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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: June ::
Re: Characters (People in Plays)
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0573.  Saturday, 25 June 1994.
 
(1)     From:   William Godshalk <
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        Date:   Friday, 24 Jun 1994 18:10:31 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   People in Plays
 
(2)     From:   Cary M. Mazer <
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        Date:   Saturday, 25 Jun 1994 09:08:29 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0569  Re: Characters
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <
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Date:           Friday, 24 Jun 1994 18:10:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        People in Plays
 
I don't understand Harry Hill's recent discussion of "people in plays."
Apparently it is not okay to treat characters "as if they were living people."
But it is okay to hear them as linguist phenomena that get us (readers,
auditors) to think that they have personalities when they don't.
 
I must be missing the point because I don't see how these two positions are in
any conflict. Or, perhaps I've misread the distinction being made.
 
May I ask Harry Hill to explain very slowly and carefully for the puzzled?
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cary M. Mazer <
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 >
Date:           Saturday, 25 Jun 1994 09:08:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0569  Re: Characters
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0569  Re: Characters
 
To Harry Hill,
 
I for one never said that dramatic character are real people.  I WOULD say that
dramatic characters are materials from which actors create "real" people.  The
people that actors create are "real" because actors are real--at least they
seemed to be the last time I had dinner with one--and audiences, perceiving
real people calling themselves by the names of fictional people, speaking in
the voices of these people, and (in twentieth-century paradigms of acting, at
least) appearing to feel the emotions (i.e. playing the emotional actions) of
these people, conventionally accept the actors as the people they are
pretending to be, for the purposes of experiencing the conventional fictons of
the theatre event.
 

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