2008

Lots on Things on My Mind

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0669  Saturday, 29 November 2008

From:       Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Saturday, November 29, 2008
Subject:    Lots on Things on My Mind

Dear SHAKSPEReans:

As you have noticed, this past semester, I have not been keeping up with 
distributing the SHAKSPER digests with the accustomed regularity I have had over 
my more than fifteen years as Editor of this listserv.

Let me briefly explain, and inform you that the irregularity will continue until 
the middle of December.

There have been two important matters on my mind. The first involves the high 
incidents of SPAMMERs, causing SHAKSPER to be blacklisted with a frequency that 
is alarming and that has add even more work to the over-burdened workload I 
already have. Eric Luhrs and I have been thinking about ways to address this 
problem, but one issue that I have not discussed much is that one consequence of 
the over aggressiveness of anti-spammer software is that I have lost, at least, 
a hundred members for a number of reasons, including that use 
anti-virus/anti-spamming software that "blocks" SHAKSPER, resulting eventually 
in some members being deleted from the list and not even knowing why since they 
do not even receive the message informing them that the listserv software has 
deleted them.

In the past year, I have come across twice suggestions that "blogs" have 
essentially replaced "listservs": the first appears in Terry Gray's "Mr. 
Shakespeare and the Internet: the blog" on February 5, 2008. Terry wrote at that 
time about receiving a message from me and then about SHAKSPER:

<LONGQUOTE>
I had the honor today of receiving a missing link-one of those Google Book 
Search links to a volume within a multi-volume work I have complained so much 
about lately-from Dr. Hardy Cook, editor of one of the great Shakespeare 
resources on the Internet: the SHAKSPER listserv. It occurred to me that many 
newcomers to the Internet might not be familiar with SHAKSPER, or, indeed, the 
concept of a LISTSERV which, admittedly, is one of the early tools of the 
Internet but one still much used and appreciated by net veterans.

SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion among those interested in Shakespeare-I mean 
seriously interested in Shakespeare, not those interested in such silly, 
dilettantish "issues" like the "authorship problem." It is a place to learn of 
conferences, events, important publications, to make observations, ask 
questions, and carry on discussions with like-minded Shakespeareans. It all goes 
on via email. I know that blogs have supplanted much of the need for email 
discussion lists, but they are still useful, and the most convenient way to 
conduct this sort of multi-threaded discussion.
</LONGQUOTE>

The other reference came just the other day in a private correspondence to me 
about my SPAM problems from a member, Peter Paolucci, consulted with a colleague 
who works four servers from his home, Professor Norio Ota:

<LONGQUOTE>
Norio made the following points.

1. Listserv technology (no matter what you use, majordomo -- etc) is dead). 
Hotmail won't even permit listserv emails to come into their environment and you 
cannot hide this information because it is automatically embedded in the headers.

2. The problem of rejected or disallowed messages is local (client-side), of 
course, so there is little you can really do on your end (server side) to get 
round this.

3. Norio has suggested two solutions, both of which involve migrating away from 
the listserv technology you now have.

Option 1: Go to a blog (secured so that only authenticated subscribers could 
access it)

Option 2: Use the listserv feature inside *Moodle;*  it has a much higher 
success rate with distributions, and you can still retain email technology ... 
for the time being at least.
</LONGQUOTE>

So the first important matter on my mind has to do with SHAKSPER and SPAMMing 
and with my desire to improve the quality of SHAKSPER -- we had two excellent 
Roundtables and I have a group of distinguished members of the SHAKSPER Book 
Review Panel. However, I just have not had the time to do what needs to be done 
to keep the momentum going to so that I can launch this new and exciting service 
on SHAKSPER.

