1996

Re: TN; Laser Discs; Blinding; Inchbald's

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0834.  Thursday, 14 November 1996.

(1)     From:   Douglas Abel <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 16:19:47 -0700
        Subj:   ON A LIGHTER, NON-POLEMICAL, NON-POLITICAL NOTE

(2)     From:   Bill Kemp <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 09:31:51 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Laser Discs of ADO, R3, OTHELLO

(3)     From:   LaRue Love Sloan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 17:34:31 CST
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0810  Re: Staging Gloucester's Blinding

(4)     From:   Judy Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 14 Nov 1996 08:14:42 -0400 (AST)
        Subj:   Re: Inchbald's British Theatre


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas Abel <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 16:19:47 -0700
Subject:        ON A LIGHTER, NON-POLEMICAL, NON-POLITICAL NOTE

Twelfth Night.  I also played Orsino.  During the opening scene, as I was
delivering the "food lf love" speech, our senior English instructor and
Shakespeare expert overheard the following, loudly-whispered conversation
between two junior high students:

        "Is that Shakespeare?"
        "Naw. Shakespeare's dead."
        "That guy didn't write this?"
        "Naw."
        "So who's that guy talkin'?"
        "He's just some old guy."

Mind you, he reports that they laughed in all the right places, so I guess we
did something right.  But I still feel a bit nonplussed.  I don't mind being
mistaken for Shakespeare, although being dead for three and a half centuries is
a bit disconcerting.  But just "some old guy"???

Good term, production season or research efforts to all.

Douglas Abel,
Drama Program Head,
Keyano College,

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Kemp <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 09:31:51 -0500
Subject:        Re: Laser Discs of ADO, R3, OTHELLO

Tom Simone's comment that laser discs offer far superior quality is worth
attention from anyone who depends on videotape to get performance images into
the classroom. In addition, titles on laser disc usually reach the market just
as promptly as do videotape tiles and are cheaper (at least at the beginning).
Kathleen Kendrick reported that the videotape of R3 is $99.95; I bought  the
laser disc a month ago for about $35. One can also order laser discs reliably
(and securely) on WWW. And laser discs are permanent; they don't wear out.

The easiest way to get information about laser discs is reading FAQs for the
news group alt.video.laserdisc.

Bill Kemp
Mary Washington College
Fredericksburg, Va.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           LaRue Love Sloan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 17:34:31 CST
Subject: 7.0810  Re: Staging Gloucester's Blinding
Comment:        RE: SHK 7.0810  Re: Staging Gloucester's Blinding

I agree with Larry that the stage direction for grinding out Gl's eyes with his
boot seems, if not absurd, at least overly literal. I've always taken the line
"upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot" (maybe misquoted a bit--it's from
memory)to mean taking possession of, just as one would take possession of a
"new" land by setting one's foot on it, a la planting flags in the "new world"
or on top of Mt. Everist or on the moon: "one small step for me, one giant leap
for mankind."
                                        LaRue Love Sloan
                                        Northeast Louisiana University
                                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judy Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Nov 1996 08:14:42 -0400 (AST)
Subject:        Re: Inchbald's British Theatre

Thanks to the kind people who responded to my query, without calling me an
idiot.  Despite a magnifying glass, I find that it was my eyes at fault, not
the NUC, and that King John is listed in Vol.1. of Inchbald's British Theatre.
Hence it is unlikely that I will find a variant set with Dream.

I am reminded of a depressing novel by A. N. Wilson, in which a scholar who has
lost his eyesight continues his magnum opus with an assistant, never realising
it is riddled with error and nonsense.

Judy Kennedy

Re: Politics and Interpretation

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0833.  Thursday, 14 November 1996.

(1)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 10:13:03 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0825  Re: Politics and Interpretation: CORRECTION

(2)     From:   Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 13:17:32 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0825  Re: Politics and Interpretation

(3)     From:   Paul Lord <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 10:15:05 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0825  Re: Politics and Interpretation

(4)     From:   David Schalkwyk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 14 Nov 1996 11:49:53 SAST-2
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0825  Re: Politics and Interpretation


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 10:13:03 -0500
Subject: 7.0825  Re: Politics and Interpretation: CORRECTION
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0825  Re: Politics and Interpretation: CORRECTION

I wrote:

>Norm Holland disguises this phenomenon in terms of looping.  See, e.g., Norm's
>_The I_, Chapter 6: A Model of Mind.

