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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: Inconsistencies
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0680  Wednesday, 6 March 2002

[1]     From:   Brandon Toropov <
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        Date:   Tuesday 5 Mar 2002 10:56:54 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0647 Re: Inconsistencies

[2]     From:   Roger D. Gross <
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        Date:   Tuesday 5 Mar 2002 15:29:25 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0647 Re: Inconsistencies


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brandon Toropov <
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Date:           Tuesday 5 Mar 2002 10:56:54 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0647 Re: Inconsistencies
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0647 Re: Inconsistencies

Larry Weiss writes:

> > The banished Kent, who has "raz'd" his
> "likeness" (shaved off his beard)
> > in order to establish a disguise, later
> confronts Osric with a memorable
> > torrent of verbal abuse, and challenges him
> to draw.  The cowardly Osric
> > refuses to unsheath his sword, <snip>
> > It's certainly true that there are a whole
> lot of these kinds of
> > problems in KING LEAR; they suggest to me
> that WS may have made a habit
> > of writing "in the heat," without going back
> and checking important
> > details
>
> Like transposing Osric from Hamlet to Lear.
> Obviously, you meant
> Oswald.
>

Clearly, I need a better outline to work from.

:)

Brandon

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger D. Gross <
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Date:           Tuesday 5 Mar 2002 15:29:25 -0600
Subject: 13.0647 Re: Inconsistencies
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0647 Re: Inconsistencies

Brandon (I think) said:

> >The banished Kent, who has "raz'd" his "likeness" (shaved off his beard)
> >in order to establish a disguise, later confronts Osric with a memorable
> >torrent of verbal abuse, and challenges him to draw.  The cowardly Osric
> >refuses to unsheath his sword, and later, in a craven lie constructed to
> >impress Cornwall and Regan, explains that he has spared his would-be
> >assailant's life "at suit of his grey beard."

This one is easily resolved:  "raz'd"  doesn't mean "razored", doesn't
suggest shaving his beard at all.  Of the four meanings of the term
found in Schmidt's SHAKESPEARE LEXICON, none means "shaved".  The
closest would be #4:  "to erase, to blot out" and that meaning is
attributed to the use in LEAR which you quote.  He finds that meaning at
four other sites.  His other meanings are:  "to strike on the surface",
"to level with the ground" (which is our common meaning) and "to
destroy, to make away with".

All we can say about Kent, I think, is that he has somehow made himself
unrecognizable.

I also believe that David Wilson's argument is conclusive:  a working
(adult) actor would surely not shave for a role, particularly in a
repertory system such as the Globe's.

Roger Gross
U. of Arkansas

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