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Bolognaking
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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"


RTA wrote:

Bolognaking wrote:

 

Sorry, I misunderstood.  Primarily comedies, mostly recent, some local and some from a broader pool.  I leave the musicals to others; it's not my favourite genre.  I would love to do a more serious piece or a classic one, but it would be a hard sell convincing the board that we could actually sell tickets to such a show.  A huge contribution from a benefactor would be welcome!  (What theatre company wouldn't say that?)

 


So, noticing your signature, have you directed any of Stoppard's work?  I think he's very difficult to pull off well.  But, when done well, it's usually nearing on genius. 

 

I know what you mean about ticket sales, unfortunately, dictating production choices.  I guess it's one of the necessary evils of the business.  But, then again, isn't the whole point of theater to perform in front of an audience?  So I guess I shouldn't say evil, necessarily.


 

No, I've never directed Stoppard but I think Travesties would be interesting.  But as you say, difficult to pull off.
"We're actors - we're the opposite of people" - Tom Stoppard
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Everyman
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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"

At least, RTA, if you're going to accuse me by name, be honest.   At no point have I ever claimed that I was the only one on the legitimacy thread that respects Shakespeare’s work.   You say that you don't like "doing violence to the original author," but I consider that outright lying about what someone has said constitutes doing violence to that author.

 

I have said that I think certain interpretations don't respect Shakespeare's work, and that in putting out those interpretations the people who do so aren't, at that point, respecting Shakespeare.    I stand by that.  I think that presenting a Shakespeare play in a 20th century setting, with 20th century issues, disrespects Shakespeare.  You are free to disagree with that if you wish to. But if you object to my saying that, either you believe that I have no right to even think that way, that I have to think exactly as you want me to, or you are suggesting that I should conceal what I believe and hide my thoughts because you might not like them.

 

I reject either of those premises.  I am entitled to think what I want to, and as long as I do so politely and within the rules of this site, I am entitled to say what I believe.   I accept that Connie is entitled to ask me to censor my posting if she thinks it is violative of the site rules.   I do not accept that you have that role, and find that your attempts to censor my posting are unworthy of my consideration.   

 

As for whether you respect Shakespeare in everything you say or think about him, either you do or you don't.  If you do, why does it matter to you if somebody suggests that in certain areas they don't think you do?    To the extent that you think that everything about staging Shakespeare is subjective, that there is absolutely nothing right or wrong in any absolute sense, that whatever a director wants to do is fair game, and although you may not like with it's fair to do, then in that part of your thinking I do think that you disrespect Shakespeare.  If you disagree with me, then you do.  That's fine.  But don't try to tell me that it is wrong of me to post what I believe.  That is censorship of ideas, and has no place on this board.  

 

 And as I said elsewhere, if you don't like what I post, don't read me.  

 

And now that we have spent much more time and effort sniping at each other than the issue is worth, perhaps we can get back to discussing Julius Caesar.

 

 

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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"


Everyman wrote:

At least, RTA, if you're going to accuse me by name, be honest.   At no point have I ever claimed that I was the only one on the legitimacy thread that respects Shakespeare’s work.   You say that you don't like "doing violence to the original author," but I consider that outright lying about what someone has said constitutes doing violence to that author.

 

I have said that I think certain interpretations don't respect Shakespeare's work, and that in putting out those interpretations the people who do so aren't, at that point, respecting Shakespeare.    I stand by that.  I think that presenting a Shakespeare play in a 20th century setting, with 20th century issues, disrespects Shakespeare.  You are free to disagree with that if you wish to. But if you object to my saying that, either you believe that I have no right to even think that way, that I have to think exactly as you want me to, or you are suggesting that I should conceal what I believe and hide my thoughts because you might not like them.

 

I reject either of those premises.  I am entitled to think what I want to, and as long as I do so politely and within the rules of this site, I am entitled to say what I believe.   I accept that Connie is entitled to ask me to censor my posting if she thinks it is violative of the site rules.   I do not accept that you have that role, and find that your attempts to censor my posting are unworthy of my consideration.   

