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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: January ::
Re: Soliloquies; "to the people"
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0041.  Monday, 15 January 1996.

(1)     From:   David Reed <
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        Date:   Saturday, 13 Jan 1996 10:59:36 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0040  Re: Soliloquies

(2)     From:   Chae Lian Diong <cd3t+@andrew.cmu.edu>
        Date:   Sunday, 14 Jan 1996 13:24:35 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0040 Re: Soliloquies

(3)     From:   Leslie Thomson <
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        Date:   Sunday, 14 Jan 1996 13:35:30 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0040  Re: "to the people"


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Reed <
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Date:           Saturday, 13 Jan 1996 10:59:36 -0800
Subject: 7.0040  Re: Soliloquies
Comment:        RE: SHK 7.0040  Re: Soliloquies

J. Cora writes on the (past) issue of soliloquies, but I think its all rather
appropo with regard to the more recent chating about individuality.  Could such
playing with internal/external play a role in defining individuality?  I'm just
speculating here.  Any thoughts about how crazy this is would be greatly
appreciated.

        Here is the relevant excerpt from J. Cora:

        These asides show what the murderous characters really think, in
        contrast to what they tell other characters. Therefore, as
        they are a way of conveying their internal thoughts just as
        soliloquies are, I think it is possible to infer that the Elizabethan
        and Jacobean practice was to address the soliloquies to the audience
        and not to pretend that the characters were "thinking aloud". Could
        you find any texts in which soliloquies are preceded by the direction
        *To the people*? This, I admit, contradicts my previous message on the
        subject.

David M. Reed
Washington University

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chae Lian Diong <cd3t+@andrew.cmu.edu>
Date:           Sunday, 14 Jan 1996 13:24:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0040 Re: Soliloquies
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0040 Re: Soliloquies

> I think it is possible to infer that the Elizabethan and Jacobean
> practice was to address the soliloquies to the audience and not to
> pretend that the characters were "thinking aloud".

One of the Royal Shakespeare Company's famous directors, John Barton, directs
it this way. He believes that it not only makes the most sense, but is also the
most dramatic and effective way of showing what the characters really think.
His own research into Elizabethan theatre has prompted him to conclude that it
is most likely that soliloquies were addressed to the audience (Brechtian, some
might say) as a way of involving them into the world of the play and possibly,
to provide stagehands the opportunity to change scenery without having to stop
the action on stage. Shakespeare's plays were performed to audiences of all
types, so soliloquies must have been useful to the less-educated classes as a
tool to clarify and distinguish the motives of characters.

Diong Chae Lian

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Leslie Thomson <
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Date:           Sunday, 14 Jan 1996 13:35:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0040  Re: "to the people"
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0040  Re: "to the people"

"To the people" meaning "to the audience" is used in stage directions in only
two other plays besides *Two Lamentable Tragedies": *The Maid's Metamorphosis*
and *A Warning for Fair Women*.

Leslie Thomson
 

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