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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: January ::
Re: Mousetrap; Midwinter's Tale; Rhetoric; MND
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0110.  Thursday, 23 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Mark Mann <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 22 Jan 1997 12:18:31 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0104 Re: The Mousetrap

(2)     From:   Richard A Burt <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 21 Jan 1997 21:08:33 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0088  Midwinter's Tale

(3)     From:   Sean K. Lawrence <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 22 Jan 1997 19:13:03 -0800
        Subj:   Rhetoric

(4)     From:   C. David Frankel <
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        Date:   Thursday, 23 Jan 1997 00:08:22 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0098 Current thoughts on MND


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mark Mann <
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Date:           Wednesday, 22 Jan 1997 12:18:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0104 Re: The Mousetrap
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0104 Re: The Mousetrap

Dear Derek Wood,

As regards the delivery of Claudius' line " Give me some light", 2 points occur
to me...1, if Claudius shows too much emotion at that moment, Hamlet is given
far too much power in his duel of wits with his uncle.All Claudius need do
is"blench"...seems more powerful if the court is left ill at ease by the sudden
stoppage of the play, rather than the disturbing outburst of their king. It's
enough for Hamlet and Claudius to know each other's position on the board.

My second point is more on a theatrical pacing tack...it's better, I think, to
have wait to reveal Claudius' heart with the "O my offense is rank"...there's a
reason Shakespeare waits so long, when many other villains in the canon let you
know right away...it preserves the tension of the audience (that 1 member who
doesn't know the story) wondering if Hamlet is wrong in his surmises, and that
the ghost IS a devil playing with his weak mind....till  the Claudius speech,
we have no proof as yet.....Thanks, Mark Mann

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard A Burt <
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Date:           Tuesday, 21 Jan 1997 21:08:33 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0088  Midwinter's Tale
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0088  Midwinter's Tale

It's worth noting that there is a gay character who plays the "Queen." The
director says that Shakespeare was probably bi.  Also, the central chacracter
of Brangh's comedy _Peter's Friends_ turns out to be gay and has AIDS.  There
also some gay moments in Branagh's performances of Henry V (the traitors,
especially Scroop) and Iago (he has anal sex with Emilia after she gives him
the handerkerchief).

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean K. Lawrence <
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Date:           Wednesday, 22 Jan 1997 19:13:03 -0800
Subject:        Rhetoric

I'm wondering whether Eric Armstrong has noticed any pattern to the speeches
that *don't* fit the six stages of formal rhetoric.  Does skipping a stage
indicate some sort of pressure on the character?

Cheers,
Sean.

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           C. David Frankel <
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Date:           Thursday, 23 Jan 1997 00:08:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0098 Current thoughts on MND
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0098 Current thoughts on MND

When I directed MND a few years ago I took the idea of transformation as the
central informing metaphor for the production.  We started a bit clichish with
actors coming out onto an almost bare stage gathering for a rehearsal -- some
platforms and dressing racks were strewn around.  As the student/actors did
various things a voice from the back of the theatre proclaimed "Now fair
Hippolyta. . ." and in good Pirendellan fashion the Duke and soon to be Duchess
moved toward the stage.  When Theseus turned to Philostrate he picked out one
of the students who happened to be holding a sort of Elizabethan garment.

Well, you can probably imagine a lot of what followed.

One thing I did learn (or relearn): Midsummer should only get one intermission.
 In attempting to stress the Athens-Forest-Athens structure I took
intermissions at the end of the first two sections; some audience members left
after the second intermission because they thought the play was over -- which,
in a way, it is if you're not fully anticipating the production of Pyramus and
Thisby.

Live and learn, I say,

cdf
 

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