1996

RSC Dream; Comparative Lepidus; Re: Soliloquies

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0044.  Tuesday, 16 January 1996.

(1)     From:   John Chapot <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 15 Jan 1996 16:22:40 -0500
        Subj:   RSC Dream opens in SF

(2)     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 15 Jan 1996 18:34:09 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   Comparative Lepidus

(3)     From:   Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Jan 1996 10:06:37 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0041  Re: Soliloquies; "to the people"


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Chapot <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 15 Jan 1996 16:22:40 -0500
Subject:        RSC Dream opens in SF

The Royal Shakespeare Company's touring production of A Midsummer Night's Dream
opened last Tuesday at the Golden Gate Theatre here in San Francisco. It will
play three other cities over the next four months.

It was favorable reviewed in both major dailies here (the SF Examiner and
Chronicle). You can access those reviews on their joint net site at
http://www.sfgate.com.

Production info and press releases are available from the presenter,
Shorenstein-Nederlander at their web site, http://www.bwaytheatresf.com .

As for my own response to this 'Matisse' production directed by Adrian Noble:

The production had a gorgeous design which produced one breathtaking moment at
the end of Act III. The use of suspended umbrellas and a swing were a pale echo
of Peter Brook's famous production, but the direction and casting fell short of
that masterpiece. Lots of mounting and humping all around, somehow out of sync
in the refined environment (no earth tones or barky fingers of the elm here).
Considerable doubling made the fairy and court crowd scenes rather
underpopulated. A sour and low-key Puck was all wrong at the final preview I
saw. Alex Jenning's Oberon brilliant in voice, but too young in appearance (for
this graybeard!). The lovers were uneven, but rallied in the second part; Emily
Raymond's Helena a standout. The rustics were wonderful.

To my surprise, at the end, I was thoroughly transported. Somehow my many small
objections - a line reading here, a gesture there - were made insignificant by
the brilliance of the script and the experience of the performance. Kudos to
Carole Shorenstein for instigating the tour, and best wishes for success at the
box office.

For a humorous essay about the dread of having to sit through yet another
production of Dream, see Jon Carroll's column today, Monday Jan. 15 in the SF
Chronicle at the web site noted above.

John Chapot
San Francisco

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 15 Jan 1996 18:34:09 +0000 (HELP)
Subject:        Comparative Lepidus

Lepidus has the misfortune, in a 90's production, of being burdened with an
ornamented statement as his first utterance. I am playing the role at the
Centaur Theatre in Montreal, with Scott Wentworth and Seana McKenna as the
famous lovers, fresh from their other pair, the Macbeths at Stratford Ontario
this past season. The brilliant young actor Peter Farbridge, playing Octavius
Caesar, no sooner completes a very accessible rant about Antony's
lasciviousness and drunkenness than I have to say the following, which I know,
despite my own clarity of voice and attitude, has the audience unable to focus
on the end of my speech for puzzlement about the third line, and I can
understand their intellectual confusion.

                     I must not think there are
                           [terrific line-break, giving
                           me certain clues about
                           interpretation]
     Evils enow to darken all his goodness.
                           [so far so good]
     His faults, in him, seem as the spots of heaven,
     More fiery by night's blackness, hereditary
                           [another gifted, organic
                           line-break]
     Rather than purchased; what he cannot change,
     Than what he chooses.

"The spots of heaven" are Shakespeare on a bad day. He hasn't mentioned NIGHT
yet. By the time the public hears "night's blackness", they MIGHT just cotton
on to the spots as stars, but in thinking about that they miss my main points
about Antony's weaknesses being not entirely of his own choosing, but in his
blood.

My first instinct was to substitute "stars", but the director looked as if he
was about to lose consciousness, so it never got changed.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how the remaining four weeks of the run
might be marginally more pleasurable for me by my first of so few entrances
being made totally accessible?

