2008

Blackfriars Conference at Shakespeare's Globe

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0554  Thursday, 18 September 2008

From:       Kate Walker <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Wednesday, 17 Sep 2008 15:42:02 +0100
Subject:    Blackfriars Conference at Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare's Globe and The American Shakespeare Center present
Outside In / Inside Out: Shakespeare, the Globe and the Blackfriars
Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 October 2008

Shakespeare's Globe and the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia, 
are joining forces to present two conferences to celebrate the work of Professor 
Andrew Gurr.

The first will mark the 400th anniversary of the re-acquisition of the 
Blackfriars  Playhouse and will take place at Shakespeare's Globe from 23 to 26 
October 2008.  Professor Gurr will deliver the 2008 Theo Crosby Fellowship 
Lecture at 7.00pm on  Thursday 23 October.

Scholars and theatre practitioners will explore: Repertory and Space; Staging; 
and  Reconstruction.

Contributors will include John Astington, Philip Bird, Ralph Cohen, Michael 
Hattaway, Franklin J. Hildy, Farah Karim-Cooper, Rosalyn L. Knutson, David 
Lindley, Lucy Munro, Patricia Parker, Bruce Smith, and Ann Thompson.

The conference will inform the plans for the Shakespeare Globe Trust's second 
theatre building, an  Indoor Jacobean Theatre. The second conference will take 
place at the Blackfriars Theatre in Staunton, Virginia in autumn 2009.

Conference fees for 23/24/25/26 October 2008: 


Othello and Cassio

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0553  Saturday, 13 September 2008

From:       Bruce Brandt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 11 Sep 2008 11:59:12 -0500
Subject: 19.0542 Othello and Cassio
Comment:    RE: SHK 19.0542 Othello and Cassio

An excellent book about the early modern understanding of "Moors" is Speaking of 
the Moor, by Emily Bartels (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). It includes 
chapters on Titus Adronicus and Othello.

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Aaron Manson

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0551  Saturday, 13 September 2008

[1] From:   Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Wednesday, 10 Sep 2008 10:52:56 -0400 (EDT)
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0539 Aaron Manson

[2] From:   Felix de Villiers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Thursday, 11 Sep 2008 11:30:11 +0200
     Subj:   Aaron Manson


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Wednesday, 10 Sep 2008 10:52:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 19.0539 Aaron Manson
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0539 Aaron Manson

I recently decided to watch Roman Polanski's 1971 movie version of Macbeth, and 
so I read Roger Ebert's review beforehand. He discusses what he sees as the 
connections between the film and the murder of Polanski's wife, Sharon Tate.

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19710101/REVIEWS/101010319/1023

Jack Heller

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Felix de Villiers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 11 Sep 2008 11:30:11 +0200
Subject:    Aaron Manson

Yes, Joe, you have made an impressive list of unrepentant evil-doers in 
Shakespeare. It is not as though I had forgotten them. Aaron still strikes me as 
an altogether singular case. Is there any other of the baddies who goes down 
saying that he would have liked to inflict infinitely more cruelties than he had 
already done? If so, let me know. Aaron is a grotesquely magnified image of the 
cruelties that surround him. I can't go through every name on your list, so I'll 
just pick out a few. The real evil doer in Macbeth is his Lady, but her guilt 
drives her mad and leads to her death. Macbeth himself is full of misgivings all 
the way to the end of the play. In the end, it is just macho pride that makes 
him fight the last fight. Richard III comes close to Aaron, but he is driven 
more by Machiavellian ambition than be the mere desire to kill. Tybalt is one 
member of two clans whose followers are bent on killing each other. Claudius in 
Hamlet does come to a realisation of the evil he has perpetrated. Henry V is not 
on your list, as he is not normally considered as a villain, but the murder, 
rape and pillage he promises, with evident satisfaction, to the French are spine 
chilling.

