1995

*Twelfth Night* at Yale and Question

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0142.  Tuesday, 28 February 1995.
 
From:           David Loeb <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Feb 1995 17:43:11 U
Subject:        Twelfth Night at Yale
 
I recently saw the Yale Rep's Twelfth Night, set in the 60's with costumes from
"La Dolce Vita."  Feste was a nightclub singer, Maria wore a miniskirt, and
there was a pool on the stage into which, as a matter of dramatic imperative,
nearly everyone and everything eventually plunged.  Indeed, Sebastian made his
first entrance from the pool, though I'm not sure how.  An interesting note:
At the end, when Malvolio promises revenge, everyone breaks into cruel
laughter.  I'm looking for a film of Twelfth Night for my spring term comedy
course.  Any recommendations?  Dave

Re: Epilepsy in *Oth*; Casting

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0141.  Tuesday, 28 February 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Don Foster <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Feb 1995 17:15:33 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: Epilepsy in OTH
 
(2)     From:   Charles S. Ross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Feb 95 09:45:27 -0500
        Subj:   Re:  SHK 6.0138  Re: Casting
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Foster <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Feb 1995 17:15:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Re: Epilepsy in OTH
 
To Jocelyn Shannon--
 
Just because Iago reports that Othello suffers from epilepsy doesn't mean that
Iago is telling the truth, either about what the audience sees in IV.i or about
the (reported) seizure offstage. Is Iago's interpretation to be trusted?  Few
white directors can resist the impulse to have their Othello collapse to the
stage in drooling spasms--and most of our painted Othellos have been only too
happy to comply.  But it is clear from the text that Othello is in a
trance--which is, at least visually, a more dignified state of suffering than a
convulsion.  Othello's first movement from the trance comes with "Look, he
stirs."  The foaming mouth and savage madness that Iago cites as symptoms of
Othello's supposed illness are lies, beastly images not unlike those which Iago
conjures up for Brabantio in I.i.
 
So, in answer to your question and commentary--("What was the Elizabethan point
of view on this malady?  What was Shakespeare's slant?  As my television wraps
around another grim day at *Camp OJ*, I sometimes wonder if Nicole said, 'I do
fear you when your eyes roll so'")--one is tempted to reply that the falling
sickness, like mad (or comical) rolling eyes and unpredictable homicidal
violence, may be projected upon black males--but the "malady" lies as much
ourselves as in the object of our frightened or impatient gaze.  *Othello* is a
smorgasbord of lies.  Which ones we choose to believe is perhaps more
instructive than any Elizabethan medical handbook when it comes to the question
of Othello's falling sickness.
 
--Don Foster
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charles S. Ross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Feb 95 09:45:27 -0500
Subject: 6.0138  Re: Casting
Comment:        Re:  SHK 6.0138  Re: Casting
 
I'll bet that Karen Mercedes can't prove that Shakespeare had the narrow
conception of a Moor that she ascribes to him. Complete color blind casting
should be the only rule. I noticed that Sir Ian, liberal otherwise, had trouble
accepting that principle during his recent Richard III talk/tour. But he was
wrong.
 
Charles Ross
Purdue University

Q: Chronology; Utopia, Pornography,

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0139.  Tuesday, 28 February 1995.
 
(1)     From:   L.J.Link <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Feb 95 22:07:55 JST
        Subj:   Questions about Chronology
 
(2)     From:   Darby Lewes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Feb 1995 10:57:20 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   [Utopia, Pornography, and Imperial Project]
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           L.J.Link <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Feb 95 22:07:55 JST
Subject:        Questions about Chronology
 
ESTABLISHMENT CHRONOLOGY OF THE TEMPEST, WINTER'S TALE AND CYMBELINE.
 
The only authoritative source for CYMBELINE, WINTER'S TALE and TEMPEST is the
1623 First Folio, and the external evidence for dating are a few items.  Simon
Forman watched CYMBELINE; there is no date for his note about this but the
context makes April, 1611 plausible.  He also saw WINTER'S TALE on May 15,
1611.  The Revels Accounts notes the TEMPEST was performed at court on Nov.1,
1611;  this does NOT mean it wasn't performed earlier; and while it is not
certain that Shakespeare knew Sylvester Jourdan's A DISCOVERY OF THE BARMUDAS,
published late autumn,1610, it seems likely he did.  If he did, it means
TEMPEST was completed after the fall of 1610.
 
