1997

Re: Iago; Cleopatra

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1127.  Monday, 10 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Melissa D. Aaron <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 9 Nov 1997 14:37:17 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1125  Re: Iago

[2]     From:   Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 9 Nov 1997 15:37:57 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1125  Re: Iago

[3]     From:   Chris Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 9 Nov 97 19:56:51 -0600
        Subj:   SHK 8.1124 & 8.1125 Iago/Cleopatra


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa D. Aaron <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 9 Nov 1997 14:37:17 -0600
Subject: 8.1125  Re: Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1125  Re: Iago

>> One thing Richard has going for his villainy is power of the very real
>> kind which surely gives him an edge.  As for Iago being surrounded by
>> gullible people, I think our view of them is colored by the way Iago is
>> typically portrayed on stage.  In every production I have seen over many
>> years, he was clearly a character the average person would not trust
>> farther than the clich


Re: Tipping; Doubling; Running; Accenting; Presenting

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1126.  Sunday, 9 November 1997.

[1]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 07 Nov 1997 15:25:45 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1122  Re: H5 and tipping

[2]     From:   John Velz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 9 Nov 1997 01:08:52 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   DREAM in Baltimore

[3]     From:   Jon Velz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 9 Nov 1997 01:26:10 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Enter running

[4]     From:   John Velz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 9 Nov 1997 01:47:04 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Northcountry locutions

[5]     From:   Shaula Evans <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 9 Nov 1997 00:29:36 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: Hamlet/Ophelia


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 07 Nov 1997 15:25:45 -0500
Subject: 8.1122  Re: H5 and tipping
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1122  Re: H5 and tipping

David Evett writes:

>At any rate,
>Henry's gift does display his generosity-but I think early modern
>spectators would not have seen it as exceptional, nor as in any way
>reflecting invidiously on anybody else.

I believe we should think in terms of "service."  If the U.S. has a
service economy, Renaissance England had one in spades. And those served
tipped those who did the serving. Duncan, e.g., tips Macbeth's staff.
Many of us still follow this custom and tip those who render us good
service.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 9 Nov 1997 01:08:52 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        DREAM in Baltimore

A footnote to Jim Lusardi's ref to the doubling of Theseus/Oberon,
Hippolyta/Titania in Peter Brook production of MND.  In order to bring
off this coup, Brook had to rearrange scenes in the fourth act to cover
the costume change for Oberon and Titania who enter, as the text stands,
as Theseus and Hippolyta a few seconds after they exit as O. & Titania.
So we can guess that Sh. did not intend the doubling.  But that is no
objection.  Sh. had never heard of Freud either, and yet Brook
brilliantly made Oberon & Titania work out in dreams the hostility
between Theseus and Hippolyta (which, notice, is absent in Act V).
Doubling should score points, not just conserve on casting costs.  Sh.
makes it tell in JC where the murder of Cinna the Poet covers the
costume change for bloodied Caesar who comes out in a clean toga as
Octavius in Act 4 scene 1.  My own fantasy is to direct a Measure for
Measure that doubles the roles of Angelo and his alter ego Claudio.  I
dreamed once I cast identical twins in those roles.  Note that Angelo
and Claudio are on each other's minds a lot but never meet until Act V
where Claudio enters as "yon muffled fellow".  Same thing happens in WT,
where in nineteenth c. actress(es?) doubled the roles of Hermione and
Perdita, who has no lines in Act V where she appears for first time with
her mother, Hermione.  Just put a reasonable look alike into her costume
and send her out on stage to participate in the statue scene.

Cheers,
John Velz

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jon Velz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 9 Nov 1997 01:26:10 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Enter running

Syd Kasten's suggested staging for Isabella's entrance in MM 4.1 is
interesting, but we must remember that she is a would-be nun to whom
eternity is more real than time.  Would she run to Mariana's house when
she knows her only by report? Would she use the latinate "circummured"
for walled 'round if she were breathless?  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.

Cheers
John W. Velz

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 9 Nov 1997 01:47:04 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Northcountry locutions

To Andrew Walker White's interest in a Northern dialect for Sh.

