2006

Shakespeare and Islam

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0664  Friday, 14 July 2006

From: 		Cary DiPietro <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 14 Jul 2006 03:55:09 +0900
Subject: 17.0657 Shakespeare and Islam
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0657 Shakespeare and Islam


To begin, V K Inman responds to passages of my last post which were not 
authored by me, but quoted from an earlier post by Nabie Swaray.  As I 
wrote then, I share Inman's reservations about the language of the 
posts, and while I find the analogy between contemporary Western 
perceptions of Islam (admittedly ignorant and Eurocentric) and those of 
Shakespeare and his contemporaries (equally ignorant and Eurocentric) 
potentially interesting, as I wrote before, I'm very cautious about 
positing the possibility of continuity between the two.

S/he goes on to write:

'Your thinking is so 'modern' it is surprising you quote the 
post-moderns so well. Try seeing Titus through other than the 
Eurocentric 'meta-narrative.''

Again, there is a confusion here between Swaray and myself, but the 
point is not amiss.  What this position amounts to is an essentially 
materialist (and, therefore, one might say modern) mapping of the play 
which remains alert to the objections to an unqualified materialism 
which might be raised along post-structuralist principles (Foucualt or 
Derrida).  Am I wrong to suggest that this is also Said's objective in 
Orientalism, reworking poststructuralism for a materialist analysis, 
arguably hegemonic?  And is this not the principal difference between, 
for example, Said and Homi Bhabha.  Well, especially when we take on 
Bhabha, my use of such highly theorized critical paradigms becomes 
transparently colonizing anyway, and anything I might happen to say 
therefore inevitably Eurocentric.  C'est la vie.

But I think in Inman's last post, s/he has missed the point.  What I'm 
suggesting is the possibility of reading a Eurocentric meta-narrative 
back to Titus, as opposed to reproducing it ignorantly.  I make no 
claims to understanding Islam or stepping outside of my own Eurocentric 
perspective, but I am aware of my own culture's willed misperceptions of 
Islam (many of which continue to serve economic imperialist ends), and 
I'm curious to know where they begin, and if, when I pick up an edition 
of Titus or see it in the theatre, a nascent form of that cultural bias 
(diverse, heterogeneous, polymorphous) isn't obfuscated or concealed. 
When I see video images of the now-dead Al'Zarqawi about to behead what 
are to me familiar Western faces, I wonder if the Elizabethans shared in 
the same fear and horror generated by experiencing, not a genuine 
Muslim, but an early modern English theatrical representation of an 
Orientalized other, bringing back the heads of Titus' mutilated sons. 
And what I want to know is how and why such representations were 
manipulated to generate such fear, and what ends that fear served to 
justify and possibly continues to justify.  Inman writes in an earlier 
post, 'Shakespeare had a conception of the Muslim, but it was hardly a 
realistic one.  For the purposes of the study of Shakespeare, it is 
important to reconstruct this spectral Muslim, but also remember its 
distance from reality.'  I couldn't agree more.  In fact, I'm surprised 
such qualifications need to be made at all, but I apologize now for not 
making them.  And in any case, I'm not trying to suggest any final 
determinations on that possibility (standing at some impossible 
Archimedean point outside my own Eurocentric bias, staking my claim like 
Walter Raleigh on a 'new' critical landscape already peopled with 
ancient inhabitants).  Indeed, I share Larry Weiss' observations that 
such claims about Aaron's use of language and acts of violence are 
specious because all the characters (except the Christian clown) are, in 
a sense, violent 'infidels' - the point's been made before.

Inman writes further:

'Much of what you are thinking about has already been discussed. Try 
interacting with what has already been suggested.'

But what strikes me about the literature I've come across (and you'll 
remember that my initial query was a call for direction towards relevant 
sources, so criticism of my admitted ignorance seems inappropriate) is 
the widespread reluctance, specifically, to see Aaron as an Orientalized 
other in the context of Shakespeare's possible awareness of Islam 
vis-


Lady Macbeth

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0663  Friday, 14 July 2006

From: 		Geralyn Horton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 13 Jul 2006 13:25:00 -0400
Subject: 17.0656 Lady Macbeth
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0656 Lady Macbeth

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

 >If Geralyn had spelled it 'Gruach' on the internet, she might have 
gotten different results.
 >Perhaps ones she did not want?

Fortunately, Google suggests alternate spellings.  I did follow up "a" 
as well as "o", and it was one of these findings that prompted my 
brain-boggle.

All I want is a coherent narrative.  A supposedly "historically 
accurate" Gruach entry says that Malcolm, son of Duncan,  murdered 
Macbeth's father in 1020, flew to England after Duncan's death, and 
became king (probably after murdering Lulach) in 1058 at the age of  27. 
   These dates are blatantly impossible. If the age and coronation dates 
are accurate, Malcolm son of Duncan was the perpetrator of a murder that 
happened 4 years before he was born.

Or these are different Malcolms.

But thanks to all, esp. off-list, who have given me pointers to works 
accessible through Interlibrary loan.  I am following up.

