2008

The Crystals' Shakespeare's Words Website

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0498  Friday, 22 August 2008

[1] From:   David Crystal <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 10:35:20 +0100
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0488 The Crystals' Shakespeare's Words Website

[2] From:   Philip Weller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 10:04:09 -0700
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0488 The Crystals' Shakespeare's Words Website


[1]--------------------------------------------------------------
From:       David Crystal <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 10:35:20 +0100
Subject: 19.0488 The Crystals' Shakespeare's Words Website
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0488 The Crystals' Shakespeare's Words Website

Many thanks for the feedback on our newly rebuilt site. Be delighted  to receive 
any suggestions for improvement. It's difficult to  anticipate everything, and 
the more people use the site the more we'll  get it right. In the present case, 
the problem is simple and I think  can be quickly solved. In our text database 
(the Penguin edition), we  have 'football-player' with a hyphen. Type it in that 
way and you will  find the Lear instance (the only one). Type in 'aqua-vitae' 
with a  hyphen and you get four, along with the two unhyphenated forms you've 
found. This reflects editorial inconsistency in the source texts we  used. 
Clearly, we need to allow for all hyphenated forms to be found  as spaced forms 
too. We'll get my teccie team to look into this  directly, and I'll let Shaksper 
know when it's done. In the meantime, thanks for the pointer.

David Crystal

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Philip Weller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 10:04:09 -0700
Subject: 19.0488 The Crystals' Shakespeare's Words Website
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0488 The Crystals' Shakespeare's Words Website

"football player" can be found via the search engine at Open Source Shakespeare:

http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org

     --Philip Weller

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Othello and Cassio

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0497  Friday, 22 August 2008

From:       L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 16:59:07 -0500
Subject:    Othello and Cassio

Othello has deceived his host, Brabantio, and made off with Desdemona without 
B's consent. (Could there be a more blatant -- but never remarked as such -- 
offense?)  For that, he the more readily believes Desdemona to be unfaithful -- 
we often mark iniquities in others without realizing we are guilty of the same, 
and because we are so.

If that is the chief flaw in Othello's character -- I believe it is -- what 
should we make of his never-explained choice of Cassio over Iago for his 
lieutenant? How should we see that choice as consonant with Othello's character? 
I guess Cassio is *socially* superior to Iago -- is that the place to start?

L. Swilley

_______________________________________________________________
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions 
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My Name Is Will

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0495  Friday, 22 August 2008

From:       Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Friday, August 22, 2008
Subject:    My Name Is Will

'My Name Is Will' by Jess Winfield
The author weaves two hilarious, fascinating story lines -- of the young Bard 
during the persecution of Catholics in England and of a burned-out grad student 
and Shakespeare scholar of sorts.
By Donna Seaman
July 20, 2008

If all the books ever written about William Shakespeare were strung together, 
they would ring the Earth. Yet for all these many inspired analyses, ardent 
appreciations, outrageous theories, convoluted interpretations and soporific 
rehashings, Shakespeare himself remains enigmatic, and his works still yield 
buried treasures and unforeseen illuminations. So the books keep coming.

Jess Winfield adds a particularly bright link to the chain. As a literature 
student at UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley, Winfield forsook scholarly detachment 
and took to the stage, eventually co-founding the Reduced Shakespeare Company 
and co-creating the hit show "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare 
(abridged)," a two-hour distillation of all 37 plays that has itself toured the 
globe several times over. Winfield then followed in his father's footsteps, 
writing and producing cartoons for the Walt Disney Co. He now turns to fiction 
to pay tribute to Shakespeare, his muse and mentor, in a cunningly witty, 
frolicsome, time-warping bildungsroman.

"What's in a name?" This famous question drives Winfield's cleverly structured 
double-helical tale. On one strand, we meet a vividly imagined young William 
Shakespeare reluctantly and irreverently teaching Latin to restless schoolboys 
in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1582. On the other is William Shakespeare Greenberg, 
called Willie, a  lackadaisical American graduate student at Santa Cruz in 1986. 
William  hopes to write for the stage, but he is too busy ravishing the local 
beauties, drinking pitchers of ale and risking his future by penning  protest 
ballads. Willie's maxim is "Sex, drugs, and Shakespeare. . . . A sure path to 
Nirvana," although perhaps not the straightest road to  a master's degree. This 
randy ne'er-do-well despairs of ever being even remotely worthy of his namesake. 
Although Willie can quote the Bard at length and with pizazz, he has only the 
haziest notion about  how to proceed with his thesis. But instead of hitting the 
books, Willie smokes a lot of hash, cheats on his girlfriend and ingests the 
psychedelic mushrooms he and his buddies gather in a seemingly enchanted cow 
pasture.

