2000

Re: Merchant of Venice

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0867  Thursday, 20 April 2000.

From:           Dale Lyles <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 19 Apr 2000 12:45:50 EDT
Subject: 11.0850 Re: Merchant of Venice
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0850 Re: Merchant of Venice

Please tell me Judy Craig did not use the phrase "missing this point" in
this discussion.

Dale Lyles
Newnan Community Theatre Company

Re: Anti-Shakespeareans

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0866  Thursday, 20 April 2000.

[1]     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 19 Apr 2000 12:32:31 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 11.0862 Anti-Shakespeareans

[2]     From:   Chris Clark <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 20 Apr 2000 00:48:07 +0100
        Subj:   Anti-Shakespeareans

[3]     From:   Ed Kranz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 19 Apr 2000 21:50:45 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0862 Anti-Shakespeareans


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 19 Apr 2000 12:32:31 -0400
Subject: Anti-Shakespeareans
Comment:        SHK 11.0862 Anti-Shakespeareans

Abdulla al-Dabbagh raises an interesting matter. It is curious how, on
the subject, say, of King Lear, not especially gifted undergraduates
suddenly turn out to be more discerning than Tolstoy,  Dr Johnson,
Charles Lamb or Thackeray, to say nothing of the tin-eared botcher who
cut some of the finest lines from each version of the play-that is,
Shakespeare himself.  Could it, I wonder, have anything to do with what
we critical theorists deftly term 'history'?

T. Hawkes

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Clark <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 20 Apr 2000 00:48:07 +0100
Subject:        Anti-Shakespeareans

In response to Abdulla's question about antipathy towards Shakespeare, I
don't think it's necessarily fair to call this unconscious/inverted
flattery. There are two points to note. The first is that some people
may actually (gasp) think that Shakespeare is either not very good or
even (double gasp) dull. However, for me, one of the major reasons why
there is this anti-Shakespeare feeling is because he has been turned
into a canonical fetish object. Sinfield points out the ideological
appropriation of Shakespeare for conservative (and often even English
nationalist) purposes. Let's not talk about how "effective" Shakespeare
is - let's look at the works and the context and let's look at how the
individual reaction to the works is rooted in its context. I am
personally responding to this post as an anti-establishment, English
radical. So maybe that shapes my response in some way. I think I've made
my point. Over to you.

Chris Clark
King's College London
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Kranz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 19 Apr 2000 21:50:45 -0400
Subject: 11.0862 Anti-Shakespeareans
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0862 Anti-Shakespeareans

Abdullah- Check out the following:

When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder
that such trivial people should muse and thunder
in such lovely language.

Lear, the old buffer, you wonder his daughters
didn't treat him rougher,
the old chough, the old chuffer.

And Hamlet, how boring, how boring to live with,
so mean and self-conscious, blowing and snoring
his wonderful speeches, full of other folk's whoring!

And Macbeth and his Lady, who should have been
choring,
such suburban ambition, so messily goring
old Duncan with daggers!

It's by D H Lawrence- I'm not sure he qualifies as a major writer.

Ed Kranz

"against eloquence"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0864  Thursday, 20 April 2000.

From:           Frank Whigham <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 19 Apr 2000 10:25:41 -0500
Subject:        "against eloquence"

Does anyone know of any writers (classical or otherwise known to
Renaissance writers) who inveigh against eloquence, whether seriously or
ironically?

Many thanks.

Frank Whigham

Re: Some Thoughts

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0865  Thursday, 20 April 2000.

From:           Dale Lyles <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 19 Apr 2000 12:26:47 EDT
Subject: 11.0819 Re: Some Thoughts
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0819 Re: Some Thoughts

In a message dated 4/17/00 11:49:36 AM, Bill Godshalk writes:

<< I suppose that new borns begin constructing meaning (at, perhaps, an
elementary level).  Are they born with a "prior ethical commitment"? >>

A good question.  They're born with grammar, which develops into many
different languages around the globe.  Is there any school of thought
that suggest the same thing for ethics, that we're hardwired for some
kind of "ethical commitment"?

Dale Lyles
Newnan Community Theatre Company

Re: Is Rubinstein Reliable?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0863  Thursday, 20 April 2000.

From:           Martin Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 19 Apr 2000 10:56:41 -0400
Subject: 11.0827 Is Rubinstein Reliable?
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0827 Is Rubinstein Reliable?

Yes, Frankie Rubinstein IS "reliable" (if by that word is meant that the
sexual meanings she finds in Shakespeare's words are scrupulously
documented from non-Shakespearean sources, and that the examples given
of Shakespeare's use of these words in a way which clearly invites the
imputation to them of the sexual meanings she has identified are almost
always, once she has pointed out the sexual aspect of a pun, not only
irresistible, but often remarkably illuminating, making sense of a word
or phrase which otherwise seems ill-chosen or out of place). So no,
don't trash her work, but trash rather the work of all those
commentators  - - unfortunately, the great majority of those now
writing  - - who do not take into account her findings and
observations.   Why they ignore her, I don't know, but I suspect it is
because so many of their reputations are built upon their
incomprehensible disquisitions on the plays as revelatory of
Shakespeare's supposed political, social, religious and philosophical
notions, that they have a vested interest in Shakespeare's writings not
being infused to so remarkable an extent with references to things so
earthy as the joys and pains of sexual relationships, and the
instruments of those joys and pains.

Which makes Shakespeare more understandable and thus less mysterious,
but not therefore less profound, for sexual needs, thoughts, drives,
etc., are a major component of the lives of almost all human beings, and
insofar as sex, sexual words and sexual thoughts are immanent in
Shakespeare's writings, Shakespeare does indeed hold the mirror up to
nature.  Freud employed many of the story lines in Shakespeare's
writings to illustrate his theories and observations about sexual
interactions among people; Frankie Rubinstein has demonstrated - -
absolutely convincingly, in my opinion - - that Shakespeare's very words
and phrases reflect his profound awareness of the basic substratum of
sex in the human mind, and the ever-presence, and thus driving force, of
sexual thoughts and impulses in the words we use and the things we do.

This does not mean that Shakespeare's plays are devoid of religious,
political, philosophical, etc., ideas and perhaps even messages. But it
does mean, I think, that Shakespeare sees sexual impulses and interests
as having a major impact upon our principled ideas and convictions, and
often subverting them.  Sonnet 129, it should be remembered, is more
than a meditation upon sex as  "before a joy proposed, behind a dreame";
it is a statement that the sexual drive - - lust - - is capable of
anything to achieve satisfaction:  it is "perjurd, murdrous, blouddy
full of blame,/ Savage, extreame, rude, cruell, not to trust,/ . . .
Past reason hunted . . . . /Mad in pursut . . . . / . . . the heaven
that leads men to this hell." If there can be any criticism of Ms.
Rubinstein's work, it is not that she is unreliable, but that she is
altogether too reliable, for her acute demonstrations of the sexual
intentions and significance of so many of Shakespeare's words often has
the effect of causing people, when they realize the full implications of
what is being said, not to like what had been some of their favorite
passages.  If that is a fault, it is not hers, but Shakespeare's - -
except that, as already stated, I think that Shakespeare's
venereally-infected vocabulary is not a vice, but an oblique verbal
exposition of what motivates so much of what his characters (and we) do
and say.

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