2006

World Shakespeare Bibliography Online Updated

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0332  Friday, 21 April 2006

From: 		Jim Harner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 20 Apr 2006 14:52:15 -0500
Subject: 	World Shakespeare Bibliography Online Updated

A new version (20062) of the World Shakespeare Bibliography Online 
(http://www.worldshakesbib.org) just went live. The next update be in 
August. As always, I urge SHAKSPEReans to send along offprints or 
notices of publications so that we don't inadvertently overlook a book, 
review, essay, production, etc.

Jim Harner
Editor, World Shakespeare Bibliography Online

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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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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
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Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0331  Thursday, 20 April 2006

From: 		Sophie Masson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 20 Apr 2006 14:02:53 +1000
Subject: 17.0320 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0320 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

Thanks to Thomas Larque for the wonderful quotes from Stubbs. Most 
entertaining. For a man who didn't like such fashions, our Phil 
certainly spent a good deal of time lyrically describing them!

Sophie Masson

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

Dumbshows?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0329  Thursday, 20 April 2006

[1] 	From: 	Barbara D. Palmer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Wednesday, 19 Apr 2006 16:21:20 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0318 Dumbshows?

[2] 	From: 	Kenneth Chan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 20 Apr 2006 11:18:40 +0800
	Subj: 	The Dumb Show Problem in Hamlet

[3] 	From: 	Markus Marti <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 20 Apr 2006 07:58:20 +0200
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0324 Dumbshows?

[4] 	From: 	Jeffrey Jordan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 20 Apr 2006 01:36:13 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0324 Dumbshows?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Barbara D. Palmer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 19 Apr 2006 16:21:20 -0400
Subject: 17.0318 Dumbshows?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0318 Dumbshows?

When confronted with the problems implied by the dumbshow's duplication 
of The Mousetrap (e.g., Claudius' and Gertrude's reaction to the 
dumbshow), my students this semester suggested that Hamlet himself does 
not know that the players are going to do the dumbshow and consequently 
is horrified at their preview of features to come.  The dumbshow precis 
may be the fashion among city players, but Hamlet is out of touch ("How 
chances it they travel?"). His responses to Ophelia's "What means this, 
my lord?"--"Marry, this' miching mallico; it means mischief"--and his 
reaction to the Prologue's entrance--"We shall know by this fellow.  The 
players cannot keep counsel; they'll tell all"--suggest that he is not 
amused by the premature dumbshow, which, with its uncharacteristically 
long stage direction but no lines, was not in his script.

Barbara D. Palmer
University of Mary Washington

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Kenneth Chan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 20 Apr 2006 11:18:40 +0800
Subject: 	The Dumb Show Problem in Hamlet

A discussion on dumb shows would probably be incomplete if we do not 
look directly at the one important dumb show in Shakespeare, i.e. that 
found in Hamlet. I hope, therefore, that I may be permitted to discuss, 
at this time, the problem this particular dumb show creates. The 
academic debate over it has spanned almost an entire century.

Why does Shakespeare include the dumb show in Hamlet, especially since 
it leads directly to the problem of the King's non-reaction to it? Is 
the dumb show meant to do this deliberately, and if so, why? Below, I 
have summarized three important academic arguments over this problem.

W. W. Greg starts the ball rolling in his 1917 article, "Hamlet's 
Hallucination," where he argues that the King's negative reaction to the 
dumb show means that the mousetrap has failed, and consequently that the 
Ghost's speech must be interpreted as nothing but a figment of Hamlet's 
overwrought imagination. According to Greg, Claudius's failure to react 
"not merely threatens the logical structure of one of the most crucial 
scenes of the play, but reduces it to meaningless confusion."

Dover Wilson's "What Happens in Hamlet" then attempts to rescue the 
situation by arguing that Shakespeare required the staging of the dumb 
show in order to inform the audience of the coming mousetrap, so that 
they can follow the drama properly. Dover Wilson further contends that 
Shakespeare arranges for the King and Queen to be in close conversation 
at the time of the dumb show. Because of that conversation, Claudius 
pays no attention to the dumb show and hence fails to react.

Terence Hawkes, responding in his article "Telmah," contends however (if 
I understand him correctly) that it is by design that there is "an 
ever-present potential challenge and contradiction within and implied by 
the text" of Hamlet. The King's negative reaction to the dumb show is 
thus considered as a deliberate artistic device to turn "Hamlet" 
decisively into "Telmah," the name coined for the play's inherent 
opposing direction. Hawkes further contends that it is pointless to 
attempt reconciling the text under any single interpretation because 
there is simply no primary interpretation intended by Shakespeare. Also, 
according to Hawkes, "the mousetrap marks Hamlet's most recursive moment."

What I would like to bring up here is that there is actually one other 
possible reason why Shakespeare may have included the dumb show and then 
have Claudius not react to it. This reason has not been considered in 
the above three commentaries, and is a reason that would, in fact, alter 
the whole complexion of the problem. This possible explanation for the 
King's failure to react has to be taken into consideration because of 
two compelling reasons:

1) It tells us that Claudius's non-reaction to the dumb show is actually 
what one should expect of a real person in that same situation. Thus we 
may have, here, yet another instance of Shakespeare's brilliant and 
uncanny insight into human behavior.

