2002

Re: Shakespeare and Sex

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0582  Tuesday, 27 February 2002

[1]     From:   Brandon Toropov <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 11:20:12 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0565 Re: Shakespeare and Sex

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 22:10:21 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0565 Re: Shakespeare and Sex

[3]     From:   Anna Kamaralli <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 15:06:25 +1100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0504 Re: Shakespeare and Sex

[4]     From:   Arthur Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 15:05:00 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0565 Re: Shakespeare and Sex


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brandon Toropov <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 11:20:12 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0565 Re: Shakespeare and Sex
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0565 Re: Shakespeare and Sex

David Bishop writes,

>Two points: (1) Gertrude could be -- and perhaps >is
-- a sympathetic
>character inspite of having committed adultery
>with Claudius.
>Cleopatra
>is a sympathetic character, and so is Cressida (to
>some, anyway).  Mary
>Magdeline is a sympathetic character in the >Gospel
Story, and so.  It
>seems to me that the question of Gertrude's >adultery
is simply kept up
>in the air by Shakespeare, a rather maddening >habit
of his in many of
>his plays. In this play, her "adultery," like the
real >character of
>Hamlet, Sr., is part of a past that we long to know
>but is
>purpose-fully
>denied us by the playwright.

I agree that there are many such frustrating (yet theatrically
effective) bits of sleight-of-hand in the plays. But note what
A.C.Bradley had to say on this subject:

<begin quote from p. 136 of SHAKESPEAREAN TRAGEDY>

The answers to two questions asked about the Queen are. it seems to me,
practically certain. 1) She did not merely marry a second time with
indecent haste; she was false to her husband while he lived. This is
surely the most natural interpretation of the words of the Ghost (I. v.
41 f), coming, as they do, before his account of the murder.... 2) On
the other hand, she was *not* privy to the murder of her husband, either
before the deed or after it. There is no signe of her being so, and
there are clear signs that she was not. The representation of the murder
in the play-scene does not move her; and when her husband starts from
his throne, she innocently asks him, "How fares my lord?" In the
interview with Hamlet, when her son says of his slaughter of Polonius,

"A bloody deed!" almost as bad, good mother,
As kill a king and marry with his brother,

the astonishment of her repetition is evidently genuine....

<end of quote>

The passage Bradley cites in support of 1) above is the familiar speech
of the Ghost:

Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast
With witchcraft of his wits, with traitorous gifts --
O wicked wit and gifts that have the power
So to seduce! -- won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming virtuous queen.
O Hamlet, what a falling-off was there ...
(etc.)

This is certainly a powerful portion of the play, and it comes back to
me sharply, as it surely is designed to do, when I see Hamlet take his
mother to task after Polonius's death. I think WS tries, as usual, to
have it both ways (i.e., retain sympathy for Gertrude) by not pressing
the specific question of adultery quite as emphatically after this point
in the play.

Interesting, isn't it, to picture WS the actor intoning these particular
bitter words on stage? You wonder: What family issues related to the
fall of his own father might be lurking beneath the surface? We'll never
know...

Brandon

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 22:10:21 -0500
Subject: 13.0565 Re: Shakespeare and Sex
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0565 Re: Shakespeare and Sex

Brandon Toropov writes,

>This is an extremely important point, one well worth bearing in mind
>whenever we are tempted to analyze theatrical characters as though they
>were flesh-and-blood individuals on the therapist's couch.  They are,
>instead, hypothetical creations designed for the express purpose of
>eliciting an emotional response from an audience (when properly
>performed).

Yes, of course, dramatic figures do not have sex -- really, but we
certainly pretend that they do. Ophelia is pregnant when she commits
suicide. Cassio has actually slept with Desdemona; that's why she's so
anxious to have him back in the service (so to speak). Claudius has had
a thirty year affair with Gertrude.

All of these things have been suggested. And who are we to say no?

But it is nice to have a little bit of textual evidence to support our
make believe.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Anna Kamaralli <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 15:06:25 +1100
Subject: 13.0504 Re: Shakespeare and Sex
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0504 Re: Shakespeare and Sex

Robin Hamilton writes,

> Ed Taft pointed me to towards Paris and Helen in _Troilus and Cressida_,
> to which I'd add (though Cressida and Troilus aren't formally married)
> Cressida and Diomedes.

