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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: March ::
Re: Welsh; Gobbledegook; *The Tempest*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0241.  Thursday, 17 March 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Mar 94 11:11:34 -0600
        Subj:   Welsh in 1H4
 
(2)     From:   William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Mar 1994 22:17:53 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0228  Gobbledegook
 
(3)     From:   Joan Hartwig <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Mar 94 22:32:42 EST
        Subj:   SHK 5.0222 Tempest & Universals
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Mar 94 11:11:34 -0600
Subject:        Welsh in 1H4
 
In response to Dave Kathman's question, an anecdote: the English department at
the University of Minnesota celebrated Shakespeare throughout the 1993-94
academic year, culminating in a 12-hour marathon reading from Will's works on
(naturally) April 23. People read in at least twelve different languages, one
young man programmed his Macintosh powerbook to recite "To be or not to be,"
etc. The only full-length play was an all-female reading of 1 Henry IV (in
which, among other things, I fulfilled a long term desire to play Hal). We put
out bulletins to everyone we could think of to glean some genuine Welsh
language for the Welsh scene and kept coming up empty. The day itself came, we
were all having a great time, and the scene arrived. The friend who played
Glendower got to the crucial place and simply said, "Welsh, Welsh, Welsh,"
which--this being a fairly informal and lively occasion--got a wonderful laugh
from the audience; then I (double cast as Lady Mortimer) responded in Welsh and
(according to one member of the audience, I was too busy to notice)
everyone--including most of the cast--was stunned. How did I do it? You'll love
this. I had a recording of the soundtrack from the film of Anouilh's *Becket*,
in which Sian Phillips as Gwendolyn sings a Welsh song. I transliterated it as
best I could, jumbled up the words, and--voila!--had a few faux Welsh sentences
to make Lady Mortimer just a bit more authentic. It was great fun. And now I
want to LEARN WELSH!
 
--Chris Gordon, English, University of Minnesota
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Mar 1994 22:17:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0228  Gobbledegook
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0228  Gobbledegook
 
Al Cacicedo,
 
I love Vonnegut's cynicism, and his remarks on religion bring joy to my heart.
But if you are trying to prove that context is important, you have succeeded.
What's going on, eh?
 
Bill Godshalk
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joan Hartwig <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Mar 94 22:32:42 EST
Subject: Tempest & Universals
Comment:        SHK 5.0222 Tempest & Universals
 
I am not quite sure how to respond in form.
 
First, thanks to all who have responded to the Prospero-Colonialism question.
My colleague in the German department is grateful and values the information.
 
Second, to Adrian Kiernander.  I am puzzled by the scepticism about Prospero's
liberation of Ariel.  Are we to ignore the Epilogue which in Prospero's person
states "Now my charms are all o'erthrown, / And what strength I have's mine
own, / Which is most faint"?  I have always believed that Prospero "abjures his
rough magic" and breaks his staff and drowns his book.  Why shouldn't I believe
this?  Is the "climax of the play" in Prospero's "last speech" where he is
still asking Ariel to help the sailing group out to sea or does it come earlier
when he understands that he must not (more than cannot) control all actions?
There are many actions in Shakespeare's plays that Shakespeare does not allow
the audience to witness, especially final actions.  All the characters get to
go off and tell each other about them, but we are not able to follow.
 
Without responding fully to W. Russ Mayes Jr. in his argument, I would like to
support him with a view that is given to actors: "Don't play the end in the
beginning."  It's helpful in reading Shakespeare and would be in living, if one
were not so inclined as is Lady Macbeth in feeling "now / The future in the
instant."
 
I have much to say in behalf of Ben Schneider, but it will require-- dare I
say--time in the future?
 
      Best regards,
      Joan Hartwig
 

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