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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: October ::
Re: Fops
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1849  Monday, 2 October 2000.

[1]     From:   Tony Burton <
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        Date:   Friday, 29 Sep 2000 10:38:00 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1844 Re: Fops

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Friday, 29 Sep 2000 09:33:00 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1844 Re: Fops

[3]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Friday, 29 Sep 2000 14:07:56 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1844 Re: Fops


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tony Burton <
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Date:           Friday, 29 Sep 2000 10:38:00 -0400
Subject: 11.1844 Re: Fops
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1844 Re: Fops

The overworked image of Osric as fop, if not a flaming, limp-wristed,
lisping, comic faggot, has very little to commend it in light of Osric's
rather central role in the climactic wager and sword-play that wraps up
the Hamlet story.  Back in about 1984 I wrote a short piece for the
Shakespeare Bulletin ("Hamlet, Osric, and the Duel") that argued
(brilliantly, I think) from the text and especially the significance of
the Ossa and Pelion references that Osric's verbal extravagance was a
coldly calculated device engineered by Claudius to stir Hamlet to anger
and distract him from reflecting on a challenge that under the
circumstances was pretty obviously a trap.  Osric is a lot deeper and
more evil than he is laughable, and I commend my article to the
unsatisfied.  All those who think Shakespeare's language is too hard for
modern minds and that unintelligibility is part of the
western-colonialist conspiracy, are excused.

Tony B.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Friday, 29 Sep 2000 09:33:00 -0700
Subject: 11.1844 Re: Fops
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1844 Re: Fops

Patrick Buckridge speculates that

> I don't know how much this applies to Osric, who comes very early in the
> history of foppery (perhaps preceded only by the Earl of Oxford, as
> described by Gabriel Harvey in his Anti-Cicernianus).

I'm wondering whether Absolon, from Chaucer's "The Miller's Tale", would
qualify, being overdressed and "somdeel squaymous" (3337-3338).

Cheers,
Se

 

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