Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
Re: Maiming, Killing, and Blood in *Titus*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 806.  Wednesday, 17 Nov. 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Tom Loughlin <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Nov 1993 10:44:07 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Titus and Blood
 
(2)     From:   James Schaefer <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Nov 1993 12:23:59 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Blood, Killing, Sex, and Slamming Doors
 
(3)     From:   Mary Jane Miller <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Nov 93 13:16:15 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0805  Q: Maiming, Killing, and Blood in *Titus*
 
(4)     From:   Peter Seary <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Nov 1993 14:28:58 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0805 Q: Maiming, Killing, and Blood in *Titus*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Loughlin <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Nov 1993 10:44:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Titus and Blood
 
I'm inclined to let the language do the work in terms of the bloody
sequences in Titus.  Flowing ribbons are too cute, and an excess of
"realistic" blood generally is unnecessary.  Both are examples of how
modern-day approaches to Shakespearean production tend to defuse
Shakespearean acting style and de-emphasize the language.  The images are
powerful enough to accomplish the task at hand, IMHO.
 
My $.02
 
Tom Loughlin
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Schaefer <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Nov 1993 12:23:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Blood, Killing, Sex, and Slamming Doors
 
John C. Harrison asks for opinions about how much blood/how much
suggested blood to use in staging *Titus*.
 
Believing as I do that verisimilitude is antithetical and off the
point of most drama (inasmuch as the truth of the imitation is in the
imitation of conversation, not the imitation of _things_), I would
argue that less blood is more in *Titus*: you can provide hints that will
lead the audience to imagine more horror than you can possibly show.
 
I certainly hold this to be true for Shakespeare.  It may be
problematic for plays written for an explicitly naturalistic theatre,
yet even the famous sound of Nora's leaving Helmer comes from off stage,
not at the instant of her exit from the box set: "From below, the sound
of a door slamming shut" (Rolf Fjelde's translation).  Even in the
super-naturalistic realm of the movies, one of the most erotic scenes ever
filmed is a monologue by Bibi Andersson's character in *Persona* in which
she quietly describes a sexual encounter.
 
I know that I am in the minority position on this issue (although Pauline
Kael shared my opinion about *Persona*).  How naturalistic are other
SHAKESPERians?
 
Jim Schaefer
Georgetown University

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Jane Miller <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Nov 93 13:16:15 -0500
Subject: 4.0805  Q: Maiming, Killing, and Blood in *Titus*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0805  Q: Maiming, Killing, and Blood in *Titus*
 
Seems to me that the problem here, as with 'Tis Pity' s heart on a dagger
or other "over the top" scenes, is not that the audience may be terrified -
but that the audience out of sheer nervousness and wanting to break the
tension may laugh. I've seen that happen during Gloucester's blinding when
it was staged too graphically. The line is a fine one for both playwrights
and contemporary directors whose audiences may be used to slice and dice
movies -yet squeamish at the 'live(li)ness' of stage blood.. About that
heart on a dagger -the night I saw it the lamb's heart few off into the
third row - the gasp and the laughter were certainly anti-climactic.
 
Mary Jane Miller,
Brock University,
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Seary <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Nov 1993 14:28:58 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0805 Q: Maiming, Killing, and Blood in *Titus*
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0805 Q: Maiming, Killing, and Blood in *Titus*
 
I am reminded of something:
 
I graunt you friends, if that you should
fright the Ladies out of their Wittes, they would
haue no more discretion but to hang vs: but I will aggrauate
my voyce so, that I will roare you as gently as
any sucking Doue; I will roare and 'twere any Nightingale.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.