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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: October ::
Friends, Romans, Countrymen
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1679  Saturday, 1 October 2005

From: 		David Evett <
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Date: 		Friday, 30 Sep 2005 14:39:52 -0400
Subject: 16.1658 Friends, Romans, Countrymen
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1658 Friends, Romans, Countrymen

In the late C16 context "honorable" might have a demographic overtone. 
Recall the importance of the word for that feudal holdover, Hotspur. It 
ties in with the chivalric revival under Elizabeth that fostered imprese 
and tilting and the kind of Petrarchism we see in Romeo. These are the 
ideals and activities of an economic and cultural elite that thinks it 
can afford to hold itself above the muck and mire of a society where men 
with dirty hands and stinking breath hang garlands on the statues of 
Pompey. Antony's speech climaxes in nakedly economic inducements (which 
that consummate businessman Octavius is seen scheming to withdraw in the 
next scene)--appeals to the self-interests of the plebs, in which that 
honorable idealist, Brutus, has shown no interest, and which his blunt 
associate Casca has explicitly scorned.

Dishonorably,
David Evett

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