1994

Re: Doubling; Double-Casting; Polonius

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0420.  Wednesday, 11 May 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Rick Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 10 May 94 11:08:08 EDT
        Subj:   Doubling (sort of)
 
(2)     From:   John C. Mucci <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 10 May 1994 11:56:43 -0400
        Subj:   Doubling; Polonius
 
(3)     From:   Ronan Clifford <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 10 May 94 11:26:26 EST
        Subj:   Polonius
 
(4)     From:   Pat Buckridge <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 11 May 1994 17:02:47 +1000 (EST)
        Subj:   Polonius/Corambis
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rick Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 10 May 94 11:08:08 EDT
Subject:        Doubling (sort of)
 
The recent thread on doubling prompts me to ask SHAKSPEReans for comments on
the flip side of the phenomenon: double-casting.  By this I do not mean
variations on the theme of four actors playing Lear simultaneously, but
rather the very common practice (especially on college campuses) of casting
two different actors to play the same role on alternate nights.  More often
than not, women's roles are doubled; men's aren't.
 
This happens quite a lot with Shakespeare for a number of reasons: the desire
to expose students, especially but not exclusively theatre or English majors,
to at least one Shakespeare production sometime in their undergraduate
careers; the fact that most Shakespearean plays are profoundly male-dominant
in terms of available roles; the fact that many if not most undergraduate
theatre programs have more good women than men (I was recently in a situation
in which the 4th best "Jennifer" was better, over all, than the 4th best
man); the desire to give more women the opportunity to have experience with
Shakespeare; the fact that the people designing the season are too lazy to
find complementary plays to balance the available roles for a season (or, to
be fair, the reality that the *rest* of the canon isn't exactly bursting at
the seams with wonderful plays which have more roles for women than for men).
 
I have a pretty good idea of the opinions of theatre people on this phenomenon:
the range, as one might expect, extends from "don't do Shakespeare" to
"necessary evil".  I'd be especially interested in the perspectives of those of
a more literary bent, although I'd be happy to hear from directors and
season-planners as well.
 
BTW, this is all related to a panel I'll be chairing at ATHE this summer on
"Social and Ethical Concerns in Season Selection".  I'd be happy to provide
more details on that as things become clearer.
 
Cheers,
Rick Jones
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John C. Mucci <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 10 May 1994 11:56:43 -0400
Subject:        Doubling; Polonius
 
The question of doubling is one which has come up before in this conference,
and it does beg the question of the resources available to the Elizabethan
acting company, no matter which.  It is interesting that Shakespeare's plays
need more players than most other Elizabethan plays, and as such doubling is
almost always required.  Taking that (and some of the respondent's queries) to
the logical further step, may I quote from Arthur Colby Sprague's monograph,
THE DOUBLING OF PARTS IN SHAKESPEARE'S PLAYS (1966):
      "In number of actors a London company at the close of
      the 16th century, with its eight or 10 sharers and
      half-dozen hired men, was well off.  This compares not
      unfavorably with some of the stronger provincial
      troupes of a century and a half ago [or] with some of
      the stronger repertory theatres of today.  Shakespeare
      had no need to economize. That his freedom in the
      multiplying of characters was enviable is implied by
      the abrupt variations in number of roles from play to
      play. ...A playwright who could indulge himself in such
      an unnecessary character as Peto in 1 Henry IV, not to
      mention the proleptic archbishop and Sir Michael of Act
      IV/4, is writing under little restraint."
To me, this says that Shakespeare was somone who had no problem being
extravagant, and perhaps was not terribly concerned with the fiscal exigencies
of the theatre. It is an aspect of the author's character which is not often
taken into consideration.
 
--------------------------------------------------
Martin Mueller, referring to the motto of Lord Burleigh asks, <I'm a moderately
accomplished Latinist, but the of-courseness of the explanation eludes me.
Please explain.>
 
Burleigh's motto was "Cor unum, via una" that is, "One heart, One Way."  It is
not much of a stretch to see hear "Corambis" as "Cor Ambis" ("Double-hearted")
as a parody on that motto.  That, in and of itself is mild compared to the rest
of the allusions in *Hamlet* which --to many Stratfordians and Oxfordians
alike-- depict Polonius as Cecil, Lord Burleigh.
 
