2004

Girl collapses and dies at school

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0268  Friday, 30 January 2004

From:           Mike Sirofchuck <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Jan 2004 08:10:24 -0900
Subject: 15.0230 Girl collapses and dies at school
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0230 Girl collapses and dies at school

Martin Steward writes,

 >Isn't this in bad taste?

Almost as bad, good <Martin>, as kill a king and marry with his brother.

Mike S

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Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0267  Friday, 30 January 2004

From:           John Reed <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Jan 2004 22:21:25 -0800
Subject:        Hamlet

This message is intended to be in response to the thread Hamlet, started
on Jan. 7.

  Compositors.

Occasionally I delve into the Variorum editions because I am curious
about a certain point; not that it always helps, since there are many
readings where there continues to be no clear answer (like this one).
And it sometimes seems that the more commentary, the less consensus --
usually, actually.  Of course cases, good cases, can be made for
anything, but regarding the compositors I can't help thinking they are
sometimes given credit for being more literal-minded than they were.  I
doubt they were mechanically scanning their text letter by letter or
word by word; more likely they were reading chunks of passage, and then
trying to remember it moments or minutes later when setting their
precious type.  Were that so they might misremember passages and
introduce weird (from a scanning perspective) results, results which
might resemble what happens in people with dyslexia.  This passage right
here might be one of those passages.  If so we might expect errors
beyond what could be accounted for by legibility: words left out, words
added, words out of order, words changed into something else somehow
similar.  We might, for instance, have a shift in pronoun, from "when"
to "what" -- by the F compositor (B or whoever he was).

  The whole context of this passage is enclosed by the issue of time.  A
bit higher up Horatio, remarking on the fate of Rosencrantz an
Guildenstern, says, "It must shortly be known to him from England/What
is the issue of the business there."  To which Hamlet responds, "It will
be short.  The interim is mine."  Then Osric, of all people, underscores
this with the phrase, "And it would come to immediate trial of your
lordship would vouchsafe the answer."  Hamlet isn't the only one
thinking things are coming to a conclusion.  But Hamlet agrees to the
trial.  Then the Lord enters and double-checks, "He sends to know if
your pleasure hold to play with Laertes or that you will take longer
time."  Hamlet answers: "If his fitness speaks, mine is ready./ Now or
whensoever, provided I be so able as now."  Then the Lord, referring to
the King and Queen, indicates the trial is imminent, and Hamlet agrees
again.  Then, Hamlet confesses to misgivings -- perhaps it is his
prophetic soul -- and Horatio is impressed with this and argues against
the combat.  Hamlet comes up with a counter-argument, where he seems
very precise ("It if be now, 'tis not to come," etc.): I wouldn't be
surprised if he is using techniques from Classical logic, and the
general sense of it concerns timing.  Then, "The readiness is all."
Then he seems to be concluding his argument, which is the disputed
passage.  I think he is acknowledging Horatio's misgivings, but he
doesn't care: this is it, this is, how did they put it in The Seven
Samurai?  "The Decisive Battle."  He accepts the possibility he might
lose, or at least die, but he'd rather get it over with.  He is
balancing his own sense of the significance of the moment against his
own and Horatio's doubt and fear.  If Horatio were heeded, at best it
prolongs the uncertainty, and might be the cause of losing the
opportunity.  Hamlet might be thinking something like, "I might die in
this encounter, but... you're going to die sooner or later, and whenever
it happens it will probably be both unexpected and unwelcome."  Thus,
"Since no man knows aught of when he leaves, what is't to leave
betimes?"  Betimes: any old time, sometime soon, very now.  Horatio
starts to protest again, characteristically too weakly, and Hamlet
silences him with, "Let be."

  Shaheen (Biblical References in Shakespeare's Plays) compares the F
reading to 1 Timothy 6.  The reading I have in mind might echo John 7.6;
maybe.

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Family Shakespeare Redux

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0265  Friday, 30 January 2004

From:           Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Jan 2004 20:12:10 -0000
Subject: Family Shakespeare Redux
Comment:        SHK 15.0248 Family Shakespeare Redux

"I was recently told, by a clergyman in my parish, that the latest
movement is towards "home-churching".  I should think that this
dramatizes the distinction between the extreme wing of right-wing
fundamentalism and the mainstream churches."

"When they and their Bibles were alone together, what strange
phantasticall opinion soever at any time entred into their heads, their
use was to thinke the Spirit taught it them", complained Richard Hooker:
Of The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, BkI, Preface.

Lancelot Andrewes noted that the "mark of false prophets" is their
"having a pleasant dream of their own righteousness, [whereby] they make
God's people forget His Name [Jer 23: 16, 27]": Sermon V, 23 Nov 1600,
The Works of Lancelot Andrewes, ed. J. P. Wilson and J. Bliss (11 Vols.
Oxford 1854), Vol. V, p.124. Richard Montagu criticized double-effect
predestination as an hubristic assumption about "Secrets reserved to God
alone"; predestination was "A Question of obscurity, which better might
have beene over-passed in silence, fitting rather Schooles, then popular
eares": A Gagg for the new Gospell?...... pp.177-183; also pp.107, 110.

