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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: December ::
Re: Rhetoric
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1226  Thursday, 3 December 1998.

[1]     From:   William Allard <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 02 Dec 1998 22:49:49 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1222 Rhetoric

[2]     From:   Julie Blumenthal <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 02 Dec 1998 14:52:46 PST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1222 Rhetoric

[3]     From:   Dale Lyles <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 2 Dec 1998 18:43:26 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1222 Rhetoric

[4]     From:   Jefferson Cronin <
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        Date:   Thu, 3 Dec 1998 12:37:39 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1222 Rhetoric

[5]     From:   Nely Keinanen <
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        Date:   Thu, 3 Dec 1998 08:58:22 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1222 Rhetoric


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Allard <
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Date:           Wednesday, 02 Dec 1998 22:49:49 +0000
Subject: 9.1222 Rhetoric
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1222 Rhetoric

I cannot answer your question directly, but will refer you to a book by
J.V. Cunningham, the title of which escapes me right now. He is a
rhetorician, and his book is a rhetorical analysis of "Hamlet." You may
get some ideas from it. Hope this helps.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Julie Blumenthal <
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Date:           Wednesday, 02 Dec 1998 14:52:46 PST
Subject: 9.1222 Rhetoric
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1222 Rhetoric

Brooke et al -

I think without some understanding of rhetoric or at least the finer
points of logic/debating, much of Shakespeare becomes a lot harder to
pull off successfully...

Case in point, in a production of The Winter's Tale we were stuck in the
trial scene and not gathering much steam.  We spent a day doing Hermione
and Leontes' back-and-forth speeches as a mock debate, with a vocal
court who switched alliances and cheered, booed, etc.  if they felt
someone had scored a real point.  We voted at the end to see who had
"won" the debate.  Not only did it produce the most impassioned work yet
on the part of Hermione and Leontes, but as one member of the court
said: "It makes SENSE to me now!"

Thanks for what is to my mind a terrific question!  Look forward to
hearing other thoughts...

Julie Blumenthal

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <
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Date:           Wednesday, 2 Dec 1998 18:43:26 EST
Subject: 9.1222 Rhetoric
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1222 Rhetoric

We always do a great deal of work at looking at the rhetorical figures
and how they might affect the "juggling" of the language.  I don't go so
far as to load the actors down with the Greek terms, but we do talk
about what they're shaped like.  The actors always have responded
gratefully for the introduction to such a useful tool.

Dale Lyles
Newnan Community Theatre Company

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jefferson Cronin <
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Date:           Thu, 3 Dec 1998 12:37:39 +1000
Subject: 9.1222 Rhetoric
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1222 Rhetoric

Thanks for asking.  I think work in rhetoric is certainly a part of the
actor's training.  Understanding rhetoric and the role it played in the
classical education, drama and performance can be key to understanding a
play or a character.  As a director it would certainly be something to
consider during the study and  conceptualization of a classical play.  I
would include it initially as a part of the background or dramaturgical
work; one of many factors and influences to consider.  In some cases
understanding certain ancient forms can provide clues to the author's
intent.  It can also sometimes help us understand the origins and
intricacies of our own language.  I hope the feedback is of some use to
you.  May Dionysus be with you...

Jefferson Cronin,
University of Maryland
Guam

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nely Keinanen <
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Date:           Thu, 3 Dec 1998 08:58:22 +0200
Subject: 9.1222 Rhetoric
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1222 Rhetoric

Dear Brooke Brod:

Take a look at Brian Vickers' article "Shakespeare's Use of Rhetoric" in
_A New Companion to Shakespeare Studies_. Eds. Kenneth Muir and S.
Schoenbaum (Cambridge UP, 1971/1974).  Note that this is an older
companion to Shakespeare; this essay hasn't been included in the newer
Cambridge companions, or at least not in the one edited by Stanley Wells
and published in 1986.  It's a good, short introduction to the topic,
and I suspect that your actors will be rather amazed at the sheer
quantity of tropes and schemes Vickers discusses.  If you get
interested, Vickers has written a longer book on the subject, which he
refers to in this article.

BTW, the older companion also includes an article by Randolph Quirk
about the English language-this is also an extremely useful and short
work for an actor needing to know the bare minimum about what the
English language was like circa 1600.

Cheers,
Nely Keinanen
University of Helsinki
 

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