2001

Re: The English Verse Drama Database

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1757  Friday, 13 July 2001

[1]     From:   William Proctor Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 13:57:21 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1747 The English Verse Drama Database

[2]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 23:01:32 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1747 The English Verse Drama Database

[3]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 16:43:10
        Subj:   Re: The English Verse Drama Database

[4]     From:   Drew Whitehead <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 13 Jul 2001 11:53:31 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1747 The English Verse Drama Database

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Proctor Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 13:57:21 -0400
Subject: 12.1747 The English Verse Drama Database
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1747 The English Verse Drama Database

The English Verse Drama, and Prose Drama, Databases are perfectly OK for
searching the texts.  However, when it comes to actual citation I think
only the unwary or unadvised would actually cite the texts from this
source.  I'm afraid that for those not reprinted or edited in modern
times it will be off to the microforms department to make use of the STC
and Wing microfilms so you can cite the early edition(s).

William Proctor Williams

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 23:01:32 +0100
Subject: 12.1747 The English Verse Drama Database
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1747 The English Verse Drama Database

Jack Heller writes

> As a source for all those rarely read, rarely edited Renaissance
> dramas, how reliable is the Chadwyck-Healey English Verse
> Drama database? Can it be trusted for reliable, albeit original
> spelling, texts? I'm thinking of using it as a handy source for some
> rare Davenport and Heywood plays.

The texts were double-keyed (ie two times, by different typists) from
xeroxes of the earliest printings, by English Literature graduates in
the Far East. I recall Chadwyck-Healey quoting an accuracy rate of 1
keying error per 1000 keystrokes. This seems pretty good, but for a
comparison one might note that this posting contains 1,294 keystrokes,
and hence, were it a Chadwyck-Healey text, it would probably contain one
typo.

Still, 1 in 1000 keystrokes isn't bad. By comparison, Bell and Howell
(parent of Chadwyck-Healey and University Microfilms International) say
that the error rate in their EEBO digitization of UMI's Early English
Books collection of films is "very low". I found, however, that for STC
13373 (Brome and Heywood's _Late Lancashire Witches_) five images on the
film were missed in the digitization (B4v-C1r, F3v-F4r, H4v-I1r,
I4v-K1r, and K2v-K3r). This amounts to over 10% of the book, or 100
times worse than Chadwyck-Healey's rate.

Gabriel Egan

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 16:43:10
Subject:        Re: The English Verse Drama Database

Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> asks:

>As a source for all those rarely read, rarely edited Renaissance dramas,
>how reliable is the Chadwyck-Healey English Verse Drama database? Can it
>be trusted for reliable, albeit original spelling, texts? I'm thinking
>of using it as a handy source for some rare Davenport and Heywood plays.

I can't answer the question -- sorry, Jack! -- as I'm not familiar with
the C-H database. But his posting has reminded me of one of the three
major projects which the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance (at the
University of Warwick) has been conducting: the John Nichols Project.

The Centre had a workshop a couple of months ago, and questions we
raised included:

- What editorial principles do we wish to apply to manuscript texts,
especially when there are differences between the original
Elizabethan/Jacobean texts and nichols' edition?

- Nichols collated several versions of Jonson's masques, and Jonson has
been heavily edited in the 19th-21st centuries. How does Nichols'
versions compare/contrast to modern editions? What principles should our
edition follow?

- How are we to alter and/or annotate Nichols where his text is
incorrect or incomplete?

There were many more questions, for which I do not have space here.

More information about the project can be found at:
http://www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/ren

Best wishes,
Takashi Kozuka

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Drew Whitehead <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 13 Jul 2001 11:53:31 +1000
Subject: 12.1747 The English Verse Drama Database
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1747 The English Verse Drama Database

Jack,

I have been in the habit of using the Chadwick-Healey database as a
method of electronically cross-checking the plays that I have been
putting on-line and while it has been useful I often come across a
significant number of errors on that database.  Sometimes they are just
typos, but I have also found a few reading mistakes such as a long s
being read as an f.  As an estimate (it has been a while since I've done
a comparison) I would put the figure between 50 to 150 errors in a
3,000-line text.  Another problem I sometimes have with the database is
with their choice of copytext.  For example, the use of the 2nd Folio
edition (1679) of The Two Noble Kinsmen rather than the 1st Quarto
edition (1634) which is the chosen copytext of all subsequent editors.
Having said all that I still think that the database is a wonderful tool
and that my problems with it are minor in comparison to its usefulness.

