2000

Re: Shakespeare's Characters

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2184  Wednesday, 29 November 2000

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 08:58:15 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2170 Re: Shakespeare's Characters (Was Fops)

[2]     From:   Edmund Taft, <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 15:59:50 -0500
        Subj:   Shakespeare's Characters (Was Fops)

[3]     From:   Tony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 19:41:54 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2155 Re: Fops, text-audience relationship

[4]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 21:28:01 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2170 Re: Shakespeare's Characters (Was Fops)

[5]     From:   Brian Vickers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 29 Nov 2000 15:23:50 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 11.2155 Shakespeare's characters (formerly Fops)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 08:58:15 -0600
Subject: 11.2170 Re: Shakespeare's Characters (Was Fops)
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2170 Re: Shakespeare's Characters (Was Fops)

 Lucia A. Setari writes:

>I would like to put it in the following way: A dead person becomes like
>a fictional character, because he becomes part of a story which takes
>place in the survivors' minds and to some (sometimes large) extent is
>shaped by them. What a dead person did in his life not only is no longer
>changeable (nor explainable) by him, but also undergoes a sort of
>cutting in the survivors' memory, which is very like a film-cutting and
>a re-construction of a story (very like, for instance, the
>reconstruction of Hamlet's story by Shakespeare).  The dead become
>fictional characters themselves, in a way.

Auden put it this way:

Now he is scattered among a hundred cities
And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections
 .    .    .
The words of a dead man
Are modified in the guts of the living. ("In Memory of W. B. Yeats")

I confess that I will miss "Re: Fops" if only because it was a reminder
that it began as a rather concrete discussion of Shakespeare's attitude
toward foppishness, with regard to specific characters (Osric, Hamlet,
Hotspur, etc.) and in general to courtiers and their manners. The drift
into ologies and Others and cognition (which begins to sound to my
Poohish brain like something about to go wrong on my car) has left me
somewhat cold. Ms. Setari's observation may not have the haunting
quality of Auden's but it has the same clarity and specificity.

What is honor? A word. What is in that word honor? what is that honor?
Air. A trim reckoning. Who hath it? He that died o' Wednesday.

Don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft, <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 15:59:50 -0500
Subject:        Shakespeare's Characters (Was Fops)

Bill Godshalk points out that Shakespeare's "foul papers" are at several
removes from any text we have today.  True enough. Scribes, print house
editors, compositors, and later editors all potentially stand in the
way.  But isn't it also true, Bill, that if Gary Taylor and Michael
Warren are right, Shakespeare may have taken far more of an interest in
seeing the First Folio through press than we used to think?  The changes
between Q and F _King Lear_ suggest authorial revision and the strong
possibility that Shakespeare was much interested in getting the First
Folio right, no?

On the other hand, we might ask if this "retired" Shakespeare was the
same man who originally wrote these plays. [This is NOT the authorship
question!]

Ed Taft

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 19:41:54 -0500
Subject: 11.2155 Re: Fops, text-audience relationship
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2155 Re: Fops, text-audience relationship

I wish I could ignore Sean Lawrence's last post, and leave him to his
deadlines, but it just won't do.  That hypothetical starving child to
whom he and I both agree we must respond, and do so in a way that is not
"wrong" or "callous" certainly  possesses a "thereness" which I don't
want to deny.  But we recognize the "thereness" as a human being, not a
puppet or a tree which each has a "thereness" of its own, and that
recognition makes all the difference in respect of our responses, and
our judgments on the responses of others.  And that means we each carry
within us an image or at least a sense of what it is to be a human being
(or any other subject of response, or impulse to  right action).

But that inner image lies within us all, in the world of noumena and not
outside in the world of phenomena.  And so too does the sense of a
shared quality we may call "humanness,"  that prompts us in the first
place to form an opinion whether someone else is "right" or "wrong",
"sensitive" or "callous."  Such obligations as we may feel in different
siuations follow from and depend upon an already established sense of
connections that make "thereness" recognizable for whatever it is.

Since the effective source of everything that smacks of legal, moral, or
any other species of obligation or claim flows from that inner realm I
refer to as "noumenal,"  it is essential from my point of view to
develop a real sense for the difference between what is noumenal and
what is phenomenal, and for the different ways they come into our
consciousness and work upon us.   Without that sense, we are not free
agents but only the servants of past judgments made by others.
Admittedly, only a small portion of us operates in that rarefied
self-awareness required for such free action, at any given time.   But
the discussion of moral obligations, and the effect of dramatized
examples on what we may do in the future, certainly applies only to the
special moments when we can use our higher capacities, when we are free
from the familiar effects of habit, fatigue, passion, social and family
commitments, illness, drugs, or other impediments.  And it follows that,
contrary to what Sean says,  any discussion of those special moments
absolutely requires us to put the questions of epistemology and ontology
into the foreground and prior to any assumption that we know what
"ought" to be done in any situation.

