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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: April ::
Re: "When"; Falstaff; Titus; Professionals; Theory
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0308  Friday, 3 April 1998.

[1]     From:   Lisa Hopkins <
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        Date:   Friday, 3 Apr 1998 11:43:00 +0100
        Subj:   When You See Me, You Know Me

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 02 Apr 1998 11:52:57 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 9.0299  Re: Falstaff

[3]     From:   John Velz <
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        Date:   Thursday, 2 Apr 1998 23:51:10 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Titus and Ravenscroft

[4]     From:   Simon Malloch <
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        Date:   Thursday, 02 Apr 1998 23:05:25 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0293  Final Words Re: SHAKSPER Description

[5]     From:   Dana Spradley <
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        Date:   Thursday, 2 Apr 1998 08:49:53 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0302  Re: Literary and Scientific Theory


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lisa Hopkins <
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Date:           Friday, 3 Apr 1998 11:43:00 +0100
Subject:        When You See Me, You Know Me

When I was compiling a list of productions of Renaissance plays in
Britain, 1880-1987, I didn't find any modern productions of _When You
See Me, You Know Me_ , but William Poel directed one at the Holborn
Empire on 10 July 1927, which is discussed by J.A.B. Somerset in 'Samuel
Rowley's _When You See Me, You Know Me_' (unpublished M.A. dissertation,
University of Birmingham, 1964), pp.civ-cxxv.

Lisa Hopkins
Sheffield Hallam University

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[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Thursday, 02 Apr 1998 11:52:57 -0800
Subject: Re: Falstaff
Comment:        SHK 9.0299  Re: Falstaff

Ed Taft kindly asked me,

> Do you agree, Mike, or do you have a different view?

Dear Dale, Ed, & Bill,

Thank you all for responding to my query about Falstaff as a misleader
of youth.  I agree, Ed, it is not an easy question, and all of you
raised excellent points.  Since it is easier to split hairs than atoms,
reference recent post-modernist discussions, I do have a slightly
different reading.  But first -

I admire the way all of you based your answers on the text.  You could
have added that whilst Falstaff did have white hairs, he was no more
Satan than he was a misleader of youth - which amounts to the same thing
- and that Hal knows that as well.

It is true.  We don't see him do a lot of misleading on stage, save by
example.  Still,  if example is all Hal is referring to, then that is
what he means when he calls Falstaff a misleader, isn't it?  If he said
what he meant, then he is fundamentally right.

True also that Hal is speaking for his Father when he says this, but I
suspect the all the sentiments in that scene are Hal's, even if his old
man would share them.

The problem with confining our evaluation to the incidents of the play
is the relationships began before the play does.  I think Falstaff's
influence on his entourage occurs both on and off stage.  I think Hal's
description covers Falstaff as a life force, for lack of a better term,
and is intended to fit him both on and off stage.

I agree that the incidents in the plays indicate Sir John was pretty
incompetent as a corruptor of youth, or to include Merry Wives, of
women.  Even his boy rebels in 2H4.  Hal's soliloquies make it clear
that he is never really under Falstaff's spell.  Poins is enigmatic to
me, though as Bill points out, the Gadshill incident springs from Poins
imagination.

I'm just making informed guesses here, but my best guess is that Hal
genuinely sees Falstaff as a corrupter, and has experience - unclear
from the text what - to back it up, and the incidents of the play are
not intended to undermine that take on the character.  When I see the
scene on stage, I don't question Hal's accusation.

I think that if we split up the catalog of Falstaff's faults, we are
splitting hairs.

I can also accept this interpretation were I hair splitting: Hal may not
refer to actual corruption, but attempted corruption.  Falstaff does try
and fail again, and again, and again...

No, it isn't easy.  It isn't clear.  I'll go with the way it plays on
stage.

Eek!  I have to go subject myself to a radio interview - I hate radio
interviews -  so I can't revise and polish this the way I would like.
Please forgive.  And please rebuke my ideas.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <
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Date:           Thursday, 2 Apr 1998 23:51:10 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Titus and Ravenscroft

Ravenscroft is not a reliable authority.  His changes in Shak.'s *Titus*
are nearly all for the worse.  See "Topoi in Edward Ravenscroft's
Indictment of *Titus Andronicus*" *Modern Philology*   83 (1985):
45-50. .  date pp.  I raised the possibility of teaching Titus with
*King Lear* in a recent posting called "Untaught Plays".  For decades I
taught* Lear* first in an undergraduate Sh's tragedies course and then
back to *Titus* as a rough (very rough) draft for *King Lear*
(Abdicating King syndrome and all hell breaks loose) and then
chronologically onward through the canon.  Students liked it.  Shows
just how far down Shak.  started and how well he ended.  Good chance to
get into drama theory by pointing out exactly what went badly in *Titus*
and better in *Lear*. (e.g. revenge structure).

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Simon Malloch <
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Date:           Thursday, 02 Apr 1998 23:05:25 +0800
Subject: 9.0293  Final Words Re: SHAKSPER Description
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0293  Final Words Re: SHAKSPER Description

Dale Lyles says...

> it is my distinct impression that the real professionals
> do not share their info very readily.  They have too much at stake, I
> would think.

It seems that at least in some cases,  "professionals" are reluctant to
discuss academic material on the internet - via email or list - with
otherwise anonymous individuals,  lest they have their material stolen.
I know that this has happened to at least one academic;  he is now
reluctant to discuss his research on-line,  especially in on-line forums
like lists or newsgroups.

Most of the more eminent Shakespearean specialists make little or no
appearance on this list,  which, in my opinion, does not way weaken
SHAKESPER at all. Those that do keep it to a minimum.  Whether they like
to think so or not,  some have more to lose than others.

Simon Malloch.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Spradley <
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Date:           Thursday, 2 Apr 1998 08:49:53 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 9.0302  Re: Literary and Scientific Theory
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0302  Re: Literary and Scientific Theory

Pardon me for living, Terence. Let's just say literary theorists
"promoted" the concept. And I was hoping someone might take the bait of
Johnson to offer an interesting reply. This doesn't qualify.
 

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