2004

Lusty Apes in Hell?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0106  Thursday, 15 January 2004

From:           Alan Dessen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 14 Jan 2004 09:43:05 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Lusty Apes in Hell?

A colleague remembers an essay (but now cannot find it) on the motif
that maids who die unmarried will lead apes in Hell (see, e.g., *Much
Ado* 2.1.38-45 and *Shrew* 2.1.33-34).  The author argued that the maids
would have been raped by the apes.  Is anyone familiar with this essay?

Alan Dessen

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Bodleian Library Contact

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0105  Thursday, 15 January 2004

From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, January 15, 2004
Subject:        Bodleian Library Contact

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

Does anyone have a contact at the Bodleian Library who could check a
reading for me in a quarto in the Malone collection?

If so, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will let you know
what I am looking for.

Thanks,
Hardy

_______________________________________________________________
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 Webpage <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.

Shakespeare for Kids

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0103  Wednesday, 14 January 2004

From:           Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Jan 2004 20:15:49 -0000
Subject: 15.0091 Shakespeare for Kids (Are Shakespeare's plots
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0091 Shakespeare for Kids (Are Shakespeare's plots
thick?) - to Ed

Mr Larque says that "Plot is one of the single most important things
about Shakespeare" I disagree.  In fact I refute that there is any such
thing as a "Shakespearean Plot".

Othello is one of his most celebrated plays, but, as many people have
noticed, the plot is decidedly dodgy.  I shall take another of Mr
Larque's propositions that 'Shakespearean adaptation' is the same as
'Shakespeare'.  Imagine a character like Secretary of State, Colin
Powell being totally unhinged and turned into his wife's murderer by a
vindictive little civil servant without being exposed in approximately 2
hours by the rest of his staff.  No-one could imagine Powell being that
stupid.  The plot is absurd and quite un-adaptable.

I remember dragging my truck driver father to the Olivier film version.
"No-one could be that jealous," he said afterwards.  I really had no
answer.  He convinced me by other remarks that he had heard none of the
poetry - but he *had* followed the plot.

Othello is a horrific study of the state of unbridled jealousy.  It is
the ghastly poetry of jealousy in all it's blind, imagined hatred.  It's
as if Shakespeare didn't care how the jealousy was created - Iago's
motive is never revealed - the handkerchief thing is really quite silly,
and so on.  What is remarkable about Othello's speeches is the
frighteningly accurate understanding of that state by the writer and, if
unchecked, leads to catastrophic breakdown.  In the Sonnets he describes
himself as a poet - and a poet is what he remained.  He was concerned
with the inner workings of the human mind and soul.  He could have
adapted "Little Red Riding Hood" and made it into a harrowing, erotic
study of murder and malice - purely by the dramatic quality of the
poetry in the speeches.

Mr Larque rightly states that 'Shakespeare translated' is not 'English
poetry'.  However, if every nuance of every line of that gut-wrenching
poetry was translated then it's no wonder Shakespeare has many
world-wide fans.

And Mr Larque seems to be another proponent of the school that poo-poos
Shakespeare's universality.  I do not mean 'what I believe' I mean
'universality'.  Shakespeare wrote his drama-poetry about universal
human states - family, love, hate, jealousy, lust, sexuality, justice,
violence and much more.  All these things affect all people on this
troubled globe.  What is *not* universal are the other things Mr Larque
mentions - feminist / monarchist / Marxist / anti-feminism /
anti-monarchism / Marxism / anti-Marxism, etc.  These are external,
social constructs born of social engineering - by definition, decidedly
anti--Shakespearean.

SAM SMALL

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Shakespop: Shakespeare Action Figure

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0104  Wednesday, 14 January 2004

From:           Stephan B. Paragon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Jan 2004 23:30:03 EST
Subject: 15.0085 Shakespop: Shakespeare Action Figure
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0085 Shakespop: Shakespeare Action Figure

Where do you get the action figures? I did see one of Shakespeare but
are the others available?

