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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: April ::
Re: Religious Biases; Currency; Pericles
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0463.  Monday, 14 April 1997.

[1]     From:   Ron Ward <
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        Date:   Sunday, 13 Apr 1997 14:27:33 +1200 (NZST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0442  Qs: Religious Biases

[2]     From:   Derek Wood <
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        Date:   Monday, 14 Apr 1997 14:06:45 -0900 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0437  Qs: Elizabethan Currency

[3]     From:   Mary Ann Bushman <
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        Date:   Monday, 14 Apr 1997 11:23:58 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Pericles


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Ward <
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Date:           Sunday, 13 Apr 1997 14:27:33 +1200 (NZST)
Subject: 8.0442  Qs: Religious Biases
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0442  Qs: Religious Biases

Though there is a good deal of value in a study of Elizabethan religious
conventions, as that was part of S audience. But there may be a lot more
to it than that. A lecture by the Lutenist Anthony Rooley pointed out
that there is evidence that S was a part of a group that transcended
those limitations.  Certainly the wisdom he weaves into his stories is
far from conventional.

The cult of the Melancholic was one such possible group, led by a dark
lady.  But that is only one of the possibilities and may not have been
an exclusive connection upon which S drew.

Cymbeline is a case where the Celtic mysteries can be descerned with a
great deal of detail. This is the case presented by Theatre Set-Up in
Britain.  Their 1989 production programme gives considerable detail of
the symbolism parallels with the Celtic initiation rites. The recent
studies Published by William Anderson (alas now dead) in his book "The
Green Man", shows how the Celtic undercurrent in terms demonstrated by
the prevalence of the Green Men in churches and traditions would have
been just beneath the surface of Elizabethan England.

"The History of British Kings" by Geoffrey of Monmouth with it's strange
chapter Prophecies of Merlin was certainly known to S. This chapter's
enigmatic nature points to a coded record of the initiation rites
according to at least one Celtic scholar, R. J. Stewart. This sort of
thing (hiding one's unconventional beliefs) is not unusual among
artists. Mozart's "Magic Flute" being a case in point.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Derek Wood <
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Date:           Monday, 14 Apr 1997 14:06:45 -0900 (PDT)
Subject: 8.0437  Qs: Elizabethan Currency:
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0437  Qs: Elizabethan Currency:

There must be many more recent sources but I still find
convenient Muriel St. Clare Byrne's _Elizabethan Life in Town and
Country_ Appendix 3. Among the many contemporary prices she gives:

        children's shoes            7d. a pair
        shirt with cutwork band 1s.
        a pig                       6d.
        400 oranges             3s.10d.
        420 eggs                5s.10d.
        barrel of small beer    4s.4d.
        cleaning boots              4d.
        Grafton's Chronicle     21s.2d.
        Sidney's Arcadia         9s.
        "shaving robert's head"  1s.4d.
        a falcon                60s.
        a new coach         L38 23s.2d.

I read somewhere else that a decent meal in London would cost about the
same as a trip across the river and a reasonable spot to watch a play at
the Globe.

Best wishes,
Derek Wood,
St. Francis Xavier University

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Ann Bushman <
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Date:           Monday, 14 Apr 1997 11:23:58 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Pericles

Several years ago I reviewed a performance of PERICLES which cast an
actor who was deaf and mute for the lead.  Gower became the interpreter
of Pericles' reactions and signs on stage,   translating the signing
for  the audience as well as speaking his own lines.  Since Gower was
played by a woman, the production subverted all kinds of
expectations.

It was one of the most moving productions I've seen-and unsettling as
well.

Mary Ann Bushman
English Department
Illinois Wesleyan University
 

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