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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: March ::
Ha
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0244.  Saturday, 25 March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Ron Macdonald <
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        Date:   Friday, 24 Mar 1995 10:54:38 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Hamlet, Boethius
 
(2)     From:   Eric Grischkat <
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        Date:   Friday, 24 Mar 1995 06:56:53 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Phrasing, Caesura, and Run-on Lines
 
(3)     From:   Frank Savukinas <
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        Date:   Friday, 24 Mar 1995 12:41:30 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Edmund and Richard III
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Macdonald <
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Date:           Friday, 24 Mar 1995 10:54:38 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Hamlet, Boethius
 
Thanks to John Cox for his plausible suggestion concerning a Boethean source
for Hamlet's "nothing either bad or good but thinking makes it so."  Perhaps
the same background informs Gaunt's consolatory advice to the just-banished
Bullingbrook, _RII_, I.iii.227ff.: "Teach thy necessity to reason thus: /
There is no virtue like necessity."  Coming from the aging Gaunt to the
pragmatic and Machiavellian Bullingbrook, it has in this context a distinctly
old-fashioned ring.
 
I am reminded, at least I think I am, that my graduate Chaucer professor, the
late Talbot Donaldson, once mentioned a stage tradition that designated
the _Consolation of Philosophy_ as the book Hamlet is carrying when he
encounters Polonius in II.ii, the one in which he finds "words, words, words."
It's not clear to me how (or if?) the title of the book would be made clear
to an audience.  Anyone ever heard about this?
 
                                            Ron Macdonald
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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eric Grischkat <
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Date:           Friday, 24 Mar 1995 06:56:53 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Phrasing, Caesura, and Run-on Lines
 
A number of us on the theatre-theory list (Harry Hill, Paul Kassel,Sean
Lawrence, and  Michael Faulkner) have been discussing the clues an actor can
receives from the verse, run-on lines, and mid stops in Shakespeare. Camillo's
speech from *Winter's Tale* has a number of interesting examples in it.  I'm
interested to read Shakespeare list response.
 
Here is an interesting passage from Act1 sc 1 WT I took the script from the
complete Shakespeare on ALEX have added on the side some changes/differences
from the Folio (Applause Books edition).
 
CAMILLO
O miserable lady! But, for me,    F: But for me,
What case stand I in? I must be the poisoner
Of good Polixenes; and my ground to do't  F:Of good Polixenes, to do't,
Is the obedience to a master, one         F: one,
Who in rebellion with himself, will have
All that are his, so too. To do this deed,
Promotion follows. If I could find example   F: Promotion follows:
Of thousands that had struck anointed kings   F:Kings,
And flourish'd after, I'ld not do't; but since   F: do't:
Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment, bears not one,  Nor
Brass,.Stone.Parchmnet
Let villany itself forswear't. I must           F: Villiany
Forsake the court: to do't, or no, is certain   F: Court
To me a break-neck. Happy star, reign now!
Here comes Bohemia.
 
I think many of the run-ons make sense as upward inflection/continuation of
thoughts, some, perhaps, are more interesting as breking of the verse to show a
racing mind--someone searching for an answer beyond the form of the verse.
 
I'm also curious of what people make of the colon and period caesura.  Is it
simply a shift in the  mind, or is a pause called for? Some say colons, because
they are surronded by space in the folio editions by spaces imply a pause - but
a pause in the middle of a verse line. I'm curious to hear people's opinions.
Of this piece in performance and what clues the caesuras, verse, and run-ons
offer to the actor.
 
                  Eric George Grischkat
                  
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                  University of San Diego
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Frank Savukinas <
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Date:           Friday, 24 Mar 1995 12:41:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Edmund and Richard III
 
I just finished my first reading of King Lear and I found it to be truly
remarkable, albeit depressing, especially the scene where Lear dies.
 
Anyway, I find that the character of Edmund is quite similar to that of Richard
III. First, they both manipulate people to gain material wealth.
 
Secondly, they have no reason to do it other than sheer greed.
 
Finally, they both have "deformities" While Richard's is physical, Edmund's
deformities arises in his status (i.e Bastard).
 
Upon suggesting this to one of my professors, she just shrugged it off,
disagreeing with me. She gave no reason. She thought that Edmund can be more
comparable to Iago in *Othello*. While I see the similarities there too, I
think Iago has a genuine reason to do what he does.
 
Am I completely wrong or have I actually said something intelligent??
 
Just an opinion,
Frank Savukinas

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