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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: January ::
Re: Mab; Youth; Maps; McKellan Tape
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0049  Wednesday, 14 January 1998.

[1]     From:   Eric I. Salehi <
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        Date:   Monday, 12 Jan 1998 15:35:06 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: Getting students to engage with the language

[2]     From:   Karen Krebser <
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        Date:   Monday, 12 Jan 1998 13:14:42 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0042 The Fair Youth

[3]     From:   Jonathan Hope <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Jan 1998 09:50:52 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0046  Maps

[4]     From:   Peggy O'Brien <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Jan 1998 20:02:34 +0000
        Subj:   Ian McKellan's Acting Shakespeare on tape


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eric I. Salehi <
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Date:           Monday, 12 Jan 1998 15:35:06 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Re: Getting students to engage with the language

In his posting for 8 January, Paul Rhodes asks for "suggestions as to
how [he] can get the freshmen to respond a little more critically.
Based on what I've seen of past postings, I think most of us agree that
the language is  an obstacle to younger students, particularly when
they're asked to digest it in large amounts.  With that in mind, I have
a spur- of-the-moment idea that might help, though I admit I haven't
tested it in the classroom (yet!).

Before you begin your session, break up Mercutio's lines into small
sections and number each section for common reference. Each section
might be as brief as a single sentence.  Photocopy the numbered text and
distribute the copies at the beginning of the session.

During the workshop, organize the students into small groups (say, three
or four people), and assign each group a section.  Then ask the students
to draw out the basic meaning and implications of their assigned
sections.  Insist that each person develop a definite interpretation;
challenge the students to find points of agreement and difference with
one another; insist further that they defend their ideas.  Of course,
some sections would appear more difficult than others, but I suspect
that within five minutes every students would have a pretty good idea of
what his or her assigned section meant (and did not mean).

At this point, conduct a twenty-minute discussion with the group as a
whole, treating each section in sequence.  By this time you'd have at
least three or four students willing to discuss each part of the text.
The goal here, obviously, would be to generate a critical discussion in
which the class gradually acquired a very close reading of Mercutio's
entire speech.  The entire exercise could take as little as thirty
minutes, leaving time for your own performance and remarks.

I'm sure that there are many veteran teachers on the list who have done
something similar to this, and who might suggest ways to improve this
approach.  As a new teacher, I find myself frequently turning to
workshopping as an efficient means of problem-solving.  However, I know
that workshopping literary texts can be tricky.  Is this a reasonable
way of handling "the language problem?"

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Krebser <
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Date:           Monday, 12 Jan 1998 13:14:42 -0800
Subject: 9.0042 The Fair Youth
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0042 The Fair Youth

> A retired physicist believes he has solved a puzzle that has baffled
> Shakespearean scholars for generations.

The cipher part of Dr. Rollett's conclusions is interesting, certainly.

But hasn't Wriothesley been offered up as the "fair young man" for a
long, long time already? I remember reading the sonnets in high school
18 years ago (at which time my teacher leaned away from a biographical
reading of the sonnets, no matter how tempting such a reading might be,
but she wanted to present information [such as it was] and let the
students make up their own minds), and in a biographical reading the
primary candidate for the Fair Young Man was Wriothesley (as the primary
candidate for the Dark Lady was Aemilia Lanyer, and the primary
candidate for the Rival Playwright was Kit Marlowe).

Does Dr. Rollett think his identification is new? Or is he offering his
codification as "proof" to what may or may not be a puzzle, depending
upon the person to whom you put the question?

Puzzled myself,
Karen Krebser

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jonathan Hope <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Jan 1998 09:50:52 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 9.0046  Maps
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0046  Maps

>Does anyone know of a good, detailed map of Elizabethan/Jacobean
>London?  Not a panoramic view or a sketchy map showing the theatres but
>a map that names streets, liberties, and major landmarks?  Surprisingly,
>I'm finding it difficult to locate.  Any leads would be greatly
>appreciated.

Charlie Mitchel needs a volume published by the Topographical Society
called (something like) An A-Z of Elizabethan London.  It reproduces in
enlarged form several contemporary maps of London to mimic the modern
A-Z, and includes a street index.  It is a wonderful thing.  Mine came
from the Guildhall Library in London.  (Sorry not to give fuller
references, but I'm away from my office at the moment.)

Best,
Jonathan Hope (Middlesex University)

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peggy O'Brien <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Jan 1998 20:02:34 +0000
Subject:        Ian McKellan's Acting Shakespeare on tape

As I suspected, the way this tape is distributed has changed, partly
because so much time has elapsed since distribution began. Here is the
current lowdown on obtaining a VHS videotape of Ian McKellan's Acting
Shakespeare performance if you want it for "non-profit/classroom" use:
Send a check for $12.50 to Tim Hallinan, P.O. Box 4400, Venice, CA 90294
with your return address and he will send you a copy dubbed from a
master.  Make your check out to Hallinan Consulting.  Rest assured that
"nonprofit" use refers to financial gain and not intellectual gain;  is
financial gain in a classroom possible??  Happy New Year.
 

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