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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: February ::
Marvin Rosenberg
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0222  Friday, 7 February 2003

From:           Brad Berens <
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Date:           Friday, 7 Feb 2003 13:06:50 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Marvin Rosenberg

Dear Hardy and SHAKSPERians,

I bear sad news.  Our fellow Shakespearean Marvin Rosenberg passed away
last Tuesday morning.

In addition to being the author of eccentric but brilliantly useful THE
MASKS OF KING LEAR, MACBETH, OTHELLO, and HAMLET (he was in progress
with THE MASKS OF ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA), Marvin wrote many other
scholarly articles, as well as plays and screenplays.

A passionate teacher and a kind, gentle man, I had the great privilege
to work with Marvin at U.C. Berkeley.  Although long emeritus, he
graciously agreed to be the third reader on my Ph.D. thesis, and his
help was trenchant, generous, useful, and often amusing.  Memorably, we
had a long talk one afternoon about whether or not the rest of my
dissertation committee would understand a football metaphor that I had
used to describe some of the cognitive gymnastics one of Shakespeare's
original playgoers might have engaged in.  Marvin's was worried because,
to his knowledge, he was one of only two faculty members at Berkeley who
ever watched football.

He had an immense zest for life and novelty, even in his old age (I
don't know many octogenarians who embrace the internet the way Marvin
did). After every visit with him I thought to myself that if I could
grow old like Marvin had grown old I would be a happy to do so.

Before a decades long academic career, Marvin served in WWII: I'm not
sure I remember the details clearly, but I believe he was involved in a
cryptography unit trying to crack enemy codes.

Marvin suffered a stroke a few months ago that left him less able to
move about than previously.  He passed away quietly at home, alone with
his beloved wife, Mary, which was his wish.

I regret that I did not have a chance to visit with him in person over
the last few years since moving from Berkeley to Southern California.
His memory will be with me always.

Very sincerely and sadly yours,
Brad Berens

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