2009

New Portrait of Shakespeare?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0184  Saturday, 25 April 2009

[1]  From:   Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:   Saturday, April 25, 2009
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0178 New Portrait of Shakespeare?

[2]  From:   John W Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:   Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 16:40:17 -0400
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0178 New Portrait of Shakespeare?

[3]  From:   Bob Grumman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:   Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 17:29:22 -0500
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0178 New Portrait of Shakespeare?


[1] -----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Saturday, April 25, 2009
Subject: 20.0178 New Portrait of Shakespeare?
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0178 New Portrait of Shakespeare?

On Thursday, I received an e-mail from The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust 
announcing the opening of the Shakespeare Found exhibition as part of 
the Trust's traditional birthday celebrations:

http://www.shakespearesbirthday.org.uk/

Shakespeare Found: A Life Portrait runs from 23 April 2009 to 6 
September 2009 at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon. 
The following is the description of the exhibition:

This exhibition marks a defining moment in the history of Shakespeare's 
posthumous reputation. Over the centuries a number of images have been 
put forward as life portraits of our greatest writer, but at present 
none of them is generally accepted as such. Up until now, the only two 
likenesses with strong claims to authenticity have been the engraving in 
the First Folio, of 1623, by Droeshout, and the bust in Holy Trinity 
Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. Now, with the emergence of the Cobbe 
portrait, we are presented with a contemporary portrait that has strong 
claims to represent the dramatist as he appeared to his contemporaries

The Trust's webpage includes, in addition to the Shakespeare Found 
Events and an invitation to join the Trust's mailing list, a page 
dedicated to the evidence claimed for the Cobbe Portrait:

http://www.shakespearefound.org.uk/evidence.html

Copies of the painting we now refer to as the Cobbe portrait were 
identified as Shakespeare within living memory of the poet. The original 
was almost certainly owned by Shakespeare's only known literary patron, 
Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, to whom the Cobbe family is 
distantly related. The sitter would appear to have been identified as a 
playwright in the 17th century. The Latin inscription along its top 
edge, 'Principum Amicitias!', is a quotation from an ode by the 
classical writer Horace (Book II, Ode I). In Horace's poem, the words -- 
which can be translated as 'the alliances of princes!' --  were 
addressed to the tragic playwright Pollio. Horace's words warned Pollio 
of the dangers of writing vividly about recent major historical events 
(dangers of which Shakespeare was all too well aware) and contrasted the 
playwright's historical and tragic writings. But even more importantly, 
the Cobbe portrait seems to have been the model or source (through a 
copy) for Martin Droeshout's familiar engraving of Shakespeare for the 
First Folio of 1623.

What people are saying

Early dissenters have objected to the age of the sitter being forty-six, 
but painters (like photographers) have ever flattered. . . . The main 
contender for the sitter is Sir Thomas Overbury (1581-1613) who to our 
mind was not quite as good looking as Shakespeare. His claim is based on 
the mistaken assertion of David Piper who did not quite consider the 
provenance of one of the copies of the Cobbe portrait (the Ellenborough 
copy) carefully enough. Overbury's beard is brown not auburn, and he 
does not have the characteristic Shakespearian cast in his left eye. . . .

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       John W Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 16:40:17 -0400
Subject: 20.0178 New Portrait of Shakespeare?
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0178 New Portrait of Shakespeare?

Louis Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> writes,

 >List, O List to Conrad Geller!  What difference does it make WHO
 >wrote the plays?  The play's the thing!  Judge Stevens and his Earl
 >of Oxford be damned!

Those who have known me for any time know with what detestation I look 
upon Delia Bacon and all her tribe. Nevertheless, I must here 
hypothetically demur. The specific fantasy that underlies the entire 
school of Neddie Oxenford is that "Hamlet" is an autobiographical 
roman-a-clef. Now surely, if that /were/ true, it would make a great 
difference indeed to our understanding and estimation of the play. Or 
would you also and impartially maintain that it would not matter who 
wrote "Hadrian VII", or the Melopoyn episode of "Roderick Random", or 
"The Glass Menagerie"?

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Bob Grumman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 17:29:22 -0500
Subject: 20.0178 New Portrait of Shakespeare?
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0178 New Portrait of Shakespeare?

 >List, O List to Conrad Geller!  What difference does it make WHO wrote 
the plays?
 >
 >L. Swilley

It makes no difference for people only interested in the plays as drama 
and/or literature, Louis. But for some of us literary history and/or the 
psychology of creativity are as interesting as drama and literature. 
Knowing who wrote what is of major importance in these subjects.

