1997

Re: Summer Festivals; The Diviners

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0452.  Saturday, 12 April 1997.

[1]     From:   Skip Nicholson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 1997 14:08:19 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0448  Qs: Prospero; Summer Festivals

[2]     From:   Mark Mann <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 1997 19:45:33 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0448 Qs: Prospero; Summer Festivals


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Skip Nicholson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 1997 14:08:19 -0700
Subject: 8.0448  Qs: Prospero; Summer Festivals
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0448  Qs: Prospero; Summer Festivals

The next issue of Shakespeare Magazine will also have information on
summer festivals. For information about the Old Globe in San Diego, try
their web site at http://www.virtually.com/oldglobe/home.html

Cheers,
Skip Nicholson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mark Mann <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 1997 19:45:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0448 Qs: Prospero; Summer Festivals
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0448 Qs: Prospero; Summer Festivals

The Arden Shakespeare Company, in Columbus, Ohio, is preparing to open
its next production-Jim Leonard, Jr.'s The Diviners, preview performance
is Thursday, April 17 at 7:30, then it runs 3 weekends afterwards, all
curtain times 8:00 pm except for a Sunday matinee April 27 at 2:00 pm.
Performances are held at Columbus State Community College's Nestor
Auditorium, 550 E. Spring St. in downtown Columbus. Call (614)274-8807
for info. ....cheers, Mark Mann...Art. Dir. Arden Shakes. Co

Re: Hamlet and Ophelia

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0451.  Saturday, 12 April 1997.

[1]     From:   Jacqueline Strax <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 1997 11:20:37 +0000
        Subj:   Hamlet/Ophelia.... and Gertrude (long)

[2]     From:   James Marino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 1997 08:23:14 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0434 Re: Hamlet and Ophelia


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jacqueline Strax <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 1997 11:20:37 +0000
Subject:        Hamlet/Ophelia.... and Gertrude (long)

Susan Keegan writes:  " I think everyone is missing the boat on Ophelia.
Consider the phrase, 'Frailty, they name is woman.'  We have already
seen Ophelia bow to pressure from both her brother and father, including
handing over her mail to Polonius."

Nick Clary responds: "Does it matter that Hamlet's remark is made in
1.2, before we have seen the bowings to pressure that you mention?"

Yes, it does.  And it connects with recent threads on Oedipus and
Hamlet's telling his mother not to do as he tells her to do-let Claudius
tempt her into bed.  Regarding this ("Not this, by no means, that I bid
you do") I'd recall how, commonly, grownups say"Do what I say, not what
I do."  Hamlet, frail son lecturing frail mother, won't acknowledge that
he himself has done *this.*

In 1.2. Hamlet uses _frailty_ in a specific sense in which bowing to
pressure arises out of weakness of what St. Paul calls the flesh.  In
1.2 Hamlet hasn't seen Ophelia bowing to pressure from brother and
father (nor, I would argue, does Ophelia cave totally in the scenes in
question-in her way she is resistant.  In IV.v, in her madness-"Say you?
Nay, pray you mark"-she asserts unyielded bits of her opinion, judgment,
and conscience).

Focusing on "frailty": if from the start Hamlet has made love with
Ophelia, or desired it, then his generalization "Frailty thy name is
woman" covers and is sparked by her as well as Gertrude. His views of
Ophelia and Gertrude are mutually reinforcing. Well. Oughtn't his blame
of Gertrude for falling for Claudius differ in quality (not just degree)
from any he directs toward Ophelia for falling (perhaps into bed)
for/with him?  If not, how can he blame/loathe Claudius so vehemently?

Claudius is a incestuous murderer.  Yet concerning frailty,
generalization won't stop at women.  And if Hamlet seems trapped in a
misogynism whereby women's flesh is frail because of Eve, in actuality,
he loathes not just his uncle's but his no less his own flesh.  Whence
his conviction of superiority to Claudius?  This line can be pursued to
a Freudian endpoint.  Hamlet can't forgive his kinship with Claudius
because he envies Claudius just as (unconsciously) he envied his father.

