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Home :: Archive :: 1991 :: October ::
Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 272. Friday, 25 Oct 1991.
 
 
(1)	Date: 	Wed, 23 Oct 1991 19:39:17 -0400
	From: 	Steve Urkowitz <surcc@cunyvm.bitnet>
	Subj:   Re: SHK 2.0267  Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
 
(2)	Date: 	Fri, 25 Oct 1991 11:48:02 -0400
	From: 	Mark Lee <irmss908@sivm.bitnet>
	Subj:	SHK 2.0267  Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
 
	
(1)---------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Date: 		Wed, 23 Oct 1991 19:39:17 -0400
From: 		Steve Urkowitz <surcc@cunyvm.bitnet>
Subject: 2.0267  Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
Comment:      	Re: SHK 2.0267  Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
 
For Richard Feinman:
 
Here's one example of a staged/unstaged alternative text.  In 3H6, 5.1,
the naughty quarto gives a detailed series of actions that show Clarence
move from allegiance to Warwick, "Clarence, Clarence for Lancaster," through
a long whispered seduction that brings him back to his brothers: the stage
direction reads, "Sound a Parlie, and Richard and Clarence whispers together,
and then Clarence takes his red Rose out of his hat, and throwes it at
Warwike."  We see his coat turned onstage.  In the goody-good Folio text
Clarence enters without a Warwick/Lancaster battlecry, and then without
meeting with Tricky Dickins says (and enacts) these lines: "Father of Warwick,
know you what this meanes? / Looke here, I throw my infamie at thee."
In the 1595 text we have the shift occur onstage; in 1623 we have only the
announcement of it happen while we watch.  (I showed how a lot of this kind
of alteration happens in 2 and 3 Henry VI in a paper for Phyllis Rackin's
HENRY VI Seminar at the SAA a few years ago.)  Our most recent editors of
the H6s are not at all amused, and they do odd things with conflating these
texts here and elsewhere.  Trust modern editions of multiple text plays only
so far as you are able to chew and swallow their pages.  Caveat lector.
 
     Yours alternatively,
 
     Steve Urkowitz
     SURCC@CUNYVM
 
(2)--------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Date: 		Fri, 25 Oct 1991 11:48:02 -0400
From: 		Mark Lee <irmss908@sivm.bitnet>
Subject: Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
Comment:      	SHK 2.0267  Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
 
Ken et al;
 
     I apologize for not following this discussion more closely, but to my
mind I query the validity of the initial question - why stage that which was
left unstaged? One contributor observed (again my apologies for not having
saved the original for reference), that the stagings (in the Mel Gibson
version of _HAMLET_) of the originally unstaged R & G scenes were, in their
mind, anti-climatic. I posit that the point of the unstaging was deliberate.
As an etymology professor once pointed out with regard to seductive scenes or
references in _The Faerie Queen_ the imagination of reader or the listener was
an infinitely more subtle vehicle for conveying a personal erotic image than
was a blatantly explicit, or pornographic description which could have been
concocted by Spenser. The artist relied upon the minds and the imaginations of
his audience to convey to themselves an appropriate image (licentious or
otherwise).  What is unacceptable about intentional blankness? Does anyone
else share the thought that to stage the unstaged elements of the plays is
possibly tantamount to committing a major violation to the artistic fabric as
conceived by the artist?
 
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