I should have written: Norm Holland  _discusses_ this phenomenon . . . .

Sorry.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 13:17:32 -0500
Subject: 7.0825  Re: Politics and Interpretation
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0825  Re: Politics and Interpretation

>Dances are made of movement and narratives are made of language. But it's not a
>'fact' to rephrase this into the assertion "movements do -in fact- display an
>innate ability to construct dances" if you've defined dances as being made of
>movement. It really is called tautology. Honestly.

Come on now. Speech is made of larynx sounds but plenty of larynx-sound
producers can't speak. For that matter, plenty of motion-capable creatures
don't dance.

>Bishop's "fact" that all human societies
>construct narratives is tautology because we would not call them societies if
>they did not use language and we would not call it language if it couldn't be
>made in narrative.

Bees and ants exhibit social behavior but presumably do not construct
narratives. I suppose "social" here will be waved off as metaphor the way
"language" was with computers.

>Presumably being aphasic is horrible precisely because one
>is cut off from human society by the loss of narrative-making ability.

I don't think everyone will agree that aphasics are outside "society", and this
assertion goes some way toward identifying Egan's definition of that term--and
here old tautology really does rear its head. Since his "society" requires
language and his "language" narrative--by definition--all the examples of
nonnarrative communication we can think of are categorically dismissed as
nonlanguage, and all our nonnarrative communicators excluded from any sort of
society.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Lord <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 10:15:05 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 7.0825  Re: Politics and Interpretation
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0825  Re: Politics and Interpretation

Gabriel Egan writes:

>We were making a metaphor. If BASIC was really a language, programming
>computers would be as easy as instructing assistants.

Perhaps I misread your ironical intent, but this statement is at best
confusing.  Programming a computer is MUCH easier than instructing an
assistant, for every case except the most trivial.  When instructing an
assistant, there are two possible active participants in any miscommunication.
Not so for the computer; if the computer fails to properly respond to some
scripted narrative or command, then the flaw must be attributed to authorial
intent or mistake.  Once you have properly instructed a computer, it will not
"forget" that knowledge, nor can it be distracted from a given task by a
particularly compelling episode of "Sienfeld."

Further, with a well-constructed program-narrative, the feedback you get from a
computer can be much more clear and direct than that from a human.  Human
language is woefully equipped for error-handling.  There's no UNDO ("writing
under erasure" notwithstanding).  No way to automate complex narative tasks. No
GOTO, although that's probably a good thing.

So, contrary to your observation, it seems BASIC is a much more effective
language for talking to computers than English is for talking to Humans.
Computers have no perception, no judgment; they only know what you tell them.

Hmm.  I thought I was going to be able to tie this to the larger discussion,
but I'm not.  If I am in fact (case in point) misunderstanding the intent of
your analogy, my apologies.

regards,
paul

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Schalkwyk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Nov 1996 11:49:53 SAST-2
Subject: 7.0825  Re: Politics and Interpretation
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0825  Re: Politics and Interpretation

Tom Bishop's reluctance to call the way I see my mother's face "interpretation"
has a lot going for it.  Not least Wittgenstein's subtle analysis of "seeing
as" in _Philosophical Investigations_, pp. 193 onwards.  To call everything
interpretation is to lose some useful logical and grammatical distinctions, as
Wittgenstein shows. Heidegger is also useful here.

Incidentally, there has been a lot of argument about whether everything is
ideological, but as far as I know there is hardly any agreement, even within
Marxism, about the concept of ideology itself. Offering a definition won't help
here, because the concept is the product of complex and often antagonistic
theories.  Unlike my impression of my mother's face....

David Schalkwyk

Re: Twelfth Night Cross Casting

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0831.  Thursday, 14 November 1996.

(1)     From:   Stephen Neville <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wed, 13 Nov 1996 09:30:20 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0824 Re: Twelfth Night Cross Casting

(2)     From:   David Skeele <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 12:09:23 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0824  Re: Twelfth Night Cross Casting


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Neville <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wed, 13 Nov 1996 09:30:20 -0500
Subject: 7.0824 Re: Twelfth Night Cross Casting
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0824 Re: Twelfth Night Cross Casting

> Hymen was a white-haired woman (quite
>matronly) in the last scene of *As You Like It* in RSC prod. in
>Stratford-upon-Avon, also summer '96.