This observation raises a few really interesting points about this play
and its portrayal of sexual betrayal.

Firstly, the fact that Troilus and Cressida are not married should not
be regarded casually.  This incident of unmarried, consensual,
unadulterous sex (so hard to find a less censorious word than
fornication...) is highly unusual (unique?) in Shakespeare.  Hector's
argument to the Trojan council about the duty a wife owes to a husband
emphasizes that the world of the play does include marriage, so the lack
of mention of it between the young lovers, and Troilus's failure to make
any offer of marriage to Cressida, is significant (believe it or not, he
also never actually tells her that he loves her!).

Second, and perhaps more importantly, Cressida's "adultery" with
Diomedes is a kind of theatrical optical illusion: we know we saw it; we
think we know we saw it; but when you look closely it isn't there.

It's all to do with where in the text we get our information about what
is happening between Cressida and Diomedes, and whether we can trust the
person reporting it.  There is no doubt at all that Troilus believes he
is seeing himself betrayed, and he describes with outrage the
infideleous (if this isn't a word, it should be) acts going on before
his eyes (there is a nice tie-in here with the "dialogic stage
directions" thread).  Surprisingly though, the most damning thing he can
come up with is "She strokes his cheek!" and "What, so familiar?" (when
Cressida says "hark, a word in your ear" and "whispers" to Diomedes).
Nothing along the lines of "lo, they shaggeth" or even "She kisses him."

The other commentators are Ulysses, the Machiavellian (ah - another
tie-in) enemy of Troilus and all Trojans, and Thersites, the enemy of
mankind: both of whom have a personal interest in construing the worst.

Diomedes' lines strongly indicate that he hasn't yet got what he wants
from Cressida ("What did you promise me before?...  Then let your mind
be coupled with your words... Give me some token of the surety of it").
By the end of the scene Cressida has promised _only_ that she will allow
him to come and see her, but she refuses to specify a time or make
further promises, despite his asking.  So all we have by the end of "the
betrayal scene" are hints that Cressida might have further meetings with
Diomedes, and a pretty clear indication that she's still holding him at
arm's length.

Because I can't resist bringing in one more current thread, it could be
argued that Cressida's real betrayal of Troilus in this scene is nothing
literally sexual, but is the symbolic one of handing over Troilus's
favour: the sleeve.  In courtly love terms this is about as big as a
betrayal can get.

Those who have seen the play performed could be forgiven for not being
aware of the ambiguity of the text, as most directors seem determined to
stamp it out with blocking and gesture.  In the 2000 Michael Bogdanov
production in Australia, for example, when Cressida is lying on her back
on a camp bed, legs spread-eagled, with Diomedes lying on top of her,
and a horrified Troilus cries "she strokes his cheek" one can only wish
to point out to him that this is the least of his worries...

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Arthur Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 15:05:00 +0800
Subject: 13.0565 Re: Shakespeare and Sex
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0565 Re: Shakespeare and Sex

Robin Hamilton suggests that 'the only literary text which equates a
widow's remarriage with adultery' is _The Vicar of Wakefield_.  The Wife
of Bath's Prologue doesn't exactly make the equation, but that is
certainly something Alisoun is worried about, from her first citation of
Christ's rebuke to the five times married Samaritan woman (John 4:6) on.

Arthur Lindley

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Re: Shakespeare's Will

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0581  Tuesday, 27 February 2002

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 10:49:48 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0569 Re: Shakespeare's Will

[2]     From:   Vick Bennison <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 01:03:19 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0569 Re: Shakespeare's Will


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 10:49:48 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0569 Re: Shakespeare's Will
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0569 Re: Shakespeare's Will

Takashi Kozuka quotes me, then writes,  "Bill Arnold said:
'Shakespeare's last Will and Testament suggests so, does it not?  He
wrote, and signed...' No, he didn't write it. (He did sign, though.)
There was a 'stock' form of the will in Shakespeare's time, for example,
how it should start. The passage Bill quoted doesn't tell us much about
Shakespeare himself.'"

