1996

Romeo and Juliet ROCK

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0814.  Monday, 11 November 1996.

From:           Jimmy Jung <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Nov 1996  1:35pm
Subject:        Romeo and Juliet ROCK

I think if you are really believe that Shakespeare has meaning in our time,
then you ought to go see this flick, then again waiting for the video might be
okay too.

Since I already shared my pre-release enthusiasm with yall, I guess I also
ought to share the quieter aftermath.

Some of the reviews have compared the movie to "Die Hard" and trust me, the
first 20 minutes will spin your head in a confusing mishmash of gun play,
camera cuts, explosions, and dialogue.  Familiarity with the text may even be a
disadvantage.  I kept hearing lines that I knew, but they were buried under the
burst of 9mm weapon fire.  But you gotta respect the attempt to make R&J a
"here and now" story, and this attempt does not dissuade me from my excitement
about trying to yank a "classic" story abruptly into the 1990's?  How
successful was this version? Mediocre at best.  Perhaps the most disconcerting
aspect for me was the contrast between the language and the scene.  This
version keeps all the "thou's," "thy's" and "swords." Normally, I'm a purest
for the text; but when Tybalt points a gun the size of Dirty Harry's at you and
then says something about his sword, I get confused.  I think just a little bit
of tailoring might have made a more comfortable fit into this MTV mold.

On the plus side, the leads were great.  Everytime I see the play, I walk away
thinking Romeo's a dork.  However, DiCaprio manages to pine for Rosalind, fall
in love at first sight, climb a wall, get married, kill a guy and himself, with
the clarity of passion that the part calls for.  DiCaprio and Dane also do the
best job with the language.  They have to say a lot of odd things for a movie
in the 90s and their delivery is the only part that seems to pull you into to
their love expressed as poetry.  (Everyone else's seems to distract).  Do they
annunciate correctly for a Shakespearean play? I haven't a clue.

When I saw the trailer, you see Romeo on his knees screaming "Juliet."  and I
remember laughing and thinking "Brando yelling 'Stella,' or Stallone yelling
'Adrian'; yea, that's what Shakespeare had in mind."  But hey, it works.

The Saturday crowd at 9PM was more youthful than I expected and as I was
walking out of the theater I did here one guy say, "any idea what we just saw?"
 On the other hand I also saw a young lady say, "wow, that was beautiful."  and
I suppose, more than anything, I want to know what the senior high crowd
thought, if you hear anything, let me know.

jimmy

Re: Stratford; Charms; Web Sites

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0813.  Monday, 11 November 1996.

(1)     From:   Jesus Cora <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 11 Nov 1996 17:14:39 UTC+0100
        Subj:   SHK 7.0802  Re: Stratford upon Avon

(2)     From:   Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >(Scott Shepherd)
        Date:   Monday, 11 Nov 1996 13:59:30 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0807  Re: Cleopatra's Charms

(3)     From:   Michael Mullin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 11 Nov 1996 16:46:41 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0806  Qs: Web Sites


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jesus Cora <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Nov 1996 17:14:39 UTC+0100
Subject: Re: Stratford upon Avon
Comment:        SHK 7.0802  Re: Stratford upon Avon

>For a stay of several weeks in Stratford upon Avon to use the resources of the
>Shakespeare Centre, does anyone have suggestions on lodgings, food, approximate
>budget?

I would suggest staying at a place called Grosvenor House.  It is centrally
located, quite reasonable in price, and is very nice. Unfortunately, I have
neither phone number nor exact price available at the moment.

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

Those of you who would like to go to Stratford can know what the RSC has on
offer beforehand if you join their mailing list. It costs about 10 pounds
sterling and they send you their season programs both at their theatres at
Stratford and London (and info. on tours abroad). I find it quite useful. I
haven't got the contact address with me right now. I'll post it in the near
future.

All the best.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >(Scott Shepherd)
Date:           Monday, 11 Nov 1996 13:59:30 -0500
Subject: 7.0807  Re: Cleopatra's Charms
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0807  Re: Cleopatra's Charms

In Harry Hill's "as verse" Enobarbus, linebreak equals thoughtbreak equals
pause. New line equals afterthought. It's easy to imagine how tedious this
might become in a long heavily enjambed speech like say the dagger
hallucination in Macbeth (see below). William Shatner comes to mind. Or Fiona
Shaw's incessantly hesitant Richard 2 last year.

