2002

Re: Romeo and Juliet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1319  Tuesday, 14 May 2002

From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 13 May 2002 16:40:38 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 13.1160 Re: Romeo and Juliet
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1160 Re: Romeo and Juliet

Jimmy Jung writes, "Nor can I imagine a production that treats the play
as a lesson in children behaving or not listening to their parents (a
very crude characterization of L. Swilley's critique).  I certainly
believe the material is there, if someone was so inclined, but also
suspect that the "star-crossed evidence" is there just to prevent such a
perspective."

Not that I disagree with calling Romeo and Juliet "star-crossed lovers,"
any more than I disagree with calling Lancelot and Guinevere, Tristan
and Isolde, Abelarde and Heloise, Dante and Beatrice, Nicole and
Aucassin, Palamon and Emilie, Osiris and Isis, or Adam and Eve pairs of
star-crossed lovers!  But I guess I disagree with the definition, and
seek a new definition.  Perhaps, the notion of, star-crossed=fate, has
too much of a restrictive connotation to it.

I'll wing mine at you, and then let others have a go at it.  In the case
of Adam and Eve, after "not listening to their parents" [God!], after
eating of the "forbidden fruit," they SAW themselves as ATTRACTED to
each other, and classically that has been called, as star-crossed
lovers, "love at first sight" [I know there are some punsterisms in
there somewhere :) ].

But my NEW definition IS: "love at first bite"!

Doesn't that take some of the fatalistic star-stuff out of it, and bring
it--you'll excuse the Edenic allegory--back down to earth?

Bill Arnold

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Re: Ado

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1318  Tuesday, 14 May 2002

From:           Michael Shurgot <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 13 May 2002 13:40:32 -0700
Subject: 13.1305 Ado
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.1305 Ado

 Regarding Herb Weil's questions on Much Ado. I recall a production at
Ashland in 1999 in which  black actresses played both Margaret (Deidrie
Henry) and Hero (Melany Bell). I said in my review that I thought this
pairing was disingenuous because the director could not trust his
audience.  Ashland likes to tout its use of color-blind casting, but I
thought that using black actors for both Hero and Margaret signaled that
thereby the "deception" involving Borachio and Margaret might have been
more "credible" to spectators because both Hero and Margaret were black.
All other actors on stage were white.

Other reviewers apparently did not "see" this scene that we do not see
as I did. But I thought this casting was a bit sleazy, almost as if Bell
and Henry were cast as they were only because they are black. If Herb or
anyone else wishes to see my review, it can be found in The Upstart Crow
(XIX) 1999, pp. 174-81, esp. pp. 177-78.

Regards,
Michael
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Re: Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1316  Tuesday, 14 May 2002

[1]     From:   David Brailow <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 13 May 2002 11:32:32 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.1284 Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound

[2]     From:   Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 13 May 2002 19:34:26 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1294 Re: Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Brailow <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 13 May 2002 11:32:32 -0500
Subject: 13.1284 Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.1284 Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound

I'm fairly sure that both D.G. James, in "Prospero's Dream," and
Northrop Frye, in "A Natural Perspective" comment on the likeness of the
two lines, looking at them as examples of linked sea imagery, among
other things (this is really grasping for old threads of memory).  The
old "image-theme" critics thought of the sea as the source of
transformation in the play.  Every positive change seems to require
first the plunge into the depths, then the re-emergence "fresher than
before."  For me, one connection has to do with awareness of mortality
and renunciation of power (including the power to do evil).  For Alonso,
the loss of Sebastian is the direct consequence of his immoral and
inhumane treatment of Prospero.  His apparent resolve is to renounce not
only his power but his life.  For Prospero, the movement towards
"virtue" and away from "vengeance" involves a renunciation of his
supernatural powers (including an apparent power over life and death--he
says in the "plummet" speech that his potent art includes the power to
open graves and let the sleepers forth).  It also involves his
acknowledgement that his power, whether natural or not, does not extend
to reforming human nature--indications are that Caliban and Antonio
remain pretty much as they were. There's a lot more one could say, but
I'll be interested to hear what others think.

