1993

A Farewell; Re: Poems

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 283.  Friday, 7 May 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Chris Gladis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 07 May 1993 12:56:59 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   A tearful farewell....
 
(2)     From:   Rasa Hollender <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 6 May 1993 22:22 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0273  Rs: Poems
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Gladis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 07 May 1993 12:56:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        A tearful farewell....
 
    As I have to leave for the summer (and am consequently losing
bitnet access) I'm afraid I must sign off of SHAKSPER.  It's been an
interesting few months.  I know I've been a lurker more or less, but I
found many of the posts to be quite interesting.  I would also like to
thank all of you who gave me suggestions for my ill-fated audition in
March.  Ah, well.  So it goes.  I'll try to re-subscribe in the fall,
depending on my class load and overall Free Time.  Until then, however,
I wish you all the best in the times to come.
 
              "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
               Than are dreamt of in your philosophies."
 
                                     -Hamlet
 
**** Chris Gladis
     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rasa Hollender <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 6 May 1993 22:22 EST
Subject: 4.0273  Rs: Poems
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0273  Rs: Poems
 
There is also a song by the Indigo Girls on the Rites of Passage
album entitled "Romeo and Juliet"...
 
Good luck!
Rasa L. Hollender

More Rs: Branagh's *Ado*

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 282.  Friday, 7 May 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Rasa Hollender <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 6 May 1993 22:24 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0280  Re: Branagh's *Ado*
 
(2)     From:   Chantal Payette <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 7 May 1993 10:05:11 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 4.0280  Re: Branagh's *Ado*
 
(3)     From:   Skip Shand <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 7 May 1993 14:03 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0280  Re: Branagh's *Ado*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rasa Hollender <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 6 May 1993 22:24 EST
Subject: 4.0280  Re: Branagh's *Ado*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0280  Re: Branagh's *Ado*
 
For those interested, there is an article in this month's "Vogue"
magazine about Branaugh's *Ado*...
 
Rasa L. Hollender
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chantal Payette <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 7 May 1993 10:05:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 4.0280  Re: Branagh's *Ado*
Comment:        RE: SHK 4.0280  Re: Branagh's *Ado*
 
I, too, went to the Canadian premier of *Ado* and my reaction is very similar
to what David's was or is.  At the end, I felt cheated in some way.  Hard to
describe really, but I was hoping for the same strength and authenticity as
*Henry V*.  I thought Emma Thompson was brilliant as always, but that there was
too much comedy to make the serious parts as serious as they should have been
taken.  Keanu Reeves seemed an odd bit of casting because of his age (I thought
the part should have been played by a man slightly older) and his acting
ability (which was slightly shallow).  As David said, he performed like a young
man who was melancholy and spoiled rather than someone who should have been
threatenly evil.  I also agree with David's remarks about the casting of the
other characters.  It seems a shame that such dialogue and depth of character
in all the parts, should be wasted on actors who don't really know how to
approach acting Shakespeare, but feel they need to add a "Shakespeare" to their
resumes AND a director who casts them for boxoffice purposes, yet sacrifices
artistic integrity.
 
I suppose I am being melodramatic, but I am a great K. Branagh fan and I was
very much looking forward to this film.  Like most, I thought he could do know
wrong, so feeling cheated at the end of one of his films in very disheartening.
 
He is in Toronto right now at the Four Seasons, promoting *Ado*; then he
will be off to Cannes where it will be entered in competition.  After that
is done, he will be off to Switzerland to direct and star in FRANKENSTEIN where
he is the scientist and Robert DiNero will be the monster.  Hmmm?
 
Just my two cents.
 
Chantal
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Skip Shand <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 7 May 1993 14:03 EDT
Subject: 4.0280  Re: Branagh's *Ado*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0280  Re: Branagh's *Ado*
 
Re David McFadden's remark on Hero: For me, the disturbing thing is not that
Hero is 'bashed about so viciously.' That, indeed, strikes me as a fair
current image for the experience she is put through. What does disappoint
me, however, is that, as McFadden observes, the violence seems gratuitous
in this film. I think that's because it is never coherently contextualised
or problematised--this is a version of *Ado* which elects not to tell Hero's
story from the inside at all, which strikes me as more than a little
regressive in 1993.

Re: Branagh's *Ado*

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 280.  Thursday, 6 May 1993.
 
