2005

Shakespeare and Science

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1761  Tuesday, 18 October 2005

From: 		Annalisa Castaldo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 17 Oct 2005 10:49:35 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 	Shakespeare and Science

A colleague of mine is working on a book about the uses of science in 
literature and he asked me about Shakespeare. Is there a work that 
collates and/or discusses the way Shakespeare uses science or 
pseudo-science? If not, can anyone suggest places where Shakespeare uses 
science either as a plot device or as imagery?

Annalisa

_______________________________________________________________
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 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

CUNY Renaissance Studies Lecture

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1760  Tuesday, 18 October 2005

From: 		Martin Elsky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 18 Oct 2005 10:25:30 -0400
Subject: 	CUNY Renaissance Studies Lecture

  [with apologies for cross-postings]

The Graduate Center of the City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue (corner 34 Street)
New York City

The Renaissance Studies Certificate Program and the Ph.D. Program in 
French of the CUNY Graduate Center are pleased to announce a lecture by

Malcolm Smuts
(Department of History, University of Massachusetts-Boston)
"Religion, Dynastic Politics and Anglo-French Diplomacy at the Court of 
Henrietta Maria, 1625-1641"

Friday, November 18
4:00pm, Room 5109

Reception to follow talk

Free and open to the public

For further information contact Professor Martin Elsky, Coordinator, 
Renaissance Studies Certificate Program, CUNY Graduate Center, 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

_______________________________________________________________
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 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1757  Monday, 17 October 2005

[1] 	From: 	David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Saturday, 15 Oct 2005 15:32:09 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1745 Friends, Romans, Countrymen

[2] 	From: 	Alan Pierpoint <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Sunday, 16 Oct 2005 00:48:36 EDT
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1745 Friends, Romans, Countrymen

[3] 	From: 	Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Monday, 17 Oct 2005 00:53:16 +0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1707 Friends, Romans, Countrymen


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Saturday, 15 Oct 2005 15:32:09 -0400
Subject: 16.1745 Friends, Romans, Countrymen
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1745 Friends, Romans, Countrymen

Text only is not a very good way to come at personalities like Caesar. 
On a text-only basis, many of us detest the likes of Donald Trump and 
other big-time worldly successes. They have devoted associates, however, 
not all moved entirely by fear or greed. Many of us will have seen 
performances of the play in which the personal appeal of the actor 
playing Caesar made not only Antony's praise but the personal component 
of Brutus's reluctance persuasive.

David Evett

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Alan Pierpoint <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Sunday, 16 Oct 2005 00:48:36 EDT
Subject: 16.1745 Friends, Romans, Countrymen
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1745 Friends, Romans, Countrymen

L. Swilley writes, referring to Antony's praise of the "pompous, 
grasping" Caesar:  "Elsewhere in this play, Antony does not seem to be 
someone who is deceived by anyone; how then do we account for this 
praising speech which, because it is a soliloquy, must be taken as 
honest feeling?"   I suppose that we have to account for Antony's 
servile admiration of this detestable "Caesar" by historical factors, 
extrinsic to the play, of which Shakespeare and his audience were aware, 
and of which Antony gives a partial enumeration in his speeches to the 
citizens in Act III:  military victories, political reforms, ransoms 
filling the coffers, outright gifts of grain and land to the people, the 
establishment of colonies to absorb thousands of Rome's poor, his 
pardoning of many of his enemies, and his greatness as an orator, etc., 
etc.  He was, after all, Caesar, even if we don't see much of him in the 
play.  Shakespeare deliberately downsizes him, in order, I guess, to 
raise Brutus, whose principled opposition to Caesar then becomes more 
credible, and more interesting.

Alan Pierpoint

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 17 Oct 2005 00:53:16 +0000
Subject: 16.1707 Friends, Romans, Countrymen
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1707 Friends, Romans, Countrymen

Steve Sohmer demurs, "Brutus made a priest after Pharsalus--maybe, but I 
can't find that..."

Check the writings of Prof. Ernst Badian. His summary entry on "Iunius 
Brutus, Marcus" in the current OXFORD CLASSICAL DICTIONARY states: 
"After *Pharsalus he [Brutus] successfully begged Caesar for pardon 
and...was made a pontifex and in 47 sent to govern Cisalpine Gaul..." 
After Caesar's assassination, Brutus (and Cassius) minted coinage in the 
East displaying these pontifical links as propaganda, at times using his 
adopted name of Q CAEPIO BRVTVS.

