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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: April ::
Re: RSC MND
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0290.  Wednesday, 19 April 1996.

(1)     From:   Scott Crozier <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Apr 1996 11:40:57 +1000
        Subj:   Re: RSC MND

(2)     From:   Juul Muller <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Apr 1996 16:26:23
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0287  Re: MND;

(3)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Apr 1996 18:34:58 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0287  Re: RSC MND


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Crozier <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 Apr 1996 11:40:57 +1000
Subject:        Re: RSC MND

In a thoughtful discussion on MND  Joseph M Green wrote "There is very little
justification in the script for setting up the forest as a place of sensuality
and sexual license". I agree, it may not have been so but as the play is
acquired by directors in the latter part of the 20thC I would think that the
ver yreading that Joseph Green dismisses is accurate. We read that Oberon
wishes Titania to wake to find "ounce or cat or bear pard or boar". Why the
need for animals to "punish" her? She wakes to find an ass. Oberon then spies
on her with her ass. Further, Demetrius, Helena, Lysander and Hermia's plight
in the forest may be founded in frustration but the frustration (which is
Helena's case leads to dispair) is caused by the misdirection of pysical
attention. This was not portrayed at all in the recent RSC prodcution in which
the lovers reverted to the mere buffoonery of which Hall's 1958 lovers were
criticised.

Puck and Oberon's relationship is not dramatically sexual but theatrically
constructed as such in productions which accept Kott's psycho-sexual reading of
the play. Joseph Green may think that Kott was wrong in his reading of
"enforc'd chastity" but that reading has had more influence on productions
since 1968 than any other reading of the play. Many wrongs don't make a right
but it certainly has created a sense of the play for audiences over the past
thirty years.

Regards,
Scott Crozier

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Juul Muller <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 Apr 1996 16:26:23
Subject: 7.0287  Re: MND;
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0287  Re: MND;

All this discussion of eroticism in MND makes me wonder if anyone (else) knows
the (British) Lindsay Kemp (Dance) Company video of MND? It does not include
very much of the text and the music (to my sorrow) is 20th century. The visual
realisation however is superb. The homoerotic relationships including Oberon,
Puck and the Indian boy are taken entirely for granted. Worth seeing, but for
some weird reason it will "not be supplied to anyone below [15]". Needless to
say, that doesn't go for Holland.

Directed by Celestino Coronado, a Dangerous to Know production, 85 minutes.

Julie Muller

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 Apr 1996 18:34:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0287  Re: RSC MND
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0287  Re: RSC MND

Joseph Green writes:

>There is very little justification in the script for setting up the forest as a
>place of sensuality and sexual license -- unless one misinterprets 'enforced
>chastity" as Jan Kott did

Aren't there two valid ways in which to read "enforced chastity" (3.1.200)? It
means either a chastity that has been violated by force (i.e., rape), or
chastity that is being forced on someone when that someone would prefer not to
be chaste. I don't see how either of these readings can be called an out and
out misinterpretation.

Yours, Bill Godshalk
 

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