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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Tragic Hero
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0942  Thursday, 26 April 2001

[1]     From:   Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 07:15:27 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0917 Re: Tragic Hero

[2]     From:   David Knauer <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 11:20:39 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0917 Re: Tragic Hero

[3]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 10:22:16 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0928 Re: Tragic Hero

[4]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 13:13:36 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0917 Re: Tragic Hero

[5]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 13:49:01 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0841 Re: Tragic Hero

[6]     From:   Judith M. Craig <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 17:17:27 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0928 Re: Tragic Hero

[7]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 21:55:33 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0841 Re: Tragic Hero

[8]     From:   Stevie Gamble <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Apr 2001 05:35:18 EDT
        Subj:   SHK 12.0917 Re: Tragic Hero


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 07:15:27 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.0917 Re: Tragic Hero
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0917 Re: Tragic Hero

Brian Haylett writes,

>Some 18 months ago - and evoking deathly silence, as
>I remember it - I
>suggested that the reason for Antonio's sadness was
>his failure to 'know
>himself', that the play was about his unconscious
>discontent with his
>mercenary life, and his subsequent climb to
>fulfillment. ....

This is an intriguing idea.  Before launching into full-fledged debate,
Brian, could you provide us with some specific line citations that
support this interpretation?  (Again, I'm not being argumentative; just
looking for help in the interests of maintaining a focused and
productive discussion on this topic.)

Judith Craig writes:

>Frankly, Sean, I don't know where you've been during
>the sexual revolution.

Sean Lawrence is certainly more than able to defend himself on this
issue (if he thinks it is worth bothering to comment), but I fail to see
the relevance of this  comment.

Ms. Craig continues:

>I am still unconvinced that my reading is less
>plausible than the currently fashionable one that
>makes Antonio homosexual. I have never been a rabid
>feminist, but I am not too naive to know how
>heterosexual men do talk and think.

I take it this means that Antonio is manifestly a heterosexual man
because of how he "talks and thinks." Without treading into the swampy
territory of whether we can with any certainty know how a dramatic
character -- much less another actual human being -- "thinks," I am
curious about Ms. Craig's assertion that "heterosexual men" talk in a
particular, identifiable manner.  This seems potentially as offensive as
asserting that homosexual men talk in a particular, identifiable manner.

If it is indeed true that heterosexual men may be identified by their
speech patterns, intonations, rhythms, syntax or content, I must hasten
to inform my many gay male friends.  This "knowledge" will save them
many embarrassing moments in which they have attempted to chat up
straight males in the mistaken interpretation that they might, perhaps,
be gay.

Cheers,
Karen Peterson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Knauer <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 11:20:39 -0500
Subject: 12.0917 Re: Tragic Hero
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0917 Re: Tragic Hero

Judy Craig writes of Shylock:

"His 'pound of flesh' demand not only symbolizes his desire to torture
'Christians' in return, but also symbolizes the way these have gotten
where they are -- 'pounding' women who are no more to them than pounds
of 'flesh' to give them energy to keep their money-making schemes
fueled."

I don't know what source you 're consulting for early modern ideas about
the effects of sex on male physiology, but all the ones I've seen
clearly suggest that sex depletes vital energy, not increases it. Hence
all the fun with words like "dying," "spending," etc.

Dave Knauer

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 10:22:16 -0700
Subject: 12.0928 Re: Tragic Hero
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0928 Re: Tragic Hero

>One needn't think that contemporary events were beneath Shakespeare to
>imagine him as more interested in the philosophy of usury than in
>jurisprudential innovation.  Stevie's effort, if I've read him
>correctly, is to move away from strictly limiting Shakespeare's meanings
>by contemporary events (a sort of historicism gone mad) towards wider
>philosophical issues.
>
>Cheers,
>Se

 

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