2009

Concessions

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0232  Friday, 15 May 2009

From:       Jim Marino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Wednesday, 13 May 2009 09:46:17 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 20.0225 Concessions
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0225 Concessions

 >I am looking for insight on early modern playhouse
 >concessions. I've got Gurr's "Playgoing in
 >Shakespeare's London" as a starting point.

Jeremy-

I'm sure other members of the community will be more knowledgeable about 
playhouse concessions than I, but I would focus on the building 
contracts for playhouses. For example, in the initial contract for the 
Rose playhouse, Philip Henslowe gives exclusive rights to sell food and 
drink at the playhouse to an investor named John Cholmley.

Wickham, Berry, and Ingram's *English Professional Theatre, 1530-1660* 
(Cambridge, 2000) is a terrific starting point for exploring these 
documents, and puts special emphasis on legal documents about playhouses.

Best,
Jim

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A Shakespeare-Related Visual Poem of Mine

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0231  Friday, 15 May 2009

From:       Bob Grumman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Wednesday, 13 May 2009 18:28:11 -0500
Subject:    A Shakespeare-Related Visual Poem of Mine

It's at http://www.fieralingue.it/corner.php?pa=printpage&pid=2976, 
third one down at an Internet anthology of poems having to do with 
summer). I'm curious what SHAKSPER people will make of it. Comments 
welcome -- and don't worry, I expect bewilderment and maybe even a bit 
of impoliteness. Of course, I hope someone likes it!  I'm not sure what 
I think about it. It's strongly influenced by the too-little-known work 
of Robert Lax, a poet who used repeated words a good deal. One does 
nothing but repeat the word "river."

  -- Bob Grumman

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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 20.0229  Wednesday, 13 May 2009

[1] From:   Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Monday, 11 May 2009 15:58:36 -0700 (PDT)
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0216 Playing Iago

[2] From:   Felix de Villiers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:   Tuesday, 12 May 2009 09:36:10 +0200
     Subj:   Playing Iago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Monday, 11 May 2009 15:58:36 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 20.0216 Playing Iago
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0216 Playing Iago

Don Bloom finds puzzling any imputation of serial killing to Othello and 
Iago:

"If it is merely anti-military hyperbole, I will let it go.
"But if it is meant seriously, then I have to ask where on earth it 
comes from."

Where?
 From our Stratford burgher.

Like the dyer's hand, many a soldier's soul (even in the best of causes) 
is left tainted by the blood he has shed  --  his nature 'subdu'd to 
what it works in' and 'pity chok'd with custom of fell deeds.' To that 
extent every victory is a defeat, and every battle won is a battle lost.

This is especially true of Iago. The mystery of his iniquity continues 
to baffle us as it did Othello. Is this champion of individual will even 
conscious of the forces driving him? Have those burning resentments and 
repressed lusts rendered him easy prey to outside powers? Were the 
monstrous conceptions with which he impregnates Othello's mind 
themselves planted in Iago by others mortal or im-?  Surely Iago is more 
demoniac than demon. Like Camus' 'Plague' this contagion of possession 
is spread by word and wit. In this play's sustained attack on the witch 
trials of the time, Shakespeare shows us it is the witchmongers, not 
their accused, who are truly bewitched. Can the innocent ever rest safe?

As is his wont, Myriad Man leaves open the knotty question of motive. A 
clue, though, may be Emilia's: "Some such squire it was that turned your 
wit the seamy side without", or "some wretch have put this in your 
head". Did Iago have his Iago (as Macbeth his Seyton)? King Iaco-bus in 
his DAEMONOLOGIE warns us the Devil or his familar may "be a continual 
attender, in forme of a Page." Indeed, Emila's 'squire' may recall the 
infamous Edward Squyer, hanged, quartered and bowelled in 1598 for 
attempting to poison Gloriana and Essex at the behest of the Jesuit 
Walpole in Spain. Attend their tale here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=migJAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA437&lpg=PA437&dq=%22edward+squyer%22+walpole+dictionary&source=bl&ots=FDhDLT2Tc0&sig=dOtw-4QOSinSOE8t18QyliBFs-Q&hl=en&ei=eKUISpaFF6PcMMCQ8KID&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3#PPA436,M1

and here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=BqAXAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA47&lpg=PA47&dq=%22edward+squyer%22+walpole&source=bl&ots=NmLovI2RUZ&sig=Gcfu2G77I4wqvc8HwsJzv-NTMLI&hl=en&ei=jKkISp3OAovCM8D-yJsD&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#PPA47,M1

