2004

Thighs and Sighs

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1230  Thursday, 10 June 2004

From:           Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Jun 2004 01:33:41 +0000
Subject:        Thighs and Sighs

Queries for the List's commonwealth of knowledge.

Is there any recorded academic suggestion or dismissal  for a connection
between the thigh mutilation in J C (TLN 942-3) or/and 1H4 (TLN 3092)
with that recorded by William of Malmesbury's account of the post-mortem
wound to King Harold at Hastings. There is clearly a dishonour
association between the Hotspur and Harold cases.

What is the ratio (in recent productions - say last 5 years)  of use to
non-use of Portia's singing train to give Bassanio the "lead" clue - if
it is such - in M of V (TLN 1409-13). It has been cut in the last 7
productions I have seen - the latest being 3 hours ago.

Thanks in advance for any information/citations.

_______________________________________________________________
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Announcement of REED: Oxford

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1229  Thursday, 10 June 2004

From:           Alan Somerset <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 09 Jun 2004 20:12:35 -0400
Subject:        Announcement of REED: Oxford

I trust that many members of the list will be interested in the
following announcement, from Records of Early English Drama:

REED is pleased to announce the launch of the next 2 volumes in the
series.  Oxford, edited by John R. Elliott Jr & Alan H. Nelson
(University) and Alexandra F. Johnston & Diana Wyatt (City), is now
available for purchase from the University of Toronto Press and The
British Library.  For full details of our publication list visit the
REED web site http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~reed/reed.html.

Please encourage your university libraries to maintain or expand their
acquisition of REED volumes.  Next on the list will be the 2 volumes for
Wales, edited by David N. Klausner, forthcoming in 2005.

Alan Somerset
University of Western Ontario

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Hamlet's Ghost

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1227  Wednesday, 9 June 2004

[1]     From:   Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 00:38:52 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1216 Hamlet's Ghost

[2]     From:   Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 00:38:52 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1216 Hamlet's Ghost

[3]     From:   Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 00:38:52 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1216 Hamlet's Ghost


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Jun 2004 23:15:47 +0100
Subject: 15.1216 Hamlet's Ghost
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1216 Hamlet's Ghost

Alan Jones asks...

 >Could you cite the relevant records?  Even if we disregard the Catholic
 >resurgence under Mary I (1553-58), I have not seen direct evidence that
 >prayers for the dead were no longer permitted in the England of Edward
 >VI or Elizabeth.

According to Prof Duffy, the change came in the 1552 Edwardine prayer
book......

"Funerals in late medieval England, as we have seen, were intensely
concerned with the notion of community, a community in which living and
dead were not separated, in which the bonds of affection, duty, and
blood continued to bind.  The means of this transaction between the
living and the dead was charity, maintained and expressed in prayer.
The dead, whose names were recited week by week in the bede-roll at the
parish Mass, remained part of the communities they had once lived in .....

... the funeral service of 1549 did contain prayers for the dead, and
emphasized their community with the living, "they with us and we with
them".  At the moment of the committal of the body to the earth the
priest turned to the corpse, scattered earth on it and, in Cranmer's
translation, said "I commend thy soule to God the father almighty, and
thy body to the grounde, earth to earth, asshes to asshes, dust to
dust".  The dead could still be spoken to directly, even in 1549,
because in some sense they still belonged within the human community.
But in the world of the 1552 book the dead were no longer with us.  They
could neither be spoken to nor even about, in any way that affected
their well-being.  The dead had gone beyond the reach of human content,
even of human prayer.  There was nothing which could even be mistaken
for a prayer for the dead in the 1552 funeral rite.  The service was no
longer a rite of intercession on behalf of the dead, but an exhortation
to faith on the part of the living.  Indeed, it is not too much to say
that the oddest feature of the 1552 burial rite is the disappearance of
the corpse from it.  So, at the moment of commital in 1552, the minister
turns not towards the corpse, but away from it, to the living
congregation around the grave.  "Forasmuche as it hathe pleased
almightie God of his great mercy to take unto himselfe the soule of our
dere brother here departed: we therefore commit his body to the ground,
earth to earth, asshes to asshes, dust to dust."  Here the dead person
is spoken not to, but about, as one no longer here, but precisely as
departed:  the boundaries of human community have been redrawn".

(from 'The Stripping of the Altars', p 475)

Peter Bridgman

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 00:22:02 +0100
Subject: 15.1216 Hamlet's Ghost
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1216 Hamlet's Ghost

Alan Jones writes...

