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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: December ::
Falstaff in Arthur's Bosom
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0627  Sunday, 27 December 2009

[1] From:   Tom Reedy <
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 >
     Date:   Friday, 18 Dec 2009 11:14:30 -0600 (CST)
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0614 Falstaff in Arthur's Bosom

[2] From:   Conrad Bishop <
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 >
     Date:   Saturday, 19 Dec 2009 18:44:45 -0800
     Subj:   Re: Falstaff in Arthur's Bosom


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Tom Reedy <
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Date:       Friday, 18 Dec 2009 11:14:30 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 20.0614 Falstaff in Arthur's Bosom
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0614 Falstaff in Arthur's Bosom

I for one would suggest you get an up-to-date edition of Shakespeare.

Tom Reedy

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Conrad Bishop <
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Date:       Saturday, 19 Dec 2009 18:44:45 -0800
Subject:    Re: Falstaff in Arthur's Bosom

 >Queen Elizabeth wanted to see Falstaff in love. If this rumor
 >is true, then his death must not fail her-a sex reassignment
 >surgery cut by Mistress Quickly (whose flourishing words
converge on writing, e.g. sheets, flowers, pen, table, feet, etc.).

Hamlet's riddles, Iago's homosexual lust, and now Falstaff 
transgendered... All more harmless pursuits than bombing Afghanistan, 
true. But it does imply, as one mentioned, that Shakespeare didn't write 
these plays. It's hard to conceive a playwright working as hard as that 
guy did salting his work with embroidery that not only goes over the 
head of his audience but takes 400 years for anyone to fathom.

My main question, though, is whether these interpretations make these 
passages, or the plays, more interesting or less interesting. Mostly, 
they seem like someone tap dancing across the stage during Beethoven's 
Ninth - cool idea, but I just think I'd rather hear the symphony.

The one major interpretive issue, the Iago lust thing, has been around a 
long time, but what's the point of it?  Shakespeare's villains don't 
hide their motives from us: they detail them with stunning clarity. 
Iago, true, is problematic in that he seems to have so many he can't 
decide among them, and so one might argue that none of his stated 
motives is the true one. But personally I find it a lot more interesting 
to see him caught in his own confusions than to hang a sign around his 
neck labeled True Motive. It diminishes him. That's my take, anyway. YMMV.

But I must ask, and my apologies if this sounds insulting: is this a 
put-on?  If so, please, Jim, Fess up. If so, it's a clever one. I recall 
in grad school, a prof (who was a renowned parodist) gave us a newly 
discovered Shaw play, which we in the seminar spent the better part of 
an hour discussing before someone noticed the title of the academic 
journal in which it'd supposedly been published:  Peristalsis.

Since then, I approach these discussions with caution.

Peace & joy-
Conrad

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