1995

Re: Chronology

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0178.  Tuesday, 7 March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Chris Bergstresser <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 06 Mar 1995 14:38:59 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0171  Re: Chronology
 
(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 06 Mar 1995 23:03:15 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0171  Re: Chronology
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Bergstresser <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 06 Mar 1995 14:38:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0171  Re: Chronology
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0171  Re: Chronology
 
-}>-}4.Dating by style and versification is entirely circular (hence entirely
-}>-}useless), except in those rare instances where external evidence gives an
-}>-}approximate date for a particular recognisable style
-}>
-}>        Once again, this is a broad oversimplification.
-}
-}Saying things with confidence doesn't make them true.
 
Sorry, I'm an English major.  Force of habit.
 
-}You haven't engaged with
-}my point here at all. If you believe stylistic dating is *not* circular -
-}except under the specific conditions I described - perhaps you could explain
-}your grounds.
 
All right.  Granted, in the absence of all external documentation, trying to
arrange the plays chronologically would be impossible.  But the fact is these
plays do not exist in a vaccuum -- there are many reports external to the
productions which help fix certain plays to certain timeframes.
 
Those plays that can be roughly dated can then serve as a sort of guide for
dating other plays, based on stylistic similarities.  For two of the plays
we've been working on for my acting class, _Two Gentlemen of Verona_ and
_Measure for Measure_, there is a clear stylistic difference.  MfM is a much
more complex work; the skill required to produce it is greater than that to
produce TGoV.
 
These things don't help when trying to determine whether MfM was written before
or after _The Tempest;_ but they can provide some corraboration for an argument
about the rough chronology of the plays. I find your exception far too
limiting: external evidence is only needed for a handful of plays.  Once there
is a skeleton of a chronology in place, filling in the details isn't quite as
random as you make it out to be.  Just because one cannot know with certainty
does not mean one cannot know at all.
 
Chris Bergstresser
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 06 Mar 1995 23:03:15 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0171  Re: Chronology
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0171  Re: Chronology
 
Pat Buckridge's comments on stylistic dating reminded me of the 18th century
commentator whose name I do not remember, but whose contribution to the dating
problem I do. He claimed that Shakespeare developed from the Gothic excesses of
THE TEMPEST to the classical unity of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS. Thus THE TEMPEST is
an early play, and THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, a late one.
 
Yours, Bill

Re: *MM* Ending

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0177.  Tuesday, 7 March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Michael Best <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 06 Mar 95 10:14:19 PST
        Subj:   Measure for Measure ending
 
(2)     From:   Thomas Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Mar 1995 15:21:53 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Measure for Measure
 
(3)     From:   Robert Saenger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Mar 1995 23:17:45 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0170 Qs: *MM*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Best <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 06 Mar 95 10:14:19 PST
Subject:        Measure for Measure ending
 
There have been a number of productions of Measure for Measurs that have ended
with Isabella rejecting the Duke (I remember one at Ashland in, I think, the
late seventies). Personally, I like the BBC version where Isabella is given a
*very* long pause after the Duke's proposal -- time to wonder will she, won't
she -- then accepts, acknowledging the artifice of comedy.
 
Is it possible to leave the ending open (as in a way the text does)? Isabella
motionless (the text leaves her silent), or shrugging, non- committal?
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Mar 1995 15:21:53 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Measure for Measure
 
To Warner Crocker,
 
In a recent class on "Outsiders in Shakespeare" we decided that Isabella didn't
discuss the Duke's proposal.  In fact we imagined her response to be one of
distaste or revulsion.  The poor thing was just about to enter a nunnery, that
wasn't even strict enough, when she got hit on by not just one but two powerful
men.
 
Isabella has been described as being "a vixen in her virtue."  I don't think
that this has changed by the play's end.
 
                                        Thomas Hall
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Saenger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Mar 1995 23:17:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0170 Qs: *MM*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0170 Qs: *MM*
 
In response to Warner Crocker's issue of Isabella's does-she-or-doesn't-she
debate regarding the Duke's proposal--  I am convinced that Stephen Booth has
the right solution, although I have never seen it onstage.  The Duke and
Isabella have a brisk, triumphant union and proceed offstage, together, in
perfect comedic resolution.  It is not until some thirty minutes after the
curtain call that the audience realizes that something went horribly wrong.
 
