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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: January ::
Re: Lady Mac; Branagh's Ham; Norfolk; A Very Drab
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0134.  Monday, 27 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Dale Lyles <
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        Date:   Sunday, 26 Jan 1997 08:22:09 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0115 Re: Lady Macbeth

(2)     From:   Chris Gordon <
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        Date:   Sunday, 26 Jan 97 20:27:46 -0600
        Subj:   Branagh's _Hamlet_

(3)     From:   Lisa Hopkins <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 97 10:22:00 GMT
        Subj:   Norfolk

(4)     From:   Charles Ross <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Jan 1997 09:18:52 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0122 Q: A Very Drab


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <
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Date:           Sunday, 26 Jan 1997 08:22:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0115 Re: Lady Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0115 Re: Lady Macbeth

I had assumed Bill Godshalk was attempting to curry favour with *me*, but I
could be wrong.

Dale Lyles
Newnan Community Theatre Company

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Gordon <
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Date:           Sunday, 26 Jan 97 20:27:46 -0600
Subject:        Branagh's _Hamlet_

I don't have a great deal to add to Norm Holland's wonderful review of this
film, but I found it compelling enough to have seen it twice in two days and
would happily return again and again if time and money allowed. I thought the
performances ranged from good to brilliant and that the film overall was a
wonderful interpretation of the text. Everyone I've spoken with who has seen it
("professionals" and amateurs, and ranging in age from 14 to 50+) has loved it.
I have one or two quibbles, but they're hardly worth mentioning (and I won't at
this point, since I'd like other people to see and respond in general before we
get into particulars, though I hope we will do that). Just one small comment:
as someone who played a cross-gender cast Horatio in several high school
excerpts from the play three decades ago, it was wonderful to see this
character in full--and Nicholas Farrell was great! Happy viewing everyone!

Chris Gordon, who feels like they shot the film here in Minnesota where I
waited in -10 (fahrenheit) temperatures for the theater to open

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lisa Hopkins <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 97 10:22:00 GMT
Subject:        Norfolk

The Duke of Norfolk might perhaps make more impact than you'd expect.  The Duke
of Norfolk was traditionally the Earl Marshal of England, and therefore
responsible for tournaments, the heraldic side of coronations, etc.
Consequently, his own coat of arms was probably the best known after the
monarch's.  In armorial circles it still sometimes serves virtually as a symbol
for heraldry itself: at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, for instance,
their mock-up of a Tudor joust has the Howard arms prominently displayed.  It
was so famous not only because of the dukes' position but because after the
reign of Henry VIII it bore what was known as 'the Flodden augmentation', after
the Earl of Surrey (Norfolk's heir) defeated the Scots King James IV at
Flodden.  Basically, the Flodden augmentation showed the Scottish lion getting
an arrow rammed down its throat.  Essentially, therefore, anybody with even the
faintest knowledge of such things - and I think that would be a substantial
part of the population of London - would know the Howard arms, recognise the
Duke of Norfolk, and understand his part in the establishment.  (I'm eliding
here some differences between the Ricardian position of the Howards and the
late Tudor one - what strikes me mainly is that there is probably a figure on
stage clearly visible as an important military and ceremonial official.)

Interestingly, the McKellen film, as far as I can recall, doesn't have Norfolk.
 Instead, it plays up the part of Lord Stanley and makes much of his RAF
uniform.  I think the point made though could, in a way, be the same  - using a
uniform/coat of arms as signal.

Lisa Hopkins
Sheffield Hallam University

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(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charles Ross <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Jan 1997 09:18:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0122 Q: A Very Drab
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0122 Q: A Very Drab

I just read an interesting discussion about Hamlet's line on unpacking his
heart like a whore in Gary Taylor's eminently readable book Reinventing
Shakespeare (he was discussing the comparison between actors and whores and
Shakespeare's apparent lack of sympathy with exploited women).

Charles Ross
Purdue
 

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