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Psychology of Gertrude

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0102  Wednesday, 14 January 2004

[1]     From:   Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Jan 2004 13:50:22 -0000
        Subj:   Re: Purses

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Jan 2004 14:48:36 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0090 Psychology of Gertrude


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Jan 2004 13:50:22 -0000
Subject:        Re: Purses

 >Tom, hold your fire till we disagree on something substantive!  In the
 >meantime, can you or any other on this list educate me on purses:  What
 >was the value of the "purse" so often flung from one person to another
 >in the plays, as in "Here, take my purse."  I assume it was a purse of
 >coins, but what kind (always gold?) and of what value- surely varying
 >with the economic resources of the giver-but roughly what value in our
 >coinage?

This sounds rather like a "how long is a piece of string" or "how many
children had Lady Macbeth" sort of question.  The answer is surely that
the purse contained whatever money the person handing out had on their
person and could thus vary from virtually nothing to relatively large
sums.  When Antonio gives his purse to Sebastian it seems to contain
enough to make this a very generous and trusting gesture, and apparently
dwarfs the coinage that Viola tries to give Antonio when she divides her
own purse contents in half, saying "my having is not much", and
presumably tries to give him much less than half of the money that was
given to Sebastian, and which Antonio expected back (minus only the cost
of moderate purchases).

My own guess would be that Antonio's purse is a good deal heavier than
Viola's, but that neither one holds a fraction of the contents of the
purse given to Edgar by Kent in "Lear" - but all this is just guesswork,
and I am not sure there is any way to estimate the true value of any of
these fictional purses, which have a literary rather than a financial
purpose.  You might as well ask how much money Midas earned by turning
things into gold.  It just isn't relevant to the story, which has no
reason to be any more precise than saying "a lot of money" or "not very
much".

I would imagine that most people in the Renaissance period, as today,
carried only one purse with them at any one time.  Certainly this is
true of Antonio and Viola, since Antonio evidently has no money left -
having given everything to Sebastian - and Viola intends to divide
everything that she is carrying with Antonio, but only seems to take out
one purse.  The sheer extravagance of the purse casting gesture is
presumably that you have given the person everything that you are
carrying with you (although this does not mean everything that you own,
since you are likely - especially if you are a rich man or ruler - to
have a good deal stored at home, lent out, or invested, or some
combination of the three).  It would be more normal, as Orsino, Viola,
Sebastian, and Olivia do at various times in "Twelfth Night", to say
"there's gold" and give the person a few coins rather than the whole
amount that you are carrying, purse and all.

As for "cutpurse", the purse was usually attached to the belt by
strings, and a "cutpurse" was known as such because he would use a knife
to cut the strings of the purse and carry it away while the owner was
distracted.  Modern thieves are usually known as "pickpockets", because
we are more used to having wallets or purses in the pockets of trousers,
jackets, or coats, and the "pickpocket" reaches in and picks out the
items that he wants.  I don't see any relationship between the term
"cutpurse" and the action of giving away purses full of money.

One final thing that may be relevant is that, as I seem to remember,
some British monarchs (who traditionally do not carry money, but have
servants to do such things for them) have been in the habit of having a
variety of purses with small amounts of money in, ready to be given away
symbolically to needy people that they happen to come across.  I admit
that I may be confusing the Maundy ceremony (when numerous purses filled
with small amounts of money are ritually given away as a charitable
demonstration on a particular date during an organised ceremony) with
everyday royal life in some way.  If somebody does have multiple purses
waiting to be given away, however, then it is the symbolism of the
gesture that is important - as it is in the Maundy ceremony - but the
giving of purses is at its most generous and sincere when the giver has
only one purse to give, especially if everything that they have left is
within it, as seems to be the case with Kent in "King Lear" where he has
been cast out of his home, leaving all but a few portable possessions
behind him, and is preparing to kill himself, so has no reason left to
keep anything at all, and can afford to be unremittingly generous to the
poor man (as he thinks) who has helped him.

Thomas Larque.
"Shakespeare and His Critics"       "British Shakespeare Association"
http://shakespearean.org.uk           http://britishshakespeare.ws

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Jan 2004 14:48:36 -0800
Subject: 15.0090 Psychology of Gertrude
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0090 Psychology of Gertrude

David Cohen asks,

 >What was the value of the "purse" so often flung from one person to
 >another in the plays, as in "Here, take my purse."

I'm not sure that I understand the question.  What's the value of a
wallet, as in, "Here, take my wallet"?

Yrs,
Sean.

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Search

Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.