Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: February ::
Re: Pennington; *Per.*; Weddings; VideosFILE
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 145. Wednesday, 28 February 1996.

(1)     From:   Mark Fisher <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Feb 1996 10:22:55 +0000
        Subj:   Pennington book

(2)     From:   Susanne Collier <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Feb 1996 18:07:35 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: *Per.*

(3)     From:   D. Laing <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 24 Feb 1996 12:34:40 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0134  Qs: Odor/Weddings

(4)     From:   Mary McKenzie <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Feb 1996 16:39:52 +1100
        Subj:   Shakespeare and Character

(5)     From:   Susanne Ccollier <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Feb 1996 14:08:02 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0140 Re: Educational Videos


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mark Fisher <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 27 Feb 1996 10:22:55 +0000
Subject:        Pennington book

Further to the request for information about a US publisher for Michael
Pennington's Hamlet: A User's Guide, I've checked with the UK publisher, Nick
Hern Books, and apparently it's due out in the fall from Limelight Editions,
Proscenium Publishers, 118 East 30th Street, New York NY 10016. There may be
NHB copies available in the meantime at the Shakespeare Repertory Co, Chicago,
tel 312 642 8394, attn: Mary Alyce Buck, where they were selling a few while
the author was over there directing 12th night.

All the best
Mark Fisher (
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 ,uk)

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susanne Collier <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 27 Feb 1996 18:07:35 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Re: *Per.*

For David Skeele: I'm afraid I can't give you any fragmentary productions, but
there was a splendid, low budget production, directed by one of the RSC
designers whose name escapes me at the moment, which deliberately, and rather
formulaically patterned the play into trios by using I think, 5(maybe 6) actors
at Stratford East in 1983.  Gerard Murphy (the Hal in the Barbican inaugural
Henry IV plays) played Pericles and the other characters were played by two
blond actresses (one mature and  one very young) who played the two ages of
Thaisa.  The younger one played Marina as well, and an interesting cyclical
relationship with women  was thus emphasized for Pericles.  I've got the
program somewhere,  if it's any use to anyone.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D. Laing <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 24 Feb 1996 12:34:40 -0500
Subject: 7.0134  Qs: Odor/Weddings
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0134  Qs: Odor/Weddings

>2. Did the marriage rituals of the time conclude with some kind of charivari --
>the awakening of the bedded couple with noise or other kinds of celebration /
>torment? Again, I've seen this referred to, but never with any kind of
>contemporary reference.

Michael:

You might try looking up an article by Michael Bristol called "The Comedy of
Abjection" in _True and Maimed Rites_ (1989?).  He discusses Othello in terms
of a twisted form of charivari.  Offhand I can't recall what contemporary
evidence he cites though.

D. Laing

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary McKenzie <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 27 Feb 1996 16:39:52 +1100
Subject:        Shakespeare and Character

Clark Bowlen comments on the recent debate about the history of Shakespearean
characters as follows:

>Other have eloquently addressed most of the issues around drama and
>character--Hamlet and Ophelia's sexual relationship, the Macbeth's kids, etc.
>But there is one important point I have not heard voiced so far.
>
>Playwrights must leave room for actors to create the emotional life of the
>character within themselves, out of their own flesh, and feelings and
>imagination. Too much information about  character--the sort a novelist
>supplies--stiffles actors and creates wooden performances (to say nothing about
>making the part hard to cast). Dramatic characters are skeletons to be fleshed
>out by the actor.  The trick to good playwriting is inspiring actors, not
>confining them. It is about raising possibilities, planting questions, not
>about supplying answers.
>
>It seems to me entirely appropriate, therefore, to discuss questions about
>character history.  The kind and quality of questions the playwright plants are
>part of his dramaturgy.   The fact that we are compelled to speculate about
>Hamlet and Ophelia's sexual relationship, or the Macbeth's children in spite of
>considerable peer pressure to the contrary, I take as a measure of
>Shakespeare's genius.  What more inspirational questions than those about
>procreation!>

I thought the argument was about whether it was useful to treat the personae
represented on stage in early modern drama, as if they had <emotional> lives
which could be fleshed out by an actor. So to argue that a good playwright must
write characters in a particular way, so that actors can bring out their
emotional lives, simply begs the question - by assuming that early modern drama
can only be understood by reference to conventions that apply to modern drama
in the West - and which are no longer relevant to much late twentieth century
theatre. It is not true of all theatre that characters are skeletons to be
fleshed out by the actor - and modern audiences might well have found the
actors in a Shakespearean performance either wooden or flamboyant.

This is not to argue that all speculation must be avoided about events which
are not shown or described, or which are hinted at in ambiguous language.
There can also be value in allowing the uncertainties to go unanswered - eg did
Geretrude commit adultery with Claudius?  However, I am reminded of the
character in Nicholas Nickleby, Mr Curdle, who had written a pamphlet about
whether the Nurse's deceased husband in Romeo and Juliet was a <merry man> or
whether it was only her <affectionate partiality that induced her so to report
him>.

Regards,

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  (Mary McKenzie, English Department, Australian
National University, CANBERRA ACT AUSTRALIA).

(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susanne Ccollier <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Feb 1996 14:08:02 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 7.0140 Re: Educational Videos
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0140 Re: Educational Videos

Having been one of three "talking heads" on the Understanding Shakespeare
Series (distributed by Goldhil Media in Thousand Oaks, CA)  I can say that
attention to format is important.  Our series is a good example of a useful
collaboration between academics and good american actors performing excerpts
from four tragedies, but it is important that the format not assume too much
ignorance on the part of the high school audience.  I've used parts of them at
the college level and I've had good reports from other departments, for what
it's worth.
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.