Further-a Freudian reading might benefit from how "Frailty thy name is
woman" applies as much to Gertrude's passion for Hamlet's father as for
Claudius: "Why, she would hang on him / As if increase of appetite had
grown / By what it fed on; and yet within a month-" (I.2.143-145).  The
Ghost  talks of how "lust" will "sate itself in a celestial bed"
(I.v.55).  Put material flesh, a body, on the Ghost's image of the male
partner as radiant angel, and Gertrude's satiation with her first
husband is a sweaty as in those later, incestuous sheets.  Indeed, the
earlier sheets probably got stained with the "dew" of ejaculation (if
Hamlet was conceived there).

Shakespeare was as much a worried Calvinist as a premature Freudian.
Hamlet lets himself be seduced (rather than reasoned) into dissolving
kinship between his flesh and Claudius's. The corrosive compound, a
contradictory ideology of election. Salvation as princely due.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Marino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 1997 08:23:14 -0600
Subject: 8.0434 Re: Hamlet and Ophelia
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0434 Re: Hamlet and Ophelia

Susan Keegan's reading of "Frailty, thy name is woman" receives support
from Viola's view at 2.2.30 of TN: "Alas, our frailty is the cause, not
we,/For such as we are made of such we be." And it demonstrates the
distance between that psychology and ours.

Re: Subtext

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0449.  Saturday, 12 April 1997.

[1]     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 1997 07:43:58 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0444 Re: Subtext

[2]     From:   Adrian Kiernander <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 1997 12:02:36 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0442  Qs: Subtext

[3]     From:   Kila Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 1997 09:51:13 -0400
        Subj:   Subtext

[4]     From:   Harry Teplitz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 1997 16:39:23 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Subtext


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 1997 07:43:58 +0000 (HELP)
Subject: 8.0444 Re: Subtext
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0444 Re: Subtext

Eric Armstrong seems to me to be talking sense, but there is of course
subtext to what he writes as we only have the written words before us. I
too do not use Strasbergian role-research methods but rely on the text,
and I am still aware than as an actor I'm kidding myself. "Subtext" is
created whenever one opens one mouth and makes an utterance that is
inflected; the only "surface" reading would be the monotone of a
machine, which in itself would of course provide a meaning that
announces "I am a machine."

    "Madam how like you this?" is given a "subtext" whenever it is
spoken.

Taking this brief discussion to another part of the forest, I might add
that subtext=inflection=interpretation and that it is this that causes
the conflict of page and stage. I myself would rather read the plays
than see them, as "my" Cleopatra is not realizable unless I direct it
myself and not even then as I would have to act it. And not even then
unless it were on film rather than renewing itself by alteration,
augmentation eight times a week and dragged up off the floor on the
Tuesdays after the dark Mondays.

Where "subtext" is perilous, I'd say, is when characterization and the
playing of moments rely on the performer's personal psychological
apparatus rather than on the phonetic texture of the words, the
perception of which of course is also subjective although less so.
Thomas Heywood was probably right when he wrote some centuries ago that
appropriate typecasting was more than half of the secret of successful
performance of the text. Not only physical appearance but vocal makeup
too.

One of students in a Shakespeare class this year is blind. He joined me
and some of the rest of the class at a recent production of *The
Winter's Tale*, and was unable to feel Leontes' jealousy in any aural
way at all as the actor had insufficient vocal equipment and gift; the
sighted students could *see* it while finding something indefinably
"wrong with his voice". The actor's father had died on day of the first
dress rehearsal and was naturally bringing his filial rage and grief to
his role; this had become part of his subtext, inaudible and largely
invisible. He was even less able to respond to the physical demands of
the particular words.

In another Shakespeare production a year ago a fellow actor could not,
as Octavius Caesar, make one of his entrances until he could "feel his
motivation"; this Strasbergian flaw could only be remedied
homeopathically by my talking to him in the wings as Lepidus and asking
him often what was the content of the letter he had just received about
Antony so that he could be propelled onstage in an infuriated
informative mood and mode. Subtext and motivation sleep in the same
incestuous sheets.

