2004

Cordelia: Loss of Insolence (Studies in the

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0333  Thursday, 5 February 2004

From:           David Crosby <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 10:58:55 -0600
Subject: 15.0316 Cordelia: Loss of Insolence (Studies in the
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0316 Cordelia: Loss of Insolence (Studies in the
Humanities)

It might be instructive to compare Cordelia's situation in the first
scene of Lear with that of several others who face similar examinations
by authority figures (often fathers or stand-ins for fathers):
Hermia, for example, has to answer before Duke Theseus her father's
charges of undutiful disobedience; Desdemona must face the Duke of
Venice to defend her choice of husband against her father's anger;
Isabella, though fatherless, must face an examination of her virtue from
Angelo, acting on behalf of the Duke of Vienna.

Each of these ingenues faces a rhetorical problem: how to appease an
accuser without giving up her personal will and/or principles. Each
employs certain rhetorical tropes: she makes reference to the weakness
of her position (she is a weak woman, she does not know how to speak in
such an august company or such a perilous situation, she is used to
keeping silence); she then discovers her voice and demonstrates that,
despite her weakness she is able to bandy words and avoid the traps that
have been set for her; finally her eloquence appeals, if not necessarily
to her accuser or judge, then certainly to certain witnesses to the
examination who are impressed with her innocence and her arguments.

King Lear opens with a ritual which demands the expression of filial
piety in exchange for rewards, but turns suddenly into an examination of
Cordelia when she cannot answer in the expected mode. Like Desdemona she
is confronted with a trick question: in the sight and hearing of her
suitors, France and Burgundy, she is asked to outbid her sisters in
expressing that all her love and duty belong to her father, and finds
that she "cannot heave/ [Her] heart into [her] mouth." (91-92).

But unlike Desdemona, she does not craft a clever and diplomatic answer;
instead she blurts out, "Nothing, my Lord" (1.1.87), and when warned
that this answer may cost her, she blunders on, "I love your Majesty/
According to my bond; no more nor less" (1.1.92-93).

By the time she recovers the usually witty and resourceful voice of the
Shakespearean accused, asking "Why have my sisters husbands, if they
say/ They love you all?" (1.1.99-100), and using wordplay against her
father by responding to his, "So young and so untender?", with the
stichomythic "So young, my lord, and true" (1.1.106,107), it is too
late, and Lear has passed sentence.

Like Hermia, she is reminded of the weakness of her position and the
penalty she can pay, when Lear threatens to take away her marriage
prospects: "Let it be so; thy truth then be thy dower" (1.1.101) She
will become a fatherless child. When Kent steps in to protest this
injustice, badgering Lear with strong rhetorical arguments and demanding
that he revoke his threat, he finds himself sharing the role and the
punishment of the accused.

Lear, like almost every other judge in Shakespeare, asserts the conceit
that once a decision is made, he cannot alter it, and he accuses Kent of
seeking to "make us break our vows,/ Which we durst never yet," and of
coming "betwixt our sentence and our power/ Which nor our nature nor our
place can bear" (1.1.168,170-171).

Although we can analyze the character of Cordelia based on her words and
actions in the first scene, we would do well to pay attention to the
conventions of scenecraft that Shakespeare used and reused when one of
his character's is accused before a judge and must defend herself/himself.

For those who are interested, I try to define the conventions
Shakespeare uses to construct "examination scenes" in an essay
forthcoming in the Journal of the Wooden O Symposium 2003, sponsored by
the Utah Shakespearean Festival.

David Crosby

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Shakespeare, the true-blue,

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0332  Thursday, 5 February 2004

[1]     From:   Cynthia Bowers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 04 Feb 2004 15:21:41 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0312 Shakespeare, the true-blue, red-blooded,white
American patriot

[2]     From:   Patrick Dolan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 5 Feb 2004 05:23:54 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 3 Feb 2004 to 4 Feb 2004 (#2004-25)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cynthia Bowers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 04 Feb 2004 15:21:41 -0500
Subject: 15.0312 Shakespeare, the true-blue, red-blooded,white
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0312 Shakespeare, the true-blue, red-blooded,white
American patriot

Surely Gioia's "conservative" efforts can be viewed favorable by
Americans threatened by progressive art, especially when it is funded
with their tax dollars.  Conservatives in this country have all but
succeeded in gutting the NEA by invoking Mapplethorp et al. as
"evidence" of the decadence of the art support by the NEA (untrue, of
course).

However, though I agree that wrapping Shakespeare in red, white, and
blue (also the colors of the British flag, no?) may be offensive to some
of our cousins across the pond, this particular program is to be lauded,
especially given the dismal state of arts/theatre/music education in
general in this country.  Any program that gets live people into live
theatre to witness a Shakespeare play, especially in underserved
communities, has enormous value.  (And, by the way, I've been to
Baraboo, WI, and it's hardly a back-woods community.)  Also, the
companies listed are quite accomplished--though of course they are not
the RSC or the National.