I saw that production too. The actor came up out of the audience. I thought
that she was some little old lady who had lost her way. It was quite a shock
when she took  part in the play. The fact that the part was played by a woman
was of no consequence, but her entry into the play from the audience marred the
play,  I thought.

Stephen Neville
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Skeele <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 12:09:23 -0500
Subject: 7.0824  Re: Twelfth Night Cross Casting
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0824  Re: Twelfth Night Cross Casting

>I seem to recall a story on NPR a couple of months ago about an all-female
>acting company that is producing some of Shakespeare's plays.  But I don't
>remember the name of the company (something like "Women Acting"?).

The company you are referring to is probably Tina Packer's "Company of Women."
They work out of Western Massachusetts (mostly Smith College). Or it might be
Lisa Wolpe's "LA Women's Shakespeare Theatre."  There may be other all-female
Shakespeare companies, but these two are probably the most prominent.

                                        David Skeele

Re: Romeo and Juliet ROCK

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0832.  Thursday, 14 November 1996.

(1)     From:   Nicholas Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 09:41:34 -0400
        Subj:   Romeo and Juliet

(2)     From:   Michael Saenger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 13:40:33 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Romeo and Juliet ROCK

(3)     From:   Richard Regan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 14 Nov 1996 00:38:36 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0821 Re: Romeo and Juliet ROCK

(4)     From:   Suzanne Lewis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 14 Nov 1996 06:30:15 -0700
        Subj:   New R&J Movie


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nicholas Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 09:41:34 -0400
Subject:        Romeo and Juliet

John Dwyer wrote: "Our senior high students need a reading totally committed to
sexual sanctity.  An iconography of semi-translucent, interiorly-lit statues
debases sex and religion and justifies the suicides."

I agree that one criterion by which I'd like to evaluate this film -- which
IMHO was both vulgar and fascinating -- is its effect on the audience to which
it's clearly targeted.  By the way, I'd guess that audience is rather
middle-school than high-school students.

It didn't take the Kurt Cobain suicide and its spin-offs to tell us about the
effect of romanticizing the combination of sex, free will, drugs, and death
that can, and does, lead US young people to end it all. R & J is a powerful
text of danger if we let it be.

BUT...I thought this film was AWARE of that danger and acted on it.  The
picture of R & J's death is of course super-romanticized:  candles, Tristan and
Isolde, the high crane shot monumentalizing the bodies... a wonderful rich
isolation from the corrupt "so-called life" outside.   But that's not the whole
picture.

1.  Before they die, Juliet wakes up. (Has anyone seen the scene played this
way before?)  Romeo has to watch her wake as he dies:  his whole scheme -- his
suicide -- is rendered meaningless.  No line, just his eyes in despair.  It was
very hard for me to imagine that we'd see the suicides romantically after that.

2.  After they die, after the crane shot ascends to the heights, the film cuts
to shots in documentary style of the bodies on gurneys, loaded into the
coroner's van.  And then the grainy TV shot -- their 20 seconds of fame -- ends
with static and white noise.  It's a quick and vivid descent from operatic lush
death to techno-oblivion -- a consummation that I think is NOT to be wished by
most of our teens.

I'm not sure about "sanctity," but I'm sure the film does not intend its
audience to identify sanctity with the icons that ostensibly represent it in
Verona Beach, the statues, the candles, the friar.  I think it lies somewhere,
as it did for Shax, in the choices of its characters and their effects on us.

Nick Jones
Oberlin College

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Saenger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 13:40:33 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Romeo and Juliet ROCK

For those who have trouble seeing a gun and hearing it called a sword, I am
sorry you miss so much of Shakespeare.  Pyramus and Thisbe must be very
frightening to these people, if they cannot perceive irony.

I would find it very sad if the Shakespearean community always put itself on
the conservative side of art.  This is a wonderful movie, filled with clever
post-modern references which enhance the text.  And the acting was better than
many productions I've seen in RSC accents. Shakespeare tapped into all elements
of his own culture to produce his art, so why shouldn't we try to do so in
reproducing it?  Romeo and Juliet will not only survive this adaptation, it
will thrive as a result of it.  However, this production may pose a grave
danger to our snobbery.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Regan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Nov 1996 00:38:36 -0500
Subject: 7.0821 Re: Romeo and Juliet ROCK
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0821 Re: Romeo and Juliet ROCK

Although the film has its obvious excesses, it does give us a clear emotional
line which many productions lack.  The play often founders after intermission,
and fails to convert the comedy, the giddy violence, and the initial emotional
charge into a heartfelt experience of the finale.  My students have only
laughed in recent years at the end of the Zeffirelli film with its gauzy
romanticism.