I'm entirely in favour of your concept of personal -- or social -- 
responsibility, but, if I'm not mistaken you contradict yourself when you say 
that "heart hardening Original Sin, Natures darkness within, sows such breeding 
grounds" of evil. If nature and not society breeds such creatures, how could one 
expect them to have a sense of responsibility? That view is entirely fatalistic. 
We are all creatures of nature which man has attempted, not very successfully, 
to civilise. I have done some googling on Charles Manson and I can't imagine 
what I would have been like, had I had his childhood. There, but for the grace 
of God go I. I do believe very much in the social influence on people's early 
childhood. Manson took revenge on a society that had damaged him. I don't 
believe that a greater understanding of social mechanisms would lead to more 
Mansons, as you write, "if undue emphasis is put on man as a solely a social 
creature..." I have never thought of man as a solely social creature; I think of 
him rather as a creature of deviated nature. I spoke at some length on this 
subject in a talk on Shakespeare I gave in Verona. Space and Hardy permitting I 
will add two paragraphs from it to this letter.

In the case of Hitler, it would be useless to talk of personal responsibility. 
He was not a 'person' at all, but the socially generated puppet of his own 
misdoings. He was, nevertheless, a socially accepted Manson in Germany. This is 
indeed the thing that terrifies me most about Hitler, the running mate of 
McCain, Berlusconi and others - that they are popular. Hitler had most of 
Germany behind him. Obama will, presumably, have to support the death penalty if 
he wants votes where is our personal responsibility? When the Yorkshire Ripper 
came out of some palace of justice in England, his path was lined with hundreds 
of women grinning and leering lasciviously at him. These are indeed socially 
generated phenomena or deviated nature, if you prefer. The subject is huge, and 
I must limit myself.

In favour of a better world, like Joe, yours Felix.

Here are the two paragraphs from my talk:

In the arts, society permits itself to a certain degree to acknowledge the 
refusal of the established world. This brings me to an interesting observation: 
the more conventional the relationship between society and its antagonist, the 
more violent the friction between them seems to be. In films and on television 
there is an obsession with violence, transgression and criminality. If the films 
come to happy endings, these are a mere pretext for the thrills that have gone 
before. Without very evil characters, there is no audience and no money. One 
film is appropriately entitled Fatal Attraction. In the USA there appear to be 
two tendencies (among others): one powerfully puritanical and the other wildly 
pornographic. They are two sides of the same coin, and an example of a blocked 
and destructive dialogue between sex and society. If we consider for a moment 
the operas that the next season of the Arena has to offer, there is not a single 
plot in which the moral order is not challenged by erotic imperatives and 
various kinds of fatal attraction, urged to the point of catastrophe. The 
choices artists make are instinctive, not really consciously intended, so the 
dialogue that emerges is often muffled in the public mind. But however much 
those operas are flattened and integrated into social rituals, there is always 
the beast in us that waits for the moment to awaken and shake off its chains.

Now, in making these observations, my aim is not to oversimplify the problem and 
to persuade you all to leave this room with the intention of divorcing as soon 
as possible, of assuming illicit attitudes and of indulging in acts of crime. 
Our social world too has its disconcerting dialectic with which I am not 
primarily concerned in this talk. The social order - if we may call it that - 
has always sought, from the beginning of time to liberate us from chaos and the 
blind instincts of nature. But our prevailing order or disorder has perverted 
these civilising intentions to the point of itself becoming a blind mythical 
force. Our task is to follow a dialogue in which, not only nature and the 
darkness of myth, but also the social order seek to rediscover themselves in 
conciliation. This idea emerges like a gem in these words of Friar Laurence:

For though fond nature bids us all lament,
Yet nature's tears are reason's merriment.

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My Name Is Will

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0552  Saturday, 13 September 2008

[1] From:   John W Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Wednesday, 10 Sep 2008 22:08:55 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0543 My Name Is Will

[2] From:   Nicole M. Coonradt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >
     Date:   Thursday, 11 Sep 2008 21:02:49 +0000
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0543 My Name Is Will

[3] From:   Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Saturday, 13 Sep 2008 03:39:00 -0700
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0532 My Name Is Will


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       John W Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Wednesday, 10 Sep 2008 22:08:55 -0400
Subject: 19.0543 My Name Is Will
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0543 My Name Is Will

Nicole Coonradt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

 >A quick reply about a technical point. How could there be a
 >"don't  ask don't tell policy"? Didn't the laws and making
 >Englishmen, and specifically recusant Catholics, take the oath(s)
 >do just that very thing? That is, very specifically asked them
 >to reveal their faith -- or renounce it?