 

As for whether you respect Shakespeare in everything you say or think about him, either you do or you don't.  If you do, why does it matter to you if somebody suggests that in certain areas they don't think you do?    To the extent that you think that everything about staging Shakespeare is subjective, that there is absolutely nothing right or wrong in any absolute sense, that whatever a director wants to do is fair game, and although you may not like with it's fair to do, then in that part of your thinking I do think that you disrespect Shakespeare.  If you disagree with me, then you do.  That's fine.  But don't try to tell me that it is wrong of me to post what I believe.  That is censorship of ideas, and has no place on this board.  

 

 And as I said elsewhere, if you don't like what I post, don't read me.  

 

And now that we have spent much more time and effort sniping at each other than the issue is worth, perhaps we can get back to discussing Julius Caesar.

 

 


Everyman, please note, I said nothing here about wanting to censor your judgments about others' interpretations.  I only observed that you seem to spend more time doing that, than in actually discussing the text.  And that observation isn't just based on my experience with you on this board, it's also based on other outside experiences, which is why I kept the original post general. 

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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"

Yes, mother.


RTA wrote:

Everyman wrote:

At least, RTA, if you're going to accuse me by name, be honest.   At no point have I ever claimed that I was the only one on the legitimacy thread that respects Shakespeare’s work.   You say that you don't like "doing violence to the original author," but I consider that outright lying about what someone has said constitutes doing violence to that author.

 

I have said that I think certain interpretations don't respect Shakespeare's work, and that in putting out those interpretations the people who do so aren't, at that point, respecting Shakespeare.    I stand by that.  I think that presenting a Shakespeare play in a 20th century setting, with 20th century issues, disrespects Shakespeare.  You are free to disagree with that if you wish to. But if you object to my saying that, either you believe that I have no right to even think that way, that I have to think exactly as you want me to, or you are suggesting that I should conceal what I believe and hide my thoughts because you might not like them.

 

I reject either of those premises.  I am entitled to think what I want to, and as long as I do so politely and within the rules of this site, I am entitled to say what I believe.   I accept that Connie is entitled to ask me to censor my posting if she thinks it is violative of the site rules.   I do not accept that you have that role, and find that your attempts to censor my posting are unworthy of my consideration.   

 

As for whether you respect Shakespeare in everything you say or think about him, either you do or you don't.  If you do, why does it matter to you if somebody suggests that in certain areas they don't think you do?    To the extent that you think that everything about staging Shakespeare is subjective, that there is absolutely nothing right or wrong in any absolute sense, that whatever a director wants to do is fair game, and although you may not like with it's fair to do, then in that part of your thinking I do think that you disrespect Shakespeare.  If you disagree with me, then you do.  That's fine.  But don't try to tell me that it is wrong of me to post what I believe.  That is censorship of ideas, and has no place on this board.  

 

 And as I said elsewhere, if you don't like what I post, don't read me.  

 

And now that we have spent much more time and effort sniping at each other than the issue is worth, perhaps we can get back to discussing Julius Caesar.

 

 


Everyman, please note, I said nothing here about wanting to censor your judgments about others' interpretations.  I only observed that you seem to spend more time doing that, than in actually discussing the text.  And that observation isn't just based on my experience with you on this board, it's also based on other outside experiences, which is why I kept the original post general. 


 

 

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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"


Everyman wrote:

Yes, mother.

 

 


Good boy.

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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"

[ Edited ]

Bolognaking wrote:

 

No, I've never directed Stoppard but I think Travesties would be interesting.  But as you say, difficult to pull off.

I know, I think the timing for actors in comedies can be difficult.  Our actors had a very difficult time with the Restoration humor from The Rover.  It took some intense line study, and just working on timing, for the jokes to really resound.  They certainly didn't hit all of them, but they did an admirable job, nonetheless.

 

And, speaking of Stoppard, an excellent regional theater in my area is producing Rock 'n Roll for their first piece this year.  It opened just last week.  I will definitely be seeing it.   

 

Message Edited by RTA on 09-22-2008 07:33 PM
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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom:Five weeks in October?


dulcinea3 wrote:

Hi Connie,

 

I noticed that you said that you were going to split Macbeth over five weeks, but according to the Announcements thread where they listed all the October selections, it runs from 10/6 - 10/31, which is only four weeks, so I'm a little confused.  I don't know when to start reading (LOL)!


 

Oh, nuts.  I meant to double-check the dates BN.com set up for October, dulcinea3, and then edit that post if need be!  You caught me before I could do that!  Ok--so we will space them out over 4 weeks, like we did this month.  Sorry for the confusion!