Takashi, if the message board is willing, I wish to explore this more.
It does provide historical evidence of the _mind_ of the man we call
Shakespeare.  It does provide a statement by him of his religious
beliefs.  The website this appears on states that his lawyers made
changes at the request of Shakespeare, therefore he could have struck
the so-called _stock_ form, and apparently did strike some of them.  But
I am not an expert in the Jacobean Age law.  Perhaps others on our
message board can?  Also, elsewhere, perhaps in Schoenbaum, I have read
that Shakespeare's Will has been debated, and the final assessment is
that it was _in fact_ in his own hand.  And the will, in contrast to
that of his father John's, in which his father confessed to being a
Catholic, is a confession to being a Christian.  Stock opening, is that
what is meant?  This is a long and detailed will, does _not_ apprear to
be stock, he altered it, and he signed it.  If he were a confessed
atheist, as has been alleged of Christopher Marlowe, then he could have
altered his will radically, could he have not?  And I wonder, herein, do
we take this last will and testament as a last will and testament or
_not_?  What basis to we reject it?  It strongly suggests to me that
William Shakespeare, gent, was also a confessed Christian. For those who
have never seen it, here is the text:

In the name of god Amen I William Shackspeare, of Stratford upon Avon in
the countrie of Warr., gent., in perfect health and memorie, God be
praysed, doe make and ordayne this my last will and testament in manner
and forme followeing, that ys to saye, ffirst, I comend my soule into
the hands of God my Creator, hoping and assuredlie beleeving, through
thonelie merites, of Jesus Christe my Saviour, to be made partaker of
lyfe everlastinge, and my bodye to the earth whereof yt ys made. Item, I
gyve and bequeath unto my [sonne and] daughter Judyth one hundred and
fyftie poundes of lawfull English money, to be paid unto her in the
manner and forme foloweng, that ys to saye, one hundred poundes in
discharge of her marriage porcion within one yeare after my deceas, with
consideracion after the rate of twoe shillings in the pound for soe long
tyme as the same shalbe unpaied unto her after my deceas, and the fyftie
pounde residwe thereof upon her surrendring of, or gyving of such
sufficient securitie as the overseers of this my will shall like of, to
surrender or graunte all her estate and right that shall discend or come
unto her after my deceas, or that shee nowe hath, of, in, or to, one
copiehold tenemente, with thappurtenaunces, lyeing and being in
Stratford upon Avon aforesaied in the saied countrye of Warr., being
parcell or holden of the mannour of Rowington, unto my daughter Susanna
Hall and her heires for ever.  Item, I gyve and bequeath unto my saied
daughter Judith one hundred and fyftie poundes more, if shee or anie
issue of her bodie by lyvinge att thend of three yeares next ensueing
the daie of the date of this my will, during which tyme my executours
are to paie her consideracion from my deceas according to the rate
aforesaied; and if she dye within the saied tearme without issue of her
bodye, then my will us, and I doe gyve and bequeath one hundred poundes
thereof to my neece Elizabeth Hall, and the fiftie poundes to be sett
fourth by my executours during the lief of my sister Johane Harte, and
the use and proffitt thereof cominge shalbe payed to my saied sister
Jone, and after her deceas the saied l.li.12 shall remaine amongst the
children of my saied sister, equallie to be divided amongst them; but if
my saied daughter Judith be lyving att thend of the saied three yeares,
or anie yssue of her bodye, then my will ys, and soe I devise and
bequeath the saied hundred and fyftie poundes to be sett our by my
executours and overseers for the best benefitt of her and her issue, and
the stock not to be paied unto her soe long as she shalbe marryed and
covert baron [by my executours and overseers]; but my will ys, that she
shall have the consideracion yearelie paied unto her during her lief,
and, after her ceceas, the saied stocke and consideracion to be paied to
her children, if she have anie, and if not, to her executours or
assignes, she lyving the saied terme after my deceas. Provided that yf
suche husbond as she shall att thend of the saied three years be marryed
unto, or att anie after, doe sufficientlie assure unto her and thissue
of her bodie landes awnswereable to the porcion by this my will gyven
unto her, and to be adjudged soe by my executours and overseers, then my
will ys, that the said cl.li.13 shalbe paied to such husbond as shall
make such assurance, to his owne use. Item, I gyve and bequeath unto my