In practice, Elizabeth in her early years did not put much effort into hunting 
out RCs, and when someone happened to be caught at a mass, generally 
administered only slaps on the wrist. However, when a new pope declared that she 
was not a legitimate queen and actually called for her assassination, offering a 
free absolution in advance to any RC who did the deed (perhaps he should have 
read Canto XXVII of the "Inferno"), she had little choice but to regard anyone 
still adhering to Rome as an ipso-facto traitor. (Some RC nobility, disgusted 
with the business, converted.)

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Nicole M. Coonradt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >
Date:       Thursday, 11 Sep 2008 21:02:49 +0000
Subject: 19.0543 My Name Is Will
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0543 My Name Is Will

To reply to these in turn . . .

RE Mr. Weiss:

Firstly, we might note that the thread began with an announcement/review of Jess 
Winfield's book, _My Name is Will_, hence the thread's title. Some uncharitable 
comments by an early poster carried us to the current tangents.

Campion had no choice but to sneak into the country and hide his identity. "A 
bit late for a new trial"? With whom, what does that mean? Should postmodern 
readers not decide anything for themselves? Are we all out of a job? What about 
most historians? What should we think about all those convicted of witchcraft 
under various monarchs along the way -- do you mean that four centuries later, 
it's also for them "a bit late for a new trail"? Are we simply to accept such 
verdicts throughout time? I think we need to make sense of these events and it 
is our responsibility to weigh-in on them. There is competing information on 
Campion and not everyone accepts Elizabeth's assessment of the matter.

What about Essex? I assume you refer to his famously-failed rebellion? And was 
this not also about religion? Who were his supporters? Marotti, as noted, makes 
the case that religion and politics were inextricably linked. They cannot be 
separated. Unfortunately, there is no nice division as we might wish.

About Catholics: sadly, it is a fact that people were executed for their faith 
(as were Protestants under Mary) -- for attending or housing secret masses, 
harboring priests, and having other Catholic sympathies. Calling such activities 
treasonous does not change matters. Both Ann Line and Margaret Clitherow's 
stories make chilling reading. I would again recommend Marotti. And Shakespeare 
is savvy to much of this and references crop-up all over his work. For example 
consider, "O, I am pressed to death [like Clitherow] for want of speaking!"  See 
also Finnis and Martin's TLS article, "Another Turn for the Turtle" on the Ann 
and Roger Line link in "Phoenix and the Turtle." Consider all the references to 
torture, treason, exile, etc. in the plays. Do we imagine the Bard is not 
commenting on his own times? Is this all meaningless? Irrelevant?

RE Mr. Bloom:

I am sorry that Mr. Bloom thinks my statement about the *fact* of prejudice is 
"vituperative" -- had I noted that calling blacks the "N" word is inherently 
bitter and negative, especially coming from a source of bigotry where the goal 
is to be pejorative, I wonder if there would be a similar reaction. While I am 
not Catholic, I do know for a fact that "papist" is not a compliment to 
Catholics and those who use is do not mean for it to be. (Peter Milward neatly 
appropriates the term, however, for his book _Shakespeare the Papist_.)  Perhaps 
ironically, Mr. Bloom's comments prove equally colored and his language equally 
loaded. What with "puzzling," "troubling," "too many problems to sort them out," 
"[ir]relavant," "distracting," etc. Members have recently and in past posts 
commented on threads that turn ugly and uncivil.

To clarify quickly then:  The Oath made the subject acknowledge the monarch as 
both spiritual and temporal leader. If one refused to accept the monarch as 
one's spiritual head-- and NOT the Pope-- by law this was treason. That was 
Winfield's point and my own comment was in support of this. Under Mary, the 
Protestants were burned for heresy, not treason. Under the Protestant monarchs 
in Reformation England, the big conviction was treason to deal with dissenters. 
Is this merely a semantic distinction?

