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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: February ::
Understanding Antony
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0088  Friday, 2 February 2007

[1] 	From: 	Michael Luskin <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 1 Feb 2007 14:26:24 EST
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0082 Understanding Antony

[2] 	From: 	William Godshalk <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 01 Feb 2007 15:23:20 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0082 Understanding Antony

[3] 	From: 	Cary Dean Barney <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 1 Feb 2007 23:01:26 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0082 Understanding Antony


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Michael Luskin <
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Date: 		Thursday, 1 Feb 2007 14:26:24 EST
Subject: 18.0082 Understanding Antony
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0082 Understanding Antony

 >I think we tend to misapply contemporary ideals to Shakespeare and his
 >perception of historical figures, including Julius Caesar. In
 >particular, I think we forget the assumed and acknowledged greatness of
 >Caesar against which Shakespeare shows the "pompous and power-greedy"
 >private man.

Isn't this, in a nutshell, what the whole roundtable discussion is about?

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		William Godshalk <
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Date: 		Thursday, 01 Feb 2007 15:23:20 -0500
Subject: 18.0082 Understanding Antony
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0082 Understanding Antony

Don Bloom writes: "I think we tend to misapply contemporary ideals to 
Shakespeare and his perception of historical figures, including Julius 
Caesar." Later Don suggests: "The question of who is right remains quite 
complex--as it also does in most of the Chronicle plays. A large part of 
the dramatic intensity lies in that question, which is lost if Caesar is 
presented as some banana-republic dictator (as I have seen it done)." 
Yes, I too have seen Caesar dressed as Castro. And still later Don asks: 
"Is this a case of "presentism?"

I would suggest that seeing the past in terms of the present is 
inevitable. How can it be otherwise? We reconstruct the past from a 
position in the present. We may use artifacts and documents from the 
past in this reconstruction, but those artifacts and documents can only 
be read and interpreted in the present. My students, having read very 
few documents from the early modern period, recurrently tell me how 
people thought back in those days. We scholars are perhaps more 
sophisticated.

Bill

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Cary Dean Barney <
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 >
Date: 		Thursday, 1 Feb 2007 23:01:26 +0100
Subject: 18.0082 Understanding Antony
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0082 Understanding Antony

There was a wonderful moment in David Farr's RSC production a couple of 
years ago which drove home the emptiness of Antony's manipulative 
funeral rhetoric: right after the crowd dispersed Antony crumpled 
Caesar's "will" and tossed it nonchalantly into a nearby wastepaper 
basket. Anybody see it?

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