Sunday, May 4, 2008
Of Koi and Sledgehammers
Ophelia by ^cosmosue
I am pleased to announce that Nietzsche Koi has inspired something resembling an intellectual conversation over at Shakespeare Geek:
Saturday, May 03, 2008
The Bard Never Would Have Let Me Use A Sledgehammer
[Note, image NSFW]
The above link just goes to a not-safe-to-work, albeit artistic image, with the following caption:
Shakespeare only really wrote with two views on women - the conniving sexualized and the innocent virgins. The guys I work with in construction see me as either a sexual object or an incompetent child, so they aren't much different than Shakespeare. Except the Bard never would have let me use a sledge hammer.
Posted by Duane at 11:38 PM
No, absolutely not, and really quite indefensible. Exhibits for the rebuttal:
Helena (All's Well that Ends Well version)
Margaret of Anjou
Mistresses Ford and Page
Elinor of Aquitaine
Neither "sexual objects" nor "incompetent children," any of them. There is a great deal we would take issue with today with Shakespeare's presentation and treatment of women, to be sure--and "Shrew" looms large in that presentation in my mind--but Shakespeare also wrote about strong and capable women many times--some "good," some "bad," some pretty hard to categorize (Queen Margaret, one of the most remarkable characters in Shakespeare). A number of these characters are the "cross-dressers," the phenomenon of which must be central to any discussion of gender roles in Shakespeare, as it is highly suggestive that the "limitations" of womanhood are as much a social construct as dresses versus doublets. The argument you quote is the grossest kind of over-simplification of a quite complext topic. It bugs me to see this kind of argument--Shakespeare is picked up like a football and run towards whatever goal the writer is seeking.
It bugs me to see this kind of argument--Shakespeare is picked up like a football and run towards whatever goal the writer is seeking.
I completely agree. I'm glad to see some real discussion over a Nietzsche Koi post.Nonetheless, I still find it somewhat difficult to imagine Tamora working construction with a sledgehammer.
Alan K.Farrar said...
Just re-watched Two Gentlemen - where there is a long list (Launce's) of the qualities needed in a good wife ... rather a lot of hard physical labour (from milking cows - which, unless you've ever tried it, don't mock - to beer making - again, something of an extreme sport). Modern presumptions and not knowing the plays I'm afraid.(And if Greer (bbke) is right, he had his wife working on a building site - as foreman.)
Further thoughts or OT meanderings...?