When I saw the new film, the silence during the tomb scene was electric, giving
me hope that future classroom experience of this production will bring a
generation back to the play.  Of course, it's easier to do the last scene
without the Friar's appearance, but that's a different question.

Richard Regan
Fairfield University

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Suzanne Lewis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Nov 1996 06:30:15 -0700
Subject:        New R&J Movie

Greetings and salutations!

My husband (also an intellectual) and I just returned from the new Romeo &
Juliet movie.  We thought it was very well done and succeeded in reaching its
targeted audience.  The average person in the theatre was a 15 year old girl
who left the theatre sniffling.  While at times, I thought the spectacle was a
bit overdone, I think the hype, spectacle, and modern setting really reached
the young people.

To quote my husband, we "hope the Academics can remove their tweed long enough
to realize how great this film is."  As a high school English teacher, I see
this film as a tribute to the universality of Shakespeare's word.  Long live
the Bard and his "star-cross'd lovers."

Re: Hamlet as Sleuth

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0830.  Thursday, 14 November 1996.

(1)     From:   Peter Hyland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 09:14:34 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0827  Qs: Hamlet as Sleuth

(2)     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 09:24:23 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0827  Hamlet as Sleuth

(3)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 10:24:11 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0827  Qs: Hamlet as Sleuth

(4)     From:   Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 14:43:55 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Hamlet as Sleuth


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Hyland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 09:14:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0827  Qs: Hamlet as Sleuth
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0827  Qs: Hamlet as Sleuth

Harvey Roy Greenberg asks about publications exploring the idea of Hamlet as a
detective. *Critical Essays on HAMLET*, published by Longman, contains an essay
by William Tydeman entitled "The Case of the Wicked Uncle".

Peter Hyland

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 09:24:23 +0000
Subject: 7.0827  Hamlet as Sleuth
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0827  Hamlet as Sleuth

Kenneth Tynan many years ago reviewed Sir Donald Wolfit when he played Hamlet
among pillars and steps in a scaled-down Edward Gordon Craig set, around which
the already not slim Wolfit would skulk "like an Elsinore private-eye". I can
see those eyes under those eyebrows and above those Slavic cheeks as he
investigatively researches his decision to act on the ghostly information
given.

The review can be found in the splendid collection CURTAINS.

        Harry Hill

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 10:24:11 -0500
Subject: 7.0827  Qs: Hamlet as Sleuth
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0827  Qs: Hamlet as Sleuth

Harvey Roy Greenberg asks:

>In any event, does anyone know
>of a specific reference to Hamlet's sleuthing, or does anyone want to make
>relevant comments on this score, or does anyone know if Kerrigan cites Hamlet
>in this respect.

Peter Alexander in _Hamlet Father and Son_ compares Hamlet to Philip Marlow,
and suggests that _Hamlet_ is a detective play, with Hamlet as the man who must
walk down these mean streets. I can't recall that Kerrigan discusses Hamlet as
detective.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 1996 14:43:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Hamlet as Sleuth

No cites for you, sorry, but as I've been studying and producing Hamlet
recently I have a couple crackpot theories for you:

My take on the Dane is that he is aware of his mental instability -- Melancholy
being a then-clinical term, referring to a volatile emotional state very like
what we call Depression.  Because of his self-awareness, he is unwilling
(wisely so) to take the testimony of a mere ghost as enough to convict his
Uncle.

He chooses the play because the playwright has conveniently provided him with a
company of actors, but also because he knows he will never be able to get the
truth out of Claudius or his co-conspirators just by asking. An intenious
device, very convincing.  How many detectives since have relied upon the
involuntary twitch of a moustache, the bulge in the eyes, to steer them on
their course towards the culprit?

In character, I find some parallels between Hamlet and Jeremy Brett's
interpretation of Sherlock Holmes (RIP, Mr. Brett).  The emotional intensity,
the fascination with the process of discovery, the awareness of nuance, all add
up to a truly masterful sleuth, a good 280-odd years before Conan Doyle began
his series.

A great topic for a paper, I wish you the best!

Andy White
Urbana. IL

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