Winfield slings bucketfuls of double-entendres and wily puns, and he  slips in 
hilarious variations on Shakespeare's best-known lines, such as when William's 
younger siblings Gilbert and Joan are sent to bed  early. "Joan trudged upstairs 
reluctantly after him muttering, 'Unto our resting place we go. To be stifled in 
the chamber, whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in, to sleep, to dream, 
perchance to  die. . .  .' "

But serious business underlies the literary larkiness. Winfield is seeking clues 
to the great writer's profound empathy and unerring instinct for what is 
timeless and universal in human experience. He is also intent on educating 
readers about Shakespeare's violent world. At the start of each historical 
chapter, Winfield provides a brief commentary. The first begins, "I will argue 
that 1582 was the year Shakespeare became Shakespeare. His coming of age didn't 
take place in  a vacuum, nor in some idealized, pastoral-watercolor vision of 
Merry Olde England." While Willie fumbles his thesis-in-limbo, which is based on 
his hazy impression that Shakespeare was Catholic, William  learns that his 
mother is one of those brave souls risking their lives  to practice the "Old 
Faith." Through William's daring involvement with the religious dissidents, 
Winfield suggests that the nascent Bard was deeply affected by the barbarity of 
this English inquisition and by the valor of the "hidden flock."

Chapter by chapter, Winfield fashions tantalizing, ironic parallels  between the 
two Wills. William suffers the terrors of the whip and  rack. Willie is briefly 
jailed by the campus police after getting into  a scuffle at an anti-Drug 
Enforcement Administration rally. Each renegade is in possession of holy 
contraband. William has been entrusted with sacred objects bequeathed by a 
martyred priest; Willie is conveying an enormous psilocybin mushroom.

It's not unexpected when Willie has a hallucinogen-induced spiritual awakening, 
but nothing prepares us for William's cosmic adventure,  jump-started in the 
rudest possible manner by a comely witch. Not only  is Winfield offering an 
audacious explanation for the Bard's wide-open doors of perception, he is also 
rather blithely linking Queen  Elizabeth I's religious persecution with the 
Reagan-era war on drugs. Whereas William is heroic, however, Willie plays the 
fool in scenes of  trippy slapstick. It's Shakespeare meets Cheech. Or Chong.

Winfield knows how to snare and enrapture an audience. Indeed, he's  almost too 
charming, and too eager to tell us what to think. But many readers will savor 
Winfield's teacherly moments and appreciate Shakespeare as a man responding with 
uncommon brilliance to tyranny and resistance, horror and beauty, fear and hope. 
Winfield's high-spirited tribute is a celebration of the power of language and 
story, through which we learn who we are and who we might be as we strut and 
fret our hour upon the stage, bit players reaching for the heavens in  a drama 
beyond our grasp.

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Shakespeare 2012

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0496  Friday, 22 August 2008

[1] From:   Adam Smyth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 09:24:44 +0100
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0489 Shakespeare 2012

[2] From:   Ben Spiller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 10:46:35 +0100
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0489 Shakespeare 2012

[3] From:   John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 12:30:27 +0100
     Subj:   RE: SHK 19.0489 Shakespeare 2012

[4] From:   Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 09:52:24 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0489 Shakespeare 2012


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Adam Smyth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 09:24:44 +0100
Subject: 19.0489 Shakespeare 2012
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0489 Shakespeare 2012

 >In holiday and Olympic mood, I wonder what part the Bard will play
 >(if any) in the 2012 London opening ceremony, and who (if anyone)
 >will act as consultant. Maybe the torch will be a mini thatched Globe
 >and set ablaze by cannon fire. Do we send in ideas on postcards?
 >
 > Duncan Salkeld

Not sure about Shakespeare, but I know Ben Jonson failed the dope test and, 
shamed, will have no role at all.

