2003

"My crown ... and my queen" - Gertrude's Adultery

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1804  Wednesday, 17 September 2003

[1]     From:   Frank Whigham <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Sep 2003 09:29:25 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1794 "My crown ... and my queen" - Gertrude's
Adultery

[2]     From:   John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Sep 2003 15:48:09 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1794 "My crown ... and my queen" - Gertrude's
Adultery

[3]     From:   Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Sep 2003 16:32:38 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1794 "My crown ... and my queen" - Gertrude's
Adultery


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Frank Whigham <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Sep 2003 09:29:25 -0500
Subject: 14.1794 "My crown ... and my queen" - Gertrude's
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1794 "My crown ... and my queen" - Gertrude's
Adultery

For a very striking historical/anthropological treatment of the history
and development of such laws as are here being discussed (what leads the
church to shape its incest laws as it does? how did the reformation
change this?  etc.), see Goody, Jack. The Development of the Family and
Marriage in Europe. 1983.

Frank Whigham

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Sep 2003 15:48:09 +0100
Subject: 14.1794 "My crown ... and my queen" - Gertrude's
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1794 "My crown ... and my queen" - Gertrude's
Adultery

Robin Hamilton wrote:

>I take Common Law -- defined by tradition and precedent -- to be a
>sub-set of Civil Law, which would include both Common Law and Statute
>Law. If I'm wrong here, I'm sure someone will stand up to correct me.

You're wrong :-)

Civil Law has at least three different senses, all of which seem to
differ from that given above, so the term is perhaps best avoided.

1.  The commonest usage, although possibly the least accurate, contrasts
Civil with Criminal Law.  As such, it would certainly involve both
Common and Statute Law, but so also does Criminal Law.  Public Law is
said to be the preferred term, although I don't recollect ever seeing
that.

2.  The most accurate usage equates Civil Law with Roman Law (or at
least systems based on it) as opposed to Common Law (cf. Droit Civil).

3.  Civil Law is sometimes used as a synonym for National - as opposed
to International - Law.

Whatever it is, it isn't Equity - and don't mention Canon Law, either.

John Briggs

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Sep 2003 16:32:38 +0100
Subject: 14.1794 "My crown ... and my queen" - Gertrude's
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1794 "My crown ... and my queen" - Gertrude's
Adultery

If the pertinency of Deuteronomy was so manifest in Tudor England (as
has been argued), how come marriage to a deceased brother's wife was
illegal in that place and at that time?  Why did Henry VIII have to have
his dead brother's marriage annulled in the first place before he could
marry Catherine?

Impressed as I am by the scholarly citation of the Leviticus/Deutoronomy
texts, I think that this is essentially a marginal issue.

I'd be even more impressed if the KJV, not published till 1611 and thus
too late to provide material for either Henry's divorce or the writing
of /Hamlet/, wasn't cited by default.

"Which Bible?" isn't exactly a transparent issue, either with regard to
the period between 1450 and 1611 generally, or Shakespeare in
particular.

Robin Hamilton.

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Shrews in UK

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1803  Wednesday, 17 September 2003

From:           Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Sep 2003 11:42:43 +0100
Subject: 14.1793 Stratford Festival 2004
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1793 Stratford Festival 2004

How does it compare with the all-female Shrew at The Globe?

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Stratford Festival 2004

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1801  Wednesday, 17 September 2003

[1]     From:   Jeffrey Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Sep 2003 08:38:28 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1793 Stratford Festival 2004

[2]     From:   D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Sep 2003 09:35:57 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1793 Stratford Festival 2004


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jeffrey Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Sep 2003 08:38:28 -0400
Subject: 14.1793 Stratford Festival 2004
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1793 Stratford Festival 2004

Yes, I did mean Stratford, Ontario.  Sorry about the confusion.

Jeff Myers

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Sep 2003 09:35:57 -0500
Subject: 14.1793 Stratford Festival 2004
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1793 Stratford Festival 2004

Graham Hall, our hinterlands correspondent, reports the following of
geographical and poetical (perhaps doggerellicine) interest, to wit:

>as the motorway signs proclaim - "Historic Warwick"

Thus bureaucracy anticipates satire. I tried to think of some other apt
county appellations but couldn't come up with anything offhand except
dull offerings like Worcester Booster, Surrey Hurry and (God save the
mark!) York Pork -- none of which have either the ring or the
applicability of Historic Warwick. Since only that locale (and London)
would relate to the subject of this list, I invite members to write me
off-list with ideas of their own.  Maximum points for having the rhyming
word before the country. Separate categories (of course) for counties in
Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Standard abbreviations (like Hants, Herts,
etc) are perfectly acceptable The winner gets an automatic nomination
for the coveted Hernshaw Award.

