2003

Passion in Pieces - Update

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0687  Tuesday, 8 April 2003

From:           Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 7 Apr 2003 20:21:51 +0100
Subject:        Passion in Pieces - Update

With the forbearance of the list I would like to point out that the
Passion in Pieces site has been extensively updated in time for my trip
to Houston.  It now contains commentaries on the five sonnets I have
used for the films.  For those interested it would be very helpful if
you would give me your off list comments on what I have written.  I
deliberately made then chatty and a little irreverent but I do not want
to be plain wrong in my interpretation.  Any help appreciated.

SAM SMALL
http://www.passioninpieces.co.uk
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Re: King John Date

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0686  Tuesday, 8 April 2003

From:           B. Vickers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 08 Apr 2003 13:04:45 +0200
Subject: Re: King John Date
Comment:        SHK 14.0629 Re: King John Date

I'm glad to know that Ros King is 'not saying that only Shakespeare was
capable of inventing the Bastard', but wonder how she knows that the
author of The Troublesome Reign 'just does not know why the character
*needs* to be invented'. Peele, who wrote the first Act of Titus
Andronicus, and scenes 2.1, 2.2, and 4.1, was perfectly capable of
inventing characters and plot-mechanisms which blend historical and
fictional events. Given that King John was hardly an admirable figure
(he was included in a recent British TV series on the most evil men in
history), Peele -- I imagine -- could see that some other more likeable
character was needed to bridge gaps in the plot and to provide a central
focus for the post-Armada patriotism of the early 1590s. Hence this
bluff, vigorous, loyal but independent figure, comparable to Llewellyn
in Edward I.

That Peele wrote TR I argue in a forthcoming essay; that TR precedes
King John has been argued by several scholars, most cogently by Robert
Smallwood in his Penguin edition (1974), Appendix pp. 365-74, with
further arguments by Al Braunmuller in his Oxford edition (1989), pp.
1-19. -- That Shakespeare's King John is closely linked to Richard II
was shown by MacDonald P. Jackson in 'Pause Patterns in Shakespeare's
Verse: Canon and Chronology', Literary and Linguistic Computing, 17
(2002): 37-46.

That King John belongs to the mid- or late 1590s (1596 is preferred in
the Oxford Textual Concordance) is evident, also, from the treatment of
Constance, both in her intense foreboding of her son's death (more
powerful than anything Shakespeare had previously written), and in her
rejection of the consolations offered by King Philip and Pandulph
(3.4.25ff): 'He talks to me that never had a son' -- a disqualification
of the consoler which closely resembles the scene (3.3) in Romeo and
Juliet (1595) where Romeo rebuffs the Friar's attempted comfort: 'Thou
canst not speak of that thou dost not feel.  / Wert thou as young as I,
Juliet thy love, / An hour but married ...' . (See Brian Vickers,
'Shakespearian Consolations', PBA, 82 (1993): 219-84). The Bastard is
obviously a completely re-created figure, on the framework established
by Peele, with a great command of repartee in his twitting of Austria by
repeating the line 'And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs',
reminiscent of some verbal wit in Love's Labour's Lost (1594-5). But in
filling out Peele's template for the Bastard Shakespeare was repeating
something he'd recently done in Titus Andronicus (which I would date
1593-4), where he transformed Aaron from a stock villain into an
individual with quite distinctive features. Looking at his large and
varied output, perhaps Shakespeare's greatest skill was in transmuting
inherited material: King John is one of the first instances of that
skill.

_______________________________________________________________
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Re: God Save the Queen

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0684  Tuesday, 8 April 2003

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 07 Apr 2003 12:18:12 -0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0668 Re: God Save the Queen

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 7 Apr 2003 13:35:10 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 14.0668 Re: God Save the Queen

[3]     From:   Daphne Pearson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 08 Apr 2003 10:44:11 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0668 Re: God Save the Queen


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 07 Apr 2003 12:18:12 -0300
Subject: 14.0668 Re: God Save the Queen
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0668 Re: God Save the Queen

Sam Small writes,

>If she were deposed it would make no difference whatsoever to
>the British governmental system or the British way of life except in the
>imaginations of true cuckoo royalists who believe the world would stop
>spinning if the Queen of England got a real job.  I suspect that such an
>uneducated woman would find it difficult to find one.

I believe she was trained as a mechanic in the second world war.
Besides, just because her education was private is no reason to think
that she didn't have any.

Gabriel Egan writes,

>It's only 27 years since the British crown dismissed an elected
>prime minister: Gough Whitlam.

I believe that Whitlam lost the confidence of the Australian parliament
when the Senate refused to vote supply.  The governor-general at the
time was merely enforcing the principle of parliamentary democracy.

Yours,
Sean.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 7 Apr 2003 13:35:10 -0400
Subject: Re: God Save the Queen
Comment:        SHK 14.0668 Re: God Save the Queen

Martin Steward assures us that the 'Royal Assent' is NOT required in
order for British parliamentary Bills to become law--

"not since the Parliament Act (1949). This Act says that the monarch is
not even required to CALL a Parliament, let alone sign its bills."

