Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1991 :: October ::
Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 267. Tuesday, 22 Oct 1991.
 
 
(1)	Date: 	Mon, 21 Oct 1991 21:20:05 -0400
	From:	Richard Feinman <feinman@snybksac.bitnet>
	Subj:   Re: SHK 2.0264  Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
 
(2)	Date: 	Tue, 22 Oct 1991 08:36:00 -0400
	From: 	Ed Pechter <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 2.0264  Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
 
 
(1)-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Date: 		Mon, 21 Oct 1991 21:20:05 -0400
From: 		Richard Feinman <feinman@snybksac.bitnet>
Subject: 2.0264  Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
Comment:      	Re: SHK 2.0264  Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
 
I have always thought -- possibly from being raised on James Bond movies --
that the death of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern was unsatisfying for being un-
staged and was surprised when the switched letters and even execution were
shown explicitly in Mel Gibson's Hamlet and it turned out to be better left
unstaged.
 
My question for the experts on revision is whether there is a case of a scene
staged in one version and then deleted and only described in another version,
or vice versa.
 
 
(2)-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Date: 		Tue, 22 Oct 1991 08:36:00 -0400
From: 		Ed Pechter <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Subject: 2.0264  Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
Comment: 	Re: SHK 2.0264  Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
 
     About fifteen or twenty years ago, in a book called *Free
Shakespeare*, John Russell Brown talked about playing
Shakespearean scenes that weren't in the text.  He gave a whole
bunch of examples, of which I vaguely remember two.  One was a
19th century interpolation (Irving's?) in which Shylock comes
home from his dinner out to find himself locked out of his
deserted house.  The other was a finale for *Much Ado* in which
Don John is brought on stage and summarily executed.
 
     Brown's main point was that, though these scenes aren't in
the plays, the thoughts and feelings they embody are.  Once you
put it that way, then the problem of determining the legitimacy
of such interpolations becomes very complicated.  I think it's
impossible to determine the issue on a general or theoretical
level.  You'd have to be able to answer the question, what's in
the text? what is the text? etc--questions for which so many
different answers seem possible, depending upon so many different
interpretive positions, that no single answer is going to prove
very satisfactory.
 
     It seems to me more useful to talk about particular
interpolations in specific productions.  That one's good, this
one's bad, and why.  Not that we'd wind up agreeing with each
other (but if agreement is what we're looking for, we should cash
in our Shakespeare chips and play another game), but at least
we'd have a manageable focus for disagreement.
 
     I for one want to say how excited I am about the Hawaian
*Macbeth* with Lady Emelda only slain unslain, like Cinna the
Poet, and off they go to retirement at Waikiki.  Unshoe me here.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.