From:           David McFadden <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday,  6 May 93 13:47:34 EDT
Subject:        Re Branagh's *Ado*
 
This is my second posting, but the first didn't count since it was merely
an announcement of the first Canadian screening of Branagh's *Ado.*
So now it's time for me to screw up my courage and state how I felt
about the film. I should start off by saying that as a Shakespeare
enthusiast of fairly recent vintage I've never seen *Ado* staged and
never formally studied it. I have read it a few times, however, and
have seen the BBC Time-Life version (circa 1980) which I highly
recommend.
 
Branagh's *Ado* was admirable, hugely so, but was it all that
recommendable? Not really, except for some wonderful visuals,
including the great airborne shot of the wedding festivities at the
close. I felt a bit cheated, glad it was done but wish it hadn't been quite
so adulterated. In broad terms, the problem IMHO was simply that it
was played for laughs rather than for subtler comic thrills and chills.
Slapstick again triumphs over magic in the great world of popular
entertainment. To borrow a term from television, Branagh's *Ado*
was strictly prime time.
 
As someone who loved Branagh's *Henry V* maybe I was expecting
too much. I thought we were about to go over the top this time
but it didn't turn out that way. In *Henry V* I felt as if I could have
followed Branagh into any breach at any time, but there was
nothing mesmerizing about *Ado.* Branagh's Renaissance Italy was
not Shakespeare's, and the horror surrounding Hero's supposed "lack
of virtue" simply would not exist in the kind of world Branagh has
set up here. In such a lusty, sweaty, rustic world as Branagh portrays,
there could have been nothing fatal about the trick played on
Claudio. And in the absence of Shakespeare's Eden-like dreamworld,
Don John becomes merely another "melancholy malcontent"
instead of the horrendous and incomprehensible snake in the
grass we need and deserve.
 
Michael Keaton's portrayal of Dogberry was ridiculously self-
indulgent. If it was at all meaningful to anyone else, well I'm
afraid it went over my head. (As did Paul Budra's thoughtful
comment on Keaton's role in an earlier posting.) Dogberry's role
is a demanding one, a congenial buffoon with a heartbreaking sense
of integrity and courage, the direct opposite of Falstaff, but
Keaton's portrayal was unsympathetic, even contemptuous.
Denzel Washington was a refreshing and competent Don Pedro,
but might not Eddie (*Beverly Hills Cop*) Murphy have put a more
interesting spin on the role of Don John, with a lot of evil
grimacing and mugging rather than Keanu Reeves' unremittingly
shallow and dimwitted pout.
 
Also there seemed to be a lot of minor--but irritating--problems
in the editing department. Some of the scenes were insufficiently
thought out and some of the peripheral players insufficiently
directed. And why does Hero have to be bashed about so viciously?
This sort of superfluous violence against women happens so often
in movies lately that it's getting hard to discount the cynical notion
that it's thought to be good box office.
 
I certainly hope this movie doesn't become a kind of standard for
film versions of Shakespeare in the future. If so, something of
great value will have been lost.
 
--David McFadden

New on the SHAKSPER FileServer

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 281.  Friday, 7 May 1993.
 
From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, May 7, 1993
Subject:        New on the SHAKSPER FileServer
 
SHAKSPERans,
 
I am pleased to announce the availability of two essay that I have just added
to the SHAKSPER FileServer.
 
The first, "*Twelfth Night*: All or Nothing? What You Will, It's All One -- Or
Is It?" (12NIGHT ALLONOTH), is a contribution from a new member to the SHAKSPER
Conference, William Leigh Godshalk.  You can retrieve this essay by issuing the
interactive command, "TELL LISTSERV AT UTORONTO GET 12NIGHT ALLONOTH SHAKSPER."
If your network link does not support the interactive "TELL" command (i.e. if
you are not directly on Bitnet), or if LISTSERV rejects your request, then send
the following one-line mail message (without a subject line) to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., "GET 12NIGHT ALLONOTH SHAKSPER."
 