I am cheered to be looking things up during the exact July 4th-Aug  4th 
period in which the Guttenberg Project has made 100s of 1000s of 
ordinarily restricted online texts available to non-scholars for free 
download.  Alas, my search skills have not turned up anything useful in 
this treasure-trove-- so far.

G.L. Horton
<http://www.stagepage.info>

_______________________________________________________________
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>

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Shakespeare Reading -- Where?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0661  Friday, 14 July 2006

[1] 	From: 	William Hamlin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 13 Jul 2006 10:25:16 -0700
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0655 Shakespeare Reading -- Where?

[2] 	From: 	Chris Coffman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Friday, 14 Jul 2006 06:44:47 +1000
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0655 Shakespeare Reading -- Where?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		William Hamlin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 13 Jul 2006 10:25:16 -0700
Subject: 17.0655 Shakespeare Reading -- Where?
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0655 Shakespeare Reading -- Where?

Regarding Adam Hooks' question: For some work I was doing a few years 
ago I began keeping a list of early modern library catalogues, along 
with other materials relevant to habits of reading and writerly access 
to books.  I've recently put this online: it's available at 
www.wsu.edu/~whamlin/.  I welcome additional citations, as well as 
corrections, etc.

Will Hamlin

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Chris Coffman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 14 Jul 2006 06:44:47 +1000
Subject: 17.0655 Shakespeare Reading -- Where?
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0655 Shakespeare Reading -- Where?

A good place to start is Robert Miola's book SHAKESPEARE'S READING.

Regards, Chris Coffman

_______________________________________________________________
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.

New Shakespeare Portrait Discovered

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0662  Friday, 14 July 2006

From: 		Imtiaz Habib <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 13 Jul 2006 13:06:52 -0400
Subject: 17.0658 New Shakespeare Portrait Discovered
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0658 New Shakespeare Portrait Discovered

 >>Ruff collars are hardly a dress accessory of a commoner.
 >>Shakespeare? I most certainly think not!
 >
 >We had a ruff discussion only recently, when I posted the following
 >lines from 'Elizabeth's London' by Liza Picard ...
 >
 >"Everyone wore them, women and men, working people and courtiers. ... A
 >working man's or woman's ruff had a neck band and pleats, but the fabric
 >was coarser ... so that it stood up on its own.  An apprentice's ruff
 >was not supposed to be more than one and a half yards long ... A
 >maidservant's clothes, listed on her admission to St Bartholomew's
 >Hospital in 1569 and returned to her on her discharge, included 'three
 >pairs of ruffs'."
 >
 >Peter Bridgman

Peter Bridgman's response to my skeptical post was most helpful I stand 
corrected--and intrigued!

Imtiaz Habib
Associate Professor of English
Old Dominion University

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Depp, Brando, and Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0660  Friday, 14 July 2006

[1] 	From: 	Cary Dean Barney <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 13 Jul 2006 23:06:50 +0200
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0654 Depp, Brando, and Hamlet

[2] 	From: 	Cheryl Newton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 13 Jul 2006 17:07:14 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0654 Depp, Brando, and Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Cary Dean Barney <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 13 Jul 2006 23:06:50 +0200
Subject: 17.0654 Depp, Brando, and Hamlet
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0654 Depp, Brando, and Hamlet

Depp might well make an interesting film Hamlet, if anyone's ready to 
film the play again so soon after the three '90s versions. I'd be 
surprised if he could muster much stage presence, but then again he's a 
surprising actor. I also remember (it's been a long while) being 
pleasantly surprised by Brando's Mark Antony in the Joseph Mankiewicz 
"Caesar".  That role didn't allow him to brood or mumble. He did much 
better by Shakespeare's verse there than he did by Eliot's in 
"Apocalypse Now". With a strong director-one capable of steering him 
away from his stock Brandoisms-he coulda been a Hamlet.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Cheryl Newton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 13 Jul 2006 17:07:14 -0400
Subject: 17.0654 Depp, Brando, and Hamlet
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0654 Depp, Brando, and Hamlet

Mike Shapiro <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>:

 >Depp seems a soft, low key, sleepy type of actor lacking hot passion
 >close to the surface. Nor is he an actor prone to making unexpected
 >choices. It's hard to imagine what stage presence he might generate
 >while trying to restore a kingdom to its rightful state.

Depp has a mercurial, manic side to some of his characters.  A director 
who wanted to bring out the high-strung, mad young prince could do 
worse.  The first I heard of the Depp role was presented as accomplished 
fact, about to go into production.  I was disappointed to learn it was 
just chit chat.  My first question (monomania on my part) was, "Who's 
cast as Horatio?" My vote was John Benjamin Hickey from the C. Scott 
production.  But Brando??  I've seen several Hamlets, but can't picture 
Brando in the role.  Who would play his Horatio, Charles Bronson?  Play 
& subtitle: Hamlet: A Tragedy of Thugs.
Cheryl

_______________________________________________________________
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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