Some who lament the misunderstanding of verse differently misunderstand,
endorsing an alleged proper speaking of it and thinking I think that verse when
it's happening should be recognizable as verse whereas isn't it more effective
if it operates obscurely--not tearing a passion into tensyllable tatters but
imparting a rhythm and impetus more felt by the listener than acknowledged?
Shakespeare got older and in most opinions better by abandoning endstops and
obvious rhyme, making meter a more and more occult ingredient of his whole
dramatic effect, eg:

    It is the bloody business which informs
    Thus to mine eyes. Now o'er the one half world
    Nature seems dead and wicked dreams abuse
    The curtain'd sleep, witchcraft celebrates
    Pale Hecate's offerings, and wither'd Murder,
    Alarum'd by his sentinel the wolf
    Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
    With Tarquin's ravishing strides towards his design
    Moves like a ghost.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Mullin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Nov 1996 16:46:41 -0500
Subject: 7.0806  Qs: Web Sites
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0806  Qs: Web Sites

The Shakespeare Globe USA website continues to grow.

We too are looking for more internet links and would be grateful for any
suggestions.  Please open location: http://ampere.scale.uiuc.edu/shakespeare

Michael Mullin

Shakespeare CD-ROMs/RSC Midsummer Night's Dream

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0811.  Monday, 11 November 1996.

From:           Stephen Neville <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Nov 1996 09:04:29 -0500
Subject:        Shakespeare CD-ROMs/RSC Midsummer Night's Dream

Christmas is coming and I am asking for a Complete Works of Shakespeare on
CD-Rom. Could some-one advise me as to what is on offer, and the merits of one
version in preference to another?

I went to the RSC's production of  _A Midsummer Night's Dream_ at Stratford on
Avon on November 9th. It was wonderful. It is now going on tour. SHAKSPERIANS
might like to note the following dates :

1996 - Great Britain
12-16 November          Theatre Royal, Newcastle
19-23 November          New Theatre, Cardiff
26-30 November          Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
 3-7  December          Theatre Royal, Bath
10-14 December          Theatre Royal, Plymouth

1997
17 January - 8 February  Ginza Saison Theatre, Tokyo, Japan
15-18 February           The Academy of Performing Arts, Hong Kong
26 February - 8 March    His Majesty's Theatre, Perth, Australia
13-15 March              Festival Theatre, Adelaide, Australia
19 March - 5 April       The Playhouse, Melbourne, Australia
9-12 April               State Opera House, Wellington, New Zealand
16-20 April              Aoeta Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
24 April - 17 May        Capitol Theatre, Sydney, Australia
21-25 May                Gold Coast Arts Centre, Australia

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

Book Announcement

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0812.  Monday, 11 November 1996.

From:           Yashdip Bains <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Nov 1996 11:58:41 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Book Announcement

My book, "The Contention and The True Tragedy: Shakespeare's First Versions of
Henry VI, Parts 2 and 3," is available now in hardback from Public Relations
Officer, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Rashtrapati Nivas, Simla 171 005,
India (Price: $14.00, including postage by air).  I argue that Shakespeare
wrote "The Contention" and "The True Tragedy" first and later revised and
changed them into the second and third parts of a trilogy about King Henry VI.
I suggest that "The Contention" and "The True Tragedy" are authentic texts from
Shakespeare's early career in the theatre, and the multiple scripts give us
unusual insights into his evolution as a playwright.  Also still available from
the same publisher is my earlier study, "Making Sense of the First Quartos of
Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Hamlet" ($8.00,
including postage by air).

Re: Staging Gloucester's Blinding

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0810.  Monday, 11 November 1996.

(1)     From:   Michael Friedman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 11 Nov 1996 16:52:53 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0806  Qs: Lear

(2)     From:   Ellen Summers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 11 Nov 1996 17:12:59 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0806  Qs: Lear


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Friedman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Nov 1996 16:52:53 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0806  Qs: Lear
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0806  Qs: Lear

Larry,

I'm sure that other members of this list will point it out, but the text itself
supports Bevington's editorial stage direction at 3.7.69 (in my Signet
edition): "Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot."  I'm not sure what it is
about this action that strikes you and your students as absurd. The last time I
saw it performed in accordance with the text, Gloucester was bound to a chair
with his back to the audience.  At Cornwall's line, two servants tipped the
chair over backward so that Gloucester's head was resting on the floor, and
Cornwall ground the eye out as Bevington describes. Surely, however, there are
other ways in which the sequence could be performed.

                                                        Michael Friedman
                                                        University of Scranton

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ellen Summers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Nov 1996 17:12:59 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0806  Qs: Lear
Comment:        RE: SHK 7.0806  Qs: Lear

To Larry Dessner, on staging the blinding of Gloucester:  Cornwall may find it
easier to put his foot against Gloucester's eye if Gloucester's head is lowered
until it is nearly touching the floor.  This may be easily accomplished on
stage if Gloucester, tied to the chair in which he is seated, is pulled down by
the chair's back by Cornwall, who then may find it convenient to lift his boot
up to Gloucester's eye.  If I remember correctly, Peter Brook's Cornwall wore
enormous spurs on his boots, making this moment even more extravagantly cruel.
The English professor in me wants to add that such a mode of staging helps to
crystallize the motifs of inversion and of atomization of parts of the body
that run through _Lear_.  Hope this helps.

Ellen Summers
Hiram College

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