there
are two mothers in this sonnet! If we look at line 4, "Thou dost beguile
the world unbless some mother," we see that the mother in this case,
does not even have a name-she's just some woman who can reproduce the
young man's image.  However, Sonnet 83, "I never saw that you did
painting need..." seems to suggest that" painting represents a form of
artifice... The poet did not ornament young man via a painting because
it could not represent the young man's true being. And then the poet
mentions that he "thought" poetry would not properly represent the young
man as well. So in sonnet 83, both the speaker's poetry, and painting
fall short!

Just some thoughts here,,,
Veronique
 

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