All the best,
Drew Whitehead.

Twilight Pictures: The Plays of Beaumont and Fletcher.
http://english.uq.edu.au/drama/fletcher/

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Re: Movie-For-Television: "Happy Birthday,

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1756  Friday, 13 July 2001

[1]     From:   Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 13:04:42 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Movie-For-Television: "Happy Birthday, Shakespeare"

[2]     From:   Kevin De Ornellas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 17:21:34 -0000
        Subj:   Re: Movie-For-Television: "Happy Birthday, Shakespeare"

[3]     From:   David Nicol <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 16:28:24
        Subj:   Re: Movie-For-Television: "Happy Birthday, Shakespeare"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 13:04:42 -0400
Subject:        Re: Movie-For-Television: "Happy Birthday, Shakespeare"

Here's the schedule

Happy Birthday Shakespeare

TVM Romantic comedy about a family man whose wedding anniversary
coincides with Shakespeare's birthday. In a bid to escape the humdrum
life of a coach driver, he searches for a way of getting rich quick,
dreaming of buying a tea room and gift shop in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Adapted by Mark Wallington from his novel. Sun, Jul 22, 2001, 8:00 pm;
Mon, Jul 23, 2001, Sat, Jul 28, 2001, 1:00 pm (I assume the times are
EST.)

http://www.bbcamerica.com/DailySchedule.jsp

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kevin De Ornellas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 17:21:34 -0000
Subject:        Re: Movie-For-Television: "Happy Birthday, Shakespeare"

>"Happy Birthday, Shakespeare."  Can anyone [...] advise as to whether or
>not it is worth
>watching?

I saw that; it was shown in the UK as a two-part drama.   It is
inward-looking, tedious and unfunny.  The tenuous Shakespearean element
refers to a property in Stratford-upon-Avon, which is desired by a
dreamy bus driver.  Don't bother with it.

Kevin De Ornellas
Queen's University, Belfast

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Nicol <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 16:28:24
Subject:        Re: Movie-For-Television: "Happy Birthday, Shakespeare"

Richard Nathan wrote,

>Here in the United States, BBC America is going to be showing a British
>movie-for-television entitled "Happy Birthday, Shakespeare."  Can anyone
>who saw this in England advise as to whether or not it is worth
>watching?

Do not, repeat not, watch this show. It's long, boring, unfunny, and has
nothing whatsoever to do with Shakespeare. Read a book instead.

David Nicol
Stratford

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Re: To be or not to be

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1754  Friday, 13 July 2001

[1]     From:   Karen Peterson-Kranz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 09:17:08 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1742 Re: To be or not to be

[2]     From:   Hugh Grady <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 13:47:25 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.1733 Re: To be or not to be

[3]     From:   Vick Bennison <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 15:09:37 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1742 Re: To be or not to be

[4]     From:   Graham Bradshaw <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 13 Jul 2001 11:24:23 +0900
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1742 Re: To be or not to be


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Peterson-Kranz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 09:17:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.1742 Re: To be or not to be
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1742 Re: To be or not to be

Bruce Young's reading of the III.i speech seems reasonable and quite
convincing to me.

> What if he's thinking of Claudius and
> what Claudius has
> done (killed his father and married his mother) when
> he lists the
> various things he's suffering

He notes that

> (I've had to leave out "The pangs of despised love,
> the law's delay,"
> because they don't fit as well ... but with a little
> ingenuity, who
> knows?)

Not even all that much ingenuity.  If, as Bruce suggests, one way (among
many) of reading the speech is to concentrate on the particular
injustices done by Claudius, "despised love" could easily be seen as a
reference to "love" in the courtier's sense of political favor and/or
loyalty, rather than in an erotic or familial sense.  As Bruce goes on
to mention, this interpretation of "despised love" would fit rather well
with Hamlet's later statement on how Claudius has "popp'd in between th'
election and my hopes."  And "the law's delay," similarly, could be seen
as referring to the delay or absence of a judgement on the correctness
of Claudius's claims to the throne, against those of the younger Hamlet.

> Of course, Hamlet is generalizing: he's not just
> talking about Claudius.

Of course.  But as a courtier (albeit an occasionally reluctant one)
Hamlet would have long been accustomed to employing the art of courtly
double-speak: making the language of the more general, personal realm
apply to a particular political situation.

So it seems to me, at least.  Thank you for an intriguing post, Bruce.

