2007

Most Significant Academic Books on Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0733  Tuesday, 30 October 2007

From:		Scott Oldenburg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Tuesday, 30 Oct 2007 10:05:29 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 18.0703 Most Significant Academic Books on Shakespeare
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0703 Most Significant Academic Books on Shakespeare

I've been holding off to avoid repetition. For a while it looked like 
all of the books I hold in highest regard would make it in the first few 
posts, but as the thread dies out, I'd like to add a few great academic 
books (one or two of which may already have been mentioned):

. Harry Berger (1997): _Making Trifles of Terrors: Redistributing 
Complicities in Shakespeare._
. Leah Marcus (1996): _Unediting the Renaissance: Shakespeare, Marlowe, 
Milton._
. Louis Montrose (1996): _The Purpose of Playing: Shakespeare and the 
Cultural Politics of Playing._
. Patricia Parker (1996): _Shakespeare from the Margins: Language, 
Culture, Context._
. James Shapiro (2005): _A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599._

Best,
Scott Oldenburg

_______________________________________________________________
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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Paintings in Stratford

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0732  Tuesday, 30 October 2007

[1] 	From:	Elliott Stone <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 17:18:08 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0716 Paintings in Stratford

[2] 	From:	Arthur Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 09:01:09 +0000
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0716 Paintings in Stratford


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Elliott Stone <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 17:18:08 -0400
Subject: 18.0716 Paintings in Stratford
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0716 Paintings in Stratford

Shakespeare's source for the Rape of Lucrece was Ovid's Fasti and Livy's 
Roman History as William Farina has pointed out. However, it seems that 
Lucretia in her grief and agony appears to be seriously contemplating a 
painting or a series of paintings depicting the fall and sack of Troy.

I had hoped this summer to see, along with Professor Noemi Magri, the 
frescoes in Mantua by Gulio Romano that seem to be the possible or 
perhaps probable paintings that are referred to in this long poem. You 
will recall that this is the same artist that is named in the Winter's 
Tale. Sadly I was not able to keep this appointment.

The Queen's collection of Italian Renaissance Paintings on view this 
summer in London included some wonderful examples of Romano's work.

Best,
Elliott H. Stone

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Arthur Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 09:01:09 +0000
Subject: 18.0716 Paintings in Stratford
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0716 Paintings in Stratford

The relevant (very) new book on this topic is:

Tara Hamling and Richard L Williams eds., *Art Re-Formed: Re-assessing 
the Impact of the Reformation on the Visual Arts* (Cambridge Scholars 
Publishing, Oct. 2007) ISBN 9781847183118; US price $99.99.  Sample 
pages, including table of contents, can be found at the publisher's 
website: www.c-s-p.org.

Regards,
Arthur Lindley

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

Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0730  Tuesday, 30 October 2007

[1] 	From:	R. A. Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 09:08:09 -0500
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

[2] 	From:	Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 11:16:37 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

[3] 	From:	Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 12:14:26 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

[4] 	From:	Helen Whall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 12:28:31 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

[5] 	From:	Carol Morley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 09:08:59 +0000
	Subj:	RE: SHK 18.0714 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

[6] 	From:	Lynn Brenner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 17:24:01 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

[7] 	From:	Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 18:56:31 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		R. A. Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 09:08:09 -0500
Subject: 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

 >See
 >Hamlet's soliloquy in Act 3, Scene 3 when he decides against killing
 >Claudius while the king is kneeling "at prayer." The lines from
 >3.3.72-96 only reveal Hamlet's reaction to what he thinks is happening.
 >As an audience, we have just had the privilege of hearing Claudius
 >remark about his inability to pray because he is unwilling to act by
 >giving up his queen and his crown and so we know that part of what
 >Hamlet says is most certainly not true. Hamlet says he will not "take
 >[Claudius] in the purging of his soul, / When he is fit and seasoned for
 >his passage" (3.3.85-6). While this represents the "truthful" reaction
 >on the part of Hamlet, it is not the "truth" of what is really happening
 >with Claudius.

It has long been my view that Prince Hamlet, when not in the action of 
the play, is seen by the audience as watching the play with them. He 
steps in and out of the play; in to take his part, out to either watch 
or to deliver his soliloquies directly to those who have shared his view 
of the action. There are many passages in the play such as the one above 
quoted that can be best explained in this manner.

