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Home :: Archive :: 1992 :: December ::
More Rs: Shakespeare as Himself
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 367. Friday, 11 December 1992.
 
(1)     From:   William Proctor Williams <TB0WPW1@NIU.BITNET>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Dec 92 22:35 CST
        Subj:   Shakespeare as himself
 
(2)     From:   Timothy Bowden <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Dec 92 18:18:51 PST
        Subj:   Re: Rs: Shakespeare as Himself
 
(3)     From:   John Drakakis <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Dec 92 14:30:52 GMT
        Subj:   Re: Another R: Shakespeare as Himself
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Proctor Williams <TB0WPW1@NIU.BITNET>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Dec 92 22:35 CST
Subject:        Shakespeare as himself
 
In the various exhortations by "Chorus" in +Henry V+ we
we have the playwright (Shakespere) speaking in his own voice.
 
William Proctor Williams              TB0WPW1@NIU
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Timothy Bowden <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 10 Dec 92 18:18:51 PST
Subject:        Re: Rs: Shakespeare as Himself
 
If there were one moment in all of the plays you would bet on to come
directly from the heart and to speak with the voice of the Bard,
wouldn't it be Hamlet's instructions to the players?  Detailed opinion
in his own field.
 
-Timmie
 
=========================================================

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  (Timothy Bowden)
uunet!scruz.ucsc.edu!clovis.felton.ca.us!tcbowden
Clovis in Felton, CA
=========================================================
 
(3)---------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 11 Dec 92 14:30:52 GMT
Subject:        Re: Another R: Shakespeare as Himself
 
The problem with trying to determine which parts of which Shakespearean
texts are in Shakespeare's own "voice", is that as a question it is
unanswerable. We might be able to guess, but then all that gets exposed
are our criteria for guessing.  For example, if we start from the supposition
that Shakespeare was a good listener, a good re-teller of stories, someone
who seems to be at peace with the world, loyal and true, then we would
most certainly come up with Horatio in Hamlet.  On the other hand, if we
surmise that Shakespeare was a dyed-in-the-wool bastard- and anyone who
is prepared to leave any member of his family his second best bed might
bear this out- then we'd go either for Edmund or Don John.
 
I want to suggest that one of the rare occasions where we hear Shakespeare's
"voice"- though I do not believe that for one minute it is present to
itself- is in IV.ii. of Much Ado where the speech prefix reads "Kemp".  Now
if the copy behind Q is Shakespeare's foul papers, then the substitution
of "Kemp" for "Dogberry" here, and elsewhere in the scene indicates that
Shakespeare intended that Will Kemp should play the part of Dogberry. Of
course, when I say "Shakespeare intended" what I really mean is that the
theatrical subject "Shakespeare", constructed within those discourses which
signify a professional man of the theatre, wrote- not "himself"- but
a convention within which his own practice was inscribed, that the professional
"clown" should play the part of Dogberry.  Now, of course, IF the copy for
Q and F is not authorial foul papers, or if it was contaminated by the
interference of another scribal hand, then my argument concerning this
example of an authorial voice falls.  If, in the case of the simplest of
referential examples in a Shakespearean text the issue remains very
problematical, does anyone REALLY think that we have any chance of locating
Shakespeare's "voice"?
 
Merry Christmas
 
John Drakakis
Department of English Studies
University of Stirling
 

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