Cheers,
Karen Peterson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hugh Grady <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 13:47:25 -0400
Subject: 12.1733 Re: To be or not to be
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.1733 Re: To be or not to be

The problems of brotherly relationships and their sexual undertones is a
topic in Louis Montrose's article, "The Place of a Brother in AYL:
Social Process and Comic Form, SQ 32 (Spring 1981). There are also
several articles discussing parallels between the comic AYL and the
tragic "King Lear."

Best,
Hugh Grady

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Vick Bennison <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 15:09:37 EDT
Subject: 12.1742 Re: To be or not to be
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1742 Re: To be or not to be

[I don't feel like copying all the relevant text from the previous post
of John Ramsay, Bruce Young, and Andrew White.  I'll just speak to
each.]

Quietus:  Latin word meaning "resting, sleeping, at peace".

Quietus est:  apparently a legal term meaning "payment received" or more
literally "it is put to  rest".

John Ramsay.  I don't believe Hamlet would have been carrying around a
long sword (or more likely rapier) when he happens upon Claudius at
prayer.  When he thinks of killing him there, he is probably carrying
and thinking dagger.  Besides, after five or six inches of length, a
dagger is as good at killing as a rapier, and actually better at close
quarters.  So while we are arguing the same side of the question, I
don't agree with the dagger vs. rapier argument.  The bodkin would be
quite useful for killing either oneself or someone else.

Bruce Young:  Well, if you require me to leave out "The pangs of
despised love, the law's delay," then you weaken my case decidedly in
your favor.  Leaving them in the list makes the list seem an enumeration
of common woes of everyman, which is exactly what I think it is meant to
be.  The fact that he throws in a lot of items that are currently on his
mind, does not mean that he intends it only to be a list of his own
grievances against Claudius.  And I still maintain whatever is meant by
"quietus", it will be attained by doing something that causes his
death.  A suicidal act, whether direct or indirect.  He is talking plain
(or unspecified) suicide for everyman, and is either talking plain
suicide for himself or the suicidal act of revenge.  The "quietus" has
to encompass plain suicide.  The particular kind of suicide that Hamlet
is considering seems only mildly relevant.   "quietus" in Latin means
"resting, sleeping, at peace."  The only reason I can think of not to
accept that meaning is that Shakespeare uses the word as a noun rather
than an adjective.  Not too sound reasoning, given how Shakespeare, even
in English, is always changing nouns to adjectives and vice versa.
"quietus est" may have meant  "payment received" and perhaps he
shortened it to "quietus" for the sake of the meter, but I believe that
at the very least he had in mind a double meaning with half of it
meaning suicide.  Furthermore, I don't see why "quietus est", if that's
what he intended, would necessarily mean revenge.  After all, "the wages
of sin, is death", so if god paid Hamlet the wages for his sins, Hamlet
would give god a "quietus est" in return.

Andrew White:  Read the above.  I've expended all the energy I have for
this subject, for the time being, on that explanation.  So I'm simply
declaring your reasoning more convoluted that my own and claiming
victory.  (Wait, he can't do that can he?  Can he do that?)  ;^)

I have to go get a little quietus,
Vick Bennison

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Bradshaw <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 13 Jul 2001 11:24:23 +0900
Subject: 12.1742 Re: To be or not to be
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1742 Re: To be or not to be

> Besides, stab Claudius, and you don't have any more drunken orgies...

This is a good example of what I take to be the basic problem in the
history of Hamlet criticism: seeing the play Hamlet--and in this case
Claudius--through Prince Hamlet's eyes.

Claudius has tottered with his goblet through countless productions, but
where's the evidence that he's a drunk? Hamlet says so, in a speech
where he also says that the heavy drinking in the Danish court has led
other countries to despise Denmark. Since Claudius has only just become
King, that can't be true. Or rather, if it is true, it explains why
Hamlet's father needed his afternoon naps.

Best wishes,
Graham Bradshaw

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Re: The Tragedy of Claudius

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1755  Friday, 13 July 2001

[1]     From:   Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 17:41:02 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1739 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius

[2]     From:   Tony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 13:50:21 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1739 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius

[3]     From:   Arthur Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 13 Jul 2001 09:06:53 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1739 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius

[4]     From:   Steve Urkowitz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 13 Jul 2001 08:32:07 EDT
        Subj:   Tragedy of Claudius and Rosencrantz and Ophelia and . . .

[5]     From:   Sophie Masson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 14 Jul 2001 02:20:40 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1739 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 17:41:02 +0100
Subject: 12.1739 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1739 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius

> From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

> Lear and Edgar

Lear and Gloucester, presumably?

