Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: December ::
Re: Introductions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1279  Thursday, 10 December 1998.

[1]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Dec 1998 14:08:13 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 9.1271  Re: Introductions

[2]     From:   Steve Urkowitz <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Dec 1998 22:34:20 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1260  Introductions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Dec 1998 14:08:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Introductions
Comment:        SHK 9.1271  Re: Introductions

Introductions are of course frequently non-verbal, and all the more
complex for that. The distinctive sound-structures of trumpet music, as
in the 'sennet ' compared to the 'flourish', suggest the operation in
the plays of a subtle, non-discursive coding to whose precursory
significance Shakespeare's audience presumably had ready access. It
makes possible, for instance, what we must assume to be the richly comic
dimension of William Tawyer's role in MND.

Terence Hawkes

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Dec 1998 22:34:20 EST
Subject: 9.1260  Introductions
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1260  Introductions

Introductions are necessary as the cues for the off-stage actor to come
forward, not necessarily as the report of the obvious.

But even for the obvious entry, an entry announcement shapes audience
and "character's" reactions.  My favorite examples are the three
versions of Queen Gertrude's entry with the news of  Ophelia's
drowning.  In Q1 Laertes says, "Here comes the Queen.  ENTER THE QUEENE"
And the king addresses her: "How now Gertred, why looke you so
heavily?"  The Q2 text instead has the King give what I think of as a
guilty lurch: " . . . If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck, / Our
purpose may hold there; but stay, what noyse? ENTER QUEENE."  And the
Queen begins speaking without salutation from the King.  The Folio has
the King slide smoothely, not missing a beat, from planning to chop her
darling boy to greeting her with warm concern:  " . . .Our purpose may
hold there; how sweet queene. ENTER QUEENE"

These three ways to signal offstage actors that their moment to enter
has arrived are part of the basic physical economy of those open
stages.  They seem redundant in our playhouses with stage managers and
(to Elizabethan standards) over-rehearsed actors.  As with so much else,
Shakespeare turns these necessities into vibrant artistic tools.

Joy of the entry to you,
Steve Urquartowitz
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.