What conclusions can we come to from these basic facts of external evidence?
Just because Forman saw CYMBELINE before WINTER'S TALE does not allow us to
infer that the plays were written in that order. Further, the evidence allows
us to conclude that Shakespeare could have finished TEMPEST in late 1610 or
very early 1611.  In short, the external evidence would allow ANY order of
those last three plays.  Nevertheless, there seems to be almost universal
agreement that the order is CYMBELINE, WINTER'S TALE and TEMPEST.  Why?
 
I would appreciate any information which substantiates what I consider the
arbitrary standard chronology.  Let me briefly indicate my own explanation for
this anomaly.  There are, I think, two main reasons.
 
First, internal evidence -- feminine line endings, etc. etc.  Two objections to
such evidence are 1) evaluating and classifying such evidence is only partly
objective; individual judgment always plays a role, and, more importantly, 2)
since all three plays were written within a two-year period (probably less), it
is hard to imagine that Shakespeare's style, always flexible in any case, would
have changed so much that we can say with confidence: this was done in 1610,
and that in 1611. Besides, some sections of WINTER'S TALE are surely as complex
in texture and rhythm as anything in the TEMPEST.
 
Second, tradition and wish-fulfillment.  This, I think, is the more important
reason.  Chambers was the first influential figure to establish this standard
chronology.  Since there's been no hard evidence to dispute it, subsequent
scholars have taken the safe road and followed -- up to today.  But Chambers
suggested his chronology and it's been followed partly because of an
interpretation of the TEMPEST's final lines, SUPPOSEDLY Shakespeare's farewell
to the stage.  If the TEMPEST is his last play [in fact, it isn't], it's nicer,
more symmetrical.  It pleases and panders to our expectations, what we would
like to think.  How awkward if the TEMPEST were to be followed by CYMBELINE, a
decidedly inferior work.
 
I hasten to add that the traditional chronology MAY be correct but I have yet
to discover any clear reasonably objective reasons why it is written in stone
rather than presented as merely one possibility.  Any response appreciated.
 
L.J.Link, Professor, College of Humanities, Aoyama Gakuin Univ. TOKYO
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Darby Lewes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Feb 1995 10:57:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        [Utopia, Pornography, and Imperial Project]
 
[Please respond DIRECTLY to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. because the poster is NOT
a member of SHAKSPER.  --HMC]
 
I am in the process of researching a book which examines the links between
British utopian writing, pornography, and the Imperial project. I will be
working in Oxford this summer and am  am attempting to put together a working
bibliography.  Im looking for examples of the following:
 
1) sixteenth through nineteenth century British utopian texts which present
women as geographical territories to be conquered (e.g. Erotopolis/Bettyland,
Stretser's Merryland, Cock's Voyage to Lethe, Burns's Botany Bay). I'm also
interested in any presentation of the female as landscape (e.g. Venus as a deer
park in Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis).
 
2) sixteenth through nineteenth century British texts which describe native
women of color as sexually available (thru rape or native promiscuity) to any
European male.
 
3. pornographic British or American computer games which have as their goal the
rape of native women of color (e. g. Custer's Last Stand).
 
4.  any suggestions as to how one might locate the above.  Currently, I'm
trying bookseller's catalogues, librarians, and collections of bawdy humor.
 
5.  any email lists whose readers might be interested in such a topic.
 
Any input whatsoever would be gratefully received.
 
Thanks,
Darby Lewes
English Dept. Box 78
Lycoming College
Williamsport PA 17701
(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Re: Love at First Sight

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0140.  Tuesday, 28 February 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Don Wall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Feb 1995 12:29:55 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Love at First Sight
 
(2)     From:   John Mucci <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Feb 1995 16:17:49 -0500
        Subj:   Romantic Love
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Wall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Feb 1995 12:29:55 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Love at First Sight
 
Dale Lyles implies that Shakespeare's couples who fall in love "at first sight"
are thereby fit subjects of comedy because their "'infatuation'" is"inherently
funny."
 
However:  isn't it true that the medical theory of that time provided a
physiological explanation for this phenomenon?  As I recall, if the image
(phantasm) of a potential loved one conveyed by the senses to the heart warmed
the blood so that it released the "spirits" in the blood, then that information
was conveyed--by the spirits--to the soul.  The result was love--spiritual
love--at first sight.
 
