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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: February ::
Re: Love; *Romeo and Juliet; Casting
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0138.  Monday, 27 February 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Dale Lyles <
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        Date:   Saturday, 25 Feb 1995 17:44:53 -0500
        Subj:   Romantic love, again
 
(2)     From:   James J. Hill, Jr. <E7E4JJH@TOWSONVX.BITNET>
        Date:   Sunday, 26 Feb 1995 16:19:23 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Romeo & Juliet
 
(3)     From:   Marty Jukovsky <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Feb 95 01:08:37 -0800
        Subj:   Fwd: Re: Non-traditional casting
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <
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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. <E7E4JJH@TOWSONVX.BITNET>
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 <
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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.

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**************************************
 
In message <3iq3av$
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 >  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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