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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: June ::
Re: Devils; Nudity; *R2*; Bishop of Winchester
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0530.  Monday, 13 June 1994.
 
(1)     From:   James McKenna <MCKENNJI@UCBEH>
        Date:   Monday, 13 Jun 1994 09:35:27
        Subj:   devils
 
(2)     From:   James McKenna <MCKENNJI@UCBEH>
        Date:   Monday, 13 Jun 1994 10:04:22 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   naked coed acting
 
(3)     From:   Tom Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 13 Jun 94 10:59:12 MDT
        Subj:   Mr. McSweeney's Comments on RII.
 
(4)     From:   Helen Ostovich <
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        Date:   Monday, 13 Jun 1994 15:51:13 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Bishop of Winchester
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James McKenna <MCKENNJI@UCBEH>
Date:           Monday, 13 Jun 1994 09:35:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        devils
 
Re those devils: This may be a potshot, but what about MACBETH's Hecate?  Do
you want only male devils?  Or only devils so-called?  I mean no offense, but
it seems to me that "devil" is not so narrow a topic as you seem to have
defined it.
 
I'm interested in hearing more about this project.
 
James McKenna
University of Cincinnati
mckennji@ucbeh.bitnet
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James McKenna <MCKENNJI@UCBEH>
Date:           Monday, 13 Jun 1994 10:04:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        naked coed acting
 
I've followed these nudity postings with fairly high interest, and I was a
little surprised to hear that they are merely the fallout of "silly season."  A
couple of nights ago, I saw the recent Australian film SIRENS, in which there
is pleeeeenty of nudity (nearly all female, unfortunately), and, combined with
these postings, I've been thinking about the whole concept of "gratuitous"
nudity.
 
A couple of postings have noted that part of the dislike of nudity in Sh'n
productions is that it conflicts with high art.  Putting aside the question of
whether Sh is high art, I'm interested in the assumptions that nudity is in any
way degrading; that it equals sex or anything else.  It seems to me that it
equals what it's made to equal.  Or more accurately, it does what an actor and
a director make it do.  This talk of Sh'n productions in which bodies force
their immediacy on the audience sounds exhilarating to me.  For all my romantic
enjoyment of sumptuous costumes, I think hugging the shore by relentlessly
robing the body lets Sh sit comfortably in the past (comfortably for us).
 
I'm not sure whether I'm saying that we need lots of nudity.  I think that
would become as boring as buckets of stage blood.  Perhaps we need to think
about "nakedness" instead, and, rather than brood over what's "appropriate,"
let the nakedness we imagine become present on stage.  Is the real problem that
when an actor steps naked into our presence, they break character because they
reveal THEMSELVES rather than the nakedness of the character?
 
 
Unashamedly,
 
James McKenna
University of Sincinnati (Censornati--but don't blame me!)
mckennji@ucbeh.bitnet
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Jensen <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 13 Jun 94 10:59:12 MDT
Subject:        Mr. McSweeney's Comments on RII.
 
I'm no critic and recommend you consider my remarks in that context. I'm not
sure what you mean when you classify Richard's world view as poetic and
medieval.  Is it poetic because he speaks in verse?  So do many others,
including Bolingbroke.  Shakespeare uses verse in the histories for a variety
of reasons, i.e as indication of the formality of the situation, but in and of
itself it is no indication of Richard's character.  As for Richard being
medieval, many of his actions, such as the confiscation of the Lancasterian
lands, is hardly consistent with that.  Richard, like Bolingbroke, is complex.
I believe he is more interesting as an individual human character than as a
representation of a set of abstractions.  There is a ghost between the lines
and that's Richard's father, Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince.
 
As for the genre issue, I suggest you be more precise.  When you talk about
genre-slot are addressing the issue of how well RII agrees with the
Aristotelian model of tragedy?  If so, fine, if that's what you want to think
about.  Again, I recommend precision in your definitions.
 
Lastly, I'm not sure I know what you mean by "affective continuum." But you'll
find Henry V praying about Richard's untimely death, just before Agincourt and
Richard of York recalling the incident when he attempts to depose Henry VI.
The deposition and murder of Richard is one of the central "personal" causes of
the Wars of the Roses." Certainly, it is preeminent in the minds of
Shakespeare's Plantagenets.  But there are others as well, such as the material
cost of being a late medieval/early renaissance king.
 
It's a great play.  By the way, I recommend the BBC version on video with Derek
Jacobi and Jon Finch.  Finch's portray of Bolingbroke in R2, H4 part 1 and H4
part 2 is one the high points of then entire series.
 
                                             Thomas Jensen
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Helen Ostovich <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 13 Jun 1994 15:51:13 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Bishop of Winchester
 
The Bishop owned most of Southwark, I believe, and ran whorehouses for his own
profit.  The Museum in The Clink, the riverside prison in Southwark, has a lot
of information and displays related to the treatment of `Winchester geese' or
whores of the area.  Hence too, I think, the jokes about `nunneries'=
whorehouses.
 
Helen Ostovich
McMaster University
 

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