2002

Claudius's Rhetoric

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0121  Monday, 21 January 2002

From:           John V. Knapp <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 Jan 2002 13:55:49 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Claudius's Rhetoric

Hello everyone --

For a quick reference, does anyone recall the cite where Wayne Booth
discusses Claudius's rhetorical skills and polish.  I've looked but
can't locate it and need it ASAP.

Thanks in advance,
John V. Knapp

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S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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Re: Ancient Iago

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0120  Monday, 21 January 2002

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 18 Jan 2002 13:07:22 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0105 Re: Ancient Iago

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 18 Jan 2002 18:16:28 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0105 Re: Ancient Iago

[3]     From:   Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 20 Jan 2002 14:31:50 -0500
        Subj:   Ancient Iago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 Jan 2002 13:07:22 -0600
Subject: 13.0105 Re: Ancient Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0105 Re: Ancient Iago

        Edmund Taft writes,

> I disagree with Andy White's assertion that the provenance of the Ghost
> has been made clear by 3.1. What has been proven is that the Ghost told
> the truth about Hamlet, Sr.'s murder -- period. Where the Ghost comes
> from and who he really is is still a mystery.

Well, yes and no. On the one hand, it could not be much of a ghost if it
weren't mysterious. WS presumably wrote about it the way he did in order
to create an atmosphere of mystery and numinousness -- and the resulting
terror in all who see it. On the other hand, the ghost tells Hamlet, "I
am thy father's spirit, / Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night, /
And for the day confin'd to fast in fires" of Purgatory. Of course, it
might be lying. But on the one issue subject to verification, it is
proved completely reliable.

If we accept it more or less on its own terms, the play makes good
sense. A terrible crime has been committed that has infected the entire
body politic of Denmark. The country must be healed, and that can only
be accomplished if justice is done and a rightful ruler installed in the
sacred role of king.  To get this done, the ghost has been sent to
command Hamlet to do it -- even if doing it requires that justice take
the form of the normally-forbidden revenge.

I don't think Shakespeare cared if it was theologically or
demonologically sound. He wanted "good theatre" and a story by which to
develop character and theme. And he got it. In spades.

Cheers,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 Jan 2002 18:16:28 -0800
Subject: 13.0105 Re: Ancient Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0105 Re: Ancient Iago

Graham Bradshaw suggests that

>there is
>another, probably related question, which is thrown up later in the
>dramatic sequence. Apparently--meaning, we only learn this
>later!--Othello had chosen NOT to take Iago into his confidence during
>the period of the secret wooing. Cassio was not just Othello's chosen
>officer, but his chosen confidant. And yet in the first scene where we
>see Othello with Iago, Othello is (suddenly?) speaking to Iago in an
>unprecedentedly confidential ways: why?

We don't know that Othello has never treated Iago as his confidant
before, only that he treated Cassio as his confidant in wooing
Desdemona.  We do have evidence that they're old comrades.  Perhaps
Othello just didn't think that a senior non-com with (as we later see) a
strong streak of misogyny wouldn't be the best person to ask about how
to woo a senator's daughter.

Cheers,
Se


Re: Accents English

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0118  Monday, 21 January 2002

[1]     From:   Mary Jane Miller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 18 Jan 2002 11:31:23 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0106 Re: Accents English

[2]     From:   Jonathan Hope <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 18 Jan 2002 17:24:56 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0106 Re: Accents English

[3]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 18 Jan 2002 12:29:36 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0106 Re: Accents English


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Jane Miller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 Jan 2002 11:31:23 -0500
Subject: 13.0106 Re: Accents English
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0106 Re: Accents English

Re Auntie  or the Beeb's responsibility for standardised accents. In the
late 60's I was doing research on BBC radio drama with the BBC's full
cooperation. They included me in a 30 day course on radio production
where producers in training were able to talk to the brass about many
things. I in my Canadian colonial accent asked why outside of dramas by
Pinter, Owen, Stoppard et al I didn't hear any regional accents on the
air - except for the gardening show. I was told that whenever the BBC
tried to use the rich variety of accents available they received stacks
of letters protesting that the listener could not understand what was
being said. Since I was taking the degree from Birmingham - though based
in London where the BBC HQ is - that struck me as strange indeed. I had
perforce learned to understand Brummagem within days of my arrival.

The other thing about having a standard Canadian accent in Britain ( the
majority of Canadians speak in the same accents as our broadcasters - we
have few regional accents) which is still true  is that no one can place
you in terms of class, geography, education etc.  Canadians will not
pick up subtle cues of accents in British theatre, films and television.

