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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: December ::
Upward Mobility
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2408  Friday, 19 December 2003

[1]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Thursday, 18 Dec 2003 07:58:37 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2396 Upward Mobility

[2]     From:   Jack Kamen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 18 Dec 2003 15:17:29 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2396 Upward Mobility


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Thursday, 18 Dec 2003 07:58:37 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.2396 Upward Mobility
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2396 Upward Mobility

>He ends both plays as the most powerful man
>in England.

>"Query? Are we supposed to assume that Henry III will be governed by
>Robert Faulconbridge? The last few speeches look a little like sparring
>between Salisbury and Robert over influence, and it seems that Salisbury
>wins on points."

If I may "show boldness and aspiring confidence" (V.i.), looking at the
play purely from a structural standpoint, Robert Faulconbridge is the
first to address the young Henry as the future monarch. But perhaps just
as importantly, he has the final lines of the play, which is always a
significant indicator of power. What could be more powerful than
standing center stage, and delivering these lines to the auditors:

This England never did, nor never shall,
Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror,
But when it first did help to wound itself.
Now these her princes are come home again,
Come the three corners of the world in arms,
And we shall shock them. Nought shall make us rue,
If England to itself do rest but true.  (V. vii. 121-127).

Brian Willis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Kamen <
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Date:           Thursday, 18 Dec 2003 15:17:29 -0500
Subject: 14.2396 Upward Mobility
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2396 Upward Mobility

>Jewish practice based on the Talmud allows a widower to marry
>immediately on the death of a spouse. This is not surprising since by
>Biblical law a man may take more than one wife. A widow, however, must
>wait two months before marrying.  Should she marry sooner, a child born
>after seven months could be the full term offspring of the dead husband
>or a premature offspring of the new husband.  In either case the child
>would generally be legitimate, but its indeterminate status (no solid
>basis for presumption) would have serious ramifications in terms of
>claims on the estate.  If the second marriage was a leviate marriage on
>the basis of the dead husband having left no offspring the situation
>would be more serious for the status of the child.
>
>So "But two months dead, nay, not so much, not two;" would have
>reflections beyond unseemly haste if this bit of Talmudic law had crept
>into Christian practice.

I consulted the rabbi of my orthodox synagogue regarding Mr. Kasten's
comments. He agrees in general with his communication except for the
time element. Halacha, or Jewish ritual law, prevents the widower from
marrying for thirty days, the obligatory mourning period, or the widow
marrying for three months, for the reason elucidated in Mr. Kasten's
post.

Thanks for a great listserv,
Jack Kamen

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