Where do we find proof that everyone in EM times thought the tortures and 
executions were "appropriate to the offense?" Certainly those who suffered such 
disagreed with it as did many observers. I'm pretty sure that Robert Southwell 
took issue with what happened to him. I'm guessing that Clitherow minded very 
much being crushed to death for hosting a secret mass in her home and hardly 
thought it "appropriate." Surely no one can believe that people who attended 
those masses agreed that such punishment was appropriate. Did those in exile or 
those who lost all their property think it appropriate? There are myriad other 
examples. There is often an argument about how brutal the culture was-- these 
were people who enjoyed "sports" like Bear Baiting after all. (Our own popular 
culture enjoys similarly violent entertainments, but ours are supposed to be 
less harmful because they are virtual and not real.)  In light of what I 
maintain was unspeakable and heinous, should we wonder why the US Constitution 
forbids "Cruel and unusual punishment" or includes other such legal and human 
rights safeguards not long after this (not that laws are always upheld)?  Does 
the "pound of flesh" demand in MV come to mind as a comment on any of this? We 
know Shylock felt that was "appropriate to the offense," but should we assume 
Shakespeare did?

I'd rather jump to Mr. Shapiro's comment about life being cheap and then his 
pondering  the safety of the pen. If life on earth were cheap and short-lived, 
wouldn't that make what happened to ones' soul for eternity all the more 
important? Not that for certain people it would differ any or much today, but  I 
think for some now it may be hard to understand that dilemma in what is often a 
very secular existence -- Marotti's recent work on _Catholic and Anti-Catholic 
Discourses_ makes this point in the introduction (see previous posts in this 
thread). Eamon Duffy's work helps shed light on this historically. These people 
whose lives were organized around their faith were forced into apostasy to avoid 
charges of either heresy or treason, many repeatedly:  from HVIII, to Edward, to 
Mary, to Liz, to James, etc. (Note I include Mary -- again not to diminish what 
occurred during her reign, the stance I've maintained in previous posts.)  This 
was huge and no simple matter. Religion was central to these people's lives. 
Furthermore, anyone who took issue with problems at any point could not just 
speak freely or protest. Not only was there severe censorship that made art 
dangerous -- including substantial risk in writing-- but the crown controlled 
the paper mills. There were secret presses (Catholic), but generally, no free 
speech existed, and certainly not in the ways in which we enjoy it today. How 
would an artist, then, even begin to address problems? There are plenty of 
scholars who believe evidence exists to support the idea of dissidence (see 
Milward, Asquith, Ian Wilson, Beauregard, Klause, Taylor, Honigmann, etc.) -- 
that is, those who conducted subversive criticism in their art. Besides a 
possible candidate like the Bard, another example, as noted by David Skinner, is 
recusant composer William Byrd who communicated in cipher in his compositions 
(with a friend at Spanish court) and continued to write Catholic music in 
England during the EM period.

Artists sensitive to these issues that plagued their society were not silent on 
them. While we cannot prove that someone like Shakespeare was a recusant 
Catholic, his work provides evidence of being sympathetic to the Catholic 
plight. I think he definitely believed, as I noted before, that "mercy" did not 
"season justice" and there was a problem with faith as he saw it practiced. 
Shakespeare was biblically informed (there is yet some debate about which 
version he knew best [see Marotti's recent review of David Beauregard's 
_Catholic Theology in Shakespeare's Plays_ (Newark:  U of Delaware P, 2008) in 
_Renaissance Quarterly_ 61.3 (2008): 1037-9]) and had a good sense of when 
people were behaving badly or not:  as Christians. Importantly, on one level, 
his work seems to make a plea for toleration. Such a message holds particular 
relevance today.

I look forward to reading Winfield's book.

