Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Re: Grammar
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0973  Monday, 8 April 2002

[1]     From:   Fran Teague <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 5 Apr 2002 17:35:57 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   One more useless reference

[2]     From:   William Sutton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 6 Apr 2002 03:34:28 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0938 Re: Grammar


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fran Teague <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 5 Apr 2002 17:35:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        One more useless reference

This link to the Useless Pages (a splendid site, by the way) might add
fuel to the fire re: homonyms and homophones et al.
http://www.go2net.com/useless/useless/homonym.html

Fran Teague <http://www.arches.uga.edu/~fteague>

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Sutton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 6 Apr 2002 03:34:28 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0938 Re: Grammar
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0938 Re: Grammar

Hi all,

Isn't this the stuff with which Shakespeare built his poems and plays?
The amount of grammars and dictionaries and rhetorical treatises
available to Shaksper and his contemporaries was amazing. All hail the
mono-syllable!

For example identify these 2 couplets. The clue is: they're (their,
there)? from the Sonnets:

all this the world well knows yet none knows well,
to shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

And yet thou wilt, for I being pent in thee,
perforce am thine and all that is in me.

'Heaven' and 'perforce' leap out at you, 'coz the one must be shortened
and the other stressed, plosive and fricative to boot to draw further
attention to itself.  Here is the level where I appreciate Shakespeare
the most. I could go on with close textual analysis but the
de-constructionists have undermined any post-structuralist tendencies I
might have and Freud now has my ego-mind in a marxist feminist
post-colonialist grip.

Shakespeare lived in a time when the English language was being forged
and defined.  From conception in minds, to printing and disseminating
books, to actual practice in the drama of the time, which parallels and
shows this all to an aural and word-hungry public in very elemental
Public theatres. (I'm thinking the 1570's-1590's).

Shouldn't this focus on grammar lead to questions on the perception of
language in his time? Elizabethan London had some 40 language schools i
read i think in Chute.

Remember that language is more psychological than logical. The
individual's desire to learn is often arrested by internal psychological
considerations no teacher and few therapists will ever reach.

My own travels through this early branch of linguistics turned up
grammar, phonetics, poetics, foreign language, and rhetoric, which needs
must deal with grammar and syntax. The basic distinction we all have to
deal with is language as written versus spoken from the written.

All this research gave an impression of a reading audience with an
intimate interest in words and what they are and how they changed when
written down. For who reads but he who likes to read. And most
philosophers agree that bookish people are fools in the grander scale of
things.

One lexicography called 'For how to speak frenche trewely' taught young
Elizabethans (old presumably too) to say 'shall i tickle you?', which I
thought was heartening to imagine the situation one obviously felt
compelled to use such a meaningful set of terms.

Several corollary questions are begged like is the syntax and grammar on
the page a blueprint for delivery of the words from a stage? Or why
isn't there more concentration on literary theory of the time?  i.e.
from our perspective, knowing the multitude of theories such as are
prevalent on this list and University curricula?

Is it because these subjects are finite or out of favour? Discovering
Shakesespeare I found that Michael Drayton was almost his twin in
writing style and diction. But he was a poet and our Will trod the
boards with his words. Tradition also has him at Judith's wedding just
prior to Will's death.

As the Virtues are not all the same in purity, nor emotions in
intensity, so is it with theories.  Especially a theory that tells me
it's all possible and it's multi-layered! (like the internet)

The 20th C produced so much peripheral intellectual property that
undergraduates are swamped with information. Is it any wonder the
laziest or perhaps the shrewdest in real world terms get papers from the
internet or buy them if they can afford that service.  How many of your
students are doing that? Can you tell? The buying of degrees does have a
long history.

I am not a scholar, nor a teacher (god bless you all) so I can meander
and hear cries or mutters of 'where's that publisher with my advance?'
where you that are scholars cluster for ivy laurels; or exhausted
exclamations to loved ones 'this bloody department would collapse if it
wasn't for me'! in the case of teachers.

I love Shakspeare and I feel imagination is the key to understanding his
writing. Today a young actor friend asked me to suggest a scene to show
strength and vulnerability. We finally chose Clarence's pre-malmsley
butt dip and he'll learn it and impress the casting agent with 'wow a
serious actor, he's reciting Shakespeare'.

The young actor now has the bug. I think he'll make a great bastard in
either King John or Lear. He'd be a good Hotspur too. The important
thing is he has a new respect for Shakespeare and his writing and how
that works on his imaginary forces.

The central question I'm finally arriving at is: why love Shakespeare?
Is it really his imaginative pull as I just stated? All our imaginings
are done for us aren't they with film, video and special effects?
Rhetoric left the word and went to film. You are more likely to find
examples of metonymy and synecdoche in a film discussion than a literary
one. Is this Charles's complaint?

After you remove the degrees of separation that your particular
Shakespeare knowledge and/or wisdom/ignorance implies. What keeps you
coming back?

I assume Charles delights himself with absorbed reading of excerpts, if
not whole chunks in measured lifelike tones. I know I do. (btw Charles
do stay Charles and not be Terry Hawkes pretending).

Is it essentially a solitary experience leading to a sudden
enlightenment of omigod this guy is a genius?  (yes I realise I'm alone
when I read)

Or is it merely an escapism like books were for Montaigne, who I believe
had a definite influence on Shakespeare's homespun intellectualism.

BTW if I want to speak French I find a French person:

language books are for the tongue-tied to hide behind and gesture at
helplessly. But if I want to read Montaigne I need to learn better
French or find a translation. I assume this epistemology was
Shakespeare's too.

For me the love has focused on the sonnets and that second best bed.
This august 2-26th (except 14th) at the Gateway Theatre, Elm Row,
Edinburgh during the Fringe 2002 I will be performing a one man show
based on the sonnets and biography of Shagsberd questioning why I/you/
thou/ him and her/ we/us love Shake-speare.

The question I would like to hear some responses from is why do you love
Shakespeare? Obviously love includes hate and in fact the whole paradigm
of verbs whether emotional or rational. I'm positing this same question
to people who have no reason on God's earth to want to waste their time
with Shakespeare. I hope that Hardy deems this long message worth
posting.

Yours in the name of Will,
W.S.

PS: The answers are 129 and 133.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail 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.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.