2005

Dating Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0677  Monday, 11 April 2005

From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 08 Apr 2005 15:39:37 -0400
Subject: 16.0663 Dating Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0663 Dating Hamlet

 >Obviously after 1400, as cannons are blasting off right left and centre,
 >so that makes it (leave aside China) somewhere in Western Europe in the
 >15thC or later.

Right.  It occurred at about the same time as Julius Caesar, after
clocks were invented.

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Ukrainian and English in Latvia

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0676  Monday, 11 April 2005

From:           John Velz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Apr 2005 23:18:06 -0500
Subject:        Ukrainian and English in Latvia

To those interested in the academic problem of performing in Latvian:

In 1993 I gave a lecture in Riga (in English) on "Shakespeare and the
Shapes of Medieval Religious Drama".  I stayed several days, sharing a
suite with a young English scientist there to consult with the Riga
University Metallurgy Department.  We got on well in our primitive
surroundings.  Water out of the tap was the same color (brown) as the
river and hot water for shower was limited.  This British colleague was
invited to sit in on a doctoral oral in metallurgy.  The candidate was
an ethnic Ukranian, born and raised in Latvia, but speaking  Russian or
Ukranian at all times.  The first question came in Latvian.  The
candidate said in Russian "I do not understand your language." The
answer came back, "This is a failure!"  The committee put their heads
together for a few seconds and then one of them spoke: "We have a bylaw
at the University saying that a foreigner can request to have the
examination conducted in his own language.  What is your nationality?"
"Latvian, but I speak Ukranian and Russian."  "If you are to be examined
in Ukranian or Russian you must declare yourself a foreigner."  A
hesitation and then "I am a Ukranian."  "Do you wish to have the
questions asked in your national language?"  "Yes".  The next question
came in Ukranian, and so did all the others.  The candidate sailed
through the exam.

This was shortly before the first national elections were held in Latvia
after the wall came down between Eastern and Western Europe.  There was
a lot of debate at the time in Latvia over who should get the franchise.
  Thousands of Russians and Ukranians born in Latvia lived in
late-twentieth-century prefab.  concrete housing without character put
up for Russians and Ukranians from which others were excluded.  Children
born to parents in this environment never interacted with Latvian
children in any way when growing up.  The Russians and Ukranians were an
enclave of civil servants who administered the country but were in it
not of it-like the Raj in India.  The motivation behind the humiliation
of this Ukranian/Latvia man was strictly political.  To get his degree
he had to deny his country of birth (Latvia) and claim Ukranian
nationality when perhaps he never had set foot in the Ukraine in his
life.  I marvel that he learned no Latvian during his post-graduate
years, but apparently this was true.

On the other hand I was warmly welcomed in Latvia.  My Shakespeare
lecture was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on a Friday night.  I can guess how
many would attend the lecture if it were so scheduled in Austin, Texas.
  But the line of Latvian students trying to get into the classroom
stretched all the way down the corridor.  The room held perhaps 40 desks
and I estimate that some 70 students crammed into the room, standing,
sitting on radiators, kneeling on the floor, etc.  The fire marshall at
the University of Texas would never have permitted this crowding.  No
fire marshall in Riga.  I was the first American to lecture in the
English Department of the University of Riga since the wall came down-my
host excepted.  He was a Professor of Germanic Languages at the
University of Wisconsin who at the age of 10 in 1940 escaped the Nazis
with his family in a sailboat to Sweden.  He had hurried back to Latvia
like many of his exiled compatriots in the U.S. and Canada the moment
the Russians pulled out of Latvia.

His grown daughter was with him.  She was equally fluent in English and
Latvian, a valued escort when shopping or sightseeing.

It was very hot in that classroom on the top floor of the building with
a western exposure, so hot that I dripped perspiration from my face onto
my lecture pages as I talked from them, but none of us minded.  The
American was welcome.  It seemed obvious to me that Shakespeare and
religion both were welcome as well.

Yours for lecturing abroad on Shakespeare.

John Velz

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Prayers for the Dead

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0674  Monday, 11 April 2005

From:           Tom Krause <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 9 Apr 2005 08:42:12 -0400
Subject: Prayers for the Dead
Comment:        SHK 16.0624 Prayers for the Dead

Peter Bridgman compares a chopped-up version of the old antiphon "In
paradisum deducant te angeli ... Chorus angelorum te suscipat ...
aeternam habeas requiem" (which he translates as "may angels guide you
to paradise ... choirs of angels sustain you ... and grant you eternal
rest") with the Horatio's epitaph in 5.2 ("And flights of angels sing
thee to thy rest") and asks "how is it that WS quotes from the old
antiphon?"

You've made the well-recognized resemblance between the lines greater by
leaving out the parts about martyrs and Lazarus and by giving the angels
a more active role by having them "grant" eternal rest (a better
translation of the last part of the antiphon is, "May the chorus of
angels receive you//and with Lazarus once poor//may you have eternal
rest").  That's not to say we should buy Malone's contention that
Horatio's line echoes Essex's last words ("And when my soul and body
shall part, send thy blessed angels to be near unto me which may convey
it to the joys of heaven"); I tend to agree with Jenkins, who notes the
similarity to the antiphon, but cautions: "No specific source can be
alleged or should be sought for so traditional a conception."