2) This reason for the King's failure to react also fits in perfectly 
with one of the central themes of Hamlet, a theme that echoes 
incessantly through the whole play. Claudius's non-reaction may thus be 
seen as part of a comprehensive and cohesive artistic design 


WordHoard

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0330  Thursday, 20 April 2006

[1] 	From: 	Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 20 Apr 2006 01:30:11 +0100 (BST)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0326 WordHoard

[2] 	From: 	Donald Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 20 Apr 2006 08:42:14 -0500
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0326 WordHoard


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 20 Apr 2006 01:30:11 +0100 (BST)
Subject: 17.0326 WordHoard
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0326 WordHoard

Stephanie Kydd

 >Shakespeare was of course familiar with Chaucer

      SNIP

 >When all is said and done, there are only two and a
 >half centuries
 >between the two, and the core essentials of any
 >given language are very
 >slow to change.

There's a partial truth here, but while linguistic change is linear, it 
isn't necessarily geometric in its progression.  While there is an 
absolute continuity between the language of +Beowulf+ (written down in 
the eighth century CE) and all Englishes of the present day, 
nevertheless Beowulf exists in what has to be learned (for most of us, 
at least) as a foreign language.

There is a major divide between the language of Chaucer and that of 
Shakespeare which doesn't fall between Shakespeare and "us".  The crunch 
point seems to lie about 1500.  With qualifications, virtually all 
post-1500 texts in English can be read in a "contemporary" voice 
(whether 1600 or 2000) in a way in which pre-1500 texts cannot.  This 
isn't true of pre-1500 texts.  (Contrast Chaucer and Wyatt for a 
touchstone.)

Actually, it's more complex than that-of the three major literary texts 
written in the last quarter of the fourteenth century, Langland's +Piers 
Plowman+ doesn't sound *that* odd when simply transliterated and 
modernised.  Chaucer mostly makes sense but sounds (largely due to the 
loss of the final unaccented 'e')deeply strange.  The texts of the 
Gawain poet are (to me, at least) close to Beowulf in their difficulty 
of comprehension.

[Obviously, there is a distinction to be made here between metre and 
meaning.]

 >If endowed with a time machine,
 >circa Y2K English
 >speakers would have no real problems communicating
 >with those who lived
 >in AD 1750, or vice versa (excluding words such as
 >'e-mail' and 'cell
 >phone', of course).

See above.

Robin Hamilton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Donald Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 20 Apr 2006 08:42:14 -0500
Subject: 17.0326 WordHoard
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0326 WordHoard

Stephanie Kydd writes,

 >When all is said and done, there are only two and a half centuries
 >between the two, and the core essentials of any given language are very
 >slow to change.  If endowed with a time machine, circa Y2K English
 >speakers would have no real problems communicating with those who lived
 >in AD 1750, or vice versa (excluding words such as 'e-mail' and 'cell
 >phone', of course).

My sense of language change tells me that English changed a great deal 
more in the 210 years between flourishing of Chaucer and the flourishing 
Shakespeare than in the period from 1796 to 2006. Aside from 
pronunciation changes (the Great Vowel Shift, and all that), many words 
were lost, many were added, and (probably most important) the grammar 
changed significantly.

Still, this is well outside my bailiwick and I will welcome correction 
from anyone who knows better. (Whether right or wrong, I would also 
welcome reference to an authoritative study of the matter.)

On a related matter, where is there a study of reputation and use of 
Chaucer among the Elizabethans. Spenser evidently regarded him as a kind 
of demi-god, but was that general?

Cheers,
don

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Elizabeth I Questions

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0328  Thursday, 20 April 2006

From: 		Frank Whigham <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 19 Apr 2006 16:05:02 -0500
Subject: 17.0321 Elizabeth I Questions
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0321 Elizabeth I Questions

Donna Lodge <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

 >I'm a writer working on a novel, a historical drama, that takes
 >place during the time of Will Shakespeare. This listserv has been a
 >gold mine of information.
 >
 >I'm looking for web sources for several pieces of information:

You need to go to paper sources on this for serious data. Relying solely 
on web sources on Shakespeare is asking for trouble.

 >1) What was the perception of Elizabeth I writings by her peers and
 >successful and/or acknowledged writers of her reign? Were her
 >letter, poems, speeches, etc., considered well-written? Was
 >Elizabeth I judged to be an accomplished writer (given her
 >education), or was there no criticism/scrutiny of her work for fear
 >of reprisals?

I believe Roger Ascham, one of her teachers, discusses her wonderful 
education somewhere, and might yield some data. Puttenham's Art of 
English Poesy (1589) speaks repeatedly of her skill as a poet, though 
his meaning is tricky, as here, for instance, in an introductory statement:

But you, Madam my most Honored and Gracious: if I should seem to offer 
you this my device


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