Presentation on theme: "Tragic men comic women: Shakespeare between genre and gender. Il corso si propone di inquadrare la produzione drammaturgica shakespeariana nella prospettiva."— Presentation transcript:
Tragic men comic women: Shakespeare between genre and gender. Il corso si propone di inquadrare la produzione drammaturgica shakespeariana nella prospettiva del genere tragico e di quello comico e in relazione alle specifiche politiche di genere sessuale. Con particolare riferimento alle logiche patriarcali attivate e decostruite nei testi verranno analizzate due commedie e due delle grandi tragedie.
BIBLIOGRAFIA: testi primari The Taming of the Shrew (Mondadori) The Merchant of Venice (Feltrinelli) Hamlet (Marsilio)
Bibliografia critica Stanley Wells and Lena Cowen Orlin (eds.), Shakespeare. An Oxford Guide, Oxford, Oxford U. P., 2003 (Part I, Shakespeares life and times, cap. 1, 2, 3; Part II Shakespearian genres, cap. 15, 16 (pp ), 18 (pp ); Part III Shakespeare criticism, cap. 29 (pp ), 30, 36 R. Ciocca, La bisbetica in terapia in Memoria di Shakespeare (a cura di A. Lombardo), 3/2002 Lidia Curti, Tracce, intervalli, indugi in Ombre di unombra. Amleto e i suoi fantasmi (a cura di L. Curti), Napoli, IUO, 1994 E. Showalter, Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism, 1985, (materiali didattici) S. Freud, Il Perturbante (any edition) Mourning and Melancholia (materiali didattici) Una storia della Letteratura inglese (XVI-XVII secolo) Una storia dellInghilterra (XVI-XVII secolo)
Bibliografia integrativa(12 cfu) W. Shakespeare, Othello Stanley Wells and Lena Cowen Orlin (eds.), Shakespeare. An Oxford Guide, Oxford, Oxford U. P., 2003 (tutto) Laura Di Michele (a cura di), Aspetti di Othello, Napoli, Liguori, 1996
Bibliografia consigliata, obbligatoria per i non frequentanti Un manuale di Storia dellInghilterra (secoli XVI e XVII) Un manuale di storia della letteratura inglese (secoli XVI e XVII)
FILMOGRAFIA La bisbetica domata, Franco Zeffirelli, 1967 Il Mercante di Venezia, Michael Radford, 2004 Amleto, Franco Zeffirelli, 1990 Otello, Oliver Parker, 1995 (12 cfu)
ELIZABETHAN AGE RELIGION SOCIETY AND ECONOMY POLITICS CULTURE PROS AND CONTRARIES ELIZABETHAN WORLD PICTURE THEORY OF ELEMENTS ELIZABETHAN THEATRE
RELIGION Anglican reformation Anticlericalism Factors Rivalry between powers Christian Humanism Thomas More ( ) John Colet ( ) Erasmo ( )
collateral factors The English Bible (1526) William Tyndale ( ) contingent factors Divorce from Catherine of Aragon determinant factors Publication of Luthers 95 theses (1517) ACT OF SUPREMACY (1534) Spoliation of monasteries 1536 The Tudors, 3rd series, 1 disc, 1 episode (Pilgrimage of grace) 1539
ANGLICAN CHURCH HENRY VIII doctrinal conservatism EDWARD VI fervent protestant, Mary and Elizabeth out of succession
MARY (bloody) catholic reversal, Spanish Marriage (Philip II) ELIZABETH I a middle way Uniformity Act (public observance, private freedom)
Society and Economy Landed gentry: increase in number, power and wealth (from dissolution of monasteries and patronage from the crown) The Queens Justices of the Peace were the local most influential exponents of the gentry.
London was absorbing more and more of the home and foreign commerce, a portent in size for England and even for Europe, at the death of Mary : inhabitants, at the death of Elizabeth The power and privilege of the Mayor and citizens with their militia formed a state within the state, a society bourgeois and protestant.
The greatest social change was the expansion of overseas enterprise. Merchants sought out distant markets compelled by the loss of Calais under Mary and the rivalry with Spain in the Low Countries. These changes caused distress and unemployment in cloth manufacture but in the long run new markets were found: Russia, Prussia, The Baltic, Turkey, Persia, India (Cape of Good Hope).
1600 East India Company Seafaring and discoveries laid the path to colonialism (even though Newfoundland and Virginia were only temporary). Colonization became a means for personal betterment and national strength.
Despite several crises, a relative peace was kept (victims of violence – Savages, Irish, Catholics and dissenters, political enemies- were not so numerous as in other periods or other countries). Politics
Wales Bosworth field placed a Welsh dynasty on the throne of England. No religious difference arose to divide the people. There was no movement to colonize the country by robbing the natives of their land. Ireland: Tudor policy was disastrous. The dominus became rex to strengthen English control. Catholicism made Ireland suspect and dangerous.
