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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: May ::
Re: Memorizing; Adriana's Speech; Late Romances
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0465.  Friday, 27 May 1994.
(1)     From:   Harry Hill <HILHAR@CONU2.BITNET>
        Date:   Thursday, 26 May 1994 12:36:46 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0460  Re: Memorizing; Adriana's Speech
(2)     From:   Carmine Di Biase <FCD2@JSUMUS>
        Date:   Thursday, 26 May 94 19:07:58 CDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0458 Qs: Late Romances
(3)     From:   Karla Walters <KWALTERS@UNMB.BITNET>
        Date:   Thursday, 26 May 1994 21:30 MST
        Subj:   Fathers and children; Late romances
From:           Harry Hill <HILHAR@CONU2.BITNET>
Date:           Thursday, 26 May 1994 12:36:46 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0460  Re: Memorizing; Adriana's Speech
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0460  Re: Memorizing; Adriana's Speech
I don't really see how one can "learn", "study" or "teach" Shakespeare WITHOUT
absorbing the lines so that they become a part of one's own rhythm -- even to
the point that many actors reach of being able to improvise iambic pentameter,
near-nonsensical though it may well turn out under the stress of performance.
Your method of encouraging students to commit a soliloquy, say, to memory may
sound terribly old- fashioned to some, smacking of dictation and parroting and
all those punishing things forwhich I for one am grateful to Aberdeen Grammar
School, but there is no doubt that "knowing" consists to quite a large degree
simply of "having in one's head", whence it becomes embedded in the bones.
The Riverside is indeed helpful, punctuating those lines thus:
                I see the jewel best enamelled
                Will lose his beauty; yet the gold bides still,
                Where gold; and no man that hath a name
                By flasehood and corruption doth it shame.
and glosses it thus:
        "A difficult, possibly corrupt, passage. Herford explains: `The
        best ensmalled jewel tarnishes; but the gold setting keeps its
        lustre however it may be worn by the touch; similarly, a man of
        assured reputation can commit domestic infidelity without blasting
As I wrote to John S., right or wrong this is at least clear and the actress'
use of a physical illustrative object should pass the foggy moment quite
nicely. That is how the Adriana in the hilarious RSC's "Comedy of Errors" did
it in 1991, I think I remember, but she'd just come up a distracting trapdoor
so my memory may be as hazy as that moment in the speech certainly is.
From:           Carmine Di Biase <FCD2@JSUMUS>
Date:           Thursday, 26 May 94 19:07:58 CDT
Subject: 5.0458 Qs: Late Romances
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0458 Qs: Late Romances
Patricia, You might consider examining some of the Italian novellas that might
have influenced Shakespeare. A motif index I have before me tells me that
you'll find stories of abandoned children in Straparola's "Le Piacevoli Notti"
(III, No.1, IV, #3) and in Giraldi Cinzio's (or Cinthio's) "Gli Ecatommiti"
(IX, No. 10, IX, No.1).  I would check Painter's "Palace of Pleasure" first to
see if any of these four novelle were translated by him, as Shakespeare was
more likely, generally speaking, to read a tale in English if it was available
in English. I would check some of the later Elizabethan collections of novelle
as well - Pettie's "Petite Pallace," George Fenton's "Tragicall Tales" (these
are translations from Matteo Bandello).
The motif index I mention is the "Motif-Index of the Italian Novella in Prose,"
by D.P. Rotunda (Bloomington: Indiana University, 1942).  I found no entries
regarding cursing.
               Carmine Di Biase
               Jacksonville State University
               Jacksonville, Alabama
From:           Karla Walters <KWALTERS@UNMB.BITNET>
Date:           Thursday, 26 May 1994 21:30 MST
Subject:        Fathers and children; Late romances
A great deal has been done on the theme of fathers and children, but possibly
not very much in relation to Shakespeare.  One source you will want to look at
because it does include Shakespeare is Betty Flowers and Lynda Boose, *Fathers
and Daughters* (Johns Hopkins UP 1989).
The Victorians were very concerned with this issue, and research into this
period will turn up many discussions.  One father-daughter novel by
Dickens--Dombey and Son--is particularly relevant.
Children's literature deals with the issue of parent abandonment as a
convention in many sources.  The Fall 1993 issue of Children's Literature
Association Quarterly was devoted to Fathers and Sons in Children's Literature.
The Winter-Spring issue 1993-94 is devoted to Mothers and Daughters in
Children's Literature.
Karla Walters    Univ. of New Mexico    
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