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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: April ::
Re: Aumerle Scene
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0301.  Saturday, 15 April 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Fran Teague <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Apr 95 10:39:45 EDT
        Subj:   Aumerle Scene
 
(2)     From:   Milla Riggio <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Apr 1995 16:39:20 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0297  Qs: *R2*
 
(3)     From:   Chris Stroffolino <LS0796@ALBNYVMS.BITNET>
        Date:   Friday, 14 Apr 1995 21:58:28 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0297  Qs: *R2*
 
(4)     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Apr 1995 23:46:28 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0297 Qs: *R2*;
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fran Teague <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Apr 95 10:39:45 EDT
Subject:        Aumerle Scene
 
Zoltan Abraham asks about the Aumerle scene in _Richard II_. As I remember,
Joan Hartwig's discussion of how comedy and history operate in that scene is
excellent and illuminating. The book is _Shakespeare's Analogical Scene: Parody
as Structural Syntax_ (1983).
 
Fran Teague
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Milla Riggio <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Apr 1995 16:39:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0297  Qs: *R2*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0297  Qs: *R2*
 
I do not actually recall the scene to which you allude in the most recent
productin of Richard II which I've seen, that at The Shakespeare Theatre at the
Landsberg in Washington (Michael Kahn's production).  But you should probably
notice that the text itself parks the scene on a generic sidetrack, taking it
off the serious path and heading it into comedy when H. IV says "our scene is
altered from a serious thing/ And now changed to The Beggar and the King." And
then begin the virtually doggerel rhymes, to further mark the comedy, which is
effectively the comedy of the unruly woman, who here wins her son's life.  I
think the generic change is clearly marked by the text.  And I have some
explanations of why, about which I've written in a short paper, should you be
interested.  Let me know directly. In any case, were I directing the playm, I
would never consider playing this farcical interlude "seriously," despite its
important role in the plot of the play.  You can turn Sh. scenes very quickly
in production, and this one ANNOUNCES itself as comedy!
 
Best,
Milla Riggio

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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Stroffolino <LS0796@ALBNYVMS.BITNET>
Date:           Friday, 14 Apr 1995 21:58:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0297  Qs: *R2*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0297  Qs: *R2*
 
To Zolton (Abraham)--The only time I saw Richard 2nd was at The Tina Packer
"Edith Warton House" production--they did the whole play with only 3 characters
and cut out the Aumerle scene to focus more on the character of Richard--The
play started with his prison soliloquy and worked as a flashback (I've TAUGHT
The play that way actually--but in performance it had problems). I think you're
right to point out the irony in the rhymes, etc, of the scene and perhaps they
are meant to actually show that BULLINGBROKE ISN'T necessarily going to be a
better king than Richard (which really comes up in Henry the fourth) By this
point, any possible "dichotomy" between Richard and Bull is severely
undercut...RIchard has effectively cursed Bull and told him you'll be like I
was...and at this point in the play our mind is probably more interested in
Richard than in Bullingbroke....Yet, at the same time, the "fourteeners" in
CYMBELINE's vision/theophany do NOT necessarily undercut the possibility of a
non-skeptical reading of this. I attribute the difference to the "later
Shakespeare." I have to think more about this though...thanks for the insight.
Chris Stroffolino
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Apr 1995 23:46:28 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 6.0297 Qs: *R2*;
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0297 Qs: *R2*;
 
Why can't the scene be both serious and comic simultaneously?  A former
professor of mine liked to argue that the end of *King Lear* should be played
for laughs, for instance.  Something which is silly can leave us with mixed
emotions of frustration, humour and even sadness (like some Chaplin).
 
If you don't try to exclude one response or another, you might find yourself
producing a witches' brew indeed.
 
Cheerio,
Sean.
 

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