Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: May ::
FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0273  Thursday, 8 May 2008

[1] 	From:	Marilyn A. Bonomi <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Date:	Tuesday, 6 May 2008 17:48:14 -0400
	Subj:	RE: SHK 19.0267 FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List

[2] 	From:	Brian Willis <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Date:	Tuesday, 6 May 2008 20:41:09 -0700 (PDT)
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0267 FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Marilyn A. Bonomi <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:		Tuesday, 6 May 2008 17:48:14 -0400
Subject: 19.0267 FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List
Comment:	RE: SHK 19.0267 FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List

I am troubled by this attempt to determine the state of the private 
heart of a playwright dead for almost 400 years.

We don't have a single actual bit of verifiable, testable information as 
to William Shakespeare's feelings about his wife Anne Hathaway.

We have no evidence that the voice of the sonnets is the poet's (versus 
a constructed voice for the purpose of creating the poems); they are not 
substantive support for anything about *Shakespeare's* emotional state, 
though they are wonderful reading; and one can construct a number of 
plausible scenarios about the voice speaking the sonnets-one simply 
cannot do so about *Shakespeare.*

Can we focus our energies and discussion on matters more sustainable 
than this airy fairy tale discussion?

Thanks  :)

Mari Bonomi

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Brian Willis <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:		Tuesday, 6 May 2008 20:41:09 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 19.0267 FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0267 FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List

Bob Grumman wrote:

 >That's ridiculous. Not only is there the sonnet David Basch
 >brings up, but isn't the fact that Shakespeare married her
 >evidence of anything pertinent? And the fact that he retired
 >to the house in Stratford where she lived when it's clear he
 >could have stayed most of each year in London, away from
 >her? There's no conclusive evidence, but there is surely
 >evidence, that he loved her. I would say there's evidence
 >that he didn't, too, I just don't think it very strong.

Part of Ron's point, and a very judicious one, is that a preponderance 
of evidence doesn't exist to evaluate the state of Will's love life. 
Besides bringing up questions about the very nature of "love" and what 
that state means, it becomes increasingly tenuous to assert -- one 
position or the other -- that we can declare the state of Will's 
"feelings" for his wife. Although I'm sure that Bob is seeking to 
determine important issues about the biography of Shakespeare, I'm not 
sure that we can assert that marriage is evidence of love (or for that 
matter lack of it) at all. Surely, the pressure of the banns (exemption 
during the holy season and Anne's obvious pregnancy) are inconclusive in 
this case. Marriage is not evidence of anything, except for a social and 
economic contract, usually bound in religious oaths. The "love" involved 
is a highly subjective matter, especially so when such beliefs are 
skewed by personal psychology, or even dependency ("love is a fever" 
after all). As for Sonnet 145, the exercise of one sonnet, possibly 
early in Shakespeare's life, is a snap shot of one moment in time, 
perhaps courtship, perhaps marriage or even later life. Retirement in 
Stratford does not point necessarily in the direction of a loving 
relationship either, although I think that Will's children were probably 
an important factor in the purchase of New Place. All of the evidence is 
subjective in this particular matter, and what does the answer do for 
our understanding of the works anyways? If we somehow determine that 
Shakespeare was locked in a loveless marriage, does that somehow 
invalidate, falsify or (shock and horror) impurify his canonical 
language on love? All we can be fairly certain of is that Will, like all 
human beings, loved, or at least highly doted, but determining 
objectively if Anne was the love of his life does not add to the 
discussion of his work, nor does it clarify issues of biography. 
Unfortunately, biographers of William Shakespeare are forced to confront 
and speculate on that issue, which is as futile as determining how many 
children were Lady Macbeth's. Unless you are playing the role, and then 
the question becomes absolutely pertinent (within twentieth century 
acting methodologies at least).

Brian Willis

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail 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.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.