Harry Hill

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Jan 1996 10:06:37 +0200
Subject: 7.0041  Re: Soliloquies; "to the people"
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0041  Re: Soliloquies; "to the people"

To David Reed,

The next question becomes whether Shakespeare would have wanted to exploit the
soliloqy in a direct application to the audience making that instance a kind of
theatre of the absurd experience. Here is an example of where I think he wanted
to do just that:  Lancelot Gabbo's discussion with himself about the fiend or
as it turns out "fiends". (M.V.,II,10-24)

The Jew my master who - God bless the mark! - is a kind of devil. What mark?
His circumcision? God blessed. What kind of devil? The devil of theatrical
tradition, of local anti-Semitism, of the Pope's bull  or is  it the devilish
expediency that Shylock has assumed for his own purposes? (another discussion)
After all Gabo has been Shylock's servant for some time and only just now does
he feel that he must move on. "to run away from the Jew, I should be ruled by
the fiend who-saving your reverence-is the devil himself" This is a direct
address to "your reverence" - the audience. Lancelot is saying that to desert
the Jew He does a Satanic thing which is to be ruled by a fiend who is not
Shylock, the more common fiend of Venice in the wake of the Pope's  bull and
the inquisition, and the fiend in the minds of an indoctrinated, audience
except for and not only for sake of politeness, "your reverence", the
exceptional viewer. "Certainly the Jew is the very devil incarnation". Here
Lancelot beholds the assumed role, the Purim-like, red glowing devil that is
now Shylock. Shylock's provocations and the recinding of his Talmudic shield
has centered attention upon himself. He is behaving as a member of a persecuted
minority dare not behave although the dominate culture audience has these very
expectations  which seem so very dangerous. "and in my conscience, my
conscience is but a kind of hard conscience" to justfy this new, unfamiliar
Shylock is to have an inflexible "hard" conscience. Yet it is the conscience of
the viewer that he is addressing. It is precisely their conscience for it never
recognized the real Jew under the Purim mask at all. A conscience which would
counsel Lancelot to stay when the climax of Shylock's actions approches is also
a hard conscience. There may be a pogram. "The fiend gives the more friendly
counsel" Again , which fiend? The anti-semite fiend has always counseled to
abandon the Jew. More in keeping with events is Shylock, now fiend, sending
Lancelot to a safe haven. "I will run, fiend, my heels are at your commandment,
I will run"  Lancelot leaves to serve the family under new circumstances while
his heels, a term  of contempt are at the commandment of the public "fiend".

I think that Gabbo is calling the audience hard, fiend and lacking in
conscience. He is doing this in a mock confrontation with the audience to echo
Shylock's fictional confrontation. Shakespeare knew that the real drama was in
living at that time for the Jews; the stage could but present a myth. So
history books is where we find our motives for the "Merchant of Venice".

Since the idea of avoiding confrontation in the wake of insult is stranger to
members of the audience in a dominate culture than their tendency to react in a
spirit of revenge,  Shakespeare had to deal with a psycological dillema which
is truly fiendish. The audience tends to identify with Shylock for precisely
the wrong reasons. (which of course, Shylock exploits in order to get his plan
accomplished. Desperate times require desperate measures.) But from our point
of view it is regretable. Our theatrical tradition has never really recovered
its ballance, has never presumed that another Shylock is under the fiendish
mask. When ever it does it will need Lancelot Gabbo for the assistance that
Shakespeare put him there to give.

                                               Florence Amit

Re: "The Funeral Elegy"

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0043.  Tuesday, 16 January 1996.

(1)     From:   Nicholas Ranson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 15 Jan 96 20:15:59 EST
        Subj:   "The Funeral Elegy"

(2)     From:   Lim Wee Ching <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Jan 1996 17:02:35 +0800 (SST)
        Subj:   _Funeral Elegy_

(3)     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 16 Jan 1996 08:11:37 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   ELEGY ON ELEGIE


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nicholas Ranson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 15 Jan 96 20:15:59 EST
Subject:        "The Funeral Elegy"

This is to congratulate Don Foster on a good interview on the Lehrer Newshour
tonight: I taped it and will use it as a teaser for my three Shakespeare
classes tomorrow!  Roger Rosenblatt's comments were helpful too. Shakespeare
lives

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lim Wee Ching <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Jan 1996 17:02:35 +0800 (SST)
Subject:        _Funeral Elegy_

Greetings,

With the recent flurry of interest with regards to WS's _Funeral Elegy_ I was
just wondering if anyone could provide me with more historical and/or
scholarship information about it (viz. discovery, attribution at al.) Or if
there had been any discussions regarding it prior to the recent ones.