Tony B

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 21:28:01 -0800
Subject: 11.2170 Re: Shakespeare's Characters (Was Fops)
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2170 Re: Shakespeare's Characters (Was Fops)

Bill Godshalk writes:

> Cognitive research suggests that persons do choose what will enter their
> conscious worlds.  The choice itself may not be conscious, but our
> brains do not give all sensory data the same status.  The world we
> perceive is a world that is selected by the brain and limited by our
> capacity to perceive.

Ordinary experience suggests that we sometimes try not to see something,
and find ourselves unable.

> If we humans do not create "obligations," where do they come from?

Elsewhere.  I'm not sure how I could answer your question, other than to
say that I do not accept that we entirely create our worlds.  To accept
that would be to elevate people into gods.

Cheers,
Se


Re: Forbidden Planet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2183  Wednesday, 29 November 2000

[1]     From:   Lisa Hopkins <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 14:13:04 +0000
        Subj:   Forbidden Planet

[2]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 15:12:21 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2171 Re: Forbidden Planet

[3]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 08:42:06 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 11.2171 Re: Forbidden Planet

[4]     From:   John Ramsay <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 18:17:54 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2154 Forbidden Planet/Forbidden Attribution


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lisa Hopkins <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 14:13:04 +0000
Subject:        Forbidden Planet

At the ESSE conference in Helsinki this summer Judith Buchanan of the
University of York gave a very interesting paper on The Forbidden Planet
in which she argued that the parallel with The Tempest was not
'discovered' until some time after the film was made.  It certainly
wasn't mentioned in the early posters for the film.  I will forward the
discussion so far to her and see if she would like to comment further.

Lisa Hopkins
Sheffield Hallam University

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 15:12:21 -0000
Subject: 11.2171 Re: Forbidden Planet
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2171 Re: Forbidden Planet

The film Forbidden Planet improves on Shakespeare's play in at least one
respect. The arrivals at the outpost of Morbius and his daughter are
sent there by their superiors, not made abandon ship by the likeness of
a storm.  One would think, then, that there's no tempest and the main
link with Shakespeare's play lost. But the tempest is retained in an
oddly attenuated form: an awkward moment of muted collective panic when
the navigator mismanages the deceleration from lightspeed. Intellectual
hubris forms the major theme of the film and, in an allusion to the
mythical Greek Icarus, the navigator's error brings the spaceship too
close to the sun.

In Forbidden Planet, as in Derek Jarman's film (in which the storm is
dreamt of by Prospero) the arch-creator is subject to forces of which he
is unaware. The 'monster' in Forbidden Planet is a manifestation of
Morbius/Prospero's id and, artificially enhanced, it threatens to
destroy all. The arrivals on the island discover this and leave smugly
edified about their own human limitations. But they don't connect this
lesson to the brush with disaster they'd experienced upon arrival and
are therefore likely to repeat the error. They understand being told not
to (forbidden) but do not appreciate being proleptically warned
(fore-bidden).

Gabriel Egan

PS Like a woodcut in the early modern printshop, stock storm footage
circulates freely. Jarman's storm images appeared 20 years earlier to
accompany Tony Hancock's voyage to Baffin Land (BBC TV Hancock's Half
Hour "The Emigrant").

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 08:42:06 -0800
Subject: Re: Forbidden Planet
Comment:        SHK 11.2171 Re: Forbidden Planet

Carol Morley,

You wrote that you

> don't see how you can miss the deliberate use of a scenario with B-movie
> parallels to Prospero, Miranda, Ferdinand, Ariel and Caliban for
> starters.

I grant you Prospero, Miranda, and Ariel up to a point, but not the
others.  I'll explain.

Mobius, his daughter, and Robbie the Robot do roughly correspond to
Prospero/Miranda/Ariel.  I can see that.  But I don't see how the id
monster resembles Caliban except as a placeholder.  Its function in the
story is entirely different.  In fact, the relationship between Mobius
and child is entirely different than the relationship between Prospero
and Miranda, as are the plots.  Prospero wants to wed Miranda to
Ferdinand to bring stability when he returns as Duke of Milan after he
leaves the island.  Mobius would prefer the space cowboys didn't know
his daughter is on the planet, though they find out because, as Raymond
Chandler wrote, Hollywood only knows how to tell love stories.  Mobius
does not want to leave the planet, as Prospero does the island, and he
somehow creates the id monster so no one can.  There is a very light
parallel in that both have a love of learning and both renounce their
power in the end.

