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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: March ::
Re: Physical Size of Elizabethans; RSC MND
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0248.  Sunday, 31 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Friday, 29 Mar 1996 07:58:02 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0245  Re: Physical Size of Elizabethans

(2)     From:   Michael Sharpston <
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        Date:   Friday, 29 Mar 1996 15:48:12 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   RSC MND


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Friday, 29 Mar 1996 07:58:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0245  Re: Physical Size of Elizabethans
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0245  Re: Physical Size of Elizabethans

Jim Schaeffer;

Although the evidence seems clear that people were smaller in bygone days
(there are just too many small clothes for them all to have been left by people
who couldn't wear them for that reason), there certainly were individuals we
would consider tall today, such as Peter the Great (6' 5") and Abraham Lincoln
(and others I can't recall), and their height, though commented upon by
contemporaries, was obviously not regarded as such an enormity that we could
construe them to be all that unusual. I think it is interesting also that
within families who have emigrated to the U.S. from Europe, particularly
southern Europe, the height seems to increase, sometimes to a surprising
extent, within a generation or two (or three).

Stephanie Hughes

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Sharpston <
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Date:           Friday, 29 Mar 1996 15:48:12 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        RSC MND

Like Scott Crozier, I had my reservations about the RSC MND.  The verse was
beautifully enunciated, and the staging extremely competent  --  but these one
expects from the RSC. There was a bit of homoerotic business I could have done
without, since it seemed out of place and perhaps mainly intended to shock the
bourgeoisie.  But overall, very professional.

What the production did NOT do, except for one or two moments, was move my
feelings or create emotional magic.  Can RSC sometimes be too clever for their
own good?  I still think my compatriots at the RSC have a serious claim to be
the "best repertory theatre in the world", however...

A different play, but by contrast H5 here recently at the Shakespeare Theatre
in DC was absolutely outstanding, with a Henry 5 I shall remember for a very
long while.

                                Michael Sharpston
                                
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