1996

Q: Three Hours After Marriage

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0084.  Tuesday, 30 January 1996.

From:           Herman Asarnow <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Jan 1996 15:26:46 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Re: Three Hours After Marriage

I saw a brief mention last week by somebody explaining that there will be an
RSC production of Pope, Gay, and Arbuthnot's Three Hours After Marriage
sometime soon in London or Stratford.  There's no mention of it on the RSC Web
page.  Could whoever wrote that send me information, at "This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it."?
Or send it via SHAKSPER.

Herman Asarnow
University of Portland

Re: The Sonnets; Working Conditions; Mysticism

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0083.  Tuesday, 30 January 1996.

(1)     From:   Terry Ross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Jan 1996 16:00:15 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0077 Re: The Sonnets. All of 'em

(2)     From:   David Skeele <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Jan 96 19:15:49 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0079  Qs: Theatrical Working Conditions

(3)     From:   Mary Paynter <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Jan 1996 19:33:43 -0600
        Subj:   Mysticism (again!)


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terry Ross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Jan 1996 16:00:15 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0077 Re: The Sonnets. All of 'em
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0077 Re: The Sonnets. All of 'em

On Mon, 29 Jan 1996, Chris Stroffolino wrote:

> Terry Ross suggests that because of the length of the sonnets being 2155
> lines or so that it should take about 2 hours or so.... but I am reminded
> of Barber's ESSAY ON THE SONNETS in which he says it's a maddening
> experience to try to read them in one sitting.... and I do think the genre
> "claustrophobia" (for lack of a better word) needs to be taken into
> account.

Sure it's "claustrophobic," but so is performing all the Brandenburg Concertos
or all the Bartok String Quartets or all of St. Mark's Gospel in one evening,
to mention just a few "claustrophobic" programs which have been brought off
successfully.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Skeele <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Jan 96 19:15:49 EST
Subject: 7.0079  Qs: Theatrical Working Conditions
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0079  Qs: Theatrical Working Conditions

In response to Greg Grainger's query--I'm not going to be that much help when
it comes to workers in the Elizabethan theatre, but a good place to start
looking for info on the Victorians might be Michael Booth's _Theatre in the
Victorian Age_.  The text is a broad, general consideration of most aspects of
Victorian theatre, but he does pay some attention to theatrical working
conditions, and you would undoubtedly find some good sources in his
bibliography.  Also, check out virtually any article by Tracy Davis (_Theatre
Survey_ and _Theatre Journal_ are periodicals in which she publishes
frequently--also perhaps _Nineteenth-Century Theatre_).  Her work is feminist
in methodology and based largely in the social sciences.  Though she focusses
mostly on the conditions for working actresses, again you should be able to
unearth some fine source material in her bibliographies.  Hope this helps!

                                                   David Skeele
                                                   Slippery Rock University

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Paynter <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Jan 1996 19:33:43 -0600
Subject:        Mysticism (again!)

RE:  SHK 7.0067 Qs. "Mysticism" -- My earlier reference was incorrect. The name
of the writer on Mysticism was Evelyn Underhill.  My typing was faster than my
memory!

Re: Cross-Dressing

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0081.  Tuesday, 30 January 1996.

(1)     From:   Rinda Frye <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Jan 96  12:52:00 EST
        Subj:   SHK 7.0078  Re: Cross-Dressing

(2)     From:   Mary Jane Miller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Jan 1996 13:29:03 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0078  Re: Cross-Dressing

(3)     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Jan 1996 20:33:37 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0078  Re: Cross-Dressing

(4)     From:   Bob Leslie <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Jan 1996 21:30:29 +0000
        Subj:   Re: Crossdressing

(5)     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Jan 1996 07:09:24 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   The normality of cross dressing

(6)     From:   Jan Stirm <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Jan 1996 14:51:53 PST
        Subj:   Cross-dressing


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rinda Frye <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Jan 96  12:52:00 EST
Subject: Re: Cross-Dressing
Comment:        SHK 7.0078  Re: Cross-Dressing

To reply to Stephanie Hughes' query about England banning women from the stage
when actresses appeared in Spain, Italy, and France, perhaps the difference
stems from the appearance of touring commedia players on the continent but not
in England.  Commedia companies included women; whereas the older medieval
religious plays utilized males, as would Renaissance productions in the
schools.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Jane Miller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Jan 1996 13:29:03 -0500
Subject: 7.0078  Re: Cross-Dressing
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0078  Re: Cross-Dressing

Students thinking about cross-dressing might profit from looking at a video of
the Olivier HV.  First we watch the boys shave and stick oranges into their
costumes. Then  in the opening tavern scenes, that boy actor playing Mistress
Quickly has some very funny byplay with the Pit before s/he ever begins her
lines. The 1940's spectator is both drawn into that convention and made fairly
compfortable with it as the is the very different 90's viewer today.

Mary Jane Miller,
Brock University,

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Jan 1996 20:33:37 +0000
Subject: 7.0078  Re: Cross-Dressing
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0078  Re: Cross-Dressing

David Aaron Carlson writes

> Certainly it [cross-dressing] was an
> easy opportunity to evoke some cheap laughter (particularly from those in the
> pit of the theater--perhaps such physical comedy was considered low-comedy as
> physical comedy is considered today).