saied sister Jone xx.li. and all my wearing apparrell, to be paied and
delivered within one yeare after my deceas; and I doe will and devise
unto her the house with thappurtenaunces in Stratford, wherein she
dwelleth, for her naturall lief, under the yearlie rent of xij.d. Item,
I gyve and bequeath unto her three sonnes, William Harte, ---- Hart, and
Michaell Harte, fyve pounds a peece, to be paied within one yeare after
my deceas [to be sett out for her within one yeare after my deceas by my
executours, with thadvise and direccions of my overseers, for her best
frofitt, untill her mariage, and then the same with the increase thereof
to be paied unto her]. Item, I gyve and bequeath unto [her] the saied
Elizabeth Hall, all my plate, except my brod silver and gilt bole, that
I now have att the date of this my will. Item, I gyve and bequeath unto
the poore of Stratfordaforesaied tenn poundes; to Mr. Thomas Combe my
sword; to Thomas Russell esquier fyve poundes; and to Frauncis Collins,
of the borough of Warr. in the countie of Warr. gentleman, thirteene
poundes, sixe shillinges, and eight pence, to be paied within one yeare
after my deceas. Item, I gyve and bequeath to [Mr. Richard Tyler
thelder] Hamlett Sadler xxvj.8. viij.d. to buy him a ringe; to William
Raynoldes gent., xxvj.8. viij.d. to buy him a ringe; to my dogson
William Walker xx8. in gold; to Anthonye Nashe gent.  xxvj.8. viij.d.
[in gold]; and to my fellowes John Hemynges, Richard Brubage, and Henry
Cundell, xxvj.8. viij.d. a peece to buy them ringes, Item, I gyve, will,
bequeath, and devise, unto my daughter Susanna Hall, for better enabling
of her to performe this my will, and towards the performans thereof, all
that capitall messuage or tenemente with thappurtenaunces, in Stratford
aforesaid, called the New Place, wherein I nowe dwell, and two messuages
or tenementes with thappurtenaunces, scituat, lyeing, and being in
Henley streete, within the borough of Stratford aforesaied; and all my
barnes, stables, orchardes, gardens, landes, tenementes, and
hereditamentes, whatsoever, scituat, lyeing, and being, or to be had,
receyved, perceyved, or taken, within the townes, hamletes, villages,
fieldes,and groundes, of Stratford upon Avon, Oldstratford, Bushopton,
and Welcombe, or in anie of them in the saied countie of Warr. And alsoe
all that messuage or tenemente with thappurtenaunces, wherein one John
Robinson dwelleth, scituat, lyeing and being, in the Balckfriers in
London, nere the Wardrobe; and all my other landes, tenementes, and
hereditamentes whatsoever, To have and to hold all and singuler the
saied premisses, with theire appurtenaunces, unto the saied Susanna
Hall, for and during the terme of her naturall lief, and after her
deceas, to the first sonne of her bodie lawfullie yssueing, and to the
heires males of the bodie of the saied first sonne lawfullie yssueinge;
and for defalt of such issue, to the second sonne of her bodie,
lawfullie issueing, and to the heires males of the bodie of the saied
second sonne lawfullie yssueinge; and for defalt of such heires, to the
third sonne of the bodie of the saied Susanna lawfullie yssueing, and of
the heires males of the bodie of the saied third sonne lawfullie
yssueing; and for defalt of such issue, the same soe to be and remaine
to the ffourth after another, and to the heires males of the bodies of
the bodies of the saied fourth, fifth, sixte, and seaventh sonnes
lawfullie yssueing, in such manner as yt ys before lymitted to be and
remaine to the first, second, and third sonns of her bodie, and to
theire heires males; and for defalt of such issue, the said premisses to
be and remaine to my sayed neece Hall, and the heires males of her bodie
lawfullie yssueinge; and for defalt of such issue, to my daughter
Judith, and the heires males of her bodie lawfullie issueinge; and for
defalt of such issue, to the right heires of me the saied William
Shackspeare for ever. Item, I gyve unto my wief my second best bed with
the furniture, Item, I gyve and bequeath to my saied daughter Judith my
broad silver gilt bole. All the rest of my goodes, chattel, leases,
plate, jewels, and household stuffe whatsoever, after my dettes and
legasies paied, and my funerall expenses dischardged, I give, devise,
and bequeath to my sonne in lawe, John Hall gent., and my daughter
Susanna, his wief, whom I ordaine and make executours of this my last
will and testament. And I doe intreat and appoint the saied Thomas
Russell esquier and Frauncis Collins gent. to be overseers hereof, and
doe revoke all former wills, and publishe this to be my last will and
testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto put my [seale] hand, the
daie and yeare first abovewritten.

