2004

Bilingual Rulers of England

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0313  Wednesday, 4 February 2004

From:           David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 3 Feb 2004 17:16:08 -0600
Subject:        Bilingual Rulers of England

Can anyone help me on this:  I believe that legislative work by the
Plantagenets was done in French until, maybe Henry IV who was the first
to conduct business in English.  So: Were the kings of England, say
prior to Henry VI-Henrys, Edwards, Black Prince and son Richard II,
Henry IV AND Henry V?  The  latter would make the English lesson in
Henry V (Act 3, scene 4) and the wooing scene (Act V, scene 2) good
drama but bad history.  Do I have all this right?

David Cohen

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Shakespeare, the true-blue, red-blooded,

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0312  Wednesday, 4 February 2004

From:           Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 3 Feb 2004 14:59:45 -0800
Subject:        Shakespeare, the true-blue, red-blooded, white American patriot

"Pronounce the acronym 'NEA,'" writes conservative art critic and editor
Roger Kimball
(http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/kimball200401291138.asp), "and
most people think Robert Mapplethorpe, photographs of crucifixes
floating in urine, and performance artists prancing about naked, smeared
with chocolate, and skirling about the evils of patriarchy."

So "Farewell Mapplethorpe," the column's headline says, and "Hello
Shakespeare:  The NEA the W Way."

Kimball writes that the new chair of the National Endowment for the
Arts, Dana Gioia, "has transformed that moribund institution into a
vibrant force for the preservation and transmission of artistic culture.
He has cut out the cutting edge and put back the art. Instead of
supporting repellent 'transgressive' freaks, he has instituted an
important new program to bring Shakespeare to communities across
America. And by Shakespeare I mean Shakespeare, not some PoMo
[post-modern] rendition that portrays Hamlet in drag or sets A Midsummer
Night's Dream in a concentration camp. (Check the website
www.shakespeareinamericancommunities.org for more information.)"

This is irresistible.  I click on the link.  The opening image of
"Shakespeare in America" is the US flag overprinted with the words "A
Great Nation Deserves Great Art."  Plainly, Kimball is happy to see
officially approved art in the service of the Bush administration; no
wonder Rush Limbaugh called attention to the Kimball piece
(http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_012904/content/the_
big_theory_3.guest.html).

Under the flag, in small type, is an invitation to click on to
Shakespeare.  I do, and find Droeshout's Shakespeare in front of an
animated GIF of waving red and white stripes and twinkling white stars
on blue.

I suppose the Bard has not exactly been bound and gagged, but he has
been kidnapped and thrust in front of somebody else's microphone.  Let
us look backstage.

The blurb says the project is "the largest tour of Shakespeare in
American history. Shakespeare in American Communities will bring
professional Shakespeare productions and related educational activities
to 100 small and mid-sized communities in all 50 states."  The next page
says, "With a $1 million appropriation from the Department of Defense,
the Arts Endowment also will bring the tour to families on military bases."

The seven theater companies and the five plays they will perform:
--The Acting Company (New York, NY) touring Richard III
--Alabama Shakespeare Festival (Montgomery, AL) touring Macbeth
--Aquila Theatre Company, Inc. (New York, NY) touring Othello
--Arkansas Repertory Theatre (Little Rock, AR) touring Romeo and Juliet
--Artists Repertory Theatre (Portland, OR) touring A Midsummer Night's
Dream with actors from the Central Dramatic Company of Vietnam
--Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Chicago, IL) touring Romeo and Juliet
--Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis, MN) touring Othello

Well, is this so bad, then?  For the audiences at Richard III in
Baraboo, WI, or Othello in Statesboro, GA, probably good.  Other than
the egregious wrapping of an English dramatist in an American flag, I
guess what is offensive is the aesthetic--or maybe EZ
philistine--convenience of Shakespeare: not as man for all seasons but
the A-OK artist, Super Economy Size, packaged in patriotism.  Find a
urine-soaked crucifix outrageous?   Richard III and Macbeth will give
you a better idea of outrageous.  Find Karen Finley's government-funded
chocolate capers a nightmare?  Try Midsummer Night's Dream.

The website has the texts for all five plays, and, no, they do not seem
to be bowdlerized (Othello, at least), though these are not the stage
scripts.  The classroom guide
(http://www.shakespeareinamericancommunities.org/downloads/SIAC-TeachersGuide.pdf)
is a reasonable introduction, with the daring inclusion of a photo of
Paul Robeson as Othello--a sop to rad-libs in the classroom, I suppose.
  Two suggested assignments have students rewriting a monologue with
modern diction and transforming a sonnet into a prose love letter.

Irrationally, the website has a 4,200-word, water-muddying essay
entitled "Was Shakespeare Shakespeare?"--"indebted," it says, to John
Michell's Who Wrote Shakespeare? and Ron Allen's Who Were Shake-speare?
(http://www.shakespeareinamericancommunities.org/about/was.html)

Without giving the Stratfordian case, this summarizes the cases for
Bacon, Oxford, Derby, Rutland, and Marlowe--and for good measure,
suggests the case for Shakespeare as theater manager, dramaturge,
writing assistant, and compiler of 38 plays written by several anonymous
playwrights.  Even more subversively, the bibliography
(http://www.shakespeareinamericancommunities.org/about/bibliogra
phy.html) under "biographies and studies" lists 49 works of which 19 are
anti-Stratfordian works by Delia Bacon, Charlton Ogburn, and others, and
hardly any literary studies.  Perhaps someone wants to make the case
that Shakespeare was actually American...