 

~ConnieK

~ConnieAnnKirk




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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"

Not all here may be aware of the connections between Julius Caesar and the assassination of Lincoln. 

 

John Wilkes Booth's father, Junius Brutus Booth, was named after Brutus.

 

In November, 1864, John and his two brothers, all actors, took part in a New York benefit performance of Julius Caesar to raise money for a statue of Shakespeare in Central Park.  It was the only time the three ever played together.  Junius, Jr. played Cassius, Edwin played Brutus and John Wilkes played Marc Antony.   This site has a photo of them in the play.  And here is the playbill.   The statue is indeed there, according to this site which notes that "In 1864, coinciding with the tricentennial of Shakespeare's birth, a group of actors and theatrical managers, among them noted Shakepearean actor Edwin Booth (1833-1893), received permission from Central Park's Board of Commissioners to lay the cornerstone for a statue at the south end of the Mall between two elms. Nothing further was done until the end of the Civil War,"

 

It was five months later that JWB assassinated Lincoln.  His words, "Our country owed all her troubles to him, and God simply made me the instrument of his punishment," seems as though they could have been uttered by Brutus. 

 

 

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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"

As an aside, while checking out the Booth playing in JC story, I ran across this little item:

 

1926: By far the most elaborate performance of the play was staged as a benefit for the Actors' Fund of America at the Hollywood Bowl. Caesar arrived for the Lupercal in a chariot drawn by four white horses. The stage was the size of a city block and dominated by a central tower eighty feet in height. The event was mainly aimed at creating work for unemployed actors. Three hundred gladiators appeared in an arena scene not featured in Shakespeare's play; a similar number of girls danced as Caesar's captives; a total of three thousand soldiers took part in the battle sequences.

 

As a traditionalist, I abhor the dancing girls; as a spectacalist, I would have loved to see it. 

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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"

Last night, I finally had the opportunity for a long overdue viewing of The Queen, with Helen Mirren.  I was struck by some of the themes, which have been significant to me, from Julius Caesar seemed reflected in the film—and, as far as I can honestly tell, I wasn’t looking for such resonances.

 

Most striking was the film’s dramatization of Queen Elizabeth II, as a public figure, handling Diana’s death, both privately and publicly.  I also noticed parallels with the theme of a state figure desperately holding onto antiquated perceptions of state that may no longer exist.  I thought Blair’s communications director, Alastair Campbell, embodied hints of Antony’s penchant for rhetoric, as did his, arguably, dishonorable use of rhetoric to sway the masses.  And, I hate to say, I saw elements of the depiction of JC’s plebeians in Britain’s public as dramatized in the film. 

 

Generally speaking, it was, as expected, quite the performance by Mirren.
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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"


RTA wrote:

Last night, I finally had the opportunity for a long overdue viewing of The Queen, with Helen Mirren.  I was struck by some of the themes, which have been significant to me, from Julius Caesar seemed reflected in the film—and, as far as I can honestly tell, I wasn’t looking for such resonances.

 

Most striking was the film’s dramatization of Queen Elizabeth II, as a public figure, handling Diana’s death, both privately and publicly.  I also noticed parallels with the theme of a state figure desperately holding onto antiquated perceptions of state that may no longer exist.  I thought Blair’s communications director, Alastair Campbell, embodied hints of Antony’s penchant for rhetoric, as did his, arguably, dishonorable use of rhetoric to sway the masses.  And, I hate to say, I saw elements of the depiction of JC’s plebeians in Britain’s public as dramatized in the film. 

 

Generally speaking, it was, as expected, quite the performance by Mirren.

I really enjoyed that movie when it came out, RTA--moreso than most in recent memory.  It made me an instant Mirren fan, too.  (Her gown at the Oscars that year was perfect for a woman her age, btw--she positively glowed!).  I liked how The Queen showed both the public and private sides of this public figure, how it played on the generational differences between the way she was brought up and where the public had moved since then, and the conflicts she had to bear managing all of these personas at once.  The film did more to humanize her more than almost anything else I've seen.  I'm not sure I'd relate the movie much to JC, but I can see where someone might see other similiarities.

 

~ConnieK

~ConnieAnnKirk




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Timbuktu1
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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"


ConnieK wrote:

RTA wrote:

Last night, I finally had the opportunity for a long overdue viewing of The Queen, with Helen Mirren.  I was struck by some of the themes, which have been significant to me, from Julius Caesar seemed reflected in the film—and, as far as I can honestly tell, I wasn’t looking for such resonances.

