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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: March ::
Re: Questions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0543  Wednesday, 19 March 2003

[1]     From:   James Conlan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Mar 2003 22:03:58 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0529 Re: Questions

[2]     From:   Graham Hall <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 19 Mar 2003 09:23:23 +0000
        Subj:   Words worth.


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Conlan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 18 Mar 2003 22:03:58 +0000
Subject: 14.0529 Re: Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0529 Re: Questions

On what criteria of evidence is it possible to say that Shakespeare's
intended audience of the genteel class did not find the laws of
precedence relevant to the plot of _Romeo and Juliet_, or Shakespeare's
other plays, for that matter?  What other reason but a failure to show
proper respect explains Elizabeth slapping a courtier when he turned his
back on her?

Further, it is a notorious fact that the Innocents' Day, 1594,
performance of _Errors_ at Gray's Inn was delayed as the audience on the
stage was arranged according to their proper station.  Moved from a
place of greater precedence to a lesser, the Ambassador to the court
from the Middle Temple left.  Moreover, the rules of rhetoric for the
address (or reference) to persons were taught in the _ars dictamen_
tradition of rhetorical training.  Manuals like Angel Day's _The English
Secretary_ went through multiple printings in Shakespeare's day. And
Shakespeare properly styles his address to Henry Wriothesly twice, it
seems difficult to demonstrate Shakespeare's ignorance of either
appropriate forms of address or the importance of the rules governing
precedence.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <
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Date:           Wednesday, 19 Mar 2003 09:23:23 +0000
Subject:        Words worth.

 David Evett in his trenchant observations on rhetoric (Monday, 17 Mar
2003) poses the (?) rhetorical question,

>[...] (what practical interest could he or his audience have had in the
>relationships of a couple of dead Veronese?  what practical effect could
>his play have had on the relationships of those Veroneses' descendants, or
>on relationships between the Veronese and the English?) [...]

and I take the thrust of his point but only broadly.

Trying hard to avoid cliche, I am tempted to suggest that Art influences
perceptions. That is why it is so potent. Shakespeare with all his
subtleties influences perceptions. Perceptions shape attitudes and
attitudes shape actions.

So if Shakespeare meant anything when he (literally) put his words into
Prospero's mouth, what was he driving at with, "Now I want.... Art to
inchant"?

Best,
Graham Hall

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