David Brailow

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 13 May 2002 19:34:26 -0400
Subject: 13.1294 Re: Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1294 Re: Deeper Than Plummet Did Ever Plummet Sound

> Burdened with guilt and sadness, Alonso reacts to Ariel-as-Harpy's
> repudiation in 3.3 that "Therefore my son i' th' ooze is bedded; and /
> I'll seek him deeper than e'er plummet sounded..." (3.3.100-101). Two
> scenes later, Prospero, in renouncing his magic, virtually repeats the
> line, stating that "...deeper than did ever plummet sound / I'll drown
> my book" (5.1.56-57).

> Paul Swanson

I don't know if there is a single answer to the question of connotation.
Who other than a close reader could notice such a delayed echo (Vick
also points to the adjoining echo of "full fathom five thy father lies"
and "certain fathoms in the earth" where the staff is buried), and there
is no evidence that Shakespeare ever intended his scripts to be read? If
I were permitted to speculate, however, I would suggest that the
repetition emphasizes the idea that a trade-off has taken place. Both
Alonso and Prospero's dynastic hopes are apparently irretrievably lost
at the beginning of the play. The magic necessary to recover them is so
great that the effort spends the entire store, so the book of magic is
buried in the empty grave of the recovered son. To speculate further,
Alonso represents the play's intended audience: one whose aspirations
for the future have been dashed and whose ear is given to cynics who
ridicule truly wise (though apparently naive) counsel to faith, hope and
optimism. Prospero's book (the Tempest itself, or rather its deeply
buried subtext) is offered to turn Alonso's despair fed by A and S's
cynicism to hope through faith that good will triumph in the future even
if all seems black for the time being. Alonso is driven (like Gloucester
blindly seeking the cliffs of Dover) to plumb the depths of despair. It
is there that Prospero's book now lies like a Gonzalo offering hope to
all Alonso's through faith that good will triumph in the end.

Clifford

ps: Speaking of faith and hope, according to Gloryland's New Christian
Series Lesson 4 http://www.valiantfortruth.com/html/ncs4.html: "The term
'Mark twain,' meant six fathoms of water- enough depth for clear passage
of the boat," not two as Vick contends. Apparently Samuel Clemens delved
one fathom below Shakespeare's mines.

> Is it not just a piece of lead (plumb) attached to a (very long) string?
> I would say you just let it go and keep the end of the string in your
> hand.  But then, Mark Twain would know better, perhaps.
>
> Markus Marti

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Re: Accents

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1317  Tuesday, 14 May 2002

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 13 May 2002 00:55:57 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1299 Re: Accents

[2]     From:   Peter Groves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 14 May 2002 08:10:30 +1000 (EST)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.1299 Re: Accents

[3]     From:   Peter Groves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 14 May 2002 15:43:27 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1299 Re: Accents


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 13 May 2002 00:55:57 -0400
Subject: 13.1299 Re: Accents
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1299 Re: Accents

The discussion of monosyllables and iambic verse invites me to revisit a
discussion I initiated a couple of years ago about the significance of
the following passage embedded in Hamlet's "How all occasions"
soliloquy.  The passage, consisting of 26 monosyllabic words (or 27 if
the last contraction is regarded as two), is clearly verse, beginning
and ending with caesuras:

-- I do not know
Why yet I live to say this thing's to do,
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength and means
To do't --

Can there be any question that this is pure iambic?  Does the fact that
the monosyllables scan so perfectly affect the conclusion I reached
about this passage?

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Groves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 14 May 2002 08:10:30 +1000 (EST)
Subject: 13.1299 Re: Accents
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.1299 Re: Accents

> But, really, can I (mildly) suggest that if anyone wants to play silly
> buggers with metrics, they cite volume-and-chapter-and-page from
> Sainsbury's _History of English Prosody_.
>
> Or, failing that, Malof's _A Manual of English Meters_.
>
> Robin Hamilton

And you might want to get your physics from Aristotle while you're at
it.

