2000

Re: Ophelia / O-phallos

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0554  Friday, 24 March 2000.

[1]     From:   Tom Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday< 20 Mar 2000 13:52:37 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0529 Ophelia / O-phallos

[2]     From:   Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday< 20 Mar 2000 21:45:34 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0529 Ophelia / O-phallos

[3]     From:   John Velz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday< 20 Mar 2000 23:51:29 -0600
        Subj:   Ophelia's name

[4]     From:   Lisa Hopkins <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tue, 21 Mar 2000 11:20:43 +0000
        Subj:   Ophelia's name


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday< 20 Mar 2000 13:52:37 -0500
Subject: 11.0529 Ophelia / O-phallos
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0529 Ophelia / O-phallos

Lacan's poetic etymology probably isn't even meant to be accurate.
Ophelia comes from a greek word (wphe'leia) meaning "help or aid" which
in turn comes from another one (o'phelos) meaning "advantage".  The
ultimate roots of the latter are obscure, though it may be related to
Old Indian "pha'lam" = advantage.  "Phallus" comes from IE "*bhel"
meaning "to swell" from which we also get bellows, bull, ball, bold,
belly, etc.  It's very unlikely there's any connection between them.

What Shakespeare thought about Ophelia's name, of course, is another
matter, though he wouldn't have known what's above. Presumably it wasn't
a common name in England, or Denmark. I have no idea where he might have
come across the Greek word. Harold Jenkins cites the nymph "Apheleia"
(="Simplicity") in "Cynthia's Revels", as a parallel.  The idea of
Ophelia as a "helpmeet" bringing "help or aid" is obviously relevant to
the play, along several more or less ironic paths.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday< 20 Mar 2000 21:45:34 +0000
Subject: 11.0529 Ophelia / O-phallos
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0529 Ophelia / O-phallos

 I am sure the Hellenistic connotations are easy to secure. I will just
add the Hebrew: Ophelia - OF He L 'YA,  meaning, anyhow (despite her
manner of death) she is to God.

Florence Amit

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday< 20 Mar 2000 23:51:29 -0600
Subject:        Ophelia's name

Richard Burt asks about Ophelia's name:

<In his essay on Hamlet, Jacques Lacan puns on Ophelia's name (as
O-phallus) only to dismiss the pun. Any one happen to know anything
about her name, which I assume was rather rare in Shakespeare's day?>

John W Hales traced it (1876) to the Greek for "the helper";  in the
same year C. Elliott Browne found that it comes ultimately from Horace's
Ofellus(a) by way of Sannazaro's Arcadia. See *Shakespeare and the
Classical Tradition 1660-1960* (1968) #0295 and #0130 respectively.  The
phallic derivation is hopeless.

Cheers,
John

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lisa Hopkins <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tue, 21 Mar 2000 11:20:43 +0000
Subject:        Ophelia's name

Ophelia is Greek for 'help', but I have also seen it suggested that it
is related to the Irish place-name Offaly, which I believe was sometimes
spelled 'Ofelia', and that it might thus be one of Hamlet's several
references to Ireland.

Lisa Hopkins

R&J Spinoff: Love is all there is

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0553  Friday, 24 March 2000.

From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 20 Mar 2000 16:28:55 -0500
Subject:        R&J Spinoff: Love is all there is

The film Love Is All There Is, an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet with
Angelina Jolie (in her debut) in the Julet role and set in contemporary
Brooklyn, airs this Friday March 25 at 5:30 p.m. EST on the Romance
Channel.

http://www.romanceclassics.com

Re: Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0551  Friday, 24 March 2000.

[1]     From:   Kevin De Ornellas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday 20 Mar 2000 19:08:37 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0536 Hamlet

[2]     From:   Richard Regan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tue, 21 Mar 2000 23:51:29 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0536 Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kevin De Ornellas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday 20 Mar 2000 19:08:37 GMT
Subject: 11.0536 Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0536 Hamlet

>I'm writing a thesis about "The women in Hamlet" and to this purpose I'm
>desperately looking for the video of the film Hamlet, directed by Sven
>Gade.  It is a film produced in 1921 and Asta Nielsen, a Danish silent
>movie-star, played the role of Hamlet. Can you help me?

>Miriam Marinelli

Prof. Ann Thompson (who has written very engagingly on that film) told
me years ago that she had viewed a copy at the British Film Institute.
At that time, there had been no video release.

Kevin De Ornellas B.A., M.A.
School of English
Queen's University, Belfast

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Regan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tue, 21 Mar 2000 23:51:29 EST
Subject: 11.0536 Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0536 Hamlet

A video clip of Asta Neilsen playing Hamlet (1920) is on the web at:

http://shea.mit.edu/ramparts/resources/films/svendgade/svendgade.htm

Other clips are listed at:

http://shea.mit.edu/ramparts/resources/films/films.htm

Richard Regan
Fairfield University

Re: Wooden O

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0552  Friday, 24 March 2000.

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 20 Mar 2000 11:02:19 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 11.0535 Re: Wooden O

[2]     From:   Kevin De Ornellas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 20 Mar 2000 19:04:23 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0535 Re: Wooden O

[3]     From:   Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 20 Mar 2000 19:42:58 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0521 Wooden O?

