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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: March ::
Re: *Goodnight*; Killing Duncan; Hamlet's Book;
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0247.  Monday, 27 March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   David Skeele <
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        Date:   Sunday, 26 Mar 95 21:19:23 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0218  *Goodnight/Morning*
 
(2)     From:   Don Foster <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Mar 1995 11:54:17 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0237  Re: Killing Duncan
 
(3)     From:   Pat Buckridge <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Mar 1995 12:23:52 +1000
        Subj:   Hamlet's Book
 
(4)     From:   Marty Jukovsky <
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        Date:   Friday, 24 Mar 95 15:01:28 -0800
        Subj:   Fwd: Shakespeare Musicals
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Skeele <
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Date:           Sunday, 26 Mar 95 21:19:23 EST
Subject: 6.0218  *Goodnight/Morning*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0218  *Goodnight/Morning*
 
A brief reply to Norman Myers' query regarding American productions of
Goodnight Desdemona/Good Morning Juliet.  There was an excellent production at
the Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival in Pittsburgh in 1991.  It was performed
by their second company (called the Young Company) in a tiny performance space
called the Pit.  The mainstage was simultaneously doing Othello, and the cast
of Good Morning attended numerous rehearsals and managed some very funny
parodies of the  leads.  I also remember reading about a production in New
York, though I can't remember where.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Foster <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Mar 1995 11:54:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0237  Re: Killing Duncan
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0237  Re: Killing Duncan
 
Scott Shepherd: "Did Don Foster really mean it, that 'sticking a knife in the
king's body' is a noningredient in Macbeth's horror?"
 
A:  No, of course not, nor did I say that it was a "noningredient."
Mystification of the king's body was not invented by Shakespeare or Macbeth,
nor can Macbeth escape it.  That much is a "given" of the culture. What's at
stake here is the oppositional thinking displayed so richly in Scott Shepherd's
note--a critical dialectic that insistently casts *Macbeth* into a simple
morality play.  (note Shepherd's own language: "noningredient".... "Precisely
the reverse is true!" ... "[Macbeth] does nothing in that speech but..."  Is
there still room in Shakespeare studies for such reductive thinking?  To hear
in Macbeth's horrorific soliloquies only the voice of conscience is to hear
only what any provincial vicar could have said in writing a *Macbeth*
narrative.  Precisely because regicide is a kind of cosmic crime, Macbeth's
ambition invests the deed with tragic sublimity at the very moment when
self-creation comes into doubt.  In Kenneth Burke's terms, murder (more
intensively here, regicide) is a crime that "smokes God out" of the woodwork,
dares the metaphysical order to assert itself. In the end, of course, Macbeth
is not unlike Zarathustra's pale criminal.  He isn't big enough for his deed.
As a "bad" man, Macbeth isn't bad enough to live with his crime.  But one tires
of these arguments about "why doesn't he just sit around and wait to become
king, it would be, like, so much *easier.*"  A *Macbeth* for the herd.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pat Buckridge <
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Date:           Tuesday, 28 Mar 1995 12:23:52 +1000
Subject:        Hamlet's Book
 
The book Hamlet is reading when Polonius greets him was first identified, with
great plausibility, as long ago as 1845 by one Joseph Hunter, and the
identification has since been confirmed by Lily B. Campbell and Hardin Craig,
among others of lesser fame.  The case rests on numerous close verbal parallels
between this book and Shakespeare's plays, especially *Hamlet*, including one
quite remarkably long and detailed parallel with the 'To be or not to be'
soliloquy, and a satirical passage on the unpleasantness of old men's company,
to which Hamlet surely refers in his banter with Polonius (re plumtree gum,
plentiful lack of wit, most weak hams, etc).
 
The book is not Boethius' *Consolation of Philosophy* but a sixteenth-century
work, *De Consolatione* by the Venetian mathematician Jerome Cardan, Englished
in 1573 by Thomas Bedingfield as *Cardanus Comfort* (with - as it happens -  a
Dedication to the Earl of Oxford and a lengthy prefatory epistle by him to the
translator).
 
Pat Buckridge
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marty Jukovsky <
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Date:           Friday, 24 Mar 95 15:01:28 -0800
Subject:        Fwd: Shakespeare Musicals
 
Some more cross-postings from the musicals list.
 
Martin Jukovsky
Cambridge, Mass.

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****************************************************
 
Did anyone mention "Music Is"?  I believe this was an adaptation of "Twelfth
Night" produced in the early 1980's....featuring the last score by Richard
Adler (Pajama Game/Damn Yankees)...It only ran for a few performances on
Broadway.
 
************************************************
 
"Rockabye Hamlet" had a very shortlived run on Broadway back in the 70's. It
did however feature Meatloaf, Beverly DeAngelo and some other's who have made a
pretty good name for themselves.  The show was directed by Gower Champion.
 
"Boys From Syracuse" is a great show.
 
Did anyone mention "West Side Story".  Not a bad little adaptation.
 
"Kiss Me Kate", a big Cole Porter show.
 
There was a little show called "Sensations" that was based on Romeo and
Juliet.  It was produced in NY in the early Seventies.
 
"Two Gentlemen of Verona"
 

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