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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: October ::
Greenblatt
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1906  Tuesday, 19 October 2004

[1]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Monday, 18 Oct 2004 08:31:17 -0400
        Subj:   Another Greenblatt Article

[2]     From:   Douglas Galbi <
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        Date:   Monday, 18 Oct 2004 08:56:33 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Greenblatt on Hamnet & Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 18 Oct 2004 08:31:17 -0400
Subject:        Another Greenblatt Article

I wouldn't add to the pile, but the last paragraph is news to me.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/artsentertainment/2002064459_shakespeare18.html

"Will in the World": Scholar considers life of Shakespeare

By Misha Berson
Seattle Times theater critic

"I don't have any difficulty with the idea of Shakespeare as a genius
for all times," declares Stephen Greenblatt. "But in itself it doesn't
mean anything. That he was born with enormous gifts is certainly true ..
The question is, what does someone do with the talent he was born with?"

     * * *

Meanwhile, Greenblatt may soon be "collaborating" with the writer he has
devoted much of his life to contemplating. With noted playwright Charles
Mee, Greenblatt has "reconstituted and reimagined" the drama "Cardenio,"
often considered a "lost" play of Shakespeare's. Plans for the new
script's premiere are pending.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas Galbi <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 18 Oct 2004 08:56:33 -0400
Subject:        Re: Greenblatt on Hamnet & Hamlet

Mary and John, William Shakespeare's parents, gave their children names
that had been among the most popular in England for centuries.  WS's
parents did not name any of their four daughters Mary, although at least
one of their mothers was named Mary and Mary was a name that they highly
valued.  WS and Anne Hathaway gave their children names that were
relatively unpopular, but which had some recent local instances that may
have been socially significant to the Shakespeares. Like WS's parents,
WS and Anne didn't name any (of their two) daughters Mary.  In Stratford
and Solihull from 1570 to 1585, about 5% of new-born girls were being
named Mary, and the share was rising rapidly.  In 1603, Shakespeare's
sister Joan and her husband William named their first-born daughter
Mary.  These facts, it seems to me, are worth pondering.  The lack of
attention to Mary in relation to Shakespeare testifies to the power of
the current, dominant symbolic configuration: "Mary, bloody
Mary...bloody counter-reformation, civil war."  Mary needs to be
understood with more historical self-consciousness and personal sensitivity.

 >all the Marys in the plays (Maria in Twelfth Night, Mariana in Measure
 >for Measure, Marina in Pericles) are sympathetic characters.

In contemporary productions, Maria in Twelfth Night is usually played as
an "appealingly sassy" character, i.e. a character with a standard
pattern for sympathy today.  But I think that if Shakespeare's work is
given more creative space, Maria in Twelfth Night is rightly recognized
to be viciously instrumental, and her absence in the final, happy scene
shows that life in her is in an important sense a blank.

Douglas Galbi

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