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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: April ::
Re: Exotic Settings
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0362.  Tuesday, 26 April 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Ronan Clifford <
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        Date:   Monday, 25 Apr 94 09:33:56 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0356  Q: Exotic Settings
 
(2)     From:   Jason Hoblit <
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        Date:   Monday, 25 Apr 1994 21:09:05 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0356 Q: Exotic Settings
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ronan Clifford <
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Date:           Monday, 25 Apr 94 09:33:56 EST
Subject: 5.0356  Q: Exotic Settings
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0356  Q: Exotic Settings
 
Dear Karla Waters,
 
What could be a more exotic setting than Albuquerque?  I hope it's safe.
 
I do not know who first suggested that Shakespeare prudently shifted from
English historical subjects about 1599 back to a Roman one.  But of course
the truth of the reasons often given is not demonstrable.  But it can be
demonstrated that Massinger wrote a play on a Renaissance pretender to
the throne of Portugal, had the play turned for its politically sensitive
nature ("the being a peace sworen twixte the kings of England and Spayne,"
the Master of the Revels observed), and then got the work accepted when the
scene was shifted back 1700 years to ancient Rome, Carthage, and Antioch.
The revised version is equivocally named *Believe As You List.*  The point
is that one of Shakespeare's younger contemporaries rightly thought that
an exotic setting was safer.
 
Cliff Ronan, Southwest Texas State University/ University of Silesia
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jason Hoblit <
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Date:           Monday, 25 Apr 1994 21:09:05 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 5.0356 Q: Exotic Settings
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0356 Q: Exotic Settings
 
For a discussion of relatively local settings versus more 'exotic' locales you
might try to locate studies of Massinger's _Believe As You List_, which was
originally set in Spain and Portugal.  After the original version was censored
(and successfully so as it does not survive) Massinger rewrote the play setting
it in Lower Asia in the second century BC.  This apparently made it acceptable.
 For starters you might take a look at Philip Edwards' article 'The Royal
Pretenders in Massinger and Ford' in Essays and Studies, 1974.  True, the
discussion is of Stuart rather than Tudor practice, but it should provide a
starting point, and certainly offers an opportunity to examine the problem of
setting directly.
 
Jason  Hoblit
University of Washington - Seattle

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