Scotland: The two countries had a common interest in defending the Reformation from internal and external enemies. With the death of Elizabeth the two crowns were reunited on the head of James Stuart. Before there had been the crisis with France and Mary Stuart.
France and Scotland had had a common policy against England: James V had married the French Catholic Marie de Guise, their daughter Mary Stuart (niece of Margaret sister of Henry VIII) married the heir to the French throne: Francis II. When he died the French and the Scottish together with the English Catholics plotted to put Mary on the throne of England.
Spain: After the execution of Mary Stuart, Philip II of Spain sent the Armada. In 1588 England defeated Spain. Failure of Leicester in the Low Countries Failure of Essex in Ireland Essex rebellion
Culture Printing and Translating diffused knowledge (censure) In the days of Erasmus, Renaissance had been confined to scholars and the kings court. In the Elizabethan Age classicism filtered through into the theatre and the street. English language touched its moment of fullest beauty and power. Minds, set free from medieval bonds were not yet caught by Puritan fanaticism. The merry old England of folklore and popular tradition was still there. London and the court were centres of cultural import from abroad and local production and diffusion in the reign.
The Golden Age Poetry (Sidney, Spenser, Daniel, Drayton); Prose (Lyly, Greene, Ralegh, Hakluyt); Drama (Kyd, Marlowe, Shakespeare)
The Elizabethan world picture ORDER AND DEGREE
SUN KING HEAD GOD LION The Elizabethan world picture THE CORRESPONDING PLANES DIVINE or ANGELIC UNIVERSE or MACROCOSM COMMONWEALTH or BODY POLITIC MAN or MICROCOSM LOWER CREATION
THE COSMIC DANCE THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES La visione del mondo medievale con i suoi cerchi concentrici che, dai cori angelici e dalle sfere planetarie, discendevano fino al mondo sublunare armoniosamente digradando in un vortice sempre più denso e materiale, forniva allartista un modello coerente e ordinato circonfuso dal suono misterioso della musica delle sfere e variegato di colori … e di luminosità … (F. Ferrara, Shakespeare e le voci della storia)
USO RETORICO: His blood, which disperseth itself by the branches of veins through all the body may be resembled to those waters which are carried by brooks & rivers over all the earth, his breath to the air … the hairs of mans body … to the grass which covereth the upper face and skin of the earth. Walter Raleigh, History of the World
USO POLITICO: In the earth God hath assigned kings princes with other governors under them, all in good and necessary order. The water above is kept and raineth down in due time and season. The sun moon stars rainbow thunder lightning clouds and all birds of the air do keep their order. (Homily of Obedience)
ELEMENT HUMOUR QUALITY PLANET EARTH MELANCHOLY COLD/DRY SATURN WATER PHLEGM COLD/MOIST MOON AIR BLOOD HOT/MOIST JOVE FIRE CHOLER HOT/DRY MARS
FOOD IS MADE OF THE 4 ELEMENTS. LIVER (KING OF LOWEST PART OF BODY: VEGETATIVE ) CONVERTS IT INTO 4 HUMOURS. THEY ARE CARRIED TO THE HEART (KING OF MIDDLE PORTION OF BODY: SENSITIVE). THE HEART REFINES THE HUMOURS AND SENDS THEM TO BRAIN (KING OF TOP OF HUMAN BODY: RATIONAL)
HISTORY FOR THE ELIZABETHANS THE MOVING FORCES OF HISTORY WERE: PROVIDENCE, FORTUNE AND HUMAN TEMPERAMENT The wheel of fortune
Elizabethan Age: pros and cons (I phase): Political stability Religious pacification doctrinal moderatism royal navy overseas trade/ discoveries amelioration in inhabiting conditions support to arts (music, painting, poetry, theatre, prose) and civilian architecture (II phase): Social immobilism (no social reforms) Degeneration of administrative and fiscal apparatuses Purchasing of public offices Corruption Impoverishment of the Crown Defensive foreign politics After Mary Stuarts affair: persecution of Catholics; hardship against Puritans Impoverishment of military forces Famines in the 90s Lack of direct heirs
ELIZABETHAN THEATRE PUBLIC Circular Outdoor Large audience (3.000 spectators) Cheap (1-2 pence) Majority standing Heterogeneous audience Suburbs Adult companies PRIVATE Rectangular Indoor smaller (700 spectators) expensive (6 pence) all seated selected audience City Boy companies
THE GLOBE THE BLACKFRIARS
INNYARD THEATRES COURT THEATRES The Boars Head The Great Hall (Whitechapel) (Hampton Court) The Red Bull The II Banqueting Hall (Clerkenwell) (Whitehall)
ELIZABETHAN PUBLIC THEATRE Antecedents: Booth-stage in Marketplaces or village-greens Great halls in noble houses Refectories of colleges Inn-yards Bear-baiting arenas
