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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: March ::
Qs: Black Characters on Sh's Stage; *Mac* Murder
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0184.  Wednesday, 8 March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Caroline Gebhard <GEBHARD@TUSK.BITNET>
        Date:   Tuesday, 07 Mar 1995 08:46:41 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Color-blind Casting & Blackface
 
(2)     From:   Jennie Johnson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 7 Mar 1995 19:02:28 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   [*Mac* Murder]
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Caroline Gebhard <GEBHARD@TUSK.BITNET>
Date:           Tuesday, 07 Mar 1995 08:46:41 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Color-blind Casting & Blackface
 
I teach at an historically black university, and my students wonder how
characters such as Aaron in Titus Andronicus and Othello would have been
played: (on Shakespeare's stage): in black face? using a mask? or just through
language? How white people portray black people--what is acting black?--is
still an issue.  I saw Olivier's ghastly version of Othello a number of years
ago and couldn't get past the grotesque blackface and attempts to talk like an
African-American.  From recent comments on the list, most seem to reject the
idea of a "white" Othello.  Has it become impossible for a white actor to
portray a "black" character?  My students and I would welcome your thoughts on
these matters.
 
Caroline Gebhard
Tuskegee University
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jennie Johnson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 7 Mar 1995 19:02:28 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        [*Mac* Murder]
 
Can anyone enlighten me on this vital question to do with the Scottish play.
Why does Macb. leap to the conclusion that he will become King only by
murdering Duncan? If the Glamis prediction came true without him batting an
eyelid, why does he then TAKE action, ie. kill, to secure the second
prediction, if the first fell on his plate? Another point that mystifies me;
Why does he then presume that by killing Duncan he will become King, when
Malcolm was pronounced hier apparent before his very eyes? Did he intend to
then slaughter Malcolm and Donnalbain, the King's sons, (if they had not taken
off) and get away with it?
 
Is Shakespeare merely stretching poetic license here or have I missed a point
somewhere?
 
        Jennie, the mystified.
 

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