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Home :: Archive :: 1992 :: December ::
Rs: Shakespeare as Himself
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 363. Thursday, 10 December 1992.
 
(1)     From:   Ronald Dwelle <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Dec 92 08:39:14 EST
        Subj:   SHK 3.0361  Shakespeare as Himself
 
(2)     From:   Rasa Hollender <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Dec 1992 14:02 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 3.0361  Shakespeare as Himself
 
(3)     From:   John Cox <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Dec 1992 15:17 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 3.0361  Shakespeare as Himself
 
(1)---------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ronald Dwelle <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Dec 92 08:39:14 EST
Subject: Shakespeare as Himself
Comment:        SHK 3.0361  Shakespeare as Himself
 
          I think it's fair to say that Shakespeare never speaks in
          his own voice. Or perhaps he always speaks in his multiple
          voices.
 
          Ron Dwelle (
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  at Internet)
 
(2)---------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rasa Hollender <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Dec 1992 14:02 EST
Subject: 3.0361  Shakespeare as Himself
Comment:        Re: SHK 3.0361  Shakespeare as Himself
 
In answer to Carian Mathwig's question about Shakespeare's speaking in
his own voice: in *Winter's Tale*, Act 4.1.1-32, it seems that Shakespeare
is speaking through the Chorus to his contemporary critics, who, during this
neo-classical genre of writing, criticized Shakespeare's lack of unity
of time, specifically in the *Winter's Tale*.
 
*Winter's Tale* takes place over a time period of 16 years, obviously
not following the neoclassical ideal of unity of time.
 
The chorus says in his lines :
 
        Now take upon me [the playwright can be substituted here], in the name
        of Time,
        To use my wings.  Impute it not a crime
        To me or my swift passage, that I slide
        O'er sixteen years and leave growth untried
        Of that wide gap, since it is in my power [as the playwright]
        To o'erthrow law [neo-classical ideal] and in one self-born hour
        To plant and o'erwhelm custom. . . .
        etc. and he goes on . . .
 
Picking apart this passage, evidence is found supporting that this
is Shakespeare commenting to the audience.
 
Also, Puck's ending speech in *Midsummer's*  can also be Shakespeare's
voice directing comment to the audience.
 
Also, in *Tempest*, though I don't know what lines, someone comments about
how these events in the play happened over a span of three hours (the
running time of the play), and perhaps this is Shakespear's blatant way of
saying "o.k. THIS time I followed unity of time, so HA!"
 
I can expand more if you wish.....
 
Rasa Hollender

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(3)--------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Cox <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Dec 1992 15:17 EST
Subject: 3.0361  Shakespeare as Himself
Comment:        Re: SHK 3.0361  Shakespeare as Himself
 
The most compelling evidence for Shakespeare speaking as himself is the
Chorus of Time at the beginning of Act 4 in *The Winter's Tale*.  The first
person singular applies both to time and the playwright, especially if one
considers the way Shakespeare combines both medieval dramatic tradition and
neo-classical demands for sophistication and coherence.  David Young has a
nice explication of the speech in *The Heart's Forest*.
 
John Cox
 

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