Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 382. Monday, 14 December 1992.
From: Todd Lidht <LIDHT@GUVM>
Date: Monday, 14 Dec 92 12:05:59 EST
Subject: Shakespeare's Voice
I find this subject fascinating, not so much for the "provability" of it all,
but more for the close analysis of the text that this requires. It seems,
sadly, that some critics analyze a theory more than a text. Keep this up!
My master's thesis was entitled "Stage Directions as Narrative Voice in
Beckett, Miller and Shakespeare." While not the most thoroughly researched
tome in history, it does, I believe, address this type of question on its most
basic level: where and when does Shakespeare, the playwright, speak? I believe
that it is only through his stage directions.
Some directions are editorial, granted, but as one comes closer to the "text,"
internal directions become more reliable and apparent. Here is where
Shakespeare's voice is heard most clearly. Gertrude's description of Ophelia's
death is but one example of how Shakespeare utilizes the dramatic form to
Of course, modern-day playwrights do this to the extreme. With Shakespeare and
his contemporaries, before plays were printed on a regular basis, stage
directions and "playwright voice" were unconcious aspect of theatre and drama.
Now, however, I believe their prominence is much greater and justifiably so.
It may not be the "voice" of Shakespeare that you were looking for, but it is
his. Now, instead of looking for one passage in one play, you can look
throughout each play to hear him.
If anyone wishes to discuss this issue further with me, please feel free to do
so. I would love to hear other's thoughts, comments and disagreements. I hope
to pursue my doctorate with this dissertation topic in mind (and hopefully a
Fulbright grant for primary research in the U.K.) Any suggestions?
Todd M. Lidh
| "To each his own, but can I borrow yours for awhile?" |
| Todd M. Lidh Georgetown University School of Business |