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Home :: Archive :: 2011 :: January ::
Style, Volume 44, Number 3 (Fall 2010)
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0015   Wednesday, 12 January 2011

From:         Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:         Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Subject:      Style, Volume 44, Number 3 (Fall 2010)

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

I am honored to announce that the Volume 44, Number 3 (Fall 2010) issue of STYLE, "Shakespeare and 
Intention" is now in print and available for purchase -- more about that in a moment. 

In the fall of 2007, a lively discussion on "Authorial Intentions," took place on SHAKSPER.  Early in 
this discussion, John V. Knapp, a Professor of English at Northern Illinois University and editor of the 
journal Style, sent a Call for Papers to the list.  Professor Knapp believed that "the readers of STYLE 
would be very interested in reading a special issue on authorial intent in drama.  As such, I would like 
to issue a Call for Papers (CFP) that could grow out of any round-table conversations (suitable edited, 
of course) about authorial intent in dramatic literature, especially primarily concerning major authors 
like Shakespeare, Marlow, Chekhov, etc.  What might begin as an extended argument in the round-table 
could then get developed into full-blown mini-essay exchanges, gathered in one issue of STYLE." 

I was excited by Professor Knapp's offer and contacted him by e-mail before I distributed his call for 
papers. He and I discussed the possibility of a collaboration between SHAKSPER and STYLE. We envisioned 
having a guest editor who would moderate a Roundtable on "Shakespeare and Intention" and then edit the 
special issue of STYLE.  

Cary DiPietro, one of the thoughtful contributors to the first SHAKSPER Roundtable and to the "Authorial 
Intentions" thread applied for the job of Roundtable Moderator and journal Guest Editor, and John Knapp 
and I decided that DiPietro was the person we were looking for to conduct our collaborative experiment. 
On April 3, 2008, the second SHAKSPER Roundtable began and a few weeks ago the special issue of STYLE 
based on that Roundtable was published. 

STYLE is sponsored by the English Department of Northern Illinois University: http://www.style.niu.edu/

You can find subscription information here: http://www.style.niu.edu/subscript.html

Style is published four times a year.  Subscription rates are $60 for institutions, $40 for individuals, 
and $23 for students. Foreign subscribers add $6 to the above rates for postage and handling.  

Requests for information and subscriptions should be sent to:  

Associate Editor for Business Affairs  
Style, Department of English, Northern Illinois University  
DeKalb, IL 60115-2863  

Or you may telephone 815.753-6618 tel,  815.753.0606 fax, or e-mail (
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 ) Style regarding your 
request or questions about a subscription.

If any of you are interested in ordering a copy of this special issue, you can find an order form at this 
link: http://www.style.niu.edu/orderform.html

Below, I reproduce the portions of the Table of Contents related to the majority of this special issue 
about "Shakespeare and Intention." Then I reproduce the biographies of the contributors to the 
"Shakespeare and Intentions" essays. Finally, I reproduce the abstracts of those essays.

This collaboration was a fascinating one, and the only such collaboration I know of between an online 
academic resource like SHAKSPER and an academic print journal like STYLE. I encourage anyone who is 
interested to purchase a copy of this issue of STYLE. 

Finally, I produced two versions of my essay, "SHAKSPER Roundtable on Intentions: The Origins of the 
Collaboration with Style," for this volume. The version published in STYLE is approximately 6,600 words; 
the longer version is twice that length, about 12,000 words. In the spirit of collaboration the led to 
the second SHASKPER Roundtable and to this volume of STYLE, I make my longer version of my essay 
available at <http://www.shaksper.net/~hcook/style.pdf>. You can also find links to the entire 
discussions that made up the Second SHAKSPER Roundtable here: 
http://www.shaksper.net/roundtable/index.html

The three of us behind this collaboration, John Knapp, Cary DiPietro, and myself, have work tremendously 
hard for a long time, and I believe that we collectively are proud of the results, the Roundtable and 
this special issue of STYLE. I have deeply enjoyed working with John and Cary. I must, however, conclude 
with a special thanks to Cary DiPietro without whose hard work, dedication, and commitment neither of 
these results of our collaboration would exist. Thank you John for a wonderful idea, and thank you Cary 
for bringing the idea to fruition.