The second, "Shakespeare by Mail: An Experience in Distance Learning Using
Electronic Mail" (LEARNING BY_EMAIL) reports on an very interesting experiment
from last fall that involved members of the SHAKSPER Conference.  Tom Loughlin
got the idea to invite members of SHAKSPER to act as electronic advisors to his
students in the preparation of their research papers. This paper describes the
experience.  You can retrieve LEARNING BY_EMAIL by issuing the interactive TELL
command, as outlined above, or by sending the following one-line mail message
(without a subject line) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., "GET LEARNING BY_EMAIL
SHAKSPER."
 
Should you have difficulty receiving either of these files, please contact
the editor, <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> or <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>.
 
For an updated version of the file list, send the command "GET SHAKSPER FILES
SHAKSPER" in the same fashion.  For further information, consult the
appropriate section of your SHAKSPER GUIDE.
 
Excerpts from both papers appear below.
 
===============================================================================
                Twelfth Night: All or Nothing,
            What You Will, It's All One - Or Is It?
 
      " . . . styles, like persons, are interchangeable."
 
Declan Kiberd, "Bloom the Liberator," TLS 3 Jan. 1992: 5, writes: "Ulysses is
constructed on the understanding that styles, like persons, are
interchangeable."
 
                            Part I
 
Twelfth Night is full of substitutes, including the main title. As Donno (3-4)
points out, the references within the text suggest "not a mid-winter season
but either spring of summer," indicating "the metaphorical nature of the title
Twelfth Night." In this paper, I use both Donno and G. B. Evans as texts.
Neither is totally satisfactory.  Dramatic figures who stand in for, act in
behalf of, or take the place of other dramatic figures; dramatic figures who
pretend to be, impersonate, some other dramatic figure; dramatic figures who,
for various reasons, assume preconceived roles, roles that could be played by
anyone, roles in which they are, if you will allow, only substitutes, since
another dramatic figure might as easily stand in and assume these roles; the
main title itself has a substitute: What You Will which suggests that anything
goes.
 
The concept of substitution contains the concept of doubles or doubling, since
a substitute demands that an original exists - or existed at one time. To
assume a role, to act a part, to act in behalf of, is to acknowledge the
preexistence of that role, of that part, or of someone for whom one acts. A
substitute is a double for her original, a replacement, and, if the substitute
proves that he or she can play the part as well as the dramatic figure for whom
he or she is substituting, then what is to keep the substitute from displacing
the original? And so temporary replacement moves on to permanent displacement.
Dramatic figures, like the parts of a Ford or a Carthaginian ship, are
interchangeable. As Kurt Vonnegut has commented, "We are what we pretend to be,
so we must be careful about what we pretend to be" (v). Or as Feste has it,
"'That that is, is,' so I, being Master Parson, am Master Parson; for what is
'that' but 'that' and 'is' but 'is'?" (4.2.13-14). Berry calls Feste's words
"perhaps the clearest statement in the canon of the very Shakespearean idea of
being-as-role playing" (202).
 
For the purposes of this essay, I would like to place this continuum that moves
from representation to impersonation, from mimicry to transformation, from
replacement to displacement, or, to pun along with Geoffrey Hartman (47), from
clowning to cloning, under the rubic of surrogation, a word which Shakespeare,
perversely, never uses. I would like to talk about the ways in which surrogates
function in this play and then to speculate about some possible meanings and
significances. I realize that surrogation is a metaphor, a rather inclusive
metaphor, and that other critics have used other metaphors, such as masquerade
(e.g., B. Evans 120) or disguise, to talk about some elements that I have
included under surrogation. In my thinking about metaphor, I'm influenced by
Holland 112-34.
 
===============================================================================
 Shakespeare  by  Mail: An Experience in Distance  Learning  Using
                          Electronic Mail
 
      For  the  past  five years I have taught  a  class  entitled
 "Acting  in  Shakespeare" for my undergraduate  students  at  the
 senior level in our Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting program.  I have
 never  taught  the  class the same way twice,  always  trying  to
 tailor  the  class  to the amount and  ability  of  the  incoming
 students.  This past fall's class was particularly large and  had
 a  good  amount  of  men, so I decided  to  focus  the  class  on
 preparing  to  perform a workshop production of *King  Lear.*   I
 planned for the students to approach the play through performance
 and  analysis, hoping that the skills learned in approaching  one
 of  Shakespeare's  plays would be applicable at  the  most  basic
 level to other works in the canon.
 