Many advance thanks.
CHING

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 16 Jan 1996 08:11:37 +0000 (HELP)
Subject:        ELEGY ON ELEGIE


                 ELEGY ON ELEGIE

To think this Elegie from willful hand did spring
Were common vice, that finds in many words
And phrases echoes of the poet, some thing
Not unlike likeness and in some aspect
Worthy of looking, and in looking finding
A well scanned line amid the mess of rhyme
As 'njambing thread on thread is winding
O'er thoughts that weakly use the time.
'Tis not the worst unblotted piece of verse
Retirement brought, with new maturity
Of line-break, in which momentary pronouns and
Conjunctions strain both metre and credulity
As now and then i'*The Tempest*, where his hand
Arrives at natural speech yet artful too.
I could not help but think lines fifty three
And Fifty four particularly awful:
[`Which, harvest-like, did yield again the crop
Of education, bettered in his truth.']
Yet fun it is, and so in funning we
May, with final ending weak, still be aweful.

Harry Hill
Montreal

Re: Soliloquies; "to the people"

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0041.  Monday, 15 January 1996.

(1)     From:   David Reed <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 13 Jan 1996 10:59:36 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0040  Re: Soliloquies

(2)     From:   Chae Lian Diong <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 14 Jan 1996 13:24:35 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0040 Re: Soliloquies

(3)     From:   Leslie Thomson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 14 Jan 1996 13:35:30 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0040  Re: "to the people"


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Reed <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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 <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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 <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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

Re: Development of Individualism

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0042.  Monday, 15 January 1996.

(1)     From:   Thomas G. Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 14 Jan 1996 14:30:00 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0037  Re: Development of Individualism

(2)     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 14 Jan 1996 20:21:53 -0800
        Subj:   Re: Development of Individualism

(3)     From:   Shirley Kagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 15 Jan 1996 01:34:34 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0037 Re: Development of Individualism

(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas G. Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 14 Jan 1996 14:30:00 -0500
Subject: 7.0037  Re: Development of Individualism
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0037  Re: Development of Individualism

Robert Appelbaum is quite right to warn us that what needs more careful
investigation (however difficult a task) is the set of questions we could lump
together under the rubric of "culture" and how various cultures that differ
from, but also inherit from and interact with, one another imagine (or whatever
other verb you want) "selfhood".  I'm not sure I would myself know how to begin
separating what he categorizes as "theories of the self, representations of the
self, discourses of the self and technologies of the self" as it seems to me
each is likely to include the others. Nor am i sure I would know what to do
when I had artfully segregated these categories, except perhaps to explore
their modes of reintegration. Is, to take an earlier example I used, Pindar's
2nd Olympian a theory, a representation, a discourse or a technology? It is
surely all these things, and a great deal more. It encodes archaic Greek
understandings of the relations between fame, effort, the names and relations
of individuals both mortal and immortal, the stories told of these figures
before and including the present one, and the very ancient verbal techniques
traditionally used to represent all these things.

In order to understand such an artifact, the most scrupulous care is needed,
and nothing short of a developed acquaintance with the whole of archaic Greek
culture (and several other cultures) will do. I do not have that acquaintance.
And while I agree that "by golly, they're just like us" is hardly a critical
judgment, I believe the brooding historicist solitude that insists "they're so
remote they can have nothing in common with us" is likewise premature, as
usually practised. Their difference and similarity are alike objects of
historical and imaginative contemplation, and we short-change both ourselves
and them if we pass over either.

On a thawing day in the heart of winter,

        Tom

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 14 Jan 1996 20:21:53 -0800
Subject:        Re: Development of Individualism

Stephanie Hughes's incredible views call for an answer

> We will
> always find a way to share part of what we are with others. We will always
> feels ourselves separate from others as well. This is one of the primary
> dichotomies of existence, like day and night, youth and age, male
> and female, black and white. All life is a rhythm between the two. The
> glass is half empty or half full.

So, life is a rhythm between "youth and age", between "black and white", etc?
What on earth do you think that means? Pseudo-spiritual drivel like this should
be kept to oneself and not broadcast. I'm surprised you didn't mention yin and
yang and 'value-free binary oppositions'. If you are opposed to the critical
practice of deconstruction then say so. Did you expect anyone else to read this
list you made up and say 'Oooh yes, those ARE the primary dichotomies of
existence'.