Peter Groves

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Groves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 14 May 2002 15:43:27 +1000
Subject: 13.1299 Re: Accents
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1299 Re: Accents

David Wallace writes:

> Peter Groves writes:
>
> > The placement of stress is governed by complex rules, certainly, as
> > Kiparsky and Hanson would be the first to acknowledge, but the
> > complexity is hidden from the native speaker, for whom language
> > functions as a sort of "black box".  A metre like i.p. is a set of
> > abstract binary patterns, all derivable from a common source (a set of
> > ten alternating metrical positions wS wS wS wS wS) by transformations
> > that (in English) swap adjacent positions (e.g. Sw wS wS wS wS); a
> > string with a prosodic structure that can be mapped onto one of these
> > patterns successfully is a metrical line.
>
> I'm sorry. I have no idea what this means. If stress or accent or
> emphasis or whatever could "swap adjacent positions" willy-nilly, there
> would be no pattern, would there?

In which case, common sense might suggest that they indeed do not do so
"willy-nilly".  The transformations, as one might suppose, are governed
by rules.  But it really isn't too much of a cognitive strain to see a
pattern like Sw wS wS wS wS (as exemplified in a line like "Merchant of
Syracusa, plead no more") as a variation on wS wS wS wS wS. It is
precisely this ability to derive a number of metrical templates from the
underlying matrix wS wS wS wS wS that gives pentameter its
much-commented-on doubleness of rhythmic effect 9sometimes described as
"counterpoint" or "syncopation").  If Mr Wallace wants to find out more
about this, he had better read the book; if he doesn't, there is not a
lot of use in his discussing it.

> > Derek Attridge has written of what he calls "the widely-felt
> > desire for a simple key to unlock the secret chambers of prosody"
> > (<Rhythms of English Poetry>  43); the matter, unfortunately, is much
> > more complicated than this.  You cannot, for example, simply disregard
> > the stress in lexical monosyllables as though it were irrelevant to the
> > metre. By this rule the following made-up example would be a metrical
> > pentameter:
>
> > Disconsolate friends of Bill and Elaine
> >  w  s  w s     w     s   w   s   w  s
>
> Again, I'm lost. Can Professor Grove [sic] explain why the above "made up
> example" cannot be considered iambic pentameter?

As Louis Armstrong is supposed to have remarked, "If you gotta ask, you
ain't got it yet."  Metricality is something (like grammaticality) that
we perceive in the first instance by means of acquired intuitions; if Mr
Wallace hasn't acquired them, I can't supply them.  He could try taking
a vote on the matter of its metrical acceptability among a number of
people who are familiar with the metre.  Of course, there is a
theoretical way of demonstrating its unmetricality, but it depends on a
prior understanding of the theory, which I can't provide in the space of
an email.

> And how is it an
> example of disregarding "the stress in lexical monosyllables"?

To give a short (and thus not fully satisfactory) answer, the stress in
the lexical monosyllables <friends> and <Bill>, occurring in w-position,
produce what Halle and Keyser would call unmetrical stress-maxima.  If
we changed it to the following (keeping exactly the same sequence of
lexically stressed and unstressed syllables, Kiparsky and Hanson would
now also rule it unmetrical:

Disconsolate buddies pity Elaine
 w  s  w s    w  s   w  s w  s

But effectively nothing has changed.  It is unmetrical for the same
reason the previous version is unmetrical -- misplaced lexical stress.

>I have a
> question I'd like to pose about monosyllables. Can Professor Grove offer
> a complete sentence consisting of ten monosyllables that he would NOT
> consider iambic pentameter. And could he kindly explain his reasons?