Well, this all brings me to me second matter on my mind. I love teachings; I am 
an effective teacher; I spend considerable hours discovering, saving, and 
archiving materials to use in my teaching. I have PowerPoint Presentations on 
"Shakespeare's Life and Works," on "The Dominant Ideology," on "The Transmission 
of the Text," and on "Shakespeare's Theatre." And these are just some 
PowerPoints I have spend hours upon hours constructing for my Shakespeare 
classes; I create them for virtually all of my courses. The problem is that I am 
not happy with some things that are going on at my university and my disability 
and chronic pain issues have interfered greatly with my ability to be as 
effective a teacher as I would like to continue to be. As a result, I am 
considering retiring. Retiring would give me the time I need to spend on my 
scholarly pursuits like SHAKSPER -- and redesigning the SHAKSPER web site, for 
instance. I would have more time to spend on my writing; writing is one of my 
most rewarding activities. There are these, and there are many, many other 
projects and obligations that I have made that I simply am unable to deal with 
under my present condition.

Although I cannot imagine a life without teaching, I need to take care of myself 
and currently I am unable to do what I need to do to take care of my health and 
to do what I need to do to fulfill my contractual obligations, like grading all 
of the papers I assign in my Technical Communications classes. One would think 
that after more than 30 years at my university and after close to 40 years of 
teaching in higher education that I would not have to be required to teach 
course like Technical Communications, courses that require an inordinate amount 
of time for me to grade all of the assignments that I make. But my image of what 
a senior professor should and should not be required to teach service does not 
correspond to the image of the administration where I work.

Although it is not a done deal, I meet with two of my doctors on Tuesday and the 
major topic of our discussion will be if I should continue to teach or not.

This is all very difficult for me since I pride myself upon my teaching; 
however, my health is such that I just simply do not believe that I can continue 
to work at teaching and need to do something that will make me happier and 
enable me to be in a better position to take of myself.

I have some fascinating things in my SHAKSPER inbox, and I will be getting to 
them as I can, but please do not expect too much for the next few weeks.

Hardy

PS: Of course, I have not even mentioned the world's economic problems and my 
watching my retirements/savings virtually disappear over the past eight weeks.



_______________________________________________________________
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.

All-Male Romeo and Juliet at the Shakespeare Theatre

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0668  Thursday, 20 November 2008

From:        John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:        Wednesday, 19 Nov 2008 00:58:06 -0000
Subject: 19.0658 All-Male Romeo and Juliet at the Shakespeare Theatre
Comment:     Re: SHK 19.0658 All-Male Romeo and Juliet at the Shakespeare Theatre

Donald Bloom wrote:

 >Verona in the 16th century is a much realer place than Athens in a
 >hazy, legendary past where Hermia and Lysander can hope to run off
 >through the woods to safety and happiness.


Although "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is, of course, a re-working of some of the 
themes of "Romeo and Juliet". (Just as "Twelfth Night" is a re-working of 
"Hamlet".)  Shakespeare tended to repeat himself: the first time as tragedy, the 
second as farce.

John Briggs

_______________________________________________________________
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.

First Folios in the News

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0666  Thursday, 20 November 2008

[1]  From:     Mairi Macdonald <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:     Thursday, 20 Nov 2008 14:27:31 -0000
      Subt:     RE: SHK 19.0655 First Folios in the News

[2]  From:     Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:     Thursday, 20 Nov 2008 17:26:48 -0500
      Subt:     Re: SHK 19.0655 First Folios in the News


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:        Mairi Macdonald <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:        Thursday, 20 Nov 2008 14:27:31 -0000
Subject: 19.0655 First Folios in the News
Comment:     RE: SHK 19.0655 First Folios in the News

The original will in The National Archives shows quite clearly that the month 
has been changed from January to March, although it has never been 
satisfactorily decided whether or not the date (25th) is the January or March 
date.  The presumption is that the will was re-drafted in March but that the 
scribe initially forgot to change the superscription.

As far as the involvement of Francis Collins is concerned, there are several 
issues which suggest that this is a more than a probability:

The style and tone of the will is remarkably similar to others he is known to 
have been responsible for (William Combe, 1610 and John Combe, 1613) as is the 
fact that the document was never engrossed, again a feature of the Combe wills, 
whether or not drafted in periculo mortis.

On April 8th 1616 Collins was appointed Town Clerk for Stratford, on condition 
that he lived in the town, and from then until his death in 1618, the Council 
minutes are written in a hand remarkably similar to that of the will, but again, 
whether by Collins himself or a clerk, is undetermined.  There is a resemblance 
to the draft assignment of the Stratford tithes in 1605, and it is most 
strikingly similar in a list added to previous minutes in 1617.  The insertions 
in the will may be in different hand, so perhaps what we have is the main text 
by a clerk with alterations by Collins, or vice versa.

