2005

Less said the better, it seems

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1203  Friday, 15 July 2005

[1]     From:   Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 12 Jul 2005 13:50:58 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1198 Less said the better, it seems

[2]     From:   D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 14 Jul 2005 12:06:52 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.1198 Less said the better, it seems


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 12 Jul 2005 13:50:58 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 16.1198 Less said the better, it seems
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1198 Less said the better, it seems

Two things to say about this:

1) There is more Shakespeare to be seen this year than there are movies
of Clancy novels.

2) Shakespeare may still be #26 decades from now when Clancy becomes
known as "Whatshisname."

Heller

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Jul 2005 12:06:52 -0500
Subject: 16.1198 Less said the better, it seems
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.1198 Less said the better, it seems

Colin Cox, in response to Al Magary's ("Shakespeare was No. 26, one
notch below Tom Clancy.") writes:

"Not bad for a guy who's been around for four hundred years."

Well, that is the point. Except for Tolkien and Seuss, these people are
all still alive. Most of them will be forgotten not only within 400
years, but within the lifespan of many of the people on this list.

Have you ever looked at the best-seller lists of, say, 1905, or 1930, or
even 1955?

Not all best-sellers are necessarily junk, of course. There is always an
overlap of classics and immediate popular success (including, it would
seem, some of the work of WS). And a few of those listed authors have
real talent. But little of their work has the depth to keep drawing
readers back once the gimmick has worn thin. (I think, my knowledge of
them is limited.)

The question remains open as to the lasting value and importance of the
two who are dead, but still widely read. Both were geniuses, of courses,
but neither followed the accepted methods of modern/post-modern
literature. Writing for children, Seuss had to leave out the kind of
character/theme development that (I assume) is needed for lasting
importance. But, my God, did he have a way with words.

But Tolkien, now, there's a bit of a puzzle. Plenty of literate people
of the modern/post-modern ilk simply hate him-hate his romanticism, his
hero-worship, his avoidance of sexuality, his moral absolutism, and, of
course, his immense popularity, even among people who are just as
literate as they are.

Nevertheless, LOR has lasted a half a century. It remains to be seen
whether it will last another. (Most of us will not be around to check on
it.) As JRRT's friend, Lewis, noted, the key is how a work is read- and
re-read. The gimmick of having invented the contemporary fantasy world
(nor the impact of some dramatic but rather poorly done movie versions)
will probably not help him stay that high. But will it keep him from
being completely forgotten?

WS has lasted through the centuries because there remain plenty of us
who simply love reading and watching and talking about and teaching his
work. There won't be any such for those others, I expect, except maybe
Tolkien.

Cheers,
don

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All in the Family

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1202  Friday, 15 July 2005

From:           Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 12 Jul 2005 13:47:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        All in the Family

A current production of Othello at the Tulane Shakespeare Festival has a
married biracial couple in the lead roles. It has gotten good reviews. I
recall Sam Waterston and his daughter playing Leonato and Hero in Much
Ado. I wonder about other casts that include actual family members in
roles of similar relationships.

Jack Heller

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Help with the Sonnets

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1200  Tuesday, 12 July 2005

[1]     From:   David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 11 Jul 2005 10:59:26 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1191 Help with the Sonnets

[2]     From:   Richard Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 11 Jul 2005 08:50:01 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1195 Help with the Sonnets


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Jul 2005 10:59:26 -0400
Subject: 16.1191 Help with the Sonnets
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1191 Help with the Sonnets

Concerning the pronunciation of the name WRIOTHESLEY, I would note that
Leslie Hotson of Yale believed that this name was pronounced Riley. He
mentioned this in one of his books.

The finding of this name also spelled WRISLEY as mentioned on our list
could be a confirmation of Hotson if we take into account the
pronunciation of ISLE as in the British ISLEs.

I think very highly of the late Professor Hotson and would take
seriously whatever this expert on the Elizabethan offered.

David Basch

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Jul 2005 08:50:01 -0700
Subject: 16.1195 Help with the Sonnets
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1195 Help with the Sonnets

A good observation by Ed Taft. No doubt the name was said differently by
different people, and Henry might have preferred that friends and family
say his name as Rosely, but that's something we can't know, can we?


Taft says, "The evidence in the sonnets suggests.."  But there is no
evidence in the sonnets for Rosely unless you first of all decide that
the play on Beauties Rose refers to a young man, Henry W., in fact, and
thence to his name to find if a Rose might be in the spelling. If the
sonnets refer to someone else when lavishing roses about, then the
argument for Rosely = Wriothesley doesn't hold except by speculation.

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John Day Query

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1201  Friday, 15 July 2005

From:           Bill Lloyd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Jul 2005 17:25:22 EDT
Subject:        John Day Query

This is a long shot, and only sorta-kinda related to Shakespeare, but
here goes...

