2004

NYTimes.com Article: Avon Calling

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0086  Tuesday, 13 January 2004

[1]     From:   Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Jan 2004 13:34:55 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0076 NYTimes.com Article: Avon Calling

[2]     From:   Gary Kosinsky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 Jan 2004 15:04:56 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0076 NYTimes.com Article: Avon Calling


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Jan 2004 13:34:55 -0500
Subject: 15.0076 NYTimes.com Article: Avon Calling
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0076 NYTimes.com Article: Avon Calling

Richard Burt's helpful posting of Kermode's NYTimes piece only reprints
part of the article. Follow the link Richard provided to read all of it,
including Kermode's praise of Stephen Orgel's marvellous collection
Imagining Shakespeare.

[Editor's Note: I try not to send out complete articles that are easily
available on the Internet, encouraging the submitters to abstract the
pieces themselves. In this case, I hurriedly did the excerpting myself,
neglecting the section on Stephen Orgel, which I now include below. -Hardy]

Stephen Orgel's ''Imagining Shakespeare,'' with its origins in a
distinguished lecture series, is addressed to a scholarly audience.
Orgel is celebrated for his work on the masques of the Stuart court and
other visual aspects of Renaissance staging. These elegant and witty
chapters return to those concerns but treat a considerable variety of
different topics, nearly all lending themselves to vivid illustration.
One chapter deals with the now familiar point that Elizabethan plays
were necessarily the products of collaboration. More enlivening are a
valuable study of the Shakespeare portraits and a brilliantly clever
chapter on the sexual undertones of ''A Midsummer Night's Dream.'' A
study of Shylock gives ample evidence of Orgel's highly individual
scholarship (Shylock was a common English, not a Jewish name, and one
might play him as ''one of the Puritan moneylenders of Shakespeare's
London.'')

The oddest of these chapters is ''The Pornographic Ideal,'' a study of
Giulio Romano, named by Shakespeare as the sculptor supposed to have
made the statue of Hermione in ''The Winter's Tale,'' though, as every
schoolchild knows, the artist of that name was not a sculptor. To this
old problem Orgel brings not so much a new solution as a sort of
collateral investigation of works actually produced by Giulio,
principally the obscene drawings he made for the engravings that
illustrated Pietro Aretino's pornographic poems on the sexual positions.
Suppressed by papal order, copies of this famous book almost
disappeared; but not quite, and Orgel is able to reproduce and discuss
some of the engravings. It is not claimed that the Aretino illustrations
have anything directly to do with ''The Winter's Tale,'' but they may be
said to have their own interest; and it is certainly true that Orgel
always writes well about art. His chapter on the ''pornographic ideal''
also contains an interesting excursus on the great art collections
taking shape at the time, one of which, belonging to the Earl of
Arundel, included drawings by Giulio, though apparently not the ones
reproduced and studied in this book, for the interests of the earl and
his lady lay elsewhere.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gary Kosinsky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Jan 2004 15:04:56 -0800
Subject: 15.0076 NYTimes.com Article: Avon Calling
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0076 NYTimes.com Article: Avon Calling

 >And Wells believes that the father's
 >own explanation of nonattendance at church was the true one: he
 >was afraid of exposing himself to arrest for debt.

Would this mean John Shakespeare spent most of his life holed up in his
home in Stratford?  If he was afraid of exposing himself to arrest for
debt by going to Church, why would he feel safe exposing himself
anywhere in a relatively small town?

And what does being arrested for debt mean?  Was there a debtor's prison
in Stratford?  And if there were officials responsible for arresting
people for debt, why wouldn't they simply have gone to John's house?

_______________________________________________________________
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>

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editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Shakespop: Shakespeare Action Figure

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0085  Tuesday, 13 January 2004

From:           D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Jan 2004 12:16:20 -0600
Subject: 15.0070 Shakespop: Shakespeare Action Figure
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0070 Shakespop: Shakespeare Action Figure

I have a number of favorite Shakespeare action figures: Juliet, who
stabs herself; Romeo, who drinks poison; Claudius, who pours poison;
Gertrude, who flops on her back; Cleopatra, who slaps an asp onto her
breasts (adults only); Falstaff, who drinks sack (he's not easy to tell
from Sir Toby Belch).

The best, though, is Hamlet, who does absolutely nothing.

Cheers,
don

_______________________________________________________________
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Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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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.

Stylometrics

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0083  Tuesday, 13 January 2004

From:           Marcus Dahl <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Jan 2004 09:42:00 -0000
Subject: 15.0069 Stylometrics
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0069 Stylometrics

Dear All,

Though I enjoy the kind of work Hugh Craig is doing and he is a cautious
man I have a few things to say to this: (from experience of such things)

(1) For the examples linking two authors to be more convincing, one
would need a complete database of early modern drama and poetry. What is
it in the Harbage - 866 texts or more... So far this has yet to be used
in any study I've seen (even mine alas).

