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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: October ::
Tmp.; MV; What is; Italy; African Mac.; Reading
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0812.  Thursday, 19 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Michael Saenger <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 15:09:00 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Tempest about costumes
 
(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:09:11 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0798  Re: *MV*
 
(3)     From:   Tom Clayton <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:08:49 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0807  Re: What is this list for, exactly?
 
(4)     From:   Andy Grewar <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 09:27:32 GMT+120
        Subj:   Shakespeare's Italian connections
 
(5)     From:   Stephen Buhler <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 10:10:20 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: "African *Macbeth*"
 
(6)     From:   Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
        Date:   Thursday, 19 Oct 95 00:36:46 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0786  Re: Recommended and Recreational Reading
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Saenger <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 15:09:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Tempest about costumes
 
On my last post, I received a direct question from Steve Sohmer.  I though the
rest of the list might be interested in our dialogue, so I am forwarding it.
 
>Professor Richard Wilson of the University of Lancaster (UK) has recently made
>some remarkable discoveries about the inspiration behind The Tempest. I do not
>know if he has published yet, but you might write him for a copy.
 
>You're quite right about the nature of the list, though I don't think you're
>right about the costumes...which is like saying Proust wrote what he did when
>he did because he smelt a cookie, n'est ce-pas?
 
My response was this:
 
>Well, you're free not to be convinced, but the point I'm making is that
>Shakespeare was more of a theater man than an auteur.  Now if a theater man
>gets a valuable resource, be it a star actor, new stage machinery, or whatever,
>he uses it.  We don't tend to think of Shakespeare in this way, but I believe
>we should.
 
Steve responded:
 
>If you think the note would be useful to the group, by all means post away.
 
>You might support your argument by reminding everyone that WS certainly wrote
>to the strengths and around the weaknesses of his acting company, worked out
>which parts could be doubled with which, and concerned himself with other
>stagecrafty devices during the drafting process.
 
P.S. from Michael Saenger: Good point.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:09:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0798  Re: *MV*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0798  Re: *MV*
 
I agree basically with Stanley Holberg's reading of the "Hath not a Jew eyes?"
speech (Riverside 3.1.59ff.). The context of this speech is revenge.
 
The question is: how far does the context influence the auditor's feelings
about Shylock's assertion that Jews and Christians are alike?  Alfred Harbage
told his classes (I was there) that this speech, i.e., "Hath not a Jew eyes?",
was never spoken in a German production when the Nazis were in power.  Although
I don't know Harbage's source, he seemed to be sure that it wasn't.
 
My question is:  if the speech is completely undercut by the context of
revenge, why was the speech NOT delivered in Nazi Germany? One answer (among
the many!) may be that the speech seems -- to the auditor -- to be in italics,
to transcend the context.  We auditors remember the apparent plea for the
recognition of a common humanity, and forget that the plea is imbedded in a
justification for revenge.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Clayton <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:08:49 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 6.0807  Re: What is this list for, exactly?
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0807  Re: What is this list for, exactly?
 
This is getting better than bear-baiting!
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andy Grewar <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 09:27:32 GMT+120
Subject:        Shakespeare's Italian connections
 
On Monday, 16 Oct 95, Lee Buchanan asked:
 
>Did Shakespeare travel to Italy? What do you reckon? What's the latest on this
> hypothesis?  I'd be grateful for any info?
 
As I understand it there is no proof whatsoever that Shakespeare ever left
England, though he *could* have.  Some of his fellow actors did in fact travel
as far as Italy, most notably William Kemp, but that was *after* he left the
Shakespearean company.
 
The reason for the Italianate qualities of many of Shakespeare's plays has not
been adequately explained.  I have a theory that it was due to the influence of
the travelling Italian actors, who performed all over Europe from the 1540s
onwards in what later became known as the commedia dell'arte.  Shakespeare or
the actors he worked with probably had some contact with the Italian actors,
and it seems likely that Shakespeare used their plots and the stock characters
of the Italian comedy as a basis for much of his own drama.
 
I've written two articles on the subject, and would be glad to communicate with
anyone who has any ideas about it, and to give publication details of my
articles to anyone who's interested.
 
Andy Grewar,  Academic Development Centre,  University of Fort Hare,
              Alice  5700,  Eastern Cape,  South Africa.
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Buhler <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 10:10:20 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Re: "African *Macbeth*"
 
The troupe currently touring with modern-day settings for *Macbeth* and *Romeo
and Juliet* bills itself as the Haworth Shakespeare Festival.  Local promoters
may stress the actors' past experiences with the Royal Shakespeare Company and
the Royal National Theatre, but Haworth and their management do not present the
plays as official RSC or RNT productions.
 
The *Macbeth* is based upon the Haworth/Committed Artists of Great Britain
staging which appeared in this country as part of the 1991 New York
International Festival of the Arts.  The reviews of that production, which
featured a contemporary African setting but no "updating" of the text, were for
the most part very positive.  This *Romeo and Juliet* features Lucy Whybrod (in
the real starring role) and Adrian Lester (in the runner-up role).  Mr. Lester,
incidentally, is an alumnus of the Cheek-by-Jowl productions of *As You Like
It*. Stephen Rayne repeats as director and Cindy Kaplan as producer; both were
involved with the original Haworth *Macbeth*, with Voza Rivers as co-producer.
 
I'll be attending both shows here in Lincoln.  Should I report on them for the
benefit (I would hope) of other SHAKSPEReans?
 
Stephen M. Buhler
 
(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
Date:           Thursday, 19 Oct 95 00:36:46 EDT
Subject: 6.0786  Re: Recommended and Recreational Reading
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0786  Re: Recommended and Recreational Reading
 
Best book?  For me, Michael Long, THE UNNATURAL SCENE (1975).
 
I found it after reading the SQ review of it by G Blakemore Evans, who said
that it was the first book in a long while that he actually LEARNED totally new
things from, new ways of thinking about the plays.  For the last 20 years
Long's insights have shaped the ways I think about the texts, the social
constructs they generate, and my own dancing through today's equivalent
constructs.
 
Long elsewhere writes on Modernist poetry; his epigraphs for THE UNNATURAL
SCENE come mostly from Yeats.
 
'Tis late.  I wish I could do justice to the rich pleasure and wisdom that I've
drawn from this volume.  It came out in paperback around 1980 and was almost
immediately pulped.  Don't know why.  I treasure my copy. ---g'night.
 

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