Hardy M. Cook
Owner, Moderator, and Editor of SHASKPER
www.shaksper.net


STYLE
Volume 44, Number 3 (Fall 2010)

Shakespeare and Intention
Edited by Cary DiPietro
Based on initial discussions on
SHAKSPER Edited by Hardy M. Cook

Introduction: Shakespeare's Intentions / 293
     Cary DiPietro

Giving Intention its Due? / 311
     David Schalkwyk

Shakespeare and "the I-word" / 328
     Duncan Salkeld

Shakespeare's Dolphin, Dumbo's Feather, and Other Red Herrings: Some Thoughts on Intention and Meaning / 
342
     Peter J. Rabinowitz

Intention and Editing / 365
     John Drakakis

Intention in the Editing of Shakespeare / 378
     Gabriel Egan

The Elizabethan-Jacobean Script-to-Stage Process: The Playwright, Theatrical Intentions, and 
Collaboration /391
     Alan C. Dessen

Intentionality, the Theater Artist, and the Performance Historian / 404
     Cary M. Mazer

SHAKSPER Roundtable on Intentions: The Origins of the Collaboration with Style /412
     Hardy M. Cook

REVIEW ESSAY

BOOK REVIEWS


Notes on Contributors

Hardy M. Cook is Professor Emeritus at Bowie State University.  He is the editor/moderator of the 
SHAKSPER: The Global Electronic Shakespeare Conference, an academic listserv for Shakespearean 
researchers, instructors, students, and those who share their academic interests and concerns.  Dr. Cook 
as authored a number of papers on subjects ranging from Shakespeare on television to the editing of 
electronic texts.  He is co-editor with Ian Lancashire of Shake-speares Sonnets and Louers Complaint 1609 
and editor of an electronic edition of Venus and Adonis, part his edition of Shakespeare's Poems for the 
Internet Shakespeare Editions.  For his work with SHAKSPER and his other scholarly activities, Dr. Cook 
received the University System of Maryland's Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Scholarship in 
April of 1999. 

Cary DiPietro teaches Shakespeare and non-Shakespearean drama, as well as courses in narrative and 
twentieth-century literature, at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He is the author of Shakespeare 
and Modernism (Cambridge UP, 2006; reissued 2009), which explores the interactions between two cultural 
moments, Shakespeare's and that of the early twentieth century. Recent work includes articles in New 
Theatre Quarterly, Shakespeare Survey, and the journal Shakespeare, and a chapter on "Shakespeare and 
George Bernard Shaw" in Shakespeare and the Irish Writer (Eds. Janet Clare and Stephen O'Neill, UCD 
Press, 2010). He will edit Volume 9 in the Great Shakespeareans series (Gen. Eds. Peter Holland and 
Adrian Poole, Continuum, forthcoming 2011).

Alan C. Dessen, Peter G. Phialas Professor (emeritus) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 
is the author of eight books, four of them with Cambridge University Press: Elizabethan Stage Conventions 
and Modem Interpreters (1984); Recovering Shakespeare's Theatrical Vocabulary (1995); Rescripting 
Shakespeare (2002); and, co-authored with Leslie Thomson, A Dictionary of Stage Directions in English 
Drama, 1580-1642. In 2005 he gave the annual British Academy Shakespeare lecture. Between 1994 and 2009 
he was editor or co-editor of the "Shakespeare Performed" section of Shakespeare Quarterly.