Enjoy!
Joe Egert

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Felix de Villiers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Tuesday, 12 May 2009 09:36:10 +0200
Subject:    Playing Iago

I remain with my conviction that Othello and Iago are, as it were, two 
souls in the same breast, even if one of them is an empty soul, and that 
Iago is an alter-ego of the Othello's. There is obviously a monstrous 
susceptibility to jealousy in Othello, and Iago is telling him what he 
wants to hear. At the first hints of betrayal, Othello starts reeling 
off in an uncontrollable fit of jealousy which nothing can stop.

When Iago really gets to work on stoking up the jealousy his craftiness 
is so evident that a 'normal' person should have become suspicious.

Iago is the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Having just reread the play, 
I find more genius in Shakespeare's portrayal of him than I did before. 
The relative dryness of his language is the just counterpart to the more 
succulent language of Othello and others. Iago has none of the poetic 
depth of other evil doers, like the Macbeths. Apart from being a 
brilliantly portrayed villain, he reveals another dimension of truth of 
which he himself is unconscious: the unresolved conflict of our sexual 
impulses and the not very successful attempts by society to control 
them. Puritanism and pornography are the mirror images, one of the 
other. Iago is the almost pornographic purveyor of uncontrolled lust: it 
is that repressed side of nature that burgeons in his words and is an 
essential part of the truth of the play. At the other end of the moral 
scale, the slightest transgression from the marriage bond, for Othello, 
means disaster and chaos, the horror of nature unleashed to an 
exceedingly exaggerated degree. Emilia's defense of women and 
licentiousness is the corrective to this madness, even though she knows 
very well that Desdemona would never betray Othello. Cymbeline, at the 
end of his play, wonders why he made all the fuss.

By their very lily-white purity, some of Shakespeare's heroines attract sin.

Othello is the victim of his own jealousy. The poetic heights to which 
his words rise in the second part of the play give full expression to 
the suffering caused by the unresolved dichotomy between sex and 
society. The mirage of a resolution appears in Mozart's operas, Figaro 
and Cosi Van Tutte, in which sins and sinful thoughts are forgiven.

It is interesting that Iago, while playing so much on the theme of 
diabolic lust, does not appear to be affected by such desires himself. 
The only emotions he is capable of are ambition, hatred of individuals 
and the human race. Lacking sensuality himself, he appears as the 
detached evil genius that watches humans struggle and squirm with their 
feelings. He is not given the occasion to let forth like Aaron at the 
end of the play, but simply disappears. Could Shakespeare have managed 
his exit better? Everything up to this point has been high drama, very 
coherent, blow following on blow.

_______________________________________________________________
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New Portrait of Shakespeare?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0230  Wednesday, 13 May 2009

From:       Louis W. Thompson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Friday, 8 May 2009 10:09:19 -0700
Subject: 20.0219 New Portrait of Shakespeare?
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0219 New Portrait of Shakespeare?

Does anybody on the list believe the new portrait is Shakespeare - 
wholeheartedly and without reservations?

Louis W. Thompson

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Gary Taylor's Cardenio

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0228  Wednesday, 13 May 2009

From:       Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Monday, 11 May 2009 13:02:16 -0400
Subject:    Cardenio

I am sorry I have been unable to respond until now to the flurry of 
replies I received to my April 30 message.

I note first with fascination that so much energy is expended in denying 
(indeed, trying to squash) even the possibility that The Second Maiden's 
Tragedy (TSMT for short) might possibly be the missing 1613 Cardenio. 
This should not be surprising, because the question of Shakespearean 
authorship, even partial authorship, is so loaded for Shakespeareans, 
both scholars and amateurs. To have a literary "satyr" placed in 
proximity to the dozens of literary "Hyperions" that Shakespeare is 
known to have written, is disturbing.

