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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: March ::
Re: Ambiguity
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0249.  Saturday, 19 March 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Barbara Simerka <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Mar 1994 14:30:05 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0239  Ambiguity?
 
(2)     From:   Harry Hill <HILHAR@CONU2.BITNET>
        Date:   Saturday, 19 Mar 1994 11:46:35 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0245  Re: Ambiguity?
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Barbara Simerka <
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Date:           Friday, 18 Mar 1994 14:30:05 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0239  Ambiguity?
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0239  Ambiguity?
 
It occurs to me that, in addition to looking at the contemporary stage, an
examination of current film is also a good place to examine the question of
ambiguity within works where the author has some control over the
representation.  If ambiguity can be found in films, especially those where
the writer is also the director (ie Woody Allen, Oliver Stone, etc. etc)
that might be an indication that it could also be present in the original
stagings of Lear.
 
Barbara Simerka
Davidson College
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <HILHAR@CONU2.BITNET>
Date:           Saturday, 19 Mar 1994 11:46:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0245  Re: Ambiguity?
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0245  Re: Ambiguity?
 
As an actor presently playing Michael in Frank McGuinness' "Someone Who'' Watch
Over Me" at the Centaur in Montreal and present as witness at last year's
unfortunate Stratford Ontario season, I think you are so right on so many
points, particularly when I consider what has so often happened in Radio Drama
in Canada when the playright has been present and also when not. It doesn't
actually make much difference. To look at the scripts as the exist in archives
and compare them to the performances is to look at two worlds. We CHANGE what
we don't like, can't say, has been ungiftedly written possible, we create
climactic patterns of which the author was often unaware. When the author is in
the booth, of course, it does become a collaboratve occasion of which usually
THE ONLY RECORD IS THE PERFORMANCE AS RECORDED, not altered on the page.
 
With Shakespeare, of course, we have the awful problem of dogmatism exacerbated
by the set and understandably canonised rhythms which are normally the ultimate
guide along with phonetic structure and texture. I think radio drama is a
reasonable analogy from which to consider the "problem". In any case, actors
have to make what we so loosely call "choices" and go with one meaning or
another, although there are of course instances in which a kind of neutral
delivery of notoriously ambiguous lines will hit an audience with the
interpretation they desire or even imagine they hear. Listen to Wolfit's "Look
there. . ." on his Caedmon Lear extracts. The South African question is of
utter fascination, but I cannot yet contribute to its richness.
 
Harry Hill
 

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