John Drakakis is professor of English studies at the University of Stirling. He has taught widely in the 
field of Shakespeare studies and is currently the director of the Scottish Institute of Northern 
Renaissance Studies, and of the M.Res in Renaissance Studies at Stirling. He is the joint editor of 
British Radio Drama, ed., (1981): Alternative Shakespeares (1985), Gothic Shakespeares, ed., (with Dale 
Townshend, 2008) and Tragedy, ed., with Naomi C. Liebler, Longman Critical Reader Series (1998); 
Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Richard III Q1, ed., Harvester Wheatsheaf (1996); Shakespeare: Antony and 
Cleopatra, ed., Macmillan New Casebooks Series (1994); Shakespearean Tragedy, ed., Longman Critical 
Reader Series (1991). He was the general editor of the Routledge English Texts series, and is currently 
the general editor of the Routledge New Critical Idiom series. He has recently assumed the general 
editorship of the revision of Geoffrey Bullough's Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, and he 
is completing a monograph on Shakespeare's Discourses. He has contributed a number of articles and book 
chapters to learned journals and volumes within the field of Shakespeare studies.

Gabriel Egan Gabriel Egan is the author of Shakespeare and Marx (2004), Green Shakespeare: From 
Ecopolitics to Ecocriticism (2006), and The Edinburgh Critical Guide to Shakespeare (2007). His most 
recent book is a history of the theory and practice of editing Shakespeare in the twentieth century 
called The Struggle for Shakespeare's Text, published by Cambridge University Press in 2010. He teaches 
students the art of hand-printing using a nineteenth-century Albion iron press and co-leads a project 
called Virtual Printing Press to create a working wooden hand-press in Second Life.

Cary M. Mazer is associate professor of theatre art and English at the University of Pennsylvania. He 
writes about Victorian and Edwardian drama and theatre, Shakespeare performance history, and dramaturgy. 
His most recent articles and papers have explored the persistence of "emotional realism" in contemporary 
Shakespearean scholarship and theatrical practice.

Peter J. Rabinowitz, professor of comparative literature at Hamilton College, divides his time between 
narrative theory and music. He is the author of Before Reading: Narrative Conventions and the Politics of 
Interpretation and co-author, with Michael Smith, of Authorizing Readers: Resistance and Respect in the 
Teaching of Literature. With James Phelan, he is co-editor of Understanding Narrative and A Companion to 
Narrative Theory, as well as series co-editor of the Theory and Interpretation of Narrative series at 
Ohio State University Press. His articles, which have appeared in such journals as Critical Inquiry, 
Narrative, PMLA, and 19th-Century Music, cover a wide range of subjects, from Conrad to E.D.E,N. 
Southworth, from the ideology of detective fiction to the rhetoric of musical structure. He has been 
active as a music critic for more than thirty years, and is currently a contributing editor of Fanfare as 
well as a regular contributor to International Record Review.

Duncan Salkeld is senior lecturer in English at the University of Chichester and author of Madness and 
Drama in the Age of Shakespeare (Manchester UP, 1993). His recent principal publications include chapters 
and articles on the Quarto and Folio texts of Henry V, presentism and microhistory, Shakespeare and 
portraiture and a collation of new documentary sources for the Malone Society Collections. He is 
currently completing a book entitled Shakespeare Among the Courtesans (Ashgate).

David Schalkwyk is director of research at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, editor of 
the Shakespeare Quarterly and professor of English at the University of Cape Town. He has published on 
Shakespeare, Derrida, Wittgenstein and South African prison writing in, interalia, the Shakespeare 
Quarterly, English Literary Renaissance, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Journal of 
Aesthetics and Art Criticisim, Symploke, Linguistic Sciences and the Journal of Literary Studies. His 
books include Speech and Performance in Shakespeare's Sonnets and Plays (Cambridge, 2002), Literature and 
the Touch of the Real (Delaware, 2004), and Shakespeare, Love and Service (Cambridge UP, 2008).