Certainly: how about "Jack says that Jill is a bit of a pill" or "What
are spikes on the top of the fence for?".  As for the reasons -- again,
if I hadn't had to write a book on the subject I certainly wouldn't have
bothered.  I know metre *seems* easy and straightforward, but that's
because the
linguiistic complexity of the process is concealed from us as users (as
it is in the case of the syntax and phonology of English itself):
marxists would call the process "fetichization"

> > On the other hand, the same rule will reject as unmetrical the following
> > inoffensive line, because the stressed syllable of <renew'd> falls in W:
> >
> > Give renew'd fire to our extincted Spirits      (Oth. 2.1.81)
> >  w    s w     s    w  s  w  s   w    s x
>
> Yes. But what Professor Grove neglects to mention is that this line is
> surrounded by an abundance of lines that DO adhere to the pattern I've
> offered. There are many lines that do not adhere to the principles.

If that's the case then the principles are not particularly
interesting.  Kiparsky and Hanson are generative metrists: you can be
certain they wouldn't argue like this.  A generative metric is a set of
rules that prescribes all and only the metrical lines in a tradition:
it's purpose is to make explicit the intuitions about metricality I
spoke of earlier.  The problem with "Give renew'd fire to our extincted
Spirits" is precisely that is ISN'T unmetrical: a theory that so
describes it is clearly wrong.

>The
> vast majority do. I don't know what Shakespeare was "hearing" in this
> line. Prefixes such as "re" or "un" sometimes receive stress and
> sometimes don't, often depending on the word and the context. I don't
> suggest the word be pronounced "RE-new'd. But it's worth noting that
> words with prefixes or compound words can shift their stress.
> In any
> event, is it inconceivable that Shakespeare could have written a
> unmetrical line

But it isn't unmetrical.

or that a copyist or a printer might screw up an
> occasional line? There is no way to account for every contingency.
>
> > And just to put the tin lid on this absurdity, the same rule will admit
> > as metrical my emended line below, which to anyone's ear is in metrical
> > terms virtually unchanged:
> >
> > Give a new fire to our extincted spirits
> >  w   s  w   s    w  s  w  s   w    s x
>
> The "rule" does not "admit" or exclude lines as metrical or unmetrical.

In which case, it is not particularly interesting.

> Shakespeare is not following the "rule". The principle *describes* the
> metrical pattern in the vast majority of lines. Even if its accuracy
> rate were only 95%, it would still be a decided improvement over the
> traditional description of iambic pentameter.

Any fool could devise a principle that includes most lines but also
includes unmetrical ones: how about "every line has ten syllables".
It's not a particularly interesting thing to do.

> > You also can't ignore contextually determined contrastive accent, as I
> > pointed out in my previous post.  Even Kiparsky has partly recognized
> > this, though what he doesn't realise is that it's altogether different
> > from lexical stress and has different metrical 'value'; he has claimed,
> > for example, that &#8223;Some apparent counterexamples [to his metrical
> > theory] are eliminated by taking into account contrastive stress"
> > (&#8223;Rhythmic Structure" 210), by which he means swapping adjacent
> > nodes in the stress-tree; this would save the following line, for
> > example (rather necessary since Pope, of all people, doesn't write
> > unmetrical lines) by shifting the "stress" from <-cowl'd> to <UN->
> >
> > Men bearded, bald, cowl'd, UNcowl'd, shod, UNshod (Pope, Dunciad 3.114)
> >  w    s  w    s     w      s  w        s   w   s
>
> What's the problem?

As Dr Johnson said, "Sir, I am obliged to furnish you with an argument;
I am not obliged to furnish you with an understanding."  I explain the
problem with tolerable clarity.

> The stress in "UNcowl'd" is in a strong metrical
> position. The stress in "UNshod" is in a weak metrical position
> following a syntactic break (a comma). Shakespeare does the same thing
> in "Never, never, never, never, never". The stress, here, is entirely
> inverted and still adheres to the principle Kiparsky and Hanson
> advance.  Examples in Shakespeare are legion.
>
> > But the same rule will render the following line UNmetrical (which is
> > clearly counter-intuitive)
> >
> > Curl'd or UNcurl'd, since Locks will turn to grey,      (Pope, RL 5.26)
> >  w     s  w  s       w     s     w    s    w   s
>
> Not so. According to the principles I outlined the line is perfectly
> metrical. "Or" is a conjunction - a syntactic break - exactly where
> Shakespeare (and others) permit stress in a weak metrical position.
> Again, examples are legion.

