2002

Hamlet Spoof Poem

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1300  Monday, 13 May 2002

From:           Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 10 May 2002 16:37:51 -0400
Subject:        Hamlet Spoof Poem

The following comes from Richard Morris' collection _Assyrians_
(Brooklyn, NY: The Smith, 1968).  Apologies for strong language.

FORTINBRAS

A gloomy castle. Six corpses are scattered around on the floor.  Some of
them look as though they have been poisoned; others have been run
through with swords.  HORATIO stands looking at them.  He has a stupid
look on his face.  FORTINBRAS enters.  HORATIO pays him no attention,
but goes on staring at the bodies.  Then he begins to speak.

HORATIO: Goodnight, sweet prince - -

Before he can get any further, FORTINBRAS turns around and walks out,
muttering to himself.

FORTINBRAS: Fucking Danes.

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Re: Accents

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1299  Monday, 13 May 2002

[1]     From:   Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 10 May 2002 21:22:56 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1285 Re: Accents

[2]     From:   David Wallace <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 11 May 2002 04:23:16 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1285 Re: Accents


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 10 May 2002 21:22:56 +0100
Subject: 13.1285 Re: Accents
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1285 Re: Accents

> From:           David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

> Rather than getting tangled up in some of the scholastic argument about
> terms that tends to characterise traditional discussion of metre, I
> myself prefer to use Derek Attridge's representation of metrical pattern
> in his excellent book The Rhythms of English Poetry - based on 'beats'
> rather than on 'feet'.  One of the besetting problems of all metrical
> analysis and discussion is that the terminology derived from classical
> metrics doesn't really fit easily on English speech patterns.

Oh god, at LAST, +some+ sort of sanity on this particularly lunatic
thread.

But if we're running PoMo metrics, Attridge is head-to-head with Marina
Tarlinskaja.

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

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Wallace <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 11 May 2002 04:23:16 -0700
Subject: 13.1285 Re: Accents
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1285 Re: Accents

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?

> Derek Attridge has written of what he calls &#8223;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 explain why the above "made up
example" cannot be considered iambic pentameter? And how is it an
example of disregarding "the stress in lexical monosyllables"? 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?

> 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. 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 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.
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.

> 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? 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.

> as though the line were similar to this genuinely unmetrical line (for
> Pope, at any rate):
>
> *Curl'd or wavy, since Locks will turn to grey,
>   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?

> 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.

> 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*.

> David Wallace: "The syntax is fluid. That is why iambic pentameter
> sounds natural (not da DUM da DUM da DUM as the conventional theory
> would have it). But no one has to take my word for it. Apply the
> principles I've outlined. The majority of lines will adhere to the
> pattern quite nicely. Where they don't, examine the linguistic
> characteristics of individual words or, as in the case of "be it",
> groups of words. I am quite used to the response that Professors Evett
> and Groves have offered. No one seems to want to believe that it could
> be this simple and be overlooked for so long."
>
> As I've pointed out, it just isn't that simple (would that it were!).
>
> Peter Groves

For the life of me, I don't know WHAT Professor Grove has "pointed
out".  I've pointed out a pattern that even my 9th grade students can
apprehend and that anyone can affirm or disprove by scanning a few
hundred lines.  What pattern is Professor Grove advocating? In his last
post he remarked that he can't offer his definition of iambic pentameter
in this forum because "there is not enough room to do so" because the
matter is "considerably more complicated" than I appear to suppose. Hmm.
So far this week I have exchanged arguments with Professor Evett, who
defines iambic pentameter as (simply) "a pattern of alternating
unstressed/stressed syllables" and Professor Grove whose definition is
so complex it requires a book length treatment. Bewildering.

Regards. David Wallace

_______________________________________________________________
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Re: Results of the Experiment

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1297  Monday, 13 May 2002

[1]     From:   Douglas Chapman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 10 May 2002 13:55:31 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1287 Results of the Experiment

[2]     From:   Kelli Marshall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 10 May 2002 13:34:06 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1287 Results of the Experiment


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas Chapman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 10 May 2002 13:55:31 EDT
Subject: 13.1287 Results of the Experiment
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1287 Results of the Experiment

Marcia Eppich-Harris wrote:

>College today is something that kids do after high school. It's not
>really about learning anything or being challenged to be the best you
>can be. It's about getting a diploma so you can get a job. But my class
>this semester was a challenge, and I think it showed me -- now more than
>ever -- that some people should just not be in a liberal arts college
>environment. Some people should just go to technical colleges and forget
>about "general education" requirements. Some people are NOT cut out for
>college -- period.

