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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: Shakespeare's Parallels
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0669  Wednesday, 6 March 2002

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Tuesday 5 Mar 2002 11:23:59 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0645 Shakespeare's Parallels

[2]     From:   John Velz <
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        Date:   Tuesday 05 Mar 2002 14:59:22 -0600
        Subj:   Plot and Character Parallels

[3]     From:   Sophie Masson <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Mar 2002 21:16:00 +1100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0645 Shakespeare's Parallels


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Tuesday 5 Mar 2002 11:23:59 -0600
Subject: 13.0645 Shakespeare's Parallels
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0645 Shakespeare's Parallels

R. Schmeeckle asks,

> Are character parallels of the kind
> described the rule or the exception in the plays?

Unless you took a very narrow definition of "parallel" the answer would
have to be: very much the rule.

We have been talking a lot about "The Tempest" lately: look at
Caliban-Ariel, Ferdinand-Miranda, Prospero-Alonso. I reviewed as best I
could all the plots I knew off-hand and could find none that had no such
paralleling.

But I'm not sure this ultimately means much. Don't we tend to find
parallel constructions in virtually all stories, whether narrative or
dramatic? Even simple fairy tales usually have parallel tasks that must
be completed (most often three of them)?

This generates two questions -- not quite parallel -- to my mind. Do we
need a more precise definition of "parallel" that will sort out stories
and make it possible to describe something with the term? Do human
beings find parallels whether they exist or not, or, contrariwise, are
we incapable of writing fictions that lack them?

Cheers,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <
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Date:           Tuesday 05 Mar 2002 14:59:22 -0600
Subject:        Plot and Character Parallels

R. Schmeekle asks about Sh's use of the devices in the subject line
above.  They dominate the comedies, especially those of the late
'nineties and later.  But not particularly evident in tragedies until
Ham. Where in the Polonius family plot, the relationships parallel those
of the Hamlet family plot.  The authority on this aspect of Ham. is Joan
Hartwig in an art. in Texas Studies in Lit and Language in 1970s, I
think.  She later wrote a book on scenes that "parody" other plots in
the plays,  *Shakespeare's Analogical Scene: Parody as Structural
Syntax*  I don't recall that Hartwig says so, but the matter in Ham. is
echoed later in Lear.  Two families etc.  Sh. made it a high art in
plays like MM and Tro. and Temp.

Yours for echo structure,
jwv

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sophie Masson <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 Mar 2002 21:16:00 +1100
Subject: 13.0645 Shakespeare's Parallels
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0645 Shakespeare's Parallels

There's also the parallel threads of love and coupledom, in Twelfth
Night, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. In fact, I guess that is a
recurring case of parallels in the comedies, anyway.

Sophie Masson
Author site: http://www.northnet.com.au/~smasson

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