Maria

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0212  Wednesday, 30 May 2012

 

From:        Anna Kamaralli <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 30, 2012 4:59:58 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Maria

 

Richard Madeleine has spent a long time working on the training of boy actors, and has (in a paper given at a colloquium I attended, but that I think is, unfortunately, still unpublished) put forward the theory that as boys probably ‘shadowed’ specific senior actors, some comic female roles may have been written for boys apprenticed specifically to clowns. Richard felt that Maria is being ‘mentored’ by Sir Toby. To extend this speculation a little further than Richard did (and I do concede this is speculation), Maria’s absence during the uncovering of the gulling of Malvolio could be because the boy’s mentor has been taken off stage at V.1.192, and couldn’t be there to shepherd him.

 

Anna Kamaralli

Updated WordCruncher

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0212  Wednesday, 30 May 2012

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Subject:     Updated WordCruncher

 

After using PCs since the early 1980s, I switched to Macs several years ago. I was able to find Mac programs for almost every PC application I had used as my excuse for not switching. Well, there were a few for which no clear replacement was evident, so I have a virtual machine on a separate 27” monitor to run those programs. Among them are Elaine and John Thiesmeyer’s Editor program from Serenity Software, Quicken for Windows, and TurboTax. (I know about Quicken for Mac and I will share my opinion of it privately to anyone who asks. Hint, it rhymes with mucks.)

 

However, because I was now using a 64-bit machine, I could no longer run some of the old 32-bit Widows programs I was still attached to. These programs included TACT and the Chadwyck-Healey The Bible in English and the Chadwyck-Healey Editions and Adaptations of Shakespeare, both of which I could still use in LION, but I missed as standalone programs. 

 

However, the program I missed the most and that I had used since my early days of computing was WordCruncher with The Riverside Shakespeare. Other concordances are available online, but I found WordCruncher with the Riverside particularly useful when I was annotating text for notes in an edition.

 

As I returned to annotating Lucrece the other day, I was reminded of how much I missed the WordCruncher/Riverside combination that I discussed in my 1990 paper “A Shakespearean in the Electronic Study,” a paper presented to the computing approaches seminar of the 1990 SAA conference in Philadelphia: http://shaksper.net/documents/doc_download/53-electronic-study

 

On whim, I thought I might check and see if an updated 64-bit WordCrucher existed and to my amazement I found it at its original site of creation—Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah: 

 

http://www.wordcruncher.com/wordcruncher/Download.htm

 

This updated WordCruncher comes in both a Windows 32-bit and 64-bit version with a free copy of The Riverside Shakespeare; a few other applications can be downloaded. I forget how much I initially paid for WordCruncher and the Riverside, but the cost was not nominal and certainly not free.

 

Perhaps the time of WordCruncher as a text analysis tool has passed, but I am enormously pleased to have my old friend back.

 

Hardy M. Cook

Professor Emeritus

Bowie State University

Editor of SHAKSPER <shaksper.net>  

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (SHAKSPER) 

Pedestrians Crossing Cairncross

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0210  Tuesday, 29 May 2012

 

[1] From:        Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         May 28, 2012 4:17:45 PM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Peds 

 

[2] From:        Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         May 29, 2012 5:48:58 AM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Peds 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 28, 2012 4:17:45 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Peds

 

>The pendulous Foucault stuff didn’t do much for me.

 

Really?  Puh-leese!  I enjoy a good pun as well as the next guy, but this isn’t a good one.  I suspect “pendulous” here is an unintentional malaprop for “ponderous.”

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 29, 2012 5:48:58 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Peds

 

In Gerald E. Downs's posting I find an observation that embarrasses me:

 

> “McKerrow’s alternative explanation . . .  won the day”

> (Robert Knowles); “McKerrow’s explanation has won out”

> (Egan). Coincidence? “Montgomery, who in a sense curbs

> the excesses of Caincross” (Knowles); “Curbing the excesses

> of . . . Cairncross’s Arden edition . . . Montgomery observed”

> (Egan).

 

No, this can’t be coincidence. As Downs shows, my essay echoes Ronald (not “Robert”) Knowles’s edition of 2H6. I reviewed Knowles’s edition of 2H6 shortly before writing my essay and it is clear that I have borrowed the essence of Knowles’s phrases “McKerrow’s alternative explanation . . . won the day” and “curbs the excesses of”. I trust that SHAKSPERians will accept that this borrowing was unconscious.

 

> I would like to ask Gabriel if he thinks Contention is a

> memorial reconstruction. Does he think Q3 supplemented

> F copy? I couldn’t get his views from the article.

 

I’m sorry that Downs wasn’t able to get my views from my essay. I think that York’s bungled account of his own family tree in the quarto of 1594 points to memorial reconstruction being at least part of the explanation for the Q1/F relationship. I don’t know whether Q3 supplemented F copy: my essay draws attention to some problems in Montgomery’s argument that it did, most notably the small Q3/F differences at the points of alleged dependence. Roger Warren’s article on the problem (Review of English Studies 51 (2000): 193-207) convinces me that Q1 and F are also separated by F containing late authorial revisions.