Joseph Crosby suggested that the "rooky wood" in *Macbeth* should be the
*roaky wood*.  Roke or roak is smoke in northern dialect; the allusion
would be to the swirling fog (cf "fog and filthy air" at beginning of
the play) in a thicket of trees at sunset.  Crosby was born and raised
in what we now call Cumbria in the Eden River Valley south of Penrith
and north of Appleby. This is near the Scottish border and he
occasionally suggests Sh.  readings based on Scots dialect.  See J. W.
Velz and Frances N. Teague, eds. *One Touch of Shakespeare: Letters of
Joseph Crosby to Joseph Parker Norris 1875-1878*  Folger Sh. Lib. and
Associated Univ. Presses, 1986. esp index.

Cheers
John Velz

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Shaula Evans <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 9 Nov 1997 00:29:36 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Re: Hamlet/Ophelia

>What has struck me as quite unusual and surprising in these discussions
>on Shakespeare's plays is the tendency to read abnormal/unnatural (I am
>quite hesitant over the choice of words, I hope I am giving offense to
>nobody) forms of love, e.g. incestuous or homosexual, into what seem to
>me to be the most perfectly obvious and natural relationships between
>fathers and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends of the same gender,
>etc.
(long snip)
> I think that maybe in the west (pardon the huge
>generalization), where family bonds are somewhat more relax, Laertes's
>attitude is rather difficult to accept, but maybe in Shakespeare's time,
>family ties were rather more similar to eastern countries today.

I suspect that from an academic point of view, you might be right.

However, speaking as an actor/director, one of the challenges of
presenting Shakespeare on stage is to take plays written in a particular
society/culture/time period, and make them relevant and interesting to a
modern audience.  So, if I am part of a Shakespeare play in Canada,
relying primarily on strong family bonds to explain the motivations of
characters probably would not create a strong production for a Canadian
audience-whereas it sounds from your post like this might be a natural
and obvious approach for a production in Iran.

Shaula

Qs: Pop Culture; "Love" in A&C

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1124.  Sunday, 9 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Donald Rude <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 08 Nov 1997 14:03:00 -0600
        Subj:   Pop Culture

[2]     From:   Parviz Nourpanah  <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 8 Nov 1997 19:37:54 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   "Love" in A&C



[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Donald Rude <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 08 Nov 1997 14:03:00 -0600
Subject:        Pop Culture

I am trying to locate participants for a panel on Shakespeare on Film
for a pop culture conference in Lubbock next spring.  Would you please
post this on your Shakespeare Conference.  Interested person's may
contact me for specific details by e-mail here at ttu.

Thanks
Donald W. Rude
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of English
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX 79409-3091
Office: 806-742-2508   Fax: 806-742-0989

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Parviz Nourpanah  <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 8 Nov 1997 19:37:54 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        "Love" in A&C

Hello Everybody,

I think this question is somewhat jaded and "flogging a dead horse", but
we had a blazing discussion in class today, and I couldn't wait to rush
home and send this off.

To what extent do you think that Cleopatra is a wicked, seductive woman,
who used her feminine wiles and charms, first on Caesar, then on
Anthony, for her ignoble political, selfish ends, while Anthony is the
image of reason, ensnared in Cleopatra's sensual meshes, destroyed by
love? Do you think Cl. killed herself because she couldn't stand the
idea of being made the laughing stock of Rome, as Octavius intended, or
out of love for Ant.? So was her suicide noble or ignoble? More
generally speaking, do you think the men in Sh.'s plays are portrayed as
being able to love more deeply, truly, passionately, (like Orsino
declares in _12th Night_), than women, while woman are portrayed as
capable only, at best, of a superficial, whimsical love, or at worst,
pure lust (like Gertrude or Goneril and Regan's love for Edmund). And is
Cl. not Ant.'s equal in love?  I suspect that I can guess what the
"politically correct" answers to these questions are, please give your
*real* opinions.

