1996

Internet Scholarly Editions of Shakespeare; RSA

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0264.  Thursday, 4 April 1996.

(1)     From:   Michael Best <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 08:16:34 -0800
        Subj:   Scholarly Editions of Shakespeare for the Internet

(2)     From:   Paul Budra <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 14:37:10 -0500
        Subj:   Aldus at the RSA


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Best <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 08:16:34 -0800
Subject:        Scholarly Editions of Shakespeare for the Internet

           SCHOLARLY INTERNET EDITIONS OF SHAKESPEARE
                  ===== AN ANNOUNCEMENT =====
                      (Please cross-post)

In cooperation with the University of Victoria and an Editorial Board of
distinguished scholars, I am pleased to announce the creation of a site on the
Internet that will be dedicated to providing scholarly editions of
Shakespeare's plays.

The Internet editions will in due course provide texts of all the plays and
poems in modern newly-edited versions. The modern texts will be linked to
electronic representations of the original quartos and Folio, and will be fully
annotated. They will include supporting source material, a critical survey, a
history of performance, and will provide links to external sources where
related materials are available elsewhere on the Internet. Eventually the
original texts will be available in graphic form.

The electronic texts will be made available in a variety of formats:

1. Simple unformatted ASCII text.
2. HTML text for display in a Web browser
3. Text marked up in more detail using SGML (Standarg Generalized
   Markup Language), suitable for textual analysis, the generation
   of concordances, and so on.

Though not a high priority at the beginning, the site will in due course
collect and make available an archive of performance documentation in graphic,
sound, and video formats.

All materials to be posted on the site will be subject to refereeing to ensure
that the highest standard of scholarship is maintained. While the editors may
choose to retain copyright on their work, all texts will be made available for
educational and non-profit purposes.

Further information is available at the site:

<http://castle.uvic.ca/shakespeare/>

*  An outline of the editorial structure and principles
*  A list of members of the Editorial Board
*  A discussion of questions concerning the kinds of tagging that
   will be of the greatest usefulness for scholars
*  Some sample pages of a text (_Romeo and Juliet_) in a possible
   HTML format for Web browsing

I welcome questions, comments and suggestions. Please visit the site.

Michael Best
Department of English, University of Victoria,
Victoria B.C. V8W 3W1, Canada.
   email: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
   URL: <http://www.engl.uvic.ca/Faculty/MBHomePage/Index.html>
Coordinating Editor, Internet Editions of Shakespeare
   URL: <http://castle.uvic.ca/shakespeare/>

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Budra <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 14:37:10 -0500
Subject:        Aldus at the RSA

[This announcement appeared on FICINO.  --HMC]

Simon Fraser University will be hosting the Renaissance Society of America
annual meeting on April 3-6th, 1997.  The university has just acquired 106
volumes from the Aldine press.  These volumes have never been available to
scholars before now.

To celebrate this event, the program committee for the RSA '97 meeting would
like to solicit papers on Aldus and his successors with the hope of mounting a
special session on Renaissance Italian printing.

Please send ten copies of an abstract for a proposed paper to

                        Paul Budra, Dept. of English
                        Simon Fraser University
                        Burnaby, BC, Vancouver V5A 1S6

by May 1st.  If you cannot meet this deadline, please e-mail Prof. Budra at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Enquires about the SFU Aldus collection should be directed to the university
rare book librarian, Ralph Stanton: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PLEASER FORWARD THIS MESSAGE

Re: Girl Actors; Vocabulary; Size; Othello and

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0263.  Thursday, 4 April 1996.