- Burleigh wrote down for his son a number of "preceptes" (his term for them),
which sound like maxims very similar to Polonius' precepts delivered to
Laertes. May I quote a few?
      "...Let thy hospitality be moderate; & according to the
      means of thy estate; rather plentiful than sparing, but
      not costly.  Beware of surety for they best friends.
      He that payeth another man's debt, seeketh his own
      decay..."
As would also Polonius advise, the list goes on and on and on. *How can anyone
not see & agree with this parallel?* Personally I find it extremely compelling,
but in light of so much more, it becomes overwhelming.
 
- Burleigh was indeed known as *Polus* or *Pol* at court.
 
- Burleigh He was proud of the fact that he was born during the Diet of Worms,
and made mention of that fact at court, as well as in a letter which was not
published until several hundred years after his death. The line in *Hamlet*
about "A certain convoca- tion of politic worms are e'en at him,/Your worm is
your only emperor for diet" has been pointed out to refer to Charles V's
convocation, but--why? What has it to do with *Hamlet* unless talking about
Burleigh?
 
And this too asks the question, how could a fellow from Stratford (as Charlton
Ogburn writes), "lampoon the man who for 40 years was nearest the Queen in
power, let alone can [Stratfordians] account for the appearance of the royal
coat of arms" on the title page of the 1604 play?
 
Other bits of information, such as the report given to Elizabeth about the
guest list at the Order of the Garter banquet in Denmark, which included a
certain Heer Guildenstern and two Heer Rozenkrantz say to me that there is
something connecting the royal court very closely with *Hamlet.* It is
undeniable.
 
However, to the original point, there is simply too much amiss in the
traditional explanations for authorship for the linchpin of Burleigh to be
ignored.
 
John Mucci
GTE VisNet
Stamford, CT
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ronan Clifford <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 10 May 94 11:26:26 EST
Subject:        Polonius
 
If anyone is interested in the non-encroaching theory that Labeo/ Shakespeare,
no matter what else he may be doing, is making a glancing gesture in the
direction of a real life senator/counselor/senex, Professor Baluka (English,
Jagiellonian U) tells me that many articles in the 1970s and 1980s mention the
Polish tract *De optimo senatore* of Laurentius Goslicius, a work translated
into English and published, according to STC, as *The Counselor*.   And that's
no Polish joke.
 
Best regards from Krakow,
Cliff Ronan SWTSU/U Silesia
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pat Buckridge <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 11 May 1994 17:02:47 +1000 (EST)
Subject:        Polonius/Corambis
 
I do think Stephen Orgel should not feign ignorance of the Oxfordian
implications of the Polonius question.  There are probably - indeed there are
certainly - many people out there who would like to see him seriously address
such questions as how, if Polonius is a caricature of Burghley, William
Shakspere of Stratford hoped to escape arrest and judicial mutilation for such
a liberty.  But of course, says the orthodoxy, Burgley had been dead for years
before Hamlet was written. Could it be that the Ur-Hamlet was in fact *our*
Hamlet?
 
A little less disingenuousness, please, from people who, I have no doubt, are
very well aware of what's been argued by Ogburn, Strittmatter and many others
on this issue.
 
Patrick Buckridge.

Re: Morality; Knowledge; Polonius; Character; Anne;

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0419.  Tuesday, 10 May 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Barbara Simerka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 09 May 1994 13:37:24 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: Morality/ Reviewing
 
(2)     From:   Jennifer Saine <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 09 May 1994 18:51:31 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0400  Re: New Shakespearean Knowledge
 
(3)     From:   Shawn Smith <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 9 May 1994 19:15:48 -0400 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: Polonius/Corambis
 
(4)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
        Date:   Monday, 09 May 1994 21:29:02 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0414  Re: Character, Doubling, and Acting
 
(5)     From:   Adrian Kiernander <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 10 May 1994 13:29:14 +1000 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: Lady Anne (and partner)
 
(6)     From:   Nicholas Ranson <R1NR@AKRONVM>
        Date:   Tuesday, 10 May 94 05:46:58 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0393  Re: Lights
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Barbara Simerka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 09 May 1994 13:37:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Re: Morality/ Reviewing
 
I do not know any of the particulars concerning Alan Sinfield's review.
However, in this or other similiar cases, a recent experience I had might be
enlightening: when asked to review a book by a colleague that I also consider a
friend, I alerted the book review editor concerning our "relationship," and was
informed that in this era of theoretical specialization, it's nearly inevitable
that people who work on the same areas will form friendships, and that to
eliminate those friends would likely require the elimination of most readers
who are familiar enough with the specific field to offer a knowledgeable
reading.
 
