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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: August ::
Assorted Questions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0835.  Sunday, 10 August 1997.

[1]     From:   Miles Edward Taylor <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Aug 1997 07:29:07 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Q: Lost plays and publication

[2]     From:   Ed Friedlander <
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        Date:   Friday, 8 Aug 1997 10:57:30 CST
        Subj:   Gertrude

[3]     From:   Yoshiaki Takeda <
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        Date:   Saturday, 9 Aug 1997 09:11:22 +0900 (JST)
        Subj:   Lady Macbeth

[4]     From:   Stuart Manger <
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        Date:   Saturday, 9 Aug 1997 21:43:30 +0100
        Subj:   Macbeth / Witches


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Miles Edward Taylor <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Aug 1997 07:29:07 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Q: Lost plays and publication

I am very much interested in the following questions and would
appreciate any advice on what I might read to answer them.

1. Of the number of plays written for the public stage, what percentage
was actually published by early modern printers?
2. Of this number, how many are extant?
3. Has any work been done comparing the relative frequency of
publication for each company?  In other words, for example, was a new
play at the Globe more likely to be published than one at the Fortune or
Red Bull?

The first two questions really lead up to the third.  I am attempting to
get a handle on how the extant record might skew the perception of early
drama, operating on the assumption that the different companies offered
different fare which catered to specific niches in the market.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Miles Taylor
University of Oregon

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Friedlander <
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Date:           Friday, 8 Aug 1997 10:57:30 CST
Subject:        Gertrude

Forgive me if this is a topic that's been dealt with often.

Last night I finally got around to reading Saxo Grammaticus.

I've never seen a production in which Gertrude is played as clearly
knowing Claudius is a murderer.

By contrast, Saxo's queen...

The first question a lady asked me as she was seeing Hamlet (Mel
Gibson's) for the first time was, "Does the queen know?"

Anybody help me?

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Yoshiaki Takeda <
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Date:           Saturday, 9 Aug 1997 09:11:22 +0900 (JST)
Subject:        Lady Macbeth

Dear SHAKSPERians,

These days I'm writing a paper on Lady Macbeth, which I will read at a
small local meeting.  The summary is as follows:

Many critics say that Lady Macbeth is a cruel and unusual woman. They
draw the conclusion from a speech of her as follows:

                   I have given suck, and know
  How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:
  I would, while it was smiling in my face,
  Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
  And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
  Have done to this (i.e. the murder of the king).
                                        (1.7.54-59)

But I think that this shows her innate fondness and femininity.  The key
is "breast feeding."  According to recent findings of social history,
few mothers of upper class of Elizabethan England milked their babies
for themselves because they and their husbands were afraid that it would
impair the shape of their body.  Moreover, they knew from experience
that milking was apt to prevent mothers from pregnancy---this mattered
indeed for ladies of upper class, who had to bring forth heirs as many
as possible.  Therefore, I believe that Lady Macbeth, who "positively"
chose that, is a very fond mother, and that this speech of hers is
merely a "bravado."

I welcome any comments or suggestions.

Thank you.

Yoshiaki Takeda, Toyama prefec., JAPAN

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <
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Date:           Saturday, 9 Aug 1997 21:43:30 +0100
Subject:        Macbeth / Witches

Is there any evidence as to who played the Witches in the earliest
productions? Boys? Men? With music or without? We know that Hal
Berridge, the boy down to play Lady Mac, was ill and didn't make the
first night, but what about the Witches?

Stuart Manger
 

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