We must crawl before we can walk, no?  And perhaps an introduction to
Shakespeare's works via "original practice" staging can prepare
audiences to welcome PoMo productions in the future.  Whatever it takes.

Cindy Bowers
Asst. Prof. English
Kennesaw State University

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Patrick Dolan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 5 Feb 2004 05:23:54 -0600
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 3 Feb 2004 to 4 Feb 2004 (#2004-25)

 >Perhaps someone wants to make the case
 >that Shakespeare was actually American...

As my father is an avid William F. Buckley Jr. fan, both on television
and in the National Review, and since dad brings up the
anti-Stratfordian stuff when Buckley does, I've formed the impression
(no more than that) that U.S. political conservatives are slightly more
willing to listen to anti-Stratfordian claims than, say, English
professors. As near as I can figure, this willingness derives from a
predisposition that says that relatively humble birth plus a sketchy (in
their view) education cannot produce great art. Then there's the
tendency to believe that there are conspiracies everywhere, especially
in academia, to deprive the rich and aristocratic of credit for, well,
everything good. Maybe that's just dad. You never know, though.

Pat

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A Lover's Complaint & John Davies of Hereford

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0330  Thursday, 5 February 2004

[1]     From:   Katherine Duncan-Jones
<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 15:38:42 -0000
        Subj:   A Lover's Complaint etc.

[2]     From:   Bob Grumman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 16:27:26 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0305 A Lover's Complaint & John Davies of Hereford

[3]     From:   Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 5 Feb 2004 01:58:12 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0305 A Lover's Complaint & John Davies of Hereford


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Katherine Duncan-Jones
<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 15:38:42 -0000
Subject:        A Lover's Complaint etc.

Unwisely, I was commenting from memory on late Elizabethan print-runs,
which had greatly shrunk in my recollection! What I was recalling from
the course on Bibliography that I did in Oxford back in 1963 was a
passage in R.B.McKerrow's Introduction to Bibliography  (1927) pp.
130-3: 'A regulation of the Stationers' Company about 1587 forbade the
printing of more than 1,250 or 1,500 copies of any book (with the
exception of certain school-books)'. He goes on to say that 'we may
therefore probably take this as the maximum edition for the closing
years of the sixteenth century, but we have no certain knowledge of how
long, or how carefully, the rule was observed'.

So I was correct in recalling that late Elizabethan print-runs were
officially restricted, but wrong by a factor of at least 1000 in my
claim about the permitted size! Many apologies.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Grumman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 16:27:26 -0500
Subject: 15.0305 A Lover's Complaint & John Davies of Hereford
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0305 A Lover's Complaint & John Davies of Hereford

I find this an interesting thread and am learning from it.  A sort of
answer to my question as to why someone would add a non-Shakespeare poem
to a set of Shakespeare poems sufficient to fill a book--to wit, to make
his collection like other collections of sonnets.  This leads to a
second question: how many sonnet sequences of the time did not have a
longish poem like "A Lover's Complaint" at the end?

My point is that if the sonnets were published with Shakespeare's
permission, it seems unlikely he'd go along with some other poet's piece
being attached and ascribed to him.  If they were published without his
permission, what would be the commercial or any other point of including
a lesser work by someone else and ascribing it to him?

--Bob G.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 5 Feb 2004 01:58:12 EST
Subject: 15.0305 A Lover's Complaint & John Davies of Hereford
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0305 A Lover's Complaint & John Davies of Hereford

Katherine Duncan-Jones replied to my post on Lover's Complaint:

 >First: on bibliographical evidence for a book's popularity.
 >Print-runs were restricted by law, to 200 or 250- hence the
 >re-publication of very popular works, such as Shakespeare's
 >Venus and Adonis, sometimes as often as three or four times
 >in a single year.

I can only appeal to some of my sources at hand. Mckerrow (Shakespeare's
England) refers to the Stationers' Company order ca. 1586 "that no more
than 1,250 copies of an ordinary book should be printed." This order
seems not to have been a law, but a reflection of the Stationers' desire
to increase artificially the printhouse work, as sort of a trickle-down
hedge against lopsided profits.

Evelyn May Albright (Dramatic Publication in England, 1927) refers
apparently to the same rule: "On Dec. 11, 1587, the standard number of
books . . . in an edition was 1250."