The term 'pit' is only valid for the indoor playhouses, and there is no reason
to suppose that those who paid for these expensive seats would more readily
appreciate 'low-comedy' (if we accept the validity of that term) than anyone
else. At the outdoor playhouse the 'yard' is the equivalent location, but again
it's quite a leap to suppose that those who stood there had a particular kind
of taste.

Stephanie Hughes writes,

> Transvestism, if present, was a subtle sub-text, probably for the
> entertainment of the gay community.

I hardly know where to begin with this comment. Is the cross-dressing of Viola,
Jessica, Rosalind, Celia, Innogen, etc. really just 'subtle sub-text'? To bring
the modern term 'gay community' back to the sixteenth century is just silly. A
good starting point would be the work of Alan Bray and Paul Hammond who argue
that modern catagories just don't apply because our notion that a person
possesses an innate 'sexuality', as distinct from the particular acts (moral or
immoral) than s/he engages in, would be meaningless to a sixteenth-century
person.

> The general audience was asked to suspend disbelief to the extent
> that male actors were accepted, not as transvestites, but as
> women.

Haven't you noticed the intense preoccupation with the 'true' maleness
underlying the representation of female characters in the drama of the period?
What else is Cleopatra referring to when she says: "I shall see / Some
squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness / I' th' posture of a whore"? There are
countless examples of characters referring to the maleness (or, indeed, in the
case of Othello, the underlying whiteness) of the player who takes the part.
Suspension of disbelief is another wholly inappropriate idea to bring to the
plays of the period.

Gabriel Egan

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Leslie <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Jan 1996 21:30:29 +0000
Subject:        Re: Crossdressing

It has been convincingly argued (in Ferdinando Taviani and Mirella Schino, *Il
segreto della Commedia dell'Arte* [Florence: La Casa Usher, 1982] pp.334-9)
that one reason for the emergence of women as actors in the commedia dell'arte
companies may have been that a combination of economic decline and the
censorious atmosphere of the Counter-Reformation forced many courtesans,
cultured, intelligent and well-read, to look for alternative employment. A
corroborating factor may be found in the similar esteem and social position of
prominent  courtesans, e.g. Imperia, and the top-ranking actresses of the
post-tridentine period, e.g. Isabella Andreini, as well as the disdain and
prejudice accorded lower-ranking members of both professions.

Economic necessity meant that the troupes could carry no passengers and
therefore the heroine became much more central to the drama than neo-classical
orthodoxy would prescribe. The popularity of the Italian heroine and the
greater verisimilitude and colour which she lent to the stage inevitably led
authors of the more respectable *commedia grave* (Sforza Oddi, Della Porta
etc.) to recast her as a powerful, witty but virtuously self-sacrificing
character whose enduring fidelity earns her a providential reward. This,
essentially, is the model of heroine  adopted in much of Shakespearean comedy
and the Fletcherian school of tragicomedy both in terms of characterisation and
plot centrality.

Italian renaissance drama frequently exploited the idea of cross-dressing (e.g.
Secchi's *Inganni* - widely accepted as a source for *Twelfth Night*) but,
given the circumstances, any sexual *frisson* would be generated,in the latter
part of the 16th century at any rate, by the sight of a real woman strutting in
male costume rather than as the male homoerotic response which some
SHAKSPERIANS have indicated as an implied feature of the Elizabethan use of boy
actors. While not denying that such a response was possible, indeed likely, it
does not seem to be an implicit aspect of theatrical composition but rather
forced on playwrights by two external factors: the lack of a courtesan
tradition in England which deprived the stage of a cultured female demi-monde
from which accomplished actresses could be drawn; and the adoption of late
Cinquecento Italian models by playwrights who were thereby constrained by the
conventions of the genre to give female characters an unprecedented degree of
centrality. Thus the boy players came into their own and Silvia, Viola, and
Juliet  claimed their share of centre stage. The fact that the same female
centrality (played by women) was simultaneously manifest on the French, Spanish
and Italian stages surely negates any suggestion that the inclusion of such
roles in English drama of the period had anything to do with a particular
anglo-saxon attitude to sex. The use, on moral grounds, of boys to play these
parts however may well have resulted in a sexually ambiguous audience response
which says more  about English sexual hypocrisy than about the intentions of
Elizabethan playwrights.

                      Bob Leslie

(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 30 Jan 1996 07:09:24 +0000 (HELP)
Subject:        The normality of cross dressing

It strikes me that males playing women were accepted quite naturally in that
theatre, sometimes of course comically and often as exaggeration, but
*accepted* as a convention. Is Dame Edna any less `true', for instance, than
the actresses of "Absolutely Fabulous"? It has a lot to do with the admiration
of skill, and very little with photographic respresentation ot mirror image of
"life as it is lived", surely. To bend Hopkins' definition of the poetic art,
is it not merely "current behaviour hightened"?