Tom Krause

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Seeking Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0675  Monday, 11 April 2005

[1]     From:   M Yawney <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Apr 2005 10:02:58 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0662 Seeking Hamlet

[2]     From:   Thomas Pendleton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Apr 2005 14:43:42 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0662 Seeking Hamlet

[3]     From:   Susan St. John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 08 Apr 2005 23:56:27 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0662 Seeking Hamlet

[4]     From:   Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, April 11, 2005
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0662 Seeking Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           M Yawney <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Apr 2005 10:02:58 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 16.0662 Seeking Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0662 Seeking Hamlet

Internet Movie Database lists 55 films entitled "Hamlet." I did not look
at each entry, but the ones I did were all adaptations of Shakespeare's
play.

The link follows:

http://www.imdb.com/find?q=hamlet;tt=on;nm=on;mx=20

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Pendleton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Apr 2005 14:43:42 -0400
Subject: 16.0662 Seeking Hamlet
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0662 Seeking Hamlet

I suspect that whoever wrote the program note saying there were 53--not
52 nor neither 54--film/video Hamlets was pretending to know more than
he does.  The real answer ought to begin, "There's a lot of them, it
depends on . . ."

The Filmography and Title Index of Ken Rothwell's A History of
Shakespeare on Screen, 2nd ed.(2004), lists 43 items, although this
includes such things as Victor Mature reading "To be or not to be" in My
Darling Clementine.  Rothwell's earlier Shakespeare on Screen: An
International Filmography and Videography (ed. with Annabelle Henkin
Melzer and covering up to 1989) lists over 80 items, although, fairly
obviously, its criteria for inclusion are broader.  These two books
provide the menu, but one still has to work his way through, continually
deciding that this one counts but that one doesn't.  I wouldn't bet on
the final tally working out to 53.

One could ask Rothwell. I imagine he would say "There's a lot of them,
it depends on . . . ."

Tom Pendleton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan St. John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 08 Apr 2005 23:56:27 -0700
Subject: 16.0662 Seeking Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0662 Seeking Hamlet

Cheryl,

Go to imdb.com and search "Hamlet" you will come up with more films than
you could ever wish for

Susan St. John

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, April 11, 2005
Subject: 16.0662 Seeking Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0662 Seeking Hamlet

You might also want to consult The Poor Yorick Shakespeare Catalogue at
www.bardcentral.com as a database for the availability of current audio
and videos versions of the plays.


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Representations of the Living

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0673  Monday, 11 April 2005

[1]     From:   Thomas Pendleton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Apr 2005 14:17:00 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0666 Representations of the Living

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 08 Apr 2005 15:42:05 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0666 Representations of the Living

[3]     From:   Stanley Wells <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 9 Apr 2005 12:00:01 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0651 Representations of the Living

[4]     From:   David Crosby <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 11 Apr 2005 12:25:25 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0651 Representations of the Living


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Pendleton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Apr 2005 14:17:00 -0400
Subject: 16.0666 Representations of the Living
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0666 Representations of the Living

I would suggest that Robin Hamilton doesn't hate being picky
sufficiently.  I don't know how Queen Elizabeth 1/2 feels about the matter.

Tom Pendleton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 08 Apr 2005 15:42:05 -0400
Subject: 16.0666 Representations of the Living
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0666 Representations of the Living

 >the current queen of the UK ought to be termed
 >"Elizabeth I and II", as she is the second English monarch christened
 >Elizabeth, but the first Elizabeth to reign as sovereign over Scotland
 >(and the United Kindom as a whole)

She is, in effect.  In Scotland the post boxes are monogrammed "E R"
while they are "E II R" in England, Wales and Ulster.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stanley Wells <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 9 Apr 2005 12:00:01 +0100
Subject: 16.0651 Representations of the Living
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0651 Representations of the Living

A short addendum to Professor Pendleton's interesting message: The lost
play Keep the Widow Waking, or The Late Murder in Whitechapel, by
Dekker, Rowley, Ford, and Webster, dates from 1624, not 1594. The
fascinating story of the events that lay behind it is told in C J
Sisson's neglected book Lost Plays of Shakespeare's Age (Cambridge, CUP,
1936.)

Stanley Wells

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Crosby <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Apr 2005 12:25:25 -0500
Subject: 16.0651 Representations of the Living
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0651 Representations of the Living

Thanks to Tom Pendleton for supplying a category, cameo appearances by
the royal family, for this thread. I think it also fits Thomas Nashe's
show, "Summer's Last Will and Testament," apparently presented by child
actors at the Archbishop of Canterbury's house in Croydon in October
1592 [see Fraser and Rabkin's introduction in _Drama of the English
Renaissance_].  Although there is no speaking character identified as
Elizabeth, the personified figure of Summer offers this in his final
testament:

"Unto Eliza, that most sacred dame,
Whom none but saints and angels ought to name,
All my fair days remaining I bequeath
To wait upon her till she be returned.
Autumn, I charge thee, when that I am dead,
Be prest and serviceable at her beck,
Present her with they goodliest ripened fruits, etc......

It is charming to assume that Elizabeth was present to receive this
testament in person, and that Nashe wrote the lines expressly for that
purpose. Fraser and Rabkin compare the show to a court masque because of
its "peculiarly intimate relationship between actors and audience,
fiction and the real lives of those watching.

Elizabeth was accustomed to having to act her part in pageants that were
presented to her on her progresses and re-entries into London, and I
like to think she did the same for this performance of Nashe's show.

David Crosby

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