1993

Shakespeare at Weimar

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 270.  Wednesday, 28 April 1993.
 
From:           Balz Engler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 93 21:14 +0200
Subject:        Shakespeare at Weimar
 
On 22-25 April the two German Shakespeare societies met in Weimar, held
their first common meeting for 25 years, and formally re-united. As
Ann Jennalie Cook pointed out during the festivities, the new (old)
Shakespeare Gesellschaft has more members than all the other Shakespeare
associations combined--actually about 2700. The "Shakespeare Gesellschaft"
is the oldest literary (not scholarly) association of its kind in Germany,
founded in 1864. Members do not only include Shakespearean scholars, but
also high school teachers, actors, directors, students, and people who
are simply Shakespeare fans.
 
The academic programme was devoted to the topic "Shakespeare and Memory"
and included lectures by Aleida Assmann on "The struggle of memories in
the Histories" and by Kate Belsey on Bottom's Dream. The colloquium on
the topic included contributions by Robert Weimann, Leo Salingar, and
Zdenek Stribrny. Geoffrey Hartman lectured (in German) on Shakespeare
and the imagination.
 
Some of the contributions will be published in *Shakespeare Jahrbuch*
1994. Starting with the 1993 volume (which is out) Sh.Jb. publishes English
summaries with contributions in German, by the way. The 1993 volume offers
among other things (does it make sense to mention contributions in German
to you out there?): "Recycled Film Codes and the Study of Shakespeare on
Film" by Lawrence Guntner and Peter Drexler, "'Beginners, Please'; or
First Start Your Play" by Robert Smallwood (on how productions begin), and
"'Wormwood, Wormwood'" by R. Chris Hassel, Jr.
 
Balz Engler, University of Basel, Switzerland
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kenneth Branagh; Historical Knowledge

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 269.  Wednesday, 28 April 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Chantal Payette <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1993 15:43:51 -0400
        Subj:   Kenneth Branagh
 
(2)     From:   Paul Budra <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 93 22:00:49 PDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0267  Rs: Historical Knowledge
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chantal Payette <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1993 15:43:51 -0400
Subject:        Kenneth Branagh
 
Could anyone tell me any details about the Renaissance Theatre Company
and Kenneth Branagh.  I'm read his "autobiography", but I would like
to know more.
 
Thank you ahead of time.
 
You can respond to me directly.
 
Chantal
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Budra <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 93 22:00:49 PDT
Subject: 4.0267  Rs: Historical Knowledge
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0267  Rs: Historical Knowledge
 
Many thanks to Jean Peterson and Ron Macdonald.  Ron's example is
particularly helpful--just the sort of thing I'm looking for.
 
        Paul Budra
        Simon Fraser U.
        Vancouver

Rs: Historical Knowledge

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 267.  Tuesday, 27 April 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Ron Macdonald <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1993 08:51:00 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Shakespeare and History
 
(2)     From:   Jean Peterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1993 12:29:02 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0266  Q: Historical Knowledge; Re: Stepmothers
 
(3)     From:   Joseph Lawrence Lyle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 93 15:38:03 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0266  Q: Historical Knowledge; Re: Stepmothers
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Macdonald <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1993 08:51:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Shakespeare and History
 
I think a moment in I.iii of *1 Henry IV* fits at least the first part
of Paul Budra's bill, the moment when it becomes evident that the
vehemently protesting Hotspur has either forgotten or never known in the
first place that Richard has named Mortimer as the heir presumptive.  In
reply to Hotspur's assertion that he has seen King Henry "Trembling even
at the name of Mortimer," Worcester feigns a kind of diffident uncertainty:
"I cannot blame him: was not he proclaim'd / By Richard, that dead is, the
next of blood?" (144-46).  I have always read this as wholly disingenuous on
Worcester's part: this wily old pol knows perfectly well whom Richard has
designated as his successor.  Trouble is, of course, Shakespeare does not,
for, led astray by Holinshed, he is confusing Edmund Mortimer, younger
brother of Roger, fourth Earl of March, with Edmund's nephew and Roger's
son, the fifth Earl of March and also named Edmund, whom Richard had
designated heir presumptive in 1398 on the death of his father.  A small
and ultimately irrelevant point, but it somehow reminds me of Mrs. Malaprop's
headstrong allegory on the banks of the Nile: Sheridan knew, of course, that
she should have said "alligator"; we know that *he* should have said
"crocodile."
                            --Ron Macdonald <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
 
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From:           Jean Peterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1993 12:29:02 -0400
Subject: 4.0266  Q: Historical Knowledge; Re: Stepmothers
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0266  Q: Historical Knowledge; Re: Stepmothers
 
        For Paul Budra: for a wealth of knowledge on the subject, and for
numerous examples of the complicated interplay of "historical"
Shakespearean characters and their own history, you MUST see Phyllis
Rackin's *Stages of History: Shakespeare's English Chronicles* (Cornell:
1990).
 
