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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: September ::
Re: Cleopatra; Dogberry; Non Angli, sed Angeley.
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0683.  Friday, 20 September 1996.

(1)     From:   John F. Keogh <
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        Date:   Friday, 20 Sep 1996 07:36:22 +1000
        Subj:   Cleopatra

(2)     From:   David Evett <R0870%
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        Date:   Thursday 19 Sep 1996 14:20 ET
        Subj:   SHK 7.0676  Re: Pennington, Play

(3)     From:   Joanne Walen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Sep 1996 20:01:05 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0679 Non Angli, sed Angeley.


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John F. Keogh <
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Date:           Friday, 20 Sep 1996 07:36:22 +1000
Subject:        Cleopatra

My reasons for questioning Cleopatra's motives for killing herself:

As soon as Antony hears of  Cleopatra"s [supposed] death he says: "Unarm Eros,
the long days's task is done and we must sleep." and he straight away tries to
kill himself.  Life without her is nothing. Consider Cleopatra.  When Antony
dies in her arms she makes her wonderful statement:
        "The soldier's pole is fall'n: young boys and girls
        Are level now with men.  The odds is gone
        And there is nothing left remarkable
        Beneath the visiting moon"
She faints, recovers and says:
        "We'll bury him; and then what's brave, what's noble,
        Let's do it after the high Roman fashion,
        And make death proud to take us"

BUT SHE DOESN'T
1.      She sends an Egyptian to treat with Caesar.
2.      She talks to Proculeius, agreeing to meet Caesar.
3.      She allows herself to get captured and discovers from Dolabella
        that Caesar means to show her off in Rome.
4.      She has taken the time and trouble to list [falsely] her treasure.
5.      Seleucus lets her down.
6.      Caesar tries to reassure her that he will treat her well, and leaves.

Cleopatra: "He words me, girls, he words me that
            I should not be true to mysself."

Antony is not mentioned.  She is going to kill herself now not because she
wishes to rush into the arms of her dead lover but because she knows Caesar is
lying and that she WILL be led through Rome in triumph. Only as she is
preparing to die:  "I am again for Cydnus, to meet Mark Antony." does she
mention her lover.  Of course she dies wonderfully.  The sublime "Give me my
robe. . . " speech is full of Antony and her love for him and what has gone
before is overwhelmed.

Would it have ever been spoken if Dolabella had convinced her that Caesar would
let her live in peace in Egypt.  Or if she had believed Caesar? Would she not
have lived to fight and to love another day and possibly another man?

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <R0870%
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Date:           Thursday 19 Sep 1996 14:20 ET
Subject: Re: Pennington, Play
Comment:        SHK 7.0676  Re: Pennington, Play

I doubt me that it's elitist to flinch before a performance (Michael Keaton's)
that turns plumb stately Dogberry into a bag, a forest full of neurotic
tics--vectoring Harry Lyme disease?  Which is by no means to sneer a priori at
movie actors' assaying Shakespearean roles--or to condone critics who do indeed
scorn performances they have not yet seen.

Twitchily,
Dave Evett

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joanne Walen <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Sep 1996 20:01:05 -0400
Subject: 7.0679 Non Angli, sed Angeley.
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0679 Non Angli, sed Angeley.

Tom Bishop--
>the nearest thing to a genuine contemporary cycle-play I am
>ever likely to see.

Your description of this "presentation" was pretty funny, too. But on a more
serious note, triggered by your term cycle-play, is this note that the RSC's
96-97 season at Stratford will include *Everyman* and *The Mysteries: The
Creation and The Passion*. Each of these last will be performed as a separate
play and "in the original rich and thrilling language." That, too, is an
opportunity that doesn't come around very often.

Joanne Walen
 

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