Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2010 :: July ::
Hamlet's Feminine Endings
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0290  Thursday, 15 July 2010

[1]  From:      Paul Barry <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
     Date:      July 14, 2010 3:24:10 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0282  Hamlet's Feminine Endings

[2]  From:      S. L Kasten <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
     Date:      July 15, 2010 4:32:57 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0282  Hamlet's Feminine Endings


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Paul Barry <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:         July 14, 2010 3:24:10 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0282  Hamlet's Feminine Endings
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0282  Hamlet's Feminine Endings

MacMorris, Jamy, and Fluellen speak in accents, not dialects; their first 
language is Gaelic.


[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         S. L Kasten <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:         July 15, 2010 4:32:57 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0282  Hamlet's Feminine Endings
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0282  Hamlet's Feminine Endings

On July 12 Phyllis Gorfain wrote

>I wonder, Syd, what you make of the "dialects" (Irish, Scots, Welsh) 
>in Henry V for the comic characters Captain MacMorris (Irish), Captain 
>Jamy (Scots), and Captain Fluellen (Welsh)? Would you not class those 
>as "gross" imitations? What are you thinking of, by that term?
>
>Thanks for clarification!

Point well taken!

I should have written "gratuitous" rather than "gross".

Actually, I was thinking of exotic characters like Morocco, Arragon in MOV 
or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Hamlet.

Hotspur and Glendower speak fluent and sometimes eloquent English, although 
I wouldn't be surprised if a Henry Higgins exists who has found national 
echoes in the lines given them.

Being something of a pedant myself I never considered Fluellen a comic 
character; perhaps I was overly influenced by the film "How Green Was My 
Valley". While his classical references might seem quaint I don't find them 
far off the mark, no Dogberry he. His accent did not hide a serious attitude 
to his military work, an attitude perhaps as quirky as the proverbial 
English stiff upper lip. As for the imitative speech, if the author wanted 
to give special expression to the integrity and loyalty of members of 
absorbed subject nations I can't think of any other way to do so than by 
giving the characters something like their natural voice. Surely Henry 
included them when he spoke to his "band of brothers"; they were, after all, 
officers, a step in rank above the soldiers Williams and Bates. On 
reflection one gets the impression that the author considered Henry's 
charisma a cement to the Union in a way that wasn't always there and wasn't 
always to be there.

As for the Henry of the play on Fluellen:

Though it appears a little out of fashion
There is much care and valour in this Welshman.
(Another pair of feminine ended lines)

And fellow captain Gower to Pistol after the latter's drubbing at the hands 
of Fluellen:

...You thought because he could not speak English in the native garb, he 
could not therefore handle an English cudgel: you find it otherwise; and 
henceforth let a Welsh correction teach you a good English condition. Fare 
ye well.

I'm grateful, Phyllis, for both your flattering attention and your enriching 
challenge.

Syd Kasten 

_______________________________________________________________
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.