> Stone age communities share each others lives in the way a herd of animals
> shares each others lives. As communities become more "civilized", that is,
> larger, urbanized, with individuals that are more and more interchangable,
> with work ever more specialized, with the use of written language, and
> those who specialize in written language increasing a special field of
> consciousness that remains beyond the limits of the three generational
> limits of human memory. At this point, concepts such as "individualism"
> are born. It is as though a blind community began to see the world
> around them, and invented the word "blue" to describe the sky. The sky
> wasn't born at that time, merely the concept.

This is plagiarized from that crypto-fascist, Plato. There's an odd use of
tense here: are there "stone age communities" now in existence, or did you mean
"shared each others lives" and "became more 'civilized'"? Is there an error in
the second sentence, or does it intentionally lack a main verb?

I've just spotted your method! We have not yet reached the stage of
civilization, hence even "those who specialize in written language" cannot
string a sentence together. Derridean technique in action!

> There seems to be enough evidence that the Middle Ages, also known as "the
> Dark Ages", were among the valleys of human consciousness, not the peaks.
> That's not to say they weren't having a good time. Perhaps the concept of
> "individualism" is less likely to occur with communities who have a good
> time.

We're really into flights of positivist fantasy here. The implication is that
our would-be sky-watchers popped back into their dark cave for a thousand years
(say 500 to 1500) and then emerged again (ie were reborn, hence 'Renaissance').

> Perhaps it is not pure coincidence that the rise of this particular
> form of consciousness coincides with the repression of the revels on
> holidays by an increasingly puritannical English establishment.

I want to hear you substantiate this claim. Who or what do you think the
"English establishment" was?

Gabriel Egan

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Shirley Kagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 15 Jan 1996 01:34:34 -1000
Subject: 7.0037 Re: Development of Individualism
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0037 Re: Development of Individualism

I am confused about a great many things in Stephanie Hughes' post that was
meant to clarify her first post.  The crux of my credulity is, perhaps, a
chicken and egg dilemma, but I can't understand why Ms. Hughes assumes that
explaining humanity's social tendency as a natural fact should be
satisfactiory.  Perhaps we became "herd animals" specifically because of
individual self consciousness?  In other words, because a few of the evolved
individuals realized that it would be easier and more productive to live
communaly, we all got together.

I am also confused about the following:

"the reality of individualism is and always has been a given, while
"individualism" as a concept, arises wherever a certain kind of consciousness
arises."

Why would the reality of individualism always have been a given?  Who made it
so?  Is it not, rather, completely reliant on the perception of individualism
as a concept?  Furthermore, doesn't the concept of individualism automatically
exist as a function of consciousness?  I agree that different
individulas/societies/communities may exist in differing relationships to the
concept of individualism, but this only enforces its need to exist as a concept
in these individuals/societies/communities.

Shirley Kagan.

Re: Winter's Tale Photos; Soliloquies

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0040.  Saturday, 13 January 1996.

(1)     From:   Dale Lyles <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 12 Jan 1996 15:18:45 -0500
        Subj:   Winter's Tale Photos

(2)     From:   Jesus Cora <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 12 Jan 1996 13:57:47 UTC+0200
        Subj:   SHK 6.0942  Soliloquies


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 12 Jan 1996 15:18:45 -0500
Subject:        Winter's Tale photos

Those who are curious as to what the NCTC Winter's Tale looked like can catch a
few production photos over on our brand new web page:
http://shenandoah.peachnet.edu/~dlyles/nctc-www/nctc.html

Alas, I have no photos of the final scene; I'm working towards pulling some
from the video.

Dale Lyles
Newnan Community Theatre Company

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jesus Cora <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 12 Jan 1996 13:57:47 UTC+0200
Subject: Soliloquies
Comment:        SHK 6.0942  Soliloquies

[I tried to submit this message earlier this month, but I haven't been able
to do so because of the bug Hardy has told us about]

Dear all,

I have been reviewing my e-mail after Christmas and I have decided to add one
little observation to the issue of soliloquies after having read Robert
Yarington's *Two Tragedies in One*. In this play, the asides of the characters
are followed by the stage directions *To the people*, indicating that these
were addressed to the audience. 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 pre-
ceded by the direction *To the people*? This, I admit, contradicts my previous
message on the subject.

Yours,
J. Cora
Universidad de Alcala de Henares (Spain)

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