1998

Re: Pronunciation

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0477  Tuesday, 19 May 1998.

[1]     From:   David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 18 May 1998 20:07:26 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0473  Re: Pronunciation

[2]     From:   Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 18 May 1998 17:48:40 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0473  Re: Pronunciation

[3]     From:   Wes Folkerth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 18 May 1998 21:32:17 -0500
        Subj:   Pronouncing at the New Globe

[4]     From:   Richard J. Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 18 May 1998 20:30:18 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0473  Re: Pronunciation

[5]     From:   David Schalkwyk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 19 May 1998 09:29:19 SAST-2
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0473  Re: Pronunciation


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 May 1998 20:07:26 GMT
Subject: 9.0473  Re: Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0473  Re: Pronunciation

I wonder why Jonathan Hope thinks efforts to re-present original
pronunciation would be 'Disneyland'?  Many people working on early music
performance consider the effort to find some pronunciation closer at
least to the period of composition is analogous to trying to play on
instruments built with the materials and specifications of the relevant
time.  I would be the first to concede that on many occasions these
efforts are not very solidly founded - but the effort at least to try
does, on occasion, prove revelatory.

David Lindley
School of English
University of Leeds

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 May 1998 17:48:40 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0473  Re: Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0473  Re: Pronunciation

A colleague of mine here in Washington, D.C., once worked with Barton
informally, and shocked him by using his native Kentuckian dialect
during a scene from R II.  the heretofore unrhymable suddenly rhymed,
and the sight of Barton scrambling for his text was worth the risk of
using an inappropriate accent for the royals involved...

Cheers,
Andrew Walker White
Arlington, VA

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Wes Folkerth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 May 1998 21:32:17 -0500
Subject:        Pronouncing at the New Globe

I for one enthusiastically support Andrew Gurr's attempts at an
archaeology of the lived experience of playgoing in Shakespeare's time.
Granted, I haven't had the opportunity to visit the New Globe-yet.  So
maybe I've got the aura of the place all wrong.  But I see nothing wrong
with imaginative, informed reconstruction.  That's everything the best
history can aspire to -- just ask the nearest poststructuralist.

Those who critique the project invariably include a (by now stale) jab
at its touristy side.  They never seem to mention that at least one of
the more important visual documents scholars have for the original Globe
came from the observations of a tourist, Johannes DeWitt with his sketch
of the Swan.

Wes Folkerth
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J. Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 May 1998 20:30:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 9.0473  Re: Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0473  Re: Pronunciation

About pronunciation, how would you say that Wriothesley is pronounced?
Henry, that is, friend of Shakespeare.

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Schalkwyk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 19 May 1998 09:29:19 SAST-2
Subject: 9.0473  Re: Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0473  Re: Pronunciation

I'm intrigued by the fact that the New Globe continues to be haunted by
Disney.  Last July I saw a production of _Henry V_ one night and was
riding Big Thunder Mountain the next.  The close juxtaposition of the
experiences set me thinking about the approach that each takes to
historical authenticity.  I decided that Disney was both more honest and
more philosophically astute . . . "Authentic" pronunciation seems to me
to be completely in the spirit of authenticity as the Globe understands
it, but _not_ as Disney does.

David Schalkwyk
English Department
University of Cape Town

Seasonal Account Options Reminder

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.04746  Tuesday, 19 May 1998.

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Date:           Tuesday, May 19, 1998
Subject:        Seasonal Account Options Reminder (UNSUBing and NOMAIL)

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Re: Crabs

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0474  Monday, 18 May 1998.

[1]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 15 May 1998 18:33:27 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0470  Crabs

[2]     From:   Juul Muller-van Santen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 16 May 1998 19:44:58
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0470  Re: Crabs


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 15 May 1998 18:33:27 -0400
Subject: 9.0470  Crabs
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0470  Crabs

Keith Richards might also have pointed out to Professor Wells how much
fun we had responding to the question about "crabs."

