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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: August ::
Re: JC at the First Globe
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0833.  Sunday, 10 August 1997.

[1]     From:   Steve Sohmer <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Aug 1997 07:48:01 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0817 Re: *JC* at Globe

[2]     From:   Greg Koch <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Aug 1997 09:02:43 -0400
        Subj:   Re: JC at the First Globe

[3]     From:   Steve Sohmer <
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        Date:   Saturday, 9 Aug 1997 07:11:15 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0828  Re: JC at the First Globe

[4]     From:   Andrew Walker White <
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        Date:   Saturday, 9 Aug 1997 15:06:59 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0828 Re: JC at the First Globe


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Sohmer <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Aug 1997 07:48:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0817 Re: *JC* at Globe
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0817 Re: *JC* at Globe

Dear Friends,

Was glad to learn of John Drakakis' suggestion (ShS 1991) that the Globe
opened with JC. I presume John cited Humphreys (Oxford 1984), as I did.

All the best,
Steve

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Greg Koch <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Aug 1997 09:02:43 -0400
Subject:        Re: JC at the First Globe

I like Mr. Hill's observation about how necessary it is to separate
oneself  from the illusions created.  In Elizabethan day, certainly bad
acting meant the "license" you took with the edicts of HRM, nobles and
assigns.   Although today we think actors better educated, an
Elizabethan audience may balk: an actor's education meant making him
well-aware of (bad) deviation.   Anything else is game: like the
fantasies explored in the play within a play - "A Midsummer Night's
Dream" (I recently read an excellent essay about how Shakespeare shifts
characters from their deviations using comic action - by Richard Cox in
"The Artist and Political Vision," B. Barber and M.J.G. McGrath,
editors, Transaction Press, Rutgers N.J. 1981).

Now, the question is, what kind of license did Shakespeare have?

Greg Koch

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Sohmer <
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Date:           Saturday, 9 Aug 1997 07:11:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0828  Re: JC at the First Globe
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0828  Re: JC at the First Globe

Dear Friends,

I agree with John Drakakis' suggestion that "the reference in Hamlet to
Polonius's having played Caesar may not also be a reference to an
earlier performance of the play in which the actor playing Polonius had
actually played Caesar." And I wonder if this means that the actor who
played Hamlet also played Brutus, since Polonius continues in a most
point way: "I did enact Julius Caesar.  I was killed i' th' Capitol.
Brutus killed me"(1912-3).

For those who find this level of speculation engaging, I'd suggest an
extension of John's inference. In JC, there are two rather heavy puns
which suggest that Shakespeare himself played Caesar (and, by entailment
Polonius).  The first occurs when Antony says, "When Caesar sayes, Do
this; it is perform'd" (99). And the second when Caska attributes to
Caesar "that Tounge of his, that bad the Romans Marke him, and write his
Speeches in their Bookes"(223-4), which has no basis in the sources.

All the best,
Steve Sohmer

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <
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Date:           Saturday, 9 Aug 1997 15:06:59 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0828 Re: JC at the First Globe
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0828 Re: JC at the First Globe

It was my assumption, with regard to Hamlet's many references to JC,
that the two were played in rep at one early point in their history at
the Globe.  Burbage taking a turn as Brutus one afternoon, Hamlet the
next, with the "unkindest cut" going into the same actor both days.

Given the busy schedule at the Rose, with revivals, repeat performances,
and a rotating rep that included as many as 14 plays, I can't help but
think the Globe company did the same kind of grueling schedule, and
didn't shrink from the occasional metatheatrical gesture to help promote
the rest of their season.

Andy White
Arlington, VA
 

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