              Witnes to the publyshing
              hereof    Fra: Collyns
              Julyus Shawe
              John Robinson
              Hamnet Sadler
              Rovert Whattcott

http://shakespeare.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://fly.hiwaay.net/%7Epaul/shakspere/shakwill.html

Bill Arnold

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Vick Bennison <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 01:03:19 EST
Subject: 13.0569 Re: Shakespeare's Will
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0569 Re: Shakespeare's Will

Takashi Kozuka writes:  "No, he didn't write it."

I just finished reading Charles Hamilton's 1985 book "In Search of
Shakespeare".  Among his several claims is that Shakespeare's will is
holographic.  He claims that the will is neither in lawyer Francis
Collin's handwriting, nor in the handwriting of his known clerk, but in
Shakespeare's handwriting.  This does not seem to be the generally
accepted view.  What is the evidence, other then legend, that the will
is NOT in Shakespeare's handwriting?  The fact that it is in stock form
(i.e., not a form, but in stock language) available in a pamphlet to
anyone, including Shakespeare, seems to prove little one way or the
other.  Nor does the fact that it is signed by his lawyer, since it is
quite clear that someone besides the lawyer penned it.  If we don't know
what Shakespeare's handwriting looked like (except for the six
signatures that do not look significantly unlike the writing in the
will), why can we claim so adamantly that he did not write it?

- Vick Bennison

P.S.  Even gullible little me finds many of Mr. Hamilton's claims
dubious, but let's stick to the will, please.  Thanks.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Re: Hamlet (Once More)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0579  Tuesday, 27 February 2002

[1]     From:   Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 10:36:09 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0562 Re: Hamlet (Once More)

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 14:27:19 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0562 Re: Hamlet (Once More)

[3]     From:   Brandon Toropov <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 12:19:57 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0562 Re: Hamlet (Once More)

[4]     From:   Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 20:06:09 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0455 Re: Hamlet (Once More)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 10:36:09 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0562 Re: Hamlet (Once More)
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0562 Re: Hamlet (Once More)

> Isn't the action of revenge under his control? I can
> imagine a Hamlet
> who waits for means, motive, and opportunity (as I
> think Hamlet does),
> but once they are all furnished, Hamlet himself
> must, finally, act.
>
> He does, of course, killing Claudius at play's end.
> Does he do so
> because he is finally convinced that it is God's
> Will?  If so, what
> convinces him?

I always thought that Hamlet, seeing falling bodies all around him, and
realizing that he will soon be joining their desperate gasping for life,
acknowledges that Claudius is indeed in the heat of his full-blown sin
and ripe for a passage to Hell. However, he is ready to do so even
before this scene, when he tells Horatio that it would be "perfect
conscience/ To quit him with this arm".

Brian Willis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 14:27:19 -0500
Subject: 13.0562 Re: Hamlet (Once More)
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0562 Re: Hamlet (Once More)

Paul Doniger correctly claims that he is not me, and then quotes me:

>>>"To my ear, this sounds as if Hamlet has given up plotting and is waiting
>>> for a divinity to shape the outcome or his death. God will provide. The
>> >way you find out what God wants is by waiting."

He then asks some good questions.

> Wait for what?  What sign or event tells Hamlet that it is time to
>act and that he is acting according to God's Will?
>What happens that convinces Hamlet at the end of the play that he can
>effect revenge?  Or [leading question] is his killing of Claudius
>justified on other grounds by play's end?