The Main Public Theatres The Theatre The Curtain The Rose The Swan 1595 (De Witt) I Globe (fire) II Globe (demolished) I Fortune (fire) II Fortune (plague) 1649 (partly demol.) The Hope (demolished)
Basic elements: circular auditorium with galleries Square projecting platform Two upstage door A balcony Stage-posts with curtains A stage-trap Tiring-house
Conventions: Flexibility Multiple repertoire Symbolism Emblems Costumes Boy-actors for female roles Anachronism No space/time/genre unities Music (before, after, during the performance, at intervals)
CHARACTERISTICS OF ELIZAB. PUBLIC THEATRE UNCERTAINTY: endemic plague since 1348 Theatres closed in 1580, 86, 87, 94,1604, 1605 Theatres closed during hot season (summer tours in the country cfr. Hamlet) Dramatic season in London: Sept. to Christmas (twelve days festivities, chosen plays at court) Jen. to Feb. (Lenten interruption)
THEATRE TRANGRESSIVE CHARACTER Contiguity with vagrancy, festive and riotous revelry, laziness, class proximity, sexual ambiguity, profane, irreverent, blasphemous character, susceptible of producing street disorders and tumults. Sometimes connected to political threat (1601 Essex and Richard II) 1597 The Isle of Dogs by Ben Jonson & Thomas Nashe (lost) performed at the Swan Theatre by the Earl of Pembrokes Men caused a riot.
The Master of the revels selected the plays to be performed at court but also exercised control and censorship upon the texts Ordinance of the Privy Council: Her MAJESTIE being informed that there are verie greate disorders committed in the common playhouses both by lewd matters that are handled on the stages and by resorte and confluence of bad pople, hath given direction that not onlie no plaies shal be used within London or about the citty or in any publique place during this tyme of sommer, but that also those playhouses that are erected or built only for such purposes shall be plucked down.
PATRONAGE 1572 Act for punishment of vagabonds: Illegal for strolling players to perform without authorization Companies took the livery of the Patron (Leicesters Men; Sussex Men; Queens Men; Lord Strange Men; The Admirals Men; Lord Chamberlains Men later to become The Kings Men etc.)
Letter by Lord Chamberlain to Lord Mayor of London to ask leave for his Men to play at The Cross and Keys Tavern: …the which I praie you the rather to doe for that they have undertaken to me that where heretofore they began not their plaies till towards fower a clock, they will now begin at two and have done betweene fower and five, and will nott use anie drums or trumpettes att all the calling of peopell together; and shall be contributories to the poor of the parishe.
1642 beginning of the civil war I closure ordinance 1647II ordinance 1649 players arrested at the Red Bull definite closure of theatre till 1660 (Restoration Charles II)
ABOUT WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE All that is known with any degree of certainty concerning Shakespeare, is that he was born at Stratford upon Avon, married and had children there, went to London, where he commenced actor, and wrote poems and plays, returned to Stratford, made his will, died and was buried. (George Steevens, XVIII century )
Elements of Biography He had … fallen into ill company; … some that made a frequent practice of deer-stealing engaged him with them … in robbing a park that belonged to sir Thomas Lucy of Cherlecot, near Stratford. For this he was prosecuted by that gentleman … and in order to revenge that ill usage, he made a ballad upon him. This is said to have been so very bitter that it redoubled the prosecution against him to that degree that he was obliged to leave his business and family for some time, and shelter himself in London. (Rowe, 1709)
Traces of his dramatic activity Those puppets… that spake from our mouth those antics garnished in our colours An upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his tigers heart wrapped in a players hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his own conceit the only shake-scene in a country. (Robert Greene, A Groatsworth of Wit) O tigers heart wrappd in a womans hide! (3 Henry VI)
SOURCES FOR ENGLISH DRAMATIC CRITICISM: ARISTOTLE, Poetics Decorum: no mixture of tragic (lofty) with comic (low) materials respect of the space/time/genre unities
SHAKESPEARE: Tragic plots and comic subplots (R. & J.) High-life and low-life characters (Dream) Verses and prose (most plays) Lyricism, conceits and obscenity (Dream, Troilus) No time/space/genre unities (A. & C.)
Shakespeares plays tend to live along the edge of genres boundaries, comedy liable to be clouded by tragic potential, history wavering between tragedy and comedy, tragedy slipping into comic routines. In the Shakespearean plays a common phenomenon is the domestication and intermingling of multiple sources.
