2003

Ambiguous Words

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1845  Wednesday, 24 September 2003

[1]     From:   Tony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 08:56:08 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1837 Ambiguous Words

[2]     From:   Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 14:32:35 +0000
        Subj:   Ambiguous Bum Note

[3]     From:   Peter Groves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 11:58:35 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1837 Ambiguous Words

[4]     From:   Melvyn R. Leventhal <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 11:16:15 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1837 Ambiguous Words

[5]     From:   Dana Wilson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 09:17:17 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1837 Ambiguous Words

[6]     From:   Bob Rosen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 15:03:30 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1837 Ambiguous Words


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 08:56:08 -0400
Subject: 14.1837 Ambiguous Words
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1837 Ambiguous Words

Don Bloom infers from my prior post that "The phrase 'supposed and
equally misunderstood malice' suggests that he wasn't malicious in
attempting to have his old enemy judicially murdered. I am not sure what
definition of malice could be offered that Shylock's murderous intent
did not qualify under. But perhaps I have indeed misunderstood
something."

Indeed, he has misunderstood something.  The "supposed" in my remark
referred to the supposed nature of Shylock's malice, and certainly did
not suggest that I hold its very existence to be in doubt.  If I did not
presuppose the existence of malice, I would have had no reason to say
that it is misunderstood.

Us deep thinkers require close reading, or our supposed meanings will
surely be misunderstood.  I kinda feel Shakespeare would want me to make
this point to the list members.

Tony

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 14:32:35 +0000
Subject:        Ambiguous Bum Note

Carol Barton's flatulent gloss on petar/d (14.1837) is not the only
direction in which the wind blows. Some detect a whiff, particularly
with the Q2 s(m)pelling, of a homonym for "Peter". This would indicate a
play with "penis"; "sport... hoist... hard... delve" combined with the
previous abstinence speech exchanges ("start up and stand an end", for
example) where a son counsels the mother about her sex life, tend to
stiffen this interpretation. What a tease our Willy is. And stew'd in
corruption are our editors.

Best wishes,
Graham Hall

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Groves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 11:58:35 +0000
Subject: 14.1837 Ambiguous Words
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1837 Ambiguous Words

Carol Barton: "Easiest first: Melvyn, a "petard" is not strictly
speaking a "bomb" in this context . . . unless you mean a "stink bomb."
This is a bit of scatological humor, and means to be raised up on your
own . . . wind egg  . . . not to put too fine a point on it, fart."

Etymology notwithstanding, this is false: a petard is "a small engine of
war used to blow in a door or gate, or to make a breach in a wall, etc.;
originally of metal and bell-shaped, later a cubical wooden box, charged
with powder, and fired by a fuse" (OED).  Or perhaps Carol supposes that
a pet-de-nonne is no more than an unpleasant smell in a convent.

Peter Groves

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melvyn R. Leventhal
 <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 11:16:15 EDT
Subject: 14.1837 Ambiguous Words
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1837 Ambiguous Words

Re: Carol Barton's statements:

1. First, she states that a petard "is not strictly speaking a bomb."
Carol should check the Oxford English Dictionary wherein "petard" is
defined as  "a small engine of war used to blow in a door or gate or to
make a breach in a wall. "According to that rather important source, it
was made of metal or wood, was "bell shaped,"  and "charged with powder
and fired by a fuse."  That sounds like a bomb to me.

A number of examples of uses in 16th Century literature are provided by
the Dictionary all establishing that a petard is without question, a
bomb.

If the Oxford English Dictionary is not good enough, Carol should check
on how the great editors of Hamlet footnote the word "petard" in their
editions.  She will find that "bomb" is indeed what a petard was in the
16th century and what Hamlet meant when he used the phrase - hoisted on
one's own petard.

2.  The continuing comment that Shylock meant his bond as a joke is
clearly wrong.  While that's what he may have implied in his statement
to Antonio, he makes his intentions clear to the audience with his aside
"if I can catch him once upon the hip, I will feed fat the ancient
[Jewish] grudge I bear him."  Shylock is the comic villain of the play.
You might also check Jessica's description of her father's intentions --
based on what he told her: Merchant of Venice, Act 3 Scene 2, 282-288.

3.  Carol's reference to the Uniform Commercial Code is, as lawyers say,
"inapposite."  The UCC provision that favors the consumer lay-person
over the merchant-expert applies to the sale of goods, Article 2 of the
UCC. Here we are dealing with a promissory note.

4.  I agree with Carol that the play is profoundly anti-Semitic. She's
in excellent company in insisting upon that interpretation.  But it is
Shylock, the villain, who is the victim of his own trick -- the bond he
wrote and always insisted upon enforcing -- not Antonio.  But again, the
trial scene is part of the comedy -- the "biter bit," with the flippant
Portia in disguise as a lawyer (comic devise) insisting upon capital
punishment for the breach of a promissory note.  Only lawyers and
judges, not intelligent and sane people, would insist upon such a
remedy.

Melvyn R. Leventhal

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Wilson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 09:17:17 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.1837 Ambiguous Words
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1837 Ambiguous Words

Forum,

Easiest, first, Carol,

The first bombs were named petards for the sulphur reek, which is an
example of synecdoche.

D-

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Rosen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 15:03:30 EDT
Subject: 14.1837 Ambiguous Words
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1837 Ambiguous Words

>I'm afraid I would disagree with your "yes, but" to Todd Pettigrew
>as a result. Shylock's insistence on enforcement occurs only AFTER his
>"friend" Antonio has hauled him into court---it is anger and hurt and
>humiliation that prompts his retaliatory insistence on the letter of the
>law, provoked by Antonio's treachery, not by the "viciousness" with
>which Todd (and Antonio) invest the Jew. I would suggest that by the end
>of the play, things have come full circle: Shylock proves to be a better
>man than Antonio thinks "Jews" are, and Antonio proves to be a worse man
>than Shylock believes "Christians" to be. Each is a victim of his own
>stereotyping of the other.

