2002

Re: Machiavelli

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0524  Friday, 22 February 2002

[1]     From:   Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 17:34:58 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0501 Re: Machiavelli

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 10:09:51 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0501 Re: Machiavelli

[3]     From:   Hugh Grady <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 22 Feb 2002 08:45:01 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.0501 Re: Machiavelli


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 17:34:58 -0000
Subject: 13.0501 Re: Machiavelli
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0501 Re: Machiavelli

Jill Phillips's excellent post on comedic Machiavels was instructive. I
am particularly pleased that we should have our attention drawn back to
good old Sir Politic Would-Be:

"Sir Politick Would-be advises Peregrine on how to be a savvy Italian
traveller, telling him to profess no religion, and to adhere only to the
local laws, adding that 'Nic. Machiavel, and Monsier Bodin, both/Were of
this mind' (4.1.375)."

"Volpone" was first performed at the Globe in 1605-1606), at the height
of anti-Catholic hysteria. Although probably written before the
Gunpowder Plot, there is some sketchy evidence that Jonson might
somewhow have been involved, perhaps working as a Roman Catholic
loyalist spy for Cecil (he attended a dinner party at Robert Catesby's
house days before the attempted attack on Parliament). This represents,
therefore, a remarkable upturn in Old Nick's representation on the
English stage, especially in this pairing with Jean Bodin. Bodin's
pioneering theoretical work on the nature of legal sovereignty, "Les six
livres de la republique" (1576), was written as a criticism of  the
national political decentralization which had allowed the Wars of
Religion to tear France apart throughout much of the middle of the 16th
century. Part of his project was to show how a centralized
legally-defined sovereignty, whose legitimacy could be detached from the
affective, divine-right precepts that Europe had inherited from the
Middle Ages (in various warped forms), could provide political
stability. Hobbes would provide a similar, if more theoretically
rigorous and wide-ranging critique, in "Leviathan" (1651) - written in
Paris, not coincidentally I suspect. Hobbes's, it will be recalled,
ended his masterpiece with a lengthy attack on the Roman Catholic Church
(indeed, religion that was not defined by the State as a whole). Both of
these thinkers, it appears, must have known of Machiavelli's observation
(in "The Prince", but most clearly in "The Discourses on Livy") that
religion should only be used as means of securing political power - or
stability, if we want to give his ideas a positive gloss.

Jonson, a loyal Roman Catholic (he would reconvert, apparently for
professional and political reasons, in 1611 I think), would have found
such notions attractive. By placing Machiavelli next to Bodin, he
suggests a way in which his most notorious theories - which were usually
blindly attacked as "atheism" - could be marshalled to an anti-Papist
ideology, or at least to a nationalist one. Profess no religion, but
adhere to local laws, indeed.  Just the sort of approach to being a
European which the post-Tridentine Papacy was struggling (vainly) to
sabotage. Now if we could just find some positive reference to
Machiavelli (or Bodin) in "Cymbeline"...

Just a thought -

m

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 10:09:51 -0800
Subject: 13.0501 Re: Machiavelli
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0501 Re: Machiavelli

Sam Small makes a strange elision (one, C. S. Lewis noted, also found in
The Prince) between being descriptive and proscriptive.  First, he
claims that

>Machiavelli did not invent 'real politic' he
>merely reported the methods of diplomats of the most successful
>governments in the world from Alexander to his present day.

Then he writes in the imperative, implying that these aren't just
observations, but demands,

>Lie, cheat, torture, ruin reputations, break your
>solemn word, murder and blame others for the deed - all is permissible
>in the struggle to keep the nation state intact and your people free to
>enjoy their business and leisure.

But surely there's a difference between what is (in the eyes of a
politician, no less) and what should be.  Were Shakespeare "an old style
idealistic Catholic" he would surely grasp this point.  The world is
indeed fallen.  This observation is not a moral imperative, however, to
act as sinfully as possible.

Cheers,
Se


Biographical Index to the Elizabethan Theater

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0523  Friday, 22 February 2002

From:           Terry Ross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 12:34:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Address Change for Kathman's Biographical Index to the
Elizabethan Theater

When I said last week that the Shakespeare Authorship page, which Dave
Kathman and I run, had moved to http://ShakespeareAuthorship.com/, I
should also have mentioned that the other pages in our old neighborhood
have also been relocated.  Dave's Biographical Index to the Elizabethan
Theater is now at

  http://ShakespeareAuthorship.com/bd/

The Christmas Poems site (and what could be more timely) is now at
http://ShakespeareAuthorship.com/xmas/

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Re: Hamlets (Skinhead and Arnold)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0521  Friday, 22 February 2002

[1]     From:   Donna Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 22 Feb 2002 00:16:15 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0492 Re: Skinhead Hamlet

[2]     From:   Robert Shaughnessy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 19:54:15 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0508 Re: Skinhead Hamlet

[3]     From:   Robert O'Connor <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 22 Feb 2002 09:14:22 +1100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.0508 Re: Skinhead Hamlet

[4]     From:   Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 22 Feb 2002 07:04:05 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0508 Re: Skinhead Hamlet

[5]     From:   John Velz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 22:53:08 -0600
        Subj:   Arnold and Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Donna Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 22 Feb 2002 00:16:15 +0800
Subject: 13.0492 Re: Skinhead Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0492 Re: Skinhead Hamlet

> If you're going to use Richard Curtis' work in its entirety to advertise
> your play, it would be nice to:
> a> attribute the writer; and,
> b> send him a couple of free tickets. I'll even offer myself as a proxy
> if
> he can't make it.
> =)
> Auctor
>
> -- This seems to imply that someone called Richard Curtis wrote the
> text. Anyone clarify this?  Or am I (mis)remembering a totally different
> Skinhead Hamlet?)

