2004

Defects in King Lear

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0594  Wednesday, 3 March 2004

From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 02 Mar 2004 09:44:18 -0500
Subject:        Defects in King Lear

I appreciate Don's comments about Bradley, and I hate to look a gift
horse in the mouth, but appreciation of A. C. Bradley does not
automatically mean lack of appreciation for postmodern critics. Bradley
put forth a very powerful idea: that character counts, that it is
crucial to understanding drama. He was right. But the material
conditions found in the play (and in the audience) also count. Both are
worth keeping in mind.

I'm afraid I disagree with Robin. When Arthur Kirsch wrote, famously,
that Othello's problem is that "he has insufficient regard for himself,"
or when Olivier intoned at the start of Hamlet, "This is the tragedy of
a man who could not make up his mind," both are deeply indebted to A. C.
Bradley, the man who, nearly single-handedly, made such comments possible.

Getting back to Lear, we would go a long way towards deepening our
understanding of the play if we asked ourselves why so many of its
characters are guilty of a failure to acknowledge, in one way or
another. That would be the kind of seminal question that Bradley would
ask, in my opinion.

Ed Taft

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Much Ado Questions

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0593  Wednesday, 3 March 2004

[1]     From:   John Ramsay <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 02 Mar 2004 10:48:56 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0574 Much Ado Questions

[2]     From:   Jennifer Soldanels <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 11:31:13 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0574 Much Ado Questions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Ramsay <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 02 Mar 2004 10:48:56 -0500
Subject: 15.0574 Much Ado Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0574 Much Ado Questions

 >Act 1, scene 1, lines 173-174 (Pelican edition) read:
 >
 >CLAUDIO  Can the world buy such a jewel?
 >BENEDICK  Yea, and a case to put it into.
 >
 >The annotation reads: case (1) jewel case, (2) clothing, (3) vagina
 >("it" would then mean "penis")
 >
 >Does the third sense of "case" make sense? Jewel goes into jewel case, a
 >woman goes into clothing, but then the parallel falls apart.

Yes it makes sense. It's extended punning.

The woman is the jewel. She could be put in a case. Or a penis could be
inserted into her case.

It also suggests the woman could be bought.

Ancient Latin 'vagina' means sheath, scabbard, vagina.

Similarly, in modern day English usage Brits use the term 'sheath knife'
while Yanks use the term 'case knife' for a knife that comes with a
scabbard to cover the blade as opposed to a folding knife.

John Ramsay

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jennifer Soldanels <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 11:31:13 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 15.0574 Much Ado Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0574 Much Ado Questions

I find this relatively simple.  Benedick puts no stock into love or
women, which we see throughout the first half of the play.  His response
shows that he thinks it's easy to get a woman's love/virginity and thus
the woman herself.  As Benedick sees it, all women are up for the
marital sale.

As far as your second question, there is a misunderstanding created by
Don John and possible due to the strange wooing circumstances.  It is
too soon in the plot to create the tremendous dramatic moment we get in
the scene at the altar.  Rather that scene gives the audience a lot of
info on the characters, particularly Claudio.  Claudio is shown to be
rash and easily persuaded which obviously plays out later.

J. Soldanels

_______________________________________________________________
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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Request for Articles/References

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0591  Wednesday, 3 March 2004

[1]     From:   Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 12:43:49 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0584 Request for Articles/References

[2]     From:   Stuart Hampton-Reeves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 02 Mar 2004 13:37:37 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0584 Request for Articles/References


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 12:43:49 -0000
Subject: 15.0584 Request for Articles/References
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0584 Request for Articles/References

My BSA colleague, Stuart Hampton-Reeves has posted here about his doubts
that the E-Mail apparently sent from an Iraqi student appealing for help
with research resources is real.  I wonder whether the correct way
forward would be for anybody really interested in helping the University
and its students to contact the Professors of the University themselves,
via a reputable third party (there must be a number of Western academics
and aid organisations in touch with Iraqi Universities, as the articles
linked to by William Procter Williams suggest) - surely this would be
the best way to make sure that any resources sent get to the University
itself, and not to scammers or potentially selfish individual students,
and that these resources become available to the student who sent the
E-Mail (if s/he is real) and also to any other Iraqi students (present
or future) who can make use of them.