What I did not make clear in my first message, however, and what I find 
most fascinating is that in this instance, the furor over authorship of 
TSMT has completely obscured certain important aspects of TSMT, which as 
far as I am aware have been overlooked by Shakespearean scholars. I.e., 
had there been no authorship controversy, one way or the other, i.e., 
and if everyone agreed that TSMT either was, or was not, the partial 
literary production of the Bard, then I suspect that TSMT would have 
been examined more closely than it has been. I assert that TSMT should 
be of interest to Shakespeare scholars, regardless of whether it is that 
very same Cardenio written by Shakespeare and Fletcher, as Hamilton 
claims, or whether TSMT was written by Middleton or by somebody else, 
AND whether or not Theobald had a copy of TSMT in front of him when he 
wrote Double Falshood.

Why? Because what has gotten lost in the shuffle over the authorship 
question is the very curious FACT that the text of TSMT is 
self-evidently intimately bound up in a contemporary Elizabethan 
literary matrix that is steeped in Fletcher, Cervantes AND Shakespeare!

To introduce yourself to that matrix, I urge those of you who are 
interested in the missing Cardenio to first read Hamilton's book, and to 
ignore all of Hamilton's lengthy handwriting analyses, and to also 
ignore all his opinions as the high literary quality of various passages 
he quotes from TSMT. Don't let the authorship issue distract you. 
Instead, just read his chapters looking, fairly thoroughly and 
dispassionately, at that matrix, which involves not only TSMT and Double 
Falshood, but also The Maid's Tragedy (which everyone agrees, as far as 
I am aware, was written by Beaumont and Fletcher in 1610) and also 
(although Hamilton only mentions it in passing), and most crucially, 
Shakespeare's HAMLET!

When you've done that, I think some of you will realize, as I have, that 
something is going on here that is very complicated and worth some 
serious consideration. Even if Shakespeare himself never had anything to 
do with the writing of TSMT, TSMT should still be of interest to 
Shakespeare scholars because it is a contemporary text which interweaves 
plot and character elements from BOTH Hamlet and Don Quixote, the two 
single texts from that era which are, together, widely considered to 
have provided the foundation for modern Western literature!

Many illustrious writers, from the 18th century to the present, have in 
various ways been interested in the relationship between Don Quixote and 
Hamlet, but none of them (other than Hamilton, and he mostly in 
passing), to my knowledge, has ever looked at where TSMT fits in that 
regard. I am going to argue in the book about Hamlet that I am writing 
that this is very fertile ground for scholarly inquiry.

One smaller textual point before I close: Those who have opined that 
TSMT is only distantly related to the main Cardenio plot are, in my 
opinion, not reading closely enough, I believe the parallels are 
significant, and go beyond those presented by Hamilton in his book. 
But.... even if that were not the case, what difference would it make, 
given that the Cardenio subplot is EXTREMELY closely echoed in TSMT? In 
arguing that TSMT could be the missing Cardenio, the point that matters 
is that the disputed parallels to the Cardenio main plot do not stand 
alone, but are in addition to the indisputable parallels to the Cardenio 
subplot. I.e., the probability that the author(s) of TSMT were alluding 
to the Cardenio main plot surely increases dramatically because of the 
CERTAINTY that they alluded to the Cardenio subplot!

And it also does not matter that TSMT gives that Cardenio subplot a 
completely opposite ending to the one Cervantes gives it in DQ. The 
allusion is no less obvious because of that. What is very interesting in 
regard to this diametric plot reversal, however, is that the TSMT 
version of the Cardenio subplot is reminiscent, in regard to its sudden 
eruption of multiple deaths, of the end of Hamlet.

Which is why when I read the following critique . . . .
"Then, in V.i, there are five killings within the space of twenty-five 
lines."

  . . . my first thought is that a similarly dense textual concentration 
of climactic killings (Laertes, Gertrude, Claudius and Hamlet) has never 
been considered a defect in that other play which we all know and love 
so well. ;)

Arnie Perlstein, Weston, Florida

_______________________________________________________________
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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