Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: Shakespeare and European Politics
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1294  Thursday, 26 June 2003

[1]     From:   John Drakakis <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Jun 2003 16:02:38 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1278 Re: Shakespeare and European Politics

[2]     From:   Sam Small <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Jun 2003 16:39:00 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1278 Re: Shakespeare and European Politics


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 25 Jun 2003 16:02:38 +0100
Subject: 14.1278 Re: Shakespeare and European Politics
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1278 Re: Shakespeare and European Politics

Without wishing to assent to all of Gabriel Egan's reply to Sam Small
(particularly the comment about oxymorons!) I think in the main he's
right.  Elizabethan and Jacobean readers were a little more informed
(and curious) about what was going on elsewhere than Small's suggestion
indicates.  Maybe when Mr Small discovers the STC it will do something
to enlarge his perceptions.

Cheers,
John Drakakis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 25 Jun 2003 16:39:00 +0100
Subject: 14.1278 Re: Shakespeare and European Politics
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1278 Re: Shakespeare and European Politics

It seems that Markus Marti and Terence Hawkes are obtusely ignorant of
Shakespeare's irony and ambiguity.  But I don't really believe that.
They know full well that the English tradition for individual expression
goes back to Anglo-Saxon times.  Shakespeare's universality is expressed
in those terms, in that the internal drama and conflict of the
individual makes place and setting irrelevant.

And we have more ultra-conservatism from Gabriel Egan.  No, the Merchant
doesn't need Venice.  Of course location and local politics have a
bearing on the texture of the plot, but my point is that any of the
plays can be transposed socially or in time and have exactly the same
meaning because it is the human soul that is in question - as Hamlet
demonstrated.

Martin Steward seems similarly and uncharacteristically bemused.  I say,
for instance, that Julius Caesar could be rewritten as a modern play
with exactly the same individual conflicts and duplicities as the
original - not the same poetry, mind.

There is no European tradition for the centering of the individual -
which is the essence of Shakespeare's writing.  They have a history of
fascist collectives with several painful adventures into horrific
Communism.  Their political history is fronted by characters like
Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Franco, and the recent warlords of
Bosnia.  The most England can cook up is Margaret Thatcher - hardly a
comparison.  Simply, Shakespeare would not have happened in Europe.
There never was, and is not now, the appetite for true individual
thinking.  The destructive rage of Iago or the hopeless pain of Othello
would be quite lost on them.  That's why they do so much better in the
decorative arts because they can express corporate order - the exception
being Rembrandt.  And don't forget guys - one of the fundamental
meanings of the word "America" is "let's get away from Europe!"

SAM SMALL

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail 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.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.