 >In particular, the restriction of
 >Article XXII to the "Romish doctrine" implies that there may be a
 >non-Romish doctrine of Purgatory, a doctrine derived from Scripture ...

As all the Orthodox churches deny the existence of Purgatory, there is
unlikely to be a "non-Romish" doctrine.  As for the "Romish" doctrine,
this was first officially declared at the Council of Florence in 1031,
although church fathers had argued the existence of "a place or
condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in
God's grace, are not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully
paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions" (online Catholic
Encyclopedia).

The following scriptural passages are cited for both prayers for the
dead and for purgatory (all KJV) ...

2 Maccabees 12:43-46 .... "And when he had made a gathering throughout
the company to the sum of two thousand drachms of silver, he sent it to
Jerusalem to offer a sin offering, doing therein very well and honestly,
in that he was mindful of the resurrection:  For if he had not hoped
that they that were slain should have risen again, it had been
superfluous and vain to pray for the dead.  And also in that he
perceived that there was great favour laid up for those that died godly,
it was an holy and good thought.  Whereupon he made a reconciliation for
the dead, that they might be delivered from sin".

Matthew 12:32...  "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man,
it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost,
it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the
world to come".  St Augustine argued that Christ would not have said
this unless there were other sinners who ARE forgiven in the world to come.

1 Cor 3:11-15...  "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day
shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire
shall try every man's work of what sort it is.  If any man's work abide
which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's
work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be
saved; yet so as by fire".

Peter Bridgman

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 00:38:52 +0100
Subject: 15.1216 Hamlet's Ghost
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1216 Hamlet's Ghost

 >It was the great Dover Wilson who observed, in his wonderful, "What
 >Happens in Hamlet," that "in fact he [the Ghost of Hamlet's father] is
 >the only Catholic in the play."

With all due respect to the great Dover Wilson, how would he know?
Surely Shakespeareans like Peter Milward who have also studied Catholic
theology are in a better position to judge what is or isn't Catholic in
the plays.

Peter Bridgman

_______________________________________________________________
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The Murder of Gonzago

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1228  Wednesday, 9 June 2004

[1]     From:   Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 08 Jun 2004 12:34:34 -0400
        Subj:   The Murder of Gonzago

[2]     From:   David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Jun 2004 11:37:40 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1215 The Murder of Gonzago

[3]     From:   David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Jun 2004 11:38:59 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1215 The Murder of Gonzago

[4]     From:   David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Jun 2004 11:40:15 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1215 The Murder of Gonzago

[5]     From:   Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Jun 2004 15:18:43 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1215 The Murder of Gonzago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 08 Jun 2004 12:34:34 -0400
Subject:        The Murder of Gonzago

David Cohen asks "[I]f the christianized version of fate (providence)
works its way out (as you say, at the end of Hamlet) remorselessly-if it
can't be changed by good works or prayer-then how is it functionally
different from fate in the pagan sense, and why is it not just as tragic?"

The answer, such as it is, can be found in an earlier Shakespeare play,
_Romeo and Juliet_, where the lovers are "star-crossed," that is, fated
to die, as a way to end the feud between the warring families.
Nonetheless, neither Romeo nor Juliet seems to lack free will or the
ability to make choices. Free will and fate coexist: that the latter
operates does not mean that the former does not.

This is at least a paradox, more probably what Christianity would call a
mystery. Scientifically, it makes no sense, which is probably your
point, but theologicans would counter by positing that God's control
derives from the fact that He is all-knowing and works in mysterious
ways that transcend our limited notions of causality based on space and
time.

As for the pivotal fencing match, there is where the improbability of
the action becomes manifest and has to be dealt with by stage business.
The odds of a double disarm, followed by each man then gaining access to
the other' foil are astronomical, to say the least. So, have we seen
Providence in action? Or just a case of something happening for which
there are mighty long odds? Or, if chance is somehow controlled by
Providence, have we just seen both?

Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Jun 2004 11:37:40 -0500
Subject: 15.1215 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1215 The Murder of Gonzago

Pamela Richards <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> writes,

 >While we are on the topic, would you please elucidate the difference
 >betweeen "believing we can do anything we want to do" and "magical
 >thinking?"  I'm having trouble distinguishing them.

