2001

Weed Noted

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0553  Thursday, 8 March 2001

From:           William Sutton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 7 Mar 2001 18:05:52 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 12.0501 Weed Noted
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0501 Weed Noted

So the discussion is open again.

Oxenford with his fields of dope, Shakes the dupe with his pipes (no
officer they don't belong to me) and no real talk about the subject.
Let's stay away from the 'whoa dude' personification (a bit too Cannabis
Cup for my taste), besides some of those dudes are professors, teachers
and other professionals. I've met a few in coffeeshops here in the 'Dam.

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?

Hallucinogenic mushrooms still sprout and are harvested twice a year in
parts of England so I would add them to the list of coca and hemp (which
btw is useless to get high on, only the female plants contain THC the
active ingredient). Surely our fore-fathers used, but does anyone
anywhere rail against it or advocate it?

Also is Stephanie suggesting he who should not be named, even
allusively, knew and used the herb? I once had a Poetry in Acting
teacher who described Shakespeare as being an hallucinogenic. He meant
the language and its effect.

I don't give a hoot either way if Shakespeare used or not. I'm curious
to know if there are any indications of recreational use. This question
has bothered me since I first read the 'drugs poison him that so fell
sick of you' line (sonnet 118, final couplet) whilst smoking some
Afghani black hash back in 1991.

Soberly yours,
William Sutton.

PS: My website is up at www.iloveshakespeare.com

Shakespeare and Italy

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0552  Thursday, 8 March 2001

From:           David Schalkwyk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 8 Mar 2001 10:24:07 +0200
Subject: 12.0418 Shakespeare and Italy
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0418 Shakespeare and Italy

Thanks to all who provided such helpful replies to my query about
Shakespeare and Italy.  Does anyone else share my fascination with the
fact that after Zeffirelli's film of Romeo and Juliet, in which Italy,
as a he says, became a third protagonist, the country disappears from
filmed versions of the play?

David Schalkwyk

Re: Tempest Reference

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0550  Thursday, 8 March 2001

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 07 Mar 2001 09:59:23 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 12.0541 Re: Tempest Reference

[2]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 08 Mar 2001 00:14:24
        Subj:   Kermode (Tempest Reference)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 07 Mar 2001 09:59:23 -0800
Subject: Re: Tempest Reference
Comment:        SHK 12.0541 Re: Tempest Reference

I usually wait until a thread is over before writing to thank everyone,
but in this case discussion has evolved from the answer to my question
to other matters.  Thanks to everyone who answered both on and off
list.  Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.

BTW, we had a lot of fun with post-colonialism and an alternative in
class last night, and some of the fun came from your suggestions.  My
cap is tipped.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 08 Mar 2001 00:14:24
Subject:        Kermode (Tempest Reference)

Judy Craig <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> writes:

>What I personally found interesting about the lecture was his admission
>that he was an aging radical and as such felt qualified to comment on
>some of the stances taken by modern radicals.

I was not present at Kermode's lecture. I'm curious on what ground (or
in what sense) he considered/s himself a "radical". Is he a "radical"
because he challenges "modern radicals"? When his book Shakespeare's
Language came out last year, some reviewers considered him conservative
rather than "radical". (The definition of "radical" can be another issue
here...) I'm curious about different perspectives, especially from
Professors Hawkes and Vickers. (Is John Drakakis on here, too?) I'm not
intending to cause any stir. I'm just curious on what ground Kermode
said he was a "radical". I hope curiosity doesn't kill a SHAKSPERean.

Takashi Kozuka
PhD Student
Centre for the Study of the Renaissance
University of Warwick (UK)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re: Bard Bade Goodbye

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0551  Thursday, 8 March 2001

From:           Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 07 Mar 2001 19:50:45 +0000
Subject: 12.0439 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0439 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye

Not being particularly right-wing I am still not a big fan of the Blair
government in the UK, but it is with interested glee that I read that
the mandatory study of a brace of Bard plays may be dropped from the UK
national curriculum.  As an ex-teacher, and more recently, experience as
a drama teacher, I can say that the absence of Shakespeare from schools
would be a blessing that most young students would thank us heartily
for.  Poetic metaphor is the language of mature adults with a
substantial emotional memory.  Shakespeare, like many other marvellous
artists, was older and far wiser than his years.  Absorbing poetry is an
act of reflection; of taking a deep breath to look at the world
differently than yesterday; of rightly positioning ourselves in this
terrifying universe.  Children, as with most teenagers, have neither the
emotional ability nor the inclination to do any of this.  They live for
the material moment; death is impossible; things and people are either
right or wrong.

But English teachers will forever arm themselves with a Shakespeare
playbook in the subconscious Puritan desire to immunize their charges
against soaps, websites, action movies and all other horrible
configurations of English words.  In their frantic desire to propagate
their life's desire they swing from plot studies to analogies to
re-writes to choreography to stage brawling - even painting and
drawing.  And all the time the poetry - the simple, staggering poetry -
goes wanting.

We don't need Shakespeare in schools.  He is in and around us
everywhere.  He changed western thinking.  Through his poetry we found
ourselves - the poor, be-trodden individual struggling to make sense of
this wicked world - as all children will one day become.

SAM SMALL

Re: Shakespeare Bashing

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0549  Thursday, 8 March 2001

From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 07 Mar 2001 12:18:34 -0500
Subject:        Shakespeare Bashing

RE: Jack Heller objects to the "cultural status" of Romeo and Juliet
because it seems to have become "the measure of romance" for many.  He's
probably right.  The history of teaching Shakespeare in American high
schools reveals that, initially, Romeo and Juliet was chosen because the
language in the play was judged to be far easier to read than in other
Shakespeare plays.

Interestingly, however, parents often have a tough time with Romeo and
Juliet, and censors often try to get it out of American classrooms.  The
reason is that some parents read the play as "glorifying suicide" -- a
real concern of parents of teenagers these days.

Some parents either want the play dropped or want it taught as an object
lesson in what happens if teenagers DON"T obey their parents (!).

Such is the politics of Shakespeare in the (post?)modern world!

--Ed Taft

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