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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: December ::
Isabella; Doubt; Jaques; Hazel; DC Oth; MIT; Rooks
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1208.  Monday, 1 December 1997.

[1]     From:   Syd Kasten <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 26 Nov 1997 23:05:38 +0200 (IST)
        Subj:   Running: last gasp

[2]     From:   Cora Lee Wolfe <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 26 Nov 1997 07:14:20 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1201  Re: Mamillius; TNK; Shr.; Scholar; your;
Gallathea

[3]     From:   Ron Ward <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Nov 1997 14:51:45 +1300 (NZDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1203  Qs: Jaques and Hamlet; Line Numbers

[4]     From:   Jerry Bangham <
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        Date:   Saturday, 29 Nov 1997 15:38:49 -0400
        Subj:   More on Hazel

[5]     From:   Jung Jimmy <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 26 Nov 1997 14:48 -0500
        Subj:   Othello, in DC, and in the stars

[6]     From:   Dale Lyles <
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        Date:   Saturday, 29 Nov 1997 12:12:53 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1203  Q: Line Numbers (MIT server edition)

[7]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Sunday, 30 Nov 1997 17:21:30 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1202  Re: Rooky/Roaky Wood


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Syd Kasten <
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Date:           Wednesday, 26 Nov 1997 23:05:38 +0200 (IST)
Subject:        Running: last gasp

John Velz paid me the compliment (SHK 8.1126) of commenting on my
observation re Isabella's apparent shortness of breath and asked some
relevant questions:

>Would she run to Mariana's house when she knows her only by report?

Isabella's brother was going to be executed the next morning and Saint
Luke's apparently was in another parish.  Isabella had a lot to do in
the precious little time available. As he sends her off at the end the
first scene of Act III the disguised Duke exhorts her "Haste you
speedily to Angelo... I will presently to Saint Luke's... at that place
call on me;  and dispatch with Angelo, that it may be quickly".  The
word time is put into the Duke's mouth twice in his first sentences in
Act IV and when he sends Isabella and Mariana to confer he again makes
us conscious of urgency as he says to them: "but make haste;/ The
vaporous night approaches."

>Would she use the latinate "circummured" for walled 'round if she were breathless?

To my ear the syllables and consonants of "circummured" flow one into
the other with a smooth momentum not present in the suggested "walled
'round".  Certainly the level of Iabella's vocabulary would find
expression breathless or not.  Her literacy would be among the factors
that would lead the duke to recognize that  she was not just another
pretty face. (If we are to take seriously the canard that Shakespeare
had little Latin and even less Greek, it is indeed fortunate that he had
characters who could carry the ball for him.)

>And speaking of Mariana's house, Kasten has taken the passage on Mariana in 3.1
>to mean that she is at St.  Luke's church door.  Not so.  She is at the moated
>grange (ditched farmhouse) that is in St. Luke's parish; she and Isabella and
>the Friar confer in her garden, where Mariana has heard the boy sing the
>melancholy love song.

My introducing a church out of nothing begs some kind of explanation, at
least to myself. What follows is not Shakespeare, but rather an attempt
to understand what went through my mind when I conjured up a
non-existent church.  First of all, it may be the preposition "at" used
by the stage directions at the start of act IV rather than "in"  led me
to think of a specific site rather than the extended area of a parish.
Secondly, for some reason the monosyllabic genitive form of a saint's
name generally infers to me the contraction, grown out of familiarity,
of the saint's name to whom a church, a school or a hospital is
dedicated : St. Mike's, Saint Bart's etc.  It seems that as I read the
play I unconsciously drew something out of my memory bank and appended
an appropriate edifice to the name "St. Luke's".  Having gotten this far
I was drawn on and found myself wondering if "Saint Luke's" of the play
referred not to the writer of the Gospel, but was a contraction, as
described above.  This led me to "Lucifer", the fallen Angel(o).  Wait!
It gets worse.  Lucifer, being the bearer of light, pointed at Mariana
who has been carrying a torch for Angelo all these years.  And here I
stand without any access to OED to relieve me of the question as to when
and where "carrying a torch" referring to one suffering unrequited love,
and "torch song" referring the sort of song that began act IV came into
the English language.

Best wishes,
Syd Kasten

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cora Lee Wolfe <
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Date:           Wednesday, 26 Nov 1997 07:14:20 -0700
Subject: 8.1201  Re: Mamillius; TNK; Shr.; Scholar; your;
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1201  Re: Mamillius; TNK; Shr.; Scholar; your;
Gallathea

> Gabriel Egan wrote

> a one-in-a-billion pattern.Reasonable doubt?

Surely one-in-a-billion is reasonable doubt.  Not one criminal would be
convicted if juries insisted on better odds.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Ward <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Nov 1997 14:51:45 +1300 (NZDT)
Subject: 8.1203  Qs: Jaques and Hamlet; Line Numbers
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1203  Qs: Jaques and Hamlet; Line Numbers

>Ryan Asmussen <
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>I was wondering if anyone would be able to recommend to me an article or
>two, or perhaps a book, that makes mention of the similarities in
>character between Jaques from "As You Like It" and Hamlet?  In some
>ways, as I see it, Jaques seems almost a prototype of the melancholy
>Dane: with respect to how he sees the world, how other characters see
>him, etc.  I'm interested in going into this a bit in depth for a paper
>I have to write, and wanted to run it by all of you (our library here at
>B.U. being less than helpful on the subject).