I think, also, that most authors would agree with me that getting credit 
for their work is important; hence, the value of seeing that the 
authorship of plays is properly attributed.

  -- Bob G.


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Much Ado "Picture"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0183  Saturday, 25 April 2009

[1]  From:   Jim Ryan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:   Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 07:23:58 -0400
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0171  Much Ado "Picture"

[2]  From:   Thomas W. Krause <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:   Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 07:30:59 -0400
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0177 Much Ado "Picture"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Jim Ryan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 07:23:58 -0400
Subject: 20.0171  Much Ado "Picture"
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0171  Much Ado "Picture"

Skip Nicholson asks about the last line in Act 2 scene 3 of Much Ado, 
when Benedick exits saying that he will get Beatrice's picture. 
Benedick's desire for an image of Beatrice is one stage of the dynamic 
of language in the play. Words stimulate the imagination and this in 
turn causes a physical change in the character. Much Ado dramatizes a 
number of analogous instances of this "psychosomatic" phenomenon, 
summarized most succinctly by Benedick in agreeing not to reveal that 
Hero is alive: "I will deal in this As secretly and justly as your soul 
Should with your body" (4.1.247-49). The process is most explicitly 
stated by the Friar in describing the effect the fiction of Hero's death 
will have on Claudio:

             The idea of her life shall sweetly creep
             Into his study of imagination
             And every lovely organ of her life
             Shall come appareled in more precious habit,
             More . . . full of life
             Into the eye and prospect of his soul
             Then when she lived indeed . . . .
              . . . Then shall he mourn      (4.1.223-30).

The mourning succeeds the recreation of the ideal Hero "in the eye and 
prospect of his soul." The mourning is consequent to the workings of the 
imagination; the mourning embodies the fiction. The other two plots also 
turn on this same process. Overhearing that he is loved, Benedick first 
takes off in a flight of imagination, torturing Beatrice's invitation to 
dinner and desiring her picture, her idealized image (2.3.257-264). He 
then becomes, embodies, the fashionable image of a lover: he shaves and 
spruces himself up. He has a real or feigned toothache as the socially 
accepted means of explaining his lovesickness. The lovesick Beatrice, 
similarly touched to imaginative excess, soliloquizes in a 
one-quatrain-short sonnet (3.1.108-17). She then appears in the scene 
mirroring Benedick's lovesickness "stuffed" (3.4.61-2) with a cold, with 
Margaret's punning on the word suggesting a psychosomatic preparation 
for requiting Benedick's love. In both lovers the word stimulates the 
imagination toward an artful construct -- a picture, a  sonnet -- and 
then alters them physically. This language dynamic is, comically, denied 
by Leonato. He refuses to believe that a comforter might "Charm ache 
with air and agony with words" (5.1.26) just before responding with 
alacrity to Antonio's words of advice. At the other extreme is the Watch 
who creates from a mere word a person named "Deformed" (3.3.125); the 
word becomes flesh indeed. The further implications of this language 
dynamic, not only for the third plot but for the entire play, are 
suggested by Dogberry's elliptical reference to the Incarnation -- 
"God's a good man" (3.5.35) -- in the constable's crucial speech 
denigrating Verges. Throughout Much Ado, by means of the incarnating 
efficacy of imagination, the word becomes flesh.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Thomas W. Krause <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 07:30:59 -0400
Subject: 20.0177 Much Ado "Picture"
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0177 Much Ado "Picture"

I agree that Benedick was probably thinking about a miniature.

For those who cited Hamlet's "picture in little" line and the 
"counterfeit presentment" of two "pictures" from the queen's closet 
scene, I agree that both of those scenes can also bring miniatures to 
mind. But it's interesting to consider that those lines might also 
embody the sort of "carefully counter-posed alternative possibilities" 
remarked on by Ron Rosenbaum (as recently quoted on SHAKSPER).

Long ago, Frank Marshall suggested that "picture in little" might refer 
to coins bearing Claudius's picture  (A Study of Hamlet (1875), p. 172 
n*, available for free on Google Books). And I've always felt that use 
of coins in the queen's closet scene (a la Michael Redgrave) breathed 
wit into the queen's "this is the very coinage of your brain" line.

