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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: October ::
Re: MND Video; Character; Innogen; Habits; Actors
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0762. Friday, 30 September 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Patricia E. Gallagher <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Sep 1994 20:48:17 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: MND video
 
(2)     From:   Matthew Raften Dubroff <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Sep 1994 18:26:16 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0746 Re: Character
 
(3)     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Thursday, 29 Sep 94 10:10 BST
        Subj:   RE: SHK 5.0751 Re: Women and Outsiders: Ado
 
(4)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Thursday, 29 Sep 1994 22:55:53 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: Habits and Withers
 
(5)     From:   Kenneth Meaney <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 Sep 94 10:49:14 +0300
        Subj:   Re. Actor on Acting
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Patricia E. Gallagher <
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Date:           Wednesday, 28 Sep 1994 20:48:17 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Re: MND video
 
I have no idea if the MND video (starring Diana Rigg, and directed by Peter
Hall) is still available for sale. I picked my copy up (used) several years
ago. However, that said, it was distributed by Warner Brothers Communications.
 
Hope you are able to find a copy.
 
Patricia Gallagher
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Raften Dubroff <
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Date:           Wednesday, 28 Sep 1994 18:26:16 -1000
Subject: 5.0746 Re: Character
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0746 Re: Character
 
In response to E.L. Epstein's suggestion of recognizing character through
innate psychological qualities or a fixed soul, I would like to suggest that in
any and every case, these qualities have as much to do with our own projections
upon and readings of them as with their actual existence.  Hence Macbeth may be
a murderous maniac to one person and a tender lover to another.  It is a bit
dangerous to try and fix the psychology or the soul of a character as an
absolute given.  Especially in a play, when all we are ever given is a specific
angle from which to view a character for a few short hours.  A new Macbeth with
a new character and a new soul will innevitably be created in each production.
 
Shirley Kagan.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Thursday, 29 Sep 94 10:10 BST
Subject: 5.0751 Re: Women and Outsiders: Ado
Comment:        RE: SHK 5.0751 Re: Women and Outsiders: Ado
 
Dear Thomas Hall,
 
All you have to do is read Much Ado without Innogen (as most of the play's
editors want you to do) and then read it with her included (she appears twice,
and is referred to quite clearly). That should give you a sense of her as an
'outsider', which is what you asked about.It might also suggest some thoughts
about the politics of editing, but perhaps you should keep these to yourself.
Enjoy!
 
T. Hawkes
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Thursday, 29 Sep 1994 22:55:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Re: Habits and Withers
 
I have just checked the back of my neck, and I can assure T. Hawkes that I have
found no sign of damage. I don't believe I said that habits of mind could
"readily" be inferred by words; they can ONLY be inferred from words. If Mr.
Hawkes has another method of determining habits of mind, he should immediately
communicate this discovery to the world of science, especially psychiatry.
 
As to dramatic figures, we could say that habits of mind are IMPLIED by a
playwright, when she or he uses certain words in certain combinations. The
actor then has the chance to make inferences from these implications. And after
the actor has done her or his inferring, the audience gets a shot.
 
Simple, eh? No reason to be agog.
 
Simply yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth Meaney <
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Date:           Friday, 30 Sep 94 10:49:14 +0300
Subject:        Re. Actor on Acting
 
Arthur Pearson writes,
 
>What frightens me when I hear actors and directors speak of "this character is
>so and so" and "this one such and such" is that such talk, in addition to
>narrowing the full scope of a character, ususally has less to do with
>interpretation than imposition or (the dreaded word) "conception".
 
It frightens me to _read_ "this character is so and so". I am often struck
by  the extent to which criticism of the plays seems intent on forcing
closure, especially on the "characters". Of course, actors will have to
settle on one or other of the many possible ways of realizing their role and
I would understand talk of "this character is so and so" to be really a kind
of shorthand for "this is how I intend to play it". But in working on the
text we should surely keep our minds open to the range of possibilities and
try to use an appropriate  form of discourse. Is Bianca a Shrew? Well she
_might_ be. She could be one of several Biancas. I would want to say (to my
students) that it mainly depends on what sort of Kate you want to have.
 
Ken Meaney
University of Joensuu, Finland
 

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