2000

Re: Fops

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1896  Monday, 9 October 2000.

[1]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 06 Oct 2000 10:47:36 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1888 Re: Fops

[2]     From:   Tony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 6 Oct 2000 12:44:42 -0400
        Subj:   Fops

[3]     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 6 Oct 2000 13:30:25 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 11.1888 Re: Fops


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 06 Oct 2000 10:47:36 -0400
Subject: 11.1888 Re: Fops
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1888 Re: Fops

Don Bloom writes:

>But two other questions immediately arise: the relationship of this
>effeminacy to homosexuality and to gender stereotyping. Now it may be
>that the comic quality of the fop derives from anti-homosexual
>attitudes, but I suspect not. I think it comes from the general
>absurdity commonly found in anyone who violates public expectations (in
>a non-threatening way). Men who have feminine mannerisms appear silly
>and thus become appropriate objects of contemptuous humor - as is the
>invariable case in Restoration comedy as well as these two instances in
>Shakespeare. What they do in bed and with whom does not, it seems to me,
>have anything to do with this case.

Perhaps part of our problem is that we tend to confuse literary
characters with real people.  Literary characters are merely words on
paper (or on the computer screen), and they don't have basic sexual
drives.

But we pretend that they do.  So I can make believe that fops like Sir
Amorous La Foole are gay, and Don can make believe that they are not.
The only thing I'm sure of is that Sir Amorous does not go to bed with
men or boys or girls or women!  He's only words on a page -- until an
actor interprets those words in one way or another.

Yours,
Bill Godshalk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 6 Oct 2000 12:44:42 -0400
Subject:        Fops

I am reluctant to use this site as a ping pong table for endless
corrections and refinements of what was once stated loosely and
conversationally, but in the interest of clarification, let me add to my
last post.   A key point of my 1984 Shakespeare Bulletin article about
Osric was that the "lapwing" reference implied something very different
from foppery or dandification, an implication that Don Bloom (and
probably others, too) seems to take for granted.  Hamlet, already known
to us as "the glass of fashion and the mould of form" is an unlikely
candidate for contrasting in any significant way with a courtier
preoccupied with details of his attire;  that sort of opposition makes
better sense with  non-nonsense martial types like Macbeth, Coriolanus,
or Brutus.

But as early as Chaucer, the lapwing was an emblem of deceit, from its
practice of protecting its nest, eggs, and chicks from predators by
feigning a broken wing and fluttering in apparent helplessness to
distract and draw the predator farther and farther from its nest until,
satisfied that the danger was averted, it could fly away safely.  The
presumed plume of feathers suggested by the name Osric [Ostrich; compare
F1 Osricke] and the by-play about his hat corresponds to the lapwing's
distinguishing feature, a prominent crest; and is therefore symbolic
more of the central lapwing association with deceit than with millinery
styles.  Jenkins's (Arden) note on "waterfly" in connection with
extravagant attire takes the word to signify principally a "trifler" or
someone insignificant and superficial, and only by extension puffed-up
with insubstantial matter and therefore suggestive of either braggadocio
or fanciful attire. I think we might possibly add also "short-lived" or
"seasonal," with respect to any favorites in Claudius's recently
established court.

Osric's jargon is Latinate rather than Frenchified, that being a
familiar affectation for Elizabethans.  Surely there is plenty of room
for cross-over associations between Osric and bona fide fops and
dandies,  but it obscures the entire last scene and Osric's central role
in it, to think of him as primarily a figure of sexual satire.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 6 Oct 2000 13:30:25 -0400
Subject: Re: Fops
Comment:        SHK 11.1888 Re: Fops

The work of Bruce R. Smith makes the case that effeminacy and
homosexuality were not equated in the early modern period. Quite the
reverse. Effeminacy was thought to result from a man taking too great a
sexual interest in women. The association of homosexual activity with
effeminacy seems not to occur until the 18th century. See Bruce R. Smith
'Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare's England' (University of Chicago
Press, 1991) p. 171 et passim.

T. Hawkes

Help Tracking Down a Passage

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1895  Friday, 6 October 2000.

