Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
There's Magic in the Web
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0461  Friday, 11 March 2005

[1]     From:   M Yawney <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 09:49:05 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0453 There's Magic in the Web

[2]     From:   Ira Zinman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 18:53:37 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0453 There's Magic in the Web

[3]     From:   Evelyn Gajowski <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 09:16:34 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0453 There's Magic in the Web


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           M Yawney <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 09:49:05 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 16.0453 There's Magic in the Web
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0453 There's Magic in the Web

John V. Knapp wrote:

 >Forgive me for a naive question, but exactly how are
 >the strawberries a "sexual symbol"? The handkerchief
 >itself is connected to Desdemona's alleged infidelity,
 >but strawberries?? I asked this same question on
 >another chatline-how is it that X equals Y ? -- but I
 >never did get a reasonable answer.

Please forgive my explicitness, but strawberries resemble the head of a
penis, hence they are invoked today in vulgar sexual slang (such as the
term "strawberry shake" to refer to semen).

Though I cannot point to any other pre-modern "strawberry" in this
context, there are many other plants and foods I can think of that
resemble sexual organs, which have been used in art and literature as
sexual symbols since ancient times.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ira Zinman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 18:53:37 EST
Subject: 16.0453 There's Magic in the Web
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0453 There's Magic in the Web

In response to Maijan H Al-Ruwaili 's posting and the reference to Lynda
Boose and the article she wrote, I found this as an earlier posting
referencing the Boose article "Othello's Handkerchief"

I hope this is helpful,
Ira Zinman

 >From:           David Phillips <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
 >Date:           Sunday, 27 Jul 1997 11:37:43 -0400
 >Subject:       SHK 8.0788  Re: Othello; Stewart
 >
 >Those interested in the consummation debate would do well to consult the
 >following: Nelson & Haines' "Othello's Unconsummated Marriage."
 ><italic>Essays in Criticism</italic>1983 January (vol. 33) and Nathan's
 >"Othello's Marriage is Consummated." <italic>Cahiers
 >Elisabethians</italic>1988 (vol. 34). Also, Lynda Boose in "Othello's
 >Handkerchief . . ." (ELR 5 and in Barthelemy's Critical Essays on
 >Shakespeare's Othello) makes a good argument through her focus on the
 >handkerchief and blood-stained wedding sheets.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Evelyn Gajowski <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 10 Mar 2005 09:16:34 -0800
Subject: 16.0453 There's Magic in the Web
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0453 There's Magic in the Web

For John Knapp, Maijan H. Al-Ruwaili, and other interested SHAKSPEReans,

The correct title and complete citation for the Lynda Boose article that
deals with the handkerchief is as follows:

Boose, Lynda E.  "Othello's Handkerchief: 'The Recognizance and Pledge
of Love."  English Literary Renaissance 5 (1975): 360-74.

According to Boose, the handkerchief is a "'presentational image' which
spans the entire drama and connects within its symbolic fabric the
motive forces of the play" (361).  Its meaning may well "lie hidden in
rituals and customs which were accessible to Elizabethans but have since
been lost" (361).   Shakespeare changes his source by adding a detailed
description of the handkerchief (red strawberries on white) to represent
"a visually recognizable reduction of Othello and Desdemona's
wedding-bed sheets, the visual proof of their consummated marriage, the
emblem of the symbolical act of generation so important to our
understanding of the measure of this tragedy" (363).  The handkerchief
represents marital consummation through its association with the
wedding-night sheets, ritually displayed in early modern culture
immediately following consummation of the marriage.

Hope this is of some help.

All the best,
Evelyn Gajowski
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail 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.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.