2006

Caracalla

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0313  Monday, 17 April 2006

From: 		Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 11 Apr 2006 11:39:07 -0400
Subject: 17.0308 Caracalla
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0308 Caracalla

Centerwall's TLS piece depends largely on an argument about handwriting 
(on which, in the absence of illustrations, there is nothing yet for 
others to say) and Chapman's putative mild dyslexia (on which he is 
moderately convincing). He is much less convincing when he argues that 
the passages he quotes show the knotted syntax characteristic of 
Chapman's dramatic verse, for the extracts he prints read perfectly 
clearly to me in a way that is true of little of Chapman's tragic verse. 
But then he argues, too, that the simple dramaturgy of Caracalla 
indicates that it must be a very early work, perhaps Chapman's first 
play, and here he falls into the common trap of assuming that dramatists 
produce more complicated plays as they mature, something the chronology 
of Shakespeare's plays shows to be untrue (Pericles?!) but something 
which underpinned the ambitious and mistaken chronologies created by, 
say, Malone. The ascription of Caracalla to Chapman would benefit from, 
at the very least, some analysis of vocabulary, something that would 
appear not yet to have been done.

I should mention that the next volume of Shakespeare Survey, due out in 
October, will include Centerwall's thoroughly persuasive investigation 
of the William Basse elegy on Shakespeare which he interestingly 
attributes to John Donne.


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Dumbshows?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0312  Monday, 17 April 2006

From: 		Peter Goldman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 12 Apr 2006 09:52:16 -0600
Subject: 	Dumbshows?

What was the fascination with dumbshows about? In Hamlet's advice to the 
players, he suggests that a taste for dumbshows was characteristic of an 
unrefined popular audience (" . . . the groundlings, who are for the 
most part capable of nothing but dumbshows and noise" [3.2.11-12]). And 
of course Shakespeare apparently dispenses with dumbshows (except for a 
play within the play), as do his contemporaries, suggesting that they 
are outmoded during his lifetime. The criticism I've read suggests that 
the dumbshow functions to foreshadow the main action. I also seem to 
recall reading that dumbshows or miming go back to the Roman stage 
tradition. Hamlet's comments after the dumbshow of the Murder of Gonzago 
suggests his impatience ("Marry, this' miching mallico; it means 
mischief"). Strangely, Ophelia seems unable to grasp the dumbshow, 
asking Hamlet twice what it means, and speculating that it "imports the 
argument of the play."

My questions are: why did they need a dumbshow to foreshadow the main 
action, at least in the dramatic tradition which precedes Shakespeare? 
How did this custom arise? How widespread and important was it? and what 
was the attraction of dumbshows? They seem completely dispensable to me, 
but then I've never been a fan of street mimes either.

Thanks,
Peter

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Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0310  Tuesday, 11 April 2006

[1] 	From: 	Sid Lubow <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Monday, 10 Apr 2006 20:41:04 EDT
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0305  Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

[2] 	From: 	John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Tuesday, 11 Apr 2006 11:08:34 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0295 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Sid Lubow <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 10 Apr 2006 20:41:04 EDT
Subject: 17.0305  Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0305  Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

In October 1995, I attended an exhibit in our USA Library of Congress, 
called "French Culture" in which I saw a portrait of the Duke of 
Buckingham, drawn in "crayon" by the artist, Daniel Dumontier, dated 
1625.  The Duke was drawn wearing a ruff almost exactly like the ruff 
worn by Shakespeare in the First Folio of 1623, except for the 
encirclement of semi-elliptical frills all around the Duke's ruff.  I 
will send the picture to anyone who asks me for it through e/mail if 
they will agree to explain why the commoner is wearing what appears to 
be wearing a ruff very similar to that worn by the Duke, to find out why 
Martin Droeshoutor Ben Jonson would allow that kind of nobleman's ruff 
to be worn by the Bard.

I think it should be seriously considered a very important part of the 
"Searching for Shakespeare" exhibit currently being shown at the 
National Gallery.

Respectfully,
Sid Lubow

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 11 Apr 2006 11:08:34 +0100
Subject: 17.0295 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0295 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

David Basch refers to "the Dugdale sketch controversy".  There is, of 
course, no Dugdale sketch controversy - except in the sense that there 
is an "authorship controversy", or a controversy over Shakespeare's 
knowledge of Hebrew.

John Briggs

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Feedback on SHAKSPER

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0311  Tuesday, 11 April 2006

From: 		Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Subject: 	Feedback on SHAKSPER

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

As I announced yesterday, I will be headed to Philadelphia tomorrow for 
this year's annual meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America. 
There, I will be participating in the seminar on "Shakespeare Forums" 
with my essay "SHAKSPER: An Academic Discussion List in the 'Secular' 
World of the Internet."

It has been two months now since the new SHAKSPER server went online and 
I announced that I felt compelled to become active as moderator and only 
to post messages that I believe are of interest to academics.  I made 
this decision in order to reassert SHAKSPER's role in and service to the 
world-wide Shakespearean academic community. 
<http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2006/0000.html>

I now ask for any feedback that members want to share with me privately 
on the operation, culture, and climate of the list since this change. 
Possible topics for comment might be 1. the current level of list 
traffic, 2. the level of discourse -- language -- (instances of ad 
hominem attacks and so on), 3. the level of discourse regarding the 
subject matter of recent discussions, 4. the variety among those who 
have been participating in recent discussion, or 5. the variety among 
recent topics of discussions.

In the concluding sentence to my SAA essay, I write, "I am not sure how 
successfully I will be at reasserting SHAKSPER discursive role in the 
scholarly community, but I can only hope to regain some of the 
excitement of earlier years when scholars around the world had an 
alternative venue to conferences and publications to talk and to explore 
ideas." Obviously, it is too early to assess this issue, but I would 
appreciate any observations that members would care to offer me.

Hardy

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Monsieur La Far

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0309  Tuesday, 11 April 2006

From: 		Tony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 10 Apr 2006 18:00:49 -0400
Subject: 17.0301 Monsieur La Far
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0301 Monsieur La Far

I'm surprised that no one has connected the Monsieur La Far of Lear with 
the Monsieur Le Fer of Henry V.  Both names have evoked speculation that 
it carries some unrecognized significance.  Given the vagaries of 
English orthography and regional or class differences in pronunciation, 
the "e"/"a" variation practically assures that the names were pronounced 
the same way.  For starters, think of clerk/clark, derby/Darby, 
sergeant/Sargent, and then compile your own list.  Moreover, Shakespeare 
regularly conflated the French articles "la" and "les" with "le."

Although I've never seen a dictionary entry to this effect, Deanne 
Williams occasionally translates the French "fer" as the Queen in chess, 
in her "The French Fetish from Chaucer to Shakespeare."

If anyone comes up with a new (and documented) alternative suggestion, 
please let me know.  The question has been on my mind for ages.

Tony Burton

_______________________________________________________________
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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