Cheers,
 don

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Determined to Be a Villain

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1802  Wednesday, 17 September 2003

From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Sep 2003 10:06:13 -0400
Subject: 14.1799 Determined to Be a Villain
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1799 Determined to Be a Villain

>A late note for this thread.  I was watching Ian McKellen in Richard III
>last night.  When he said he was determined to be a villain, well, he
>persuaded me of his single-minded resolve.  I can't imagine how he could
>mean the fault was in his stars.
>
>Al Magary

After trying to follow various of Terence Hawkes' arguments in other
contexts, I'm prepared to state that neither nurture nor nature can have
"determined" Richard to be a villain, as he is only words on paper. If
the ambiguity of the passive verb "determine" is read as including
determinism as well as the existentialism played by Ian McKellen, then
Richard was determined to be a villain by Thomas More, Hall, and
Holinshed, who turned the character into a Machiavel. If anyone has
pointed it out in this thread, I missed it, but the soliloquy really
continues the one in 3 Henry VI 3.2:

. . . .
Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard;
What other pleasure can the world afford?
I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap,
And deck my body in gay ornaments,
And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
O miserable thought! and more unlikely
Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns!
Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb:
And, for I should not deal in her soft laws,
She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe,
To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub;
To make an envious mountain on my back,
Where sits deformity to mock my body;
To shape my legs of an unequal size;
To disproportion me in every part,
Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp
That carries no impression like the dam.
And am I then a man to be beloved?
O monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought!
Then, since this earth affords no joy to me,
But to command, to cheque, to o'erbear such
As are of better person than myself,
I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown,
And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell,
Until my mis-shaped trunk that bears this head
Be round impaled with a glorious crown.
And yet I know not how to get the crown,
For many lives stand between me and home:
And I,--like one lost in a thorny wood,
That rends the thorns and is rent with the thorns,
Seeking a way and straying from the way;
Not knowing how to find the open air,
But toiling desperately to find it out,--
Torment myself to catch the English crown:
And from that torment I will free myself,
Or hew my way out with a bloody axe.
Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,
And cry 'Content' to that which grieves my heart,
And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
And frame my face to all occasions.
I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall;
I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
I'll play the orator as well as Nestor,
Deceive more slily than Ulysses could,
And, like a Sinon, take another Troy.
I can add colours to the chameleon,
Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,
And set the murderous Machiavel to school.
Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down.
[Exit]

I think the active voice in: "I'll make my heaven to dream upon the
crown" not the passive "my heaven is made to dream upon the crown" puts
the "determined" completely on the existentialist side. Henry VI is, of
course, the later play. Did Shakespeare perhaps note his earlier
ambiguity and write these lines to remove it? (It would be interesting
to know, incidentally, why "to be determined" and "to be resolved" are
used as passive verbs when "to determine" and "to resolve" are
available.)

In Henry VI, Richard is determined by nature to by ugly; to think
himself worthy nevertheless of being loved seems to him hubris, but it
is he who determines therefore to "torment myself to catch the English
crown" or "hew my way out with a bloody axe." The image of the bear cub
turns an old myth that bears are born shapeless until their mothers lick
their bear form into them (truly "to be resolved" in its passive sense)
into a metaphor for existentialist self-fashioning.

Witness Whitney's Choice of Emblems 92:
. . . .
Even so, the man on whome dothe Nature froune,
Whereby, he lives despis'd of everie wighte,
Industrie yet, maie bringe him to renoume,
And diligence, maie make the crooked righte:
   Then have no doubt, for arte maie nature helpe.
   Thinke howe the beare doth forme her uglye whelpe.

p.s. There is more to deconstruction than ambiguity, but Derrida should
have been a poet and not a philosopher.

Clifford Stetner
CUNY
http://phoenixandturtle.net

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Re: Tillyard (Again)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1800  Tuesday, 16 September 2003

[1]     From:   David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 15 Sep 2003 12:15:21 GMT0BST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1787 Re: Tillyard (Again)

[2]     From:   Kathy Dent <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 15 Sep 2003 15:03:44 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1787 Re: Tillyard (Again)

[3]     From:   John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 15 Sep 2003 15:23:14 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1787 Re: Tillyard (Again)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 15 Sep 2003 12:15:21 GMT0BST
Subject: 14.1787 Re: Tillyard (Again)
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1787 Re: Tillyard (Again)

>>should we all spend a
>>moment considering at what cost to the global environment the Americans
>>are keeping themselves cool? (Energy, air-conditioning, global
>>warming... make the connections!)
>
>I find it interesting that the solution to the "problem of abundance"
>which is usually offered by the disenchanted is to take away the
>abundance, not make it better.  Are they really "progressive" as they
>claim, or reactionary Luddites?

Hmm - 'disenchanted' is a wonderfully weaselly term in this context -
but, to bring this back to Shakespeare, doesn't Lear have something to
say about what the rich should do with their 'superflux'?

David Lindley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kathy Dent
 <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 15 Sep 2003 15:03:44 +0100
Subject: 14.1787 Re: Tillyard (Again)
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1787 Re: Tillyard (Again)

>I find it interesting that the solution to the "problem of abundance"
>which is usually offered by the disenchanted is to take away the
>abundance, not make it better.  Are they really "progressive" as they
>claim, or reactionary Luddites?

No problem with abundance, Larry, only with excess, inequality and
injustice.  Check out the World Trade negotiations! (And, yes, as a
European, I hang my head in shame at our treatment of the developing
world).

Kathy Dent

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 15 Sep 2003 15:23:14 +0100
Subject: 14.1787 Re: Tillyard (Again)
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1787 Re: Tillyard (Again)

What has all this to do with Tillyard, or with Shakespeare? Surely the
time has come to continue this 'strand' of the discussion privately.

Cheers,
John Drakakis

[Editor's Note: I agree. -Hardy]
_______________________________________________________________
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
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