Thomas Larque.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Hampton-Reeves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 02 Mar 2004 13:37:37 +0000
Subject: 15.0584 Request for Articles/References
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0584 Request for Articles/References

Apologies to anyone confused by my last post - of course I meant to say
that 'I am in no doubt that Wafa is genuine'!

Stuart Hampton-Reeves

_______________________________________________________________
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Shakespeare, the Famous English Chunk Writer

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0592  Wednesday, 3 March 2004

[1]     From:   Jonathan Hope <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 02 Mar 2004 13:12:03 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0586 Shakespeare, the Famous English Chunk Writer

[2]     From:   Mari Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 10:39:34 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0586 Shakespeare, the Famous English Chunk Writer

[3]     From:   John V. Knapp <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 10:21:27 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Response to Re: SHK 15.0586 Shakespeare, the Famous English Chunk


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jonathan Hope <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 02 Mar 2004 13:12:03 +0000
Subject: 15.0586 Shakespeare, the Famous English Chunk Writer
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0586 Shakespeare, the Famous English Chunk Writer

 >A proper survey course in English Literature necessarily includes
 >Spenser and Milton too; and it is not possible to teach those poets
 >without The Faerie Queen and Paradise Lost.  Does that mean that college
 >freshmen must read and analyze the entireties of those epic poems?

Hard to read the whole of the Faerie Queene, given it's only half
finished...

Jonathan Hope
Strathclyde University, Glasgow http://www.sinrs.stir.ac.uk/

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mari Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 10:39:34 -0500
Subject: 15.0586 Shakespeare, the Famous English Chunk Writer
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0586 Shakespeare, the Famous English Chunk Writer

I think (speaking as someone who taught HS "English" for almost 4
decades) that what the observed teachers were doing was good, but too
limited.

I don't believe in teaching just "chunks" -- nor can I countenance
teaching "to the test."

I know little of the contents of those English/British examinations so
will comment no more on them.

Rather I'll speak a bit about what Connecticut does on its CAPT
(Connecticut Academic Proficiency Test) of reading/writing given each
spring to 10th graders.

Students are presented with a work of literature (narrative essay or
short story) and asked to make meaning of it by responding to several
open-ended questions.  The test has changed somewhat in the past several
years so I do not know how many questions.  But I do know that the
questions ask students to do four things: React (meaning to recognize
their initial responses), Interpret (meaning to make meaning of the
literature - often done by giving them a quotation from the text and
asking them to respond to it), Connect (meaning to explain how this new
experience fits with previous reading, viewing, and life experiences)
and Evaluate (meaning to define "good literature" and determine if this
particular writing sample fits the definition).  In all areas students
are expected to cite the text to support their ideas.

Now *this* is a test I can 'teach to.'  In fact, it's a test that I
'taught to' for decades before it came into existence.  The primary
adjustments to my usual instruction were several formal classes to
"define" good literature and regular statements "this assignment is like
the part of the CAPT that asks you to XYZ" -- simply to remind students
that they had the skills to do well on the CAPT because that's what
we've always done in our district and in my classroom to facilitate
learning of literature and compositional responses thereto.

Ironically, it's virtually impossible to 'teach to' the CAPT since the
reading/writing portion takes several hours to administer and -- except
for schools using a block schedule where classes meet for that long at
once -- there's no way to replicate the experience.  I turned my midterm
examinations into CAPT-like tests so students would have practice.  So
what if they didn't have to define a lengthy list of terms or
whatever... They were demonstrating the essentials of what I wanted them
to know how to do: read for meaning and enjoyment, evaluate the quality
of their reading on some scale, and communicate intelligently about
these issues using the text for support.

I hope the upgraded CAPTs haven't moved too far away from these
essential qualities.

