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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Geography
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1389  Wednesday, 6 June 2001

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Jun 2001 09:29:47 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1369 Re: Geography

[2]     From:   R. A. Cantrell <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Jun 2001 21:56:03 -0500
        Subj:   Geography


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Tuesday, 05 Jun 2001 09:29:47 -0700
Subject: 12.1369 Re: Geography
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1369 Re: Geography

Terence writes:

>Oh, come on! In addition to the reference to 'this scept'red isle', the
>rest of Gaunt's speech makes it pretty clear that he's talking about
>England as an area of land entirely surrounded by salt water:

This, from the man who reads the last speech of Hamlet imaginatively
enough to have Fortinbras referring to Claudius as a likely soldier.

>'This precious stone set in the silver sea

Jewels are not entirely surrounded by the metals in which they are set.

>Which serves it in the office of a wall,

Walls have doors.

>Or as a moat defensive to a house . . .

Many moats are only on one side of a house.

>England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
>Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
>Of wat'ry Neptune . . .

On all sides?  It isn't specified.

>John Jowett has got it right. What confronts us here is less a 'mistake'
>than the sort of contradiction that indicates the presence of
>--heavens!-- ideology.  Where will it end?

Of course, you're the chap you said that this was a mistake in the first
place.

As to whether it indicates the presence of ideology, why not?  One
shouldn't, though, make its meaning one-sided or simple.  Seeing England
as an island not only indicates a certain relationship towards Scotland
(not to mention Wales), but also (and more directly) a certain
relationship towards Europe.  This is particularly curious since Gaunt's
England held a lot of European possessions.

Cheers,
Se

 

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