 

This is a problem, then, of overdetermination: we have more explanations than we need to account for the textual situation. Thus our efforts should be focussed on eliminating one or more of the explanations. That is why I mentioned John Jowett’s article eliminating the possibility that memorial reconstruction underlies Q1 R3; this seems to me the right response.

 

Downs proposes a new complication: the use of shorthand. Adele Davidson also advocates the shorthand theory, in a series of articles and a book on the texts of King Lear. It seems to me that those advocating shorthand should set themselves the task of finding at least one clinching textual example where shorthand just has to be the explanation. Finding a collection of examples where it is plausible is much less persuasive than finding one certain case. The analogy would be with York’s bungled genealogy clinching the case for memorial reconstruction in CYL/2H6.

 

Gabriel Egan

Hebrew Verbs

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0209  Tuesday, 29 May 2012

 

From:        John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 29, 2012 4:32:55 AM EDT

Subject:     RE: SHAKSPER: Hebrew Verbs

 

I very much take Hamlin’s point,

 

But perhaps we should remember that Iago is an ‘Ensign’, the biblical reference notwithstanding. The question is: what meanings are active at this point in the play? Is it legitimate to enlarge the biblical context to cover the exchange between Moses and God in Exodus 3 to cover authenticating and legitimising ‘signs’? None of the dramatic characters in the play exemplifies ‘presence’ - even Desdemona, whom we recall, saw ‘Othello’s visage in his mind’. And Iago is inscribed within a form of paranoia that we can link directly to the workings of patriarchal authority. He is as much a victim of its logic as he is a perpetrator of it.  This is how he hooks Roderigo, Brabantio, Cassio, and finally Othello. He turns their minds “the seamy side out”.

 

Another important context, it seems to me, involves the issue of ‘Who is who’ in a republic such as Venice where ‘strangers’ are claimed to be treated equally. Iago’s objection to both Othello and Cassio is a that they are strangers and that the Venetian state gives them power. So the ‘motiveless malignity’ really does have a foundation, and no matter how improbable Iago’s justifications may be, they are rooted in a pathological suspicion that Venice’s own institutions breed. This extends also to the shaping of female subjectivity, as Aemilia points out to Desdemona in Act 4.

 

One of the play’s supreme ironies is that the stranger is and is not, a corrosive logic that spreads across Venice and that very few escape.  Only the Duke, who combines military theory with empirical evidence seems to be above this, and even he can acknowledge the contradiction that Othello represents. There is something deeply amiss in Venice when for the most part the relation between moral judgement and empirical evidence is reversed: “It is too true an evil, gone she is.”  We never find out if up to this point Brabantio has encouraged Othello’s courtship of Desdemona, so we can’t judge the ‘truth’ or otherwise of this inverted combination of empirical ‘fact’ and moral judgement. Othello’s case is a more extreme version of this, since he ‘knows’ what disloyalty and evil are but he refuses (presumably on the basis of the experience’ of what we know to be Iago’s show of ‘love’) to accept that Iago’s reservations expressed at 3.3. are anything other than “close denotements from the heart” that presumably occupy a position beneath that of signification. God’s ‘I am that I am’ is comparatively simple compared to its echo in the much more complex secular political contexts of republican Venice that ‘is not what it is’. In terms of meanings we might say that the play exists at the point where the Bible meets Machiavelli, where sacred and secular meanings meet and collide.

 

We could say the same about Shylock, the ‘Jew’ in Venice who demands to be treated equally but who is caught in a biblical narrative from which he cannot escape - even if he only imitates the Christians. This play is cast in a slightly different register from the later play, although the connections between the two (and indeed, some of the incidents) resemble each other. ‘Othello’ is what happens when Morocco marries Portia, and Jessica’s elopement is a much cruder version of the Brabantio-Desdemona situation. In the earlier play the ‘Jew’ is converted forcibly to Christianity, at one level  the validation of a Christian objective that may never come to pass, but at another level offering a very critical glimpse of the ‘equal’ treatment that any stranger may expect from Venetian law. In the later play the eponymous hero enacts a ‘justice’ upon himself in what must be the most curious suicide in all of Shakespeare. We do not need to invoke Walter Benjamin’s ‘Critique of Violence’ to see what is going on here, do we?

 

Cheers

John Drakakis

Maria

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0208  Tuesday, 29 May 2012

 

From:        John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 28, 2012 9:29:05 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Maria

 

Pete McCluskey wrote:

 

>The actor playing Maria could double as Antonio; Maria leaves 3.4 with

>enough time for a quick costume change to Antonio, and since his

>presence is needed in 5.1, Maria doesn’t appear.

 

No, that’s a worse doubling suggestion than Sebastian. Antonio and Sebastian exeunt together at the end of 3.3, and Olivia and Maria immediately enter together at the beginning of 3.4—that’s what I mean by “impossible exits/entries”. (Similarly, Maria, Sir Toby and Fabian exeunt at the end of 3.2, and Antonio and Sebastian enter together at the beginning of 3.3.)

 

John Briggs

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