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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
Re: "Versions" of Shakespeare
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 756. Thursday, 11 November 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Milla Riggio <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Nov 1993 10:55:06 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0746  Re: "Versions" of Shakespeare
 
(2)     From:   William Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Nov 1993 20:17:57 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0746  Re: "Versions" of Shakespeare
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Milla Riggio <
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Date:           Wednesday, 10 Nov 1993 10:55:06 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0746  Re: "Versions" of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0746  Re: "Versions" of Shakespeare
 
Dear John Mucci:
 
Why do you call Polanski's Macbeth "egregious"?
 
Milla Riggio
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 10 Nov 1993 20:17:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0746  Re: "Versions" of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0746  Re: "Versions" of Shakespeare
 
I like John Mucci's comments on the problem of meaning - nicely put and
rational. But I'm not sure I can go along with the comments on dating. If works
of art can be so precisely linked to history, why has dating a work of art been
a scholarly endeavour? The date should be self-evident. Right?
 
I understand Terence Hawkes' puzzlement. I suppose he asked about the text of
MACBETH because he wanted someone to point out the textual problem. "It is
clear, in our present state of  knowledge," writes Stanley Wells, "we cannot
hope to recover the text as originally performed" (WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: A
TEXTUAL COMPANION, p. 543). Gary Taylor, in the same COMPANION, also discusses
the problem (128-129). The Hecate scenes, Taylor believes, apparently, were
written by Middleton. And many scholars believe that the text we have is a
revision of an earlier text. Nosworthy, SHAKESPEARE'S OCCASIONAL PLAYS, argues
that Shakespeare himself revised the play, about 1611.
 
In other words, this is tough terrain for those of us who want to defend the
stability of Shakespeare's text. I think it's best for us to admit that
Shakespeare's plays were revised - and we have texts that point to that
conclusion.
 
Now ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA - we'd do better to shift our battle to that ground -
I mean those of us who want to argue that some of the printed texts are close
to Shakespeare's "papers in a late stage of composition or from his own fair
copy" or "transcript of foul papers" (Wells, 549).
 
Textually yours, Bill Godshalk
 

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