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 11:16:37 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
Subject: 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

Nicole Coonradt is correct. I think your friend may have 
misinterpreted--or misrelated?--the professor's meaning. A soliloquy 
reflects the "truth" as the speaker *perceives* it--that is, he or she 
is thinking private thoughts, and is not being duplicitous or 
disingenuous or otherwise masking his or her true feelings and beliefs. 
But that is not to say that the speaker *knows* the truth: Othello 
believes that Desdemona has been unfaithful to him, Gloucester believes 
that Edgar has betrayed him, and Romeo believes that Juliet is dead, but 
that doesn't mean in any of those cases that what the speaker *thinks* 
is true reflects truth in the empirical sense. Thus when Othello says

OTHELLO
It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul,--
Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars!--
It is the cause. Yet I'll not shed her blood;
Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,
And smooth as monumental alabaster.
Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men.
Put out the light, and then put out the light:
If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
I can again thy former light restore,
Should I repent me: but once put out thy light,
Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature,
I know not where is that Promethean heat
That can thy light relume. When I have pluck'd the rose,
I cannot give it vital growth again.
It must needs wither: I'll smell it on the tree.

he truly believes that his wife has betrayed him--"it is the cause" for 
which he is about to kill her, "else she'll betray more men." He's 
wrong, but he's not "lying." Similarly, when Hamlet sees and hears his 
father's ghost in the bedchamber scene (but Gertrude doesn't), it makes 
us wonder how "true" the things he has reported previously in soliloquy 
were--but we never suspect him of *lying* either.

Hope that helps make the distinction clear.

Best to all,
Carol Barton

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 12:14:26 -0400
Subject: 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

I think Nicole Coonradt is spot on when she says

 >Soliloquy is thought verbalized so that the audience knows
 >what the character is thinking. I don't know of any definitions
 >that say "soliloquy = truth," ergo, whether *what* the person
 >speaks is "truth" is a different thing. That would be to say, by
 >extension, that "thought = truth," wouldn't it?

An author might want us to understand that a character misperceives the 
actual situation and, therefore, describes it inaccurately in soliloquy. 
In that case, the author will usually provide ample clues as to the 
"actual" state of facts. But (with the possible exception of theatre of 
the absurd), a drama would be far too chaotic if a character lies to the 
audience about what he or she is thinking -- i.e., what the author 
expects the audience will understand from his words about his state of mind.

Given this rule, what do we make of the following from "How all 
occasions ..." (26 monosyllabic words, beginning and ending with caesurae):

... I do not know
Why yet I live to say, "this thing's to do"
Sith I have cause, and will and strength, and means
To do't. ...

No fair peeking at the thread we had a few years back.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Helen Whall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 12:28:31 -0400
Subject: 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

Soliloquies are a fascinating way to bring up other issues of "knows to 
be true" versus "believes to be true" versus material truth verses 
truthy truth. The only reliable "knows to be true" soliloquies rely on 
material truth. A character tells us what he or she has "really" done or 
what will be done. Here the convention helps with exposition even as 
setting up for the audience that knowledge-tease, dramatic irony. When 
soliloquy seems to be more a matter of the character thinking out loud 
(sort of the three little circle beneath the cartoon balloon), the 
speaker "believes" what he or she says to be true,  and it may be, even 
if we in the realm of dramatic irony know differently. Or, in the realm 
of never-ending interpretation, we believe the character is wrong or 
that the character is self-deceiving. Anyone think of a soliloquy that 
breaks down those premises?

Helen Whall

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Carol Morley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 09:08:59 +0000
Subject: 18.0714 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie
Comment:	RE: SHK 18.0714 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

For me, soliloquies show the audience the character unmediated by the 
need to perform to any other on stage intruders. They DO show us exactly 
what the characters are thinking- that seems to me to be exactly their 
point, and 'meaning'. Of course, some characters are so fundamentally 
twisted/ dishonest/ dumb/ self-deluding that they wouldn't be expected 
to deliver 'truth' at any price, but the characterisation, at these 
points,  I believe to be consistently truthful to the character's inner 
lives. And that's a meaningful theatrical convention too.

Carol Morley

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Lynn Brenner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 17:24:01 -0400
Subject: 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

 >Virtually every soliloquy Macbeth has consists of rationalization
 >and self-deception. Antony has one short soliloquy; it consists
 >of fooling himself about why he is going to ditch his wife and
 >run back to Egypt. The proposition is 'true' only if it means that
 >we're supposed to think that this is what the character is thinking.
 >In that form, of course, it's also meaningless.

