2002

West Wing--What Is Up?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2181  Thursday, 31 October 2002

From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 31 Oct 2002 08:46:13 -0500
Subject:        West Wing--What Is Up?

Since Shakespeare has been mentioned in several episodes of the West
Wing, I thought I'd check it out more regularly this season, and so
watched some of last night's episode.  I ended up having some thoughts
and questions about the series in general, and beg Hardy's indulgence to
put them forward here (to shorten the life of any thread that may
develop, I'll stop with this post) in order to be able to grasp more
fully why Shakespeare should be on the show (part from giving us insight
into the President's character).

I was impressed by the intelligence of the show.  It's very well-written
and acted, and visually, it is innovative (widescreen image, use of
various film and video stocks, and so on).

But I as generally baffled by the show for a number of reasons.

1. It assumes that there is intelligent, sane life in the White House,
that political hacks are all principled. Why, given that an idiot is
currently President surrounded by madmen like Jack D. Rumsfeld.

2. Why is the President a Democrat?  What kind of fantasy is this about?
Whose fantasy? Moreover, he's a popular Democrat who trounces his
Republican opposition.

3. What kind of new Democrat politics are being hobbled together here
and why? On the one hand, you get the President saying things that many
Democrats would love to hear from Democratic senators or
representatives, but which they never say (about education, for example.
By the way, is the President a green?).  A Democratic voice no longer
heard except, rarely, from a few courageous Senators like Byrd and
Kennedy, is, oddly enough, heard on the West Wing.  This in itself seems
highly bizarre tome.  But then I am even more baffled by way that the
President and his advisors articulate various far right positions on
foreign policy, so that the Pres seems like Nixon and (Hitchens')
Kissinger combined.    Israeli "targeted assassinations" are justified
by "terrorism," as are CIA assassinations (ordered by the Pres) of
foreign leaders. If the show is incoherent, why? If the show's watchers
are mainly Dems, why assume they support the Israeli illegal occupation
of the West Bank and Gaza and Israeli war crimes? I am sure they don't,
even after 9/11.

5. Why should Shakespeare come up in the context of a Machiavellian
foreign policy (end of last season episode), a policy that resembles W's
increasingly Nietzschean post-"axis of evil," imperialist foreign policy
(i.e. whatever the U.S. wills is what should be)?

_______________________________________________________________
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Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Laurence Nowel

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2180  Thursday, 31 October 2002

From:           Arthur Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 31 Oct 2002 14:17:40 +0800 (SGT)
Subject:        Re: Laurence Nowel

Can anyone on the list verify the (past) existence of a Laurence Nowel,
antiquary, of Lichfield, d. 1576?

Arthur Lindley

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Re: Recent Discovery of T. Jenkins' Diary (Titus

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2178  Thursday, 31 October 2002

[1]     From:   Ira Zinman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Oct 2002 16:25:41 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2160 Recent Discovery of T. Jenkins' Diary (Titus
Andronicus)

[2]     From:   John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Oct 2002 22:41:12 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2160 Recent Discovery of T. Jenkins' Diary (Titus
Andronicus)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ira Zinman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 30 Oct 2002 16:25:41 EST
Subject: 13.2160 Recent Discovery of T. Jenkins' Diary (Titus
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2160 Recent Discovery of T. Jenkins' Diary (Titus
Andronicus)

Dear Mr Huang:

Here is an excerpt from THE SHAKESPEARE DICTIONARY, pub. Oxford U. Press
related to Thomas Jenkins:

"Grammar School Stratford-upon- Avon:  Known in Shakespeare's day as the
King's New School; now the King Edward the Sixth School for Boys. The
early schoolroom is next to the Guild Chapel, above the former
Guildhall. It was a good school, with well-qualified masters. Names of
sixteenth-century pupils do not survive. Shakespeare probably went to it
from the age of 7 or 8, leaving when he was about 15 or less. His
principal master would have been Thomas Jenkins."

Perhaps there are two Thomas Jenkinses, but this may be the person whose
reference is being confused with the person whose diary may be the one
you inquired about.

I hope it helps.

Regards,
Ira Zinman

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 30 Oct 2002 22:41:12 -0000
Subject: 13.2160 Recent Discovery of T. Jenkins' Diary (Titus
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2160 Recent Discovery of T. Jenkins' Diary (Titus
Andronicus)

How 'recent' was this 'discovery'?  Was it on the First of April?  There
is a useful rule that if something seems too good to be true, it is!
This 'discovery' (if it really exists) has many, many things wrong with
it.  Perhaps the most glaring are that the theatres were closed on 2
December 1592 and that "Titus Andronicus" was probably not written until
a year later.  If the forged entries really exist, we should perhaps
assume that they were made in the 19th century, when knowledge of Latin
was better than it is today.  I am sure that others can suggest likely
candidates.

John Briggs

_______________________________________________________________
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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.

Re: Barbican

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2179  Thursday, 31 October 2002

From:           John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 31 Oct 2002 11:26:14 -0000
Subject: 13.2159 Re: Barbican
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2159 Re: Barbican

I don't think much public activity of any sort happened in the Barbican
district.  It was very much on the periphery (as its name implies).

John Briggs

_______________________________________________________________
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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: St. Crispin's Day

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2177  Thursday, 31 October 2002

From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 30 Oct 2002 16:12:34 -0500
Subject: 13.2158 Re: St. Crispin's Day
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2158 Re: St. Crispin's Day

Steve Roth quotes Alison Anne Chapman's University of Pennsylvania
dissertation, " Reforming Time: Calendars and Almanacs in Early Modern
England on the Sts. Crispin/Crispianus issue: "Just as Henry forestalls
the traitors' challenge to his life and kingship, on the eve of battle
he preempts another threat to his sovereignty, one that is posed by
plebeian shoemakers and that challenges his control over the calendar
and the nation's memory. ...by linking St. Crispin's Day to a rhetoric
of obedience, martial solidarity, and loyalty to the king, the play
neutralizes the tendency of shoemakers to make subversive holidays that
celebrate their own material advancement."

The quotation, and the general tenor of Roth's survey, seem to put
Chapman's work in interesting contrast with David Cressy's *Bonfires and
Bells*, which Roth commends as being "largely untainted with ideological
cant."

I am especially struck, however, by her confident ascription of motive
and agency to a Henry who materializes in the play at 4 or 5 removes at
least from the actual personage: Shakespeare's representation of
Holinshed's representation of half-a-dozen written medieval sources'
representation of the battlefield/council chamber/hunting fields
memories of people who personally witnessed the young king in action.
Roth's summary and quotation may misrepresent the depth and richness of
Chapman's argument; if she can point to additional materials outside the
play that  sustain her argument, I would be happy to hear of them.  And
if "Henry" in the quotation is only a metonymy for something like "the
representation of Henry constructed by Shakespeare and the other
authorial agents of the play, " I think it equally plausible that
Shakespeare noticed the reference in Holinshed, and amplified it in the
play as a tacit memorial to Thomas Deloney, who had recently died (some
time shortly before April, 1600), and/or a nod to the shoemakers and
tailors in the audience--to some of whom, no doubt, the Chamberlain's
Men owed money.

Sanctimoniously,
Dave Evett

_______________________________________________________________
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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