When modern directors slow down and deconstruct an ending like this or that of
AWTEW, they are attempting to over-paint Shakespeare's irony with heavy
strokes.  The Bard did it better; I say, let the play itself, with all its
contradictory impulses, generate its own aftermath.

Re: Non-Traditional Shakespeare Pieces

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0175.  Tuesday, 7 March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Timothy Reed <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Mar 1995 08:35:08 -0700
        Subj:   Dogg's Hamlet
 
(2)     From:   Roger D. Gross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Mar 1995 20:36:17 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   more non-trad Shakes
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Timothy Reed <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Mar 1995 08:35:08 -0700
Subject:        Dogg's Hamlet
 
Roger Gross suggests the following for a non-traditional Shakespeare festival:
 
"Tom Stoppard wrote a ca. 15-minute version of HAMLET called DOGG'S HAMLET
(published in a Faber and Faber volume: DOGG'S HAMLET, CAHOOT'S MACBETH, 1980.
As a "curtain call", it also provides a 2- or 3-minute version.  I use it
occasionally in my Acting Shakespeare class when I need to work on the SIZE
Shakespeare asks of actors.  It is wild and funny."
 
I performed in a production of "Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth" and am
familiar with the conditions required for the granting of performance rights.
(Off the top of my head, I can't remember whether Dramatist's Play Service or
Samuel French hold the rights.) Performance rights are only granted to those
who will perform both works together, in their entirety. Performance of just
the Hamlet portions of "Dogg's Hamlet" is a violation of Stoppard's copyright.
Although the text is Shakespeare, the particular cutting of it is under
Stoppard's copyright. Either get a waiver from the holder of the copyright, or
simpler still, do your own cutting of Hamlet.
 
Timothy Reed
The Upstart Crow Theatre Company, Boulder, Colorado
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger D. Gross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Mar 1995 20:36:17 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        more non-trad Shakes
 
Here are two amusing abuses of Shakespeare I neglected to mention in my first
post on the topic.
 
Bernard Shaw wrote two short plays "about" Shakespeare, whom he had to love but
couldn't stand to hear praised so much.
 
 
        THE DARK LADY OF THE SONNETS, a funny, short one-act with Willy as a
very sweet and simple fellow, waiting in the garden of the Palace of an evening
for his Dark Lady.  As he waits, several more or less famous folks pass through
and we see, as William scribbles down the jewels that fall from their lips,
where he got his best lines.
 
        SHAKES VERSUS SHAV, which Shaw calls a puppet play.  It is probably the
last script he wrote.  It's very short.  The two characters are Shakespeare and
Shaw (plus cameos by Capt. Shotover who Shaw calls "my Lear", Macbeth, and Rob
Roy).  Shakespeare wins the boxing match. From there on its a "could you have
written this?" match. Very short.
 
Roger Gross
Drama
Univ. of Arkansas

Re: *Romeo and Juliet* (*TN* Question)

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0176.  Tuesday, 7 March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Juliet A. Youngren <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Mar 1995 10:22:39 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Romeo & Juliet/Twelfth Night
 
(2)     From:   Michael Swanson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Mar 1995 12:50:24 -0500
        Subj:   Re:  [*Romeo and Juliet*]
 
(3)     From:   S. Hampton-Reeves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Mar 1995 12:30:17 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   romeo and juliet
 
(4)     From:   Curtis Shumaker <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Mar 1995 20:18:48 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 6.0165 Re: ROMEO AND JULIET
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Juliet A. Youngren <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Mar 1995 10:22:39 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Romeo & Juliet/Twelfth Night
 
Regarding question (2), is it possible that "in thy bosom" refers to the fact
that the marriage was secret?  Keeping something in one's bosom could mean
keeping it to oneself or secret, it seems to me.
 
Regarding question (3), it is worth noting that in Brooke's poem "Romeus and
Juliet," which was the source for R&J, it is explicitly stated that the poison
is in powder form.  Perhaps Sh. had this in mind when he had the apothercary
say "Mix this in any drink you will ...."
 