Adam Smyth.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Ben Spiller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 10:46:35 +0100
Subject: 19.0489 Shakespeare 2012
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0489 Shakespeare 2012

Dear Duncan

I'd suggest that you contact Ian Flintoff through www.shakespeare2012.co.uk to 
discuss your ideas. Ian is leading a project to ensure that Shakespeare features 
in the Cultural Olympiad at London 2012.

Best wishes,
Ben

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 12:30:27 +0100
Subject: 19.0489 Shakespeare 2012
Comment:    RE: SHK 19.0489 Shakespeare 2012

Heaven forbid!

Maybe we need to find someone fast enough to put a girdle round the earth in 40 
mins!

Cheers,
John Drakakis

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 09:52:24 -0400
Subject: 19.0489 Shakespeare 2012
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0489 Shakespeare 2012

Rumour says that there is to be a Cultural Olympics [sic] for the 2012 Olympics 
and that the RSC will be one of the leading participants in the event.

I look forward to the judging controversies and the disqualifications...

Peter Holland

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Iago and the Joker

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0493  Wednesday, 20 August 2008

[1] From:   Virginia Byrne <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Monday, 18 Aug 2008 11:00:53 EDT
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0477  Iago and the Joker

[2] From:   Aaron Azlant <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Tuesday, 19 Aug 2008 12:04:17 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0477 Iago and the Joker


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Virginia Byrne <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Monday, 18 Aug 2008 11:00:53 EDT
Subject: 19.0477  Iago and the Joker
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0477  Iago and the Joker

Thanks for the clarification about my comments of the reasons given for The 
Joker's scars. I guess by the time he changed his story I was asleep.( yes from 
boredom).

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Aaron Azlant <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Tuesday, 19 Aug 2008 12:04:17 -0400
Subject: 19.0477 Iago and the Joker
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0477 Iago and the Joker

Just a few points (spoiler inclusive):

I don't think that the overlap between Iago and the Joker is total. For 
instance, although they are both sociopaths, Iago's leverage over people comes 
from the fact that he is repeatedly taken in as a confidant and then maneuvers 
characters against each other (interestingly enough, always two at a time). This 
Joker's style is much more overt.

Both, however, offer a surplus of contradictory explanations -- both characters 
for their motivations and Joker for the origin of his scars as well. Joker 
claims to be motivated by a disrespect for "scheming," although his is the 
unbroken plan, from the beginning of the movie until well after his last scene. 
He discounts greed as a motive (bizarrely listing gas as a cheap commodity) 
after he shows off his fancy suit funded through a share-maximizing bank heist. 
First, he wants to kill the Batman, but then he doesn't want to because the 
Batman completes him, etc. Similarly, Iago is angry for being passed over, is 
jealous of the daily beauty in Othello's life, bizarrely believes that Othello 
has cuckolded him, is contemptuous of Othello's race, and so on. A similar 
phenomenon obtains with other Shakespearean characters, most notably with 
Hamlet, though that's a topic probably best saved for another email.

In this, by the way, I think that this Joker is different from Rorschach in The 
Watchmen, who is basically a crazy reactionary antihero with a somewhat Freudian 
backstory (interesting connection, though). I haven't read V for Vendetta, 
though I saw the movie; Alan Moore seems to give his characters relatively firm 
motivations from the other work that I've read. Which brings up an interesting 
comparison to the 1989 Batman film: there the Joker (and Keaton's Batman to an 
extent) was given a simple, singular motive: i.e. he's just crazy. Interestingly 
enough, however, I think that the scrambling of motives in The Dark Knight 
presented that same idea more effectively, if only because it demonstrated a 
motivelessness without any need for repeated exposition.

The Wikipedia article about the Glasgow Smile was grim but extremely interesting 
-- it turns out that one of the original inspirations for the Joker was a 
character with this deformity:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Laughs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Laughs_(1928_film)

The Nolan Brothers seem to have done their homework on this one. The Auden 
essay, which emphasizes the fundamentally anti-social nature of practical jokes 
(even if it wants to apply a singular motivation to Iago), is one possible 
bridge between the two characters -- it's been a while since I've read it 
through, but I think that Auden also talks a bit about the nature of the Vice 
character that both Joker and Iago descend from. I'm not sure if the writers 
read this essay, but hey, I wouldn't be surprised if they had.

--Aaron

_______________________________________________________________
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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