Anyone have or know where I can get a copy of M[urray] E[ugene] Borish's
1931 dissertation on the playwright John Day? I have Borish's published
articles on Day, but the dissertation is hard to find. It's not at the
Folger, nor the Library of Congress, nor is it available through
inter-library loan at the University of Maryland. And University
Microfilms lists it but apparently just so they can state that it is NOT
available through them.

Off-list responses welcome.

Thanks,
Bill Lloyd

_______________________________________________________________
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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Shylock as Suffering Servant

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1199  Tuesday, 12 July 2005

[1]     From:   David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 11 Jul 2005 13:22:00 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1194 Shylock as Suffering Servant

[2]     From:   Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 12 Jul 2005 00:46:03 +0300
        Subj:   The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1186 Thursday, 7 July 2005J


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Jul 2005 13:22:00 -0400
Subject: 16.1194 Shylock as Suffering Servant
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1194 Shylock as Suffering Servant

As Don Bloom wrote, the MOV as I see it would have gone over the head of
Elizabethans. They would not have seen in their merriment what I see as
the Shakespeare's message. It went over their heads the same way it went
over Don Bloom's head.

Elizabethans, no doubt, also laughed when Gratiano tells Jessica who has
just robbed her father, "Now, by my hood, a Gentile and no Jew." Only
the joke was on them because it revealed some not nice things about them
as numerous scholars have observed.

I note that Joe Egert observes the following:

     "Both Portia and Jessica break free of their 'custodial confinement'
      from their fathers' Old will and Testament, no longer needed."

Another way of saying this is that they are covenant breakers, the very
epithet usually directed against Jews. Portia gets around her father's
covenant by maneuvering Nerissa to spill the beans to Bassanio about the
right choice of casket to make and Jessica deserts her father, robs him,
and even slanders him about plotting against Antonio, something she
could not have heard since Shylock's anger toward Antonio after the loan
emerged only after Jessica ran away. Anyone reading this objectively
cannot see any high toned behavior coming from this pair of vow breakers.

One of the ways Shakespeare communicates Portia's violation of her
father's covenant is as follows: First Portia mentions how much alike
she and Bassanio are. Then later Bassanio breaks his vow to Portia by
giving away her ring. If the two are alike, it must raise the question
about what vow Portia broke. It was of course her covenant vow to her
father to abide by the selection process, not circumvent it.

I hardly see how persons are made more noble and exemplary by violating
the moral laws which Judaism stands for. These are, after all, the same
laws that Christians espouse.

The problem with the MoV is that it is a long play and many commentators
pick and choose what they want to see and treat it like a Rorschack
test, seeing what they wish. I don't see the sober, banker type Shylock
character capable of cutting up another person any more than I could see
the Duke in the play doing so. As I have repeated many times before, the
only reason Shylock's monstrosity is credible to some is that they
expect horrible things from even the best of Jews. In my book, THE
HIDDEN SHAKESPEARE, I included a chapter, "Shylock on Appeal," to show
that the same circumstantial evidence that some would use to see Shylock
as a villain will support Shylock as involved in a charade to get
Antonio to plead for mercy from the Jew he belittled and hated. This is
the story within a story that Shakespeare planted in this work for all
to see when they decide to react compassionately toward a widower,
robbed and deserted by his daughter, and who wishes to prove a point in
court that, though he has the right through a bond to a "pound from
[Antonio's] fair flesh," he would compassionately renounce it. His grand
gesture is interrupted when Portia suddenly pulls the rug from under him.

The MoV was written for a future audience that would be free of such
things as anti-Semitism. At that time, the esoteric story within a story
emerges, a story so challenging to some commentators that they won't
even hear of it, let alone read it. This is the play that the great
Shakespeare wrote that exposes hypocrisy, not the play he is thought to
have written.

David Basch

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 12 Jul 2005 00:46:03 +0300
Subject: Conference: SHK 16.1186 Thursday, 7 July 2005J
Comment:        The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1186 Thursday, 7 July 2005J

Joseph Egert' s  original conception of a "suffering servant" is
acceptable to me only on the transcendental  level of the play. Anything
less that supports a degraded Shylock, I think is a mistake. For it
takes the play into unwanted rationalizations. While real problems as
well as the reaction to them by Shylock and the Jewish party the
reaction of justifiable deception, like Biblical Jacob before Laban (as
Shylock hints to Antonio) does not need this defense. However the
transcendental Shylock is indeed a matter to consider. Of all the
possibilities for a Hebrew reading of Shylock's name the word for
messenger "Shaliach" would probably be the one most customary - although
I have never heard it used as a given name before.

Joseph considers Portia repetition of Morocco's term "complexion" to be
racist. I think that the stigma of "racism" is too severe and
anachronistic. Differentiation is needed when confronted by fortune
hunters and the recollection of forcible conversions, no matter how you
name it. Portia wanted a husband of her own culture - a man of Jewish
lineage - no matter if he be pale or dark skinned. Also Morocco's values
had not the moral "complexion" that Portia liked.

Florence Amit

_______________________________________________________________
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.
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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