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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: February ::
Re: Rosalind & Celia
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0266.  Monday, 24 February 1997.

[1]     From:   Chris Stroffolino <
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        Date:   Monday, 24 Feb 1997 05:32:55 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0263 Re: Rosalind & Celia

[2]     From:   Mark Mann <
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        Date:   Monday, 24 Feb 1997 07:59:57 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0259 Re: DC's Shakespeare Theatre's AYL and a Question


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Stroffolino <
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Date:           Monday, 24 Feb 1997 05:32:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0263 Re: Rosalind & Celia
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0263 Re: Rosalind & Celia

First, I would like to say I find this discussion very engaging in part
because (warning: shameless self-promotion) I will be giving a paper
that focuses largely on Celia & Rosalind at the SAA conference next
month...and there has not been very much published on this relationship
(whether seen as "psychological" or "formal") yet.

Second, I would like to ask Mike Taylor where in the text of the play he
finds evidence for Celia's "irrational distress" at Rosalind's love for
Orlando? Even though I have heard this position argued before (though
maybe you could add a nuance that would finally persuade me otherwise),
I see no IMPEDIMENT raised by Celia to Rosalind's love for Orlando - if
anything Celia seems to take Orlando's "side" here.

I do, however, find textual evidence to support Joseph "Chepe" Lockett's
claim that Celia's perception of Ros's "love prate" (and mock marriage)
is "absolutely ludicrous and foolhearty" and certainly Celia COULD very
well be justifiably angry at her cousin, but she seems more bored and
exasperated than angry (with the possible exception of her scolding Ros
on what she would perceive as "misusing" her sex and walking not in
"trodden ways").

Thirdly, I do agree that it doesn't really make much of a difference
whether Ros and Celia had a homosexual or homosocial bond, but then to
pursue this logic, since it "doesn't matter", playing them homosexually
would be no more of a violation of the text than playing them as mere
friends- aside from the fact (or at least strong probability) that the
contemporary conceptual distinction between homosexual and heterosexual
is somewhat of an anachronism if applied to S's time, there seems to be
the assumption that characters in Shakespeare's plays are HETERO until
proven HOMO that inform some of these comments that challenge the Folger
production.

I guess I'll just have to see how McGinnis and company DO this-it COULD
"get in the way" but it could also serve to emphasize the complexity of
their relationship and allow US to take Celia less for granted as a
simple sounding board for Ros.

------Chris Stroffolino

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mark Mann <
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Date:           Monday, 24 Feb 1997 07:59:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0259 Re: DC's Shakespeare Theatre's AYL and a
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0259 Re: DC's Shakespeare Theatre's AYL and a
Question

<< "Has anyone heard ..." the lines in AYLI delivered in such a way as
to suggest a lesbian relationship among the sisters.

Yes, to the point of tedium:  it seems to be the new orthodoxy.  Fine,
if you want to shade the characters in that direction; it gives a
different cast to the sisters' relationship later, when Rosalind gets
hot about Orlando.  But does it reveal anything else about either.
  >>

Hear Hear!! Please, please, PLEASE spare me the psychosocial
revisionism...too often "innovations" of this sort are all about the
director's inability a reckon with what he/she is given on the
page...and indicates an ego-driven need to "top" what Shakespeare has
given us...if one can't direct, with clarity, a play by Will, then get
out of it...do a Marowitz play, or write your own. If you have a cause
to flog, i.e.  homoeroticism between Rosalind and Celia, or Iago and
Othello, then get on a soapbox and shout it to the commuters, but keep
it off the stage...or write a thesis to be read by your closest friends
and family, who'll applaud your deep, deep insight and origionality...as
for me, Rosalind and Celia are cousins who are close as sisters, and
Iago is a disgruntled ancient who lacks any sense of proportion and
perspective with relation to his position in Othello's service...to
suggest all these Freudian/Paglia submotives is simply to be dull, and
merely demonstrates that you, like many others, passed Psych 101.
 

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