2001

Re: Lear's Estate Planning

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0396  Tuesday, 20 February 2001

[1]     From:   J. Birjepatil <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 16 Feb 2001 11:26:32 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0389 Re: Lear's Estate Plann

[2]     From:   L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 16 Feb 2001 14:29:39 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0389 Re: Lear's Estate Planning

[3]     From:   Marcus Dahl <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 16 Feb 2001 19:21:01 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0389 Re: Lear's Estate Planning

[4]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 17 Feb 2001 19:00:59 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0389 Re: Lear's Estate Planning


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           J. Birjepatil <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 16 Feb 2001 11:26:32 +0000
Subject: 12.0389 Re: Lear's Estate Planning
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0389 Re: Lear's Estate Planning

I suspect Lear has to enact in presence of witnesses the division of
kingdom in order to secure for it legal validity. The controversy
surrounding marriages de futuro as opposed to de presenti in Measure For
Measure turns on the issue of their relative legality.

Jay Birjepatil

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 16 Feb 2001 14:29:39 -0600
Subject: 12.0389 Re: Lear's Estate Planning
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0389 Re: Lear's Estate Planning

Edmund Taft wrote,

> Significantly, no one in the play seems to object to Lear's plan to
> divide the kingdom -- odd, isn't it?  He does give a reason: "that
> future strife/May be prevented now" 1.1.44-45).

Future strife might best have been prevented by handing over the whole
kingdom to the eldest daughter, and at his death, not before it.  It is
unlikely that, anywhere in Shakespeare, a division of a kingdom is
favored over its unity.

> It doesn't sound like a very good reason, especially retrospectively.
> Maybe it's not his real reason: maybe, as Lear himself hints, he has a
> darker purpose, of which this division is a part.

His "darker purpose" is simply to have his daughters make a public
spectacle of their love for him, an early sign of his senility.

> But isn't the real question why Lear holds the "love test"? After all,
> the huge, oversized map has already been drawn up.  So the
> portions are allotted before the test begins! (?)

Yes, there is to be no real "test" at all; Cordelia, his favorite, was
to get the largest portion.  But, like her father, hot-headed and
inclined to act before she thinks, she cannot see this for what it is -
the foolishness of an beloved old man to be indulged - and blunders
herself and her country into confusion.  In her sisters' responses ("I
love you more than anything, then "I love nothing else but you")  her
proper  answer is set out for her as the third step in the discovery of
a perfect love: "I love everything else because of you."  The religious
formula it expresses would be known by every church-goer, and her answer
would be expected by an Elizabethan audience. That she doesn't deliver
the expected line would tell the audience that they were dealing with a
proud little girl who is much too generously rewarded when made the
Queen of France.  When she says that she can't "heave my heart into my
mouth," she means she will not say in public that she loves her father.
She should take lessons from Queen Katherine ("Henry VIII") and that
other Katherine ("Taming of the Shrew").  By the way, we should notice
that both she and Lear speak of love as quantifiable - the deeper
problem in their common character and in that of the other two sisters
that wreaks such public havoc.

L. Swilley

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marcus Dahl <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 16 Feb 2001 19:21:01 EST
Subject: 12.0389 Re: Lear's Estate Planning
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0389 Re: Lear's Estate Planning

>It doesn't sound like a very good reason, especially retrospectively.
>Maybe it's not his real reason: maybe, as Lear himself hints, he has a
>darker purpose, of which this division is a part.

ED,

You really must read (or re-read) King Leir - all will be revealed as to
why Lear (or Leir) divides the Kingdom in the way he does. S's play just
fails to remember the correct reason from the source play. Maybe S was
in a hurry when he copied it.

Yours,
Marcus.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 17 Feb 2001 19:00:59 -0000
Subject: 12.0389 Re: Lear's Estate Planning
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0389 Re: Lear's Estate Planning

Ed Taft comments:

> Significantly, no one in the play seems to object to Lear's plan to
> divide the kingdom -- odd, isn't it?  He does give a reason: "that
> future strife/May be prevented now" 1.1.44-45).
>
> It doesn't sound like a very good reason, especially retrospectively.
> Maybe it's not his real reason: maybe, as Lear himself hints, he has a
> darker purpose, of which this division is a part.
>
> But isn't the real question why Lear holds the "love test"?  After all,
> the huge, oversized map has already been drawn up.  So the portions are
> allotted before the test begins! (?)