The Melancholic group of Elizabeathan England were the subject of a
lecture I Attended By Anthony Rooley the Eminent English Lutenist some
years ago in New Zealand (Early Music Festival). I believe he has
recylcled the material and may have published it though I only have the
notes he put out with the talk which were quite extensive. Hope this
helps.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jerry Bangham <
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Date:           Saturday, 29 Nov 1997 15:38:49 -0400
Subject:        More on Hazel

ANKARA, Turkey (Reuters) - Hazelnut shells from Turkey are soon to grace
the floor of London's Globe Theater, the open-topped replica of William
Shakespeare's playhouse, a British Embassy official said Friday.

Turkish hazelnut producers are donating 7.5 metric tons of the shells,
which are to be ground and spread on the floor of the theater as part of
efforts to remain faithful to the original building's form.

The official told Reuters the sacks of shells would be flown to Britain
Dec. 2.

Construction of the wooden playhouse began in 1987, and it opened last
summer.

Reuters/Variety

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jung Jimmy <
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Date:           Wednesday, 26 Nov 1997 14:48 -0500
Subject:        Othello, in DC, and in the stars

Attached below please the address and the summary of the  Washington
Post review of the "photo-negative" Othello, as requested by David
Evett.  The Peter Mark's NYT review, mentioned by David, can also be
found by searching at http://www.nytimes.com.

In response to Hardy Cook's observations about the production, I agree
there was laughter from the audience at some of the oddest moments.  In
particular, any mention of Iago's honesty or some of the moments where
you see him manipulating Othello with his subtle remarks were received
with chuckles rather than the creepy chills I would expect.

About some of the racial questions Professor Cook highlights; he
suggests that the behavior of the Venetians was perhaps a "commentary on
imperialism," or "more racially antagonistic than seen in other
productions," and I concede this intent, but the end result is that
Venetians, when portrayed by black actors, end up being more violent.
What I'm trying to say is, I don't think the behavior of the Venetian
soldiers was a comment on their being played by black actors, it just
works out that way.  That's why I thought that focusing on non-racial
issues (gender, imperialism) could be a mistake in a production that is
cast to highlight the racial aspects.  The other possibility is that I'm
too cautious (or, heaven forbid, PC) to direct a Shakespearean
production.  My use of the term "minstrel gait" to describe the marching
of the soldiers may have been inaccurate.  Imagine, if you will, the
SWAT team from "The Blues Brothers" movie, knees-high, chanting, "hut,
hut, hut, hut;" that's exactly how they marched, and, in my mind, that
has always been an image for ridicule.  They just were not as noble as I
would have them.  And while we're at it, can you explain to me why
Barbantio employs a street gang?  It's not that I don't think there were
good reasons for all of these choices, it's just that they combined to
leave me with an uncomfortable portrayal of Venetians, when played by
blacks.

I also wonder about the choice to make the Cyrpians white.  It dilutes
the image of Othello as "the other."  In other productions, Othello's
singularity creates a tension, an added loneliness in his dilemma.  In
this production he's practically on his home turf when the tragedy comes
crashing in.

LASTLY, some of the Washington locals may recall the Othello production
seven years ago with Avery Brooks.  With the Shakespeare theater
establishing some sort of Trek tradition, one can just imagine the
possibilities with Kate Mulgrew or William Shatner as the Moor.

jimmy
____________________________________
>From the Washington Post

http://search.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/longterm/theater/reviews/othel
lorev.htm

Spurred by the devious Iago and believing that his beloved Desdemona has
betrayed him, Othello destroys his own happy  world. Soaring on themes
of
jealousy and disillusion, Shakespeare combines the poetry of Lear with
the
philosophic depth of "Hamlet." Acclaimed film, television and stage
actor
Patrick Stewart plays Othello and is joined by an all African-American
cast,
highlighting "otherness," one of the play's major themes.   "The stage
couldn't be more obviously set for some daring, stinging race-reversal,
but
the potential dynamite fizzles," notes Post theater critic Lloyd Rose,
though he praises Stewart's performance.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <
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Date:           Saturday, 29 Nov 1997 12:12:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.1203  Q: Line Numbers (MIT server edition)
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1203  Q: Line Numbers (MIT server edition)

We used this for our recent production of Midsummer, and I would
encourage anyone who downloads an entire text for study or performance
to double-check it.  It's a great service, but the scanning sometimes
leaves something to be desired.

I failed to double-check it, and late in rehearsals as I challenged
actors on leaving certain lines out or using odd words, they pointed to
their scripts and showed me that they had learned exactly what was
there.  Some of the errors are quite bizarre unless you're familiar with
the ways that optical character recognition scanners can misread text,
e.g., "those My lips" instead of "those lily lips."

Likewise, the missing lines must have dropped off the bottom of a page.

Just a small caveat,
Dale Lyles
Newnan Community Theatre Company

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Sunday, 30 Nov 1997 17:21:30 -0500
Subject: 8.1202  Re: Rooky/Roaky Wood
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1202  Re: Rooky/Roaky Wood

Regarding crows and rooks, as the OED (Crow sb.1) points out, the rook
is called a crow in northern England and Scotland. Can we assume that
Shakespeare knew this fact used it for Macbeth's Scottish accent? If so,
Shakespeare is not distinguishing between the two species of Corvus.

But Empson's reading is too good to allow it to be questioned by
dialectic considerations!

Yours, Bill Godshalk
 

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