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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: August ::
Just My Imagination
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0525  Monday, 13 August 2007

[1] 	From: 		Sarah Neville <
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	Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 12:02:51 -0300
	Subj: 		Re: SHK 18.0520 Just My Imagination

[2] 	From: 		Donald Bloom <
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	Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 13:20:26 -0500
	Subj: 		RE: SHK 18.0514 Just My Imagination

[3] 	From: 		Andrew Wilson <
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	Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 16:24:02 -0700
	Subj: 		Re: SHK 18.0520 Just My Imagination


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Sarah Neville <
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Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 12:02:51 -0300
Subject: 18.0520 Just My Imagination
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0520 Just My Imagination

And if one wants to bring in Jonson's opinion on matters of imagination, 
there's always
what he told Drummond:

"he het consumed a whole night in lying looking to his great toe, about 
which he hath
seen tartars & turks Romans and Carthaginions feight in his 
imagination." [H&S, 141]

"[Jonson is] oppresed with fantasie, which hath ever masterd his reason, 
a general
disease in many poets."  [Herford & Simpson, 151]

Sarah Neville
University of New Brunswick

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Donald Bloom <
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Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 13:20:26 -0500
Subject: 18.0514 Just My Imagination
Comment: 	RE: SHK 18.0514 Just My Imagination

I think Bruce Young's example of Orsino is very apt:

 >"[he] starts the play indulging a "fancy" (=love? imagination? a fusion
 >of the two) that seems to him insatiable and "full of shapes" . . . .
 >One way of reading the play is to see Orsino's imagination tamed by the
 >end and put under the governorship of Viola ("But when in other habits
 >you are seen, / Orsino's mistress, and his fancy's queen"
 >[5.1.387-88])."

But I have reservations about his other two examples, Sebastian and 
(from AYLI) Orlando. Sebastian's case would seem to me to be the 
opposite: a rational and stable man whom circumstance puts in the 
position of the lunatic / lover / poet. It is part of the same game, but 
unlike Orsino, he does not cause it himself, and it is Olivia who must 
wake up to reality. He fell in love with a real Olivia.

Likewise, Orlando is a trifle on the high fantastical side but his 
response, though absurd, is practical: decorating the trees with 
incompetent love poems. Moreover, Rosalind is not an "imaginary 
mistress," but a real one, his Rosalind pretending to be Ganymede 
pretending to be his Rosalind. Circumstances, not his own perfervid 
imagination, have placed him in this position. And he rebels against it 
precisely because it is too fantastical even to play at for long.

I think the central example of this situation would be Bottom. The magic 
of Oberon makes him into a lunatic and lover, not some inner quality of 
his own. Released from the spell, he goes back to being Bottom the 
Weaver whose fantastical side is limited to incompetent acting.

don

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Andrew Wilson <
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Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 16:24:02 -0700
Subject: 18.0520 Just My Imagination
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0520 Just My Imagination

Prospero gets very angry with himself as his masque for Ferdinand and 
Miranda stretches on.  I have always assumed he is frustrated with his 
own imagination (and idealism) running away with him while there are 
pressing, dirty realities that need tending to.

Thanks ... Andrew Wilson

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