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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: October ::
Greenblatt
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1915  Wednesday, 20 October 2004

[1]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Oct 2004 19:26:31 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1906 Greenblatt

[2]     From:   Edmund Taft <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Oct 2004 15:39:27 -0400
        Subj:   Greenblatt


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Tuesday, 19 Oct 2004 19:26:31 +0100
Subject: 15.1906 Greenblatt
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1906 Greenblatt

Douglas Galbi writes ...

 >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.

It is quite ridiculous to infer that because William and Anne didn't
name either of their girls Mary they were distancing themselves from the
Counter-Reformation.

The names they chose (Susanna and Judith) are both Old Testament names.
Susanna comes from the story of Susanna and the Elders (Daniel chapter
13) and Judith comes from the book of Judith.  As both Daniel 13 and the
book of Judith were dropped from the Protestant bible, one could say
that William and Anne were distancing themselves from Protestantism.
But that would be equally as ridiculous.

Peter Bridgman

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <
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Date:           Tuesday, 19 Oct 2004 15:39:27 -0400
Subject:        Greenblatt

Douglas Galbi writes:

"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."

There's little doubt that Maria is a social climber who succeeds where
Malvolio fails. She gets to marry Sir Toby and she may take over running
the great house if Malvolio is too shamed to ever return to his old job.
Interestingly, there are some characters in TN who seem more appealing
at first than once we get to know them: Sir Toby, Maria, and perhaps
Sebastian too.  Unlike Malvolio, they have pleasing personalities - at
least at first.

The lesson may be a very practical one: no matter how competent you are
at your job, if your personality grates on others, you will never
advance and others will scheme to get rid of you. On the other hand, you
can go a long way on personality alone, or just on being pleasant.

Ed Taft

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