        Harry Hill

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Adrian Kiernander <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 1997 12:02:36 +1000
Subject: 8.0442  Qs: Subtext
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0442  Qs: Subtext

It's some combination of the work of writers and readers, in the case of
a play the author(s), director(s), actor(s) and audience(s), who create
the (appearance of a) subtext. So there's no definitive answer to the
question of whether or not there IS a subtext in Shakespeare. I've seen
Shakespeare productions where there seemed to be an attempt to explore
subtext, and have acted in and observed rehearsals of productions where
I know there was. Just as I've seen and worked on productions that
avoided subtextual thinking like the plague. It partly comes down to
working methods. If a director or whoever wants the production to work
through subtexts then it's possible to create (or reveal) them. If not,
you can deal with everything up front. (But I suppose an audience member
accustomed to viewing in those terms can always read in subtexts, even
where none have been deliberately or consciously explored within a
production.)

Ariane Mnouchkine is one notable director who chooses to deny the
usefulness of thinking in terms of subtexts in Shakespeare. Subtext is
the death of theatre, and diverts the actor from "acting". (She also
says there is no psychology in Shakespeare, and in her vocabulary
"psychologism" is one of the most pejorative insults available.)
According to her, the meaning of the text lies on the surface; and in
the rhetorical, delamatory style in which she directed her Shakespeare
cycle it would be almost impossible to do irony. The Shakespeare
productions which she mounted in the early 1980s are in part a
consequence of that way of approaching/thinking about theatre.

Adrian Kiernander

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kila Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 1997 09:51:13 -0400
Subject:        Subtext

I've always understood that there was no opposing subtext, i.e. if
someone says .."thou speakest well of fools", this would not be an
example of irony, or sarcasm, but truth.  The theory was that in his
time, there was little use of irony among Shakespeare's characters.
This is a contemporary spin.  Same with rhetorical questions-when a
character asks "how like you this play?" the character expect an anser
and genuinely wants to know.  The subtext lies in the motivations behind
the need to know.

Kila Burton
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Teplitz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 1997 16:39:23 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Subtext

Here's another interpretation of the "no subtext" issue.

I've always understood that no subtext meant that characters in
Shakespeare plays have lines that are closely related to what they
feel.  This does not mean that these lines do not have multiple
interpretations (by stressing different words, for example, as one
poster noted).  But it does mean that they don't tend to talk about the
weather when they really want to talk about the death of their mother.

A modern play will often have a line like "would you like some tea",
where the actor is required to convey the full depth of her feelings
about another character with no other opportunity to express them.
These feelings may not even be discussed explicitly anywhere in the
play.  It is the actor's and director's job to make the audience
understand what is really going on beneath the text-the subtext.  In a
Shakespeare play there may be moments of forced civility, but there is
rarely (never?) an example of characters with strong feelings who do not
express them to either each other or to the audience; certainly, not
strong feelings on which events in the play are later to hinge.  A
modern play does not necessarily ever give characters the chance to
express their feelings, but Shakespeare always does.

Also, no subtext is similar to characters never keeping a secret from or
lying to the audience, but not exactly the same.  A character could
easily be very obvious in their emotional relationships, while still not
warning the audience of their devious plan.  This would be someone with
no subtext, but who lied to the audience.

I do agree, though, that part of what a lack of subtext implies is that
actors must act "ON the lines".  And more than that, they must "act the
lines".  I don't think this means one can't have an overall
psychological point of view for a character, but I think it is very
risky to play any substantial amount of text to mean something other
than what it says.

Well, I'm sure I've rambled on enough for now....

-- Harry Teplitz
UCLA Shakespeare Reading and Performance Group

Re: Ideology: The Aesthetics of WT

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0450.  Saturday, 12 April 1997.

