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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: August ::
Re: Desdemona; Altering Lines
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0634.  Tuesday, 22 August 1995.
 
(1)     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Aug 1995 19:15:02 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0629  Re: Desdemona
 
(2)     From:   Scott Bonnel <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Aug 1995 14:05:25 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Mark Goldman's "altering lines"
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Aug 1995 19:15:02 GMT
Subject: 6.0629  Re: Desdemona
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0629  Re: Desdemona
 
I'll certainly buy the idea of a 'strong' Desdemona in the first part of the
play - though her strength itself lays the groundwork for the possibility of
Othello's believing in her infidelity. The problem seems to me that the
Desdemona of the last part dwindles into the passive female stereotype.  Am I
alone in finding the 'Willow' song sentimental rather than really moving; mood
music to assist us in accepting her diminution, rather than the powerful
complex of feelings set in motion by Ophelia's singing?
 
David Lindley
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Bonnel <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Aug 1995 14:05:25 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Mark Goldman's "altering lines"
 
The altering of Shakesperian text is all too common, though not at all uncalled
for or enhancing.
 
Unfortunatly, many actor's/directors change words without consideration of the
delicacy of meter.  The mindful director will try to adhere to the rythem of
the line and not break the meter.
 
Often, text is altered mainly for time sake.  It's not easy to put a fully text
length production of *Hamelt* on, which generally would run about 4 hours.
Other examples of text alteration is for comidic enhancment.  I saw a
production of *Shrew* at the Sand Harbour Shakepeare Festival in Lake Tahoe, by
the California Reportory Company out of Long Beach.  The director, Steve McQue,
set the play in the 'Ol West'.  Since, they were performing in an outdoor
Summer Stock venue, he opted to change all the locals to those of surrounding
cities changing names like Padue to Tahoe, or Carson City, or even Reno.  This
worked wonderfully well. The audience ate it up.
 
As long as it is scriptually enhancing and doesn't detract from the story, I
think it's fine.  Only true puriest  aren't too comfy with it.
 
Scott Bonnel
Long Beach, CA
 

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