SHAKESPEAREAN CRITICISM From: primus inter pares To: facile princeps COEVAL still uncanonised NEO-CLASSICAL unrefined genius ROMANTIC the poet CONTEMPORARY dramatist of modernity
P. SIDNEY, Defense of Poesie (printed 1595, written about 1580) Contempt for: Contemporary dramatic attitude to intermingle kings & clowns, serious and comic subjects, elevated style and gross punning Dedicatory poem by Ben Jonson in the Preface to First Folio, 1623 To the memory of my beloved, the author mr. William Shakespeare: and what he hath left us; He was not of an age, but for all time! His mind and hand went together, and what he thought, he uttered with that easiness that we have scarse received from him a blot in his papers. Coeval criticism
T. RYMER, A Short View of Tragedy (1692) Judgement rather than fancy, Structure rather than variety, Decorum and respect for typologies (Iago doesnt conform to military standards established by Horatio) John Dryden, Essay of Dramatic Poesy, 1668: he was naturally learnd; he needed not the spectacle of books to read Nature; he looked inwards, and found her there.Rewriting on the basis of respect of the three unities: cfr. All for Love 1678 Neoclassical criticism: Nature Vs Art
Romantic criticism G. E. Lessing appreciated his naturalism against French rigidity Goethe used Hamlet as subtext in his Wilhelm Meister Schlegel translated him in German and created a theory of an organic form reconciling art and nature This theory was appropriated by Coleridge who strengthened the myth of the great soul poet: ever-living and myriad-minded
CONTEMPORARY CRITICISM professional criticism BRADLEY character criticism STRUCTURALISM regularities POSTSTRUCTURALISM perspective and deconstruction (psychoanalysis, new historicism, cultural materialism, gender (feminist, queer), postcolonial)
Comedy: characteristics Comedy = Social /collective/generational genre Possible Greek etymology: Komoidìa Kòme village Kòmos ritual procession (Dionysian) Kòme+odè Song of the Village (ritual + social character)
Classical Comic Models OLD COMEDY GREEK (ARISTOPHANES) RITUAL (Fertility, Natural rythms in vegetation and in the Human) NEW COMEDY LATIN (PLAUTUS) SATIRICAL, Social rigidities
Shakespearean comedy: Models and sources: Archaic heathen seasonal and fertility rites, Greek comedy and novel (Apuleio, The Golden Ass), Ovidio (Metamorphoses), Arcadic traditions (Sannazzaro, Arcadia), Arthurian legends in medieval literature, Folklore, folktales and popular beliefs (May rites, Morris Dances etc.), Latin Satire against social faults and vices, Medieval stories and narrations (Italian novellas), Popular drama (Moralities), Petrarchism, Renaissance court culture and fashion, Euphuism, romances by University Wits (Greene, Lyly, Nashe, Lodge, Peele)
Shakespearean comedy as rite of passage: a sort of coming of age (old comedy) Structure (example of Structuralist criticism) Beginning: Crisis, antagonism with parents, old people Vs young people, love Vs law Development of dramatic action: escape, adventure in the green world (no social conventions) Chaos Epilogue: resolution, reconciliation, return to society, marriage, happy ending, renewal of society, Cosmos
Shakespearean comedy as social satire (new comedy) Social and personal defects highlighted by means of: Caricature and farcical elements In comedy personal faults and flaws cause laugh: in the end they are castigated and forgiven or redeemed (Katherine) [in tragedy they are the causes of tragedy itself (Othello: jealousy, Iago: envy, Macbeth: ambition)]
Language of Shakespeares comedy comic, bawdy, parodic, witty, euphuistic, full of conceits, conventional, bombastic, proverbial, full of puns, quibbles, double éntendre, romantic, liric, poetical, musical, interspersed with sonnets, love songs, ballads
Elements of shakespearean comedy CROSSDRESSING: The most useful dramatic device for mediating the initiatives of the female, however, is the male disguise. Male garments immensely broaden the sphere in which female energy can manifest itself. Dressed as a man, a nubile woman can go places and do things she couldnt do otherwise, thus getting the play out of the court and the closet and into interesting places like forests… (or law courts) ( Clara Claiborne Park, How we like it)
Shakespeares COMEDIES EXPERIMENTAL The Comedy of Errors The Taming of the Shrew The Two Gentlemen of Verona The Merry Wives of Windsor ROMANTIC Much Ado About Nothing Love's Labour's Lost A Midsummer Night's Dream As You Like It The Merchant of Venice
Shakespearean COMEDIES PROBLEMATIC Twelfth Night All's Well That Ends Well Measure for Measure ROMANCES The Winter's Tale Pericles, Prince of Tyre The Tempest The Two Noble Kinsmen (with Fletcher)
TRAGEDY: general models Classical: Greek, Latin Medieval Modern Possible etimology: from Greek Tragodìa Tràgos: goat Aido: to sing Dionysian ritual: sacrifice of goat/scapegoat ritual
In Aristotles Poetics Violation of order (personal/psychological/historical/political) CRISIS: Chaos Peak of chaos in violence: purge of passions and release: CATHARSIS. Return to ORDER In its constant return to a position of equilibrium, tragedy may be said to reinforce artistically the desirability of political order. Greek models: stucture
Latin Models Ovidio, Metamorphoses (narrative poem) (myths from Greek derivation about dramatic transformations, used for images, phrasing, stories) Seneca plays full of horrors designed more for static declamation than for the excitement of quick-fire action and surprise cherished by the Elizabethan audience.