This means that in radio drama or in Shakespeare where the words are the
work, information can be added or stripped away using local regional or
national speech patterns. American and British directors have a
wonderful resource in terms of varied accents we in Canada do not have.

Mary Jane

PS: It was argued in an early popular culture seminar at Birmingham by a
guest lecturer who had looked at the question that decades of BBC
standard speech had not had any measurable impact on regional or local
speech at all.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jonathan Hope
 <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 Jan 2002 17:24:56 +0100
Subject: 13.0106 Re: Accents English
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0106 Re: Accents English

As ever, those interested in early modern accents should begin with
chapter 7 of Charles Barber's *Early Modern English* (2nd ed. 1997,
Edinburgh UP and Columbia) which, like all of his stuff, is lucid and
newcomer-friendly.

As for present-day accents and their supposed qualities ('clarity',
'harshness', 'music' etc), numerous linguistic experiments have shown
that attitudes to accents are wholly learned behaviour - they have
nothing to do with the phonetic reality of the accents.  It is not true,
for example, that RP is inherently clearer or more easily understood
than any other accent of English - rather its use by radio announcers
meant that more people were exposed to it.

There is a very nice counter-example to this canard in an early volume
of the poet James Kirkup's autobiography (I think *The Only Child*) - he
grew up in the north-east of England, and records the day a new teacher
arrived in his school speaking RP.  No one could understand her.

Jonathan Hope
Strathclyde University, Glasgow

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 Jan 2002 12:29:36 -0500
Subject: 13.0106 Re: Accents English
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0106 Re: Accents English

Gabe Egan makes a lot of sense when he says,

> Of course, one might say (and he probably has said) "I'm proud of my
> accent" when really meaning "I'm not ashamed of it", and we can all
> allow that slight imprecision. Likewise, it would be absurd to really
> mean "I'm proud to be a woman" or "I'm proud to be a man" as though one
> had striven to achieve this genetic state.

But logic seldom correlates exactly with human behaviour.  "Gay pride"
and "black pride" activists and feminists, for example are not likely to
acknowledge that they are only saying that they are not ashamed of being
gay, black or female (or some combination).  Instead of merely denying
the bigoted slurs which have victimized them, they insist that they
would not want to be straight, white or male, that it is better to be
what they are -- that gays, blacks and women are in fact superior to
others.  And they illustrate their theses with instances, real or
stereotyped, such as the supposed superior aesthetic taste of gay men.
Black Studies programs justify their existence by finding and
exaggerating cultural contributions of persons of African heritage or
others who might be said to be such.  (Try telling a Black Studies
graduate that Cleopatra was Greek and see what reaction you get. --
Maybe Shakespeare is partly to blame for this.)

This form of chauvinism, if expressed in a comparable way by
heterosexuals, whites and men is called homophobia, racism and sexism.

_______________________________________________________________
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 Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>

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: BBC Series

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0119  Monday, 21 January 2002

[1]     From:   Peter Hadorn <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 18 Jan 2002 12:04:24 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

[2]     From:   Bruce Young <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 18 Jan 2002 11:13:10 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

[3]     From:   Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 18 Jan 2002 13:55:59 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

[4]     From:   David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 19 Jan 2002 12:40:08 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

[5]     From:   Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 20 Jan 2002 21:22:54 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0079 Re: BBC Series


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Hadorn <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 Jan 2002 12:04:24 -0600
Subject: 13.0110 Re: BBC Series
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

Regarding the BBC series, I can't resist putting in my two cents worth.

My favorite of the ones I've seen is "The Taming of the Shrew." Most
people I have talked to will dismiss it in favor of the
Burton/Taylor/Zeffirelli film.  But I had the advantage of seeing the
BBC version first so I wasn't prejudiced by the gloss and high
slap-stick of the film.  I found Cleese's understated humor throughout
(I have read that he intentionally wanted to do a version that
contrasted with the Zeffirelli) quite hilarious.  Rather than depending
on broad comedy and melodrama, its approach to humor is nuanced and
intelligent.  It uses the "lines" to create the humor.  I recommend it
highly.

I also feel it is my duty to warn any potential purchaser to stay far
away from the "Romeo and Juliet" and I am surprised that no one has yet
done so.  The casting of the two leads was a tremendous blunder that
sabotaged any merit the rest of the production might have.  STAY AWAY!