John Donne, preaching on "Resistibility, and Irresistibility of grace",
remarked that "our Fathers... knew Gods law, and his Chancery: But for
Gods prerogative, what he could do of his absolute power, they knew Gods
pleasure, Nolumus disputari: It should scarce be disputed of in Schools,
much less serv'd in every popular pulpit to curious and itching ears;
least of all made table-talke, and household discourse": Sermon 6, 20
Feb 1618, Sermons I, p.255. His reference to "household discourse"
plainly associates "new terms in Divinity" with Puritan conventicles,
and like Montagu he contrasted this with the professionalized
Universities. Donne warned his congregation to "make not Scriptures of
your owne", and "subject to your private interpretation". They were not
to be discussed "with uncircumcised lips, as Moses speaks", nor, in what
must be a reference to the schismatical conventicles, "with an
extemporall and irreverent, or over-homely and vulgar language": Sermon
3, Easter Monday 1622, Sermons IV, p.128; Sermon 4, Sermons X, p.109;
Sermon 4, Nov or Dec 1627, Sermons VIII, p.122; Sermon 5, 25 Dec 1627,
Sermons VIII, p.147. "He is a perverse servant... that pretendeth to
rest so wholly in the Word of God, the Scriptures, as that he seeks no
interpretation, no exposition, no preaching; All is in the Scriptures,
but all the Scriptures are not alwaies evident to all understandings...
The Ministers of Christ, The Stewards of the Mysteries of God, And so
let men account of us, says the Apostle. Invention, and Disposition, and
Art, and Eloquence, and Expression, and Elocution, and reading, and
writing, and printing, are secondary things; men may account us, and
make account of us, as of Orators in the pulpit, and of Authors, in the
shop; but if they account of us as of Ministers and Stewards, they give
us our due; that's our name to you": Donne, Sermon 4, 25 Apr 1624,
Sermons VI, pp.102-103.

On the other side of the debate, Alexander Leighton complained, "if Gods
people in their families upon the Lords day fall to chew the cud, by the
repetition o a SerMonday, helping some neighbours that have not such
meanes; they are without regard of the day, Gods ordinance or God
himselfe, halled or hurried before a Prelate". What is more, those
"charged with Conventicles" were not "such people as are meant in the
statute", which was supposed to control the activities of "the dangerous
conventions and riotous assemblyes of plotting Papists": An Appeal to
the Parliament..., pp.35, 110. In an anonymous satire, the proctor,
"Busie Body", complains that he has "drawne no Articles against one that
repeated Sermons with his family this twleve-moneth", that is, since the
beginning of the Long Parliament: The Spirituall Courts epitomized, in a
Dialogue betwixt two proctors, Busie Body, and Scrape-all, and their
discourse of the wan of their former imployment (London 1641), p.1

m

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"Would Shakespeare Get Into Swarthmore?"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0266  Friday, 30 January 2004

From:           D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Jan 2004 09:44:35 -0600
Subject: 15.0240 "Would Shakespeare Get Into Swarthmore?"
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0240 "Would Shakespeare Get Into Swarthmore?"

Al Magary makes us aware of the following from the upcoming Atlantic

 >The College Board recently announced plans to introduce a new essay
 >section to the SAT. The essays-some 2.5 million of which will be written
 >each year-are to be graded "holistically," on a scale of 1 to 6, taking
 >into consideration "development of ideas, supporting examples,
 >organization, word choice, and sentence structure." Three senior staff
 >members at The Princeton Review wonder: How would several well-known
 >writers ([including Shakespeare] and the Unabomber) fare on the test?

I suppose this is a joke, but it strikes me as a silly premise. How can
you possibly tell how someone might fare at writing a college essay from
how they wrote an Elizabethan play or sonnet? I grade many dozens of
these essays every year and I have yet to see a connection between
writing to inform and writing to engross except that some people do well
at both.

Given Shakespeare's intelligence and command of English, you would
expect him to do well -- *extremely* well -- if he turned up in your
Freshman Comp class. But there's no guarantee. Some people who are
already way beyond elementary work get bored with it and do poorly. This
is especially true of imaginative ones. They would rather write
*Othello* than a 6-page, properly-referenced, well-structured,
well-supported essay on it -- as who wouldn't? But that doesn't mean
they couldn't.

As to grading holistically, I guess that's what I do, though I'm not
sure precisely what the term means. Some of my less successful students
would likely agree, especially if they could modify the term slightly.

Cheers,
don

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opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
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Horrid Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0263  Friday, 30 January 2004

From:           L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Jan 2004 09:09:07 -0600
Subject: 15.0239 Horrid Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0239 Horrid Hamlet

Abigail Quart writes,

 >Last Thursday night I attended an alumni event at Columbia University, a
 >School of the Arts production of Hamlet ...Meanwhile, stage left, a bunch
 >of people were doing ....I have no idea what they were doing. Odd
 >gestures. But it turns out they were all the Ghost. All of them.
 >
 >That was when I looked at my program and discovered there were not only
 >multiple ghosts, but seven Hamlets (four of them female), nine Ophelias
 >(three of them male), two Gertrudes, two Laertes (one female), but only
 >one Polonius, one Horatio, one Claudius, and one Fortinbras...

Such an interpretation was used in a production of the play at Baylor
University in the '50's or '60's.  However there were not so many
"dimensions" of each character - only two, I seem to remember, for
Hamlet.  An unfortunate decision was to give one of the Hamlets a
decidedly Texas twang (or allow him to use his own) - although nothing
in the rest of the production suggested a purpose for such an accent.

           [L. Swilley]

_______________________________________________________________
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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