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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: April ::
Re: Speaking the Verse
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 224.  Tuesday, 6 April 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Timothy Pinnow <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 6 Apr 93 15:03:51 CDT
        Subj:   [Re: Speaking the Verse]
 
(2)     From:   Skip Shand <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 6 Apr 1993 16:09 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0218  Re: Speaking the Verse and *The Actor's Voice*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Timothy Pinnow <
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Date:           Tuesday, 6 Apr 93 15:03:51 CDT
Subject:        Re: Speaking the Verse
 
In response to Bernice Kliman's comments concerning F1 punctuation,
 
In general, the point that the punctuation of F1 could be the result of
print setting errors, or faulty memories of actors who transcribed from
memory or whatever is largely a moot point to the actor.  For me (and I
admit here that I do not possess the amounts of theoretical and literary
knowledge of many on this list) as an actor, the Folio gives me what made
sense to SOMEONE in 1623--Quite possibly someone who saw and remembered or
performed the play.  I'm not very concerned whether the Bard himself wrote
it that way--but the fact that someone did may give me clues or ideas that
may otherwise be overlooked by my own feeble brain.  I would further assert
that the Folio has been SO helpful to me (and many other actors) that I
find the argument that its eccentricities are largely accidental to be
highly unlikely.  All of this is not to say that I don't sometimes choose
to disregard what I find, but at least I have as much imformation as
possible with which to make the decision.  There you have it--just another
actor going overboard about something.
 
Till my next diatribe--
 
                                                Timothy Dayne Pinnow
                                                Ass't. Prof. of Theatre
                                                St. Olaf College
                                                1520 St. Olaf Ave
                                                Northfield MN  55057
                                                ph. 507/646-3327
                                                Internet: 
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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Skip Shand <
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Date:           Tuesday, 6 Apr 1993 16:09 EDT
Subject: 4.0218  Re: Speaking the Verse and *The Actor's Voice*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0218  Re: Speaking the Verse and *The Actor's Voice*
 
In response to Bernice:
 
Neil Freeman, in his workshop practice, and (if I remember correctly)
Anthony Graham-White in a couple of articles on the actable nature of
early punctuation, both set aside the transmission problem (intervention
of scribes, compositors, etc. in the accidentals) by citing a comment of
G. B. Evans's, to the effect that the accidentals of Elizabethan playtexts,
whoever may have initiated them, at least represent Elizabethan practice,
and may generally be granted at least that authority. I suspect that the
real issue you raise has more to do with intentionality than with
playability(!), right?
 
I'd add that in my own workshop practice, I take the actors through quarto
and folio texts, making very considerable use of punctuation. I try to be
sure that they understand how problematic it is to assume any link between
Shakespeare and a page's pointing, and I encourage them to use the
punctuation (like any other feature) when it helps, ignore it when it
doesn't. Mostly, it helps, especially at the level of breath. When it
throws blinding light on a moment, as it sometimes does, they ALWAYS
congratulate themselves on having learned to play Shakespeare's intention!
 
                                                Skip Shand
 

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