2003

Not Moli

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1764  Tuesday, 9 September 2003

From:           Claude Caspar <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 08 Sep 2003 16:14:38 -0400
Subject: 14.1755 Not Moli


Lear as Prophet?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1763  Tuesday, 9 September 2003

From:           Donald Jellerson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 8 Sep 2003 11:09:52 -0700
Subject: 14.1752 Lear as Prophet?
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1752 Lear as Prophet?

Thanks to Mr. Banker for responding to my posting about Lear as Prophet.

Mr. Banker, you are certainly correct in that prophecy and madness seem
to sometimes coincide -- rather, that prophets are often conspicuously
abnormal people.  In Shakespeare, witness Cassandra (Troilus and
Cressida) and the witches in Macbeth, for example.  I would suggest,
however, that while you could make the case that all prophets are in
some sense mad, it may be more difficult to propose that all mad people
are prophets.

I wanted to suggest that perhaps our post-romantic sense of "prophetic"
is not the same as Shakespeare's.  And that perhaps calling the language
of King Lear prophetic muddles more issues than it clarifies.

A search through a Shakespeare concordance (there is one online at
http://www.languid.org/cgi-bin/shakespeare) will yield a good sense of
how Shakespeare uses the word "prophecy" (or "prophetic" or "prophet").
Here's one example from Troilus and Cressida V.iii:

Priam: "Cassandra doth foresee; and I myself / Am like a prophet
suddenly enrapt / To tell thee that this day is ominous"

Here's another from Measure for Measure II.ii: Angelo: "...like a
prophet / Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils..."

In other words, I think the Shakespearean sense of prophecy is not, as
Frye says, a "metaphor for the primary power of vision in human
consciousness," or, as you say, a "primal stage of language."  The term
seems to be related directly to the ability to see the future.
"Prophets," in Shakespeare, tend to have supernatural abilities (e.g.
see Macbeth or Othello III.iv).  They are not necessarily religious in
the Christian sense, and they are certainly not visionaries in the
Blakean sense.

Now, this is not to say that Frye or Bloom should not feel free to
create their own metaphors for Shakespeare's language (be they based on
Blake or the Bible or what have you).  I simply think, in this case,
that it pays to be careful about mixing those metaphors with the
explicit usage in Shakespeare's text.  In other words, I think it's
perfectly fine to attempt to assign Shakespeare's language to a
"prophetic" register as long as one is careful to document the
anachronism of that term.  After having worked on this problem since my
last posting, I believe I see more clearly what Frye and Bloom mean
(though I still have reservations).  On the face of it, however, the
usage was more confusing than helpful.

Is Lear a "prophet" in the play's own terms?  Or in the terms generated
by the body of Shakespearean plays?  I don't think so.  I don't think
that all madness is an indication of the prophetic.  Do Hamlet and
Othello become prophets by virtue of their madness?  A doubtful
proposition.   Is Lear a "prophet" in the Blakean sense of the term?  Or
is the language of King Lear "prophetic."  Well, I can see how that case
can be made.

Sincerely,
Donald Jellerson

_______________________________________________________________
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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editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Wood Controversy

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1761  Tuesday, 9 September 2003

From:           Anthony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 8 Sep 2003 11:28:21 -0400
Subject: 14.1754 Wood Controversy
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1754 Wood Controversy

If the distinction between piracy and plagiarism has been forgotten, it
surely occurred recently.  Black's Law Dictionary confirms my own
memory, by including in the definition of piracy (beyond the Cap'n Kidd
variety) "The term is also applied to the illicit reprinting or
reproduction of a copyrighted book or print or to unlawful plagiarism
from it."  Plagiarism is defined as "The act of appropriating the
literary composition of another, or part or passages of his writings, or
the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product
of one's own mind."

It appears from the first definition that the meanings may overlap but,
my own sense of the matter is that this is an appearance only, and that
plagiarism is a wrong against the creator or maker of a work, and piracy
a wrong against the publisher or distributor (who may also be the
creator).  A rough and ready simplification is that the first protects
the creatives, the second protects the suits.  Or, as the Marxists among
us might imagine it, first the producers and then the exploiters.

My descent into the stormy teapot of scholarly discussion led me also to
a nearby dictionary entry I hope others will find as fascinating as I
do.  It is that for "Pimp-tenure," defined as "A very singular and
odious kind of tenure [i.e.,  the right to hold land under specified
conditions of duty to the lord granting it, TB] mentioned by the old
writers.<Wilhelmus Hoppeshort tenet dimidiam virgatam terrae per
servitium custodiendi sex damisella, scil. meretrices ad usum domini
regis.>"

Tony Burton

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Tricky Dicky

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1762  Tuesday, 9 September 2003

From:           Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 08 Sep 2003 15:38:11 +0000
Subject:        Tricky Dicky

Largely unheralded and decidedly buried within the weekly millions of TV
channel listings, BBC 4 transmitted the Globe's Richard II live last
night in the UK. Much will be written no doubt but I was struck by two
factors. First, how different the production appeared on screen - garish
colours, altered sound, weird angles. Second, the choice of a political
commentator/editor to discuss the play's topicality in these troubled
times. (As coincidence would have it, Michael Wood gave his opinion on
the political angle!) I do not pass judgement on these points but merely
reflect upon them.

It is to be hoped that such transmissions or recordings can be made a
more regular feature of the BBC's Arts/drama output. The Globe looked a
treat.

Yours,
Graham Hall

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Bard Haters, All Will Be Explained

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1760  Tuesday, 9 September 2003

From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 08 Sep 2003 11:04:04 -0400
Subject:        Bard Haters, All Will Be Explained

September 4, 2003
THEATER
Bard haters, all will be explained
* A renowned theater director and an ensemble of actors guide audiences
through the thorny bits of Shakespeare.

Who's Afraid of William Shakespeare?
When: Sunday, 3 p.m.
Where: Community Center, Plummer Park, Santa Monica Blvd. at Vista
Street, West Hollywood
Cost: Free

By Joe Rhodes, Special to The Times

He's always been a scary guy, that William Shakespeare, partly because
of his enormous forehead, but mostly because of all those plays he
wrote, you know, the ones with the big words and long trance-inducing
Elizabethan speeches that you can't understand, but the English teacher
asks you questions about them anyway, which, as required by federal law,
goes on your permanent record.

But, buck up, Bardophobes. You need cower in fear no longer. Renowned
English theater director Tony Tanner and an ensemble of actors from the
Classical Theater Lab are going to guide you through the thorny bits of
"Macbeth" on Sunday when Tanner kicks off his "Who's Afraid of William
Shakespeare?" series.

"For an audience to enjoy Shakespeare, they have to understand it and be
comfortable with the language," says Tanner, who is best known as a
performer and director of Broadway musicals (including 1982 Tony Award
nominations for directing and choreographing "Joseph and the Amazing
Technicolor Dreamcoat") but has been directing, performing and teaching
about Shakespeare on both sides of the Atlantic for more than 40 years.

"I've seen audiences in a considerable state of confusion," he says,
"simply because they didn't know what was going on."

So Tanner and his ensemble do highlights from the play (you'll get your
scheming witches, your murderous swordplay, your descent into madness)
explaining the story, paraphrasing some scenes and taking questions from
the audience.

Regrettably, he will not be explaining the California recall process.
Some things are just too scary to talk about.

_______________________________________________________________
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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