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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: June ::
Re: Discovering Ham; Miss-Begetting; RSC Peer Gynt
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0464.  Friday, 9 June 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Edna Boris <
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        Date:   Thursday, 08 Jun 95 11:41:10 EDT
        Subj:   Discovering Hamlet
 
(2)     From:   Gayle Gaskill <
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        Date:   Thursday, 8 Jun 1995 11:53:51 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Miss-Begetting
 
(3)     From:   Joanne Walen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 8 Jun 1995 22:14:52 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0454 Re: Peer Gynt, etc.
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edna Boris <
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Date:           Thursday, 08 Jun 95 11:41:10 EDT
Subject:        Discovering Hamlet
 
If the video called "Discovering Hamlet" has been discussed in this forum, I
missed seeing the discussion, but the tape is so well done that I'd like to
make sure that people know about it.  It's 53 minutes long, so manageable to
show during one class period and shows Derek Jacobi in his first directing
experience with Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet in a Birmingham production.  Though
no one will agree with all the decisions and choices that they make, the
director and actors' reasoning for key choices is explained and we get to see
the process by which a performance is readied from earliest rehersals to
opening night.  It is effective in its own right and as a spark for all kinds
of classroom discussion.  The box lists it as distributed by PBS Video with a
1991 copyright, Unicorn Projects in Washington, D.C.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gayle Gaskill <
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Date:           Thursday, 8 Jun 1995 11:53:51 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Miss-Begetting
 
The Miss-Begetting discussion, with its equation of sexual vigor to the
production of the y-chromosome, may provide a reading of Macbeth's demand or
request, "Bring forth Men-children onely" (1.7.72).
 
Let me ask someone who cited Edmund's defense of bastards to explain the
legality of legitimacy in Shakespeare' England. Edmund asserts he is "some
twelve or fourteen  moonshines / Lag of a brother" (1.2.5-6), and Gloucester
has confessed "there was good sport at his making, and the whoreson must be
acknowledged" (1.1.23-24).  Is Edmund the older or the younger brother of the
legitimate Edgar?  If he is younger, then twelve or fourteen moonshines--though
they would deprive him of inheriting his father's title--would not in
themselves make him a whoreson.  Are we to assume the sons had the same
mother--in other words, that subsequent marriage would not legitimize a child
already born to a couple?  That would give legal significance to the "twelve or
fourteen moonshines lag" but give "whoreson" a peculiarly misogynistic reading,
especially in this motherless play.  Or are we to guess that Gloucester, who
introduces his adult bastard son to his old acquaintance, Kent, has only
recently discovered that Edmund exists?  Who can explain this point of law?
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joanne Walen <
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Date:           Thursday, 8 Jun 1995 22:14:52 -0400
Subject: 6.0454 Re: Peer Gynt, etc.
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0454 Re: Peer Gynt, etc.
 
According to my summer schedule for RSC, *Peer Gynt* previews at the Young Vic
in London from 30 August, closes on 14 October. And I quite agree with your
opinion that Alex Jenning's performance was amazing. The *Henry V* of Iain Glen
is also not to be missed; it previews at the Barbican from 31 August, closing
on 16 November. I base these opinions on the performances I saw last summer in
Stratford, but I suspect that they have strengthened rather than suffered by
the move to London.
 

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