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Juul Muller-van Santen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 16 May 1998 19:44:58
Subject: 9.0470  Re: Crabs
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0470  Re: Crabs

Keith Richards is ticking off Stanley Wells for the latter's perfectly
correct (if not 'politically' to all) suggestion that people read an
annotated text.

If Keith Richards or anybody else has need of an annotated text which is
too expensive where he or she is, it might be better just to ask if
anyone can help.

Julia Muller

Female Roles; Anti-Semitism; Hamlet; Sandman; Due

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0475  Monday, 18 May 1998.

[1]     From:   David J. Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 16 May 1998 16:55:43 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0469  Re: Female Roles

[2]     From:   Marilyn A. Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 16 May 1998 11:32:58 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Anti-Semitism

[3]     From:   Jean Peterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 18 May 1998 12:31:36 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Hamlet

[4]     From:   Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 17 May 1998 01:43:18 -0400
        Subj:   Due South


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David J. Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 16 May 1998 16:55:43 +0100
Subject: 9.0469  Re: Female Roles
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0469  Re: Female Roles

Ed Taft wrote:

>David Kathman writes of my modern-day analogy (DiCaprio and Suzman) that
>"[I] can't just take modern attitudes and export them back to
>Shakespeare's day without some evidence that they held back then." True
>enough, but a lot depends on what Kathman is willing to grant as
>"evidence." He wants hard evidence that sharers played female roles. We
>don't have that, but we also don't have any evidence that they didn't
>play such roles.

Huh?  You seem to be implying that we don't have any evidence at all as
to who played female roles, and thus we might as well assume that
sharers played them.  But we do have plenty of evidence about who played
those roles.  In every case where we can determine the ages of the
actors in question, they were between 10 and 19, mostly clustered from
14 to 18.  In several cases we have evidence of an actor "graduating"
from female to male roles in his late teens.  One such example that I
haven't cited yet is Henry Glapthorne's poem published in 1639, called
"For Ezekial Fen at his First Acting a Mans Part".  Ezekiel Fenn was 19
at the time, having been baptized on April 6, 1620, and he had acted
female roles in the mid-1630s.  In contrast, as I've said before, there
is no contemporary evidence of any sharer, or any person definitely over
the age of about 20, playing female roles on the English stage before
the Restoration.

>Maybe some will turn up, but it still makes sense to
>talk about the issue, and so I now quote from the most eminent authority
>I know on the subject:

[snip of quote from James Forse]

I don't want to denigrate James Forse, but I would hesitate to call him
"the most eminent authority... on the subject".  He is a scholar and a
nice guy, and he has published some provocative theses which deserve to
be discussed.  But in this particular case, plenty of people have
produced a bunch of evidence against Forse's particular claim, and I
can't think of any other Shakespeare scholar who has accepted the idea
that adult sharers played female roles.  As I said before, we had a
lengthy discussion of this very issue here on SHAKSPER back in 1994,
with Jim Forse and myself as two of the participants.  In the face of
all the evidence that was presented to him, Forse became somewhat
chastened and said that he was mainly trying to get people to look at
the matter from a different perspective.  That's fine with me, but any
new thesis has to be weighed against the evidence.  He also suggested
(in a post of October 25, 1994), that even if we weren't willing to
accept the idea that sharers played women's roles, "I would urge you to
abandon the term *boys* in favor of a phrase closer to the actual
situation-perhaps *young men* or *high-school/college age men* or
something of that ilk." That's OK with me; "high-school age boys/men"
would fit, since the actors in question were mostly between 14 and 18,
exactly the ages for our high school.

>All we have to 'export" back into Shakespeare's time is the idea that
>business men pinched pennies then as they do now, that actors wanted
>good roles, especially if they were sharers, and that the company would
>be logically arranged according to the desires of those in charge and
>the practical needs of the company to perform efficiently and both make
>and share money in accordance with a well-understood hierarchy.  To
>*not* grant these suppositions is to think of these companies as morons,
>an act of disrespect towards them and their basic ability to manage
>their affairs with good sense.