I would agree fully. It's why I did not want to teach anymore than the
two years I did. And before we all think "technical school" is just shop
and truck driving courses, I would put MBA programs as Harvard, Wharton,
etc., and *all* so-called computer science degrees in the same
category--i.e. technical degrees

Thanks for the notes on your class.

Douglas Chapman

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kelli Marshall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 10 May 2002 13:34:06 -0500
Subject: 13.1287 Results of the Experiment
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1287 Results of the Experiment

Marcia Eppich-Harris writes, "[A] lesson I have learned this semester is
that not everyone is either capable of understanding Shakespeare, or
interested enough to try."

In my experience of teaching Shakespeare to undergraduates I have found
the exact opposite to be true: practically everyone is capable of
understanding Shakespeare, and once the students realize that the
material is really not that foreign, they seem quite interested in it.
Nonetheless, would you mind sharing HOW you approached HAMLET and
MACBETH with your freshmen students?

(If you've already covered this in an earlier entry, forgive me; I'm
fairly new to SHAKSPER.)

Kelli Marshall
http://www.utdallas.edu/~kmarshal

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Re: King Lear's Daughters

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1298  Monday, 13 May 2002

From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 10 May 2002 14:50:04 -0500
Subject: 13.1253 Re: King Lear's Daughters
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1253 Re: King Lear's Daughters

Edmund Taft comments,

> It's true enough that Lear himself is 80, and his daughters seem in
> their 20's or 30's. Doesn't this stress Lear's amazing virility and what
> we today would call his "macho" personality?

I don't wish to pick (or nitpick) an argument, "30's" subtracted from 80
leaves "40's" which is not the slightest old to be fathering
children."20's" and "50's" make the possibility less likely, of course,
but by no means impossible -- nor even later.

As one who knows,
don

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Re: Actor's Church

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1296  Monday, 13 May 2002

[1]     From:   Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 10 May 2002 10:54:27 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1279 Re: Actor's Church

[2]     From:   John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 12 May 2002 15:36:10 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1279 Re: Actor's Church


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 10 May 2002 10:54:27 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 13.1279 Re: Actor's Church
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1279 Re: Actor's Church

Don't forget all of the play quartos being sold in St. Paul's Churchyard
"as sundrie times played" by the various companies. Yet another
intriguing connection between the church and theatre.

Brian Willis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 12 May 2002 15:36:10 +0100
Subject: 13.1279 Re: Actor's Church
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1279 Re: Actor's Church

Anthony Haigh wrote:

> I recall reading - somewhere in the dim and distant past - that the
> original rector of St. Paul's Covent Garden was something of a Puritan
> and requested that Jones build something simple - akin to a barn.  Jones
> is said to have responded "Sir, I will build you the grandest barn in
> London!"

It wasn't the Rector, of course, but our old friend the 4th Earl
(remember him, the Actor with his own private church?).  Sir John
Summerson (Georgian London, 3rd ed. 1978, p.30) gives the reference as
Horace Walpole, Anecdotes, 1888 ed, vol. 2, p.63.  It is only a story,
however, as there is no actual documentation linking Inigo Jones to the
church.  But Summerson does point out (Architecture in Britain:
1530-1830, 1970 ed. p.136) that Palladio associated the Tuscan order
with farm architecture, and its use seems to have been something of a
Protestant statement.  But having the portico (and the intended
entrance) at the east was a step too far.  The 4th Earl was not only
associated with the leading Parliamentarians, he was also a friend of
Archbishop Laud.  The Laudians brought pressure to bear and the design
had to be changed to the present, somewhat unsatisfactory, arrangement
with the entrance at the west, the altar at the east, and the portico
rather redundant.

John Briggs

_______________________________________________________________
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 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.

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