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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Fonts of Wisdom
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1573  Thursday, 22 June 2001

[1]     From:   Edward Pixley <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Jun 2001 09:27:39 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1558 Re: Fonts of Wisdom

[2]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Jun 2001 10:14:34 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1558 Re: Fonts of Wisdom


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Pixley <
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Date:           Wednesday, 20 Jun 2001 09:27:39 -0400
Subject: 12.1558 Re: Fonts of Wisdom
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1558 Re: Fonts of Wisdom

> No one has mentioned Shakespeare's wise women yet.  I'm probably
> "reading in," but it sometimes seems to me that Shakespeare may have had
> more unambiguous affection and respect for his female voices-of-reason:
> Paulina, the Countess of Rossillion, the Princess of France, and
> Beatrice, among others.
>
> Cheers,
> Karen Peterson

A useful observation.  Interesting to note how wisely Rosalind comes off
in her meeting with Jacques or Viola in hers with Feste.  And wisdom is
no respecter of rank, for isn't Emilia, in some ways, quite the wisest
one in Othello?   And, though this last example is not unambiguous, when
I saw Mary Alice play the role, I saw considerable affection showing
through for an abused and pain-ridden, but wise, Queen Margaret.

Ed Pixley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Wednesday, 20 Jun 2001 10:14:34 -0500
Subject: 12.1558 Re: Fonts of Wisdom
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1558 Re: Fonts of Wisdom

Karen Peterson-Kranz writes:

>No one has mentioned Shakespeare's wise women yet.  I'm probably
>"reading in," but it sometimes seems to me that Shakespeare may have had
>more unambiguous affection and respect for his female voices-of-reason:
>Paulina, the Countess of Rossillion, the Princess of France, and
>Beatrice, among others.

I agree.

I think you could add Portia and Viola to the list, among others.

A number of women show considerable wisdom for which they rarely get
credit. For example, the much-contemned Ophelia neatly skewers her
pontificating brother in I, iii. Juliet, though younger and no less
madly in love than Romeo, invariably strikes me as much more
level-headed than he.

In fact, S clearly loved the idea of strong women-insightful, often
witty, courageous, and yet loving. Once he got over his taming phase
(Comedy, Shrew, Dream), he let these ladies go with the results we now
see.

Cheers,
don

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