 

Most striking was the film’s dramatization of Queen Elizabeth II, as a public figure, handling Diana’s death, both privately and publicly.  I also noticed parallels with the theme of a state figure desperately holding onto antiquated perceptions of state that may no longer exist.  I thought Blair’s communications director, Alastair Campbell, embodied hints of Antony’s penchant for rhetoric, as did his, arguably, dishonorable use of rhetoric to sway the masses.  And, I hate to say, I saw elements of the depiction of JC’s plebeians in Britain’s public as dramatized in the film. 

 

Generally speaking, it was, as expected, quite the performance by Mirren.

I really enjoyed that movie when it came out, RTA--moreso than most in recent memory.  It made me an instant Mirren fan, too.  (Her gown at the Oscars that year was perfect for a woman her age, btw--she positively glowed!).  I liked how The Queen showed both the public and private sides of this public figure, how it played on the generational differences between the way she was brought up and where the public had moved since then, and the conflicts she had to bear managing all of these personas at once.  The film did more to humanize her more than almost anything else I've seen.  I'm not sure I'd relate the movie much to JC, but I can see where someone might see other similiarities.

 

~ConnieK


I loved the movie too and I was just wondering what your take was on the deer.   Were the antlers symbolic of a crown?  

 

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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"

I haven't seen the movie, so I don't know how the deer were used, but from hundreds of years ago, deer have been used as a symbol of monarchy.   Remember Robin Hood?  The Crown owned all the deer, and any pesants who poached them could be exected. 

 

Stags heads on the wall are also a common symbol of power in old English mansions.  


Timbuktu1 wrote:

ConnieK wrote:

RTA wrote:

Last night, I finally had the opportunity for a long overdue viewing of The Queen, with Helen Mirren.  I was struck by some of the themes, which have been significant to me, from Julius Caesar seemed reflected in the film—and, as far as I can honestly tell, I wasn’t looking for such resonances.

 

Most striking was the film’s dramatization of Queen Elizabeth II, as a public figure, handling Diana’s death, both privately and publicly.  I also noticed parallels with the theme of a state figure desperately holding onto antiquated perceptions of state that may no longer exist.  I thought Blair’s communications director, Alastair Campbell, embodied hints of Antony’s penchant for rhetoric, as did his, arguably, dishonorable use of rhetoric to sway the masses.  And, I hate to say, I saw elements of the depiction of JC’s plebeians in Britain’s public as dramatized in the film. 

 

Generally speaking, it was, as expected, quite the performance by Mirren.

I really enjoyed that movie when it came out, RTA--moreso than most in recent memory.  It made me an instant Mirren fan, too.  (Her gown at the Oscars that year was perfect for a woman her age, btw--she positively glowed!).  I liked how The Queen showed both the public and private sides of this public figure, how it played on the generational differences between the way she was brought up and where the public had moved since then, and the conflicts she had to bear managing all of these personas at once.  The film did more to humanize her more than almost anything else I've seen.  I'm not sure I'd relate the movie much to JC, but I can see where someone might see other similiarities.

 

~ConnieK


I loved the movie too and I was just wondering what your take was on the deer.   Were the antlers symbolic of a crown?  

 


 

 

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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern" : Royal Deer Hunting UK.

 
I like the parallels you draw between JC and the film The Queen RTA.  However, I do not know of any particular significance attached to antlers vis a vis the crown. It was the French born king William the Conquerer who established stag and deer hunting as a royal pastime from 1066 onwards.  In addition to the existing forests, he planted massive forests in which to hunt deer and it has been a royal pastime ever since.  Almost a quarter of England was royal forest during the reign of Henry II in the mid twelfth century; and by the thirteenth century they still covered about one-fifth of the land surface of England. There are still vast acres of them around the aristocracy's estates, including royal Balmoral in Scotland, where the film shows the Royal family hunting.  The collection of stag antlers for display, indeed the collection of stuffed animals of all kinds, became fashionable during Victorian times.  Stag antlers are a symbol of virility connected with the Celtic fertility god Cernunnos (the 'velvet' on the horns is a supposed aphrodisiac).  
Extract on royal deer forests from The Landowners by Anthony Blond 1969:
'Defined in law as Royal Forest they extended far beyond the lands that the King owned personally and included territory he had handed out to Freeholders. Some of those owning land even today are descendants of these gifts, almost 1,000 years later. For example, Le Gros Veneur was William the Conqueror’s closest companions and his chief huntsman. He was given estates in Cheshire and the earldom of Chester. The Duke of Westminster, Britain’s richest man, is a descendant as are the Grosvenor family with their vast fortune. "Royal Forest" did not imply only wooded land: it embraced villages and cultivated fields as well as common, rough pasture, field and wood. The term ‘royal forest’ meant an area in which a special kind of laws - the forest law - applied.