Thank you for your attention,
S. Nourpanah

Re: Iago

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1125.  Sunday, 9 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Ed Peschko <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 7 Nov 1997 13:14:53 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1121  Re: R3/Iago

[2]     From:   Shaula Evans <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 8 Nov 1997 23:56:21 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Iago/R3


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Peschko <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 7 Nov 1997 13:14:53 -0700 (MST)
Subject: 8.1121  Re: R3/Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1121  Re: R3/Iago

> One thing Richard has going for his villainy is power of the very real
> kind which surely gives him an edge.  As for Iago being surrounded by
> gullible people, I think our view of them is colored by the way Iago is
> typically portrayed on stage.  In every production I have seen over many
> years, he was clearly a character the average person would not trust
> farther than the clich


Re: Mercutio: Queer, Homosexual, Gay, Bisexual

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1123.  Sunday, 9 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Louis C Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 7 Nov 1997 19:41:32 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1120  Re: Mercutio: Queer, Homosexual, Gay, Bisexual

[2]     From:   David P. McKay <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 9 Nov 1997 10:02:19 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Queer Mercutio


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis C Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 7 Nov 1997 19:41:32 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 8.1120  Re: Mercutio: Queer, Homosexual, Gay, Bisexual
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1120  Re: Mercutio: Queer, Homosexual, Gay, Bisexual

> At the moment, I'm wondering how this idea of "queering"
> helps me to understand anything much about the play, the movie, the
> character.
>
> from the hinterlands, cg.

Right on, Ms. Gilmore!  The hinterlands have certainly not harmed your
good judgment.  Great plays are about *persons* who love or who should
and don't love, persons who are making moral choices; they are only
incidentally about men and women, gay or straight.

L. Swilley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David P. McKay <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 9 Nov 1997 10:02:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Queer Mercutio

Christine Gilmore writes:

>If we have this quite useful term of Eve Sedgewick (I think and someone can correct
>me if I'm wrong), i.e., "homosocial" why do we need a neologism that seems simply
>a bit of twisted lingo and perhaps over-determined thinking?  Is this usage of "to
>queer" common, or am I out of the loop?

In the intro to <Between Men> Sedgwick says, ""Homosocial' is a word
occasionally used in history and the social sciences, where it describes
social bonds between persons of the same sex; it is a neologism,
obviously formed by analogy with 'homosexual,' and just as obviously
meant to be distinguished from 'homosexual' . . . it is applied to such
activities as 'male bonding,' which may, as in our society, be
characterized by intense homophobia, fear and hatred of homosexuality."
She distinguishes this from "queer" in her essay "Queer and Now" where
she says that "one of the things that 'queer' can refer to [is] the open
mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances and resonances,
lapses and excesses of meaning when the constituent elements of anyone's
gender, of anyone's sexuality aren't made (or can't be made) to signify
monolithically" and that it "hinge[s} . . . on a person's undertaking
particular, performative acts of experimental self-perception and
filiation."

"Homosocial" and "queer," then, do not describe the same thing, and I
think we need to be careful not to start erasing terms.  One thing that
has bothered me from the inception of this thread of discussion is the
idea that Mercutio in Luhrmann's film in "not obviously gay."  To steal
from Valerie Traub, not obvious to whom?  I do not think it accidental
that Lurhmann's Mercutio is African-American.  When I look at Lurhmann's
Mercutio I see an example of Marlon Riggs' "snap queen," most especially
when he is in drag.

And what exactly does "not obviously gay" mean?  In much of the
discussion, it seems to indicate that since he is "not obviously gay,"
he must be "straight."  I do not agree with Gilmore that in Lurhmann's
film the queering results in "ignoring sexual preference," nor does it
result in a "non-display."  Lurhmann's Mercutio seems to be depicted as
a character who cannot seem to make his erotic attraction fit within the
confines of acceptable behaviour in his society.

I think Liz Dietz is correct to make a distinction between the
Zeffirelli and Luhrmann Mercutios.  Zeffirelli uses Mercutio to
underscore the misogynistic, homosocial bonds of the society, although
here too there does seem to be an excess of eroticism, but that is only
my reading.  It seems to me that Lurhmann is doing something much
different.  And I think these issues are being presented not only by the
movies, but by the plays themselves, albeit without our contemporary
terminology.

One last point: a polite reminder about a related concept to
"homosociality" and "queering", and that is heterocentricism.  While I
think we all agree that there is no comfortable fit between our
terminology and analogous Eliz./Jacobean "realitites,"  why is it that
we require homosexuality in modern productions to say something?  The
characters in Eliz/Jacobean drama are no more heterosexual (a term
coined almost twenty years after the term homosexual) than they are
homosexual.  And yet I don't believe I've ever seen the question asked,
except in queer theory, what it means to make any of these characters
"straight."

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