2006

Julius Caesar and Religious Art

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0140  Thursday, 9 March 2006

From: 		Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 8 Mar 2006 15:21:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 	Julius Caesar and Religious Art

Listmembers:

Please forgive cross-posting; this has also appeared in the FICINO list. 
In act 2, scene 2, lines 76-89 of Julius Caesar is this passage:

CAESAR: She dreamt tonight she saw my statue,
Which like a fountain with an hundred spouts
Did run pure blood; and many lusty Romans
Came smiling and did bathe their hands in it.
And these does she apply for warnings and portents
Of evils imminent, and on her knee
Hath begged that I will stay at home today.

DECIUS: This dream is all amiss interpreted.
It was a vision fair and fortunate.
Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
In which so many smiling Romans bathed,
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
Reviving blood, and that great ment shall press
For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.

My question: This passage seems to parody the sacraments of both baptism 
and the Eucharist, and it alludes as well to the controversies over 
relics. I once saw a painting of the crucified body of Christ near which 
were positioned large vats to collect the blood and bathers in the vats. 
  The style of the painting made me think it would be fourteenth or 
fifteenth century. Would such an image have been common enough for it to 
have influenced the passage from Caesar?

I don't know how to look for this painting nor do I remember where I had 
seen it. The museum where I would have seen would be in either South 
Carolina at the Bob Jones University collection or at a major midwest 
collection in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, or Michigan. I would like to find 
an image of the painting or of a similar painting online. Any help would 
be appreciated.

Jack Heller

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Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Troilus & Cressida Productions

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0139  Thursday, 9 March 2006

From: 		Hugh Davis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 08 Mar 2006 10:26:46 -0500
Subject: 	Troilus & Cressida Productions

Besides the BBC film, are any of the television productions of T&C 
available on video or DVD? Are there any film versions available? I 
don't know of any British or American ones.

Thanks,
Hugh Davis

_______________________________________________________________
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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.

Historical Accuracy / Polonius

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0137  Wednesday, 8 March 2006

From: 		Ben Alexander <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 7 Mar 2006 18:51:09 -0000
Subject: 	Threads: Historical Accuracy / Polonius

In July 1597 a very flamboyant Polish Ambassador came to London and 
suggested that Queen
Elizabeth should consider a marriage to the Polish King. Improvising in 
Latin the Queen
said that she could not possibly consider a marriage to an elected King.

When Hamlet was played at Court this would resonate much better with the 
audience than
some obtuse remark about Denmark; although James VI in Scotland was 
married to a Danish
princess.

Ben Alexander

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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
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Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0138  Wednesday, 8 March 2006

From: 		Sandra Sparks <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 8 Mar 2006 07:14:57 -0500
Subject: 17.0129 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0129 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

Regarding the Grafton Portrait:

Totally personal theories, for personal reasons:

I believe that the Grafton portrait is the only genuine flat portrait, 
for this reason:

The Droeshout engraving appears to have used a model for the head of 
Shakespeare, while inventing (badly) a body in contemporary dress for 
the rest of the engraving.

If friends of Shakespeare knew of the Grafton portrait, they may have 
commissioned Droeshout to use either the portrait as a model for the 
updated engraving, or a sketch of the portrait. Their descriptions would 
have helped him portray Shakespeare when he was older, using the 
friends' descriptions in altering the hair, etc. As an artist, I believe 
he used someone's sketch of the portrait, a sketch that copied the pose, 
the cast of the eyes, and the unusual ear lobe. I still maintain that 
Elizabethan artists were not all as expensive or hard to come by as 
people like to think, and that it is very simple for an artist to invent 
a costly garment to spruce the thing up. I cannot believe art experts 
can be so thick headed as to believe an artist's treatment would be 
totally realistic in that time or any time.

As for the Chandos portrait: again, as I have stated earlier, the 
portrait was owned by William Davenant, who claimed he was the bastard 
son of WS. He was right on the bastard part, but not on the son title. I 
do not believe he should be taken at his word; I think he either found a 
suitable portrait of an unknown man, or somehow commissioned this.

And, the memorial bust - I think somewhere, at some time, there existed 
a death mask that the sculptor worked from. If you compare the bust 
proportions to the Grafton portrait, you will find the proportions are 
in line for the transformation of a slender young man into a heavy older 
man.

My personal observations. Art experts sometimes make me want to sneeze.