Surely not. Watching Macbeth and Antony deceive themselves adds 
immeasurably to our understanding of who they are and how they see 
themselves. It's even more interesting when the character who's 
rationalizing his actions is someone who prides himself on seeing the 
world as it really is -- e.g., Iago.

I assume the professor means that in a soliloquy, the character is 
telling the truth as he sees it. I think he's right about that.

Lynn Brenner

[7]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 18:56:31 -0400
Subject: 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0722 Soliloquies - Truth or Lie

The truth-in-soliloquy principle is not meant to rule out self-deception 
or cases where the speaker is simply misinformed. The idea is that the 
soliloquizing character will not knowingly tell us something he does not 
actually believe.

Not everyone agrees with this. For example, some readers don't trust 
Iago when he says he suspects his wife with Othello. Or Hamlet when he 
claims to think the ghost "may be the devil."

The truth-in-soliloquy argument says it's absurd to imagine Iago or 
Hamlet practicing deception not on another character but on the audience 
itself. The common-sense understanding being that the audience doesn't 
exist in Iago's or Hamlet's imaginative reality, so there is no one to 
lie to, therefore no point in lying.

The counter-argument I suppose is that in a real theater there *is* a 
felt relationship between the audience and a fictional character who 
addresses them directly, and in that context we should not be surprised 
to detect the sort of posturing, defensive justifications, ass-covering 
omissions, etc. that one ordinarily detects in a person  explaining his 
actions to "the public" or some other sort of interested nonparticipant.

_______________________________________________________________
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 
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Problem Shrews

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0731  Tuesday, 30 October 2007

[1] 	From:	Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 11:53:35 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0723 Problem Shrews

[2] 	From:	Lysbeth Benkert-Rasmussen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 14:19:04 -0500
	Subj:	RE: SHK 18.0713 Problem Shrews

[3] 	From:	Donald Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 14:47:08 -0500
	Subj:	RE: SHK 18.0723 Problem Shrews

[4] 	From:	Harry Rusche <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 17:09:31 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0723 Problem Shrews

[5] 	From:	David Frankel <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 21:26:39 -0400
	Subj:	RE: SHK 18.0723 Problem Shrews

[6] 	From:	Anna Kamaralli <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Friday, 26 Oct 2007 09:04:07 +0000 (GMT)
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0723 Problem Shrews


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 11:53:35 -0400
Subject: 18.0723 Problem Shrews
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0723 Problem Shrews

I take mild exception at Cary Dean Barney's comment that

 >All of these alternative "Shrews" seem to be ways of escaping
 >what is perceived to be Shakespeare's intent

Presumably this includes my view that the main action in the play is a 
Commedia dell' Arte farce and that by restoring the entire Sly framework 
we can see the grand metajoke. I cannot see how restoring the entire 
text of the play and performing it in the fashion that it clearly 
invites can be regarded as a flight from the author's expectations.

To be sure, it is legitimate to argue that Shakespeare did not write the 
later Sly scenes; but that it a textual issue, not a critical one. 
Assuming that WS wrote the later Sly scenes substantially as given in 
(Q), the "intent" seems fairly obvious, at least to me.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Lysbeth Benkert-Rasmussen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 14:19:04 -0500
Subject: 18.0713 Problem Shrews
Comment:	RE: SHK 18.0713 Problem Shrews

My apologies in advance for a fairly long post.

When critics argue that the text of The Taming of the Shrew does, 
indeed, support a reading that portrays Petruchio as an abuser and Kate 
as a victim of an oppressive patriarchal system, they are correct. I 
would, however, like to point out an alternative to this; however, you 
will have to bear with me a bit, since it will at first sound as though 
I am being facetious.

Yes, Petruchio's script gives him the lines of an abuser, but so does 
Bugs Bunny's script give him the lines of a violent sociopath. The 
script for any Three Stooges movie also would read (sans stage 
directions and sound effects) as incredibly violent (talk about a 
dysfunctional family).

Here is what I tell my students about the play. There are two distinct, 
textually-supported ways to stage it. The first stages the play 
seriously, using a non-ironic reading that explores what could very well 
have happened to an intelligent, assertive woman raised in a patriarchal 
culture by a single father and a snot-of-a-little sister who knows how 
to play the game.

