2002

Re: Shakespeare and Monkeys

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1221  Thursday, 2 May 2002

From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 1 May 2002 20:09:12 +0100
Subject: 13.1208 Re: Shakespeare and Monkeys
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1208 Re: Shakespeare and Monkeys

> 2. And, as we know, at least some roaches can type albeit only lower
> case.

SHAME on you, Dana -- archie used his head, not his digits.

mehitabel.

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Re: Edgar and Edmund

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1220  Thursday, 2 May 2002

From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 01 May 2002 14:37:30 -0400
Subject:        Edgar and Edmund

Sean Lawrence suggests that Edgar does not reveal himself to his father
when they first meet because to do so would kill the old man. This is an
interesting idea, but it doesn't seem to me to be true. Everything is a
matter of timing. Revealing himself right away would do no harm;
revealing himself after what he has done to Gloucester causes such
contrary feelings that Gloucester's heart breaks in two. In other words,
Edgar does things backwards.  Why he does them backwards is the burden
of my argument.

Sean also points out that Edgar is disguised as Poor Tom when he talks
of "foul fiends" -- true enough. But "Poor Tom," an image of an
Elizabethan beggar, is an image of Edgar's condition now that his father
has cut him off. "Poor Tom" is also an image of how Edgar feels inside
-- destitute. So the demons he must ward off are more real than you
might think. How would you feel, Sean, if someone did to you what
Gloucester did to Edgar? That is the central question.  And the answer
is simple and straightforward: we all would feel hate and the desire for
revenge. And so does Edgar, though he can't admit it to himself.

Brian Willis writes that Edgar and Cordelia must "prove themselves" to
their fathers. Isn't the opposite true, Brian? Edgar and Cordelia are
the victims, as I see it, and Gloucester and Lear are the perpetrators,
no?  If anyone needs to prove himself, it's Gloucester or Lear, isn't
it? Aren't they the ones who have done wrong?

Brian also asserts that my argument is not textually based. I'm
flabbergasted and bewildered by this statement, since all throughout my
various posts I have only discussed incidents that occur in the play.  I
have focused, however, on Edgar's actions because they are hard to
reconcile with his words. I hope that Brian doesn't mean that action --
the plot -- is not an integral part of the text.

Edgar's actions towards his father appear unnatural: they do not seem to
fit with his words. I have argued that his actions are actually quite
natural, for anyone in his position would feel hate as well as love for
his father. I can't fathom how or in what way I have not grounded my
argument in the text.

Brian also points to the similar roles that Edgar and Cordelia play in
the subplot and the main plot respectively.  I agree, although I think
that the parallel between Edgar and Lear on the Heath is even more
important.  But I'll save that for later.  Like Edgar, Cordelia is in a
love/hate relationship with her father. The most obvious example is near
the end of the opening scene when she addresses Goneril and Regan:

                Ye jewels of our father, with washed eyes
                Cordelia leaves you.  I know you what you are,
                and like a sister am most loath to call
                Your faults as they are named.  Love well our father.
                To your professed bosoms I commit him.
                But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,
                I would prefer hm to a better place.
                                        (1.1.272-78).

In these lines Cordelia reverts to the role of favorite child and so
insults her sisters that she guarantees that Lear will be mistreated by
them.  Take that, old man!

--Ed Taft

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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Re: The Phoenix

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1218  Thursday, 2 May 2002

From:           Kevin J. Donovan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 1 May 2002 11:44:28 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 13.1214 The Phoenix
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1214 The Phoenix

For Emma French: I would direct your student to the following: John
Orrell, _The Theatres of Inigo Jones and John Webb_; Gurr, _The
Shakespearean Stage_, 3rd ed., Ch. 4 (and works cited therein); R. A.
Foakes, _Illustrations of the English Stage_ (fig. 29). You might advise
him or her that the theater is more often cited as the Cockpit in Drury
Land than as the Phoenix.

Kevin Donovan
<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

_______________________________________________________________
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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.

Re: Accents (Received Pronunciation)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1219  Thursday, 2 May 2002

[1]     From:   Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 1 May 2002 18:05:29 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1206 Re: Accents (Received Pronunciation)

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 01 May 2002 10:15:06 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1206 Re: Accents (Received Pronunciation)

[3]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 01 May 2002 15:46:37 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1206 Re: Accents (Received Pronunciation)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 1 May 2002 18:05:29 +0100
Subject: 13.1206 Re: Accents (Received Pronunciation)
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1206 Re: Accents (Received Pronunciation)

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

> Not unrelated to musings about RP, you can read Tom Leonard's poem 'Six
> o'clock news', and hear him speak it (if your computer is swanky enough)
> at the following site

And, boy, do I +ever+ know where this is coming from.