Perhaps (continuing the Rosenbaum quote), these alternatives "deepen and 
enrich" "our appreciation of what we would otherwise think of as the 
strict single-mindedness of reality."

n.b. For those with long memories, I'm not trying to rekindle old 
arguments; I'm just joining Anna Kamaralli in considering Rosenbaum's 
musing worth pondering.

Tom Krause

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Playing Iago

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0181  Saturday, 25 April 2009

From:       Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Friday, 24 Apr 2009 09:51:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:    Iago

Colleagues:

This may be an odd question, but based upon your experiences, what makes 
for an unsuccessful performance of Iago? I have seen a number 
productions of OTHELLO, some of them not very good, but rarely have I 
thought that the production failed because of the performance of Iago. 
Is a part that can succeed just by mere competence? Does it take genuine 
inability to flop in the role? Or are there ways of playing Iago so 
ill-conceived (based on observation or experience) that no actor could 
make it work?

Jack Heller

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Hegel and Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0182  Saturday, 25 April 2009

[1]  From:   Martin Mueller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:   Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 14:16:05 -0500
      Subt:   Re: SHK 20.0175 Hegel and Shakespeare

[2]  From:   Paul Kottman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:   Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 21:05:00 -0400
      Subt:   Hegel and Shakespeare (response)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Martin Mueller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 14:16:05 -0500
Subject: 20.0175 Hegel and Shakespeare
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0175 Hegel and Shakespeare

 >This is a query posted for a friend. Does anyone know anything
 >about  Hegel's personal experience of Shakespeare on stage
 >(i.e., in  Berlin) or actually even on the page (did he read
 >English? did he  know German translations?)? Or does anyone
 >know of someone who might  have written on this?

A quick off-the cuff answer: an inquiry about Hegel and Shakespeare is 
likely to turn very quickly into an inquiry about Schlegel and Shakespeare.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Paul Kottman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Thursday, 23 Apr 2009 21:05:00 -0400
Subject:    Hegel and Shakespeare (response)

Hegel apparently saw Shakespeare performed in English in Paris. The 
biography on Hegel in which I read this is by Terry Pinkard  --  really 
a great intellectual biography. The index should direct you the page 
number, around p. 551 or so.

More generally, on Hegel and Shakespeare, see also:

A forthcoming book (from SUNY press) by Jennifer Bates on Hegel and 
Shakespeare.

My own forthcoming volume, Philosophers on Shakespeare, ed. Paul A. 
Kottman (Stanford UP); and Paul A. Kottman, Tragic Conditions in 
Shakespeare (J Hopkins UP, forthcoming)

Anne and Henry Paolucci have written on Hegel and Shakespeare, in their 
collection 'Hegelian Literary Perspectives.'

A. C. Bradley's comments on Hegel and Shakespeare, scattered through his 
writings.

Sara Macdonald on Hegel and Shakespeare in her book 'Finding Freedom' . . .

Maria Salditt, Hegels Shakespeare-Interpretation (Berlin, 1927)

Emil Wolf, "Hegel und Shakespeare," from Vom Geist der Der Dichtung Hrsg 
Martin, Fritz, (Hamburg, 1949)

Claus Uhlig, "Shakespeare Between Antiquity and Modernity" in 
Zeitschrift fur englische Philologie Volume 122, 1, Oct. 2004, 24-43


_______________________________________________________________
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.

The Lady of the Strachy

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0180  Saturday, 25 April 2009

From:       David Frydrychowski <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Wednesday, 22 Apr 2009 15:30:56 -0400
Subject:    The Lady of the Strachy

Dear SHAKSPERians,

For the last year and a half or so, I have been playing around with the 
idea that Malvolio's "Lady of the Strachy" might be a compositor's 
mangling of "Lady of the Starchy," and therefore potentially an 
interpolated reference to the starched ruffs of Frances Howard. If the 
timing of the interpolation is right, Sir Andrew's odd riposte of "Fie 
on him! Jezebel!" might then conceivably be read as an echo of the 
Overbury affair.

If anyone is aware of any previous thought along these lines, I would 
greatly appreciate it if they could let me know via email.

(Oddly, Oxford emends the name to "Strachey," possibly in reference to 
C.J. Sissons' hypothesis about a gentleman of that name associated with 
the Blackfriars, but there is no note of the change in the Textual 
Companion.)

Many thanks!

David Frydrychowski
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PS, Any curious folks who are willing to slog through the prose of a 
professional actor can see the current form of the conjecture at: 
http://aktorpoet.com/strachy.pdf .


_______________________________________________________________
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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