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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: January ::
Re: Questions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.011  Thursday, 2 January 2003

From:           Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <
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Date:           Wednesday, 1 Jan 2003 16:43:46 EST
Subject: 13.2465 Re: Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2465 Re: Questions

Thomas Larque writes:

>A feminist reading is rather too modern to be likely to have
>occurred to a Renaissance author, who - even if he had
>proto-feminist sympathies - wouldn't have thought in terms
>of women winning over a "patriarchal society" at all.

Does anyone really "know" Renaissance authors and what they would NOT
think of?

Sounding parochial here, to make a point: Until Nancy Pelosi or Hillary
Clinton or both, or Elizabeth Dole, etc. have been elected President of
the USA in five or more consecutive 90% landslides, few readers in my
native land can imagine what Shakespeare's life was like. The head,
undisputed, of the body politic/society in his formative and early
creative years was a woman. We must struggle mightily to begin to get
near his "sympathies."

Earlier we "listened to the play." Can we "listen to the corpus" as
well? Why are the great world-shattering tragedies Jacobean? COULD IT BE
that his very supportive infrastructure was crumbling? Why did he retire
early? Look again at the Princess of France in LLL, and at Henry VIII,
Act V.

Kezia Vanmeter Sproat

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