As for Twelfth Night, I understand there's a movie version somewhere with Alec
Guiness as Malvolio (made in the '50s, maybe?).  I'm afraid I don't have any
more information--I haven't even seen it.  My mother caught it on tv
unexpectedly one afternoon, and we haven't found any trace of it since then.
Anyone know more about this?
 
J.A.Y.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Swanson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Mar 1995 12:50:24 -0500
Subject:        Re:  [*Romeo and Juliet*]
 
1)  Benvolio was a woman, and she and Mercutio were clearly as least casual
lovers.
2)  Romeo's parents were African-American, while R himself was white.
3)  The Prince was actually a princess -- an African-American woman.
4)  The friars were lovers.
 
I know that some will have trouble accepting these changes, but it was quite a
good production, with some problems in "act II" -- they cut the lamentation
scene (thereby losing some potential humor, since we know she's not dead), and
substituted a death pavane -- rather too serious for me.  But the changes above
worked well.  When Mercutio died, Benvolio's grief was much more intense and
personal than I've seen it;  the friars being gay seemed to allow Laurence to
relate more deeply to Romeo's forbidden love;  and the Princess was used more
than usual to indicate the power she held in the society -- for example, when
Lord Capulet tells Tybalt to lay off Romeo in the party scene, it's only
because the Princess is standing nearby (though this, of course, wasn't because
the Princess was female or black -- just good directing choice.)
 
Production was good enough to go on to the American College Theatre Festival's
Region III festival.
 
Incidentally, I'm pretty sure that lots of people are using Cecily Berry, and
finding that she works well, and allows actors into the text and the rhythm
without feeling the need for sing-song readings that "iambic pentameter" can
seem to imply.  Her definition of the rhythmic scheme may be slightly off, but
her method -- including that on verse -- has good results, from what I've seen
among actors and students.
 
 Michael Swanson, Franklin College
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           S. Hampton-Reeves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Mar 1995 12:30:17 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        romeo and juliet
 
I disagree with Dan How when he says that there was nothing unusual about
thirteen year olds getting married in the sixteenth century. In the first act
of *Romeo and Juliet*, we learn pretty quickly that Juliet is 13 (we are told
this several times), that the nurse and Lady Capulet were younger than that
when they married, and all the local 13 year olds are already pregnant. If such
marriages were commonplace for Shakespeare's audience, why does he go on about
them so much here?
 
After all, Anne Hathaway was twice as old as Juliet when she married. According
to Joyce Youings (*Sixteenth-Century England*,1984), this was not an exception,
more like the rule: "as in most of the countries of western Europe, men and
women in sixteenth-century England married late, that is, in relation both to
their attainment of the legal age of consent and also to their physical
maturity. Men, on average, married for the first time in their middle to late
twenties and women some four or five years younger ... there were few teenage
marriages." (p.368). On the other hand, "upper class people on the whole
married younger ... though rarely under fifteen." (p.379). It is Youings's
thesis that late marriages acted as a way to control population - it was also
financially convinient to delay having children for some years (life expectancy
was short but not that short). Later on, Youings notes that the number of
teenage marriages increased towards the end of the sixteenth century - possibly
Shakespeare was writing *Romeo and Juliet* in response to these social changes?
 
I'm no expert and possibly there is more up-to-date research refuting Youings's
conclusions. It would be interesting to know if there is a debate about this,
and what implications this has for readings of *Romeo and Juliet*. Another
thought: why does Shakespeare change Juliet's age from the definitely
uncontroversial 16 (Brooke) to 13?
 
Stuart Reeves
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Curtis Shumaker <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Mar 1995 20:18:48 -0800
Subject: Re: ROMEO AND JULIET
Comment:        SHK 6.0165 Re: ROMEO AND JULIET
 
Hello, friends,
 
This is my first post to the conference so, hello and  please have mercy. This
is in reply to Marcia's about the final scene in R&J. I would agree that the
lines about Tybalt and the bosom are probably metaphor. As to the question of
the cup and the poison I may have an idea.
 