Robin Hamilton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 13:50:21 -0400
Subject: 12.1739 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1739 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius

I'm mystified by the recent enthusiasm for praising Claudius as a hero,
and treating "Hamlet" as HIS tragedy.  What happened to the distinction
between a protagonist and an antagonist?  A very good measure of great
tragic drama is the degree to which the protagonist's strength of
character, the cause that moves him, his ability to defend it, and his
dedication to it are all matched by the same features in the
antagonist.  Let him be a foeman worthy of the hero's steel in every
quality, and the play will give rise to issues that stick with you after
the last curtain.  Let the antagonist be a cardboard black hat
caricature of a villain, who kicks puppies, snarls at adorable little
children, and scoffs at honor, and there's not much to think about.

But if one cannot distinguish between hero and villain, if the
distinction between protagonist and antagonist are felt to be mere
academic and formalistic abstractions, no issues arise, there is nothing
much to be learned, and the ongoing dialogue between the author (yes,
scoffers and naysayers, I believe in authorship -- even though I've
given up on Santa Claus and the tooth fairy), the forming intelligence
behind the play and between its audience or readership will cease to
exist.  Who joins this listserv who does not hope to keep that dialogue
alive and participate in it?

Tony Burton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Arthur Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 13 Jul 2001 09:06:53 +0800
Subject: 12.1739 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1739 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius

'The Tragedy of Claudius' is one of the things Updike is doing in
_Gertrude and Claudius_.  Clearly, we're in good company, though just
how good is a matter of debate.

Arthur Lindley

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 13 Jul 2001 08:32:07 EDT
Subject:        Tragedy of Claudius and Rosencrantz and Ophelia and . . .

Away from books and libraries, may I refer this strand to a brilliant
work by Michael Long, THE UNNATURAL SCENE (London:Methuen, 1975?).  He
shows with exquisite detail that the tragedy -- the experience of
tragedy felt by the audience -- rises from a social environment of vile
abuse of human relationships at every level of Elsinore.  Kindness,
trust, familial relations all succumb to the crass cowardice of guilt
and fear.  Hamlet's fears of taking arms against a sea of troubles, like
Prufrock's "Do I dare to eat a peach?" are symptomatic of the social
dis-ease.  Ros and Guild agree to turn their friendship for Hamlet into
espial.  Ophelia agrees (or is bulldozed into agreement) to  confront
Hamlet while poppa and the King eavesdrop.  Reynaldo will sully Laertes'
reputation in a little assay of destructive testing.  Laertes claims
that all young men are without honor in matters of sexuality, and slides
into the easy justification of a poisoned blade to recover his family's
honor.  The gravedigger understands that suicides rich or poor are
treated differently according to their status before the secular rather
than the Eternal accountancy systems.  Queen Gertrude in the Folio
version gets a brief soliloquy ("to my sick soul . . ." -- in Q2 an
aside with other distracting figures onstage) highlighting her own
participation in the guilty helplessness of Elsinore.  These Elsinorians
recognize what is right but choose the wrong.

The experience of tragedy comes from OUR seeing their awareness, their
erroneous choices, Hamlet's rich potential for cracking the codes of
pretense, and his poignant failure to do more than trigger the
apocalyptically destructive climax.

It ain't the universe but the quotidian moral cowardice and Hamlet's
unsuccessful but potentially triumphant alternative of courage,
imagination and intelligence that generates the exhilarating experience
of this play in the theatre.

I recommend Michael Long's extended chapter on Hamlet.  And I invite all
to my production at CCNY in December.

Steve Prufrockowitz

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sophie Masson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 14 Jul 2001 02:20:40 +1000
Subject: 12.1739 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1739 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius

Could be both love and lust, I think. No reason why they should be
separate, really. Hamlet of course thinks it can only be lust, but then
he would.

Sophie Masson
Author site: http://www.northnet.com.au/~smasson

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Cockerel's Stone.

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1753  Friday, 13 July 2001

From:           Philip Weller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 12:19:03 -0700
Subject: 12.1740 Re: "What's in a name?"
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1740 Re: "What's in a name?"

>I'm now in
>a position to suggest just how large was the bump on Juliet's head that
>the Nurse describes as the size of a cockerel's stone.
>
>Robin Hamilton

That's something I've always wondered about.  I thought that a cockerel
didn't have a visible stone.

Please tell what you found out.

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