Indeed, Regan's outdoing of Goneril is not rewarded: she gets an "ample
third . . . No less in space", but apparently no greater either. Clearly
the 'love test' is a sham and the disinheriting of Cordelia (the "darker
purpose") was planned from the start. It avoids giving a part of the
kingdom to France or Burgundy.

Gabriel Egan

Biography (Historians)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0395  Friday, 16 February 2001

From:           Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 15 Feb 2001 22:34:11
Subject:        Biography (Historians)

Dear SHAKSPEReans:

Many many thanks to those who sent me useful information about
biographies of Shakespeare, Marlowe and Jonson.

One more question, and tacebo. If you know any HISTORIAN currently
writing an early modern (more precisely, Tudor and early Stuart English)
biography including a forthcoming biography and a project on the go,
please let me know his or her name, institution and contact information
(if possible). So far I know of Blair Worden's work.

Please reply directly to < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. > Thank you very much
(in advance).

Takashi Kozuka
Centre for the Study of the Renaissance
University of Warwick (UK)

Re: Pronouncing Faustus

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0393  Friday, 16 February 2001

From:           Brother Anthony <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 16 Feb 2001 11:29:27 +0900
Subject: 12.0354 Pronouncing Faustus
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0354 Pronouncing Faustus

I would like to thank all who took the trouble to reply, privately and
to the list, to my question about the pronunciation of Faustus's name.
Actually, such a question is only the tip of the iceberg. Korea has its
own alphabet and I am often asked how the name of this or that scholar
should be transcribed. In the case of American scholars, I often have to
plead ignorance, since there is no way of knowing if they have retained
the original European pronunciation or if they have 'americanized' it.
For Faustus, it seems clear that today the German-style 'ow'
pronunciation is almost universal but that some people have retained (or
re-invented) the older English pronunciation (as in 'august'). At first
I assumed an influence from Goethe but I wonder too if there could be an
effect of the change in the pronunciation of standard Latin in schools
(when did it happen?) whereby 'Augustus' is now pronounced with an
initial 'ow' sound in school but (in my memories) like August when the
Christmas story from St. Luke's Gospel is being read in churches. How is
'Augustine' faring in all this? How are scholars pronouncing him, I
wonder? I have to be careful in Korea not to use a diphthong in speaking
Plato(n)'s name ...

Br Anthony (An Sonjae)
Sogang University, Seoul, Korea

Re: Hamlet Spy Caught Spying

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0394  Friday, 16 February 2001

From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 15 Feb 2001 21:41:41 -0500
Subject: 12.0356 Re: Hamlet Spy Caught Spying
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0356 Re: Hamlet Spy Caught Spying

Once again, I would like to argue for the relevance of the sources to
resolving ambiguities in Shakespeare's treatment.  The Hamlet myth often
includes a test of Hamlet's sanity involving sending him out alone with
his friend's sister.  The theory presented to Feng (Claudius) by his
chief advisor (no relation to the girl) is that, if Hamlet takes the
opportunity to sleep with her, he is faking his insanity (only a nut
would pass up such an opportunity).  The two rendezvous in a clearing in
a wood where the girl's brother sends an unlikely encoded message (a
stick or reed tied to a flying insect) which hips Hamlet to the plot.
The two then have sex, but Hamlet makes sure that no firm evidence of it
can be discovered by his wicked uncle and his counselor (much as the
question of Ophelia and Hamlet's relations prior to the play's action
remains obscure to you and me). So Hamlet defeats his persecutors by
having his cake and eating it too so to speak.  It is a vital point in
the sources, therefore, that Hamlet is onto the plot and knows his
interaction with the girl are under surveillance.  The absence of the
coded message from the interlude with Ophelia is another example of
Shakespeare's fooling with his sources (as Hamlet does with his in the
Mousetrap) in such a way as to introduce ambiguities that the sources
explicitly remove.

Clifford Stetner
CUNY
http://phoenix.liu.edu/~cstetner/cds.html

Ethan Hawke Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0392  Friday, 16 February 2001

From:           Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 15 Feb 2001 16:14:26 -0500
Subject:        Ethan Hawke Hamlet

The new official release date for the Ethan Hawke Hamlet is April 17.
It will be released on rental video (which can be purchased for around
$100 US) and on DVD (we currently list a price of $31.99 Canadian /
$23.99 US, but this might change).  The video price should drop to a
reasonable range sometime between 6 months to a year after the initial
release date.

I have not yet received confirmation if the Blockbuster scene has been
tampered with.  My supplier has promised to look into it, and I should
be able to post an update on that matter within the next few days.

Tanya Gough
Poor Yorick Shakespeare Multimedia
www.bardcentral.com

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