2006

Othello Chooses Cassio?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0420  Tuesday, 9 May 2006

[1] 	From: 	Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
 	Date: 	Monday, 08 May 2006 18:03:28 +0100
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0411 Othello Chooses Cassio?

[2] 	From: 	Nora Kreimer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
 	Date: 	Monday, 8 May 2006 18:31:34 -0300
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0411 Othello Chooses Cassio?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 08 May 2006 18:03:28 +0100
Subject: 17.0411 Othello Chooses Cassio?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0411 Othello Chooses Cassio?

If the aim is to defend and hold Cyprus and sustained peace is the aim of 
the campaign, maybe the Venetian fathers want not only fighting men to 
keep the peace, but smooth diplomats to 'ease the peace' / win hearts and 
minds?

Cassio is a good talker, a handsome, elegant, educated young blade, 
learning his trade, so ideal experience to learn under a top pro general 
and alongside a grizzled war-hardened grinder who's been around the block 
a few times like Iago?

Besides, judging by what others say about him, he is well-connected, and 
many aides-de-camp are born, live and operate on very much the right side 
of the tracks. By their own admission, neither Othello nor Iago are of 
that sort.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Nora Kreimer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 8 May 2006 18:31:34 -0300
Subject: 17.0411 Othello Chooses Cassio?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0411 Othello Chooses Cassio?

It's through performance, and the accent I have noticed given to Iago, 
that there is little doubt that Michael Cassio is the man. Socially 
speaking, the lieutenant and the general belong to the same social class, 
and this is how they appear to be. It is not the case with the ensign. 
Usually, the ensign is a man of considerably low rank.

We only have Iago's word that Cassio is not the right man, and if we go by 
Iago's word he's a very honest fellow. It is very clear in the text that 
Cassio was socially better acquainted with Othello, as he was part of his 
secret love and elopement: Iago was not, and it was obvious that he 
learned about the whole business on the consummation of the marriage. It 
was Cassio that "went betwixt us very oft".

Regards,
Nora Kreimer
Instituto Superior del Profesorado Joaquin V. Gonzalez
Depto de Ingles
Profesora Titular Literatura Inglesa
Buenos Aires
Argentina

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Coriolanus's Hamartia

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0419  Tuesday, 9 May 2006

[1] 	From: 	L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
 	Date: 	Monday, 8 May 2006 09:00:13 -0500
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0409 Coriolanus's Hamartia

[2] 	From: 	Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
 	Date: 	Monday, 8 May 2006 16:52:03 -0400
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0409 Coriolanus's Hamartia


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 8 May 2006 09:00:13 -0500
Subject: 17.0409 Coriolanus's Hamartia
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0409 Coriolanus's Hamartia

Larry Weiss writes,

>>L. Swilley says:
>>
>>'Coriolanus' flaw is his conviction that the citizens should
>>have no voice in the polity; they are, he maintains, curs
>>that must be muzzled and whipped into submission, or at
>>least treated as soldiers in his army where the governed
>>have, of necessity, no voice in military decisions.'
>
>" I beg to differ with Mr. Swilley.  A tragic flaw is not the same thing
>as a political opinion.  Coriolanus suffered the consequences of
>overweening pride and arrogance.  His political views, which
>undoubtedly were influenced by his hubris, could as easily have led
>him to demagogue the rabble as insult them, were it not that his
>arrogance inhibited him from pretending a humility he did not
>have.... I take the text as given, and disagree with Mr. Swilley only
>on the nature of hamartia in general -- it is the internal flaw, not the
>outward consequences it leads to."

[Confession of ignorance being the beginning of wisdom, I certainly stand 
to be corrected on this - and perhaps I should have written, "Coriolanus' 
flaw is his *judgement* that, etc."

[First, does not Aristotle define "hamartia" as "some great error of 
judgement"?  And does he not a few lines earlier, declare: "There remains, 
then, the intermediate kind of personage, a man not pre-eminently virtuous 
and just, whose misfortune, however, is brought upon him *not by vice and 
depravity but by some error of judgement [hamartia]* [my italics]?

[Second, perhaps erroneously, I have judged lack of humility and arrogance 
as vices, bad habits arising from misjudgement. And Coriolanus' 
misjudgement is his erroneous conviction that the citizens are of less 
human moment than himself and his kind and deserve little consideration. 
And is not a *political* opinion a *political conclusion* from a deeper 
misjudgement? Political philosophies are dependent on convictions about 
the nature of man, about what he is and how he should be because of what 
he is.]

[Any help on this thorny matter will be appreciated.]

