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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: September ::
Re: *All's Well*; Odds & Ends; Keaton's Dogberry
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0703.  Friday, 27 September 1996.

(1)     From:   David Skeele <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Sep 1996 11:56:05 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0696  Re: *All's Well* Production; Odds & Ends

(2)     From:   Susan Mather <
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        Date:   Thursday, 26 Sep 1996 14:24:15 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0664  Re: Keaton's Dogberry


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Skeele <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Sep 1996 11:56:05 -0500
Subject: 7.0696  Re: *All's Well* Production; Odds & Ends
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0696  Re: *All's Well* Production; Odds & Ends

I appreciated Sean's response concerning "All's Well," and I quite agree that
his reading--in which Bertram's escape from the "near rape" of forced marriage
is a logical, understandable response--is a valid reading. In fact, though it
seems contradictory, such a reading informed my production as well.  I felt
that during the scene in which he is strongarmed by the King into accepting
Helena, the audience's sympathies were fairly evenly divided between the two
youngsters (in that Helena's desire to wed him by King's proclamation made
"fairy-tale sense" and Bertram's desire to flee the situation made realistic
sense).  I did feel, however, that unless those sympathies were shifted more
toward Helena by later in the play, the plot might run the risk of becoming
tiresome, as most of it revolves around her machinations for snaring Bertram.
And this shift was fairly easily accomplished, in that Bertram's later actions
with Diana (such as making blatantly false declarations of love in order to
seduce her) are somewhat less sympathetic.  I chose to see this as the
influence of a bad crowd (led by Parolles) from whom Bertram needed to be
rescued, so that Helena's quest became a justifiable soul-saving mission.

I rather like that Bertram/Kate comparison you made.  I never thought about it
quite that way, but I think it's very interesting that so much critical anger
has been vented (with good cause, I believe) about the treatment of Kate, while
very few tears are shed for a male plight that is, as you point out, markedly
similar.

If I could switch gears for a moment, I would like to throw in my vote for best
"old Critic" (though he might not be "old" enough).  I think that for  sturdy
critical insight and delightfully lucid, engaging prose, you can't beat C.L.
Barber.

One random query: Norman Myers spoke of a medieval theatre discussion group
(called "Perform"?).  Any one have the address handy?

                                                Thanks,
                                                David Skeele

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan Mather <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 26 Sep 1996 14:24:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0664  Re: Keaton's Dogberry
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0664  Re: Keaton's Dogberry

To reply to Milla--Michael Keaton was playing "Beetlejuice" in "Much Ado" --
But wait...I still thought it was great.  Just watch one and then, the other. a
perfectly enjoyable evening I can tell you.
 

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