The second way to stage the play is as a comedy, following what I call 
the Bugs Bunny Rules of Comedy (a name that I think maybe I should 
copyright - with tongue firmly in cheek, of course). To do this, the 
play can only funny if

1. There is no serious threat that someone will really get permanently 
hurt, and so, he audience never has to feel nervous about anyone's 
safety. Elmer Fudd's gun blows up in his face repeatedly, yet he always 
walks away.

2. The character on the receiving end of the violence is the one who 
first started the fight. Wile E. Coyote, after all, is trying to kill 
the Road Runner, and so there is some poetic justice when he falls off 
the cliff and gets smashed under a boulder.

"The Shrew" can be staged this way. After all, we never actually see 
Petruchio hit Kate, so if the characters are well cast (he cannot seem 
physically threatening; she cannot be not small and physically weak), we 
never feel nervous that she really is going to be hurt. Add to this that 
Kate is the one who starts the fight. She is the first one to throw an 
insult; she is the first one to try and hit someone (Petruchio 
included). So, in one sense, she kind of has it coming to her.

The most masterful version of the play I have seen was staged by the 
American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco in 1976 (now available on 
DVD). ACT staged the play as a commedia dell'arte production that 
heavily emphasized physical comedy. There is also a clear attraction 
between Kate and Petruchio from the start-when Kate sees Petruchio for 
the first time, she walks slowly all the way around him and (from 
behind) gives him a very long once over before showing the audience her 
obvious appreciation for Marc Singer's well-built physique. It is very 
funny. Yet the comedy is not the production's only asset. In and around 
the slapstick, we watch the pair's obvious and instantaneous chemical 
attraction to one another grow into mutual respect and devotion, and we 
get to watch Kate get her long-awaited, and very public, revenge on her 
snotty little sister during the final scene.

So, yes, I would argue that the play can be staged as a comedy; even 
better, it can be staged as a comedy that still says something 
sophisticated about the nature of romantic and familial relationships.

Lysbeth

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Donald Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 14:47:08 -0500
Subject: 18.0723 Problem Shrews
Comment:	RE: SHK 18.0723 Problem Shrews

Shrew is a problem only if you (a) demand coherence in a work of art, 
but (b) refuse to accept the coherence that's there. This sort of 
refusal is quite common, actually, whenever urgent political, religious 
and moral questions are involved. And that seems to be the case with 
this play

This first sticking point is, of course, Katerina. If you play her as an 
obnoxious bitch who is violent, abusive, and completely unreasonable 
then the taming she receives makes perfect sense. It is funny, just what 
she deserves, and of great benefit to her, for she ends up loved and 
happy. If you wish her to be the pathetic victim of domestic abuse, you 
have a beginning (where she is violent, brutal and irrational) and an 
ending (where she is loved, loving and contented) that make no sense. 
This can be handled by letting it go and putting on a play that makes no 
sense, or making a hash of the beginning and the ending in order to fit 
the idea of abuse and brainwashing.

The second, also of course, is Petruchio. If you play him as a sadistic 
thug then his triumph at the end is little short of nauseating. But if 
you play him as a breezy, cheery sort, brimming over with 
self-confidence and the enjoyment of life (not to mention as being a 
battle-tested soldier who cannot be frightened by a noisy female), then 
it all works well. And it coheres readily with the portrayal of Kate as 
an obnoxious bitch.

The real problem with Petruchio is his love for money. Shakespeare was 
joking about a phenomenon that we no longer joke about, the rather 
cynical attitude toward marriage and its possibilities in regard to 
financial self-improvement that was common at the time. I don't think 
it's impossible to bring the audience in on this joke. But if you deal 
with it as if Petruchio were a 21st century fortune-hunter then you once 
again spoil the fun.

I have seen excellent - indeed, side-splitting - productions that 
followed the course recommended above. The audience may not end up being 
much edified about 21st gender theory, but they do have a good time.

Cheers,
don

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Harry Rusche <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 17:09:31 -0400
Subject: 18.0723 Problem Shrews
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0723 Problem Shrews

My colleague Sheila Cavanagh saw "Taming" in D.C. this weekend, and she 
says Petruchio shows up for the wedding in the identical strapless gown 
that Kate is wearing. Now that is funny!

