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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: January ::
Re: Characters; *MV* Ongoing Discussion
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0059.  Monday, 30 January, 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Thomas Berger <
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        Date:   Saturday, 28 Jan 95 13:58:31 EST
        Subj:   Migrating Characters
 
(2)     From:   Phyllis Rackin <
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        Date:   Saturday, 28 Jan 1995 21:06:48 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0055  Re: *MV*: Shylock and Moonlight Bank Scene
 
(3)     From:   Melissa Aaron <
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        Date:   Saturday, 28 Jan 1995 23:14:32 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0046 Re: *MV*: Act Five
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Berger <
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Date:           Saturday, 28 Jan 95 13:58:31 EST
Subject:        Migrating Characters
 
For Mr. Steggle?  I would have him consult AN INDEX OF CHARCTERS IN ENGLISH
PRINTED DRAMA TO THE RESTORATION, by Thomas L. Berger and William C. Bradford
(Englewood CO:  Microcard Editons, 1975) and that might be of some help to him
on migrating characters.  He will note that Shakespeare's characters very
rarely, if ever, migrate. I'm making you edit too hard.  Thanks, Tom Berger
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Phyllis Rackin <
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Date:           Saturday, 28 Jan 1995 21:06:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0055  Re: *MV*: Shylock and Moonlight Bank Scene
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0055  Re: *MV*: Shylock and Moonlight Bank Scene
 
> The trouble with all of these nasty renditions of the moonlight bank scene is
> that they ignore the way it ends.  Does one have to repeat that these aren't
> real people but characters in a play?  Jessica admits, as the scene closes,
> that she is sad, because music always makes her so.  Lorenzo tells her, that's
> because she really appreciates it, her "spirits are attentive."  A person who
> doesn't like music, he continues, is "fit for treasons, stratagems, and
> spoils."  Shylock doesn't like music.  Belmont is full of music.  In context,
> then, Jessica proves in this scene that, far from being an outcast, she is a
> well-qualified member of Belmont society, and that, I would say, is the
> function of the scene.  All these nasty renditions of act V only prove once
> more that a director can make a play say anything he wants it to, and the
> author be damned.  See Lawrence Danson, _The Harmony of MV_, and my article in
> _Restoration_, aforementioned.
>
> Yours ever,
> BEN SCHNEIDER
>
What do you make of Portia's statement shortly thereafter that she has a "bad
voice"?  If being musical is the mark of being at home in Belmont, shouldn't
Portia have a good voice?
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa Aaron <
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Date:           Saturday, 28 Jan 1995 23:14:32 +0200
Subject: 6.0046 Re: *MV*: Act Five
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0046 Re: *MV*: Act Five
 
>Regarding the breakdown of Lorenzo and Jessica's marriage: You can, I suppose,
>play any dialogue as an argument if you shout and stamp your feet, but the text
>really doesn't seem to support this course.
>
I experienced a similar problem with Henry IV, Part 1 some years ago.  I was
cast as Lady Mortimer.  The director wanted me to play the scene as though I
hated Mortimer and all my lines were basically "Go away, you Seisnig
colonialist pig."  Since the audience didn't speak Welsh, I had to pantomime
extreme anger and disgust, which made nonsense of the lyrical lines addressed
to Lady Mortimer. Maybe it isn't fashionable to say so, but some Shakespeare
plays really feel--when you play them--as though they are constructed a cretain
way and you play against it at your own risk. My gut suspicion about the Henry
IV scene is that the real moral is "For a truly affectionate relationship,
marry someone whose language you don't speak.  It takes language to build a
fight."
 
Melissa Aaron
 

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