Barbara Simerka
Davidson College
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jennifer Saine <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 09 May 1994 18:51:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0400  Re: New Shakespearean Knowledge
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0400  Re: New Shakespearean Knowledge
 
As an undergraduate student of Shakespeare and a student tutor to adult
learners striving for their GED, I applaud Bill Godshalk.  Yes, we college
students are educated (for the most part) and most of the bloopers might be
perhaps sad, but might be at least our own faults (for not showing up to class,
etc.)  I can and do laugh at my colleagues and my own mistakes--and the
laughter helps prevent future embarrasment, I hope!  I would not, however,
laugh at my adult learners' mistakes for the same, and inverse, reason.  Yes, I
think we students are strong enough to take the stuff of our mentors!
 
Jennifer Saine
William Smith College
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Shawn Smith <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 9 May 1994 19:15:48 -0400 (EST)
Subject:        Re: Polonius/Corambis
 
I'm baffled as to why everyone is so baffled by this. Why would Polonius be "a
name to be avoided when performing the play at Oxford" if it were NOT
satirizing Pullen?  Polonius is a parody of human faults such as hypocrisy,
dishonesty, and verbosity, whether Reynaldo/Rainoldes is hanging about or not,
and regardless of whether Polonius is Pullen, Polus, or H. Ross Perot.
 
I also don't understand the difficulty in associating Corambis with Burghley.
It's much easier for me to see Corambis as a play on "cor unum, via una," than
as an allusion to the proverb that is usually trotted out:  "crambe bis posita
mors est" (though that's not to say it might not be rattling about in there
somewhere).  Wouldn't that make it "Crambis"?
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Monday, 09 May 1994 21:29:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0414  Re: Character, Doubling, and Acting
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0414  Re: Character, Doubling, and Acting
 
Although E. L. Epstein names no names, I assume that the question about
"character" is aimed at Terence Hawkes and me, and our desultory quarrel about
"character" in drama. I was using "character" to mean "the presence of
creatures in art that seem to be human beings of one sort or another" (Holman
nad Harmon, s.v. "character"). When I shift the word to human beings, I am on
more nebulous ground.
 
By "character," I meant generally what Norman Holland defines in THE I (Yale,
1985) as "identity" or Lichtenstein as "primary identity" -- "a style of being
which is a structure IN the person" (Holland, 36). And, yes, ever since I read
Plato (many years ago), I have believed in this basic identity. Without this
basic internal structure, learning would be impossible, Holland discusses this
problem in terms of feedback and feedback loops.
 
By "character" I did NOT mean some kind of "moral constitution of the human
personality (Aristotle's sense of ETHOS)," according to Holman and Harmon.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Adrian Kiernander <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 10 May 1994 13:29:14 +1000 (EST)
Subject:        Re: Lady Anne (and partner)
 
The idea of Lady Anne grieving over her husband's body is not necessarily an
error at all. The Olivier film version of the play cuts and rearranges the text
so that, if I remember correctly, this is precisely what's going on, and I have
a vague recollection that the Colley Cibber version, which was standard up
until the late C19, does the same thing, so there's a substantial performance
tradition behind the practice. The Olivier film also cuts the scene in two so
that the successful part of the wooing is performed somewhat later in time than
the funeral procession.
 
Adrian Kiernander
 
(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nicholas Ranson <R1NR@AKRONVM>
Date:           Tuesday, 10 May 94 05:46:58 EDT
Subject: 5.0393  Re: Lights
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0393  Re: Lights
 
Regarding Ken meaney's interpretation of the candles: I once saw Leavis
"perform" the passage this way in front of 200 undergraduates, using the thumb
and forefinger to mime the snuffing of the wick. Isn't this also the "standard'
reading?

Re: Doubling

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0417.  Tuesday, 10 May 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 09 May 1994 09:20:32 -0500
        Subj:   doubling/fragmenting
 
(2)     From:   Luc Borot <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 9 May 1994 21:06:58 +0100
        Subj:   Doubling
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 09 May 1994 09:20:32 -0500
Subject:        doubling/fragmenting
 
The University of Minnesota did a production of *King Lear* in 1993 that used
eight (I think) actors playing multiple roles but also SPLITTING roles; at one
point (the heath scene) four different actors played Lear simultaneously. I
found the production interesting and provocative for the most part, though at
times it was also chaotic and confusing (which may have been part of the the
point). It was not a production I could recommend to someone unfamiliar with
the play or with Shakespeare in general, but for those who were, it was a
fascinating experiment.
 