                                                Jean Peterson
 
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From:           Joseph Lawrence Lyle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 93 15:38:03 -0400
Subject: 4.0266  Q: Historical Knowledge; Re: Stepmothers
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0266  Q: Historical Knowledge; Re: Stepmothers
 
The examples that spring to mind are _The Tempest_ II.i, where
Gonzalo is confused about Carthage and _Henry V_ II.i (?) where
Nell conflates Arthur and Moses -- but only because those are the
plays I just taught.
 
--Jay Lyle

Re: Branagh's *Ado*; *Theater of Envy"

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 268.  Tuesday, 27 April 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Jean Peterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1993 12:50:01 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0263  More on Branagh's *Ado*
 
(2)     From:   NAOMI LIEBLER <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 93 09:47:00 EST
        Subj:   RE: SHK 4.0265  *Theater of Envy*; Stepmothers; *TNK*
 
 
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From:           Jean Peterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1993 12:50:01 -0400
Subject: 4.0263  More on Branagh's *Ado*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0263  More on Branagh's *Ado*
 
>Keaton plays [Dogberry] as a psycho--the town loon, who has
>been given the constable's job because no one else wants it, and
>because the criminally insane might be pretty good at law enforcement.
>I liked the violence in the interrogation scene; it made perfect
>sense, and helped explain Borachio's confession, which is something
>that I've never bought.
>
>I've always thought that the Dogberry scenes were hard to play
>anyway.  The change of tone is SO great.  Going all the way and
>depicting the seed, violent side of the Renaissance underclass as
>really seedy and violent was a refreshing change.
 
I found Paul Budra's comments on Keaton's Dogberry quite provocative --
especially since, in the film, class distinctions in the main plot
were all but erased.  Who could tell the difference between Beatrice & Hero,
and the maids (especially since all wore the same gauzy, sexy dresses, were
barefoot, and Beatrice's maid was played by Thompson's real-life mom?)
 
So unimpressed is Leonato with his worldly status that he wears his
everyday peasantly garb for his daughter's wedding (lines about Hero's rich
wedding gown are conveniently cut, and she doesn't bother to change her
clothes either).
 
So the distinctions of class are sentimentally elided, and the return of
the repressed occurs in the underplot as a demonized & psychopathic
underclass...weird.
 
Jean Peterson
 
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From:           NAOMI LIEBLER <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 93 09:47:00 EST
Subject: 4.0265  *Theater of Envy*; Stepmothers; *TNK*
Comment:        RE: SHK 4.0265  *Theater of Envy*; Stepmothers; *TNK*
 
For Susan Harris, who wanted to know how Girard's "Theater of Envy" plays in
Peoria: By the time he got to "A Theater of Envy," Girard's representation of
the mimetic double did indeed come across as reductive, not to mention
reiterative. But what he's reiterating there is a theoretical position he had
already worked out--and much more carefully and compellingly, I think--in two
earlier works, "Deceit, Desire, and the Novel" (Johns Hopkins UP, 1965) and
"Violence and the Sacred" (Johns Hoplins UP, 1977), and in books less readily
available here, "The Scapegoat" and "Things Hidden Since the Beginning of the
World." One of the many difficulties "Theater of Envy" presents to the reader
is its superficial summation of these earlier efforts. If you want to trace
Girard's theoretic, in a form more rigorously worked out than in this latest
book, have a look at some of the earlier works.
 
Cheers,
Naomi C. Liebler
Dept. of English
Montclair State College
Upper MOntclair, NJ 07043

Q: Historical Knowledge; Re: Stepmothers

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 266.  Tuesday, 27 April 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Paul Budra <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 26 Apr 93 15:04:56 PDT
        Subj:   historical knowledge in the plays
 
(2)     From:   Kay Stockholder <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 26 Apr 93 17:34:32 PDT
        Subj:   SHK 4.0265  *Theater of Envy*; Stepmothers; *TNK*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Budra <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 26 Apr 93 15:04:56 PDT
Subject:        historical knowledge in the plays
 
I have a general question for Shakesperians.  I'm looking for moments
in Shakespeare in which one of two things happen.  Either the
characters display an ignorance of history (I'm primarilly interested
in English history, but also want to check classical, biblical, and
other histories), or Shakespeare seems to be going out of his way to
supply historical background information for his audience.  I.E. he
assumes the audience is ignorant of history.  Among the latter might
(I'm being tentative here) be included 1.2 of *R2*, in which the Duchess
of Gloucester more or less reminds Gaunt of his own family history.
 
An adjunct to this might be scenes in Shakespeare, and the surrounding
drama, in which a character seems to have gotten what history he has
from dramatic representation.  There's a great scene of this in Jonson's
*The Devil is an Ass*.
 
I'd appreciate any speculations or examples.  I've been looking at this
stuff for so long that I'm afraid that I'm missing the obvious.
 
        Many thanks.
        Paul Budra
        Simon Fraser University
        Vancouver Canada
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kay Stockholder <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 26 Apr 93 17:34:32 PDT
Subject: *Theater of Envy*; Stepmothers; *TNK*
Comment:        SHK 4.0265  *Theater of Envy*; Stepmothers; *TNK*
 
On stepmothers: One could say that Sycorax was Ariel's stepmother,
though he was "born" from her cloven pine after rather than before
the fact.

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