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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: May ::
Re: Rape and Comedy
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0400.  Thursday, 30 May 1996.

(1)     From:   Ed Pixley <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 May 1996 16:18:28 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0396 Q: Rape and Comedy

(2)     From:   Harry Hill <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 29 May 1996 16:23:11 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0396  Q: Rape and Comedy


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Pixley <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 May 1996 16:18:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0396 Q: Rape and Comedy
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0396 Q: Rape and Comedy

Jimmy -- Can we take the _Volpone_ rape scene seriously?  You bet we can? You
may have had trouble because of a casting choice or an actor's choice. I do
have trouble imagining a fat Volpone, but I didn't see it.  However, had you
seen Douglas Campbell do the scene at the Guthrie Theatre in 1963 or 64, you
would have had no doubt of Volpone's intention -- or ability -- of following
through.  If you read the scene aloud, you will find, I believe, that its
rhythms suggest a dance of seduction, intended to mesmerize Celia.  Set it to
music to discover how it might work as a dance. But Volpone never knows how to
quit when he's ahead, and his eloquent images and rhythms also seduce him,
leading him to excesses which finally alienate Celia further rather than
drawing her in.

Ed Pixley

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <
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Date:           Wednesday, 29 May 1996 16:23:11 +0000 (HELP)
Subject: 7.0396  Q: Rape and Comedy
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0396  Q: Rape and Comedy

SHORT FAT VOLPONE?

Who said he is brief of stature? His vowels are large and long.

Why can he not be fat and powerfully priapic?

It might be noted that when my twenty year-old pudgy body played the part at
the Edinburgh Festival Fringe the Ceclia ran away three days before opening
night, overpowered by the manly music of the seduction scene; she was found two
days later at an aunt's house, filling up on scones and cakes to comfort her
fears, and brought back to the theatre agreeing to continue the role if I kept
my hand inside her belt to keep her form running away again. We all put it down
to the strength of the verse.

        Harry Hill
        Montreal
 

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