Respectfully,
Nicole

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Saturday, 13 Sep 2008 03:39:00 -0700
Subject: 19.0532 My Name Is Will
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0532 My Name Is Will

I have no special knowledge of the unfortunate Father Campion and certainly none 
re Protestant v Catholic in Elizabethan England, but I do know that looking to 
the outcomes of judicial proceedings to find an accurate history of What Really 
Happened and Who Actually Did What to Whom is an exercise in self-delusion, both 
for then and now.

Best to all,
Bob Projansky

_______________________________________________________________
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions 
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I.i.1 - An Emphasis on Character

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0550  Saturday, 13 September 2008

[1] From:   Aaron Azlant <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Wednesday, 10 Sep 2008 11:23:53 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0541 I.i.1 - An Emphasis on Character

[2] From:   Mike Shapiro <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Wednesday, 10 Sep 2008 10:39:49 -0700
     Subj:   RE: SHK 19.0541 I.i.1 - An Emphasis on Character


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Aaron Azlant <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Wednesday, 10 Sep 2008 11:23:53 -0400
Subject: 19.0541 I.i.1 - An Emphasis on Character
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0541 I.i.1 - An Emphasis on Character

Apologies if this is somewhat non-sequitoral...

I think that I've recommended it a number of times before, but Stephen Booth's 
essay "On The Value of Hamlet" does a remarkable job investigating the way in 
which this scene both fulfills and frustrates expectations simultaneously -- for 
an example, consider how speeches about the horror that the sentries had seen 
two nights previously are interrupted by the appearance of the ghost. Booth's 
concluding line, after investigating a number of similar phenomena in I.i.1, is 
something to the effect that the scene opens in the dark and concludes in the 
dark. He argues that Hamlet I.i.1 conditions its audience to value the kingship, 
be concerned for its safety and to place a premium on orderliness. Then, in the 
second scene, Claudius provides overly orderly rhetoric that papers over a 
morally reprehensible formulation ("our...sister...have we...taken to wife") 
that pushes an audience towards sympathy with Hamlet (who is already somewhat 
magnetic since he is dressed all in black, played by the most famous person in 
the company, and ironic) -- an immediate threat both to kingship and to order. A 
similar balancing act obtains in the "Friends, Romans, countrymen" scene in 
Julius Caesar, and in a number of other plays, though that's perhaps a separate 
thread.

I also think that the idea of violations of context is one idea that operates 
throughout the play, so it is probably fitting that it opens on the wrong sentry 
challenging (and concludes on Fortinbras' commentary on -- and then 
demonstration of -- the importance of context). When Horatio says "in what 
particular thought to work I know not" later in the scene, he may as well be 
speaking for the audience.

Finally, on a recent rereading I noticed that the incidental conversation in 
I.i.1 mostly focuses around the sun and on morning time; I think this may be a 
way of priming the audience for conversations in I.ii that focus on being a son 
in mourning.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Mike Shapiro <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Wednesday, 10 Sep 2008 10:39:49 -0700
Subject: 19.0541 I.i.1 - An Emphasis on Character
Comment:    RE: SHK 19.0541 I.i.1 - An Emphasis on Character

Night duty for a sentry presents multifaceted challenges. During the night in a 
combat zone it is common to hear the phrase, "Friendy-s in the area." This is in 
response to an inquiry made to a command post by a night sentry that movement 
has been spotted in his geographic area of responsibility. In such a case, the 
sentry is requesting permission to open fire if he feels an attack is looming. 
Alternatively, when a friendly individual approaches a sentry it makes sense to 
alert the sentry of his presence in the area. The approaching individual knows 
he has entered a danger zone secured by armed guard and that the sentry may not 
have knowledge of the intrusion. So it is natural for the intruder to give 
notice to the sentry in order to orchestrate the confrontation. This notice 
provides the sentry with an opportunity to clarify the situation as opposed to 
having a startle response resulting in a shoot 1st and ask questions later 
reaction. That Bernardo does not call to Francisco by name might be an issue, 
however, by having Francisco call out "Who's there?" WS enhances the scene with 
an atmosphere of disorientation thus providing the audience with a sense of 
foreboding. It's a better choice than the stereotypical sentry challenge, "Who 
goes there?"

Mike Shapiro

_______________________________________________________________
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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