--Chris Gordon
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Luc Borot <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 9 May 1994 21:06:58 +0100
Subject:        Doubling
 
Dear all,
 
Doubling is something which the ACTER association does systematically and as a
matter of principle, as their method is to perform uncut texts of Shakespeare
with neither more nor less than 5 (five!) actors, with not much money to buy
costumes and set, ergo, they have NO set... (The acronym means A Center for
Theater, Education and Research).
 
I'm sure lots of you in the US and Canada saw them, as their mission is to take
cheap, clever, uncut performances of Shakespeare to North American campuses.
 
I saw them last year at Stratford, England (the place some people think should
not exist because no one was born there in 1564, April 23rd or so, and even so
he couldn't spell) in a marvellous production of *The Tempest*.
 
"Good" Duke and "Bad" Duke were played by the same actor. Ariel and Miranda
were the same actress, the king and Caliban the same actor, and other such
doublings. It worked marvelously. We were all wondering how "good" and "bad"
Dukes would meet... well, Prospero spoke to an empty space, his brother, which
I found a very deep and thoughtful solution. Prospero would then appear as void
as his evil brother, or his brother as vain and irrelevant, which he were in
the plot anyway, if he had not gone to Tunis to marry his daughter there.
 
I reviewed it in nb44 of *Cahiers Elisabethains* (Oct 1993), pp.100-101.
 
Cheers and all that
 
Luc
 
<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Elisabethaines

Re: "The stately legate"

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0418.  Tuesday, 10 May 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Al Cacicedo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 9 May 1994 16:28:37 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 5.0416  "The stately legate"
 
(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
        Date:   Monday, 09 May 1994 20:52:24 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0416  "The stately legate"
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Cacicedo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 9 May 1994 16:28:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0416  "The stately legate"
Comment:        RE: SHK 5.0416  "The stately legate"
 
Perhaps Bill Godshalk remembers the embassy to Elizabeth from Morocco--I don't
recall the date, but Bernard Harris' article in *Shakespeare Survey* 11 (1958):
 89-97 gives the information and reproduces a "Portrait of a Moor" (that's the
title of the article as well).
 
Al Cacicedo (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Albright College
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Monday, 09 May 1994 20:52:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0416  "The stately legate"
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0416  "The stately legate"
 
I ran across a note today indicating that a Persian legation arrived in England
early in the reign of James I -- a little too late for dating A SHREW. Was
there an earlier visit by the Persians?
 
Still searching, Bill Godshalk

"The stately legate"; "English" Translation

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0416.  Monday, 9 May 1994.
 
(1)     From:   William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
        Date:   Sunday, 08 May 1994 21:37:38 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   "The stately legate of the Persian King"
 
(2)     From:   Tom Loughlin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 8 May 1994 22:28:30 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   The "English" Version
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Sunday, 08 May 1994 21:37:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        "The stately legate of the Persian King"
 
This afternoon, reading THE TAMING OF A SHREW, I hesitated over the lines: "As
was the Massie Robe that late adornd/The stately legate of the Persian King"
(Bullough, NARRATIVE AND DRAMATIC SOURCES, vol. 1, 85 [Scene 7, lines 46-47] or
in the F. S. Boas edition II.i.131-2). Boas notes the Marlovian echoes of 1
TAMBURLAINE III.i.43-4, and 2 TAMBURLAINE III.ii.123-4.
 
But are these lines a reference to an historical event? I seen to have
something in the back of mind about eastern visitors to Elizabeth's court, but
I couldn't find the reference in my home library -- if indeed there is one. But
if there is, such a reference, were it definite, would give a terminal date for
A SHREW. Has this reference been identified?
 
Yours,  Bill Godshalk
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Loughlin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 8 May 1994 22:28:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        The "English" Version
 
While following the thread on the "Ur-text" of Hamlet, my wife happened to come
home this past Friday with an interesting tale.  She works part-time in a local
adult learning center which doubles as a detention hall for misbehaving high
school students.  She monitors them as they complete their homework.  This past
Friday she happened to be helping a student with his English homework, which
centered on Romeo and Juliet.  She offered to get down a version of the play
from the small library shelf at the center, but was quickly informed by Jose
that they were studying the "English version" of the play.  A quick check of
their English textbook revealed a version of R&J written in modern, colloquial
English - the "English version."  Granted, Jose is not the brightest of
students, but this text cuts across the entire grade in the curriculum, so
everybody at our local high school has the great good fortune to study
Shakespeare's R&J in "translation."

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