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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: March ::
Re: Weed Noted
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0561  Friday, 9 March 2001

[1]     From:   Ian Munro <
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        Date:   Thursday, 8 Mar 2001 12:55:31 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0553 Weed Noted

[2]     From:   Pat Dolan <
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        Date:   Thursday, 08 Mar 2001 22:04:26 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0553 Weed Noted

[3]     From:   Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <
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        Date:   Friday, 9 Mar 2001 09:03:17 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0553 Weed Noted


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ian Munro <
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Date:           Thursday, 8 Mar 2001 12:55:31 -0700
Subject: 12.0553 Weed Noted
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0553 Weed Noted

William Sutton wrote:

>So my question is meant to be taken seriously. Is there any evidence of
>recreational drug use in the Elizabethan era? Or is medicinal use the
>standard explanation?

What else could we call drinking tobacco?  Medical benefits are often
alleged, but they obviously function mostly as excuses.

Incidentally, I'm in the early stages of pulling together a paper that
will talk about tobacco in the period, and I'm finding the critical
background on the noxious weed surprisingly thin.  If anyone has any
suggestions about where to look, beyond what "tobacco" and variant
spellings pull up in the MLA bibliography, I'd be grateful.

Ian Munro

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pat Dolan <
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Date:           Thursday, 08 Mar 2001 22:04:26 -0600
Subject: 12.0553 Weed Noted
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0553 Weed Noted

>Is there any evidence of
>recreational drug use in the Elizabethan era?

There's ample evidence of alcohol and tobacco use. The question is, what
other drugs did they use?

BTW, since I'm now officially on spring break, I'm sipping a nice
recreational Merlot at the moment. I hope others who have breaks will
recreate as well.

Cheers,
Pat

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <
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Date:           Friday, 9 Mar 2001 09:03:17 EST
Subject: 12.0553 Weed Noted
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0553 Weed Noted

In Spring 1970, in response to protests over the no-longer-secret
bombing of Cambodia, the Ohio National Guard took over Ohio State
University, and a colleague asked me to take one of her classes. "King
Lear," she said, "we have only one day for it." She gave me a room
number in Haggerty Hall.

What would you do? I told the play's story and acted out all the parts,
probably helped in intensity by watching the National Guard marching
back and forth (shades of Fortinbras), bayonets mounted on their
weapons, outside the window. At the end of the class, a paunchy young
man sidled up to the lectern and said, "I'd sure like to have a dime bag
of whatever you're smokin'!"

"What?"

"What are you smokin' ?"

"Nothing," I laughed. "It's just Shakespeare."

As I write this post, to be buried in one and one half hours is Jim
Rhodes, a highly talented basically good man, and (like Lear) deeply
flawed-by-culture Ohio governor who created a climate of us/them (a
culture now widely celebrated in Survivor! on TV, I understand). Gov.
Rhodes gave orders so the Ohio National Guard felt it was OK to shoot at
unarmed students, leading to the Kent State tragedy. Guard shootings
then seemed imminent at Ohio State, but did not emerge thanks to
faculty-grad student "Green Ribbon" volunteer squadrons who organized
speedily, "armed" in green ribbons on their sleeves, and courageously
stood making themselves into lines between the angry students and
guardsmen---if OSU deserves any kind of glory, it should go to those
people.

This is now tragicomedy. I'm laughing and crying at once, before
breakfast! I feel a bit like Chaucer's Troilus laughing in heaven, and
hope Governor Rhodes rests in peace.

Kezia Vanmeter Sproat
 

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