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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: June ::
Re: Bottom, Titania,
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0540.  Friday, 17 June 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Donald Foster <foster@VASSAR.BITNET>
        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Jun 1994 16:57:51 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: Bottom, Titania, and sex
 
(2)     From:   Michael Field <
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        Date:   Friday, 17 Jun 1994 10:51:15 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Student Editions
 
(3)     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Jun 1994 07:51:51 -0500
        Subj:   light reading
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Donald Foster <foster@VASSAR.BITNET>
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Jun 1994 16:57:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Re: Bottom, Titania, and sex
 
Wishful thinking.  At first, Bottom can do nothing but blab ("Tie up my lover's
tongue, bring him silently," says Titania). Then, like the ass that he is, he
falls asleep. Oberon exhibits some sexual jealousy over the Indian boy, but he
doesn't show much anxiety about getting cuckolded by Bottom the weaver.
Shakespeare presents Titania as all too eager to be ravished (read: raped), to
be counted among those women whose "enforced chastity" is lamented by Diana,
even if she needs to round up the necessary aphrodisiacs for her would-be lover
("Feed him with apriCOCKS and DO-BERRIES, / HONEY-BAGS, etc., / To have my love
to bed and to arise..." But alas, not even Titania can make Bottom arise so as
to be purged of his "mortal grossness." It may thrill modern audiences when the
players choose to hint that Bottom and Titania are making  hay offstage, but
Shakespeare rarely seems titillated by the prospect of heterosexual
intercourse. Don Foster.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Field <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 17 Jun 1994 10:51:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Student Editions
 
Last month, David Wilson-Okamura continued a conversation begun, I think, by
William Godshalk, concerning suitable modern editions of the plays that clear
away the cobwebs of 18th century editing and tinkering.
 
After hearing editor John F. Andrews talk about his work on the EVERYMAN
SHAKESPEARE series I was intrigued; having purchased and studied the series'
R&J I am convinced it is the best version currently on the market.
 
Andrew's introduction alone (which, conveniently, was essentially the text of
the remarks he presented here at Hopkins) is worth the price of the book. The
glosses are superb and easily understood, the text a pleasure to the eye. Were
I a teacher (I am not) I would prefer his versions above any others I am
familiar with for high school or college students. In directing R&J this summer
I will be referring all my actors to it.
 
My only disappointment is that the series is a work-in-progress, and as yet
there are only 4 or 5 (to my knowledge) of the plays available.
 
                                                Mike Field
                                                
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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 16 Jun 1994 07:51:51 -0500
Subject:        light reading
 
For those of you who have been following the fortunes of Edward Marston's
creation, Lord Westfield's men, and their book holder, Nicholas Bracewell, the
sixth book in the series, *The Silent Woman* has just appeared on my local
library shelves and I managed to secure myself a copy. For those not familiar
with the series, the books are mysteries set in the midst of a theater company
in Elizabethan England. Great fun as well as historically and theatrically
interesting. Check your local library or bookstore, and happy reading!
 
--Chris Gordon
 

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