[1]     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 1997 08:59:33 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0445 Re: Ideology: The Aesthetics of WT

[2]     From:   Lee Gibson  <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 97 07:47 CDT
        Subj:   Re: Ideology: The Aesthetics of WT

[3]     From:   Mark Mann <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 1997 12:26:40 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0445 Re: Ideology: The Aesthetics of WT

[4]     From:   Paul Hawkins <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 1997 12:33:29 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   ideology:  the aesthetics of wt

[5]     From:   Derek Wood <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 1997 13:45:25 -0900 (PDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0445  Re: Winter's Tale

[6]     From:   Joseph "Chepe" Lockett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 11 Apr 1997 19:46:06 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Leontes' Ailment (Re: SHK 8.0445)

[7]     From:   Chris Stroffolino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 12 Apr 1997 01:21:17 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0445 Re: Ideology: The Aesthetics of WT


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 1997 08:59:33 +0000 (HELP)
Subject: 8.0445 Re: Ideology: The Aesthetics of WT
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0445 Re: Ideology: The Aesthetics of WT

Ideology: Othello & Sister Mary Ignatius

This week I read an essay by a Roman Catholic student who works
part-time for nuns of Order of St.Anne. She objects to Chrstopher
Durang's *Sister Mary Ignatiuus Explains It All For You* on the grounds
that nuns don't kill, and further that Durang has little right to take
away from the joys and satisfactions of this religion. She was unable to
comment on the play qua play, of course.

I told SHAKSPER two years ago about another student who, upon hearing
the possibly apocryphal story about the theatregoer who was so carried
away by the naturalism of Johnston Forbes-Roberton's acting of Othello
as he came to murder his wife that he lept onstage to take the actor/man
by the nightie and declare "Leave her alone, you big black brute!",
cautioned me, who was RELATING the tale as an illustration of Arthur
Kostler's definition of `appropriate artistic response', to remember
that {to quote her) "Not all black men are brutes."

I myself refused, some years ago, to remain in a satirical revue if a
sketch in which homosexuals were derided were not excised. Yet I can,
because although I am a member of human family I am a Gentile, listen to
the Ride of the Walkuere without accessing the image of the gates of the
dreadful concentration camp that played the piece, read *The Road Not
Taken* without remembering that Frost may well have been the unpleasant
man is reputed to have been. In other words, I choose only sometimes to
tell the dancer from the dance, depending upon my personal closeness to
stances taken. It impossible for me to exercise the cosmic charity shown
by Adrian Kieranander who appears in his latest contribution to worry
about women in a *Winter's Tale* audience who have suffered abuse from
their husbands.

After the death of my father, for a few months, nay not so much, I could
not bring myself to go to a movie that had anything explicitly to do
with dying, but freely acknowledged others' desire and right to do so.
Am I perhaps then not the elitist aesthete I think I am? Is it
especially gracious of me to absorb the work of Picasso although he was
a heterosexual ladykiller and to read my own kind of fleshly love in the
love poems of, say, Donne? Is it homosexual of me to find the love of
Lear's Fool moving? Is it capitalist white patriarchal of me find the
quandaries of a Danish blueblood relevant to this descendant of Border
sheepstealers? Hardly: Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet and Fiona Shaw as
Richard, both born without rank and title, could show me "his" problems
and his mind without frontally bulging tights. I would have to play
Othello with dark makeup to make my pale Scots face appropriate for a
stage rendering; as I am I can play almost any older woman of almost any
ethnic kind, to meet with objection from some members of an audience who
are, as most are, unable to leave all baggage in the cloakroom provided.

Harry Hill

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lee Gibson  <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 97 07:47 CDT
Subject:        Re: Ideology: The Aesthetics of WT

A recent contributor writes:

"The juvenile name-calling to which this ideology discussion sometimes
descends ("You're ideological; I'm not") is based upon a false binary
opposition.  We are all ideologically informed: some us own up to this
fact; some of us don't."

And the statement that "we are all ideologically informed" is a simple
categorical assertion.  This is to make life too easy for oneself.

