2003

Pop Culture: Juliet's Nurse analyzed on Guiding Light

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2216  Monday, 24 November 2003

From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 21 Nov 2003 09:19:23 -0500
Subject: 14.2198 Pop Culture: Juliet's Nurse analyzed on
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2198 Pop Culture: Juliet's Nurse analyzed on
Guiding Light

Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> writes,

>Beth:  Her innocence. At the start of the play, the Nurse is a widow
>who's lost both her husband and her child. But then, she doesn't give up
>on love.  And when Romeo and Juliet find each other, the Nurse falls in
>love with love all over again. She sees it as this pure and innocent
>thing. But then, she's the one that realizes this love will end badly.
>She's the one who realizes that love doesn't always triumph and that
>it's not innocent at all. She knows that when you give in to love and
>passion, heartbreak and disaster follows. And she tries to tell Juliet
>that, but Juliet doesn't listen. And look where love got Juliet. We all
>know her story, don't we?

It's nice to know that English majors are getting paying jobs writing
screenplays in Hollywood, even if they're the kids of producers who just
graduated from Hollywood High and are recycling their senior term
papers. It seems that the more insulated, alienated and irrelevant
Hollywood reality grows relative to the profound social crises of
contemporary America, the more self-referential its dramatic narratives.
I've noticed that the later episodes of Seinfeld and Friends lose any
pretense to working class New York and increasingly are populated by
rich people in expensive clothes in luxurious settings fretting over
their career ambitions (last night the crisis on Friends involved the
possibility of some friends winning the lottery when others didn't, a
metaphor I imagine for the 25 million dollar contracts they were
negotiating at the time).

This is, however, an egregious misreading of the Nurse who is an old
bawd with fewer scruples than teeth. Far from being "in love with love,"
like a true bawd she tries to teach Juliet to make a virtue of
necessity, as she is to be sold off to Paris. The obscene jokes she's
apparently been making to Juliet since she was a toddler do not evoke
the "purity and innocence" of love. If she knows this love will end
badly, only her instinct for pimping can explain her keeping it from
Juliet's parents and her industry in bringing about her ruin. I don't
know whether the morals of present day Hollywood vis a vis Renaissance
Europe, or someone's obtuse English teacher accounts for this bizarre
character analysis, but it's a cinch the writer got more than the $44.75
shakespeareessays.com would have asked.

Clifford Stetner
CUNY
http://phoenixandturtle.net

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Helena Bonham Carter's Ophelia

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2215  Monday, 24 November 2003

From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 21 Nov 2003 08:57:04 -0500
Subject: 14.2210 Helena Bonham Carter's Ophelia
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2210 Helena Bonham Carter's Ophelia

I think Ophelia's interest in Gertrude indicates her intuition that
Hamlet's destructive heterosexuality has its roots in his dysfunctional
relationship with his mother. On the other hand, Shakespeare's attempt
to direct the scene is also a cautionary tale for critics:

...her speech is nothing,
Yet the unshaped use of it doth move
The hearers to collection; they aim at it ("yawn at it" in the quartos),
And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts;
Which, as her winks, and nods, and gestures yield them,
Indeed would make one think there might be thought,
Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily.

...she may strew
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds.

Which she does indeed in Q1 in the mind of Laertes who is present for
her ballads. Claudius is concerned that Laertes:

Feeds on his wonder, keeps himself in clouds,
And wants not buzzers to infect his ear
With pestilent speeches of his father's death;
Wherein necessity, of matter beggar'd,
Will nothing stick our person to arraign
In ear and ear.

He hears unfounded rumors of Claudius' guilt which (in Q1) Ophelia's
obscure words seem to him to confirm. In a sense, Claudius is indeed
culpable for Polonius' death, and Laertes, like Paul Wolfowitz and
unlike Hamlet, is willing to act on "murky intelligence."

Clifford Stetner
CUNY
http://phoenixandturtle.net

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Shakespeare Allusion

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2213  Friday, 21 November 2003

From:           John D. Cox <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 20 Nov 2003 10:37:41 -0500
Subject:        Shakespeare Allusion

When the government was temporarily shut down, in last night's episode
of The West Wing, a volunteer picks up trash in the west wing offices.
Someone asks her her name, and she says it's Marina.  Asked where she
was born, she says, "at sea."  I'm at sea as to why the show has this
passing allusion to Pericles, but that's undoubtely what it is.

John Cox
Hope College

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Helena Bonham Carter's Ophelia

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2214  Friday, 21 November 2003

[1]     From:   Peter Donaldson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 20 Nov 2003 10:24:20 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2194 Helena Bonham Carter's Ophelia

[2]     From:   Dana Wilson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 20 Nov 2003 13:17:41 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2210 Helena Bonham Carter's Ophelia


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Donaldson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 20 Nov 2003 10:24:20 -0500
Subject: 14.2194 Helena Bonham Carter's Ophelia
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2194 Helena Bonham Carter's Ophelia

The point about generational conflict may need to be restated in view of
the dates of the films -- 1990 for Zeffirelli and 1985 for Ragnar Lyth.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Wilson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 20 Nov 2003 13:17:41 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.2210 Helena Bonham Carter's Ophelia
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2210 Helena Bonham Carter's Ophelia

Don, Jay, et al,

First, Don, I was using 'tacky' as meaning no more substantial than a
'touch'.

Jay wrote:

>Just curious to know if you have textual or other
>reasons to believe the
>flowers presented by Ophelia are imagined or
>ghostlike?

No textual reasons.  It deals with props and that is the fiefdom of the
director, but that is how I  recall it being performed.

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Reference in Milward

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2212  Friday, 21 November 2003

From:           Judy Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 20 Nov 2003 11:06:07 -0400
Subject:        Globe Shakespeare

The edition usually known as the Globe is that edited by W.G. Clark and
W.A. Wright, 1864, and extremely frequently reprinted (the reprint I
have at hand, of 1907, is the eighteenth). I don't have _What Happens in
Hamlet_ at hand, but possibly Andrew Cooley is referring to the SD at
5.1 "Enter Priests, &c. in procession; the corpse of OPHELIA, LAERTES
and Mourners following; KING, QUEEN, their trains, &c." (F1 3045-6,
"Enter King, Queene, Laertes, and a Coffin, with Lords attendant.")

"A Doctor of Divinity", which appears in some versions of this SD, Evans
in the textual notes to the Riverside ed.  ascribes to Wilson.  Andrew
Cooley might find the answer to his question in Wilson's edition of
_Hamlet_ for Cambridge  (CAM3), published in 1934 (I think). There are a
number of subscribers to this list who could give complete information
on the history of this SD. Possibly Andrew Cooley has already received
what he needs.

Most modern editions (eg Arden, Cambridge, Oxford) give lists of the
major editions consulted, which would often include the Globe.

_______________________________________________________________
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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