Narrative tragedy: Boccaccio, De casibus virorum illustrium (56 stories of fall of famous people); Chaucer,The Monks Tale: hym that stood in greet prosperitee/And is fallen out of heigh degree/Into myserie... endeth wrecchedly) Lydgates The Fall of Princes; (in Renaissance by various authors: The Mirror for Magistrates); Moralities tragicomic drama, allegorical struggle between conflicting ethical drivest, character of the Vice was usually comic Medieval Models
Marlowes Dido, Queen of Carthage, Tamburlaine, part 1 and 2, The Jew of Malta, Dr Faustus, Edward II, Kyds The Spanish Tragedy (revenge) modern models
Characteristics of shakespearean tragedy A. C. Bradley, in Shakespearean Tragedy, (1904) describes these plays as stories of exceptional suffering and calamity, leading to the death of a dominant figure of high social standing- a figure intensely committed to his chosen course of action, who is given primary responsibility for what happens in the plot, and whose responsibility for the choices made is most powerfully projected by the rhetoric of his struggle with his own nature.
George Steiner describes tragedy as the re- enactment of private anguish on a public stage. It offers a terrible stark insight into human life. Yet in suffering lies mans claim to dignity. Georg Lukacs said that tragedy begins when enigmatic forces have distilled the essence from a man, and its progress consists in mans essential, true nature becoming more and more manifest. Tragedy becomes the pure experience of self.
Shakespearean Tragedy Shakespearean innovation consists mainly in his capability to depict a psychological, most intimate and universal at the same time, scene in which human drives and instincts are seen in their tragic dialectics.
Titus Andronicus (1594) Romeo and Juliet (1595) Julius Caesar (1599) Hamlet (1601) Othello (1604) King Lear (1605) Macbeth (1606) Antony and Cleopatra(1607) Coriolanus(1608) Shakespearean tragedies
Tragedies: possible categorizations experimental Titus Andronicus Romeo and Juliet Love tragedies Romeo and Juliet (green love) Othello (jealousy) Antony & Cleopatra (mature passion)
Tragedies: possible categorizations Roman tragedies Titus Andronicus Julius Caesar Antony and Cleapatra Coriolanus Great/Character tragedies Hamlet Othello King Lear Macbeth
Other elements are: Fate (Romeo and Juliet), Chance, Error (Othello); Riddle, Foreboding (Macbeth); Revenge (Hamlet) Tragedies: possible categorizations
In Shakespeare: Tragedy is a male genre in its preoccupation with the individual in conflict, whereas Comedy is a female genre with its wider social concern and its desire for harmonious integration through felicity and procreation
The Taming of the Shrew DATE I edition Folio 1623 Actual date supposed between 1590 and 1594: experimental period, farcical Comedies. Royal Shakespeares Company performance at the Novello Theatre
The Taming of a Shrew (1594) Bad (very bad) Quarto or Source or early draft or reported text or analogous from a third UR-Text (almost identical plot but different wording and character names, much more misogynist) The Taming of the SrewThe Taming of a Srew
Possible Sources Although there is no direct literary source for the Induction, the tale of a tinker being duped into thinking he is a lord is a universal one found in many literary traditions. For example, a similar tale is recorded in Arabian Nights where Harun al-Rashid plays the same trick on a man he finds sleeping in an alley, and in De Rebus Burgundicis by the Dutch historian Pontus de Heuiter, where the trick is performed by the Duke of Burgundy. With regard to the Petruchio/Katherina plot: the story of a headstrong woman tamed by a man was a universal and well known one, found in numerous traditions. For example, according to The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Noahs wife was just such an individual (see: The Millers Tale). Traditionally another such woman is Xanthippe, Socrates' wife, who is mentioned by Petruchio himself. Such characters anyway occur throughout medieval literature, in popular farces, and in folklore.
