Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2010 :: March ::
Trial Scene, MV

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0140  Tuesday, 30 March 2010

[1]  From:      Mari Bonomi < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
     Date:      March 18, 2010 5:14:21 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0126 Trial Scene, MV 

[2]  From:      John W Kennedy < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
     Date:      March 18, 2010 6:33:13 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0126  Trial Scene, MV 

[3]  From:      Harry Berger Jr < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
     Date:      March 18, 2010 7:53:20 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0126  Trial Scene, MV

[4]  From:      Bill Blanton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
     Date:      March 19, 2010 1:16:39 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0126  Trial Scene, MV
 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Mari Bonomi < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         March 18, 2010 5:14:21 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0126 Trial Scene, MV
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0126 Trial Scene, MV

Regarding the theory that Shakespeare *deliberately* made a hash of jurisprudence either of Venice or of England...

Of course, whatever resemblance to a real court's proceedings this scene bears will be to a trial in England, not in Venice. Shakespeare had no knowledge of Venetian court procedure.

HOWEVER, asserting that because Shakespeare had knowledge of English court procedures and violated them in crafting this scene, he must clearly be satirizing such procedures and, therefore, we must completely reconsider our understanding of the play's thematic content is a huge stretch, one that I for one am completely unwilling to make.

Just as Shakespeare changed Brooke's Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet to fit *his* conception of the thematic elements/dramatic story arc (one huge change: shortening the time covered from months to 41/2 days!), so he changed what he needed to change to make his trial scene serve *his* purposes, dramatically and thematically. I see nothing in the play to suggest that he had any interest in creating a commentary on English jurisprudence, and much in the play to suggest he had a lot of other things he wanted us to think about.

Mari Bonomi 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         John W Kennedy < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         March 18, 2010 6:33:13 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0126  Trial Scene, MV
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0126  Trial Scene, MV

From: Bill Blanton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

>I am a trial lawyer, and know a preposterous trial scene
>when I see one. 

Never ascribe to satire what can be adequately explained by a fairy tale.

John W Kennedy

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Harry Berger Jr < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         March 18, 2010 7:53:20 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0126  Trial Scene, MV
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0126  Trial Scene, MV

That is, doesn't the play *invite* us to interpret Shylock as representing more than just Shylock?

No.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Bill Blanton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         March 19, 2010 1:16:39 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0126  Trial Scene, MV
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0126  Trial Scene, MV

Reply to Allston James's post of March 16, 2010

Allston James wrote: I propose that this is a case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

Sometimes you need to look at a few of the trees in order to determine what kind of forest you think you're looking at. 

Anthony Burton has written two superb articles, applying his knowledge of sixteenth century English law to Hamlet. You may find his articles on this site: http://www.shakespearefellowship.org/virtualclassroom/Law.htm

I am not comparing myself to Mr. Burton. I only wish I had the extent of his knowledge and his ability to apply that knowledge to a complicated play like Hamlet.

I hope that you have the opportunity to read my article. It may help you to answer these basic questions: 

When you look at the trial scene, what kind of trial do you see? 

Do you see a serious, more-or-less conventional trial, held in a Court of Justice in Venice? 

Or, do you see a deliberate travesty of a trial, held in the Court of Queen's Bench in Westminster Hall, England?

Bill

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This e-mail 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.

 

 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.