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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: September ::
Re: *WT* 4.4; *R3*; Teaching Shakespeare
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 731. Wednesday, 27 September 1995
 
(1)     From:   Dale Lyles <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Sep 1995 07:59:16 -0400
        Subj:   Re: cutting WT IV.4
 
(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Sep 1995 16:17:07 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0722  Re: *WT*
 
(3)     From:   David Skeele <DBS@SRU>
        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Sep 95 16:02:08 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0722  Re: *R3*
 
(4)     From:   Ron Strickland <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Sep 1995 16:41:57 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Teaching Shakespeare
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Sep 1995 07:59:16 -0400
Subject:        Re: cutting WT IV.4
 
I agree with David Evett that IV.4 of WT is easier to think of in "French"
scenes, and of course that's how you would approach it anyway.  I think the
"here and thereabouts" gloss would be a lot easier to do on film than onstage,
though.
 
And I also agree that cutting it is not easy.  We've been chipping away one
line or so at the time, mostly with stuff that is not going to be immediately
coherent to our modern audience and which is not directly relevant to the plot.
 I will not say precisely which famous two pages are already gone, for fear of
creating a firestorm. ;)
 
Now, can any of you people sew?
 
Dale Lyles
Newnan Community Theatre Company
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Sep 1995 16:17:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0722  Re: *WT*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0722  Re: *WT*
 
Dave Evett's comments on editing conventions and the length of WT 4.4 puzzle
me.  The use of French scenes does not make the length of the English scene
shorter.  Although scenes are not always marked in 16th and 17th century
playscripts, when they are marked, they are generally marked in the English
manner. (Jonson is an exception.) An English scene begins with a bare stage,
and ends when the stage is bare. It seems to me that English scenes reflect
stage practice, while French scenes do not. English scenes are theatrical;
French scenes, literary
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Skeele <DBS@SRU>
Date:           Wednesday, 27 Sep 95 16:02:08 EDT
Subject: 6.0722  Re: *R3*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0722  Re: *R3*
 
I missed the original message regarding interest in Richard III, but I would
add to Roger Gross' excellent suggestions the Antony Sher book "The Year of the
King."  This is going in a slightly different direction, as Sher was an actor
preparing to perform the role of Richard, but he comes to some fresh and
exciting conclusions about the character, and the book is wonderfully
well-written and illustrated (by Sher himself).
 
David Skeele
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Strickland <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Sep 1995 16:41:57 -0500
Subject:        Re: Teaching Shakespeare
 
I've been enjoying the discussion of teaching occasioned by Tom Ellis's
classroom experience; like him I use a sort of anthropological (I usually think
of it as "cultural studies" approach").  For me this involves addressing such
issues as racism in Shakespeare studies by situating "Shakespeare" (Shakespeare
as a cultural phenomenon) in a "thick" environment of related intertexts
including such things as Shakespeare criticism from different historical
periods, a variety of film and other popular and middle-brow adaptations and
treatments, and other early modern texts treating some of the same topics that
come up in Shakespeare.  On race, specifically, some of these texts reveal
interesting complexities.  In addition to some of the more familiar texts
dealing with colonial encounters, like Montaignes "Of the Cannibals," two texts
that I have found especially useful are John Pory's 1601 translation of Leo
Africanus' (Al Hassan Ibn Mumammed's) _Geographical History of Africa_ and Ben
Jonson's _The Masque of Blackness_.  Pory's translation of Africanus' text (I
use excerpts) indicates an uneven and inchoate proto-racism developing along
with, but not exactly preceding colonialism.  In his marginal glosses and his
introduction, it seems that Pory is not quite sure whether to treat Leo as an
African or a European.  There is good reason for this, since Leo was born in
Toledo, but then captured and enslaved as an African, and since Leo clearly
considers himself a European, even though as he writes the text is is a slave
of Pope Leo X.  Jonson's _Masque of Blackness_ suggests similar ambivalence--it
begins with the queen and her friends dressed up in black-face and pretending
to be Africans, and it portrays African women as desiring to be white, but it
also contains some lines convincingly arguing for the superior beauty of
African women.
 
A while back I posted an article entitled "Teaching Shakespeare Against the
Grain" on the shaksper archive describing some of the strategies I use in a
cultural studies or discourse theory approach to Shakespeare; though I don't
talk about the above texts specifically, list members who want to know more
detail about these strategies might find it interesting.
 
Ron Strickland
Illinois State University

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