There is a kind of correspondence between the two clowns in The Tempest
and the FP cook's addiction to bourbon.  Kiss the book.  Of course the
Ariel character becomes his supplier.  There is also something near the
end about forgiveness, very vague.  That covers all the correspondences
I noticed, so the connection seems dubious to me.  By extracting those
relatively few similarities, I have made the two seem much closer than
they play.  Let's add that most of the plot points from The Tempest are
missing from FP, and most of the plot points in FP are not in The
Tempest.

Have you noticed how much FP resembles Star Trek?  That is actually a
much closer analog than The Tempest, especially to the first Star Trek
pilot which is very much about a keeper (or keepers) preventing others
from leaving the planet.  You even have the captain, the doctor, the
prominence of the second in command.  It is easier for me to imagine
Roddenberry swiping from FP, then FP swiping from The Tempest.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Ramsay <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 18:17:54 -0500
Subject: 11.2154 Forbidden Planet/Forbidden Attribution
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2154 Forbidden Planet/Forbidden Attribution

Try using the Internet Movie Database. The entry for Forbidden Planet
lists the authors, including Shakespeare.

John Ramsay
Welland Ontario

Shakespeare Spoof

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2181  Tuesday, 28 November 2000

From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, November 28, 2000
Subject:        Shakespeare Spoof

Dear SHAKSPEReans:

The following was contributed by a new member to the conference Gary
Sloan. Gary writes commentary for a large news service. The piece was
rejected on these grounds as cited by the chief editor: "Gary, I'm not
going to use this piece.  Trust me, newspaper readers won't get it.
They will think it's factual.  They'll be calling editors to get more
information about the find."

"Shakespeare Tries to Get It Right"

Shakespeare has long been hailed an inspired genius, a gifted soul for
whom writing was as easy as breathing.  His theatrical colleagues
boasted he never blotted a line.  Mellifluous words poured from his pen
as nectar from an Olympian chalice.

Now, from Stratford-on-Avon, comes news sure to set the literati on
their collective ear.  A remarkable find is here reported for the first
time.

Flourish of trumpets, please.  Or, if you prefer, strumpets.

Three pages from an autograph manuscript of Hamlet were found wadded in
a tankard near the former site of a Stratford tavern.   Never before had
any 'foul papers,' as scholars call the original drafts of the Bard's
plays, been found.  This foul is fair.

Here is a descriptio externa of the pages.

They contain ninety-five lines of text.  Every line, except the last,
has been struck out, as have words scrawled between the lines
(interlineations) and in the margins.  The third page has a large
star-burst splatter, as if ink were slung at it.   Each page has been
ripped vertically from the top center almost to the bottom.  Under
laboratory analysis, two of the pages reveal trace chemicals associated
with human saliva, as though someone spit on them.

The final line, the unblotted one, is in a hand different from the rest.

The ninety-four deleted lines appear to be permutations of the idea
expressed in the final line, now famous.  Clearly, Shakespeare labored
hard to be Shakespearean.

His indefatigable revisions give teeth to a comment by Edgar Allan Poe.
Most writers, he said, 'would positively shudder at letting the public
take a look behind the scenes at the elaborate and vacillating crudities
of thought, cautious selections and rejections, painful erasures and
interpolations' that precede the final product.

Before the discovery of the Tankard Papers, the highest level of genius
-- Shakespeare, Homer, Dante, Milton, and the like -- was thought exempt
from the sublunary indecisiveness and tinkering described by Poe.

Now we have reason to believe Thomas Edison's maxim admits no
exceptions:  Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent
perspiration.

What a boost the Tankard Papers give to writers everywhere!  Heretofore,
thousands have been balked by the myth that great writers are born, not
made.  Too often, when words fail to come trippingly off their tongues,
novices abandon their literary dreams, assuming you've either got it or
you haven't.

Now they will know the only barrier between them and Shakespeare is
pertinacity, pertinacity, and more pertinacity.  They will know, too,
that cursing, wadding, ripping, and spitting on paper is okay.

Observe the Bard at work.  Watch him discard line after line as he, or
Hamlet, searches for the mot juste, the perfect words:

'Life virtue indeed hath, but so doth death.'

