2001

Re: Why Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1209  Thursday, 24 May 2001

From:           Simon Malloch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 24 May 2001 10:48:32 +0800
Subject: 12.1180 Why Shakespeare?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1180 Why Shakespeare?

Dear Robert,

You could do much worse than read the first couple of chapters of  [NB.
Terence Hawkes, please look away now] Harold Bloom's _The Western
Canon_,  which deals exactly with your main query,  'why Shakespeare'
and not so-and-so.  Makes for great reading.

Simon Malloch.

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Re: Baby Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1208  Thursday, 24 May 2001

From:           Markus Marti <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 24 May 2001 02:25:49 +0100
Subject: 12.1186 Re: Baby Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1186 Re: Baby Shakespeare

> Sounds like Cymbeline to me.
>
> T. Hawkes

For once you are terrencibly wrong, Mr. Hawkes, and it's all so obvious.

Who was Shakespeare? Cymbeline, Marlowe, Bacon, Eggsford or Esseggs?
Look at the NEW PORTRAIT of the Bard Dragon, and, if you are not
colourblind, the earlobes will tell you all: Kermit was Shakespeare,
Miss Piggy the Dark Lady of the Sonnets.
http://www.legendsandlore.com/beshakes.html

Markus Marti

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Re: Time in Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1206  Thursday, 24 May 2001

[1]     From:   Steve Roth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 May 2001 12:27:51 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1193 Re: Time in Hamlet

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 24 May 2001 07:07:46 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 12.1168 Re: Time in Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Roth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 May 2001 12:27:51 -0700
Subject: 12.1193 Re: Time in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1193 Re: Time in Hamlet

>I don't know if it's entirely true (even on the 20th-century stage). I
>saw a production of Romeo and Juliet ("R&J") in NYC several years ago.
>The setting was a Catholic high school (boys only?) if I remember
>correctly. But the actors were all mature men, and none of them appeared
>as young as high school boys.

I find this to be an excellent point.

If Romeo is played by an old man, or Lear by a youth (though makeup
could help here), it's a real problem for the production. Isn't this
equally true for Hamlet?

This is why I find the Dover Wilson's statement ("Hamlet is an actor
made up to represent a certain age, which they [audience members] accept
without question"), echoed by Larry Weiss, to be unsatisfactory. It's
saying that he could be acted by/as a 60-year old, with no problem.

Which just ain't so.

Which brings us back to asking: why are those four oddly obtrusive items
in the play, contradicting everything else (including the gravedigger
himself, in an also oddly obtrusive line directly between his two
thirty-year statements)? The rewrite for Burbage (or, conversely, for a
younger actor) strikes me as a pretty satisfying explanation.

Steve

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 24 May 2001 07:07:46 -0400
Subject: Re: Time in Hamlet
Comment:        SHK 12.1168 Re: Time in Hamlet

' -- most important -- how should Fortinbras's words be spoken -- and
which words are we to speak properly?'

Bill Godshalk's obduracy is acquiring an antique charm. We discussed all
this on SHAKSPER three years ago. The point is a simple and, it seems to
me, fairly obvious one. At the end of Hamlet, Fortinbras surveys the
bodies and concludes

               Let four captains
Bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage,
For he was likely, had he been put on,
To have prov'd most royal; and for his passage,
The soldier's music and the rite of war
Speak loudly for him.
Take up the bodies . . .
(V, 2, 400-406, Arden edition)

Where 'he' in line 402 refers to Hamlet, 'his' in line 403 refers to
Claudius. No textual emendations whatever are necessary to produce this
reading, which, perhaps slightly reinforced by the surrounding iambic
nudging, offers itself irresistibly to the actor and falls readily from
his lips.  The 'mighty opposites' are thus finally borne away, together:
a disturbing emblem of their complex, pivotal relationship in this play
of fathers and sons. Its nature remains, as I've said, one of the five
crucial Shakespearean questions. My withers are unwrung.

T. Hawkes
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Hawk and handsaw; beauty/booty

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1207  Thursday, 24 May 2001

From:           Alex Went <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 May 2001 23:12:40 +0100
Subject:        Hawk and handsaw; beauty/booty

Two questions:

1) I heard about five or six years ago an intriguing theory that the
hawk/handsaw distinction might refer to the war of the theatres; and
that the words in question may have had something to do with
coats-of-arms - a fretty chief, or whatever, and a hawk (from
Shakespeare's own crest?) identifying rival companies. Details, please.

2) Has anyone identified a booty/beauty pun in Sonnet 65? It would
require an or/o'er reading, too, but would allow 'of', I suppose. How
was beauty/beaut


Re: Possible New Portrait

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1205  Thursday, 24 May 2001

[1]     From:   Vick Bennison <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 May 2001 13:00:53 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1194 Re: Possible New Portrait

[2]     From:   Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 May 2001 23:18:50 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1164 Re: Possible New Portrait

[3]     From:   Kate Welch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 24 May 2001 13:46:16 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1194 Re: Possible New Portrait


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Vick Bennison <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 May 2001 13:00:53 EDT
Subject: 12.1194 Re: Possible New Portrait
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1194 Re: Possible New Portrait

Concerning the apparent age of the man in the portrait:

I don't believe that people "aged" faster in the early modern period.
The lower life expectancy had to do with various factors like lack of
intensive care units, lack of cures for diseases, lack of antibiotics,
high infant mortality and pregnancy related deaths, etc.  And based on
tombstone information and parish records, plenty of people lived into
their nineties.  So when I look at the man in the portrait, I see no
reason to doubt that he is a 39 year old man.  And besides, many
portrait painters made their commissions look younger.

- Vick


[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 May 2001 23:18:50 EDT
Subject: 12.1164 Re: Possible New Portrait
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1164 Re: Possible New Portrait

"That doesn't say anything at all, of course, about when the portrait
was painted. But it's obvious to me that the attribution wasn't made in
Shakespeare's lifetime."

Don Foster's quoted here, in a Canadian newspaper. I wonder if he really
said that. It's obvious to everyone that the attribution wasn't made in
Shakespeare's lifetime, since the inscription includes the death date.

Anyone know of a better source for Foster's analysis?

Kezia Vanmeter Sproat
President, Class of 1959, Vassar College

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kate Welch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 24 May 2001 13:46:16 GMT
Subject: 12.1194 Re: Possible New Portrait
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1194 Re: Possible New Portrait

>Larry Weiss writes that "The label says that the picture was 'taken' in
>1603.  Was that usage of the verb common in the early 17C?"

>David Evett replies "I'm not sure about "common," and I haven't been
>able to find the phrase in OED (but then, there are 14 pages of
>entries for "take")."

OED definition 33b for 'take' is "to obtain by drawing, delineating, etc
... to obtain or make a figure or picture of, to portray ..." and the
first use given is 1607.

Kate Welch
Shakespeare Institute Library.

_______________________________________________________________
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Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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