Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 146. Wednesday, 29 May 1991.
Date: 		Tue, 28 May 1991 20:18:40 -0400
From: 		Steve Urkowitz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject: 2.0141  N&Q: *TC* & Genre
Comment:      	Re: SHK 2.0141  N&Q: *TC* & Genre
On the genre of T&C:  I have several times begun a semester-course with
this play, and with some irreverently appropriate glee point to Virgil
Whittaker's introductory remark, " . . . the play is a unique combination
of learned subject matter, all-inclusive satire, and something close to
smut; and it is neither comedy nor tragedy -- nor, in fact, well-constructed
drama."  Ah, the majestic condescension of homo criticus towards the lower
orders.  Maybe in the bronx satire was a lot closer to the bone, 'cause
we were accustomed to laughing ourselves black and blue.  The resistance
of theorists to satire and satire to theory leaves many of the tragedy/comedy
dichotomists gasping for breath as they try to scale this play.  It's a
problem play only for the folks who find satire's bite a problem.  Some
may be alarmed by the quarto-folio shift in the Title of KING LEAR from
the TRUE CHRONICLE HISTORIE . . . to the Tragedie.  While Gary Taylor
and Stanley Wells chew their way through that problem, I find it fun to
watch and to laugh.  Thersites grew up in my neighborhood.
					Yours ever,
                                            Steve Urkowitz

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