From:           Gregory Machacek <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 6 Oct 2000 09:20:52 -0400
Subject:        Help Tracking Down a Passage

I wonder if members of the list could help me track down a critical
passage I recall reading but can't seem to put my finger on again.  It
was a comment about occupations/professions that readers through the
ages have been sure Shakespeare practiced.  The passage either took the
form of a simple list--"Various readers have claimed that Shakespeare
must have been a lawyer, a soldier, a sailor . . . "--or a slightly more
complex list: "Lawyers who have read him have been sure that he
practiced law, soldiers that he was a military man, sailors that he had
spent time on the sea . .  ."  The point that the author of the passage
was making, if I recall correctly, had to do with Shakespeare's
vocabulary:  that his command of even the technical terminology of
various walks of life was so great as to give the impression that he
must have been a practitioner of all of those fields.

My sense is that the passage I'm looking for appears in some basic
resource on Shakespeare.  I thought, for instance, that it might be from
the general introduction to one of the complete works editions, but I've
looked there to no avail.  Can anyone help?

Thanks in advance.

Gregory Machacek
Marist College

Re: Shakespeare in Schools

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1893  Friday, 6 October 2000.

From:           Bob Haas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 05 Oct 2000 18:05:50 -0400
Subject: 11.1875 Re: Shakespeare in Schools
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1875 Re: Shakespeare in Schools

> But for those of us who vaguely think as I do, we have the last laugh.
> It was said by an Oxford Shakespearian editor that Hamlet changed
> western thinking.  So in a sense, whether we like him or loathe him we
> are all in a Hamletian future.

Hamletian?  I'm not so certain that I care for this adjective.  Might we
consider some others?

Hamletesque?  Artful

Hamletician?  Paternal.

Hamletarian?  With authority

Hamletastic?  Super!

Hamletiffic?  A close cousin to the above.

Hamlescent?  Luminous and shiny--above all, enlightening.

Hamleticious?  Flavor of the millennium.

Hamletenacious?  Yes, it's long, but we will get through it!

Hamlovian?  Of course it's the greatest play ever written.  Don't be
stupid!

Now, this is serious stuff, not to be taken lightly.  Consider a grain
of salt . . . and your favorite, refreshing beverage.

Cheers, bob

RE: Student Essays/Topics

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1894  Friday, 6 October 2000.

From:           Philip Tomposki <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 5 Oct 2000 19:20:19 EDT
Subject:        RE: Student Essays/Topics

>Philip Weller's posting raises a question which has often intrigued me -
>in the UK we customarily set essay topics in the form, say, of a
>quotation from a critic (real or imagined) with the invitation to
>discuss it.  I have found, over the years, that students on various JYA
>programmes from the US and Canada almost never answer the question as
>formulated, but rewrite it into something more generalised. So, for
>example, a question on colonialism in the Tempest might quote Paul
>Brown, or Meredith Skura or another influential critic - but the answer
>I get just puts 'Colonialism in the Tempest' at its head, and refuses
>the specific 'take' of the critical quotation.
>
>Is this just an example of different educational practice?  Is this,
>perhaps, why plagiarism from web sites is a bit more difficult to bring
>off in the UK?  (Though, of course, plagiarism of various kinds is an
>ever-present and growing problem.)
>
>David Lindley

I'm not sure about our Canadian friends, but I suspect U.S. students who
refuse to answer the question as asked are simply following the lead of
their political leaders.  One does not have to tune in long to any
political debate to appreciate how adept our politicos have become at
answering the question they are asked with the answer to the question
they would like to have been asked.

Philip Tomposki

Re: Detective Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1892  Friday, 6 October 2000.

From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 5 Oct 2000 22:06:43 +0100
Subject: 11.1878 Re: Detective Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1878 Re: Detective Shakespeare

I'm not quite sure that it counts as a "detective novel", but Nigel
Dennis' magnificent +Cards of Identity+ (1955) culminates in a
performance of that well-known Shakespeare play, +The Prince of Antioch+
[text provided in the novel] in which a character dies in the course of
the performance of the play.

Much of its time, both in terms of Shakespearean criticism [the theme of
identity] and politics [the Abbey of Redeemed Communists], but still
pungent, like well-aged mustard.

Robin Hamilton

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