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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: March ::
Re: *MM* Ending; Fiennes's Hamlet
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0231.  Monday, 20 March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   John Owens <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Mar 1995 09:15:37 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 6.0224  Re: *MM* Ending
 
(2)     From:   Mary M Kramm <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Mar 1995 11:29:01 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0224 Re: *MM* Ending
 
(3)     From:   Anna Cole <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Mar 1995 07:47:47 GMT
        Subj:   Re: Fiennes's Hamlet
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Owens <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Mar 1995 09:15:37 -0800
Subject: 6.0224  Re: *MM* Ending
Comment:        RE: SHK 6.0224  Re: *MM* Ending
 
In the face of all this discussion about MM Act V, I am surprised (unless I
have missed it) that no reference has been made to the popular theory that MM
is an incomplete revision of an earlier play. Either that or a play that
received irregular attention from its author. Clearly, MM is a wildly uneven
work, the quality of the seduction scenes with Angelo/Isabella far outpacing
the finale, with its signs of haste and untidiness. Is it possible that the
virtues of MM-revised lead us into a bewildered search for purpose in
MM-original? Deliberation that doesn't exist?
 
 John Owen
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary M Kramm <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Mar 1995 11:29:01 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 6.0224 Re: *MM* Ending
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0224 Re: *MM* Ending
 
In support of John Boni's comments on the ending of *MM*, I would add that
Isabella's religious vocation might well be questioned. As far as we can see,
she is entering the convent--at least in part--out of a disgust for the
sordidness of worldly life in this Vienna, and not necessarily because of a
spiritual temperament that requires a monastic life in order for it to develop.
It is telling that the initial view we have of Isabella in her new religious
home shows her concerning herself with the rules of the order. The prohibitions
of this ascetic order are not enough for her--she wishes a more strict
restraint applied. In this she sounds more like Angelo than any other character
in the play.
 
Isabella has talents that would do a corrupt city like Vienna a lot of
good--talents that would go to waste in an already ascetic convent but that
would be a great spur to a ruler who has an unfortunate tendency to laxness.
 
And Isabella is not the only character who is being encouraged or pressured to
leave the "safety" of a retreat from society. Note that Barnadine is rousted
out of prison when he neither fears execution nor desires freedom--all he wants
is drunken oblivion. Lucio, similarly, is forced to give up his own egoism and
fulfill the socially accountable role of husband to Kate Keepdown and father to
his bastard. Mariana is recalled from her isolation and Angelo, who in his
shame craves death more willingly than life, must enter into ordinary, wedded
life whether or not he'd prefer his former, aloof privacy.
 
And one supposes that henceforth the Duke of dark corners will be more likely
or obliged to fulfill *his* civic duties than he has in the past.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Anna Cole <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Mar 1995 07:47:47 GMT
Subject:        Re: Fiennes's Hamlet
 
Have just seen on today's midday news that the Hackney Empire are putting on a
free performance for the people who were unable to buy tickets. I was one of
them, but unfortunately am unable to take advantage of this handsome offer!
However, it is such a charming gesture that I thought I would share it with all
1000+ other Shakespeareans on the Net.
 
Anna Cole
 

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