(2) Matching 'rare pairs' is actually about the oldest trick in the
book.  Virtually all old Shakespeare scholars interested in the
attribution of early Shakespeare texts (etc) used matching examples of
rare vocabulary - including the proximity of certain pairs or clusters
of words with others.  But as can be seen in Craig's example from Kyd
and 'Rape of Lucrece', the vagueness of the connection is worrying - it
is uncertain in a singular example whether one author is merely copying
another or being influenced unconsciously by a neat pairing. In the
example from Kyd, since it is quite likely that the Spanish Tragedy was
performed before Lucrece was written, the example from Lucrece (superior
in my view) could in fact be a reworked memory of the Kyd. In other
words, external factors must mark how we determine the origins of the
internal evidence. A problem if ever there was one.

(3) My favourite work in the field of rare vocab chasing is in H.C
Hart's Arden introductions to the Henry Sixth plays. Hart traces dozens
of interesting parallels between the HVI texts and the works of other
early modern contemporaries and near contemporaries of Shakespeare - in
what proves ultimately to be an enjoyable but inconclusive search for
the origins of their authorship. There are very many parallels between
the HVI sequence and Spenser, Peele, Nashe, Greene, Marlowe and Kyd.
There are also very many between the HVI sequence and other Shakespeare
texts. The trick is in finding which examples necessitate the same
author as opposed to one author (re)using or developing certain literary
/ oral / theatrical devices. Though Hart has his own beliefs on the
matter, I do not believe that many modern critics would share them.

(4) All this is not say that we shouldn't all look very carefully at
Craig's work and consider how such empirical examples of internal
evidence could be used to help us determine the authorship of plays /
poems of uncertain origin. Once the database of electronic texts of the
early modern period is as complete as possible, such work will take on a
whole new power and level of conviction.

All the best,
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.

Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0084  Tuesday, 13 January 2004

From:           David Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Jan 2004 16:42:44 -0500
Subject: 15.0075 Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0075 Hamlet

John Reed's emendation, "no man knows aught of when he leaves," gains
the advantage of linking the time reference in "when" to that in
"betimes." It's an interesting suggestion, but I still prefer Jenkins's
version.

First, Jenkins inserts only one word, and a word very recently
composited, about which the compositor's mind might plausibly tell him
"already did that." More importantly, it seems more in character for Hamlet.

Gerald Downs hears "aught" as unidiomatic, but it doesn't sound that way
to me. Besides its connection to "what," "aught" also has a connection
to "nothing." The doubling of the word intensifies the thought in what
sounds to me a characteristically Hamletian way. It suggests, "Since no
man knows even the tiniest bit about the tiniest bit he leaves behind
when he dies, what does it matter when he dies?"

The Folio tries to correct a nonsensical line with one that make some
immediate sense: "Since no man has ought of what he leaves, what is't to
leave betimes?" This means, "Since you can't take it with you, what does
it matter when you go?" This seems to lead toward what for Hamlet would
be a slightly vulgar materialism. He's not worried about his
possessions. You can of course interpret having more generally, but to
me it sounds wrong.

"When" produces a similar problem. It sounds more superficial, because
the question of when you die says nothing about the ultimate meaning of
life.  Whenever you die, you may face the same afterlife. Hamlet gains
depth and a vertiginous hint of nihilism by denying that after death you
know aught of aught. If you die early, or have no possessions after
death, you may still be alive in spirit. If you know nothing, it
suggests an absence of consciousness, a complete annihilation. You may
get around this with various theological theories that the spirit
continues with a cleansed consciousness, but I don't think that's the
impression the line conveys.  Hamlet touches on absolute skepticism, and
then touches on religion--back and forth. As in "To be, or not to be" he
suggests that there might be, but might not be, something after death.
Jenkins gets that breath of nihilism as the other emendations do not.

One might respond to Hamlet that even an ultimately finite and
meaningless life may, relatively speaking, have meaning and be worth
preserving. In fact Hamlet himself appears to have some feeling for
life's meaning and worth, when not in his most skeptical mood. But
that's another story.

Best wishes,
David Bishop

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Shakespearian Ships

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0082  Tuesday, 13 January 2004

From:           Louise Casini <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 13 Jan 2004 01:11:06 EST
Subject:        Shakespearian Ships

Does anyone know of a good resource (that I'm probably easily
overlooking) that could give me clues as to the type of ship(s)
Shakespeare would have been referencing in his writing?  (I am
specifically looking at Margaret's 3 Henry, VI "Great Lords" speech.)  I
have researched nautical terms on Elizabethan ships and medieval ships
to get a clearer picture, but he clearly has the geography clear in his
references.  Since medieval battle ships were less intricate than
Elizabethan, I am wondering if S could have just been using his general
knowledge as a reference.

Any thoughts, or points to a common resource I'm overlooking?

Thank you,
Louise Casini
Theatre for Youth
Playhouse on the Square

_______________________________________________________________
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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