Here are metal links to Shakespeare's tragedy:

http://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=92564&AucID=99&Lot=952
(the perpetual dictator)

http://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=76027&AucID=80&Lot=1326
(the proud liberator and his implements)

http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/imp/brutus/RSC_0011.1txt
http://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=68486&AucID=73&Lot=834
(his priestly implements)

http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/sear5/s1431.html
(more of his sacrificial implements)

http://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=78314&AucID=84&Lot=287
(the "dium-victors")

http://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=92224&AucID=99&Lot=984
(DIVUS and Son)

http://www.coinarchives.com/a/lotviewer.php?LotID=57658&AucID=61&Lot=914
(last "man" standing)

Joe Egert

_______________________________________________________________
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 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Sonnet 76

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1758  Monday, 17 October 2005

From: 		Ben Alexander <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 17 Oct 2005 01:19:08 +0100
Subject: 	Sonnet 76

In Sonnet 76 at line 7 we have

"That euery word doth almost fel my name,"

[That every word doth almost tell my name,]

I have seen a number of attempts to understand what the writer meant. I 
have formed my own opinion based on the fact that the writer was 
certainly not sitting at a typewriter.

I would be grateful to read other people's opinions of what they think 
was going though the writer's mind as quill touched paper.

Regards,
Ben Alexander

_______________________________________________________________
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 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Clocks and Bells

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1756  Monday, 17 October 2005

[1] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 13 Oct 2005 13:02:46 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1741 Clocks and Bells

[2] 	From: 	Philip Eagle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 13 Oct 2005 13:18:12 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1741 Clocks and Bells

[3] 	From: 	Holger Schott Syme <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 13 Oct 2005 23:05:49 -0400
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 16.1741 Clocks and Bells

[4] 	From: 	Michael Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Friday, 14 Oct 2005 07:15:47 -1000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1749 Clocks and Bells

[5] 	From: 	Ben Alexander <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Saturday, 15 Oct 2005 00:17:24 +0100
	Subj: 	Shakespeare's Bells


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 13 Oct 2005 13:02:46 -0400
Subject: 16.1741 Clocks and Bells
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1741 Clocks and Bells

Alan Jones asks

 >Can anyone who has attended a performance in the New Globe
 >tell us how audible and disturbing they found the church bells
 >and other local noise such as traffic? Aircraft, obviously and
 >horribly: but I wonder whether much else at a lesser height
 >penetrates the walls.

I have attended both day and evening performances since the official 
opening.  I have not noticed any ambient sounds except for the 
helicopters (which are horridly annoying) and other aircraft.  Do not 
recall ever hearing a church bell.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Philip Eagle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 13 Oct 2005 13:18:12 -0400
Subject: 16.1741 Clocks and Bells
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1741 Clocks and Bells

After attending many performances at the Southwark Globe I can say that 
there is no problem with traffic noise as the theatre is not close to 
any busy road and shielded by surrounding buildings on the land side. 
Loud music, horns and engines from river boats, though, are ocassionally 
audible inside the theatre to a disruptive degree.

As is, on occasion, the conversation of bored schoolkids who have fled 
to the surrounding piazza.

Philip Eagle

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Holger Schott Syme <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 13 Oct 2005 23:05:49 -0400
Subject: 16.1741 Clocks and Bells
Comment: 	RE: SHK 16.1741 Clocks and Bells

I've spent considerably less time than Michael Egan thinking about the 
play he refers to as 1 Richard II and I got to know (and like) as 
Woodstock, so I can't claim his depth of knowledge or persuasion; having 
said that, from all we know about touring, a play conceived exclusively 
for outdoor performance seems "wildly unlikely" or at least extremely 
unusual in the mid-1590s.

If Egan is right that the play was written for the provinces while the 
theatres in London were closed because of the plague, does he assume 
that Shakespeare (to humour him) anticipated the prolonged closure of 
the theatres? How could he have done that? And if he didn't, why on 
earth would he write a play that would have been unstageable at the 
Theatre, the Curtain, the Rose, or wherever Pembroke's Men thought 
they'd play once theatres reopened?

Andrew Gurr (and many other theatre historians) has argued that most 
plays up to 1594 would have been conceived as touring plays-because 
touring was what companies did. How could Pembroke's Men predict what 
sorts of venues would be open to them in any given town? Would they only 
perform Woodstock in places where large innyards that also offered easy 
access for horses were available, whereas towns that opened their 
guildhalls to them did not get to see that play (a play which thanks to 
its novelty must surely have been an attractive commodity)? As Gurr has 
suggested, touring brought with it a preference for indoor venues that 
made the outdoor theatres in London somewhat unattractive; he rightly 
points out that Burbage's initial instinct was to replace the Theatre 
with an indoor playing space (the Blackfriars) when the lease was about 
to expire in 1596.