Richard Curtis co-wrote Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) with Ben Elton.

Donna

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Shaughnessy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 19:54:15 -0000
Subject: 13.0508 Re: Skinhead Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0508 Re: Skinhead Hamlet

John Velz's informant's recall is less than total. The Arnie-as-Hamlet
sequence is in Last Action Hero, a strangely redundant self-parody of
AS's oeuvre.  I quite like it, although the majority of students to whom
I've shown the sequence tend to sit through it stony-faced.  They
probably have a point.

Robert Shaughnessy

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert O'Connor <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 22 Feb 2002 09:14:22 +1100
Subject: 13.0508 Re: Skinhead Hamlet
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.0508 Re: Skinhead Hamlet

The Schwarzenegger doing Hamlet scene is in *The Last Action Hero*, a
truly crapulous film in no way redeemed by the presence of Ian McKellen
doing a very *Seventh Seal* turn as Death ... but the *Hamlet* sequence
may justify the rental fee.  The movie can probably be found in the
'specials' bin at the back of the store!

In a different vein I recall seeing a Western-style *Hamlet* parody by
the Canadian duo Wayne and Shuster - which alongside the law firm of
Rose and Krantz and Guild and Stern had Ophelia holding a banana and
muttering "Is this a dagger I see before me?"  One of the other
characters observed: "She must be mad, this is *Hamlet* and she's doing
*Macbeth*!"

Rob O'Connor

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 22 Feb 2002 07:04:05 -0600
Subject: 13.0508 Re: Skinhead Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0508 Re: Skinhead Hamlet

HH offers this:

>   A side note -- my wife remarked the other
> day that if Shakespeare were alive today, he'd probably be a
> screenwriter, and that the screenwriter has much the same status in our
> culture as a playwright did in Shakespeare's.  They do wonderful work,
> are hugely popular and widely acclaimed, but nobody knows who they are
> (and they certainly don't get the big bucks).  It's an interesting
> thought.

I agree, and although the parallel is (inevitably) inexact, I have used
it with undergraduate types to get across what S and his colleagues were
up to.

Screenwriters today may not big bucks (compared to superstar actors,
directors and producers) but they can and do make quite a lot, sometimes
for doing very little (as in the case of about ninety per cent of all TV
scripts), sometimes for doing nothing at all (see the book, "Only You
Dick Daring").

However, people like Steven Spielberg and George Lukas rake in the vast
millions by becoming something more than mere script writers. I believe
it is well accepted that S became financially comfortable (if not
precisely rich) because he was a shareholder in the company and its
theatre, not because he wrote literature of eternal greatness. This may
offend our classical (or romantic) ideals, but it seems to be as much a
truth today as four centuries ago.

Cheers,
don

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 22:53:08 -0600
Subject:        Arnold and Hamlet

Dear all,

I received several detailed accounts of the scene in *The Last Action
Hero* with Schwartzeneger as Hamlet.  Joan Plowright as the teacher and
the Olivier film of the prayer scene.  Great stuff.

Thanks to all of you and thanks to Hardy for providing this great venue
for getting quick answers to factual questions like mine.

Yours for information,
John

_______________________________________________________________
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: South Park

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0522  Friday, 22 February 2002

From:           R. A. Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 10:45:21 -0600
Subject: 13.0500 South Park
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0500 South Park

> I don't know if anyone here watches South Park

No Kitty, bad Kitty, this is my pot pie and you can't have any.

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell

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

_______________________________________________________________
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: Mercutio's Little Nasty Song

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0520  Friday, 22 February 2002

[1]     From:   Piotr Michalak <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 16:38:54 +0100
        Subj:   Mercutio's Naughty Little Song

[2]     From:   Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 15:31:29 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0513 Re: Mercutio's Little Nasty Song


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Piotr Michalak <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 16:38:54 +0100
Subject:        Mercutio's Naughty Little Song

Dear Alan,

There are some ideas about Mercutio's song below.  I think, this song is
a brilliant commentary to dramatic situation. Young Romeo is claimed a
man who has got sexual intercourses with more than one woman. The old
Nurse appreciates he's young and handsome and, she's horny when she's
nearby him.  The Nurse is of course a transformed fishmonger (very old
kind of dramatical hero) - a former whore who is living thanks younger
girls prostitute. Unfortunately to her, Romeo would like to have sex
with her only in case of totally lack of other women.  But Verona is not
a womanless desert. Romeo prefers making love with beautiful Juliet
rather than with old strumpet, especially, in Nurse's past many men used
her body and now her privet parts are unfresh and rather useless. What
more, the last verse probably suggests a danger of VD.

Yours,
Piotr.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 15:31:29 -0500
Subject: 13.0513 Re: Mercutio's Little Nasty Song
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0513 Re: Mercutio's Little Nasty Song

> By the same token - I'm not sure why Mercutio says "But" here - a hare
> that is old before you have paid your twenty ducats is over-priced, as
> is the whore. A hare that goes "hoar" after you have bought it, however,
> will mature nicely and take on a pleasantly gamey flavour.
>
> I am stumped by the suggested "whores ere it be spent", though. One can
> only go whoring ere one is spent, one would assume, both in terms of
> money and, well...

Perhaps the last "hoars" is hoars=goes grey, and "spent" means, well,
used up. A whore that is old, but still not completely unfit for her
profession, may be a blessing in lean times, but is too much in years to
ask such a price?  Perhaps also there is a satire of the Nurse's
injunctions to Juliet to marry Paris despite her inclinations.

Clifford

_______________________________________________________________
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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