A more modern authority is an often-cited "The Publication of
Playbooks," by Peter Blayney in _A New History of Early English Drama_
(1997). "If he [a hypothetical stationer] is prepared to risk an edition
of 1,200 copies or more . . . . In this case, however, the stationer
decides that his confidence extends no further than a single edition of
800 copies." (396) "If it had sold quickly . . . he might risk a larger
edition -- say 1,200 or even 1,500 copies." (412)

On that point Blayney cites William Ingram on a 1623 lawsuit "concerning
two books printed by Nicholas Okes . . . . Only 800 copies were printed
of the first (and only) edition of STC 10599, but the second edition of
_Philaster_ (after the first had sold out in two years) consisted of
1,500 copies." (422)

Correction of this error doesn't address the issue of survival rates
unless Duncan-Jones formulated her theories using a mistaken figure,
where somehow the survival of one copy from 200 would be different
statistically from one in 1,200.  Belaboring the point (perhaps to note
that 240 copies of F survive) doesn't do any good.

Venus and Adonis was reprinted about once a year in the '90's.

 >Low survival rates are generally held by bibliographers as sound
 >evidence of heavy 'thumbing'.

But low survival rates simply cannot alone indicate that condition.
What Duncan-Jones seems to be saying is that if a few surviving copies
of a book are 'well-thumbed,' then the others must have disappeared for
that reason (overuse) alone. Whereas copies remaining which show less
wear indicate the others were thrown away in good condition.

Low survival rates would depend on many other factors. Further, when we
refer to numbers as low as 13, 4, or 0, from editions of 1200,
statistical significance is lost utterly. But edition size was variable,
depending on many factors, mostly money, as Blayney notes; an author may
back his own work, an edition may be make-work for printers, etc. One
simply loses connection with reality by assuming equal runs and one
reason for disappearance, when the vast majority of copies of all books
from the era have ceased to exist. Her point is invalid, whatever
contribution was intended.

 >Secondly: on my literary arguments for the complementarity-
 >that is, contrasting treatment of common material - of ALC
 >to Sonnets. I directed readers to John Kerrigan, but it doesn't
 >sound as if Gerald Downs has followed this up. I deliberately
 >kept my arguments brief in the Arden Introduction [snip]

I will quote Duncan-Jones again, with ellipsis:

 >I'm a bit surprised that no-one so far has mentioned the strong
 >evidence offered . . . by myself in my 1997 Arden that 'A Lover's
 >Complaint' is a designed component of the Shakespeare's
 >Sonnets volume as published in 1609.

I have not read Kerrigan on this subject and cannot comment on his
material. I responded to Duncan-Jones's specific reference to her own
addition to the "strong case." Editorial space limitations
notwithstanding, she says her argument is strong, and I say it isn't.

 >Thirdly: on the case for the Sonnets as an authorized publication.
 >I first argued for this, with a good deal of evidence, in a longish
 >article in The Review of English Studies as long ago as 1983.
 >I also gave evidence for the inclusion of ALC as a designed part
 >of the whole. At that time the claim was radical and unusual.
 >But since then many other scholars have come to the same
 >conclusion. One very distinguished one who now accepts it-after
 >some years of resistance-is the distinguished bibliographer
 >Macdonald P. Jackson. His verdict should command great
 >respect, even if mine, it seems, doesn't.

The very distinguished, including the distinguished Macdonald P.
Jackson, get all due respect from me, depending on whether I accept
their arguments and the definition of 'due.' But appeal to authority is
not very appealing.

I fully expect Professor Jackson to respond to the challenge to LC's
authority, and I will be interested. His original article on LC struck
me as a lot of good, hard work. Too much hard work to be convincing. A
better case plays itself, and in this respect the attribution of LC to
Davies is off to a running start.

Readers turn to the Arden series not for information only, but for
justification of opinion that stands for information.  Taken by itself,
the argument for the authenticity of LC made by Duncan-Jones is
inadequate. Not everyone is able to follow up every footnote (tho I
can). For that reason, every argument should be as complete and rational
as possible.

Clifford Stetner says:

 >I think Gerald Downs picks the weakest examples from what
 >are much stronger arguments than he pretends.

Those were the only examples Duncan-Jones gave. I guess he didn't spring
for the book. I'll pretend not to notice the "pretends" pre-tension. The
picks were not mine. I do appreciate Clifford Stetner's agreement that
the examples are "the weakest."

Jim Carroll notes:

 >Since Downes accepts the initials "W.S." as referring to
 >Shakespeare so easily in the stationer's registry entry of
 >"Amours",

This misrepresents my opinion.

Clifford Stetner said:

 >I don't see how Shakespeare could have written the
 >anacreontic sonnets 173 and 174,

After looking this up, I'm so relieved. I thought he meant "froze," like
Ted Williams. I don't have an opinion on # 's 153 - 4.

Gerald E. Downs

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How Like You This?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0331  Thursday, 5 February 2004

From:           Mari Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 10:55:59 -0500
Subject: 15.0301 How Like You This?
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0301 How Like You This?