'Should a noble man, then, do himself in''

'Doth a prince ignobly himself do in''

'Be it base to bare-bodkin your own self''

'Should I on my own petard myself hoist''

'Self-slaughter or self-preservation: which''

Here is the penultimate revision, number 94:

'To live or to die: now that's a tough one.'

Then, eureka, pertinacity reaps its reward:  'To be or not to be:  that
is the question.'

Scholars note the handwriting in line 95 matches Anne Hathaway's.  Some
indulge a wild fantasy'namely, that Mrs. Shakespeare ghostwrote her
husband's plays.

Such speculation, in my judgment, is irresponsible, unethical, and
perverse.  Undoubtedly, Hathaway was simply an amanuensis, a helpmate,
writing down her husband's hard-earned words.

Pertinacity, I say: that is the way.

This is my twenty-seventh draft.  My wife merely . . . tied up a few
loose ends.

The End

Gary Sloan,
305 E. Colorado Ave.,
Ruston, LA  71270
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

King James Query

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2182  Wednesday, 29 November 2000

From:           Steve Sohmer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 28 Nov 2000 08:43:02 EST
Subject:        King James Query

Dear Shakspers,

Can anyone direct me to a scholar who is a bona fide expert on King
James I of England?

Many thanks.

Steve

Re: The Merchant of Florida

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2180  Tuesday, 28 November 2000

[1]     From:   Jeffrey Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Nov 2000 10:49:50 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.2164 Re: The Merchant of Florida

[2]     From:   Christopher Moore <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Nov 2000 14:42:30 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2164 Re: The Merchant of Florida

[3]     From:   Tim Perfect <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Nov 2000 20:18:25 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2164 Re: The Merchant of Florida


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jeffrey Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Nov 2000 10:49:50 -0500
Subject: 11.2164 Re: The Merchant of Florida
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.2164 Re: The Merchant of Florida

> How about George W as Hal?  Doing lines with Falstaff, driving around
> drunk, and insider trading until his conversion when he rises to the
> occasion of avenging his father on his enemies, putting down the rebel
> Democrats, sending criminals to the chair, and succeeding to
> the throne
> to become the ideal Christian president?

Well, the only problem is that Bush and Cheney aren't nearly smart
enough or articulate enough to be Hal and Falstaff.

Jeff Myers

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christopher Moore <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Nov 2000 14:42:30 -0800
Subject: 11.2164 Re: The Merchant of Florida
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2164 Re: The Merchant of Florida

I agree with the George W.  as Hal.  Oddly he seems to match Hal on
several points. As for Gore,  before all the Florida trouble, I noticed
several lines from Gore's speeches that echo or recall Richard III.  A
few of the lines were Gore's "I am my own man"    is Richard's "I am
myself alone"

From a Gore speech in Chicago two days before the election: "I can
smile, and fight for you while I smile." This clearly echoes Richard's
famous lines from Henry VI pt. 3 "Why I can smile and murder while I
smile."

A clip of Gore on the morning after the announcement about Bush's
D.U.I.  showed him at a "prayer breakfast".  There Gore was quoting
scripture to such a great extent that it dawned on me that perhaps he
was "clothing his naked villainy in old odd ends stolen out of holy writ
and seem a saint when most he plays the devil".

Then I began to think about his "image" concerns.  In his own way he has
entertained a score or two of tailors.  There are other elements also,
though I haven't had time to research more speeches.  Now with all this
going on in Florida, I watch in amazement colored by the coincidences I
observed before the election.  Independent of political affiliations,
the coincidences are amazing.  Perhaps Gore has a Shakespeare fan as a
speech writer, but why they would allude to Richard III is beyond me.
I'd like to study more of Gore's speeches to see other lines that recall
Richard.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tim Perfect <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Nov 2000 20:18:25 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 11.2164 Re: The Merchant of Florida
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2164 Re: The Merchant of Florida

Also:

Shall I compare thee to a hanging chad?
Thou art more stable, and thou meaneth more.
A paper square brings news both good and bad
when knocked off cards, or picked up off the floor.
Sometimes too weak the hanging chad is hung,
and often are the corners frayed and torn.
Thus hanging chads are votes that have been sung.
A pregnant chad?  A vote that died unborn.
Yet shall this verdant land be ruled by dots
of paper that are easily misread?
The presidency is not drawn by lots,
but by the wishes of the folk, instead.

If counting votes by hand is all we had,
my stomach's fit to burst with eaten chad.

Ahh, the classics.

Tim Perfect

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