Mairi Macdonald
Head of Local Collections
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:        Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:        Thursday, 20 Nov 2008 17:26:48 -0500
Subject: 19.0655 First Folios in the News
Comment:     Re: SHK 19.0655 First Folios in the News

Please see, for example, S. Schoenbaum, *William Shakespeare: A Documentary 
Life* (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1975), p. 242.


_______________________________________________________________
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.

Comment: SHK 19.0667

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0667  Thursday, 20 November 2008

[1]  From:     John Wall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:     Wednesday, 19 Nov 2008 08:54:22 -0500
      Subt:     Re: SHK 19.0657 Heroes

[2]  From:     David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date      Wednesday, 19 Nov 2008 12:05:27 -0500
      Subt:     Re: SHK 19.0640 Heroes

[3]  From:     Bob Lapides<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date      Wed, 19 Nov 2008 14:28:39 EST
      Subt:     Re: SHK 19.0657 Heroes


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:        John Wall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:        Wednesday, 19 Nov 2008 08:54:22 -0500
Subject: 19.0657 Heroes
Comment:     Re: SHK 19.0657 Heroes

My question about Horatio has always been why he doesn't, upon greeting Hamlet 
on his return from his truncated trip to England, inform Hamlet that his old 
friend Ophelia has drowned while Hamlet was away. JNW

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:        David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:        Wednesday, 19 Nov 2008 12:05:27 -0500
Subject: 19.0640 Heroes
Comment:     Re: SHK 19.0640 Heroes

I think David Evett and others have missed the significance of the role of 
Horatio in the play Hamlet. This seems evident when David Evett outlines 
Horatio's role in the play in terms of a laundry list of his actions without 
seeing into its significance. David Evett writes:

     The play presents Horatio as in many ways a kind of social cipher
     - no stated antecedents beyond his time at Wittenberg, no apparent
     affiliations except for his friendship with Hamlet, no
     responsibilities except to hang around Elsinore. He carries out no
     risky or difficult tasks - doesn't offer to kill Claudius or
     accompany Hamlet to England, or grab a rapier from the rack when
     the killing starts. Being quietly amused by a few minutes of
     Osric's foppery hardly qualifies as hazardous duty. The active
     antagonists - Claudius, Polonius, Laertes - never mention him when
     they are hatching their attacks on the prince. At the end, we can
     speculate that he will have to give up his board and room in the
     castle, but it is not as though he were formally Hamlet's servitor
     and thus about to be thrust into the unwelcome status of vagrant
     on the death of his master. Indeed, Hamlet has assigned him a job
     that the prince seems to think he has resources to handle: to be
     Homer, not Achilles, not the hero, but the bard: "absent thee from
     felicity awhile" etc.

In fact Horatio plays his role magnificently as is evident by the admiring
Hamlet who praises him for all his virtues. Consider the virtues of Horatio
as told by Hamlet:

     HAMLET  Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
             As e'er my conversation coped withal.

     HORATIO O, my dear lord,--

     HAMLET                  Nay, do not think I flatter;
             For what advancement may I hope from thee
             That no revenue hast but thy good spirits,
             To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter'd?
             No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
             And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee
             Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear?
             Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice
             And could of men distinguish, her election
             Hath seal'd thee for herself; for thou hast been
             As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing,
             A man that fortune's buffets and rewards
             Hast ta'en with equal thanks: and blest are those
             Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled,
             That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger
             To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
             That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
             In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
             As I do thee.--

It turns out that Horatio is without the fatal flaws that Hamlet suffers from 
and which brings Hamlet to destruction. Unlike Horatio, Hamlet is indeed 
"passion's slave." But Horatio has that ideal personality that makes him "not a 
pipe for fortune's finger" and he avoids the faults of sycophancy that others in 
the play exhibit. I will take Hamlet's judgment of this man before that of the 
critics of Horatio on our list.

