Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Berowne's 294

Dear Friends: last week's question was a tough one, so there's no quiz this week.  Instead, just for fun, there's this.

Over time, I became interested in how often Will Shakespeare used the name “Kate” for characters in his plays.  My guess is, he just liked the name.
1. First off, the most obvious one: the Kate who was out to cause problems for just about everyone. (The musical, “Kiss Me, Kate,” was named after her.)
2. The Kate who was a Princess of France.
3. The Kate who was a queen.
4. The Kate who worked for the Princess of France.
5. The Kate who wasn’t permitted to rise up in the world, who was kept down.
6. The Kate who wasn’t really a Kate at all.
7. The Kate who had a house named after her.
8. The Kate who didn’t like guys who went to sea, but if you could create a decent suit of clothing she’d permit you certain intimacies.

Answers: Number one was the star of “The Taming of the Shrew.”
Number two was the French Princess the King married in “Henry V.”
Number three was Katherine of Aragon in “Henry VIII.”
Number four was a lady-in-waiting in “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”
Number five was a character actually named “Kate Keepdown” in “Measure for Measure.”
Number six wasn’t really named Kate at all – her name was Elizabeth – but her husband seemed to like the name (like Will S. himself), so he called her Kate anyway. “1 Henry IV”
Number seven was jokingly referred to by her husband as “Kate of Kate Hall.” “The Taming of the Shrew”

Number eight was a Kate who was the subject of a ribald drinking song: “She loved not the savor of tar nor of pitch, yet a tailor might scratch her where’er she did itch.” :-) “The Tempest”


Unknown said...

When I don't pay attention, my roleplaying characters' girlfriends and female acquaintances tend to be named Sarah. Maybe Shakespeare had the same problem ;)
What's weird is that I'm just listening to Patick Doyle's score to Henry V and The Wooing of Katherine is playing right now.

Misfit in Paradise said...

You can never have too many Kate's!
Donna - ABC Wednesday

photowannabe said...

I just love coming here to see what you are going to post. This is delightful. I had no idea there were so many Kates in Shakesphere.

Vinay Leo R. said...

oh my, that's a whole lot of Kate's right there! he must have had a fascination for sure! :)

Mine Is Here

Sylvia K said...

Interesting and fun post for the K Day! I love The Taming of the Shrew! Hope your week is going well! Enjoy!


Nanka said...

I am not at all well versed with WS but I can see you have done a through job on that great bard, as always. Enjoyed it!! :) Much easier to read you.

Rumya said...

What a fun and informative post on the many Kates!! :)

Amy said...

Just the other night I watched Katherine(Kate) Hepburn in "Suddenly Last Summer." She gave a stellar performance which I had sadly forgotten but can still appreciate. "Kate" has always been one of my favorite names, so thank you for the list of other famous "Kates!"

Berowne said...

Jedediah: "What's weird is that I'm just listening to Patick Doyle's score to Henry V and The Wooing of Katherine is playing right now."
Thanks. Glad to hear from a professional musician on this topic. Does the Walton Henry V score have a sequence devoted to the same scene?

Berowne said...

Some fine comments from M in Paradise, photowannabe, Leo, Sylvia K, Nanka, Rumya and Amy -- thanks so much.

Leslie: said...

Great post! I find it interesting how in old Britain they used a lot of the same names - Jane, Thomas, William, Henry, and Kate!

Berowne said...

Leslie: "Great post!"
Great comment! Thanks, Leslie.

Roger Owen Green said...

Kiss me, Kate!

BTW, someone gave me some strange award, and on my post for Monday, I've passed it on to you.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Gigi Ann said...

Always enjoy my visits here each week. I have a friend Sarah Katie, she is 18 years old, with an old fashion name, but I love it. Therefore, she has Jedediah and your choice of names combined. Enjoyed your K post today.

Unknown said...

Berowne: I'm by no means a professional musician, just a listener ;) I'm actually a librarian, so I did some research and found that there doesn't seem to be a score originally by Walton for that particular scene. He "borrowed" a piece from another composer as a leitmotif for Kate, you can listen to it in the original version here

There is a beautiful piece for the scene where Pistol leaves Mistress Quickly. You can listen to it here (from 2:54 onwards) and here's some additional info on it.

Wanda said...

Love this.... What a great array of "Kates" You sure did your homework, and I think its an "over the top" post.... enjoyed very much.

Everyday Goddess said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hildred said...

Nice K post, - Katie has lovely connotations for me as I have had dear friends of that name and a sweet granddaughter.

ChrisJ said...

This is an interesting post. I'm reasonably familiar with Shakespeare's works, but never caught all the references to all the Kates. Well done.

Berowne said...

ROG: "BTW, someone gave me some strange award, and on my post for Monday, I've passed it on to you."
Thanks, Roger. Much appreciated.

Verna Luga said...

Maybe Shakespeare has fallen inlive with someone named Kate....

ABC Wednesday here

Berowne said...

Jedediah: "He 'borrowed' a piece from another composer as a leitmotif for Kate."
It's been so long since I heard the Walton score I had forgotten he had borrowed from Canteloube's familiar "Bailero." Beautiful stuff.

Barbara said...

Interesting post - I hadn't realised how many Kates Shakespeare created. Great blog by the way!

Berowne said...

Barbara: "Great blog by the way!"
Thanks so much.
I don't feel dull,
I don't feel hollow.
I found myself
In your "Blogs I Follow." :-)

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