Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: June ::
Re: Shaw on *Much Ado*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0479.  Wednesday, 26 June 1996.

(1)     From:   Leo Daugherty ,
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 .
        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Jun 1996 13:39:55 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re:  Shaw quote on MUCH ADO

(2)     From:   Norman J. Myers <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Jun 1996 12:40:28 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0472  Qs: Shaw on _Much Ado_

(3)     From:   C. David Frankel <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Jun 1996 11:09:17 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0472  Qs: Shaw on _Much Ado_

(4)     From:   Stephen Buhler <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Jun 1996 11:15:36 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0472  Qs: Shaw on _Much Ado_

(5)     From:   Bradley S. Berens <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Jun 1996 20:09:39 -0700
        Subj:   Re: Shaw on _Much Ado_


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Leo Daugherty ,
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 .
Date:           Tuesday, 25 Jun 1996 13:39:55 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Re:  Shaw quote on MUCH ADO

I think the easiest way to find the quote is to get the book SHAW ON
SHAKESPEARE.  Most of GBS's juicy anti-Will stuff is in there, including "He
was not for a day, but for an afternoon."  I'm on sabbatical now, and my copy
of this book is in my office in another town, so I can't check it for you and
give ed.'s name, p. numbers, etc., but it's in paperback and should be easy to
find.

                                                     Leo Daugherty

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Norman J. Myers <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 25 Jun 1996 12:40:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0472  Qs: Shaw on _Much Ado_
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0472  Qs: Shaw on _Much Ado_

In "The Dark Lady of the Sonnets", when Shakespeare is ridiculing the way the
common folk go for the most obvious of his plays, at the expense of his richer
and subtler ones, specifically "All's Well," Shaw has him say something to the
effect that his two most popular comedies are "'As You Like It', meaning not as
*I* like it, and 'Much Ado About Nothing,' as it truly is."

Norman Myers
Bowling Green State University

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           C. David Frankel <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 25 Jun 1996 11:09:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0472  Qs: Shaw on _Much Ado_
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0472  Qs: Shaw on _Much Ado_

In "Dark Lady of the Sonnets," Shaw has Shakespeare say something like the
following:  Two plays that I wrote for the audience, not for myself:  As you
like it, that is, not as I like it, and Much Ado About Nothing, which it truly
is.

C. David Frankel

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Buhler <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 25 Jun 1996 11:15:36 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 7.0472  Qs: Shaw on _Much Ado_
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0472  Qs: Shaw on _Much Ado_

Al Cacicedo's student may have been referring to Shaw's Preface to *The Dark
Lady of the Sonnets* (1910).  In the last section, "Shakespear and the British
Public," Shaw makes much of two of Shakespeare's titles:

  When Shakespear was forced to write popular plays to save his
  theatre from ruin, he did it mutinously, calling the plays
  As *You* Like It, and Much Ado About Nothing.  All the same,
  he did it so well that to this day these two genial vulgarities
  are the main Shakespearean stock-in-trade of our theatres.

I'd be interested to see if Shaw offered a variation on this--or simply made
the same point again--elsewhere.

Best,
Stephen M. Buhler

(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bradley S. Berens <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 25 Jun 1996 20:09:39 -0700
Subject:        Re: Shaw on _Much Ado_

Dear SHAKSPERians,

Al Caciedo writes:

>A student last semester told me that somewhere or other G. B. Shaw says that
>all one needs to know about _Much Ado_ is the title.  I've been looking for the
>source ever since, in vain. Does anyone know where Shaw said so infamous a
>thing?

The closest I've been able to get is the following passage from a 1947 essay in
which Shaw speculated that if Shakespeare had been asked to choose one of his
plays for the Oxford World's Classics series it would have been HAMLET:  ". . .
As a playwright I must not pass over my predecessor Shakespear.  If he could be
consulted as to the inclusion of one of his plays in the present series he
would probably choose his Hamlet, because in writing it he definitely threw
over his breadwinning trade of producing potboilers which he frankly called As
You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, and What You Will" (quoted from SHAW ON
SHAKESPEARE, Edwin Wilson, ed. [New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1961], page
79).

There are a number of other references in the same book, but none which come as
close to what your are looking for.

Al, are you SURE it's Shaw?  There have been lots of pithy dismissals of
Shakespeare-- perhaps a look through those ROTTEN REVIEWS collections might aid
you?

Do let us know if and when you find the source!

        Faithfully,

                Bradley Berens
                Dept. of English
                U.C. Berkeley

P.S. If not Shaw, then perhaps Pepys?
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.