They may not be distinguishable, but they may.  Believing that we can do
anything we want may be a quite rational, normal inference from a
naturally biased (self-serving) evaluation of our actions (selectively
recalling our successes, forgetting our failures), though the inference
is false.  Magical thinking, typical of children, those given to
irrationality, and the outright mentally ill, is believing that we can
affect things from afar by mere thinking or symbolic action: as I said,
sticking pins in an effigy to affect a person; also insuring that
something terrible won't happen by certain ritualistic behavior, e.g.,
counting, touching, cleaning, as in OCD

David Cohen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Jun 2004 11:38:59 -0500
Subject: 15.1215 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1215 The Murder of Gonzago

Pamela Richards <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> writes,

 >Certainly Shakespeare's works can be studied apart from their cultural
 >and historic context.  Yet when we study this way, we remove "the very
 >age and body of the time his form and pressure"; still holding "the
 >mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own
 >image".  The study reverts to one which reflects to us more of our own
 >personal beliefs and personality, while substantially diminishing our
 >appreciation of what the play meant to Shakespeare and his audience.  We
 >have transformed the mirror contained in the play into a Rorschach test
 >of our own belief systems.

I believe that we can profit from both perspectives, and that it is
wrong to speak of the more modern, psychological approach as mere
reverting to personal, subjective thinking, "a Rorschach test of our own
belief systems."  I object to the latter imagery, in particular, because
the Rorschach has little to no validity.  Fact is, there is much in
Shakespeare that comports with modern psychological research-the
scientific kind not the gobble-de-gook Rorschach kind-and the scientific
findings, with the insights they bring, when properly explicated, can be
as interesting-perhaps more because more definitive and less
ambiguous-as what one finds with other perspectives.  And it is most
definitely not just a matter of our personal beliefs.

David Cohen

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Jun 2004 11:40:15 -0500
Subject: 15.1215 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1215 The Murder of Gonzago

Pamela Richards <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> writes,

 >. . . To put it simply, the inner man makes the choices and the outer man
 >carries out those choices and experiences the consequence of those
 >choices, good or bad.  The outcome of those choices bears a completely
 >arbitrary relationship to our intentions and actions, and is determined
 >in almost all cases by Fate.

Well and good, if you want to call what happens with outer man "fated,"
but why not also call "fated" what happens with the inner man, with his
intentions?   It is the great insight from modern psychological research
in the laboratory and in the field (e.g., with twins) that  we may have
no free will (1) to formulate choices (however they do or don't get
realized) or(2) to determine our psychological destiny (we cannot be
whatever we put our mind to be, contra the self-help gurus).

 >On a side note, this seems to me like a much more healthy model . . .

I assume you mean valid model

 >  . . . of how
 >events play out in reality than the idea that "we can do whatever we
 >want to do." Where did that one come from, I wonder?  It seems much more
 >reasonable to say that "we can attempt to do whatever we want to
 >do"--and the results are not guaranteed.

Yes, you are right: bad phraseology.  But again, the interesting
question is what determines our intentions,  We believe we are free to
make them, but are we, I mean from of the determining influences of our
biology and social conditioning, never mind current events.  For me, the
illusion of free will is most interesting. Imagine an experiment in
which you merely push a button whenever you chose while the experimenter
monitors your distinctive brain waves and records how fast you make a
decision to push the button.  If you are like other people, you take 0.2
seconds, on average, to push the button after you decide to do so.

Here's the amazing thing: Your brain has generated a spike of activity
0.3 second before you consciously decided to push the button.  It takes
about a third of a second for your brain to get the conscious you
going-your brain decides first-and it takes another fifth of a second
for the conscious you to complete the act-you decide second.  Your sense
of voluntary action follows your brain's decision, so in what sense do
you-the conscious you-have free will in your choice?  If this finding is
a fit model for thinking about human behavior in general then there we
have a serious problem inferring free will from choices.  I think the
Player King in the "play within the play" of Hamlet  has got it only
partly true when he says:

Our wills and fates do so contrary run
That our devices still are overthrown;
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own . . . .

     PLAYER KING
     Hamlet, Act 3, scene 2, 221-223

I say only partly true because, while our devices may be overthrown by
external events, the 0.3 finding suggests that even our thoughts aren't
ours in any personal sense-rather they are our brain's.

 >"Forgive me, but I do not subscribe to the augury
 >business, except in the sense that we can all make
 >predictions, some of us better than others,
 >based on knowledge of persons and things."
 >
 >Forgive me, but we were discussing Hamlet's and Shakespeare's possible
 >belief systems, not yours.  We are attempting to look at the meaning of
 >Fate, free will, special providence, augury, and God's will in the
 >"sparrow" passage, unless I am mistaken.

