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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Hawks and Handsaws
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1629  Wednesday, 27 June 2001

From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Tuesday, 26 Jun 2001 09:44:10 -0500
Subject: 12.1603 Hawks and Handsaws
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1603 Hawks and Handsaws

Karen Peterson-Kranz, citing Berry's book on the hunt, writes:

>He explores, for example, the role of poaching
>in "The Merry Wives of Windsor", the paradox of pastoral hunting in "As
>You Like It", the intertwining of hunting and politics in "The Tempest",
>and the gendered language of falconry in "The Taming of the Shrew"."

Hoping that I am not merely descending into quibbling (in the modern
sense of the word) I would suggest that the dear killing in AYLI is a
form of poaching rather than true hunting on horseback with hounds.
(True hunting can be found in "Love's Labors Lost.")

I have to spend a quarter of an hour or so with my students in each
relevant class making clear that what older writers referred to as
hunting was an equestrian, aristocratic, and dangerous sport seen now
only in fox hunting (and, vestigially, in eventing and steeplechases).
What they think of as hunting (more properly "hunt'n" in Americanese)is
a pedestrian sport of would-be frontiersmen, dangerous only in light of
the number and skill (and blood-alochol level) of other hunters in the
vicinity.

In any case, I'll need to locate Berry's book and give it a read. Thanks
to Karen for making us aware of it.

Cheer,
don

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