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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: November ::
Qs: *Ham*: Stage History/Dumb Show; Icarus
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0958.  Sunday, 27 November 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Dom Saliani <
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        Date:   Saturday, 26 Nov 1994 12:44:54 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   [*Hamlet* Stage History]
 
(2)     From:   Michael Harrawood <
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        Date:   Saturday, 26 Nov 1994 13:05:33 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Icarus
 
(3)     From:   Wes Folkerth <
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        Date:   Saturday, 26 Nov 94 23:53:28 EST
        Subj:   Dumb Show in Hamlet
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dom Saliani <
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Date:           Saturday, 26 Nov 1994 12:44:54 -0700 (MST)
Subject:        [*Hamlet* Stage History]
 
In my efforts to research the stage history of *Hamlet* I have had difficulty
reconciling the claim on the title page of Q1 that "it was latelie Acted by the
Lord Chamberleyne his servants." To my knowledge there is no documentation
anywhere that would substantiate this.
 
The claim on the title page of Q2 is equally frustrating in that there would
appear to be evidence to the contrary that the play *Hamlet* hath been diuerse
times acted by his Highnesse seruants in the Cittie of London; as also in the
two Vniuersities of Cambridge and Oxford, and elsewhere." It is my
understanding that in 1593 the Royal Privy Council passed an act which
prohibited any kind of play to be "sett forthe either in the university or in
any place within the compasse of five miles" thereof. This prohibition was not
lifted till well after Shakespeare's death.
 
I did find a reference in Henslowe that on June 11, 1594, *Hamlet* was
performed at Newington Butts and that the box office receipts totalled but a
few shillings. This does not sound like the kind of reception that a great
tragedy by Shakespeare would receive.
 
According to O.J. Cambell's *Reader's Encyclopedia of Shakespeare* the
"earliest recorded but improbable performance is that given on board the H.M.S.
Dragon at Sierra Leone on September 5, 1606."
 
I had always believed that the play would have been a popular one during the
Elizabethan period. It appears that it was not. I am inclined to agree with
Lillian Winstanley that the play contains too many topical allusions to events
and details in James' life. If such is the case why was Shakespeare never taken
to task for this as Jonson and the other prominent playwrights were for far
more innocuous material in their plays?
 
I would appreciate any elucidating input regarding the stage history of the
play in the period before 1603.
 
Dom Saliani (
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Sir Winston Churchill High School
Calgary, Alberta
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Harrawood <
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Date:           Saturday, 26 Nov 1994 13:05:33 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Icarus
 
Does anyone know of any work on the Icarus-Dedalus allusions in 1 and 3 Henry
VI?  These come in the death scene of the Talbots, father and son, and in the
scene where Richard kills Henry.  I'd like to get an idea of Icarus's currency
in Elizabethan poetry and drama in order get an idea of the moral spin
Shakespeare would have understood the allusion to carry.
 
Thanks in advance.
 
Michael Harrawood
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Wes Folkerth <
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Date:           Saturday, 26 Nov 94 23:53:28 EST
Subject:        Dumb Show in Hamlet
 
Season's greetings to everyone.  I would like to know what list members make of
the dumb show in *Hamlet*.  My main query is, why does it take Claudius so long
to react?  Wouldn't he recognize the accusation as it appears in the dumb show?
I realize this is a fairly old question, but I'd like to hear what list
members have to say on the subject.  If anyone can suggest any published
material on this subject, I would be interested in hearing about that as well.
I'm presently working on aurality in Shakespeare.  Thank you for your time.
 
Wes Folkerth
McGill University

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