The laws and regulation of the royal forest, enforced by a host of forest officials, forbade any activities that might impair the use of the land for hunting, for deer and boar. Nobody, not even the baronial owner of the land, could plough up pasture used by deer in order to grow crops, nor could trees be cut down; permission was required to lop branches... Anybody who broke any of the forest regulations could be fined heavily and might have his property confiscated. The poaching of venison was the most serious offence, and for this a man could be castrated and blinded.... All this to protect stag hunting for the Royals and the rich.

 

Outside the royal forests, the land-owning classes took their cue from the king, and applied the principles of the royal forest to their own lands. Living as warriors at the expense of the cultivators of the soil, they had time on their hands. Hunting provided something to do, which was not only entertaining but also useful, in that it provided ‘peacetime training for war’. As the knights and barons took up the royal habit of hunting so they followed the king in creating private hunting domains of their own.

 

To establish a private hunting forest or ‘chase’, a landowner needed only the permission of the king. Once he had secured this, he could forbid everybody else to take animal food within it. The vast private chases of medieval England, of which there were at least 26 at various times in the Middle ages, owned by both lay and ecclesiastical lords, included Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, Lancashire’s Forest of Brownland, Arundel in Sussex, Enfield Chase in Middlesex and Dorset’s Cranborne Chase.

 

Because of the size of the royal forests and the private chases it was not practical to fence them and ordinary people were permitted to traverse them in order to go about their everyday business. However, in the third category of medieval game preserve - the smaller deer parks - no access of any sort seems to have been permitted.  

 

Clearly the development of the habit of hunting had a decisive impact on the allocation of land in medieval England... [Better population statistics exist for deer in medieval England than for human beings.C.] Many are the instances in which the allocation of a stretch of land for private bloodsports (regal or baronial) in medieval times has survived the intervening centuries. For example, the countryside around Alnwick in Northumberland was established as royal forest; foxhunting and pheasant shooting are two of the main uses of the enclosed and essentially private headquarters of the present Duke of Northumberland’s northern lands, the 3,000 acre Hulne Park at Alnwick. Similarly, Cornbury and Wychwood in Oxfordshire was a favourite hunting ground of the medieval kings; today, two of the main uses to which its owner, Lord Rotherwick devotes Cornbury Park and Wychwood forest (at 2,150 acres) are pheasant and deer shooting.

 

While some of the vast deer preserves of the Norman Landowners were in areas of relatively poor and infertile soils, like the New Forest and Dartmoor, others occupied land that could have grown crops for the poor. Farming was further impaired by deer that strayed from the coverts, and woodland pastures on to growing crops in existing fields. The restrictions on grazing in the royal forest, private chases and deer parks meant that serfs and the few free peasants had to seek pasture for their livestock somewhere else, perhaps some distance away. But this inconvenience and hardship had to be tolerated in the interests of the private pleasure of the rich.

 

The arrival of feudalism in Britain after 1066 constituted a graphic case of the seizure of power by the strong over the weak. The manorial system had existed in embryo under the Saxon kings, who were themselves fond of hunting. But it was the Norman’s who cemented the inequalities emerging under the Saxon regime into a fixed and enduring system.'

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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern" : Royal Deer Hunting UK.

Hey, Choisya, welcome back.  And thanks for all the info, very interesting. 

 

Timbuktu, I don’t think I’d argue the imagery as being directly tied to the Queen’s crown.  I did read a bit in Mirren’s look the contemplation, and possibly regret, that the magnificent creature had been taken down.  The beheaded image of the deer is also a bit interesting. 