Abstracts of Articles

David Schalkwyk. "Giving Intention its Due?" / 311
This essay argues for a minimalist or redundant concept of intention. It claims that as a heuristic 
notion that shapes but does not seek to govern interpretation it may be useful, and as a way of deciding 
which signifiers an author wished to use it may even be indispensable. The pursuit of embodied intention 
in a text will respect intentionality as the incarnation of complex social actions, but it cannot reveal 
the author's intention as the cause and determinant of the text's meanings. These unfold over time within 
the constraints of a particular period, and encompass the manifold of contextual conditions, assumptions, 
and relations that make it possible to mean and understand anything in a particular place at a particular 
time, including collaborative procedures and the distribution of agencies exemplified by Shakespeare's 
practice. As a concept used in interpreting a text, intention is thus a retrospective construct made 
after the event; it does not consist of mental events that determine the meaning of any linguistic event. 
Furthermore, the debate about intention in Shakespeare shows that the role of intention (and its implicit 
appeals to certain kinds of authority) is at stake in the debate about authoritive critical discourse; it 
can't be used to settle it. 

Duncan Salkeld. "Shakespeare and 'the I-word.'" / 328
We can identify Shakespeare's intentions best when they are not clear, where he hesitates over a speech 
prefix, or introduces a character to whom he then gives no lines, or when he cracks a joke and feels the 
need to explain it. Steven Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels's case that meaning and intention are one 
offers a thought-provoking alternative to the anti-intentionalist dead-end that has too long been the 
default position of theoretically-minded critics. Not even Derrida denied the possibility of literary 
intention. This article gives several examples of Shakespeare puzzling over his intentions (mainly from 
the two early quartos of Romeo and Juliet), and suggests that critical editions of his works that attempt 
to avoid authorial agency and intention altogether are likely to fall into incoherence. Lastly, when 
Dogberry, Mistress Quickly and Elbow fall into malapropisms, they say what they do not mean, and intend 
what they do not say. Getting the jokes requires getting what is intended.

Peter J. Rabinowitz. "Shakespeare's Dolphin, Dumbo's Feather, and Other Red Herrings: Some Thoughts on 
Intention and Meaning." / 342
The gaps between literary specializations sometimes seem as great as the gaps between literary studies 
and other disciplines. Certainly, as a narrative theorist invited to participate in a conversation about 
intention and Shakespeare, I found myself struck by the number of interpretive and editorial problems 
central to Shakespeare studies that narrative theorists tend conveniently to ignore. At the same time, I 
was struck by the degree to which Shakespeareans pass over techniques developed by narrative theorists, 
even when those techniques might help them answer the questions they have chosen to ask. After setting 
out some general distinctions I find useful in any discussion of literary intention, I focus more 
narrowly on the heuristic value of rhetorical narrative theory in dealing with several areas of 
contention that emerge in this collection: public vs. private, the multiplicity of interiority, and 
literary purpose. I conclude with a plea for greater communication across scholarly specializations.

John Drakakis. "Intention and Editing." / 365
'Intention' has always been a topic that has impinged directly on the study of Shakespeare, usually in 
relation to biographies that seek to establish a causal connection between the writer's experience, and 
its subsequent recall as a striking theatrical or poetical image. The issue has recently attracted the 
attention of editors, in particular in relation to the various discursive regimes that traverse the text 
as a product of the early modern printing house. The states of particular texts such as Much Ado About 
Nothing or The Merchant of Venice raise particular problems in relation to 'intention' and to the 
distinction that needs to be made between a conscious decision on the part of the writer to choose one 
strategy as opposed to another, and the writer as an 'agent' through whose own creative processes there 
flows various kinds of 'knowledge' that do not have their origin in the creating mind. This process is 
laid bare in a number of texts where the name of an actor appears instead of a character, and where the 
printer's copy may very well have been the writer's 'foul papers.' Elsewhere in other texts, such as The 
Merchant of Venice, the intervention of the compositor, charged with a series of decisions of a pragmatic 
nature, can produce a text that opens up a series of gaps between the copy, and the printed result that 
prove to be of some cultural significance. All of these examples raise questions about the extent to 
which the distinction between 'intention' and 'agency' have been elided in the dominant discourses of 
textual bibliography. 

