2004

Defects in King Lear

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0635  Tuesday, 9 March 2004

From:           L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 8 Mar 2004 07:45:19 -0600
Subject:        Defects in King Lear

Ed Taft writes:

 >Arthur Kirsch wrote, famously,
 >that Othello's problem is that "he has insufficient regard for himself,"

That may well be psychologically true, but the moral dimension of the
play concerns a man who takes dishonorable advantage of his position as
a guest to make off with a beloved daughter against the will of the
host-father.( Claudius' "The offense is rank" seems appropriate here.)
Then, Desdemona's willingness to join in this offense against her father
makes her liable and feeds Othello's suspicion, a suspicion
well-grounded in his own dishonorable conduct: he believes Desdemona
guilty of deceit because he has found the sin in himself. (Do we not
most often condemn in others the very error we discover through that to
be our own?  The self-revelation is sometimes quite devastating.)

But I don't believe the play explicitly makes the point.  It is one of
those "understood" elements in Shakespeare - like the unexamined reason
for Capulet to insist on Juliet's sudden marriage after having earlier
that he would not do so because she is so young. (The reason for the
change? The alarming death of Tybalt and the fact of Capulet having now
but this daughter to continue his line.). Or, the reason for Hamlet's
delay: the undeclared but obvious consideration that he is a Prince of
the realm and has the particular responsibility to act *publicly* to
"revenge" his father's death. (Hamlet's problem is not that he "cannot
make up his mind," but that he hasn't the talent that Claudius has to
manipulate the political world to his own ends).

Shakespeare, like other great playwrights, seems to have expected his
audience to appreciate these points without his having to express them
outright. And here - please bear with me - I must return very briefly to
the now forbidden subject of "Cordelia's insolence": the existence of
such unexamined and unexpressed but very important ideas in all three of
these plays is grist for my mill when I argue that Cordelia is given the
opportunity to sincerely complete the obvious formula her sisters have
so insincerely  mouthed.  We cannot expect the playwright  to provide us
with a gloss explaining even the most important things; for in great
plays many are to be inferred.  It is for the director and actors to
bring these points to the fore, if they can.

L. Swilley

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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.
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Which Lear

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0634  Tuesday, 9 March 2004

From:           Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 8 Mar 2004 07:16:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Which Lear

Listmembers:

Now that I'm finally teaching Shakespeare, I have a question I've never
had to face before: Which Lear should I teach if I have one week on the
text--the history, the tragedy, or the conflated version in the Pelican
(all three are available)? I imagine that I will refer to all three, but
because I have a quiz on each play assigned, I suppose it will be well
to have a text in common. My leaning, right now, is to go with the
unconflated tragedy, but I really don't know if that's the best answer.

Jack Heller

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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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Practice Safe Sex and Avoid Henry the IV

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0632  Monday, 8 March 2004

From:           Rolland Banker <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 7 Mar 2004 18:15:38 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Practice Safe Sex and Avoid Henry the IV.

File this under popular culture--of the viral kind:

 From The New Yorker, Mar 1st, 2004 edition, in an article titled,
Letter from Zimbabwe: The Soldier.

In the article about an ex-soldier of the white Rhodesian Army, he is
quoted as saying:

"Now, what usually happens around here is that you find a decent
'gondie,' [slang for native black African] you train him, and then the
poor bastard gets Henry the Fourth and dies." ("Henry the Fourth" is
K.'s euphemeism for H.I.V.)---end of quote.

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Twelfth Night Music

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0633  Tuesday, 9 March 2004

From:           David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 8 Mar 2004 11:50:53 -0000
Subject: 15.0620 Twelfth Night Music
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0620 Twelfth Night Music

 >Does anyone know of published transcriptions of 17th-19th
 >century arrangements of music from Twelfth Night?  I'm
 >particularly interested in Feste's final song.

On Feste's final song, see the Oxford edition of TN, ed. Warren and
Wells, the appendix on music by James Walker. The familiar setting can
be traced back only to the eighteenth century, though it conceivably
might reflect theatrical tradition/ a surviving ballad tune.  The
Shakespeare Music Catalogue, ed. Gooch and Thatcher lists all settings
known up to the publication's cut-off date of 1987. See Vol III, entries
18080-18200 for non-theatrical settings, plus all the records of
complete scores for the play - records 16585-17424.  As always with this
infuriating but invaluable catalogue, it takes time to sort out what is
relevant, what actually does survive in printed, or MS form.

David Lindley

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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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
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Full Title of the Plays of Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0631  Monday, 8 March 2004

From:           Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 5 Mar 2004 20:06:16 -0000
Subject: 15.0617 Full Title of the Plays of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0617 Full Title of the Plays of Shakespeare

 >My question is: How is the full title of the plays of Shakespeare?
 >
 >Example:
 >"King Lear" - TRUE CHRONICLE HISTORY OF THE LIFE AND DEATH OF KING LEAR
 >AND HIS THREE DAUGHTERS

I don't know about other Complete Shakespeare editions, but Oxford and
Norton list the plays under their original titles (with modern spelling
of course).  As in:

THE MOST EXCELLENT AND LAMENTABLE TRAGEDY OF ROMEO AND JULIET THE
COMICAL HISTORY OF THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, OR OTHERWISE CALLED THE JEW
OF VENICE.

Do we know if these long titles came from WS, or from the printer?
Brevity being the soul of wit, one suspects the latter.

Peter Bridgman

_______________________________________________________________
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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