Oh dear. A brief glance at the British Government's Statutory Instrument
1988 No. 1082 might help. Under the Crown Office Order (Forms and
Proclamations Rules) 1988, the following is prescribed as the official
mode "For signifying the Royal Assent":

"FORASMUCH as in Our said Parliament divers Acts have been agreed upon
by you Our loving Subjects the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and the
Commons the short Titles of which are set forth in the Schedule hereto
but the said Acts are not of force and effect in the Law without Our
Royal Assent [AND WHEREAS in pursuance of the Church of England Assembly
(Powers) Act 1919 certain Measures the short Titles of which are set
forth in the said Schedule have been presented to Us in the form laid
before Parliament] AND forasmuch as We cannot at this time be present in
the Higher House of Our said Parliament being the accustomed place for
giving Our Royal Assent to such Acts as have been agreed upon by you Our
said Subjects the Lords and Commons We have therefore caused these Our
Letters Patent to be made and have signed them and by them do give Our
Royal Assent to the said Acts [and Measures] WILLING that the said Acts
[and Measures] shall be of the same strength force and effect as if We
had been personally present in the said Higher House and had publicly
and in the presence of you all assented to the same."

T. Hawkes

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Daphne Pearson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 08 Apr 2003 10:44:11 +0100
Subject: 14.0668 Re: God Save the Queen
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0668 Re: God Save the Queen

Sam Small mentioned the  'Royal Ascent'.

I know the Queen is Defender of the Faith but I did not realise this
included ascension. Would this be into Heaven to sit on God's right
hand? I certainly was not aware that Parliament insists on this.

As one of Sam's 'cuckoo royalists' even I wouldn't go this far.

Regards,
Daphne

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Re: Love's Labour's Wonne

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0685  Tuesday, 8 April 2003

[1]     From:   Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 07 Apr 2003 15:40:26 +0000
        Subj:   Pedant bites dogmatist

[2]     From:   John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Apr 2003 13:05:52 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.0667 Re: Love's Labour's Wonne


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 07 Apr 2003 15:40:26 +0000
Subject:        Pedant bites dogmatist

Bill Arnold writes ( a touche huffily for my taste) about LLW "[...] it
might be instructive to all to recall that the play was listed by
Francis Meres in Shakespearean English of 1598 in his Palladis Tamia,
Wit's Treasury [...]This is an early and historically accurate list of
the known and accepted writings, poetry and plays of Will
Shakespeare[...] Unless there is another earlier list than this one
[brought to my attention by Samuel Schoenbaum's Shakespeare's
Lives][...]"

Being of a somewhat churlish disposition today, I respond thus;

Nothing there that a bit of deeper reading won't cure.

Bill possibly is, and Francis and Sam undoubtedly were, real nice guys.
But it would seem that none are infallible.

Perhaps it's "instructive to all" and "historically accurate list" that
piques my peeve.

Hmmmm!

Graham Hall

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Apr 2003 13:05:52 +0100
Subject: 14.0667 Re: Love's Labour's Wonne
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.0667 Re: Love's Labour's Wonne

Bill Arnold is right to check my frivolity, and I am aware of the
Francis Meres reference.  However no such text exists, and Meres may be
confused.

We might consider the following lines from LLL spoken by Biron/Berowne:

        Our wooing doth not end like an old play.
        Jack hath not Jill
                                        (5.2.851-2)
MND has Puck say:

Jack shall have Jill,
Naught shall go ill
The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well
                                        (3.2.45-6)

Of course, Meres distinguishes between LLW and MND.

Meres like a number of other contemporaries sometimes got things wrong,
and it would be fruitless to try to invent the content of a play for
which we only have a name. Surely we need to relegate this query to the
same file that we relegate the Ur Hamlet, another fictional text (for
which there is some evidence of its existence) that has generated more
heat than light.

Cheers,
John Drakakis

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Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0683  Tuesday, 8 April 2003

From:           Ted Dykstra <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 7 Apr 2003 11:15:00 EDT
Subject: 14.0673 Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0673 Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind

>Scales are boring to listen to.  Stories are not.
>
>There is, in truth, only one story.  Everyman is attacked by the dark
>forces of antagonism and by some human quality that he raises from his
>soul, wins the day.

That's a pretty boring story all on its own Sam.

>The Well Tempered Clavier is not a series of scales but series of
>musical works to demonstrate that music can be written and played in all
>of the 12 major and minor keys irrespective of the error called the
>"comma" which Bach distributed across the 12 notes in each scale.  What
>we hear is wonderful music - not boring scales.  Stories are totally
>different.

My point, which I think should be very clear to most, is that without
the artist (writer, painter, scientist, whatever the field) interpreting
the story, the story is just the same old story you posted. Same for the
scales.  EXACTLY the same. "The" story is a foundation that, by itself,
never interpreted or expanded upon, would be very forgettable after one
listening.  But it has in it an infinite store of possibilities.
Likewise the scale.  They are both exciting because of their
possibilities. By retelling, reconfiguring, "practising" if you will, we
acquire a technique and sophistication; one, however, that would not be
possible without the much less inspiring original building block. As
Hamlet is to your original story, so is The Well Tempered Clavier to
scales.

My agitation regarding your original post sprung from your rather
cavalier dismissal of Shakespeare's originality as a storyteller,
suggesting he was not "original". And yet you now state that there is no
such thing as an original story, while at the same time expounding the
virtues of others who tell stories in bars and on streetcorners, thereby
suggesting that they are somehow to be lauded for doing so. Perhaps you
frequent an amazing bar, with stories so rich  and exciting that
Shakespeare pales. I haven't found that bar or laundromat or street
corner where I live.

Ted

_______________________________________________________________
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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