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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0756  Wednesday, 4 April 2001

[1]     From:   Melissa D. Aaron <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 Mar 2001 13:01:49 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0730 Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess

[2]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 Mar 2001 20:49:20 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0730 Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess

[3]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Sunday, 01 Apr 2001 21:35:29 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0730 Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa D. Aaron <
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Date:           Friday, 30 Mar 2001 13:01:49 -0800
Subject: 12.0730 Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0730 Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess

Stuart Manger queries:

>The symbolic role of the chess scene between Ferdinand and Miranda in
>Act 5.
>
>[a] Miranda clearly knows the game well enough to question Ferdinand's
>strategy and even probity.
>
>[b] BUT would women have been taught to play chess as an integral
>element in European Renaissance courtly manners and skills, or was it
>more likely in England than elsewhere?
>
>[c] Or was it specifically an aristocratic, and probably specifically
>masculine, pastime,. . .

Of course "aristocratic" need not imply "masculine."  But Middleton
employs chess at least twice:  in *Women Beware Women* the game is
played between two women, and in *A Game at Chesse* he uses it as a
structural base for the whole play.  I don't think he would have done
that if he thought that it wouldn't have been comprehensible to the huge
crowds--up to 3,000 a day--who came to see it at its smash three-day run
at the Globe.

 Melissa D. Aaron
 http://www.csupomona.edu/~maaron/index.html
 California Polytechnic State University at Pomona

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Friday, 30 Mar 2001 20:49:20 -0500
Subject: 12.0730 Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0730 Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess

My sense is that what Prospero shows us when he throws back the curtain
at the back of the stage is the scene that a father would wish to find
if he walked in on his daughter entertaining her boyfriend in her room.
The game of chess is simply a metaphor for a meeting of the minds versus
bodily fluids.  He is presenting evidence of his wise governance of his
island and of ill advisedness of his exile from Milanese politics.

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

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Sunday, 01 Apr 2001 21:35:29 -0400
Subject: 12.0730 Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0730 Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess

Time is short, and therefore so is this reply. However, for Stuart
Manger's questions regarding women and chess-playing, I would direct him
to Thomas Middleton's play WOMEN BEWARE WOMEN which sets up a parallel
between a chess game and a . . . well, this opens up a question I don't
mean to open . . . a seduction or a rape.

Jack Heller

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