 

As for your possible interpretation, let me remind you, just in case you hadn’t recalled, the Henry IV, 2 line quoted—I think with the title—at the start of the film: “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”  A significant element of the film is how the crown affects the person, and controls her actions.  Another element stressed in the film is how people are always gunning for the person wearing the crown—the Queen is essentially depicted as being hunted by Blair's staff, wife, the media and, in the end, the public.  Thus, I don't think the possible imagery is far-fetched.

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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"


ConnieK wrote:

 

 I'm not sure I'd relate the movie much to JC, but I can see where someone might see other similiarities.

 


I agree.  I wouldn’t argue that the pieces are, at all, related, Connie.  Just that more than one of the themes I was in the midst of contemplating with regard to JC are interestingly explored in The Queen.  A testament, again, to the timelessness in some of Shakespeare’s work.
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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern" : Royal Deer Hunting UK.


RTA wrote:

Hey, Choisya, welcome back.  And thanks for all the info, very interesting. 

 

Timbuktu, I don’t think I’d argue the imagery as being directly tied to the Queen’s crown.  I did read a bit in Mirren’s look the contemplation, and possibly regret, that the magnificent creature had been taken down.  The beheaded image of the deer is also a bit interesting. 

 

As for your possible interpretation, let me remind you, just in case you hadn’t recalled, the Henry IV, 2 line quoted—I think with the title—at the start of the film: “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”  A significant element of the film is how the crown affects the person, and controls her actions.  Another element stressed in the film is how people are always gunning for the person wearing the crown—the Queen is essentially depicted as being hunted by Blair's staff, wife, the media and, in the end, the public.  Thus, I don't think the possible imagery is far-fetched.



Thanks everyone.  RTA, that's what I thought it meant but wasn't sure.  She identified with the deer and her crown weighed heavily on her.   And she did feel hunted.  You have to love that woman after seeing that movie.  BTW, I thought the actor who played Tony Blair was amazing.

 

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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern"


Timbuktu1 wrote:

Thanks everyone.  RTA, that's what I thought it meant but wasn't sure.  She identified with the deer and her crown weighed heavily on her.   And she did feel hunted.  You have to love that woman after seeing that movie.  BTW, I thought the actor who played Tony Blair was amazing.

 


Well, love is a little strong, for me.  But I did grow to admire the woman as portrayed in the film.  I also grew to appreciate, almost from the opening scene--when she speaks of Churchill giving a shy, young girl advice--the implications of a life that is mapped out for a person.  It infused quite a bit of sympathy into the character.

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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern" : Royal Deer Hunting UK.

However, I do not know of any particular significance attached to antlers vis a vis the crown. It was the French born king William the Conquerer who established stag and deer hunting as a royal pastime from 1066 onwards.  In addition to the existing forests, he planted massive forests in which to hunt deer and it has been a royal pastime ever since.

 

Those statements seem contradictary.   Antlers are the most noticable representation of the deer, and there were antlers from the chase hanging in many of the castles.  Certainly deer and therefore antlers are more significant to the crown than most other animals -- cows or pigs or hedgehogs.


Choisya wrote:
 
I like the parallels you draw between JC and the film The Queen RTA.  However, I do not know of any particular significance attached to antlers vis a vis the crown. It was the French born king William the Conquerer who established stag and deer hunting as a royal pastime from 1066 onwards.  In addition to the existing forests, he planted massive forests in which to hunt deer and it has been a royal pastime ever since.  Almost a quarter of England was royal forest during the reign of Henry II in the mid twelfth century; and by the thirteenth century they still covered about one-fifth of the land surface of England. There are still vast acres of them around the aristocracy's estates, including royal Balmoral in Scotland, where the film shows the Royal family hunting.  The collection of stag antlers for display, indeed the collection of stuffed animals of all kinds, became fashionable during Victorian times.  Stag antlers are a symbol of virility connected with the Celtic fertility god Cernunnos (the 'velvet' on the horns is a supposed aphrodisiac).  
Extract on royal deer forests from The Landowners by Anthony Blond 1969:
'Defined in law as Royal Forest they extended far beyond the lands that the King owned personally and included territory he had handed out to Freeholders. Some of those owning land even today are descendants of these gifts, almost 1,000 years later. For example, Le Gros Veneur was William the Conqueror’s closest companions and his chief huntsman. He was given estates in Cheshire and the earldom of Chester. The Duke of Westminster, Britain’s richest man, is a descendant as are the Grosvenor family with their vast fortune. "Royal Forest" did not imply only wooded land: it embraced villages and cultivated fields as well as common, rough pasture, field and wood. The term ‘royal forest’ meant an area in which a special kind of laws - the forest law - applied.

