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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: January ::
Re: Questions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.035  Tuesday, 7 January 2003

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Monday, 06 Jan 2003 12:21:32 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.030 Re: Questions

[2]     From:   Ted Dykstra <
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        Date:   Monday, 6 Jan 2003 11:55:10 EST
        Subj:   re "Questions"

[3]     From:   James Conlan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 07 Jan 2003 01:40:13 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.030 Re: Questions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Monday, 06 Jan 2003 12:21:32 -0400
Subject: 14.030 Re: Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.030 Re: Questions

I'd like to thank Bob Grumman for noting that the difficulties of
understanding historical personages are similar to the problems of
understanding each other in our own time:

>No one can know exactly how it is or was like for anyone else at any
>time, but--since we're human beings--it's possible for those of us with
>any kind of imagination to know well enough what life was like for any
>other human beings we know as well as we know the Elizabethans.

While obviously there are cultural differences, and these can lead to
misunderstandings, the greater distinction between people is the
existential distinction between self and other.  This fundamental
non-coincidence is, Levinas argues, the source of time and therefore of
historicity.

Yours,
Sean.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ted Dykstra <
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Date:           Monday, 6 Jan 2003 11:55:10 EST
Subject:        re "Questions"

Because the leaders of civilization FOR THE MOST PART (thus far) have
been men, we associate, understandably, the qualities of a leader with
masculinity. We joke about Thatcher and Liz 1 being men because they
were such strong leaders, thus they must be "masculine women". THAT is
the error in our thinking. The world will always be full of very
masculine men and very feminine women who can't lead anyone anywhere.
What is evident to me is that a leader acts like a leader, not like a
man or a woman.  If we evolve further as a race (and yes, that's very
doubtful) we will less and less associate leadership with masculinity
and more and more associate it with what it is: leadership.

Submissively,
Ted Dykstra

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Conlan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 07 Jan 2003 01:40:13 +0000
Subject: 14.030 Re: Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.030 Re: Questions

Regarding the institutional patriarchy and the characterization of women
by the medieval intellectual tradition, see R. Howard Bloch, _Medieval
Misogynies_. Carolyn Walker Bynum's _Holy Feast and Holy Fast_ also
provides an eye-opening look at the way feminine virtue and liberation
was once imagined and embraced.  Whether this medieval tradition is
identical to the present definition of "patriarchy" and "liberation" is
an interesting question that might have us talking with rather than at
or past each other.

Regarding the ability of persons to recover the historical past, perhaps
we should consider the fact that scientists have discovered that the
common notion that we will our physical actions before they occur is
incorrect: actually, the decision that we will our own movements is a
split-second interpretation of actions that have already occurred - even
if these actions are produced by outside stimuli.  [See the Science
Times section of last Tuesday's _New York Times_].  As the immediate
present most personal to us is, in fact, an interpretation of the past
based on a summary of empirical evidence that exists in the imaginative
realm, we should admit no impediment to the possibility that scholars,
with more careful consideration, can arrive at similar hypotheses and
imaginative engagements of the empirical evidence that survives from the
more distant past.

Regarding R.A. Cantrell's position that "the Supreme governor of the
Church and the Queen regnant was never allowed the style 'head'," I am
confused: Is Professor Cantrell refusing to admit Pope Joan, John Knox's
railings against ruling queens, and the Oath of Supremacy that
Shakespeare's father refused to take into evidence?  Is he declaring
that the analogy of a ruling king to the head as the commonwealth is to
the body that James VI of Scotland articulates both in _The True Lawe of
Free Monarchies or the Reciprocal and Mutuall Dutie betwixt a free King,
and his Natural Subiectes_ (Edinburgh, Robert Waldegrave, 1598) [*14409]
and later, once doubly crowned, in "A Speech to the Lords and Commons of
the Parliament at White-Hall on Wednesday the xxi of March anno, 1609."
[pp. 527-548 in James I, _Political Works_ (London, 1616),] would not
have applied to those "free princes" from whom James inherited two
thrones?  Or is Professor Cantrell merely claiming that Ruling Queens
were not styled "head" in correspondence, epistolary dedications, and
formal occasions by ambassadors and heralds, but "Most
Noble Princes" or "Most Grave Princes" exactly like their male
counterparts?

Happy Three Kings' Day,
J. P. Conlan

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