Donne and Marvell--among others--seem to believe this theory, or some variation
of it.
                              Don Wall
                              Dept. of English, MS-25
                              Eastern Washington University
                              Cheney, WA  99004-2431
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Mucci <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Feb 1995 16:17:49 -0500
Subject:        Romantic Love
 
I am not sure that all Shakespeare's couples fall in love immediately; I am
thinking of early on in Richard III, when Gloucester has that long scene with
Anne, and he asks her to "take up the sword again, or take up me."  He manages
the impossible, to get her to marry him, when he has just killed her husband as
well as the king.  Of course, on the one hand, you may say that there never
*was* love between them, even after marriage, or that it really *was* love at
first sight, with Anne calling him endearing names ("Dost grant me,
hedgehog?"), even though she speaks venomously of Gloucester.  It is such a
bizarre scene, with emotions all over the scale, that I am not sure I know what
each is thinking from moment to moment; but what they are saying is definitely
*not* what they are thinking.  If any love --even in its basest form--can be
said to be an element in that scene, it is certainly not "at first sight."
 
John Mucci
GTE VisNet

Re: Love; *Romeo and Juliet; Casting

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0138.  Monday, 27 February 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Dale Lyles <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 25 Feb 1995 17:44:53 -0500
        Subj:   Romantic love, again
 
(2)     From:   James J. Hill, Jr. <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 26 Feb 1995 16:19:23 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Romeo & Juliet
 
(3)     From:   Marty Jukovsky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 27 Feb 95 01:08:37 -0800
        Subj:   Fwd: Re: Non-traditional casting
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 25 Feb 1995 17:44:53 -0500
Subject:        Romantic love, again
 
Dave Evett writes that almost of all of Shakespeare's couples fall in love at
first sight.  Of course they do; and then they are subjected to the trials of
comedy, because their "infatuation" is inherently funny, even ridiculous.
 
Yes, Rosalind and Orlando sigh for each other straightway, but then she spends
the rest of the play ridiculing his posturing in a otherwise idyllic setting.
It's as if she wants to see if his love will outlast the infatuation.  "Will
you have me?" he says, and she replies, "Sure thing.  And lots more like you."
[Or words to that effect. :)]
 
As for Cressida, I think maybe she is the ultimately ironic comment [whether
S's or my own...?] on those who get stuck in that first part of love's cycle.
 
I think too that we have to keep in mind that we're dealing with comedy here,
wish-fulfilling in its structure: we *want* every Jack to have his Jill at the
end of the play, and usually we get it.  In fact, isn't it all the more
striking when we *don't* get it, and doesn't it cause a shudder?  Think
Jacques, Malvolio, and even the Duke and Isabella!
 
Now let me pose a question: if Dave and I were both to direct one of the
comedies, let's say *12N*, how would/could/should our different valuations of
romantic love affect the production?
 
Dale Lyles
Newnan Community Theatre Company
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James J. Hill, Jr. <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 26 Feb 1995 16:19:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Romeo & Juliet
 
Regarding the relative value [love or infatuation] that Romeo places on
Rosaline & Juliet--Romeo says of Rosaline: " One fairer than my love? th'
all-seeing Sun / Ne'er saw her match since first the world began" (1.2.95-96).
Yet of Juliet he says: "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? / It
is the East and Juliet is the Sun. / Arise fair Sun and kill the envious Moon."
(2.1.44-46).  Rosaline is only observed by the Sun, while Juliet is the Sun.
The imagery conveys greater to Juliet:  Romeo places more value upon Juliet
than upon Rosaline.  May not we term this greater value "love"?  At least
perhaps we should see his greater appreciation of the newly met Juliet.  J. J.
Hill, Jr. @ Towson State Univ.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marty Jukovsky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Feb 95 01:08:37 -0800
Subject:        Fwd: Re: Non-traditional casting
 
I thought the readers of the SHAKSPER list might find this of interest.  It's
from the musicals list.
 
Martin Jukovsky
Cambridge, Mass.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
**************************************
 
In message <3iq3av$This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>  writes:
> The trouble with casting whites in most non-white parts is that
> there are very few parts for non-whites in which race is a minor
> factor.  Personally, I'd have trouble buying a white Othello,
 
I'll go a step further and say that, if I were looking for historical
authenticity, I'd have trouble accepting an Othello played by a non-Arab,
because  historically the Moors -- ie, the Umayyad, Abbasid, Almoravid,
Almohad, and Nasrid caliphaites that ruled various parts of North Africa (and,
coincidentally, most of the Iberian Penninusla from 711 CE-1492 CE) -- were
Arab (ie, Semitic) peoples, not negroid peoples.
 
It was the (un?)fortunate tendency of the British, including Shakespeare, to
call all non-European peoples "black", and the later "specialisation" of the
term "black" to mean "negroid", that led to the confusion about Othello's race.
 
Karen Mercedes

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