 From all we know, then, we ought to assume that players (and 
playwrights) had to produce plays with a wide variety of venues in mind, 
even as they displayed a preference for indoor stages. The list of 
outdoor spaces Egan imagines (and I quote from his informative and 
useful website: "market squares, tavern yards, streets, village greens, 
even vacant fields") is largely anachronistic. We have very little 
evidence for the staging of plays by professional troupes in open spaces 
after the 1570s-for obvious economical reasons (how do you charge 
admission in a market square or an open field?). Inns, both their 
outdoor yards and indoor spaces, became the main venue when the players 
weren't allowed into the guildhall, and remained highly desirable as 
performance sites even after companies established permanent homes in 
London.

The point of all this is that it would have been economically bizarre to 
conceive a play in such a way that it required not merely a very 
specific kind of stage, but more importantly, the most problematic kind; 
a kind that would have made production in London and (perhaps crucially) 
at court particularly difficult if not impossible. The idea is made even 
more unconvincing by Egan's insistence on the pageantry of the play: 
Woodstock would have required a massive cast for a touring company, 
large props, and an unusual number of beautiful costumes; it would thus 
have been a major financial investment, and one would expect it to be 
designed for performance in the widest possible variety of sites and 
circumstances. To limit artificially the range of venues for such an 
enterprise would have made no economical sense whatsoever, and making 
money was a playing company's main objective.

All of the above in turn suggests to me that the horse, just like the 
bear, probably wasn't a live animal. The scene doesn't really require 
the horse to come on stage at all-the "spruce courtier a horsebacke" 
could dismount before he comes on, and I can imagine a staging of the 
scene with simply a horse's head and front legs sticking out from either 
door or from behind a central curtain; there are many, many far more 
baffling scenes in early modern drama. The play certainly does not 
require a live horse for Woodstock's conversation with the animal to 
work dramatically-that is entirely the actor's responsibility.

The general point about venues also raises questions for Steve, but I 
suppose most of the plays he references are from the late 1590s, when 
the Chamberlain's Men had found a permanent home and Shakespeare could 
rely on a more or less stable environment. I do want to reiterate, 
though, that Michael Egan's point about Macbeth has very little to do 
with early modern staging methods or conditions, and I think it is 
revealing that he doesn't address my objections to it at all. I might 
also add that the notion of a space "spookily lit by candlelight" is a 
little hard to maintain given a culture where candles were the main 
source of night-time illumination-the idea of candlelight as "spooky" 
strikes me as a distinctly modern perception (but I'd be happy to be 
corrected on that one-perhaps a single ["brief"?] candle produced a more 
frightening atmosphere than whole candelabra-full?).

I remain happily stuck in my own paradigm (which, I'd like to note, was 
formed on the basis of research conducted in the last 10 years-I wonder 
whose paradigm is shifting more "glacially" here...)

Holger

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Michael Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 14 Oct 2005 07:15:47 -1000
Subject: 16.1749 Clocks and Bells
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1749 Clocks and Bells

Holger Schott Syme raises some obvious objections to my proposal that 1 
Richard II was conceived for the provincial tour, and that the horse in 
III.ii is real. These and others are all considered at 
http://richardsecondpartone.com/dating_the_play.htm  and passim in my 
discussions of Hamlet and Woodstock's 'golden metamorphosis'.

--Michael Egan

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Ben Alexander <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Saturday, 15 Oct 2005 00:17:24 +0100
Subject: 	Shakespeare's Bells

Dear All,

I have read with patience the correspondence about the bells in 
Southwark and near to the
Globe. There were other church bells close to the arenas where the plays 
were performed,
in particular Westminster Hall.

When the First Folio mentions the "banks of the Thames" everyone today 
assumes The Globe.
Since the excellence of the plays probably derives from the exigencies 
of the Court
audience, I think it worth pointing out, that Westminster Palace, 
Greenwich Palace,
Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle are all on the bank of the 
Thames, as is the
Blackfriars Theatre.

If there was any question of synchonisation I suggest it would probably 
have been with
bells at one of the Westminster churches.

Kind Regards,
Ben Alexander
www.maryfitton.com

_______________________________________________________________
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 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Search

Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.