The laws and regulation of the royal forest, enforced by a host of forest officials, forbade any activities that might impair the use of the land for hunting, for deer and boar. Nobody, not even the baronial owner of the land, could plough up pasture used by deer in order to grow crops, nor could trees be cut down; permission was required to lop branches... Anybody who broke any of the forest regulations could be fined heavily and might have his property confiscated. The poaching of venison was the most serious offence, and for this a man could be castrated and blinded.... All this to protect stag hunting for the Royals and the rich.

 

Outside the royal forests, the land-owning classes took their cue from the king, and applied the principles of the royal forest to their own lands. Living as warriors at the expense of the cultivators of the soil, they had time on their hands. Hunting provided something to do, which was not only entertaining but also useful, in that it provided ‘peacetime training for war’. As the knights and barons took up the royal habit of hunting so they followed the king in creating private hunting domains of their own.

 

To establish a private hunting forest or ‘chase’, a landowner needed only the permission of the king. Once he had secured this, he could forbid everybody else to take animal food within it. The vast private chases of medieval England, of which there were at least 26 at various times in the Middle ages, owned by both lay and ecclesiastical lords, included Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, Lancashire’s Forest of Brownland, Arundel in Sussex, Enfield Chase in Middlesex and Dorset’s Cranborne Chase.

 

Because of the size of the royal forests and the private chases it was not practical to fence them and ordinary people were permitted to traverse them in order to go about their everyday business. However, in the third category of medieval game preserve - the smaller deer parks - no access of any sort seems to have been permitted.  

 

Clearly the development of the habit of hunting had a decisive impact on the allocation of land in medieval England... [Better population statistics exist for deer in medieval England than for human beings.C.] Many are the instances in which the allocation of a stretch of land for private bloodsports (regal or baronial) in medieval times has survived the intervening centuries. For example, the countryside around Alnwick in Northumberland was established as royal forest; foxhunting and pheasant shooting are two of the main uses of the enclosed and essentially private headquarters of the present Duke of Northumberland’s northern lands, the 3,000 acre Hulne Park at Alnwick. Similarly, Cornbury and Wychwood in Oxfordshire was a favourite hunting ground of the medieval kings; today, two of the main uses to which its owner, Lord Rotherwick devotes Cornbury Park and Wychwood forest (at 2,150 acres) are pheasant and deer shooting.

 

While some of the vast deer preserves of the Norman Landowners were in areas of relatively poor and infertile soils, like the New Forest and Dartmoor, others occupied land that could have grown crops for the poor. Farming was further impaired by deer that strayed from the coverts, and woodland pastures on to growing crops in existing fields. The restrictions on grazing in the royal forest, private chases and deer parks meant that serfs and the few free peasants had to seek pasture for their livestock somewhere else, perhaps some distance away. But this inconvenience and hardship had to be tolerated in the interests of the private pleasure of the rich.

 

The arrival of feudalism in Britain after 1066 constituted a graphic case of the seizure of power by the strong over the weak. The manorial system had existed in embryo under the Saxon kings, who were themselves fond of hunting. But it was the Norman’s who cemented the inequalities emerging under the Saxon regime into a fixed and enduring system.'


 

 

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Re: OT (Off-Topic) Chatroom: "The Boar's Head Tavern" : Royal Deer Hunting UK.


Everyman wrote:

 

 

Those statements seem contradictary.   Antlers are the most noticable representation of the deer, and there were antlers from the chase hanging in many of the castles.  Certainly deer and therefore antlers are more significant to the crown than most other animals -- cows or pigs or hedgehogs.

 


Uh, as far as I read that comment from Choisya, she was speaking of the crown as in the actual object, a diadem, rather than the Crown as in the head of the U.K.  So it would be hard for antlers to be “more significant to the crown” that she was speaking of, as that is an inanimate object.  But I certainly could have read Choisya’s intention incorrectly.  

 

Either way, I don’t think the statement contradictory.  She wasn't speaking of pigs being more or less important to the Crown (if that's how we read the phrasing).  She merely said that she was unaware of any particular significance attached to antlers in relation to the crown, regardless of any other animal.

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