2004

Stylometrics

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0990  Friday, 30 April 2004

[1]     From:   Jonathan Hope <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 19:52:47 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0977 Stylometrics

[2]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 30 Apr 2004 11:18:52 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0977 Stylometrics


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jonathan Hope <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 19:52:47 +0100
Subject: 15.0977 Stylometrics
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0977 Stylometrics

The Centre for Literary and Linguistic Computing at the University of
Newcastle (Australia) has been doing very interesting
stylometry/attribution work for a while now.

Their excellent website allows you to play around with principal
component analysis.

http://www.newcastle.edu.au/centre/cllc/pcaonline/index.html

(if that doesn't work, go to http://www.newcastle.edu.au/centre/cllc/
and click on 'PCA online')

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

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 30 Apr 2004 11:18:52 +0100
Subject: 15.0977 Stylometrics
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0977 Stylometrics

I don't mean to harp on about what apparently was a throw-away comment
by Marcus Dahl, and am grateful that he's clarified it:

 >My connection with Godel was simply that
 >sometimes it is possible to show reliably that
 >we cannot in principle know / do something . . .

That's the use of Godel that I object to. Before Godel we were already
aware that there were things that could not in principle be known or
done. Godel's contribution to the sum of human knowledge was much more
glorious and specific than that.

I cease haranguing Marcus on this point.

Gabriel Egan

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The Murder of Gonzago

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0989  Friday, 30 April 2004

[1]     From:   David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 13:15:50 -0500
        Subj:   Fwd: SHK 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago

[2]     From:   D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 15:09:47 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago

[3]     From:   David Friedberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 17:34:34 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago

[4]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 18:04:35 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago

[5]     From:   Maria Concolato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 30 Apr 2004 07:23:05 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 13:15:50 -0500
Subject: 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Fwd: SHK 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago

Ed, I'll suggest that whatever, as you say, "is going on here," it must
involve the idea of free will vs. determinism.  In the following,
Shakespeare (through Hamlet) seems ambivalent, suggesting both free will
and determinism in just two lines.  Consider HAMLET 5, 2:

. . . . we defy augury: there's a special
providence in the fall of a sparrow.

"There's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow" suggests we lack
free will, while "we defy augury" suggests that we have it-yet only
augury in the sense of occasional fallible predictions made by ordinary
people, for instance, betting on the outcome of a duel between Hamlet
and Laertes.  It is quite different for the mysterious kind of augury
made by professional fortune tellers (Cymbeline), seers (Julius Caesar;
Troilus and Cressida), or supernatural characters (Macbeth) whose
auguries, however mysteriously expressed, are accurate to the last
detail.  We-at least the characters-do NOT defy that kind of augury.
And how does that kind of augury comport with the idea that we have free
will?  It doesn't.  I find no convincing evidence in the text of the 37
plays that Shakespeare truly believed that augury or Providence =
Christian God, nor how any of this fosters free will rather than
determinism.  Moreover, I find that the majority of text about free will
versus determinism seems to favor determinism by external factors (e.g.,
stars, gods, providence, fortune, and those mysterious factors of time
and chance) and internal factors of biology (best examples involving
"adoption studies" concerning Perdita and the sons of Cymbeline).  In short:

Through experimenting in many plays with both sides of the question,
Shakespeare seems to favor this idea: Despite what we imagine, much of
what we do is mere marionette-like with strings controlled by various
internal and external factors of chance and necessity beyond our
conscious selves that limit our free will.  Those factors that we must
ignore or deny to have the sense of free will include our inevitable
life cycle from birth to death, the irremediable fact of aging, the
impermanence of things held dear, such as friendships, the evidence that
life is full of chance events, that our biology is imperious, that gods
are arbitrary, and finally, that our lives are absurd if indeed we live
in an indifferent universe.

In sum, I have trouble with the idea that "ascertaining God's Will is
the central intellectual problem in the play" from 4.4.  But if it is,
it just as likely suggests (with a lot of other text) that there is no
"God's will."

David Cohen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 15:09:47 -0500
Subject: 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago

Edmund Taft offers these summaries of "what Hamlet does." I will note in
passing that the phraseology is somewhat loaded, but will let it pass

1. He boards the ship bound for England, even though he strongly
suspects that R&G have orders to somehow get rid of him.
2. He boards the Pirate ship, even though such an action might mean his
death.
3. He returns to Denmark and announces in a letter to the king that he
is back, "naked" and "alone."
4. He enrages and insults Laertes during Ophelia's burial.
5. He later accepts a duel with the more skilled Laertes.
6. He avoids examining the foils before the fight.

As for his words during this time, he is obsessed with death and Providence.