I assume that Hamlet is dead wrong to assume that a divinity shapes our
ends, but he appears to think so or, at least, says that he does. He
doesn't tell us how he will know his cue to act. But he may assume that
he will be forced to act, and if he is forced to act, then he will
assume that a divinity is shaping the outcome. And so possibly he will
assume that his revenge is divinely sanctioned. Note all the assumptions
here.

Of course, maybe Hamlet just gets angry after Laertes cuts him and
confesses. Hamlet is, however, careful to kill Claudius with both the
sword and the cup. The symbolism has not gone unnoticed.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brandon Toropov <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 12:19:57 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0562 Re: Hamlet (Once More)
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0562 Re: Hamlet (Once More)

Edmunt Taft writes,

> Brandon Toropov defines Hamlet's state of mind > at
> the end of the play as
> embracing the following sentiment:
>
> "The point being, as I understand it: "God is, by
> definition, fully
> present in *every* action and *every*
> phenomenon --
> now what, precisely,
> do you imagine is under your narrow personal
> control?"
>
> Isn't the action of revenge under his control? I
> can
> imagine a Hamlet
> who waits for means, motive, and opportunity (as I
> think Hamlet does),
> but once they are all furnished, Hamlet himself
> must, finally, act.
>
> He does, of course, killing Claudius at play's end.
> Does he do so
> because he is finally convinced that it is God's
> Will?

Yes, I think so.

>  If so, what
> convinces him?

The clear (but completely unanticipated) evidence that the King is
responsible for both Gertrude's poisoning and the intrigue of the foils.

Here's the transition I'm talking about (pardon the CAPS I use to sneak
my own two cents in):

Osric: Look to the Queen there ho!
Horatio: They bleed on both sides. How is it my lord?

(NOTE THAT HAMLET DOES NOT ANSWER -- INSTEAD, HE WATCHES THE SITUATION
CAREFULLY.)

Osric: How is't, Laertes?
Laertes: Why, as a woodcock to my own springe, Osric:
I am justly kill'd with my own treachery.

(HERE THE AUDIENCE IS SUBTLY REMINDED OF POLONIUS, WHO USED PRECISELY
THE SAME "SPRINGE" FIGURE OF SPEECH TO DISMISS HAMLET'S DESIGNS ON
OPHELIA; THE AUDIENCE IS ALSO REMINDED OF THE PLAY'S MANY "SPRINGE"-LIKE
INTRIGUES, INCLUDING A) POLONIUS'S FINAL BIT OF EAVESDROPPING AND B) THE
DEADLY INTRIGUE COLLAPSING BEFORE HAMLET RIGHT NOW)

Hamlet: How does the Queen?

(HE'S GOT A FEEING ABOUT THIS... WANTS TO TEST IT. HENCE THE QUESTION.)

King: She sounds (swoons) to see them bleed.

(HAMLET MAKES NO RESPONSE)

Queen: No, No -- the drink, the drink -- O my dear
Hamlet --

(IS SHE TALKING TO HER SON? HER HUSBAND? BOTH AT THE SAME TIME? LOTS OF
OEDIPAL STUFF IN THIS FINAL EXCHANGE...)

The drink, the drink! I am poison'd!

(HER DYING WORDS OPENLY AND PUBLICLY CONTRADICT THE KING'S. [THERE'S A
FIRST.] HAMLET NOW KNOWS SOMETHING IS DEFINITELY UP.)

Hamlet: O villainy! Ho, let the door be locked!

(FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE MEMBERS OF THE COURT, WHO MAY NOT BE QUITE AS
SHARP AS HE IS:)

Treachery! Seek it out!

(I ALWAYS PICTURE HIM STARING DEAD-ON AT THE KING ON THAT LINE)

Laertes: It is here, Hamlet. [Hamlet], thou art slain;
No med'cine in the world can do thee good;
In thee there is not half an hour's life.
The treacherous instrument is in thy had,
Unbated and envenom'd. The foul practice
Hath turn'd itself on me. Lo here I lie,
Never to rise again. Thy mother's pois'ned.
I can no more -- the King, the King's to blame.

(HAMLET IS NOW QUITE CERTAIN OF HIS OWN MORTALITY .. BUT THEN, HE WAS
CERTAIN OF THAT AT V, II 219 FF.)