[4]     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 20 Mar 2000 20:36:46 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0535 Re: Wooden O

[5]     From:   Tim Richards <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 21 Mar 2000 14:05:40 +1100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0535 Re: Wooden O

[6]     From:   Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 21 Mar 2000 09:06:13 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0535 Re: Wooden O

[7]     From:   Werner Broennimann <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 21 Mar 2000 09:47:39 +0000
        Subj:   SHK 11.0521 Wooden O

[8]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 22 Mar 2000 08:03:45 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0535 Re: Wooden O

[9]     From:   Mary Jane Miller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 22 Mar 2000 14:39:27 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0535 Re: Wooden O


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 20 Mar 2000 11:02:19 -0800
Subject: Re: Wooden O
Comment:        SHK 11.0535 Re: Wooden O

This thread has some interesting ideas, and Ed Taft's citation of Lear
was excellent, but I trust no one will claim that Baptista's

"O ho, Petruchio!" (Shrew 5.1)
sould be pronounced, "Zed ho, Petruchio!" or that Parolles,

"O my good lord..." (All's Well 5.2)
should  follow suit.  Well, OK, knowing Parolles, maybe...

Cheers,
Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kevin De Ornellas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 20 Mar 2000 19:04:23 GMT
Subject: 11.0535 Re: Wooden O
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0535 Re: Wooden O

>in King Lear, 2.2.65 to Oswald, "Thou whoreson
>zed! Thou unnecessary letter!" [Apparently the letter "z" was pronounced
>"zed" then, not only by Kent but in general.]
>
>--Ed Taft

We still pronounce it 'zed' in Ireland, Ed.  Tom Paulin has referred to
the contemporary 'Ulster-Elizabethan' dialect.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 20 Mar 2000 19:42:58 -0500
Subject: 11.0521 Wooden O?
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0521 Wooden O?

>What do people think?

I wooden O

Clifford Stetner
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://phoenix.liu.edu/~cstetner/cds.htm

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 20 Mar 2000 20:36:46 EST
Subject: 11.0535 Re: Wooden O
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0535 Re: Wooden O

Bravo-rkewitz!

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tim Richards <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 21 Mar 2000 14:05:40 +1100
Subject: 11.0535 Re: Wooden O
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0535 Re: Wooden O

Ed Taft wrote:

>Perhaps more relevant, in King Lear, 2.2.65 to Oswald, "Thou whoreson
>zed! Thou unnecessary letter!" [Apparently the letter "z" was pronounced
>"zed" then, not only by Kent but in general.]

Still is pronounced as "zed" here in Australia, and Britain as well.

Tim Richards.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 21 Mar 2000 09:06:13 -0000
Subject: 11.0535 Re: Wooden O
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0535 Re: Wooden O

Re: 'Thou whoreson zed':

The letter 'z' is still pronounced 'zed' in England. And I still find it
difficult to sound it 'zee' when talking to Americans! The Oxford
Complete Works reads 'Thou whoreson Z', thereby leaving pronounciation
open to local variation (The Tragedy of King Lear, 2.2.63).

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Werner Broennimann <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 21 Mar 2000 09:47:39 +0000
Subject: Wooden O?
Comment:        SHK 11.0521 Wooden O?

For the pronunciation of "wooden O" MND 3.2.188 might be of interest
(with reference to the shape of the stars): "Fair Helena; who more
engilds the night Than all yon fiery oes and eyes of light".  Steevens's
emendation of Ant. & Cl. 5.2.81 (or rather the Folio) also speaks
against "nought" as a possible pronunciation: "His face was as the
heav'ns, and therein stuck As sun and moon, whick kept their course and
lighted The little O, th' earth" (F: little o'th'earth).  Among the
numerous passages where "O" refers to the female pudend Hamlet's "For O,
for O, the hobby-horse is forgot" (3.2.129) is relevant, because it
might arguably be echoed semantically, not phonetically, by Ophelia's
"You are naught, you are naught" (3.2.139).  Ophelia is not a zero
punner.  (More "O" parallels in Ernst Leisi, Problemw


Special Edition of "Speaking of Shakespeare"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0550  Friday, 24 March 2000.

From:           John F. Andrews <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday 20 Mar 2000 14:00:11 -0500
Subject:        Special Edition of "Speaking of Shakespeare"

The Shakespeare Guild is pleased to announce a special edition of its
"Speaking of Shakespeare" series, this one to take place on Tuesday,
March 28th, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the National Press Club, 529 14th
Street NW, Washington, DC 20045.

In response to a number of requests, the Guild will show videotaped
highlights from its January 16th Gielgud Award ceremony in London. This
lively celebration took place at Middle Temple Hall, the site of a
famous 1602 performance of "Twelfth Night" in which the playwright
probably appeared, and it focused on Kenneth Branagh as the 2000
recipient of "The Golden Quill" (sorry, Terry, but the selection panel
still hasn't pulled your name from the hat it uses for these door
prizes).

Participants in what turned out to be a scintillating program included
two previous Gielgud laureates, Judi Dench and Derek Jacobi, and such
illustrious colleagues as Keith Baxter, Richard Briers, Samantha Bond,
Helena Bonham Carter, Patrick Doyle, Stephen Fry, Bob Hoskins, Geraldine
McEwan, and Timothy Spall. The evening was also graced by messages, many
of them quite charming, from such luminaries as Woody Allen, Richard
Attenborough, John Cleese, Billy Crystal, Ralph Fiennes, John Gielgud,
Ian McKellen, Martin Scorcese, and Robin Williams. And it received
extensive coverage from sources that included the BBC, Reuters, Sky
News, the Evening Standard, the Guardian, the Independent, the New York
Times, the Telegraph, the [London] Times, and the Washington Post.

Anyone from the SHAKSPER list who'd like to attend this March 28th
screening may do so at a discounted price: the $25 Guild membership
rate, rather than the $35 non-member rate. To reserve spaces, either
call (202) 483-8646 or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Many thanks,
John Andrews

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