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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: October ::
Assorted Remarks: *Mac.*; *Tmp.*; *MND*; *MV*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0848.  Thursday, 26 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   James H. Forse <JFORSE@BGSUOPIE.BITNET>
        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Oct 1995 17:12:30 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0842  Re: African Macbeth
 
(2)     From:   Michael Saenger <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Oct 1995 14:21:14 -0400
        Subj:   Tempest over costumes
 
(3)     From:   Scott Crozier <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Oct 1995 08:21:01 +1000
        Subj:   Re: MND
 
(4)     From:   Chris Stroffolino <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Oct 1995 12:47:10 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0835  Re: Shylock and *MV*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James H. Forse <JFORSE@BGSUOPIE.BITNET>
Date:           Wednesday, 25 Oct 1995 17:12:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0842  Re: African Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0842  Re: African Macbeth
 
I have not seen, but have heard reports of an African setting Macbeth that was
stunning, and raised no hackles.  It was, however, not a mixed cast. Rather it
placed Macbeth within the context of the period of Zulu expansion under Shaka.
Perhaps it appealed to viewers because most of the elements of the play
remained consistent within that framework--assination, tyranny, witchcraft,
dispossed heir receiving aid from a neighboring ruler, all fit with what is
known by westerners concerning that period of South African history.  Would the
Metropolitan Macbeth referred to by Charles Whitney perhaps have worked better
if the benevolent boss had been a black businessman? Are the problems of
re-imaginings perhaps caused when the world of the play seems inconsistent to
the audience, or raises issues which shift an audience's focus away from the
world of that play?
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Saenger <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Oct 1995 14:21:14 -0400
Subject:        Tempest over costumes
 
In a discussion of the use of two costumes from a royal pageant in *The
Tempest*:
 
> I'm happy with Corinea -> Ariel-qua-sea-nymph, but not Amphion -> Caliban,
> since the pamphlet describes Amphion as
>
> "a graue and iudicious Prophet-like personage, attyred in his apte habits,
> euery way answerable to his state and profession, with his wreathe of
> Sea-shelles on his head, and his harpe hanging in fayre twine before him"
>
> Both costumes are more suited to Ariel-qua-sea-nymph.
>
> Gabriel Egan
 
You are quick to raise a very good point.  However, Amphion is one of the
"deformed sea-shapes."  In addition, it is not Burbage who is "attyred in his
apte habits" but rather the sea-shape Amphion.  There are, in effect, two
costumes on Burbage.  Once Burbage became a sea-shape, he then put on standard
robes of state, quite a common costume, accompanied by the manner of a king.  I
read the description you quote as referring to the clothes the *sea-shape*
wore.  True enough, there is a big change in dignity from Amphion to Caliban,
but if we simply imagine a green fish-like costume, it is very easy to change
the character radically through the actor's body posture, face and voice.
 
Michael Saenger
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Crozier <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Oct 1995 08:21:01 +1000
Subject:        Re: MND
 
It is often claimed that Peter Brook was the first to see the psychological and
dramatic possibilities of doubling Oberon with Theseus and Titania with
Hippolyta. I have recently discovered that a less known English production,
some three years earlier and starring Cleo Laine as Titania / Hippolyta,
doubled these four roles. The production notes quote Kott as did Brook.
 
Ringler makes a strong claim for the doubling of the named fairies with the
mechanicals in the early productions of the play, an expedient which I find to
be less dramatically successful than courtly doubling  (eg Noble's current
production of the Dream by the RSC.)
 
Does anybody know of mentions of doubling in the Dream earlier than 1967 or the
conjecturing of Ringler?
 
Regards,
Scott Crozier
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Stroffolino <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Oct 1995 12:47:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0835  Re: Shylock and *MV*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0835  Re: Shylock and *MV*
 
Dear David Schalkwyk---I very much appreciated the Shylock-Emilia connection.
It's interesting that the same dynamic is placed more on a gender plane--which
increasingly to me seems Shakespeare's forte and mileau moreso than say
racism--which is why perhaps Shakespeare never let Shylock become as convinving
of a tragic hero as Emilia is (at least at the end). For in MV, it is curiously
Gratiano who has another speech that resembles Emilia (the "strumpet wind" can
be compared fruitfully both to her "men belch us out" speech and Cressida's
"men prize the thing ungained more than it is" (paraphrase).
 
   Chris Stroffolino
 

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