In the common law of crime in England and Wales, a common scold was a species of public nuisancea troublesome and angry woman who broke the public peace by habitually arguing and quarreling with her neighbours. The Latin name for the offender, communis rixatrix, appears in the feminine gender and makes it clear that only women could commit this crime. The offence, which was exported to North America with the colonists, was punishable by ducking: the culprit being placed in a chair and submerged in a river or pond. Although rarely prosecuted it remained on the statute books in England and Wales until 1967.
structure 1)INDUCTION (No closure: lost or meant? present in a Shrew) 2) WOOERS PLOT (by some critics wrongly believed not Shakespearean for its conventional tone) 3) The TAMING PLOT of Petruchio and Katherina
Critical history Controversy The history of the analysis of The Taming of the Shrew is saturated with controversy. The response to The Shrew is dominated by feelings of unease and embarrassment, accompanied by the desire to prove that Shakespeare cannot have meant what he seems to be saying. The play seems to be a harshly misogynistic celebration of patriarchy and female submission, and as such, it has generated heated debates about its true meaning.
Performative quality of the play About Katherinas final speech (V, ii, ) Depending on how we take her tone, Kate is seriously tamed, is ironic at Petruchios expense, has learned comradeship and harmonious coexistence, or will remain a shrew till her death (Lisa Jardine)
A therapy for the shrew Katherinas illness (the family illness I, i, 48-68; II, I, ) The stranger as healer (marriage and love rhetoric I, ii, 63-74; II, i, 334-8; affinity I, ii, ; II, i, 130-7; II,I, ; II, I, 260-8) Curing with paradox (wooing with some spirit II, i, 47-53; ; 191-4; ; ) Homeopathic cure: Similia similibus curantur, (Marriage and Honeymoon III, ii; IV, i; IV, iii) He kills her in her own humour The turning point (rhetorical overdoing IV, v, 1-50) Healing (mimicry between disguise and parody V, ii, )
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE PRINTING HISTORY I Quarto 1600 II Quarto 1619 I Folio 1623 (Collected Works) DATE OF COMPOSITION Between 1596 and 1598 (The Merchant quoted by Francis Mere in Palladis Tamia with other 5 comedies in 1598)
Topics The bond of human flesh theme is found in ancient religious tales from Persia and India In the west, the Roman laws gave creditors the theoretical right to divide the body of a debtor among themselves. Jewishness, textual parallels: Marlowes, THE JEW OF MALTA, 1589 (Barabas/Shylock, Abigail/Jessica )
Jews: ancient period Jerusalem: 586 B. C. was destroyed by Babylonians; exile to Babylonia, escape to Egypt Return and Restoration Greek and Roman conquests In 332 B.C. Alexander the Great occupied Palestine, during the following period attempts were made to merge the local religion into the universally prevalent syncretistic pagan cult of the Hellenic world In 167 B.C. revolt led by Judas Maccabaeus for religious as well as national reasons, there ensued a Syrian dominion more liberal from the religious point of view In 65 B.C. Pompey captured Jerusalem and established the Roman Rule. Titus ordered the destruction of the Temple (70 A.D.) In 135 A.D. Hadrian destroyed the town, the soil was ploughed over, a new city was erected (Aelia Capitolina) from which the Jews (but not the Christians) were expelled
The Age of Diaspora Jews spread over the Roman Empire. (North Africa, West and central Europe) In 212 A.D. Caracalla had admitted Jews to Roman citizenship but with the Christianization of the empire their condition changed: from an insignissima religio, certe licita, it became secta nefaria (Anyway Rome was almost the only city to preserve its Jewish community from antiquity to modern times, till racial laws)
Jerusalem: In 326 Constantine ordered to recover the sites of crucifixion and the burial of Jesus: two great Churches were built. During the VII century Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim powers (Mohammed set out originally to win the support of the Jews in Arabia through monotheism, dietary laws and other similarities to Jewish practices but when the Jews from Constantinople to Toledo rejected him he proceeded to drive them out of Arabia. Successively Islam proclaim them: tolerated infidels and second-class citizens.) In 1099 the crusaders entered the city under Godfrey of Bouillon In 1187 Saladin reconquered Jerusalem which except for brief periods ( ; ) remained in Muslim hands till 1917
Middle Ages and Renaissance With the Barbarian invasions a momentary improvement had come about in the position of the Jews derived from religious indifference. Later a reaction followed and there was a wave of forced conversion. The Arab invasion brought more liberty, in Spain there was no limitation to Jews religious practices nor civil activities. In feudal times however they remained out of the system of land owning, they specialized in commerce. Later on with the growth of a mercantile class the Jews became excluded particularly in North Europe. As the Catholic Church condemned usury it concentrated in the hands of those to whom the prohibition didnt apply. In 12 th century reaction against Heresies involved a renewal of restrictions and prejudices Vs the Jews: they were obliged to wear a special badge and the Ghettos were established, they were increasingly accused of ritual murder and desacration of the Host. Enforced conversions ensued. (Marranos)
England England was the last country in western Europe to be settled by the Jews in the wake of the Norman conquest. This marked the culmination of the western sweep. The backward swing began soon after. With the first crusade in 1096 there took place the first of the long series of massacres and expulsions which in the end drew the Jews back to the East. England expelled Jews in 1290, France in 1306, In Germany politically divided there were partial expulsions after massacres: in Jews were held responsible for the Black Death, the Jews condition in Spain deteriorated during the 14 th an 15 th centuries till their expulsion in 1492, after the defeat of the Moors. In 16 th century they were expelled from the kingdom of Naples and the duchy of Milan. Jews sought refuge in Turkish and in Polish empires
The age of liberalism ( ) A period of emancipation coincided with the enlightenment ideals which led to French Revolution and the liberal revolutions of 19 th century. The values of freedom and equality benefited also the Jewish communities except in Russia where the pogroms and the policy of the scapegoat continued till the 1917 revolution.