I don't think you need to worry about the Apothecary's instructions in ActV sc
i. He tells Romeo that the posion should be mixed with liquid. That doesn't
necessarily means it has to be. The haste with which Romeo seems to be possesed
with would preclude any mixing of drinks in my mind. The posion might work even
faster with out diluting it. As seen in the final scene Romeo barely has time
to get out his two lines before collapsing. This suggests as well as Romeo's
apparent haste that he did not worry about mixing.
 
The cup is another matter. Instead of bringing it in could it not be possible
that it is already there. Give me leave while I attempt to set a stage picture
for you. I am not up on the burial customs of the people of Verona so this is
merely a theatrical solution not a textual one. Would it be out of place for
the Scenic Designer to create a crypt that not only has people but, things as
well. These are not the Pharohs but would it be to far fetched to have
memorabilia of the Capulet family of the past in there as well. Say, a chalice
or two of  former heads of the Capulets. This would give Romeo an exciting
moment when he pulls out the vial and seals his fate by taking down and
drinking from the cup of his enemy. I think it would be a nice bit of irony
that he uses his "new" families belongings to join them forever in eternal
peace. That is how I might solve this oddity, but I am an actor and director
not a scholar. I always look for the dramatic finish.
 
Hope this is helpful,
                        Curt

Re: *Mac*: *Men of Respect* and Teaching

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0174.  Tuesday, 7 March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Kenneth S. Rothwell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Mar 1995 09:26:13 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0166 Qs: *Macbeth* Adaptation
 
(2)     From:   Stephen Buhler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Mar 1995 10:40:18 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Approaches to Teaching *Macbeth*
 
(3)     From:   Steven Metsker <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 06 Mar 1995 09:01:00 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: Teaching *Macbeth*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth S. Rothwell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Mar 1995 09:26:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0166 Qs: *Macbeth* Adaptation
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0166 Qs: *Macbeth* Adaptation
 
Dear Kirk Hendershott-Kraezer, Is the MACBETH modernization you're thinking
about MEN OF RESPECT. USA 1991, Dir. William Reilly w. John Turturro and
Katherine Borowitz? If so, probably available from your local friendly video
dealer. I don't know if it was  "good" but it was fun. Ken Rothwell
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Buhler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Mar 1995 10:40:18 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Approaches to Teaching *Macbeth*
 
Kirk Hendershott-Kraetzer asked about the updated film version of *Macbeth*.
It's called *Men of Respect* and in keeping with its gangland setting has many
of the usual suspects as actors: Dennis Farina, John Turturro, and Peter Boyle.
 Released in 1990, it got *very* mixed reviews--similar to those elicited by
Peter Greenaway's exercise in contemporary Jacobean tragedy, *The Cook, the
Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover*.  Anyway, *Men of Respect* is regularly listed
in the Shakespeare catalog for Commedia dell'Arte Communications.
 
Gareth Euridge credits *Star Trek: The Next Generation* with the wry joke about
Shakespeare being superior "in the original Klingon."  The line actually occurs
in the film *Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country*.  As the title suggests,
the cultural "ownership" of Shakespeare is more than just a gag in the film:
quotations (deliberately marked and otherwise) abound, as do considerations of
cultural identity and cultural capital involving/invoking Shakespeare.  I'm
attuned to all this primarily because, as previously announced on SHAKSPER, the
SF journal *Extrapolation* has just published a special issue, edited by Susan
C. Hines, on Shakespeare and Star Trek.  (Yes, it includes articles on
*ST6*--and, yes, one of them is by me.)
 
Stephen M. Buhler
Department of English
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steven Metsker <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 06 Mar 1995 09:01:00 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Re: Teaching *Macbeth*
 
"Macbeth" offers excellent lessons in the nature of guilt, especially in
contrast to law.  Renegades may overwhelm the law, usurping kings may rewrite
the law, and any of us may simply elude the law.  Guilt, on the other hand, is
not so easily conquered or outrun.
 
In Macbeth's world, how was law different from the law in our world? Is guilt
any different? [If not, do you suppose that's why we still read Shakespeare?
 
        - Steve
        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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