No: this only works for a clause or phrase-level conjunction.

>
> > as though the line were similar to this genuinely unmetrical line (for
> > Pope, at any rate):
> >
> > c
> >   w     s   w s   w     s     w    s    w   s
>
> How this line is unmetrical while the preceding IS metrical eludes me.
> It appears Professor Grove is relying on his intuition about what Pope
> would or would not consider metrical. Evidence please?

Of course I'm using my intuition; this is why the difference doesn't
elude *me*.  Anyone who can't see that "*Curl'd or wavy, since Locks
will turn to grey" (having as it does what traditional metrists would
call two successive trochees) is impossible in Pope, is probably wasting
their time writing about metre in the first place.  But intuitions can
be explained (<-curl'd> is stressed, and there is thus no reversal;
<-vy> isn't).  If Mr Wallace can find an actual example in Pope of a
reversal preceded only by a word-level (not clause-level) conjunction,
as here, I'll eat my left leg with mint sauce.

> > But it isn't, because stress and accent are different things (see my
> > reply to David Evett for a further elaboration).
>
> Yes. Stress assumes a pattern. Accent doesn't.

Now *I'm* confused: you claimed earlier that the <un-> in "Curl'd or
UNcurl'd" was "stressed".  What, then, is accent in your understanding?

> > David Wallace: "The advantage of the theory I am advocating is that it
> > offers empirical, concrete evidence of a metrical pattern. In
> > Shakespeare, the rhythmic pattern of the line must contend with the
> > syntactic character of the sentence. The rhythm is concrete (or absent
> > in the absence of polysyllabic words).
> >
> > So "So long as men can breathe or eyes can see" doesn't have an iambic
> > rhythm?  I think you may encounter some skepticism on this point.
>
> Yes, yes. By the traditional description. As in his example above from
> Othello, Professor Grove is attempting to make his case by focusing on
> the exception. We both could find dozens of examples which don't adhere
> to the traditional description. Such as "Then kill, kill, kill, kill,
> kill, kill" (*Lear* 4.6.187) - followed by a pause to allow for the
> entrance of another actor. All lines of verse have a rhythmic
> character.  That is not in question. What is at issue here is the nature
> of the *pattern*.

I'm sorry, but it's perfectly absurd to claim that "So long as men can
breathe or eyes can see" represents an exception to or aberration from
the metrical pattern: it's about as plonkingly obvious an iambic
pentameter as you could hope to find.  A theory that is required to
claim otherwise is clearly of very little value.

Peter Groves

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Re: Wise Fool

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1315  Tuesday, 14 May 2002

[1]     From:   Evelyn Gajowski <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 13 May 2002 08:50:26 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1302 Wise Fool

[2]     From:   Robert Linn <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 13 May 2002 17:03:19 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1302 Wise Fool

[3]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 13 May 2002 22:00:08 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1302 Wise Fool


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Evelyn Gajowski <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 13 May 2002 08:50:26 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 13.1302 Wise Fool
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1302 Wise Fool

To Niamh O'Leary:

One place to begin is Enid Welsford's *The Fool: His Social and Literary
History*.

Evelyn Gajowski
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Linn <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 13 May 2002 17:03:19 -0400
Subject: 13.1302 Wise Fool
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1302 Wise Fool

I wrote my dissertation on Wise Fools in Shakespeare.  Copies are in the
University of South Carolina library.

Bob Linn

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 13 May 2002 22:00:08 -0700
Subject: 13.1302 Wise Fool
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1302 Wise Fool

Niamh,

For the first part of your question you may want to have a look at
Frederick Warde's *The Fools of Shakespeare: An Interpretation of Their
Wit, Wisdom and Personalities* (New York: McBride, Nast & Company. 1913)

All the best,
Mike Jensen

_______________________________________________________________
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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