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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: March ::
Re: JC and Mac. and Sex
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0618  Thursday, 15 March 2001

[1]     From:   Fran Teague <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Mar 2001 10:51:34 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0608 Re: JC and Sex

[2]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Mar 2001 23:26:23 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 12.0608 Re: Stouthearted Men and JC and Mac. and Sex


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fran Teague <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 Mar 2001 10:51:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 12.0608 Re: JC and Sex
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0608 Re: JC and Sex

To my mind, the most interesting aspect of Julius Caesar and sexuality
is the material that Shakespeare chooses to omit. In particular, he
makes no use of Plutarch's comment in the Life of Brutus, IV, that
Caesar believed Brutus to be his bastard. I'm also struck by the
omission of the information that Calpurnia is Caesar's fourth wife,
following a fairly scandalous divorce from number three. One could write
a fairly lively melodrama (a la Robt. Graves's I, Claudius or Colleen
McCullough's Men of Rome) about domestic problems and Caesar's yearning
for an heir, yet Shakespeare omits all of that aspect.

Even in Antony and Cleopatra, far more focused on sexuality, the issue
of issue is suppressed. When Octavius Caesar conquered A&C, he executed
Caesarion, Cleopatra's son by Caesar, but took very good care of the
children Antony and Cleopatra produced, sending them back to Rome where
they were raised by his sister and Antony's wife, Octavia. None of that
material is so much as hinted at in Shakespeare's play.

Fran Teague <http://www.arches.uga.edu/~fteague>

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 Mar 2001 23:26:23 -0500
Subject: 12.0608 Re: Stouthearted Men and JC and Mac. and Sex
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0608 Re: Stouthearted Men and JC and Mac. and Sex

"As for Mac. we see in Polanski's film how much sexual potential there
is in that play."  I'm usually impressed by John Velz's knowledge and
good sense, but in this instance I think he's forgetting that Hugh
Hefner produced that film, and choosing to ignore several thousand
productions around the world over three-plus centuries in which Lady
Macbeth took her nocturnal stroll quite respectably clothed.  (I don't
suppose many of those performers looked quite as good as Francesca Annis
with their clothes off.)  Indeed, seeing the film on video for a second
time a long time after my original encounter with it in the theater I
was surprised that there was so little sex--I thought I remembered a
scene early on in which the Macbeths showed a powerful sexual hunger for
each other that was one of the victims of the murders.  But the second
time around I looked for it in vain.  And I find the nudity of the
witches if anything anerotic.

Dave Evett
 

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