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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: October ::
Greenblatt
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1943  Wednesday, 27 October 2004

[1]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Oct 2004 12:12:42 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1938 Sebastian

[2]     From:   Colin Cox <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Oct 2004 10:19:52 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1938 Greenblatt

[3]     From:   Michael Egan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Oct 2004 07:46:27 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1938 Greenblatt

[4]     From:   Edmund Taft <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Oct 2004 14:02:26 -0400
        Subj:   Greenblatt

[5]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Oct 2004 15:31:20 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1938 Greenblatt

[6]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Oct 2004 21:25:14 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1938 Greenblatt


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Tuesday, 26 Oct 2004 12:12:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 15.1938 Sebastian
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1938 Sebastian

Even though the word "homosexual" did not exist, certainly early modern
Englishmen in the theatre business were aware of same-sex erotic
resonances. So the question can be answered yes, "Sebastian" had
homoerotic connotations. To see this at work in a play, I would direct
one to the character of Sebastian Wengrave in Middleton and Dekker's The
Roaring Girl; he is consistently represented as erotically interested in
women dressed as men.

Heller

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Colin Cox <
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Date:           Tuesday, 26 Oct 2004 10:19:52 -0700
Subject: 15.1938 Greenblatt
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1938 Greenblatt

 >Antony/Anthony/Antonio has always stuck in my craw because name books
 >don't have a good definition for it. The only thing I ever found that
 >Shakespeare MIGHT have associated with the name was "tantony pig."

My feeling is that with the name Antonio Shakespeare often seems to have
Antonio Perez in mind.

Colin Cox

[3]------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Egan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 26 Oct 2004 07:46:27 -1000
Subject: 15.1938 Greenblatt
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1938 Greenblatt

 >Abigail Quart writes:
 >
 >Ow, Larry. Can I second your request and add to it? Since I really
 >devoutly believe Shakespeare didn't use names accidentally or
 >haphazardly, but with great deliberation, the name
 >Antony/Anthony/Antonio has always stuck in my craw because name books
 >don't have a good definition for it. The only thing I ever found that
 >Shakespeare MIGHT have associated with the name was "tantony pig."
 >
 >"Tantony Pig" is an old English derogatory term for someone who blindly,
 >but fleetingly, follows others. "Tantony" is a middle ages contraction
 >of "St. Anthony" and relates to the story of Saint Anthony (= St. Antony
 >without an "h" in U.S. English) who is the Patron Saint of Pigs.
 >http://www.pighealth.com/reviews/tantony.htm

It might be of interest to note that St Tantony appears in 1 Richard II
(Woodstock) in Abigail's sense, when Nimble refuses to follow his master
Tresilian any longer: 'Saint Tantony, assist me, I'll set upon him
presently.'  (V.v.29-30).

Saint Antony, often spelled Tantony was traditionally followed
everywhere by his pig, hence the proverb, 'To follow like Saint Antony's
pig.'

--Michael

[4]------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <
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Date:           Tuesday, 26 Oct 2004 14:02:26 -0400
Subject:        Greenblatt

Larry Weiss quotes another poster, ">In the final act, Maria is absent.
It seems to me that to see Maria just  >as a generic amusing
servant/social climber is not to see her fully." And then Larry goes on
to add: "This suggests that that the actor who played Maria doubled as
Sebastian."

Exactly, and look at how thematically revealing this possible doubling
could be: Sebastian and Maria are both social climbers, both
opportunists, and both are possessed of a "pleasing personality." In
effect, they are alter egos of Malvolio, who is like them in many ways
EXCEPT that his personality sucks.

On the question of "Antonio," also raised by Larry: I suspect that the
name did have associations with what we today call homosexuality, but,
alas, these associations, if they once existed, seem lost in the dark
backward and abysm of time. Instead, I'd suggest that we look at "the
sign of the elephant" - the Elephant is the inn where Antonio and
Sebastian are staying in TN.  In Spenser's FQ, Book 3, Ollyphant is the
"gay" or "homosexual" giant who roams the landscape looking for prey.
And if I'm not mistaken, there is an Ollyphant in Chaucer too (Someone
help me out!).

I theorize that the front view of an Elephant was a sign or symbol for
male/male love, as you might expect if you imagine what an elephant
looks like head on: it resembles the male organ, doesn't it?

I'm starting a paper on this topic and would welcome any comments people
have. Among other things, if there actually were inns or places where
male/male relations took place, then that fact (if it could be
established) would challenge Foucault's insistence that in the
Renaissance, people did NOT define themselves by the type or types of
sex acts in which they engaged.

Ed Taft

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Tuesday, 26 Oct 2004 15:31:20 -0500
Subject: 15.1938 Greenblatt
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1938 Greenblatt

Abigail Quart writes

". . . .Saint Anthony (= St. Antony without an "h" in U.S. English) who
is the Patron Saint of Pigs."

Of pigs?

For what possible reason could pigs need a patron saint?

(Incidentally, the on-line Catholic Encyclopedia has no mention of that
story or pigs in general. Is she merely pulling our legs - or hams as
the case may be?)

Cheers,
don

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Tuesday, 26 Oct 2004 21:25:14 -0400
Subject: 15.1938 Greenblatt
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1938 Greenblatt

I had no intention of defining Maria as "a generic amusing
servant/social climber,"   but rather to argue that imposing the
expectations of either Goldsmithian sentimental drama or modern social
realism on this sometimes severe, sometimes indulgent anatomy of folly
seems to me inappropriate.

David Evett

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