Yad Vashem Museum- Jerusalem Shoah- Holocaust Hitler, Nazism and the final solution ( dead) 1948 Birth of Israel State
STAGE HISTORY I recorded performance 10 February 1605, no performance recorded until 1741 The Jew of Venice, adaptation by George Granville often played in the meantime When the Shakespearean original was restored, The Merchant became Shylocks play (ex. Edmund Kean,
SHYLOCK I, iii, passim; II, v, 1-39; II, viii, ; III, i, 21-65; III, iii, 1-24 In Elizabethan times as in the Middle Ages usury was condemned as a great evil and yet requested by many (Elizabeth, Essex, Sidney, Leicester, Southampton, the Chamberlains Men to build the Globe, all borrowed money) Usurer lendeth like a friend but he covenanteth like an enemie(H. Smith, Examination of Usury, 1591)
Sources Translation of the 13 th century of CURSOR MUNDI where the creditor is a Jew. Translation of the 15 th century of GESTA ROMANORUM where a story of wooing is added to the flesh bond theme. Closest source Ser Giovannis IL PECORONE, collection of Italian Tales published in 1558 (the existence of an English version is supposed but not certain)
A symbolic location Venice Bourgeois Interest Individual Venture Tragedy Darkness Belmont Aristocratic Love & friendship Law of the father Comedy Light
PORTIA I, ii, 1-70 III, ii, 1-72 III, iv, IV, i,
Antonio and Bassanio ( and Portia) I, i, 1-79, III, ii, IV, i, V, i,
Elements of comedy II, iv love escape II, v masks II, v cross-dressing II, vi servant/clown characters II, vii fairytale elements (the three caskets) Language: lyrical, bawdy, witty, proverbial, mispelling, quibbles, double entendre,
Hamlet Date 1601 Inscribed in The Stationers Register in 1602 as A Booke called The Revenge of Hamlett Prince of Denmarke as yt was latelie Acted by the Lord Chamberleyne his servants First Quarto 1603 Second Quarto In Folio 1623
Sources Saxo Gramaticus ( ), Historiae Danicae Libri or Gesta Danorum (published in 1514) 16 books: III and IV dedicated to Amlethus or Amlodhi Francois de Belleforest, Histoires Tragiques (1570) : translation and adaptation of Saxos story with the addition of Gertrudes infidelity before her husbands murder and the melancholy motif. Murder by poison poured in the victims ear (Serpieri, 36-37) Ur-Hamlet a lost drama perhaps by Thomas Kyd, often referred to by many contemporary sources (the university wits Thomas Nashe and Thomas Lodge, Philip Henslows Diary)
Shakespearean additions Fortinbras of Norway I, i, ; V, ii, ; 377-end the actors and the play within the play (fiction which leads to truth; meta- theatrical reflections, misoginy, madness, puns and wordplay III, ii, ) the Ghost: Supernatural sign in the symbolical world picture I, i, ; I, i, ;
The Ghost: the uncanny as the return of the repressed in the modern split subject, Curti p.26-7 Freud, Il Perturbante Heimlich/unheimlich p.16, 23-4, 26, 54-5, 61 I, iii, (secret) I, iv, (thoughts) III, iv, (vision of the mind in the closet scene)
Oedipus complex ( Hamnet was also the name of his only male son who died young, Hamnet Sadler was his best friend in Stratford) Freud, Linterpretazione dei sogni (1899) p (Ernst Jones, The Oedipus Complex as an explanation of Hamlets Mystery, 1910), Curti, p.13, Impasse: II, ii, ; III, iii, 73-98; misoginy: I, ii, Eros as danger I, iii, 5-44; I, iii, ; III, i, LUST (See Sonnet**) I, v, 42-57;
** Sonnet 129 The expense of spirit in a waste of shame Is lust in action; and till action, lust Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame, Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust; Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight, Past reason hunted, and no sooner had Past reason hated as a swallowed bait, On purpose laid to make the taker mad: Mad in pursuit and in possession so, Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme; A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe, Before, a joy proposed, behind, a dream. All this the world well knows, yet none so well To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell
Ophelia her madness and death (in 1579 a certain Katherine Hamlett drowned in the river Avon) IV, vii, (image of drowning girl, flowers, sexual implications, water, femininity: the question of representation)
Ophelia though she is neglected in criticism, Ophelia is probably the most frequently illustrated and cited of Shakespeares heroines. (E. Showalter, Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism, 1985) We can imagine Hamlets story without Ophelia, but Ophelia literally has no story without Hamlet (Lee Edwards) «Ophelia does have a story… it is neither her life story, nor her love story… but rather the history of her representation. » (Showalter)