Gabriel Egan. "Intention in the Editing of Shakespeare." / 378
Play scripts differ from prose narratives and poetry because they are meant to undergo a further 
transformation by practitioners before being consumed. Shakespeare's plays come to us via early printed 
editions showing corrections, unwarranted adjustments, and fresh errors by copyists, compositors, and 
pressmen. For one school of thought, Shakespeare's intention all but disappears under these extra textual 
layers, and another school would have us consider the copyists, compositors, pressmen, and actors to be 
equal partners with Shakespeare in the creation of his works. Add to that collaborative authorship and 
multiple revision of scripts and the temptations of postmodern insouciance about intention overwhelm all 
but the staunchest defender of the old certainties. Here it is argued that research into the material 
conditions that produced the early editions of Shakespeare shows that the recent rejection of New 
Bibliography (which embodies the most venerable of the old certainties) is mistaken and that intention 
remains a vital notion for editors.

Alan C. Dessen. "The Elizabethan-Jacobean Script-to-Stage Process: The Playwright, Theatrical Intentions, 
and Collaboration." / 391
As a theatre historian my focus is: What can be determined about authorial intentions in a manuscript 
targeted at Elizabethan and Jacobean players, playgoers, and playhouses, a manuscript inextricably tied 
to in-the-theatre practices largely lost to us? A playwright such as Shakespeare attached to a given 
company could have played a significant role in the process of turning an authorial manuscript into a 
performed play, but, despite the labors of generations of scholars, there is much of significance that we 
do not know about the script-to-stage process in this period. In this essay, I first review the evidence 
about material conditions in the theatre, including references to a playwright reading his work aloud to 
an assembly of players, and then discuss what can be learned from the extant stage directions. What 
emerges is a sense of a collaborative theatrical process, where playwrights took for granted the 
professionalism and expertise of the players. In reading their playscripts today we therefore enter into 
the middle of a conversation - a discourse in a language we only partly understand - between a playwright 
and his player-colleagues, a halfway stage that was completed in a performance now lost to us. Although 
we will never reconstitute that performance, we may be able to recover elements of that vocabulary and 
hence better understand that conversation, whether the pre-production concept of the playwright or the 
implementation by the players.

Cary M. Mazer. "Intentionality, the Theatre Artist, and the Performance Historian." / 404
Working theatre artists invoke authorial intention as a means of self-justification, impugning to the 
playwright's authority their own aesthetic and interpretive decisions, once the cumulative weight of 
their production choices take on their own coherent logic and generate their own sense of inevitability. 
Rather than castigate theatre artists for the intentional fallacy, the performance historian-and in 
particular the historian of Shakespearean performance-should treat such invocations of authorial 
intentionality as historical gifts, evidence not just of what the artist (to use Terence Hawkes's phrase) 
"means by Shakespeare," but of how the theatre artists of a particular period believe Shakespeare means, 
i.e., how the prevailing aesthetic paradigms silently operate in the ways theatre artists understand the 
dramatist's script and how it "works."

Hardy M. Cook. "SHAKSPER Roundtable on Intentions: The Origins of the Collaboration with Style." / 412
After broadly tracing the evolution of the academic uses of the Internet by Shakespeareans, this article 
examines the issues that lead to the establishing of the SHAKSPER Roundtable and then traces the events 
surrounding the collaborative experiment between SHAKSPER and Style that evolved from the online SHAKSPER 
"Intentions" discussions to the essays of the special print issue of the Style journal.  In the spirit of 
this collaboration, an expanded version of this article <http://www.shaksper.net/~hcook/style.pdf> is 
available online as a complement to the print version that appears in this special issue.


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