Sandra Sparks

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opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
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Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0136  Wednesday, 8 March 2006

[1] 	From: 	Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Tuesday, 7 Mar 2006 11:56:43 -0500
	Subj: 	Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

[2] 	From: 	Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Tuesday, 07 Mar 2006 17:23:56 +0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0127 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

[3] 	From: 	John E. Perry <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Tuesday, 07 Mar 2006 20:01:25 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0127 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

[4] 	From: 	Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Tuesday, 7 Mar 2006 21:31:24 -0800
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0127 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 7 Mar 2006 11:56:43 -0500
Subject: 	Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

As to the comments about the comedy in Measure for Measure, it is one 
thing to read it on the page, but quite another when you hear and/or see 
it performed live. In the latter case, the comedy comes alive!

When I first heard an audio performance of the first scene in which 
Lucio, Pompey and the bawds are gossiping about the Duke and Claudio, it 
sounded exactly like Side Two of The Fireside Theatre's How Can You Be 
In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All. The same 
incredibly sophisticated combination of raunch and intellect, bestial 
and angelic. I was not a sharp enough reader to have realized that it 
would sound like that.

Arnie Perlstein
Weston, Florida

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 07 Mar 2006 17:23:56 +0000
Subject: 17.0127 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0127 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

Very many thanks for advice.

I fully accept that the assignment was ultimately do-able, but in 2500 
words - that was partly what set me back. And as many pointed out I am 
not convinced that a genre based study of this particular play is very 
helpful given its complexity. Did the setter want a strict genre 
analysis - so what did he mean by 'tragedy' 'comedy' or the firecracker 
he put into the title of 'or something in between'? Well......thanks, 
that narrows the field.....not.

I too was exercised about plagiarism. A panicking student is a 
plagiarising student in my experience - not universally, but I imagine 
you know what I mean. But to plagiarise on this topic - as set - very 
quickly gets into semantics, literary history, cultural context, 
relevance of such analysis - and for me, the play qua play simply goes 
out of the window. And all that in 2500 words? I just don't think so. 
The salvation lies in the insistence that a number of responses made 
that the essay must show process of evaluation based on some evidence 
and thought, a structured approach to evaluation.

I just wish my student friend had just gone for it and climbed into the 
Duke all guns blazing. For me, one of the most insidious and unreachable 
hypocrites in all Shakespeare, and if Isabella gives into him at the end 
(certain? not certain?), then she is, if anything, even worse. Holding 
out for a better prize / catch than Angelo, maybe? Using her beauty / 
virginity as a bargaining counter? Yuk!. Did Shakespeare really intend 
us to leave the theatre with that taste in our mouths? Or, as in Alls 
Well / Hamlet and 12th Nt, is the sheer corrosive disgust at the world 
and all its works and fancies what drives the piece?

Is MM just a brilliant series of bitter cartoons on human duplicity. And 
WHY does Lucio get it so badly in the neck at the end? Shakespeare 
inveighing against the cynical use of absolute power to crush utterly 
the weak / insignificant / helpless? Pour encourager les autres?  I just 
wonder where we've seen that recently?

Once more, many thanks to all.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John E. Perry <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 07 Mar 2006 20:01:25 -0500
Subject: 17.0127 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0127 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

Stuart Manger writes: "A university student of my acquaintance has been 
set an assignment to comment as follows: 'Measure for Measure - a 
tragedy, a comedy, or something in between?' ...........oh yes, and by 
the way, complete this in 2500 words!!!"

After reading a number of immediately defeatist responses, I am reminded 
of the comment of one of my department heads, when I made the same 
complaint regarding describing my work to my kids.  This guy is a 
world-class physicist, investigating the deepest mysteries of subatomic 
particle physics.

"If you can't describe your work in a few sentences, and make good sense 
of it to any moderately educated person, then you don't know yourself 
what you're doing."

John Perry
Well-Quashed Engineer

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 7 Mar 2006 21:31:24 -0800
Subject: 17.0127 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0127 Measure for Measure and a Puzzle

I am neither an academic nor a scholar, but it seems to me that what's 
wrong with our exam Q is not that it's "undoable" but that it's absurdly 
simple.

M4M is a comedy, period. It is funny throughout (even in the middle of 
high drama), nobody in the play dies, and there's a happy ending with a 
betrothal between the leads.

  If I'm wrong, please, someone: where is the tragedy in M4M? The 
unfortunate demise of Ragozine?

M4M is surely not a play that has survived and thrived for four  hundred 
years because WS created a fog of ambiguity and confusion to  leave the 
metadramatically sensitive guessing as to what the hell  they are all 
doing up there. Audiences went to see and still go to see M4M because 
WS's high drama of sexual harassment is brilliantly and seamlessly mixed 
with plenty of laughs. It's not a comedy just by academic definition; 
it's a comedy because it's funny and it's fun.

Jim Blackie, applauds a production of M4M for highlighting the comedy,

 >"which I'd never noticed in my readings, or the BBC TV production."

Now that's tragedy.

Bob Projansky

_______________________________________________________________
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.

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