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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: April ::
Re: Bear-Baiting
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0294.  Friday, 14 April 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Brian Altom <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Apr 95 12:55:38 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0292  Bear-Baiting
 
(2)     From:   Scott Shepherd <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Apr 1995 15:12:23 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0285 Qs:  Bear
 
(3)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Apr 1995 18:12:35 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Bearbaiting
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Altom <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Apr 95 12:55:38 EDT
Subject: 6.0292  Bear-Baiting
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0292  Bear-Baiting
 
With all the talk about Bear-baiting, and the evidence of connections between
the bear pits and theatres, I have to wonder if a real bear was used in
*Winter's Tale*.  One of my favorite professors said that "Exit, pursued by
bear" was one of her favorite stage directions in Shakespeare, and this line of
discussion seems to suggest that a real bear would have been available (maybe
from right next door!).  On the other hand, I don't suppose that the bears
being bated were the tame type you find in the circus or at roadside tourist
traps in American backwaters.  *WT*'s bear was more likely a man in a bear suit
or some such, I suppose.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Apr 1995 15:12:23 -0400
Subject: 6.0285 Qs:  Bear
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0285 Qs:  Bear
 
There's this little exchange in Wives 1.1:
 
  SLENDER. Why do your dogs bark so? Be there bears i' th'
    town?
  ANNE. I think there are, sir; I heard them talk'd of.
  SLENDER. I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel at
    it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see the
    bear loose, are you not?
  ANNE. Ay, indeed, sir.
  SLENDER. That's meat and drink to me now. I have seen
    Sackerson loose twenty times, and have taken him by the
    chain; but I warrant you, the women have so cried and
    shriek'd at it that it pass'd; but women, indeed, cannot
    abide 'em; they are very ill-favour'd rough things.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Apr 1995 18:12:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Bearbaiting
 
Henslowe's Papers, ed. W. W. Greg, which I have never consulted for the topic
of bearbaiting, does seem to contain material on that subject -- if my computer
is not lying to me. Has anyone noted this yet?
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 

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