[L. Swilley]

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 8 May 2006 16:52:03 -0400
Subject: 17.0409 Coriolanus's Hamartia
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0409 Coriolanus's Hamartia

Of course, hamartia in Aristotle does not mean "a tragic flaw". As 
classical scholars have been clearly stating for many, many years, 
hamartia in The Poetics means a fault/error caused by ignorance, 
especially of a blood-relationship. Isn't it about time we listened to 
them and stopped talking about hamartia as if it meant something entirely 
different? I really don't think Shakespeare and his audiences would have 
had the faintest idea what a "tragic flaw" is. But then they probably 
wouldn't have known the word "hamartia" either.

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Dumbshows?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0417  Monday, 8 May 2006

[Editor's Note/Request: On Wednesday, I announce that "With the power 
vested in me as the one who giveth SHAKSPER and the one who taketh it 
away, I hereby announce that Friday, May 5, 2006, will be the last day 
for discussion of this topic on the SHAKSPER listserv. If you have 
anything more to say, please say it now or forever hold your peace. 
Further discussion may, of course, continue among the participants in 
private or on the Hamlet Blog Place, wherever that may be.  Goeth in 
peace." And on Friday, I received two more postings in this thread. In 
case there was a misunderstanding, I meant that Friday would be the last 
day that I would post on the thread and thereafter it would be closed. 
Also, I asked a while ago that members make an effort to limit 
themselves to one post per day. I realize that the weekends constitute 
more than one day but today is one day. My call for a limit was intended 
to reduce traffic on the list so that I would not have to take as much 
time each day editing and so that members would take time to consider 
what thread was most important to them to respond to on a particular 
day, thus forcing members to reflect on all of the posts of the day 
rather than immediately hitting the reply key after reading any single 
digest. Please keep these two requests in mind.]

[1] 	From: 	Jim Blackie <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Friday, 5 May 2006 15:20:29 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0402 Dumbshows?

[2] 	From: 	Paul E. Doniger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Friday, 5 May 2006 14:09:58 -0700 (PDT)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0402 Dumbshows?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jim Blackie <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 5 May 2006 15:20:29 -0400
Subject: 17.0402 Dumbshows?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0402 Dumbshows?

Frank Whigham examines the R&G discussion on the use of the dumbshow, 
quoting this explanation:

 >PLAYER: Well, it's a device, really -- it makes the action that follows
 >more or less comprehensible; you understand, we are tied down to a
 >language that makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style.

I have to admit that I saw humor underlying the "more or less" phrase, 
which I took to mean not "somewhat,' but rather an explanation that the 
dumbshow made the actual play EITHER more comprehensible or less 
comprehensible, a very different and wonderfully humorous remark, I 
thought. The dumbshow, depending on the performance, could be useful to 
clarify or confuse. Stoppard's love of the English language and 
word-play show that not only language, but even pantomime can be 
misinterpreted or obscure. Of course, the case may also be that I am 
getting the joke that was never told!

Jim Blackie

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Paul E. Doniger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 5 May 2006 14:09:58 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 17.0402 Dumbshows?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0402 Dumbshows?

If I am not mistaken, isn't the dumb show in Hamlet a rather unusual 
one. Few dumb shows, I believe, presented a pantomime of the full story 
of the plays they introduced. Moody Prior wrote as long ago as 1942 that 
"among all extant dumb-shows of whatever type, that which precedes the 
Murder of Gonzago is unique in presenting a summary of the play to 
follow" ("The Play Scene in Hamlet" ELH 9:3 191). Has this thesis been 
disproven? If it's still true, then what does that suggest about the 
function of the dumb show and Claudius's silence during it. I wouldn't 
fault Stoppard if he was unaware of this ... R&G is too good a play for 
us to fuss about such a detail.

I think it was W.W. Lawrence who suggested that Claudius is watching, 
listening, and waiting for an opportunity to stop the play without 
bringing suspicion upon himself (I can't find the article at the 
moment). That certainly seems logical. What does everyone else think?

Paul E. Doniger

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A Roof on the Globe?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0418  Tuesday, 9 May 2006

From: 		Kathy Dent <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 08 May 2006 13:21:57 +0100
Subject: 	A Roof on the Globe?

The most recent edition of the Southwark Globe's mailing list contains 
this piece of news:

"The Globe will put a roof on its famous open-air amphitheatre this year 
for the first time in its history. The roof is part of the designs for 
Titus Andronicus playing at the Globe from 20 May to 6 October.

"Designer William Dudley has taken as his inspiration the innovative 
feature of the Coliseum known as the valerium - a cooling system which 
consisted of a canvas-covered, net-like structure made of ropes, with a 
hole in the centre.  This roof covered two-thirds of the arena, and sloped 
down towards the centre to catch the wind and provide a breeze for the 
audience.

"Dudley's design for a black roof for Titus Andronicus will create a dark 
and funereal setting for Shakespeare's earliest and most macabre tragedy, 
echoing the play's themes of war and death.

