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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Re: MV and Shr.
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0183  Monday, 2 March 1998.

[1]     From:   Stevie Simkin <
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        Date:   Sunday, 1 Mar 1998 23:04:05 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0175  Re: Postings Related to MV

[2]     From:   Carol Barton <
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        Date:   Monday, 2 Mar 1998 13:47:       59 E

[3]     From:   Fred Alden <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Feb 1998 21:57:14 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0163  Q: Taming of the Shrew


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stevie Simkin <
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Date:           Sunday, 1 Mar 1998 23:04:05 -0000
Subject: 9.0175  Re: Postings Related to MV
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0175  Re: Postings Related to MV

Larry Weiss wrote about the racism issue that

> I think a more interesting question would be whether it is racist to
> cast Shakespeare's plays to type, or is it necessary to treat minority
> actors as equally eligible to play white characters

Since in the history of UK establishment theatre  it has been only in
exceptional circumstances that a black actor has been chosen (allowed?)
to play the role of Othello, while every "great" white actor from
Olivier to Anthony Hopkins (for goodness sake) has been given the
opportunity to impersonate a black character, one would hope the latter.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Barton <
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Date:           Monday, 2 Mar 1998 13:47:59 EST
Subject: 9.0175  Re: Postings Related to MV
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0175  Re: Postings Related to MV

 >In the case of Kate, while she clearly responds to a
 >sexism which creates the (seemingly) wimpy "good girl," Bianca, she
has
 >an out which is not available to Shylock, which is to "pretend" to be
a
 >subservient wife without quite losing her soul.

Is there any textual evidence that she is pretending?  I know that this
is a choice made in many modern productions (i.e., having her wink
knowingly at the audience during her last speech), but it always seems
to me to be a colossal cop-out.  Or are you simply saying that it is a
conceivable option?  Of course, by the same token, one could argue that
Shylock could simply pretend to be a happy Christian while practicing
his religion in secret-not much of a life.

"'Tis very like the sun . . . ," m'lord.  Perhaps one has to be a Kate
to understand her, and the degree of irony one ascribes to her speech
certainly needs qualification, but I have never seen her as fawning or
subservient to Petruchio, primarily as a result of the latter exchange:
she does come to recognize her nominal "place" in society (the need to
humor her putative lord and master, if she wants to eat or sleep), but
there is that element of defiance in her calling a hawk a handsaw with
calculated sweetness which says he hasn't o'ermastered her quite yet.  I
think that, coming to like and love and respect her husband, she
recognizes his place in society as well as hers, and sees that it is to
no one's advantage for her to humiliate him in public, to make a fool of
him in front of his peers; she therefore allows him to govern by consent
of the governed, not because she fears him, but because she cares for
and respects him.  The sweet lovely girl for whom all the suitors panted
for because she was so pliant and genial becomes the shrew (tell him
I'll come when I damned well please), and the shrew in love (tamed, if
you will, by the promptings of her own heart) becomes the better wife.

Primary evidence?  A fierce independence, a strong will, a stubborn
streak a mile wide, an active resistance to domination of any kind, and
a Petruchio of my own, who in his love and wisdom can "tame" me with a
smile . . .

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fred Alden <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Feb 1998 21:57:14 -0500
Subject: 9.0163  Q: Taming of the Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0163  Q: Taming of the Shrew

Is the idea of Shakespeare's returning to the Induction considered
somewhat anticlimactic?

In teaching this play to my sophomores, one of the activities I had them
do was to finish the play by returning to the Induction. Actually, the
idea of it being anticlimactic was theirs.

Fred Alden
 

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