What?  That's a reductio ad absurdum if ever I saw one.  You're going to
call Elizabethan acting companies "morons" because they didn't follow
your idea of good business sense?  As I've said before, Elizabethan
England was not late twentieth-century America or England.  I don't
pretend to understand all the social factors which led to teenage boys
playing the women's roles on the Elizabethan stage; plenty of others
have written on that in recent years.  But when so much documentary
evidence points so clearly to the fact that teenage boys did in fact
play women's roles, I find it hard to discard all that evidence just
because it disagrees with my late twentieth-century intutions about what
should have been the case.

>Can I prove Jim's case with hard
>evidence?  No. Will I therefore dismiss it as Kathman tries to do? No.

What?  You make it sound like I just arbitrarily dismiss Forse's case,
when in fact I've presented a lot of hard evidence against it, both in
this thread and back in 1994.  Others have presented more evidence.

>The question is open for those of us who are open-minded, and we have
>James Forse to thank for it.

Please don't be offended, but you're starting to sound like an
Oxfordian, a group with which I'm all too familiar.  They also dismiss
documentary evidence when it doesn't agree with their 20th-century ideas
about what should have been the case, and they love to talk about being
"open-minded".

I should emphasize that I found Forse's book (*Art Imitates Business*)
provocative and very interesting, and the world of Elizabethan theater
scholarship is richer for it.  His idea of looking at Elizabethan actors
and managers as businessmen is welcome, and in fact I find that
perspective to be one that has received far too little attention in the
literature.  But that doesn't mean his theses can or should go
unchallenged.  In the particular case of who played women's roles on the
Elizabethan stage, the evidence is clearly and overwhelmingly against
Forse's thesis, even though he does raise a lot of legitimate issues
(such as potential for the term "boy" to be misleading for modern
readers).  I hope Jim Forse continues to publish his provocative ideas,
even if this particular one is not supported by the evidence.

Dave Kathman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marilyn A. Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 16 May 1998 11:32:58 -0400
Subject:        Re Anti-Semitism

As part of my research for a paper on _The Jew of Malta_ , I found an
essay which provides a fascinating overview and analysis of how the Jew
came to be the quintessential Other, the perennially identified outsider
on whom all the ills of society can be blamed.  I recommend it to all
those SHAKSPERians who have been following and/or partaking in the
ongoing debate about the presence of anti-Semitism in Elizabethan
England and in Shakespeare.

The essay is "The essential 'other' and the Jew: From antisemitism to
genocide"  by Henri Zukier in _Social Research_ volume 63, #4,  Winter
1996, pp 1110-1154.

(Sorry about not using MLA here... I'm working off a home-printed copy
obtained LEGALLY from ProQuest Direct via my school's subscription
thereto.)

The essay presents the establishment of the Jew as "other" from the
beginnings of the Church through the demonization of the Middle Ages to
the infestation mentality of the late 19th through mid-20th centuries,
creating the Nazi move toward total extermination.

Zukier confirms a lot of what listers have pointed out about the
perceptions of the Early Modern period about Jews.

Marilyn B.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jean Peterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 May 1998 12:31:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Hamlet

>My personal suggestion is this: If your nieces have had no previous
>experience with Hamlet, have them read the play or have them watch
>Branagh's version.

With all due respect to Justin Bacon, I do wonder at his holding up
Branagh's *Hamlet* as a kind of standard or definitive *Hamlet*, as his
suggestion implies.  This seems to take Branagh's own claims about the
authoritative nature of his film entirely too much at his word.  I for
one was at first puzzled and increasingly put off by Branagh's repeated
insistence that he was filming the "entire" play, the "complete" text-as
if such a thing existed-when he, like many directors before him, culled
together a working text from all existing versions of the play,
including modern emendations.  Branagh's version has the dubious
distinction of being longer, perhaps, and including more of the
potential options than other *Hamlet*s have, but his representation of
his film as "the" complete *Hamlet* deliberately and dishonestly glossed
over the very complex and interesting problems that the multiple texts
of that play offer, and presented a misleading picture of his own
directorial process.