To be sure, Hamlet has great virtues. He is so admirable that audiences miss 
seeing his critical faults. He suffers from "over righteousness" and an 
obsession to be "wise over much"-flaws warned against in the Book of 
Ecclesiastes that we are told lead a man to self-destruction, as it does Hamlet.

Notice how Hamlet in his over righteousness fails to recognize that Ophelia is 
not his enemy but a vulnerable young lady used as a tool by others.  Notice how 
Hamlet fails to act in a timely way against his powerful enemy, King Claudius, 
because he self righteously wishes to wait for a time that he can take the 
perfect vengeance against him that he feels entitled to.

Notice also how Hamlet is wise over much in thinking he can fathom the pattern 
in which God acts. Hamlet sees this in his interpretation of the events in which 
he happens to discover Claudius's plot against him and in the happenstance of 
the pirates that bring him back to Denmark. This leads him to trust that God 
will make all things to work out and thereby to a fatalism makes him fail to 
take the precautions to save his life that Horatio advises.

Horatio on the other hand does not presume to fathom God's ways and is not blind 
to reality. He has no craving for materialistic things of the kind that make 
sychophantic servants of those like Rosenkranz and Guildenstern.  Horatio sees 
clearly what is happening and does not have the blind spots that make Hamlet 
vulnerable.

Had Hamlet been more like the Horatio he admires, we would not have this play 
that is about the conflicts brought on by Hamlet's faults. Horatio is a 
character critical to the play and to its understanding. He, "a man picked from 
ten thousand," provides the prototype of manhood that Hamlet lacks. Without him, 
audiences would not be exposed to this contrast. So it is puzzling why so many 
observers fail to realize the role Horatio plays.

But is Horatio a hero? He is if you accept the adage that asks, Who is a hero? 
and answers that a Hero is one who conquers his passions. In that sense, Horatio 
is indeed a hero.

The play, Hamlet, is Shakespeare's story of a good man whose fatal flaws "take[] 
 From [his] achievements, though perform'd at height, The pith and marrow of 
[his] attribute." These flaws tragically bring him to destruction. Horatio is 
critical in telling this story.

David Basch

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:        Bob Lapides<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:        Wed, 19 Nov 2008 14:28:39 EST
Subject: 19.0657 Heroes
Comment:     Re: SHK 19.0657 Heroes

My view on this question differs enough from what has been posted that I've 
resisted adding my two cents, out of anxiety about seeming naive. But there are 
a number of characters in Shakespeare's plays whose past heroism is 
unquestionably significant. If this heroism is not part of the  present action, 
it nevertheless gives definition to the tragedies that involve Othello, Antony, 
Julius Caesar, and the others. Maybe this is too obvious to state, but I do 
think this perspective leads to other, more fruitful  questions about 
Shakespeare's interest in heroes.

Bob Lapides


_______________________________________________________________
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.

Hand C

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0665  Tuesday, 18 November 2008

From:        Andrew Murphy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:        Wednesday, 19 Nov 2008 16:01:11 +0000
Subject: 19.0652 Hand C
Comment:     Re: SHK 19.0652 Hand C

  >In 1923 W.W. Greg identified Hand C in *Sir Thomas More* as the scribe
  >who wrote out the plot of the *Seven Deadly Sins*. Did Greg ever publish
  >a study of the two hands? The only information I have found is on page 55
  >of Pollard's *Shakespeare's Hand in Sir Thomas More*.

I recently read a fair chunk of Greg's writings on Shakespeare and can't recall 
an essay specifically on Hand C. However, the best thing to do is to look 
through the following:

F. C. Francis' 'List of Dr. Greg's Writings' /The Library/, 4th series, 26 
(1945), supplemented by D. F. McKenzie's 'The Writings of Sir Walter Greg, 
1945-59', /The Library/, 5th series, 15 (1960): 42-6.

Together these provide a comprehensive list of Greg's many publications. Laurie 
Maguire offers some corrections and additions to these lists at p. 344 of her 
/Shakespearean Suspect Texts/.

Cheers,
Andrew

Andrew Murphy
University of St. Andrews

_______________________________________________________________
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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