(1)     From:   Peter S. Donaldson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 03 Apr 96 08:39:07
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0254  Q: Girl Actors

(2)     From:   Ian Lancashire <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 10:40:59 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Shakespeare's vocabulary

(3)     From:   Michael Best <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 08:16:26 -0800
        Subj:   Size of Elizabethans

(4)     From:   Suzanne Westfall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 03 Apr 1996 15:53:58 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Othello and Mulberried


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter S. Donaldson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 03 Apr 96 08:39:07
Subject: 7.0254  Q: Girl Actors
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0254  Q: Girl Actors

The part of Romeo in Bellini's I Capuletti e Montecchi was written as a
"breech" role for female voice.  The libretto derives, however, not from
Shakespeare but from Shakespeare's source.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ian Lancashire <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 10:40:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Shakespeare's vocabulary

My colleague H. Joachim Neuhaus at Muenster wrote recently to report that
Shakespeare's vocabulary size is part of the findings of the Shakespeare
Database Project there.  Dr. Neuhaus says:

        The Shakespeare Database Project has done antedating research for all
        Shakespearean lemmata. There have been substantial corrections to OED
        datings. Since we lemmatized the Shakespeare corpus we know about his
        vocabulary size, not just his type / token statistics.

        In our WWW Home-Page there is a project bibliography with references
        to published work and also the forthcoming CD-ROM.

        Univ.-Prof. Dr. H. J. Neuhaus
        Internet: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
        http://ves101.uni-muenster.de (SHAKESPEARE DATABASE)
        Westf. Wilhelms-Universitaet
        Johannisstrasse 12-20  D-48143 Muenster, Germany

This achievement will help everyone doing research in Shakespearean stylistics
and authorship studies ... at least those who are willing to abandon
impressionism for a more responsible approach, one that bases conclusions on
publicly available data and gives advice on how those conclusions can be shown
to be false.

To base judgments about Shakespeare's authorship of texts on personal likes and
dislikes is an intellectual error akin to the mistakes made by many
bard-biographers and exposed by the late, missed Sam Schoenbaum in his
wonderful book Shakespeare's Lives.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Best <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 08:16:26 -0800
Subject:        Size of Elizabethans

Three things we can learn from this thread:

1. We are more interested in the physical size of Elizabethans than in their
smell (only a couple of replies [thanks!] to my earlier query, and no hard
evidence so far)

2. Those that challenge the accepted evidence show a healthy skepticism of
received belief, conditioned as it is by our frames of reference.

3. They are, however, interestingly limited by their own frames of reference.
To suggest that only smaller sizes of clothes would survive is to assume the
values of a society that throws away or puts aside things that don't fit. In an
age when cloth was a valuable and expensive resource, smaller (and larger)
sizes would be as efficiently reused as those that needed no alteration.

And for Brooke Brod: crinolines are a later invention. Bum-rolls, yes.

Michael Best
Department of English, University of Victoria,

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Suzanne Westfall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 03 Apr 1996 15:53:58 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Othello and Mulberried

Florence Amit's comments on the connection between the Bassano family's
heraldic icon (the mulberry) and _Othello_ caught my attention.  Last summer I
toured the Charterhouse in London, one of the many monasteries that Henry
"liberated," giving it afterward to the Bassanos (a family of musicians that he
had "raided" from the Doge of Venice) as a London residence.  In the courtyard
there stands a large and very old mulberry tree.  One of the Charterhouse
Brothers informed me that the mulberries from the tree have been sent yearly to
the Lord mayor since the 14th century, so I assume that the tree predates the
Bassanos; but the coincidence is amusing, if not provocative.

Regards,
Suzanne Westfall
Dept. of English, Lafayette College

Re: RSC MND

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0261.  Thursday, 4 April 1996.

(1)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 08:25:27 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0255  Re: RSC MND

(2)     From:   Russell A Pitts <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 03 Apr 1996 12:46:48 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0255  Re: RSC MND


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 08:25:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0255  Re: RSC MND
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0255  Re: RSC MND

Michael Sharpston;

In recent years I have seen way too much nonessential sexual business in
productions of Shakespeare and other early plays, way too much goosing, crotch
grabbing, pelvis waggling, and suggestions that characters are about to go
backstage and pounce on each other, business that isn't required by the story,
and is added probably only to relieve the company of the panic induced by the
need to make antique language come to life, a cheap and easy way (they hope) to
get laughs, if not comprehension. In a recent production of A Chaste Maid in
Cheapside put on by a local university company there were two totally
unnecessary incidents involving the zippers on male characters' trousers (never
mind that zippers didn't exist in the seventeenth century). Although grateful
for a chance to see an old play brought to life, I wished that the director had
exerted a rather firmer control on the over-the-top characterizations of his
actors, none of which meshed with each other, and which turned the play into
one long incomprehensible Three Stooges routine.