I am not a textual "purist" myself, but I saw troubling contradictions
between the way Branagh so vociferously claimed to treat each word of
the text as sacrosanct, while taking such cavalier liberties with other
kinds of changes and interpolations: writing in characters who do not
appear in the text (such as the prostitute in Polonius' bed), changing
speech assignments (so that Ophelia and Hamlet are both seen reciting
the love letter the text assigns to Polonius), and writing in the
excessively repeated "flashback" scene of Hamlet and Ophelia making
love, to cite just a few examples.  Even his decision to film the play
as a 19th-century period piece (replete with a wealth of physical and
material detail to set the scene) is peculiarly at odds with his
apparent attempt to claim authoritative and definitive status for his
film, unless one doesn't mind erasing the nearly 400 years of historic,
cultural, and aesthetic changes that separate Shakespeare's theater from
the late 20th-century fashion for exquisitely detailed films based on
the novels of Jane Austen and E.M.  Forster.

In short, I found Branagh's take on the play as "horribly warped" (to
use Mr. Bacon's phrase)--by, more than anything, the continual intrusion
of the director's colossal narcissism, which, since the dreadful
*Frankenstein*, has apparently overpowered what judgement he once ever
had-as anything the RSC might currently be dishing out.

Jean Peterson
Bucknell University

P.S.  Just a note: For those having difficulty locating the two
"Sandman-does-Shakespeare" volumes; both are very easily and readily
available from the Amazon Bookstore website (http:/www.amazon.com).  You
can do an author search under Gaiman, Neil, or simply keyword: Sandman;
since that will bring up the entire Gaiman corpus, it helps to know that
the two volumes are titled "Dream Country" and "The Wake."

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 17 May 1998 01:43:18 -0400
Subject:        Due South

Just to mention: tonight's Due South season-ending episode featured
Leslie Neilson delivering a version of the St. Crispin's Day speech from
Henry V.

Re: Elizabethan Staging

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0473  Monday, 18 May 1998.

[1]     From:   Laura Fargas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 17 May 1998 00:18:04 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0441  Re: Elizabethan Staging

[2]     From:   Ildiko Solti <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 18 May 1998 06:44:41 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Elizabethan Staging


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Laura Fargas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 17 May 1998 00:18:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0441  Re: Elizabethan Staging
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0441  Re: Elizabethan Staging

On the subject of using "sides," no one seems to have mentioned the
expense of paper and copyists.  Paper was surprisingly expensive; I
believe I remember that the price of a folio sheet was the same as the
price of two loaves of bread, a penny.  I don't know offhand what the
hire of a copyist would have been, but I have the impression that the
player companies did their own copying.  Ink was cheap but light
(candles) could be dear.

Ron Ward's notion of surprising players with elements of the story not
in their parts seems far-fetched, as it seems plays were rehearsed even
in their premiere presentation at the Globe.  Again, there is a
suggestive, though certainly not probative, economic indicator in that
the price of admission doubled on a premiere day.

Laura Fargas

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ildiko Solti <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 18 May 1998 06:44:41 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Elizabethan Staging

Justin Bacon raised the intriguing question of the relationship between
reading, hearing and seeing. If "going to a play" means, first of all,
experiencing it live and in space, perhaps people would go "see" it
regardless of what reading means to them (except perhaps some
Victorians). However, it would be good to know more about the specific
qualities of speech in Elizabethan times, and also about how our own
TV-movie-novel culture affects present-day play-interpretation.

Other: "Shrew-ish" remarks about problems and traps  concerning the
interpretation and production of the play would be very welcome as we
are in the process of trying to "tame" it in rehearsal.

Ildiko Solti

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