Harry Rusche

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		David Frankel <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 21:26:39 -0400
Subject: 18.0723 Problem Shrews
Comment:	RE: SHK 18.0723 Problem Shrews

TheatreUSF will be producing Taming of the Shrew in February, directed 
by guest artist Tim Luscombe. In this production Petruchio will be 
played by a female, in part because she was the strongest (i.e., best) 
actor to audition. I'm not part of the production team, but I understand 
the decision has been made to keep the character male -- the degree of 
disguise is still under discussion, I believe. I'll be happy to report 
back about the production when I see it.

cdf

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Anna Kamaralli <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Friday, 26 Oct 2007 09:04:07 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 18.0723 Problem Shrews
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0723 Problem Shrews

Solutions to staging The Shrew today are not always as simple as they 
seem, and we have to think through the full extent of the message being 
communicated. For instance, your daughter's idea about suggesting 
Stockholm syndrome does prevent the play from being a comedy, as well as 
implying that the only option for an unruly woman in this world is to be 
broken by it, which is a shame when there is so much good funny stuff in 
the play. On the other hand, the trouble with trying to convince 
ourselves that the last scene actually shows Kate and Petruchio in an 
alliance against the others (in some sort of mutually-driven scam) is 
that the image they present of themselves challenges only what the 
others thought of them as individuals, but does not challenge at all 
their idea of what a relationship should look like, so they clearly have 
not risen above the society from which they come, or got beyond 
concerning themselves with what people think of them.

Petruchio's last action, bar his exit, is to make sure he publicly 
humiliates (in the most literal sense, requiring her to make explicit 
the extremes of her humility) his wife. This may be the act of a man who 
considers her better than the other women, but not one who considers her 
too good to abase herself in front of the other men. And Carol's 
solution poses the problem that, if the subject under discussion is how 
best to stage the play today, do you really want to have it implied that 
if Kate acts as Petruchio's equal in public it would humiliate him? 
Worse still, trying to make it a happy ending by presenting Kate as 
wretched and unhappy at the beginning and transformed into radiant 
satisfaction by the end just reinforces the notion that there is 
something wrong with women who do not conform to directives to be 
submissive, and that abuse is 'for their own good'. What he does to her 
is abuse, legal and socially sanctioned, and we
  shouldn't trivialize it or give it our approval by showing how much 
'better' she is for it.

And yet we can't let the play go, because it tantalizes us with two 
scenes (Petruchio's first meeting with Kate in II.1 and their exchanges 
in IV.3) which are fun and joyous. We want these to be the model for the 
whole play, but they are not. No one is harmed by calling the sun the 
moon when no one for a minute really believes that it is. This is a 
fundamentally different thing from saying that a woman should place her 
hand below her husband's foot in a room full of people who are eager to 
accept that as the truth.

But I believe there is a way out: I have a pet theory, derived from 
Michael Friedman's The World Must Be Peopled: Shakespeare and the Comedy 
of Forgiveness. Friedman proposes a model of a comedic sub-genre that 
applies in a remarkable number of Shakespeare's plays (Two Gentlemen, 
Much Ado, Measure, All's Well and to some degree Cymbeline and Winter's 
Tale). Each of the plays that Friedman classifies as a Comedy of 
Forgiveness shows a man who mistreats the woman who loves him rewarded 
with a happy ending, despite a sense that he does inadequate penance, in 
proportion to the abuse. He notes a literary and performance history of 
dissatisfaction with this, of regarding it as a flaw in the plays, and 
of attempting to 'narrow the gap between what the Comic Hero deserves 
and what he gets by using elements of performance either to reduce the 
Comic Hero's blameworthiness or to increase the sincerity of his 
repentance and the severity of his punishment'.

One of the things that distinguishes such plays from more 
straightforward Romantic Comedies is an emphasis on the incorporating of 
rebellious elements into socially and legally sanctioned unions that 
will go on to perpetuate the legitimate family, and confirm the bonds 
between potential patriarchs. Instead of the Senex providing the 
obstacle to the mutually desiring hero and heroine, the hero and heroine 
themselves create frustrations that must be subsumed into a union that 
controls female unruliness and male lust and/or anxiety about female 
sexuality.