I've never heard of any Western legal code that grants executionary
power to a party. Usually a marshal or sheriff carries out the verdict
of a court in civil law when presented with the court's decision in a
document, not the successful party.

Besides, in a civil case the award can only be financial, never
corporeal. I don't know where Shakespeare got his legal references. On
the windy side of creativity? Even Gilbert in his operettas did a better
job, but WC was a lawyer early on. My object all sublime....

Bob Rosen

_______________________________________________________________
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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Sonnets of Shakespeare's Ghost

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1844  Tuesday, 23 September 2003

[1]     From:   Lloyd A. Norton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 22 Sep 2003 12:31:04 EDT
        Subj:   Sonnets of Shakespeare's Ghost

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 05:38:33 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 14.1834 Sonnets of Shakespeare's Ghost


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lloyd A. Norton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Sep 2003 12:31:04 EDT
Subject:        Sonnets of Shakespeare's Ghost

I offer this correction: Line 11, "To me, whose worth was my sole
argument," was a typo!  Please delete it to return the sonnet to 14
lines!

I am not a believer of this spirit writing, but find it curious.  I
would find it even more curious if computer programs should attribute it
to -- Shakespeare!

Lloyd (:=)>

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 2003 05:38:33 -0400
Subject: Sonnets of Shakespeare's Ghost
Comment:        SHK 14.1834 Sonnets of Shakespeare's Ghost

Lloyd A. Norton invites 'comments on other spirit written publications
by Shakespeare'. It's always seemed to me that Sam Small's contributions
fall readily into that category. His recent account of the structure and
content --indeed 'the dread darkness'--  of Richard 111's 'mind' shows
an uncanny intimacy with its workings. I think he should own up.

T. Hawkes

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Winter's Tale Queries

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1842  Tuesday, 23 September 2003

From:           Susan St. John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Sep 2003 19:17:51 -0700
Subject:        Winter's Tale Queries

I'm working on the final scene of WT with my high school actors, and I
have a couple of questions:

First - I would like to know the list's opinion on the pronunciation of
Paulina and Perdita.  I have heard, and tend to prefer [paw-lee'-nuh]
and [per-dee'-duh] (not exactly IPA notation, but I hope it will
suffice).  AND, every time "Paulina" is spoken in Act 5, scene 3, it
looks like it should scan as two syllables...what's up with that??

And second - What is Camillo trying to say in lines 58-62?

     My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on,
     Which sixteen winters cannot blow away,
     So many summers dry.  Scarce any joy
     Did ever so long live; no sorrow
     But killed itself much sooner.

I think he's trying to comfort Leontes...but he seems to be saying
"you've already been sad for so long; yet a lifetime wouldn't be long
enough; people are hardly ever happy for this long, let alone wallowing
in sorrow."

How is this supposed to be a comfort??

Thanks in advance for your help.
Susan St. John.

_______________________________________________________________
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.

no spirit dares stir

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1843  Tuesday, 23 September 2003

From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Sep 2003 06:24:24 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Season comes wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated...no
spirit dares stir

OK: here's the opening scene, in a nutshell, no Claudius, no Gertrude,
just some guards in the dark, on the castle wall, and a "spirit" which
"dares stir" and Hamlet, for whom the play is named, is invoked, to an
audience, chilled to the bone at this chilling opening, to set the world
right, again, at the anniversary of the birth of the "Saviour" of them
all, agreed?  Quite English, wouldn't you agree?:

SCENE I. Elsinore. A platform before the castle.
...
Enter Ghost
...
Exit Ghost
...
Re-enter Ghost
...
Cock crows
...
Exit Ghost
...
MARCELLUS speaks,
"It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time."
...
HORATIO speaks,
"So have I heard and do in part believe it.
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill:
Break we our watch up; and by my advice,
Let us impart what we have seen to-night
Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?"

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Tully's Offices

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1841  Tuesday, 23 September 2003

[1]     From:   David Crosby <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 22 Sep 2003 14:38:24 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1824 Tully's Offices

[2]     From:   R Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 22 Sep 2003 13:46:39 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1824 Tully's Offices


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Crosby <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Sep 2003 14:38:24 -0500
Subject: 14.1824 Tully's Offices
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1824 Tully's Offices

For information on the influence of "Tully's Offices" in the Tudor
period scholars should take a look at Ben Schneider's concise summary at
the following URL:  purl.oclc.org/emls/iemls/shaksper/
files/ETHICAL%20TREATISS.txt, which includes the following information:

"Erasmus prefaced and annotated an edition of *De Officiis* in 1501.
Sir Thomas Elyot, in his popular *Governour* (1531), lists three
essential texts for bringing up yuoung gentlemen:  Plato's works,
Aristotle's *Ethics*, and *De Officiis*. "Those three bokes," Elyot
says, "be almost sufficient to make a perfecte and excellent governour"
(1.47-8)."

David Crosby

[Editor's Note: Ben Schneider's summary can also be found on the
SHAKSPER web site at
http://www.shaksper.net/archives/files/ethical.treatiss.html -Hardy]

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Sep 2003 13:46:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.1824 Tully's Offices
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1824 Tully's Offices

J.W. Binns: Intellectual Culture in Elizabethan and Jacobean England and
T.W. Baldwin: William Shakespere's Small Latine and Lesse Greeke. are
good references that will help situate Tully.

_______________________________________________________________
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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