As for Oberon, I believe Shakespeare's portrayal derived from the romance Huon
of Burdeux, translated from the French by Lord Berners in 1535. Oberon's
nature, his manipulation of those mortals he takes an interest in, his kinglike
nobility coupled with pride and jealousy, are the same as in Huon. Oberon puts
in an earlier STAGE appearance in James IV, published as the work of Robert
Greene, in which he plays much the same role as he does in MSND, observing the
depressing behavior of mortals from his elfin vantage point, in this case with
a surly hermit (an early Jacques, as one commentator pointed out) rather than a
Puck-like figure. Although there is much same-sex innuendo in early Shakespeare
(the pirate Anthony and Sebastian in TN, the merchant Anthony and Bassiano in
MOV) and in numerous other plays of the period, there is none given by the
author between Oberon and Puck, nor between Oberon and Bohan in James IV, nor
between Oberon and any character in Huon of Burdeux (though one may wonder why
Oberon loves Huon so desperately; but then, everybody loved Huon).

The test is always, does the business forward the action and the sense of the
play for the majority of the audience? (Certainly one would leave out all
sexual innuendo when staging Shakespeare for grammar schools.) Anything that
causes the audience to pull back from the trance of "disbelief suspension" that
makes an event of a play, is out of place and should be trashed.

Stephanie Hughes

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Russell A Pitts <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 03 Apr 1996 12:46:48 EST
Subject: 7.0255  Re: RSC MND
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0255  Re: RSC MND

M. Sharpston comments that this production of MND raises the issue of the
sexual realtionship between Oberon and Puck.  He also asks if there is any
basis for the relationship.  In my current research on the origins of MND I
have concluded there is the possibility of a relationship, but it is not a
sexual one---it is a familial one.

There is no textual basis or literary antecedent for anysexual relationship
relationship between Oberon and Puck.  However, there are fairy tale and folk
tale origins that suggest Puck is Oberon's son.

For example in Robin Goodfellow Oberon calls Puck from his bed . . .

                Robin, my sonne, come quickly rise:
                First stretch, then yawne, and rub your eyes;
                For thou must go with me tonight,
                To see, and taste of my delight.
                Quickly come, my wanton sonne,
                'Twere time our sports were now begunne.

In the Ballad of Robin Goodfellow Puck's origin is further explained . . .

                And sundry houses they did use,
                        but one above the rest,
                Wherein a comely lass did dwell,
                        that pleas'd King Oberon the best.
                This lovely damsel, neat and faire,
                        so courteous, meek, and mild,
                As sayes my booke, by Oberon
                        she was begot with child.

Both can be found in Halliwell's Illustrations of the Fairy Mythology of A
Midsummer Night's Dream, AMS Press, 1970.

Re: Shrew Induction

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0262.  Thursday, 4 April 1996.

(1)     From:   Jeff Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 08:31:08 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0254 Q: Shrew Induction

(2)     From:   Eric Armstrong <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 09:04:19 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0254  Shrew Induction

(3)     From:   Juul Muller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 19:44:55
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0254  Qs: Shrew Induction


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jeff Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 08:31:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0254 Q: Shrew Induction
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0254 Q: Shrew Induction

The Stratford Festival in Canada sells a videotape of a delightful production
of _Shrew_ that includes (I believe) all of the Sly material.