RENAISSANCE love-melancholy, erotomania, offense against decorum, madness, deserved death by water: the feminine element XVII CENTURY madness sentimentalised, censure of bawdy textual implications, musical representation ROMANTICISM from denial to embrace: madness from too much feeling, speechless critics/pictorial obsession, Anticipation of medical fascination for relation between female sexuality and hysteria (Charcot, Janet, Freud) XX CENTURY Anti-psychiatry represents her as schizophrenic response to repression FEMINISM Ophelias madness as protest and rebellion, a form of agency, rewritings IV, v, 21-72; IV, v,
In patriarchal discourse, feminine and sexuality can be represented only in terms of madness and death Representation of Femininity rests on the side of negativity, absence, lack Ophelia as NOTHINGNESS III, ii, In Elizabethan slang nothing was a term for female genitalia, the extroverted male sex was replicated in the female as a carved absentia (woman as the negative side of man)
See Freud, Il perturbante (female genitalia as source of anguish, p. 63) French psychoanalyst Luce Irigaray: womens sexual organs represent the horror of nothing to see Ophelias story becomes the story of the Zero …the empty circle or mystery of feminine difference (Showalter) Her speech is nothing Curti, p. 52
MELANCHOLY Melancholy, excess of spleen or black choler Encyclopaedic treatise: Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy : … my purpose and endeavour is … to anatomise this humour of melancholy, through all its parts and species, as it is an habit, or an ordinary disease, and that philosophically, medicinally, to show the causes, symptoms and several cures of it, that it may be the better avoided… I have anatomised my own folly…
Melancholy= Baroque Aesthetics (Curti, p.16-17) Melancholy= Black Sun of depression Une suspension du sens, une nuit sans espoir, léclipse des perspectives et jusquà celle de la vie, rallument alors dans la mémoire le souvenir des séparations traumatiques et nous plongent dans un état dabandon. Père, pourquoi mas-tu abandonné ? » (J. Kristeva, Le soleil noir. Dépression et mélancholie)
Melancholy= bereavement To a son he speaks, the son of his soul, the prince, young Hamlet and to the son of his body, Hamnet Shakespeare… He wrote the play in the months that followed (also) his fathers death… (J. Joyce, Ulysses) Melancholy= unworked mourning See S. Freud, Mourning and Melancholia
Freud proposed that the cause of melancholia resided in the failure to mourn a loss. the normal affect of mourning was to be considered the regular reaction to the loss of a loved person, or to the loss of some abstraction... such as ones country, liberty, an ideal, and so on (MM, 243). On the other hand melancholia was identified in the terms of a pathological condition, the state where the work of mourning fails to reach completion. Freud described the process by which the shadow of the object fell upon the ego and the loss of the object, whether it be a person or a loss of a more ideal kind(245), gradually became the loss of the ego. In other words while a mourner, a griever, gets to a sense of closure and moves on, the melancholic embraces the condition of lingering, keeping the wound open and infected. The distinguishing mental features of melancholia are a profoundly painful dejection, cessation of interest in the outside world, loss of the capacity to love, inhibition of all activity, and a lowering of the self- regarding feelings to a degree that finds utterance in self-reproaches and self-revilings... (MM, 244); in mourning he concluded it is the world which has become poor and empty; in melancholia it is the ego itself (246).
I, ii, 66-86(Bereavement), I, ii, (black sun); I, ii, (black humour); II, 2, ; III, I, (death drive, postponement of the action, dubbio metafisico Serpieri, p ,14, Functional interpretation: No delay, no play)
MADNESS I, iv, 69-78; I, v, , II, ii, ; ; buffoonery (Serpieri, p.12, 16-7) III, iv, 9-13; (isocolon, repetition); IV, ii, 4-28 (puns); IV, iii, (chiasm, antimetatesi)
Medieval symbolical cosmos III, iii, 8-23 (order & harmony) Chaotic individual modernity IV, iv, 9-66 (doubt) EPISTEMOLOGICAL SHIFTING Languages at war: Serpieri, p M. Bachtin, dialogical nature of the novel Serpieri, Polifonic nature of Shakespearean theatre Two world-pictures: Vs