      My  greatest concern was the research component.  I  believe
 actors who perform Shakespeare should have strong research skills
 so  as to understand the context and the time in which  the  play
 was  written, both in terms of Shakespeare's time and place,  and
 in  context  of  the text itself (e.g.  knowing  something  about
 England  around 500-600 AD for *King Lear*).  I also  believe  in
 the "writing across the curriculum" concept, and try not only  to
 get students to write whenever possible, but to rewrite as  well.
 I'm  a  firm  believer that research is  not  actable,  but  that
 research  can lead us to clues for character traits which  relate
 to  the  context of the play and which would not  be  immediately
 apparent  to the modern acting student in a modern  context.   An
 example  might be understanding the meaning  behind  Gloucester's
 blinding, a punishment common for crimes of lust and lechery.  An
 actor   might   extrapolate   from  that  fact   and   create   a
 characterization  of Gloucester which would show him to be a  man
 used to easy living, somewhat loose in his morals and  lifestyle,
 and so very easy to beguile.
 
      My problem was the amount of papers I was looking forward to
 reading.   The class had 17 students, and I planned to  have  two
 rewrites before accepting the final paper.  The question was  how
 to  find  the time and the resources, given  other  teaching  and
 departmental production responsibilities, to do the job well.   I
 hit upon the power of electronic communication, or e-mail, as the
 solution.
 
      I had discovered e-mail about two years ago, and one of  the
 discussion  lists  I  joined was the  SHAKSPER  discussion  list,
 edited  by Hardy M. Cook and originating from the  University  of
 Toronto  (the  founder of the list was  Ken  Steele  of  the
 UofT).   It  occurred to me that many of these  people  are  very
 interested  and very competent on the subject of Shakespeare.   I
 decided to try to set up an "electronic advising system," whereby
 each  of  my  students would be matched up  with  an  "electronic
 advisor."  The student would then communicate via e-mail with his
 or her advisor, and all matters pertaining to the paper would  be
 handled  between  the advisor and the student.  I  would  receive
 only the final copy.
 
      The  experience ran from September to December of  1992.   I
 call  the  process an "experience" rather  than  an  "experiment"
 because  the way in which the project was carried out had no  set
 research  methodology  attached  to it.  The  remainder  of  this
 article deals with how the experience was set up, how it ran, and
 what the results were.

Re: Poems and Spinoffs

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 279.  Thursday, 6 May 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Rick Abrams <RABRAMS@PORTLAND>
        Date:   Thursday, 06 May 93 09:07:22 EDT
        Subj:   poems
 
(2)     From:   Luc Borot <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 06 May 93 20:52
        Subj:   spinoff
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rick Abrams <RABRAMS@PORTLAND>
Date:           Thursday, 06 May 93 09:07:22 EDT
Subject:        poems
 
A fairly impressive reading of the Hal of 1H4 may be found in the song
"Prince Hal's Dirge" on Loudon Wainwright's 1976 pop album "T-Shirt."
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Luc Borot <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 06 May 93 20:52
Subject:        spinoff
 
Dear all,
 
Our server's SPINOFF biblio was recently reminded to all, concern-
ing poems on Shakespeare.
 
I am currently listening to the French national musical programme
France Musique, which is broadcasting Felix Mendelssohn's 1846 stage-
music for *MND*, which includes his famous nutpial march, which some of
you may still have in their ears from their own weddings.
 
Last weekend, they also broadcasted two excerpts from Ambroise
Thomas's 1868 *Hamlet* opera (French lyrics), and as I looked him up
in an Encyclopaedia, I hit upon a *Songe d'une nuit d'ete* (Gallic form
of *MND*), dated 1850. Thomas was an anti-Berlioz academic philistine,
but he used (up?...) the works of ole Shakes, and this concerns our spin
off file, I thought. Why not encourage people to send info concerning
other arts as well (sculptures, paintings, etc.)
 
I remember Pre-raphaelite paintings of Ophelia floating on the
river but don't have time to look them up. I'm positive that there is
a poem by Brecht on the same topic, called "Das Ertrunkene Maedchen",
as I once had to speak on it for an oral exam! It must have been inspir-
ed by another poem in German, but this is remote from my memory, as rem-
ote as my German, actually (sorry for any German speakers on the line,
who are invited to help, anyway... hello Balz Engler in Basle!).
 
     Cheers to all and everyone.
             Luc

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Search

Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.