There was a strike reported (well, quite a few) in Glasgow in the
sixties.  The 'objective' newscasters spoke RP, the bosses spoke RP, the
workers spoke Glasgow.  Objectivity, anyone?

This was still a hot issue at least as late as the mid-seventies.  James
Kelman's first published-in-Britain short story, "Nice tae be nice" (the
only one of his in strict Glasgow) was almost physically censored.  The
magazine (_Yorick_) which published it had to switch printers.

(Well, I was censored in the same issue, so it might not all be down to
Jim.)

Robin Hamilton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 01 May 2002 10:15:06 -0700
Subject: 13.1206 Re: Accents (Received Pronunciation)
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1206 Re: Accents (Received Pronunciation)

Dear all,

You clearly know more about this than I do, so I'll ask a question:
Does anyone know of any examples of members of the upper classes finding
RP odd, or the accents of BBC newsreaders, if they aren't actually
synonymous?

The larger question has to do with how national standards can be treated
as 'other' by people from all regions whatsoever.  If I'm right, then
any national standard would sound upper-class if one thinks of both the
upper class and alternative accents as "not us" or "not from around
here".  Could the alterity of a different class and an alternative
accent just have been conflated at some point by those who neither speak
RP nor are members of the upper classes?  Could RP speakers be assumed
to be upper class in the same way that all non-American English speakers
are sometimes assumed to be British?

Cheers,
Se


Re: King Lear's Daughters

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1217  Thursday, 2 May 2002

[1]     From:   Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 1 May 2002 17:43:23 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1212 Re: King Lear's Daughters

[2]     From:   Miranda Johnson-Haddad <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 01 May 2002 16:27:15 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1212  Re: King Lear's Daughters

[3]     From:   Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 1 May 2002 13:52:37 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1212 Re: King Lear's Daughters


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 1 May 2002 17:43:23 +0100
Subject: 13.1212 Re: King Lear's Daughters
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1212 Re: King Lear's Daughters

>Why would [one] assume that Goneril is 25, or that R and C are several
>years younger and why does it matter?" asks Judi Wilkins. "If Shakespeare
>hasn't made their exact ages integral to the playing out of his action, then
>he presumably didn't think it was important.  If Lear is 80, (and he does
>burble on about his age), what is the 'real' or mimetic problem with his
>having fathered children in his middle age?

There are two ages in King Lear - very, very old and youngish. Lear is
staggeringly, exaggeratedly old. Part of the problem of the play's
politics is the fact that Goneril and Regan have had to sit about for a
good many years waiting for their dad to kick the bucket, so that they
can have a go at running things, as is their birthright.

This is perhaps more acutely felt here in the UK, where we are faced
with the problem of powerless royals dying young and powerful ones
enjoying an awkward longevity. And this in a world where, more than
ever, "Ripeness is all".

m

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Miranda Johnson-Haddad <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 01 May 2002 16:27:15 -0400
Subject: 13.1212  Re: King Lear's Daughters
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1212  Re: King Lear's Daughters

This thread has a timely relevance for me today, because my Shakespeare
class at UCLA this morning spent some time debating what was gained or
lost by portraying Goneril as being of a certain age.  Specifically, we
were watching the 1997 version starring Ian Holm (yes, I plead guilty to
being one of those academic lightweights, so disparaged by some members
of this list, who finds it useful to show performance clips in class).
Several of my students suggested that Lear's cursing Goneril with
sterility carries particularly nasty significance if she is older and
perhaps has been "trying" to have a child (the quotation marks are my
students').  As I tell my students, if we carry this kind of thing too
far we wind up speculating about "how many children had Lady Macbeth?"
Nevertheless, I think when there are implications for performance /
comprehension, some discussion of this kind of topic can be productive.
It certainly was in class this morning.

Best,
Miranda Johnson-Haddad

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 1 May 2002 13:52:37 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 13.1212 Re: King Lear's Daughters
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1212 Re: King Lear's Daughters

Judi,

I agree wholeheartedly with your points. I do wonder, however, the age
and sex of the actors playing Goneril, Regan and Cordelia. Did boys play
all three?  Did older men play the two older sisters or all three?  It
might also have some bearing on the fertility curse of Lear and it might
have something to do with our perceptions of these characters. I have
read that older actors were known to play older women. If Cordelia was
played by a boy, and the other sisters by older men, how does that alter
our perceptions of the three? Cordelia would probably seem even more
innocent and the sisters more experienced.

I suppose there is no way to prove who played who in this play, but it
does raise questions that indeed the text does not raise.

Brian Willis

_______________________________________________________________
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
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