Jeff Myers

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eric Armstrong <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 09:04:19 -0500
Subject: 7.0254  Shrew Induction
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0254  Shrew Induction

I saw a marvelous production at the RSC a few years ago which featured the
induction. The "concept" of the play was that a bunch of "Sloan Rangers" -
young, rich Brit society types - had hired a group of actors to do the play -
and as a prank before the show began, kidnapped Sly. The set was essentially a
wood panelled drawing room of a rich kids house. Many of the smaller roles were
played by the rich kids with the sides in hand. This was an EXTREMELY effective
production in my mind, and I really enjoyed it.

The framing device carried through the play and it made sense - and seemed to
underline the class/political differences the director  chose - the 'working
class' nature of the actors was in high contrast to the snobbery and silliness
of the 'artistocractic' kids. It also allowed the company to feature a whole
gang of young actors.

Eric Armstrong
The School of Dramatic Art
University of Windsor, Canada

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Juul Muller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 19:44:55
Subject: 7.0254  Qs: Shrew Induction
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0254  Qs: Shrew Induction

Yes, I've seen Shrew done with the Induction and everything else, by De Appel,
an innovative Dutch theatre group. This particular production was in the late
Seventies and Sly did indeed remain on stage, watching quietly from a corner,
when not "on" Mostly, we forgot about him but when he returned at the end, my
then- teenage children said "What a pity it was all a dream! Even though the
title says it is, one believes in the story." I agree. It is a bit of a
letdown, leaving one back in the real world rather than in fairlyland. Has
anyone managed to avoid that?

Julie Muller
Hogeschool Holland
Diemen (Amsterdam)

Re: The Future

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0260.  Thursday, 4 April 1996.

(1)     From:   Charles S. Ross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 08:11:04 -0500
        Subj:   Re:  SHK 7.0255  Re: The Future

(2)     From:   Eric Armstrong <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 09:20:46 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0255  Re: The Future


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charles S. Ross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 08:11:04 -0500
Subject: 7.0255  Re: The Future
Comment:        Re:  SHK 7.0255  Re: The Future

To follow up Porter Jamison's examples of unknown words: The first question I
had last semester teaching The Taming of the Shrew was "What's a rogue?" from
an otherwise educated young person in the front row. I wasn't ready for it and
had to apologize after class from my insensitive response (whatever it was).

Charles Ross
Purdue

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eric Armstrong <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 3 Apr 1996 09:20:46 -0500
Subject: 7.0255  Re: The Future
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0255  Re: The Future

Porter Jamison <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> writes:

"My question is what should we do to reach them, other than sharing our own love
of language and encouraging its growth in them?  These kids are amazed by these
characters and delight in the stories, but without basic vocabulary (or the
desire to attain it) are we teachers limited to video interpretations, Cliff's
Notes, and three-month discussion series?"

As a teacher of voice and text, I find my acting students struggling INTENSELY
to make sense of the language that they "don't own". One simple game we now
play is to use language that seems unfamiliar to us in colloquial, or everyday
phrasing.

e.g. -  A student couldn't make sense of a simple "Lo" at the beginning of a
speech. She looked it up (dictionary skills are VERY poor too) and decided that
"Look! See! Behold!" was appropriate in this case - at least as a starting
point. However, even when this student UNDERSTOOD the word, she felt she
couldn't use it without having to "think" Look! underneath it. So.... we began
to play with Lo!, making up phrases, often silly ones, like "Lo! my homework is
finished!" or "Lo! Doesn't he look scrumptious!" Having done this exercise with
EVERY word that was even vaguely unfamiliar - words that were understood but
not in daily usage - the actor began to feel she "owned" this piece of
Shakespeare turf.

It seems so simple to me - I have always played these games with language - but
it seems that many of my students have not. Once introduced to the potential
fun of language, of the detective work of research and the pleasure of playing
a phrase from understanding rather than ignorance, Shakespeare becomes a
friend, a colleague to the actors process. I think it is wrong to say that
those unversed in Shakespeare or other classics don't know how to play with
language - they just don't know how to play with THIS language. The
unfamiliarity seems to scare them off... playing with it seems to break down
the fears.

Eric Armstrong
The School of Dramatic Art
University of Windsor, Canada

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