I saw a rather enjoyable AYLI at Yale Rep some years ago (the first year
under the directorship of the man who replaced Lloyd Richards)...
Perhaps it was enlivened for me by the teachers' orientation I attended
before opening where the director himself talked about the play and
turned me from loathing him into rather admiring him.  I cannot begin to
spell his name, which is Polish, but it is pronounced 'VoyaVUDski' or
something like that.  Ah... Is it retirement that is rotting my last few
memorial brain cells?

About the same time Long Wharf Theatre did AYLI with a rather rolypoly
Jaques placed by Paul Giametti (I think he was in the LWT not the YRP
version)...  Again, rather pleasant.

Nothing profound, but in both cases the energy of the "Ganymede"/Orlando
scenes worked very well.

One of them played more with the ambiguity of the Celia/"Ganymede"
relationship than the other but neither was particularly
homosocial/homosexual in interpretation.

I still have mind pictures of both performances, though I confess they
do blur together (probably b/c I saw them both in a comparatively short
time span).

Mari Bonomi

_______________________________________________________________
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Concordances

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0329  Thursday, 5 February 2004

[1]     From:   Todd Pettigrew <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 10:53:39 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0309 Concordances

[2]     From:   Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 14:50:33 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0297 Concordances

[3]     From:   R. A. Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 05 Feb 2004 09:46:38 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0309 Concordances


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Todd Pettigrew <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 10:53:39 -0400
Subject: 15.0309 Concordances
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0309 Concordances

I frequently make use of the Works of the Bard search engine available
online at http://www.it.usyd.edu.au/~matty/Shakespeare/

This search engine has lots of handy features: you can search by word or
for an exact phrase.  You can search for two words near each other and
specify how near.  You can search within a specific play if you choose
or even within the lines of a specific character.

It's very useful, widely accessible and free. I frequently show my
Shakespeare students how to use it, and the good ones immediately see
the value and get hooked.

Best,
t.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 14:50:33 -0800
Subject: 15.0297 Concordances
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0297 Concordances

 >The Harvard Concordance to Shakespeare lacks the play-by-play
 >context and statistics of the 6-volume Complete & Systematic,
 >and it
 >does not provide context for the 43 most frequent of
 >Shakespeare's
 >words, "the, and, I, to, of," etc.

In this context I'd add a reminder that the RhymeZone Shakespeare search
engine is a very handy concordance-like tool:
http://www.rhymezone.com/shakespeare/ (a Lycos service). It allows for
browsing lines incrementally beginning with the most common
line-beginning words in Sh.:

And, I, The, To, That, But, For, A, My, As, You, What, If, Of, In, With,
He, This, How, It, Which, Is, So, Thou, By, O, Your, When, Why, I'll,
We, Let, Ay, Or, Not, His, 'tis, Have, Where, Be, Good, Who, Will, No,
Than, Shall, And, Then, Come, Nay, They, Do, No, She, There, Thy, From,
Well, Our, Why, Are, What, Nor, Upon, Now, Here, All, Hath, Now, Yet,
Would, Sir, Go, Give, Come, At, Even, But, More, Whose, An, Her, Was,
Though, Did, On, Were, Till, Like, Some, These, Most, May, Should, One,
Take, Had, Marry, Make, There's

Click on one and you get a list of the "followers," click on one of
those and you get a list of second followers; and so on.  Eg, Good >

Good lord >
Good lord, how >
...like the empress' sons they are!   Titus Andronicus: V, ii
...bright and goodly shines the moon!   The Taming of the Shrew:
IV, v

For fuller context, the titles link to the full text.

The singular flaw in this tool is that the common words must start a
line in Sh.!

RhymeZone/Shakespeare also has searching on word/phrase, keywords,
word(s) starting a line; and you can also browse a list of Sh.'s coined
words and an up-to-the-minute list of the most popular lines that people
search for.

Top five at this moment:

1.  To be, or not to be: that is the question:   Hamlet: III, I (2676
clicks)
2.  All the world's a stage,   As You Like It: II, vii     (1134 clicks)
3.  I love you with so much of my heart that none is   Much Ado About
Nothing: IV, i     (878 clicks)
4.  Shall I compare thee to a summer's day   Sonnets: XVIII (812 clicks)
5.  You are a lover; borrow cupid's wings,   Romeo and Juliet: I, iv
  (729 clicks)

#3-5 seem to indicate that Valentine's Day is around the corner.

Cheers,
Al Magary

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. A. Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 05 Feb 2004 09:46:38 -0600
Subject: 15.0309 Concordances
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0309 Concordances

 >I realize this is no substitute for a true concordance

I think that it is possible to download, then cut and paste the (a)
text(s) of all the plays into a Word document and then query that
document serially.  I also think that the process would present the
inquirer with some of the problems Spevack encountered (and brilliantly
discusses in his preface.) Mrs. Cowden-Clarke labored for sixteen years
compiling the first concordance to Shakespeare, and her efforts should
not be forgotten.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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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
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