Two cheers,
Al Magary

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Henry V Question

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0310  Wednesday, 4 February 2004

[1]     From:   Philip Tomposki <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 03 Feb 2004 16:24:25 -0500
        Subj:   Henry V Question

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 3 Feb 2004 13:37:44 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0300 Henry V Question

[3]     From:   Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 3 Feb 2004 23:19:47 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0300 Henry V Question


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Philip Tomposki <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 03 Feb 2004 16:24:25 -0500
Subject:        Henry V Question

Bill Godshalk asks: "Would Katherine's French accent have anything to do
with Shakespeare acquaintance with Christopher Mountjoy, a Huguenot,
from whom Shakespeare rented rooms? We know that Shakespeare was renting
from the Mountjoys by 1604, and it's possible that he knew them in
1598-99 when he was writing Henry V. Perhaps Christopher helped Will
with the bi-lingual puns? "

Arguably Shakespeare association with the Huguenots preceded his lodging
with the Mountjoys.  His first publisher and fellow Stratfordite,
Richard Field was married to Jacqueline Vautrollier, who was either the
widow or the daughter of Thomas Vautrollier, the Huguenot printer to
whom Field was apprenticed.  Field and Shakespeare were less than three
years apart in age, and their fathers were in similar trades, Field's
being a tanner.  I understand that the Fields shop did not specialize in
poetry, so his publication of 'Venus & Adonis' (1593) and 'Lucrece'
(1594) may be seen as a favor to a fellow townsman.  All this suggests a
relationship close enough to include Jacqueline Field.  Through her,
Shakespeare could have made a connection to the Huguenot community.

I've suggested before that the 'English lesson' (III.iv) in Henry V
could easily have come from the Huguenot refugees, who would have
experienced similar shock, surprise and amusement Katherine does while
learning her English anatomical vocabulary.

Philip Tomposki

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 3 Feb 2004 13:37:44 -0800
Subject: 15.0300 Henry V Question
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0300 Henry V Question

Joseph Sullivan claims that Henry V

 >. . . is English and he only speaks
 >English and he never once demonstrates a shred of interest in
 >speaking anything but English.

Actually, he does manage a couple of sentences of broken French,
embarrassingly, and he makes a strong claim to being Welsh.




Anti-Heroes in English Literature

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0311  Wednesday, 4 February 2004

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 3 Feb 2004 13:25:24 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0295 Anti-Heroes in English Literature

[2]     From:   Marcus Dahl <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 00:41:00 -0000
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0295 Anti-Heroes in English Literature


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 3 Feb 2004 13:25:24 -0800
Subject: 15.0295 Anti-Heroes in English Literature
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0295 Anti-Heroes in English Literature

I'm not sure that Tamburlaine quite fits, at least not using Cuddon's
definition of "a type who is incompetent, unlucky, tactless, clumsy,
cack-handed, stupid, buffoonish".

If we are talking about a Marlovian hero, then Shakespeare's Richard III
seems a decent parallel.

Yours,
Sean.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marcus Dahl <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 4 Feb 2004 00:41:00 -0000
Subject: 15.0295 Anti-Heroes in English Literature
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0295 Anti-Heroes in English Literature

Dear All

Am I missing something here or are not Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear,
Shylock , Othello, Troilus / Ulysses, etc all ANTI- Heroes in that they
do not represent simple moral correctness (for want of a better
expression) and are mostly tragic - which virtually by definition
qualifies them as anti-heroes (here read Dryden on 'fear and pity').

Moreover: Jonson's Alchemist and Volpone surely qualify not to mention
most of Nashe's characters (not a good straight moral rectitude amongst
em thank god) and of course anyone in Webster or Middleton's tragedies
(let us not here forget Kyd).

In fact I struggle to find many straight-forward Elizabethan 'heroes'.

We didn't need Nietzche to understand Rabelais or Shakespeare to read
Chaucer or critical theory to know that life is complex.

For later anti-hero types I recommend:  Tristam Shandy, Sveik, not to
mention real life characters such as perhaps Isaac Babel, or in a
different world, Hemingway or the late great Henry Miller.

Incidentally, only a crude anti-Miltonic mis-reading of Paradise Lost
could ever consider Satan a hero of any kind.

Yours in Violence,
Marcus.

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Concordances

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0309  Wednesday, 4 February 2004

From:           David Crosby <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 3 Feb 2004 15:04:48 -0600
Subject: 15.0297 Concordances
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0297 Concordances

I realize this is no substitute for a true concordance, but the Octavo
CD-ROM of F1 has, in addition to the image files of every page, a
substrate of etext that is fully searchable (pdf searchable text), and
will take you serially to every instance of a word. It can be fun and
enlightening, but it is a little quirky, sometimes highlighting in the
page images words that seem to bear no relation to the search term. Also
it is sometimes difficult to adjust the zoom as you move from page to
page, and highlighting a passage to print out can cause highlighting of
adjacent columns as well.

I'd appreciate hearing from others who have used it this way.

David Crosby

_______________________________________________________________
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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