1. He has no choice. His negotiated settlement with the king demands it.
His best play is to go along with it, and try to outfox the king - which
he does.
2. So might not-boarding it. In any case, it is just the thing that a
man of action (like Fortinbras or his father) would doubtless have done.
3. Where else is he to go? He still has the same problem (he has killed
a royal counselor under legally dubious circumstances) and the same
leverage (he is the sole direct heir). The negotiated settlement is
cancelled, so he might as well return to Elsinore and start scheming again.
4. Yes, he does. He dislikes Laertes (as well he might) and finds his
ostentation obnoxious.
5. Yes, he does. Except he doesn't think that Laertes is necessarily
more skilled (and he's right). Everyone knows that there is something
very smelly about the fencing match. Horatio remarks on it, but Hamlet
prevents him from putting it off. "There is special providence in the
fall of a sparrow," and Hamlet senses that one or more featherless
bipeds will fall in the next few minutes.
6. He asks about them and receives assurance. Shakespeare does not tell
us whether or not Osric has been suborned to go along with foil-swap
that allows Laertes to obtain an unbated and poisoned blade. Considering
the state of Hamlet's mind just before the duel he probably didn't think
much about it: Providence was felling sparrows, and he might be a victor
or a victor or both.

Ed's got this set up evidently to play into his demonic-Hamlet theory,
and perhaps has set us up so that he can pounce on our responses. So be
it. It's an open forum, and he is certainly a better pouncer than most,
so I offer these poor mice for beheading.

My only proviso is that he show something really wrong with them,
something that makes them inadequate for understanding Hamlet in the
last part of the play.

Cheers,
don

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Friedberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 17:34:34 -0400
Subject: 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago

Wrong David answering.

I suggest that Hamlet has confused himself with God.

David Friedberg

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 18:04:35 -0700
Subject: 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago

Ed Taft summarizes Hamlet's career:

Here, in chronological order, is Hamlet's part in the plot as the play
draws to a close:

1. He boards the ship bound for England, even though he strongly
suspects that R&G have orders to somehow get rid of him.
2. He boards the Pirate ship, even though such an action might mean his
death.
3. He returns to Denmark and announces in a letter to the king that he
is back, "naked" and "alone."
4. He enrages and insults Laertes during Ophelia's burial.
5. He later accepts a duel with the more skilled Laertes.
6. He avoids examining the foils before the fight.

This is really fairly simple.  While you might be trying to suggest some
sort of unconscious (or not) death wish, the quick answer is that Hamlet
has accepted that being-in-the-world is being-towards-death, as
Heidegger would later put it.  Being "naked" and "alone" is an
understanding of the human condition.  And accepting one's mortality is
a prerequisite to courageous action.

Finally, there's some debate about whether Laertes is more skilled; as I
recall, Hamlet makes two before Laertes makes one.  For that matter, he
tries to mollify Laertes before fighting him, though I suppose that we
can call his efforts at diplomacy ironically enraging, if one is so
determined.

And he does examine the foils, at least briefly, concluding that "This
likes me well, these foiles haue all a length".

Yours,
SKL.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Maria Concolato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 30 Apr 2004 07:23:05 +0200
Subject: 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0982 The Murder of Gonzago

I have been through the many interventions on The Murder of Gonzago  I
hadn't been able to read before. I would like to repeat a suggestion
that has already been made. Greenblatt's Hamlet in Purgatory contains,
in my opinion, the richest discussion of the problem, after Sister
Miriam Joseph's Discerning the Ghost In Hamlet (PMLA, LXXVI, 1961,
493-502), specially regarding "God's Will" as "the central intellectual
problem'. Wouldn't it be useful to consider them? Thanks. Maria Concolato

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Film about Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI/I

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0987  Friday, 30 April 2004

[1]     From:   Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 11:04:06 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0980 Film about Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI/I

[2]     From:   David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 30 Apr 2004 08:59:19 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0980 Film about Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI/I

[3]     From:   Patrick Dolan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 30 Apr 2004 05:26:39 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 28 Apr 2004 to 29 Apr 2004 (#2004-82)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 11:04:06 -0400
Subject: 15.0980 Film about Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI/I
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0980 Film about Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI/I

The film was marketed as neither a true story nor as based on a true
story. The words "true story" have, however, an obvious interest and
come up frequently in bioics and history related films. The forthcoming
King Arthur claims to be the true story behind the legend, for example.
. The film The Return of Martin Guerre quotes the publisher's blurb
(without identifying it as such) from the book by Jean de Coras (the
judge at the trial) stating that it is a "true story."

For a shot by shot analysis of the beginning of the film, see
http://www.clas.ufl.edu/~rburt/remakingrenundergrad/retourfilmexample.html

Janet Staiger has an excellent discussion of the words and their use in
cinema in her essay "Securing the Fictional Narrative as a Tale of the
Historical Real: The Return of Martin Guerre," South Atlantic Quarterly,
88, no. 2 (Spring 1989), 393-413.

I have no idea what relative degrees of truth are or how they would
provide criteria for filmmakers for historians. Please spare me any
attempt at explanation.

It might help further the discussion of this topic if people posting
messages actually were knowledgeable of the scholarship, seen the film
under discussion, and generally knew what they were talking about (had
something to say worth saying).