Mari Bonomi

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John V. Knapp <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 10:21:27 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: SHK 15.0586 Shakespeare, the Famous English Chunk
Comment:        Response to Re: SHK 15.0586 Shakespeare, the Famous English Chunk

Bob, Larry, Martin, et al. --

I am shocked, shocked to see your opinions on the inabilities of 16 or
17 yr olds to read Shakespeare other than in easily-digestible chunks!
These are the very same 17 yr olds who can out-program any of us, some
of whom make games of trying to outwit Microsoft.  Yet, if I read your
opinions correctly, the poor dears can't be expected to read for basic
understanding some of the world's best theater.  Whenever I listen to a
teacher say that her/his students "don't get" Shakespeare and so they
therefore roll out a film/video-tape version so as not to tax their sts'
minds too overmuch, I hear a teacher who has not yet mastered the
variety of pedagogical techniques long-available to make Shakespeare
understandable, even to the unwashed.  Such a defeatist attitude has
continued, perhaps unwittingly, the growing trend toward the Wellsian
model of a world divided into academic Eloi and Morlocks, neither of
whom will have much of clue as to WHY they should be reading anything,
much less Shakespeare.

JVK

_______________________________________________________________
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
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A Thought for St. David's Day

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0590  Wednesday, 3 March 2004

[1]     From:   Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 08:49:43 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Thought on St. David's Day

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 08:32:48 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0581 A Thought for St. David's Day

[3]     From:   W.L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 02 Mar 2004 13:46:42 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0581 A Thought for St. David's Day

[4]     From:   David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 17:52:34 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0581 A Thought for St. David's Day


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 08:49:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Thought on St. David's Day

Perhaps Henry V is only the successful (according to his own goals)
counterpart to Coriolanus.

Jack Heller
Huntington College

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 08:32:48 -0800
Subject: 15.0581 A Thought for St. David's Day
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0581 A Thought for St. David's Day

The possibility that the designation "Welsh" carried "an unmistakable
whiff of potential disorder" should be extended from the Henriad to
Richard III, where Richard refers to Richmond as "the Welshman" (in
4.4).  While this clearly shows Richard associating the designation
"Welsh" with potential disorder, it's a disorder that we, as audience,
are expected to approve of.

Henry's self-designation as "Welsh" would seem, then, to align him with
the later house of Tudor, and incorporate their rebellion like his
father's into a rule that's legitimated.

By the way, why is Fluellen "chilling"?  Because he's given to
malapropism?  Because he wants to defend the peasantry against a
parasitic soldiery?  And why is Falstaff Welsh?  Was either Oldcastle or
Fastolf Welsh?  And should we care if they were?

Cheers,
Sean.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W.L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 02 Mar 2004 13:46:42 -0500
Subject: 15.0581 A Thought for St. David's Day
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0581 A Thought for St. David's Day

 >Isn't it time to embrace the full implications of the likelihood that
 >the designation 'Welsh' carried, in an English context in the early
 >modern period, an unmistakable whiff of potential disorder?

ask Terence Hawkes.

Perhaps some of the English smelled the whiff of potential disorder, but
others report the whiff of ripe cheese in the presence of the Welsh.  So
many men, so many noses.

I am also gratiful to learn of "Falstaff's barely palpable 'Welshness.'
" Truly a concept to exercise the brains of my students.

Bill Godshalk

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 2 Mar 2004 17:52:34 -0500
Subject: 15.0581 A Thought for St. David's Day
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0581 A Thought for St. David's Day

All us Dafydds like to think (in those intervals when we are not busy
turning our leeks into soup - pretty foolish to let a perfectly good
leek go to waste) that we share with  Henry V a gift (or curse?), which
may indeed be Welsh,  for being sometimes very serious and as it were
Methodical about things, including especially a disinclination to have
our capabilities and worth determined by others on the basis of
prejudice or root-sense partiality, and then able to swing almost at
once into persiflagitious mirth.

Davidically,
David Evett

_______________________________________________________________
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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