Not so.  You had extensively described what you do and believe (all that
augury business) and I was responding to that.  My interest and
expertise, such as it is, lies in psychological approaches.
Nevertheless, I am always happy to learn more about Elizabethan times
and how that illuminates Shakespeare.

 >" >B.  If you, using augury, contradict my belief in
 >my ability to bring
 >>about an event by making a contrary prediction, you
 >are preventing
 >the
 >>exercise of my free will.
 >>
 >I would say that this example merely demonstrates the
 >kinds of external influences that support the view
 >that that there is no free will, however real it may
 >seem."
 >
 >
 >If by "free will" you mean that there exists in the universe a guarantee
 >that I will get what I intend to get, then there is clearly no "free
 >will" according to Renaissance thinking.  If by "free will" you mean
 >that a person has a choice about how to respond to the situation in
 >which they find themselves, then the concept of "free will" was alive
 >and flourishing in the Renaissance era, and was indeed the hallmark of
 >humanity and the foundation of Renaissance philosophy.

In a nutshell, by free will, we can mean (1) freedom to act on our
wills, that is, freedom from other people's wills (and of course other
factors); (2) freedom to formulated choices, however they turn out, that
is freedom from the constraining influences of our biology and social
conditioning; (3) freedom to determine what we are, our psychological
destiny, that is, freedom to be whatever we want to be, again free from
the constraining influences of our biology and social conditioning.  We
can easily demonstrate that we have a degree of free will in the first
sense, i.e., we have more free will than does a child, whose  will is
often frustrated by adults, but less  free will than does a psychopath,
who is heedless of others.  We may well suspect that we have no free
will in either the sense of (2) or (3).  What Renaissance people and
some of us may call fate, others might call other things, including
determinism (e.g., genetic) and chance events that can affect our
environment as well as our biology:

So, oft it chances in particular men,
That for some vicious mole of nature in them,
As, in their birth-wherein they are not guilty,
Since nature cannot choose his origin-
By the o'ergrowth of some complexion,
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason,
Or by some habit that too much o'er-leavens
The form of plausive manners, that these men,
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,
Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,-
Their virtues else-be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may undergo-
Shall in the general censure take corruption
 From that particular fault: . . . .

     HAMLET
     Hamlet, Act 1, scene 4, 21-36

But note: Determinism has the advantage of being testable.

 >There was an expression Shakespeare used in Hamlet in the speech of one
 >of the clowns: "Will he, nill he".  It means, whether he chooses it or
 >not.  It's also the origin of the expression, "willy-nilly", describing
 >an event that is arbitrary.  That can describe fate, from our mortal
 >perspective.  We cannot see much sense in the way events play out at
 >times; but we have a limited perspective.

That is why certain kinds of research are so important.  They enhance
our perspective, make us smarter, and make the world no less wondrous
for revealing mechanisms that used to be thought of as merely mysterious
or metaphysical.

David Cohen

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Jun 2004 15:18:43 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 15.1215 The Murder of Gonzago
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1215 The Murder of Gonzago

Pamela Richards writes, "The armies of Kings usually fought to determine
divine right to rule the land they were fighting over.  Augury, however,
was still critical.  Astrologers were typically employed by both sides."

OK: what is your source or sources for all this *augury* business from
ancient history?

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

_______________________________________________________________
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
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Correlating Scenes

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1226  Wednesday, 9 June 2004

[1]     From:   Geralyn Horton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Jun 2004 14:42:23 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1210 Correlating Scenes

[2]     From:   Thomas Pendleton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Jun 2004 22:16:28 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1210 Correlating Scenes


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Geralyn Horton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Jun 2004 14:42:23 -0400
Subject: 15.1210 Correlating Scenes
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1210 Correlating Scenes

What is it about this play ....?

The scene is III, iv -- and a wonderful scene it is, where Pisanio
spares Imogen and plots her disguise.  In III, vi she arrives at
Belarius' cave, and presents herself as Fedele to her long-lost unknown
brothers-- who love her at sight.  She says, "Pardon me. gods!  I'd
change my sex to be companion with them, since Leonatus' false."

Cloten is the Wicked Stepmother Queen's son, and when his loutishness is
well performed it's a great and memorable occasion.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Pendleton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Jun 2004 22:16:28 -0400
Subject: 15.1210 Correlating Scenes
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1210 Correlating Scenes

Imogen (or Innogen) disguises herself as Fidele.  Cloten, one of the
villains, gets decapitated, which would have exceeded the very
considerable skills of a boy actress.

Tom Pendleton

_______________________________________________________________
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
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