Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: June ::
Celebrity and the Theatre of Idols
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1126  Wednesday, 22 June 2005

[1]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 21 Jun 2005 09:05:33 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1119 Celebrity and the Theatre of Idols

[2]     From:   Jan Pick <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 21 Jun 2005 17:23:33 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1119 Celebrity and the Theatre of Idols

[3]     From:   John Ramsay <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 21 Jun 2005 17:01:49 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1119 Celebrity and the Theatre of Idols


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 21 Jun 2005 09:05:33 -0400
Subject: 16.1119 Celebrity and the Theatre of Idols
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1119 Celebrity and the Theatre of Idols

Jack Heller <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >

 >I have been pondering these lines from Timon of Athens (1.1.83-88) for
 >this past week, including as the Michael Jackson verdict was announced.
 >It occurs to me that Timon is something like a celebrity, and that the
 >idolatry that appends to him resembles the use of "idol" in current
 >popular discourse-teen idol, screen idol, American Idol, etc. I also
 >recall that early modern anti-theatrical discourse speaks of the
 >theatres as encouraging a kind of idolatry. My questions: (a) Whom else
 >would we regard among theatrical characters as celebrities? Cleopatra
 >comes to mind, but I'm not sure of others. (b) Was there a notion of
 >celebrity in early modern culture?

The OED, s.vv. "celebrate" and "celebrity" should give a clue.

 >(c) Were performers and/or
 >playwrights becoming celebrities?

Mine host was full of ale and history,
And in the morning when he brought us nigh
Where the two Roses join'd, you would suppose
Chaucer never made the Romaunt of the Rose.
Hear him. See ye yon wood? There Richard lay
With his whole army. Look the other way
And, lo! where Richmond in a bed of gorse
Encamp'd himself o'er night, and all his force:
Upon this hill they met. Why, he could tell
The inch where Richmond stood, where Richard fell
Besides what of his knowledge he could say,
He had authentic notice from the play;
Which I might guess by 's mustering up the ghosts,
And policies not incident to hosts;
But chiefly by that one perspicuous thing
Where he mistook a player for a king.
For when he would have said, King Richard died
And call'd, A horse! a horse! he Burbage cried.
-- CORBET, RICHARD, 1617, Iter Boreale.

 >(d) Is there a way to tie the
 >antitheatrical arguments equating theatre and idolatry to notions then
 >current of celebrity?

Surely that is best determined by reading the texts in question. (But I
think not.)

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jan Pick <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 21 Jun 2005 17:23:33 +0100
Subject: 16.1119 Celebrity and the Theatre of Idols
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1119 Celebrity and the Theatre of Idols

I would add Coriolanus to the celebrity list, and probably Antony as
well as Cleo.

Jan

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Ramsay <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 21 Jun 2005 17:01:49 -0400
Subject: 16.1119 Celebrity and the Theatre of Idols
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1119 Celebrity and the Theatre of Idols

Jack Heller <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >

 >POET: All those which were his fellows but of late--
 >Some better than his value--on the moment
 >Follow his strides, his lobbies fill with tendance,
 >Rain Aacrificial whisperings in his ear,
 >Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him
 >Drink the free air.

Jack, consider also: JC I-2:

"Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep
about to find ourselves dishonourable
graves."

Lots of idolatry and anti-idolatry in the works of WS.

_______________________________________________________________
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.