Although Friedman uses the Shrew to illustrate certain points and even 
includes a chapter called "The Taming of the Shrews" in which he 
discusses the curbing of the shrew figures in these plays, like Beatrice 
and Isabella, he stops short of including Shrew in his list of Comedies 
of Forgiveness. I think if the pattern is that a man sins unforgivably 
against a woman, but is forgiven anyway, due to a combination of her 
love for him and society's need to reincorporate them both into its 
social structures, then The Taming of the Shrew, by this measure, is a 
Comedy of Forgiveness. When looking at the action of the play from this 
point of view, we are not being asked to approve of Petruchio's 
treatment of Katherina, quite the contrary, but we are being shown that 
abominable behaviour can be forgiven for the sake of love and a strong 
community. Kate's last speech is the required gesture of forgiveness to 
the Forgiven Comic Hero, and if we aren't left feeling somewhat queasy 
when we watch this in performance then, as with those versions of Much 
Ado About Nothing that seek to exonerate Claudio, the production has 
made things too easy for us.

Regards,
Anna

P.S. When Katherina says she will 'try' whether Petruchio is a 
gentleman, in II.1, it is usually played that she slaps his face. It 
seems to me that what she should do here is goose him (passing thought).

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Ellen Terry

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0729  Tuesday, 30 October 2007

[1] 	From:	Alan Young <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 11:41:27 -0300
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0721 Ellen Terry

[2] 	From:	David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 11:27:42 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0721 Ellen Terry

[3] 	From:	Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 14:55:39 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0721 Ellen Terry

[4] 	From:	Mike Shapiro <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 19:32:00 -0400
	Subj:	RE: SHK 18.0721 Ellen Terry

[5] 	From:	Norman Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Wednesday, 24 Oct 2007 22:20:04 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0710 Ellen Terry and Shakespeare Conferences


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Alan Young <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 11:41:27 -0300
Subject: 18.0721 Ellen Terry
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0721 Ellen Terry

Read Laurence Irving's biography, HENRY IRVING, for some useful 
information. Have you visited Ellen Terry's house at Smallhythe in Kent 
(now managed by the National Trust)? See:

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-smallhytheplace/

I assume you have read Terry's autobiography, THE STORY OF MY LIFE.

What does the Oxford online DNB have to offer?

Good hunting.

Alan Young

[Editor's Note: "What does the Oxford online DNB have to offer?" 4,249 
words]

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 11:27:42 -0400
Subject: 18.0721 Ellen Terry
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0721 Ellen Terry

The directory issue of PMLA (I stopped my membership when I retired from 
full-time teaching) used to contain a pretty full list of upcoming 
conferences. I see in the online version that it's not there any longer. 
Does anybody know if it has been supplanted, perhaps by some kind of 
online resource? If so, that would be a place for Courtney Glenny to 
look for upcoming meetings in the UK. There have, of course, been recent 
announcements on this list for British conferences.

David Evett

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 14:55:39 -0400
Subject: 18.0721 Ellen Terry
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0721 Ellen Terry

Well, I must be having a really bad day and I don't want to sound as if 
I am patronising a young graduate student, but I would have thought a 
moment's research (e.g. reading a few pages of any of the many excellent 
studies of Terry or searching for Terry on Google) would have shown that 
there is a major collection of materials on and by Terry (including 
costumes [with the recently-restored beetle-wing dress she wore as Lady 
Macbeth], her working copies of plays, and masses of her theatre 
memorabilia, etc etc etc) at the Ellen Terry Museum at Smallhythe in 
Kent, a collection which has been in the guardianship of the National 
Trust for nearly 70 years. Not exactly obscure information, is it? So, 
one obvious answer to Courtney Glenny's enquiry 'Is there a place in 
England I could go and research her letters/written work?' is Smallhythe.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Mike Shapiro <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 19:32:00 -0400
Subject: 18.0721 Ellen Terry
Comment:	RE: SHK 18.0721 Ellen Terry

You may find the book, Ellen Terry and Bernard Shaw: A Correspondence, 
by Terry and Shaw (Edited By Christopher St. John) (Author) helpful.

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Norman Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Wednesday, 24 Oct 2007 22:20:04 -0400
Subject: 18.0710 Ellen Terry and Shakespeare Conferences
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0710 Ellen Terry and Shakespeare Conferences

Courtney Glenny--

I suggest you do a thorough search of Dissertation Abstracts. Because 
she was well-known as Henry Irving's leading lady and Gordon Craig's 
mother, Terry may have been thoroughly covered in all aspects, and you 
may have difficulty finding something "original" to say.

Good luck.

Norman Myers
Professor Emeritus, Theatre
Bowling Green State 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.

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