"William Dudley is one of the world's most influential and innovative 
theatre designers. He has designed more than 50 productions at the 
National Theatre in London and is winner of a record seven Olivier Awards. 
On Broadway, his credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Amadeus at the 
Metropolitan Opera. His first film design, Jane Austen's Persuasion for 
BBC Films, won him a BAFTA Award."

I feel somewhat dismayed by the thought that the Globe's raison d'etre is 
so comprehensively nullified by putting a roof on it!  The text of Titus 
as we have it was not made for indoor playing and I wonder at the spurious 
logic that informs this design choice: it's okay to put a roof on because 
that's what the Romans did at the Coliseum.

Kathy Dent

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Stratford

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0416  Monday, 8 May 2006

[1] 	From: 	David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Friday, 05 May 2006 14:22:30 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0404 Stratford

[2] 	From: 	Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Monday, 8 May 2006 05:45:38 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0386 Stratford


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 05 May 2006 14:22:30 -0500
Subject: 17.0404 Stratford
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0404 Stratford

John Briggs wrote:

 >David Kathman wrote:
 >
 >>Peter Bridgman wrote:
 >>
 >>I suspect the "local tradition" came from the fact that in the 19th
 >>century the western half looked something like a half-timbered
 >>Tudor building while the eastern half resembled a brick building
 >>with Georgian bay windows (see the early 19th century illustration,
 >>Plate 3, in Anthony Holden's biography).
 >>
 >>
 >>That brick facing was added on the outside of the eastern part at the
 >>beginning of the 19th century, when that part was still an inn called
 >>the Swan and Maidenhead, and was removed in the mid-19th-century
 >>renovation.  It was always the same building underneath.
 >
 >Dave Kathman is letting his enthusiasm outrun his expertise, in this case
 >in the field of English vernacular architecture.  The front wall of the
 >eastern building may or may not be a 'skin' (it is impossible to tell 
from
 >the photographs what happened to the other three walls), but at the very
 >least it replaced the complete timber frame of the front wall.  (The 
brick
 >wall is flush with the timber-framed wall of the western building, so it
 >cannot just be a 'skin' - it is structural.)

Actually, it doesn't look flush in the second photograph -- to me, it 
looks like the brick is noticeably farther forward than the wall of the 
western part, consistent with a layer of brick outside the original 
wall.  It's harder to tell in the first photograph, since it's a head-on 
shot.

 >The roof pitch is different, so the roof has been reconstructed at the 
same
 >time as the brick wall was built.  The present timber frame of the facade
 >of the eastern building is therefore a complete 'reconstruction.'  How
 >much of the rest of the structure of the eastern building is also a
 >confection is a separate question.

Well, the tiled roof was not part of the original building in any case, 
and no doubt the roof underwent extensive reconstruction when the gables 
were removed in the late 18th or early 19th century (and then again when 
the gables were put back in during the restoration).  So you won't get 
an argument there.  But all the sources I've seen say that the brick 
wall on the eastern part was only added to the outside of the existing 
wall, and that that existing wall was exposed again in the 
reconstruction (perhaps with some replacement of rotting timbers and the 
like, as Bearman notes).  I assume there are records at Stratford that 
bear on this question, and that Bearman is familiar with them.  I'm just 
going by the evidence that I'm aware of -- if you or somebody else has 
specific evidence that the front wall of the eastern building is a 
"confection", I'd be genuinely interested to see it.

 >The timber frames of the two shops which made up the western
 >building do not look obviously sixteenth-century in the
 >photographs - they could easily be seventeenth-century.  The only
 >obviously sixteenth-century feature is the relatively close spacing
 >of the upright timbers on the ground floor - I do wonder if that could
 >simply be the blocking of an earlier doorway.  The western building
 >may well always have been two separate dwellings.
 >
 >>No, I don't like "demolished", because it implies that the original
 >>structure was destroyed and replaced with something else, which
 >>clearly did not happen.
 >
 >It may not have happened - to say that it "clearly did not happen"
 >is a wild exaggeration.

OK, "clearly" was a bit much.  When faced with rhetoric as strong as 
Peter Bridgman's, I tend to respond with strong rhetoric of my own.  I 
should have said "there is no evidence that this happened."

Dave Kathman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 8 May 2006 05:45:38 +0100
Subject: 17.0386 Stratford
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0386 Stratford

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

 >As it stands it would do equally well to describe a
 >grudge wrestling match.

What exactly is "a grudge wrestling match"?

Given that Western Professional Wrestling is one of the most highly 
choreographed items of the entertainment business (and that's even 
before we move East and note that most of the major Kung Fu filmstars 
are graduates of the Bejing Opera House), I quite fail to understand this.

        Boxing, yes ...

Baffled From Brigton

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
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