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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: September ::
Re: Women's Roles
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1711  Monday, 11 September 2000.

[1]     From:   Tiffany Rasovic <
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        Date:   Friday, 08 Sep 2000 08:48:56 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1707 Re: Castration reference

[2]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Sep 2000 10:10:45 -0700
        Subj:   Fw: SHK 11.1707 Re: Women's Roles

[3]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Sep 2000 12:56:35 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 11.1707 Re: Women's Roles

[4]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Friday, 08 Sep 2000 14:08:22 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 11.1707 Re: Women's Roles

[5]     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Sunday, 10 Sep 2000 12:08:56 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1701 Re: Women's Roles


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tiffany Rasovic <
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Date:           Friday, 08 Sep 2000 08:48:56 -0400
Subject: 11.1707 Re: Castration reference
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1707 Re: Castration reference

Hello...

On the castration practice in medicine and other realms, see a chapter
called "The Castrator's Song" in Dympna Callghan's Shakespeare Without
Women.  It is a compelling part of an overall excellent book.  Also
check out the chapter on The Tempest and the Irish.

Yours,
TR

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul E. Doniger <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Sep 2000 10:10:45 -0700
Subject: 11.1707 Re: Women's Roles
Comment:        Fw: SHK 11.1707 Re: Women's Roles

See also _A Midsummer ND_: 5.1.44-45(Pelican Edition), "'The battle with
the Centaurs, to be sung / By an Athenian eunich to the harp.'" But I
doubt that the Elizabethans engaged in this practice; it was probably an
'exotic' idea to them. Does anyone have evidence either way?

Paul E. Doniger
The Gilbert School

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Sep 2000 12:56:35 -0400
Subject: Re: Women's Roles
Comment:        SHK 11.1707 Re: Women's Roles

Dear Bill Godshalk,

Your fretting about castration prompts me to reassure you that,
historically, the English have tended to favour its metaphorical, rather
than its surgical dimension. Vested in the deployment of titles and
'honours',' it is viewed more as a political than a musical stratagem.
Not that these are necessarily discrete pursuits: the goal -harmony-
remains the same. Of course, following Holinshed, Shakespeare does draw
attention to the physical procedure as a specifically Welsh (and female)
practice (1 Henry 1V, 1,1,34-6). But don't, as we tell students in
Cardiff, try this at home.

Terence Hawkes

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Friday, 08 Sep 2000 14:08:22 -0400
Subject: Re: Women's Roles
Comment:        SHK 11.1707 Re: Women's Roles

This thread has produced reiterated assumptions that adolescent boys
lack some quality necessary for effective performances in roles like
Cleopatra and Lady Macbeth.  Having experienced beautifully complex and
nuanced performances by young actors in other kinds of roles (Dorothy
Egan's wonderful work as Mary in the original New York production of
*Secret Garden* comes to mind, and the remarkable girl in *The Miracle
Worker* at Stratford (Ont.) a couple of seasons back--I am ashamed to
have forgotten her name), I will not be persuaded that such actors could
not handle the big tragic female parts in Shakespeare until I have seen
half-a-dozen well-trained and talented 16-year-olds try and fail.  Or
hear from somebody who has so seen.

David Evett

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Sunday, 10 Sep 2000 12:08:56 GMT
Subject: 11.1701 Re: Women's Roles
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1701 Re: Women's Roles

I seem to remember the subject of castration was raised some time ago on
this list - I know of no evidence that it was ever practised in England
- though it certainly was in Italy.

David Lindley
 

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