Whatever private pleasures the practice may have peripherally afforded, it was
woman-ness that was being acted out as being-ness was being presented by all
the roles anyway. The imperfections were fleshed out by the minds of the
assemblage, who apparently always came back for more.

        Harry Hill

[Looking forward to playing Lady Bracknell in "Lady Bracknell's Confinement"
next season here.]

(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jan Stirm <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Jan 1996 14:51:53 PST
Subject:        Cross-dressing

Dear Fellow Shaksperians,

David Kastan has an interesting argument in the 1993 Renaissance Drama ("Is
there a class in this [Shakespearean] Text?")  which looks at cross-dressing in
terms of class (yes, of course he complicated the term) and gender
representation.  He traces anxieties regarding clothing and class
identifications and parallels them with those regarding gender.  It's an
interesting argument, and one that got students talking in my class when I
brought it in!

Best, Jan Stirm
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re: Psalm 46

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0082.  Tuesday, 30 January 1996.

(1)     From:   Ian H. Doescher <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Jan 1996 17:23:29 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Psalm 46

(2)     From:   Bill Glaser <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Jan 96 19:08 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0079  Qs: Shakespeare & the Bible

(3)     From:   John Cox <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Jan 1996 11:43:10 +0000 (gmt)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0079 Qs: Shakespeare & the Bible


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ian H. Doescher <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Jan 1996 17:23:29 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Psalm 46

Jeff Questad writes:

>Just read Anthony Burgess' speculations on Shakespeare's possible contributions
>to the King James Bible in 1610.  (He suggests the 46th Psalm, the 46th word of
>which is "shake" and the 46th word from the end of is "spear", was written by
>WS and that this is the kind of pun he was likely to include in this less than
>public work).

I don't have any other ideas about what else might be Shakespeare's, but I
heard this story to a different tune.  The speculation I heard implied that the
publishers of this edition of the King James Bible meant the 46th Psalm as a
tribute to Shakespeare.  Further evidence of this stems from the fact that
1610, when the edition was published, was Shakespeare's 46th birthday.

Ian Doescher

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Glaser <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Jan 96 19:08 EST
Subject: 7.0079  Qs: Shakespeare & the Bible
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0079  Qs: Shakespeare & the Bible

Or how about verses from Shakespeare that smell like Biblical Greek?

Regards,
Bill Glaser

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Cox <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 30 Jan 1996 11:43:10 +0000 (gmt)
Subject: 7.0079 Qs: Shakespeare & the Bible
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0079 Qs: Shakespeare & the Bible

I hope Antony Burgess doesn't claim originality for the psalmist's pun on
"Shakespeare."  I first heard it thirty years ago.  The best work on
Shakespeare and the Bible is by Naseeb Shaheen.

John Cox

ACTER: Individualism; Mysticism

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0080.  Monday, 29 January 1996.

(1)     From:   Cynthia Dessen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 27 Jan 1996 07:06:52 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   ACTER Spring 1996 Tour

(2)     From:   John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Jan 1996 10:27:46 GMT
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0055 Re: Development of Individualism

(3)     From:   Mary Paynter <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 29 Jan 1996 08:09:33 -0600
        Subj:   SHK 7.0067  Qs. Mysticism


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cynthia Dessen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 27 Jan 1996 07:06:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        ACTER Spring 1996 Tour

ACTER will begin its spring tour of *Macbeth* February 7th at UNC-Chapel Hill,
with performances on Febr. 10th and 15th-17th. We are fortunate in having 5
ACTER alumni on this tour, with the combined experience of 8 tours among them.
Gareth Armstrong, who played Banquo in the Fall 1994 *Macbeth*, returns as
Macbeth; Sarah Berger is Lady Macbeth, Sam Dale is Duncan, Phillip Joseph is
Banquo, and Joanna Foster is Lady MacDuff and Malcolm. There will be one
handers on Richard III and Macbeth(Gareth just finished playing Richard), Anna
Akhmatova and Grace Nichols, a black British poet(Joanna), and Voices of Irish
Literature (Sam Dale). After the UNC stop, ACTER will go to Notre Dame(Feb.
19-25), New Mexico State (Feb. 26-Mar3), Orlando Florida (Mar. 4-10), Clemson
(Mar. 11-17), The Folger Library, Washington DC (Mar 18-24), Mount Saint Mary's
in LA (Mar 25-31), Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, CA (April  1-7), and
one performance Monday, April 8 at the International Shakespeare Association
meeting in LA. If you want more info on these residencies or on ACTER in
general, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 919-967-4265. Cynthia Dessen,
General Manager, ACTER

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Jan 1996 10:27:46 GMT
Subject: 7.0055 Re: Development of Individualism
Comment:        RE: SHK 7.0055 Re: Development of Individualism

Right on Jonathan!

John Drakakis

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Paynter <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Jan 1996 08:09:33 -0600
Subject: Qs. Mysticism
Comment:        SHK 7.0067  Qs. Mysticism

I would suggest a classic in the field:  Evelyn Underwood's 'Mysticism.'  It's
old now, but still a good basic study.

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