Lee Gibson
Department of English
Southern Methodist University

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mark Mann <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 1997 12:26:40 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0445 Re: Ideology: The Aesthetics of WT
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0445 Re: Ideology: The Aesthetics of WT

I find it significant in WT's final scene, that at no time does Hermione
speak to Leontes. Indeed, her only speech begins as an invocation to the
gods, and then she speaks directly to Perdita, saying how she
"preserved" herself to see the completion of the Oracle's prophecy.  In
the 1993 production I directed for Actor's Theatre in Columbus ( a
Shakes. in the Park), our Hermione ( Mary Ann Best, the finest Hermione
I have ever seen), extended her hand to Leontes, he took it rather
tentatively, then helped her from the pedestal, but before they
embraced, there was a long look between them which made it clear that  a
16 year gulf still existed between them, and Leontes in his shame, knelt
before her. The ending of the play is not a happy one, in the classic
sense of "the queen is back and all is forgiven". She forgives, but
cannot forget-it becomes instead, at least for our production's
purposes, merely the completion of a series of events, and the older
generation simply fulfills their part of a grand scheme. Even Paulina
recognizes her part is finished-and we understand that it is to Perdita
and Florizel that this world now belongs. Bittersweet, sad, romantic in
a way that tells us " You must awaken your faith." I believe that it
merely strengthens Shakespeare's conception of Hermione as the perfect
woman, indeed the perfect human-who held fast to her beliefs, both
religious and otherwise, who loved beyond the limits of most. Unreal?
Perhaps, but perfect for a Winter's TALE.............cheers, Mark Mann

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Hawkins <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 1997 12:33:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        ideology:  the aesthetics of wt

To Evelyn Gajowski:

I am fully prepared to accept my response as ideological, as I said in a
recent post, and what mostly interests me is the "authority" and "use"
of an ideological description of my (or anyone's) aesthetic response, as
I said at the beginning of the thread.  The problem is that none of the
ideological accounts offered describes my experience, as I have tried to
say.

What's the matter?  Are you not used to academic discussions with people
who don't already agree with you?

Paul

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Derek Wood <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 1997 13:45:25 -0900 (PDT
Subject: 8.0445  Re: Winter's Tale
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0445  Re: Winter's Tale

> If one finds the final scene to be sugar-coated sentimentality,
> identifying Leontes's sickness might make it less nauseating.
>
> Gabriel Egan


That comment prompts me to dare to ask a naive question that falls
infinitely short of the subtlety of the ideological debate. Does
Hermione forgive Leontes? I know she "embraces" him, as Paulina prompts
the motions of reconciliation, and in the eyes of Camillo she "hangs
about his neck." Goodnatured, warmhearted, charitable, reconciling
Camillo: that is how he sees the embrace. But Hermione has words only
for her daughter. "Our Perdita is found" makes her speak. She blesses
her daughter, overwhelms her with a rush of urgent questions and seems
to have lived only in the hope of once again seeing her daughter
("preserv'd Myself to see the issue." She has no words for her husband.
Is this only a token forgiveness? Remember Prospero's forgiveness of his
"unnatural" brother:"For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother /
Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive / Thy rankest fault...."  I
wonder if this is such "sugar coated sentimentality"?

Derek Wood,
St. Francis Xavier University.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joseph "Chepe" Lockett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 Apr 1997 19:46:06 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: (Re: SHK 8.0445)
Comment:        Leontes' Ailment (Re: SHK 8.0445)

I've been staying well away from the stench of the ideology arguments
(What does it all matter?  Why argue about it?), but Gabriel Egan makes
the interesting comments:

> >Does anyone else find convincing the argument of B J Sokol (_Art and Illusion in the Winter's Tale_, Manchester UP, 1995) that Leontes is suffering from couvade syndrome...?  If one finds the final scene to be sugar-coated sentimentality, identifying Leontes's sickness might make  it less nauseating.<<

In the Houston production of TWT (at Rice's Baker College) which I
recently directed, the actors playing Leontes and Hermione found most
useful a simple discussion of the two as extrovert vs. introvert in the
context of Myers-Briggs personality profiles.  I.ii shows an obvious
verbal (and, perhaps, social) facility on the part of Hermione-and,
indeed, Polixenes-which Leontes is almost totally lacking.