(EVERYTHING IS NOW IN PLACE -- THE MEMBERS OF THE COURT CANNOT DISPUTE
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF H'S CAUSE OR HIS MOTIVE -- THE KING'S TREACHERY IS
CLEAR TO EVEN THE DULLEST OBSERVER -- AND MORE IMPORTANT THAN SUCH
CONCERNS, THE TIME AND PLACE HAVE COHERED FOR HIM, AS A LATER
SHAKESPEAREAN CHARACTER MIGHT PUT IT. THE GUILTY KING IS BEFORE HIM
--AND HAMLET HOLDS THE PROOF OF THE KING'S LATEST CRIME IN HIS HANDS. IT
JUST HAPPENS TO BE A FOIL.)

(IN OTHER WORDS: HEAVEN IS ORDINANT. GOD HAS DELIVERED TO HAMLET THE
*PERFECT* MOMENT -- AND HAMLET HAD LITTLE OR NO ROLE IN  INSTIGATING
THAT PERFECT MOMENT'S ARRIVAL. IT IS NOT TO COME; IT IS NOW. HE IS
READY. HE ACTS.)

Hamlet: The point envenom'd too! Then venom, to thy work!

(etc.)

*****

On the whole "providence" question, consider A.C.  Bradley's dead-on
analysis, which is the best I've ever come across. (Apologies if I'm a)
quoting Bradley too often lately or b) going over ground you've already
covered.)

<begin quote from page 120 of SHAKESPEAREAN TRAGEDY>

... there is a trait about which doubt is impossible -- a sense in
Hamlet that he is in the hands of Providence. This had, indeed, already
shown itself at the death of Polonius --

For this same lord,
I do repent: but heaven hath pleased it so,
To punish me with this and this with me
That I must be their scourge and minister:

(i.e., the scourge and minister of 


Re: "Chastely"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0580  Tuesday, 27 February 2002

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 13:41:49 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0567 Re: "Chastely"

[2]     From:   Simon Morris <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wed, 27 Feb 2002 10:23:20 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0567 Re: "Chastely"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 13:41:49 -0500
Subject: 13.0567 Re: "Chastely"
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0567 Re: "Chastely"

> With
> the emendation you suggest, you have the stresses in chastely
> (CHASTE-i-LY) in perfect position but absent would need to be pronounced
> ab-SENT in order to scan. (Elsewhere it always scans AB-sent.)

Actually, when the word is used as a verb, the stress is on the second
syllable, as in "absent thee from felicity awhile."  It seems awkward,
but the word might be a verb here:  A direction to the widow to make
sure her daughter is not present.  Of course, that merely postpones the
shift from iamb to troche until the next word; but as David Wallace
notes,

> In the
> scansion you suggest, "after" (AF-ter) would be acceptable since
> Shakespeare often inverts the stress in two syllable words that follow a
> syntactic break (such as a period, comma, conjunction etc.)

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Simon Morris <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wed, 27 Feb 2002 10:23:20 +0000
Subject: 13.0567 Re: "Chastely"
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0567 Re: "Chastely"

>I think it more likely that the missing half-foot is either an oversight
>(S's or the typesetter's) or deliberately offered to indicate a slight
>pause - which seems acceptable given the dramatic context.

More than acceptable, perhaps. Helena is describing her plan step by
step, and the vacant half-foot describes her non-description of the
central step.  The time is filled, with a space, just as Helena
describes herself filling Bertram's time.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Re: Courtly Love in Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0578  Tuesday, 27 February 2002

From:           Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 26 Feb 2002 10:25:41 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0563 Re: Courtly Love in Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0563 Re: Courtly Love in Shakespeare

Tue,

I would be interested to see how the narrative poems fit into all of
this (and perhaps the sonnets as well). Venus and Adonis seems like a
sly reinterpretation and perhaps rejection of that courtly ideal. The
Rape of Lucrece has a metaphorical scaling of the battlements as Tarquin
rapes her. The sonnets might be closer to the courtly ideal but they
also display disgust at those feelings and sometimes a rejection of it
altogether.

I think you have an interesting topic and certainly worth thorough
research.

Brian Willis

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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