I have heard from several others that "Dream" is also very bad, but I
haven't seen it myself.

Regarding some others, in brief: I agree that "Measure" and "R2" are
quite good.  I was also pleasantly surprised by "Two Gentlemen."  Unlike
an earlier writer, I thought "Errors" was ok and not terrible.  I was
disappointed by "1 Henry IV" and "As You Like It."

Plays that are worth seeing if you or a student need to see a version
that is competent, though they definitely don't sparkle: "All's Well,"
"Coriolanus," "Winter's Tale," and "Troilus."

Best,
Peter Hadorn
University of Wisconsin-Platteville

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bruce Young <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 Jan 2002 11:13:10 -0700
Subject: 13.0110 Re: BBC Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

As might be expected, I agree with some who've expressed their opinions
and disagree with others.

My favorites include Measure for Measure, Much Ado (though I admire
Branagh's version, I prefer the BBC version of the scenes with Dogberry
and the watch, and the other parts are good too), The Winter's Tale
(despite a few quibbles--for instance, Perdita's not as strong as I'd
like), and All's Well (I think the ending works quite well).

I also like Othello (though it's been a while since I've seen it) and
Hamlet (for the most part).  Lear is OK--maybe I'm faint in my praise
because I keep hoping for a really great version.  And I remember being
pleased with Coriolanus, Pericles, and Cymbeline (though my memory of
the last two is fading).

I don't care for what I've seen of As You Like It (I'm not sure I've
seen it all the way through), and I remember feeling that Twelfth Night
dragged rather badly.  But I'm willing to be persuaded on either of
these.

I don't know most of the others well enough to comment on.

Bruce Young

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 Jan 2002 13:55:59 -0500
Subject: 13.0110 Re: BBC Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

For those who have seen the BBC Othello, with Bob Hoskins as Iago, I'd
be interested in knowing how his performance compares with his DeFlores
in the filmed version of The Changeling occasionally appearing on the
Bravo channel in the US. I have often thought DeFlores is much like
Iago.

Jack Heller

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 19 Jan 2002 12:40:08 -0500
Subject: 13.0110 Re: BBC Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0110 Re: BBC Series

I'd like to put in a plug for the BBC/Time-Life *Taming of the Shrew*,
directed by the almost-always-interesting Jonathan Miller, with John
Cleese as a thoughtful and understated Petruchio and Sarah Badel as a
thirty-something Katherine whose anger at the inanity and repressiveness
of her life chez Baptista Minola is reasonable in ways that help make
sense of that final big speech.  The low-key sets (which echo important
early modern paintings from Paolo da Francesca through Georges de la
Tour to Vermeer) support an approach to the play by way of the good old
reason-passion axis.  Doesn't resolve our modern difficulties with the
patriarchal ideology, mind you, but does make a unusually coherent
attempt to contain them.  Very interesting contrast with Franco
Zeffirelli's better-known wide-screen romp (*Taming of the Shrew the
Movie*).

Dave Evett

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 20 Jan 2002 21:22:54 +0000
Subject: 13.0079 Re: BBC Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0079 Re: BBC Series

[>...Wow! I am an absolute sucker for the Who!!! Has anyone seen this
video?
>How good or bad is Roger Daltrey as an actor?... ]

In terms of good or bad I defer to Bob Dylan


Re: Symbolic Interpretation

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0117  Monday, 21 January 2002

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 18 Jan 2002 14:26:21 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0113 Re: Symbolic Interpretation

[2]     From:   Louis Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 18 Jan 2002 09:57:25 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0113 Re: Symbolic Interpretation


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 18 Jan 2002 14:26:21 -0600
Subject: 13.0113 Re: Symbolic Interpretation (was Pregnant
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0113 Re: Symbolic Interpretation (was Pregnant
Gertrude)

Martin Steward notes that it doesn't matter if the origin of some symbol
or other aspect of a work of art has its basis in some accidental
circumstance. The text (or picture) is there to be interpreted on what
it appears to mean -- what it is "doing."

Let me offer an anecdote. Years ago when I was TA and teaching freshman
comp, I was discussing Frost's "Stopping by Woods" one day, and trying
to get the students to see the overtones of death in his imagery. One
student then said that he'd heard that Frost had said the poem wasn't
about death, it was about stopping in the woods on snowy.

I responded that, first, I'd have to see the source to be sure Frost
actually said it. Second, I'd have to be sure he meant it, and wasn't
just making an annoyed artist's response to a journalist


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