We played Polixenes' visit as the first since their marriages or
coronations (take your pick) (Camillo mentions gifts and embassages, but
never a previous face-to-face), and the tension of this first meeting in
decades, coupled with Leontes' adult awareness of his "disability",
engendered the jealousy.  My Assistant Director mentioned that
Myers-Briggs INT's (Introverted iNtuitive Thinkers) are apparently wont
to get over-involved in analysis to the point at which they perceive
feelings and motivations on the part of others which are not there.  So
Leontes' jealousy seems to be able to proceed quite naturally from the
"history" and situation of the play and characters, without needing to
graps for couvade syndrome or the previous generation's favorite claim
of schizophrenia (which one blue-haired patron of our performance
insisted was the true key to it all).  And, oddly enough, our homosexual
thoughts tended more towards a Camillo-Polixenes pairing... (we didn't
play it, but it would have made Leonte's jealousy all the more
unreasonable!)

As to the ending?  The script makes clear from every pore of its being
that Hermione is little less than a saint.  I find those moving in
almost any context, dramatic or realistic, no matter what the gender,
ethnicity, or sexual preference of their consorts.  To me, V.iii is as
much about Hermione as Leontes, and we played it as such.  (A comment to
Paulina to justify her extensive catalog of lines calling Hermione down
off the platform-"What if Hermione's not ready yet?  What if she decided
not to go along with it?  What if she thinks you're jumping the gun?")

My thought about Shakespearean plays which I find ethically dubious is
that I just haven't found the right way to "see" the staging or the
characterization.  I've had trouble, but come to artistic/theatrical
grips with many of the comedies and romances that way.  Now if only I
can find a way to enjoy The Two Gentlemen....

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Stroffolino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 12 Apr 1997 01:21:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0445 Re: Ideology: The Aesthetics of WT
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0445 Re: Ideology: The Aesthetics of WT

It occurs to me that the question of "ideology" playing a role in the
CONSTRUCTION of Leontes' jealous (or, better, possessive and suspicious)
character is actually addressed IN "the play itself"-in the scene in
which Autolycus is peddling his ballads to the clown and the two women
he's either wooing or being wooed by..."COME TO THE PEDDLER, MONEY'S A
MEDDLER"- A close reading of this scene provides a miscrocosmic
commentary on the ideology that informs Leontes' attitudes and behaviors
towards women and towards his subjects....  and I believe this is its
function. I don't know if anyone else has done any work on this
"analogical scene" (to borrow Joan Hartwig's term) in this play, but I
think it is important to see this use of indirect commentary and
critique on the "forgiven" "wife abuser" is IN the play, and challenges
the simple "miraculous" ending-even as it clears the way for it and lets
us be "taken in" as if such a need is basic, essentially human, or
what-have-you. Of course, we must "awaken our faith" to believe that not
only Hermione but also Leontes IS actually alive, and LARGER THAN LIFE,
unlike the "reductive" or "realistic" clown Autolycus is peddling his
misogynistic (or at least oversuspicious) wares to.....

And, has it occured to anyone else, that Leontes' last lines'---
"HASTILY lead away...." may be INTENDED to indicate that he has returned
to his earlier haste, and inability to "lve in uncertainties without
irritably groping" etc?

--Chris Stroffolino

Qs: Prospero; Summer Festivals

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0448.  Friday, 11 April 1997.

[1]     From:   Ron Dwelle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Apr 1997 12:58:45 -0400
        Subj:   Tempest query...

[2]     From:   Jimmy Jung <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 Apr 1997 10:21 -0500
        Subj:   Summer Festivals; especially New York and San Diego


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Dwelle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Apr 1997 12:58:45 -0400
Subject:        Tempest query...

Can a date be identified at which the "autobiographical" view (Prospero
as Shakespeare) was first expressed? Or has this view always been
common?

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jimmy Jung <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 Apr 1997 10:21 -0500
Subject:        Summer Festivals; especially New York and San Diego

Does anyone know what plays are being planned for the Globe in San
Diego, or in New York this summer?  My boss is wanting me to travel, and
I thought I might try and schedule to my advantage.

jimmy

For that matter, wasn't there a summer Shakespeare summary that used to
be shown on this list or some web site?

PPS In DC, the Shakespeare Theater will be doing Henry V from June 8th
to the 22nd, outdoors at Carter Baron (for free).

[Editor's Note: My list of Summer Festivals should be out in a few days
in the most recent issue of *The Shakespeare Newsletter*.  After
publication, I'll post the list to the membership.  HMC]

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