Scholars, as opposed to silly spouters, wanting to cover the critical
terrain might begin by consulting
Robert Rosenstone, "History in Images," The American Historical Review ,
Vol. 93, No. 5. (Dec., 1988), pp. 1173-1185; Haydn White,
"Historiography and Historiophoty," The American Historical Review ,
Vol. 93, No. 5. (Dec., 1988), pp. 1193-1199

"Let Films Be Films," by Ginette Vincendeau

"The Author's Response," by Natalie Zemon Davis

Vivian Sobchack "The insistent fringe: moving images and the palimpsest
of historical consciousness"

Sobchack is online at
http://www.latrobe.edu.au/screeningthepast/firstrelease/fr0499/vsfr6b.htm

Except for Staiger and Sobchack, all of the other articles are available
online and are linked at

http://www.clas.ufl.edu/~rburt/remakingrenundergrad/remakeschedulea.html

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 30 Apr 2004 08:59:19 +0100
Subject: 15.0980 Film about Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI/I
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0980 Film about Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI/I

 >But if you do allow for relative degrees of truth, and if you
 >care about the telling of the truth, then a consciousness of
 >facts, and a devotion to them, is very important.
 >
 >Or so it seems to me,
 >don

So it's OK then, for Shakespeare to fiddle with Greene's Pandosto and
make the Queen live (because he's adapting a fiction), but not for him
to fiddle the age of Hotspur to make him an exact parallel with Hal
(because he's adapting an historical chronicle)?

David Lindley

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Patrick Dolan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 30 Apr 2004 05:26:39 -0500
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 28 Apr 2004 to 29 Apr 2004 (#2004-82)

On Apr 29, 2004, at 11:00 PM, Don Bloom wrote:

 > I think well-researched and more objective accounts of
 > historical subjects really do give us more historical truth than crass
 > potboilers that play fast and loose with such historical information as
 > has been gleaned.

Hmm. I wonder what Sidney might make of this.

More to the point, I've seen crass potboilers that played fast and loose
and pretended to be documentaries and pretty well-researched fictional
accounts that felt, well, true. I'm sure good documentaries are better
than incompetent historical drama, but that's not the issue, is it?

Just to throw a spanner into the works, we're leaving out how fiction
creates historical truth-i.e. Richard III.

Cheers,
Pat

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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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The Tucker Method

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0988  Friday, 30 April 2004

From:           Kim Carrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 12:46:59 -0400
Subject:        RE: The Tucker Method

I am very gratified to see this discussion of Patrick Tucker and the
"unrehearsed" cue-script approach to acting Shakespeare. In some circles
this approach meets with a resistance that gives way to vilification,
apparently because Tucker defends the First Folio as being not only our
most reliable text, but a text that preserves vital clues for the actors.

I was recently denounced as an "acolyte" in a "cult" of "Tuckerites" for
my belief in the validity of this approach.

I have been performing with this method since 1999 (with the New England
Shakespeare Festival) and have found it to be both eye-opening and
liberating. I carry over much of this approach even when I perform in a
traditionally rehearsed production.

I certainly understand what Carey Upton said about first attempts at
this approach being "disasters". Prior to beginning our shows NESF does
a weekend-long intensive with the cast to learn to use the performance
clues in the Folio. Without this workshop, we would experience a lot of
train wrecks. We do not do anything from the play we will perform, so we
still avoid rehearsing - but as our Artistic Director says, "unrehearsed
is not unprepared". She will then do a one-on-one text session with us,
or what Tucker calls "verse nursing". Beyond that, we rehearse only
music, dances, and fights.

Upton's point about the "profound degree of listening and focus on the
other actor" is also excellent. It is by no means an easy process to
attempt - in fact it can be terrifying - but the payoff is tremendous.
(I don't believe anyone has yet mentioned that this process also uses a
prompter, which is an essential part of the performance).

I would also like to thank Terence Hawkes for mentioning Tiffany Stern's
newest book - I was not aware it was out.

Finally if I may address Scott Sharplin's point about this method being
"counter-intuitive to any actor working in theater today" -  another
excellent point, and that is precisely what makes it so terrifying to
actors. Taking away rehearsal is like taking away our safety net. But it
is in finding that Shakespeare provided the safety net in the text
itself as you speak it that makes it so exhilarating. And I have found
that audiences truly enjoy the heightened energy of these performances.

Please be aware that I do not have any desire to convince anyone that
this is the "only" or "the TRUE" way to perform Shakespeare. I do feel
that Tucker is very much onto something - and that at least
experimenting with this method opens wonderful new doors in performance.
I would be more than happy to correspond with anyone who would like to
know more or ask questions about this method, either through SHAKSPER or
via e-mail.

Kim H. Carrell
Actor/Fight Director
New England Shakespeare Festival

_______________________________________________________________
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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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.

Figures of Speech

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0986  Friday, 30 April 2004

From:           Marcus Dahl <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 15:04:23 +0100
Subject: 15.0978 Figures of Speech
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0978 Figures of Speech

My favourites:

'Modern English Usage' - Fowler (Ubiquitous and marvellous)

'The King's English' - Fowler (less well known but worthy of a King and
an Empire)

Quite the most splendid works on the uses of English and the correct
terminology for its description you may find in this tired and unheroic age.

Marcus Dahl

_______________________________________________________________
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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