1998

Info on Audio Recordings, Please

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1315  Thursday, 17 December 1998.

From:           Penelope Rixon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 17 Dec 1998 08:29:27 -0000
Subject:        Info on Audio Recordings, Please

I'm working on an audio CD on A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth
Night which will form part of the teaching material for a new Open
University course on Shakespeare and Performance. We're going to look at
changing fashions in audio versions of the plays and hope to use
material produced outside the UK as well as a number of versions done by
the BBC and other British companies.  We want to include clips from a
number of audio recordings.  We'd be interested in getting hold of
non-UK recordings and any recordings of either of the plays translated
into any foreign language. (We only need brief extracts, so if anyone
knows of recorded versions of particular speeches, we'd like to hear
about those too.)   I have no idea if any such recordings exist or if
we'd be able to clear the rights to use them, but list members are
always so helpful with this kind of query that it seemed like the best
place to start searching.  Any leads will be much appreciated.  If you'd
prefer to respond privately, my email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Many thanks,
Penny Rixon

Re: Rom. "cazzo"; H5 Last Rites

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1314  Thursday, 17 December 1998.

[1]     From:   Frances Barasch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 15:37:49 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1302  Re: Questions on R&J: "cazzo"

[2]     From:   Jason N. Mical <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 10:54:59 -0600
        Subj:   Last Rites in Henry V


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Frances Barasch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 15:37:49 EST
Subject: 9.1302  Re: Questions on R&J: "cazzo"
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1302  Re: Questions on R&J: "cazzo"

On "cazzo": according to "Le Parole Della Gente, dizionario
dell'italiano gergale," Machiavelli used the word for "individuo
stupido."  Among various meanings of "gatto" is "membro virile."
Interestingly, "gatta" is "organo genitale femminile."  Frances Barasch

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jason N. Mical <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 10:54:59 -0600
Subject:        Last Rites in Henry V

>Chris Gordon wrote (paraphrasing) that in the Catholic faith a sincere
>Act of contrition can take the place of final confession. I must ask,
>however, how many men, having not been slain instantly, dying on a
>battlefield of gaping, horrific, wounds, have the clarity of mind to
>rise beyond their excruciating world of pain to make a full act of
>contrition? -Sally Schutz

You might want to check out this dilemma as presented in Dante's
Purgatorio.  It might help you identify with the Christian mindset in
medieval / early Renaissance Europe regarding dying without receiving
Last Rites.  Especially of interest is Canto V.

Best,
Jason Mical
Drury College

Re: Titus Andronicus

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1312  Thursday, 17 December 1998.

[1]     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 10:57:54 CST6CDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1307  Titus Andronicus

[2]     From:   Alberto Cacicedo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 12:16:12 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1307  Titus Andronicus

[3]     From:   Sally Schutz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 09:23:58 PST
        Subj:   Anthony Hopkins

[4]     From:   James P. Lusardi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 13:12:26 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 9.1307  Titus Andronicus

[5]     From:   Mike Sirofchuck <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 11:59:53 -0900
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1307  Titus Andronicus

[6]     From:   Belinda Johnston <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 17 Dec 1998 12:38:44 +1100 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1307  Titus Andronicus

[7]     From:   Eric W Beato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 22:09:52 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 9.1307  Titus Andronicus


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 10:57:54 CST6CDT
Subject: 9.1307  Titus Andronicus
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1307  Titus Andronicus

Julie Taymor originally directed Titus on stage; she's the one directing
the film. As someone who was involved with a production this spring, I
can only say that the text has a great deal to offer the perceptive
reader/director/actor. I'm looking forward to the film; I might have
preferred to see Anthony Hopkins as King Lear in his final film, but I'm
sure his Titus will be compelling.

Chris Gordon

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alberto Cacicedo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 12:16:12 -0500
Subject: 9.1307  Titus Andronicus
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1307  Titus Andronicus

 Jason N. Mical asks about _Titus_

>why someone would go through the trouble of filming such a bawd of a
>play, especially with
>someone as good as Anthony Hopkins in the lead?

I know nothing about Anthony Hopkins, but can say that Titus gave me one
of the most powerful theater-going experiences I've ever had, in the RSC
production of 1987, which I saw in The Pit at the Barbican.

In mid-term-paer grading,
Al Cacicedo

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sally Schutz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 09:23:58 PST
Subject:        Anthony Hopkins

I read an article sent to me through another mailing list on Anthony
Hopkins bitter retirement. I will post it here, for those interested.
When I read this, as young actress/aspiring director, it really tore me
to pieces. It put tears in my eyes to see such a brilliant actor exhibit
such disillusionment and animosity towards something I have decided to
devote my life to. It makes me wonder if someday, I too, will find
bitterness and quit my art form in order to salvage what is left of
myself.

LONDON - Welsh film star Anthony Hopkins says he will quit acting
because he finds it "very bad for one's mental health."

Hopkins, 60, said in an interview that after 35 years in the business he
finds it "tiresome, disturbing and deeply distasteful."

He spoke from Italy, during work on his last film, "Titus Andronicus",
based on a Shakespeare play.

"I'll be back and forth until January to finish my film and then it's
all over," Hopkins said, adding he's explained all to his wife and
agent.

"I want to do something else with my life. I don't want to keep hanging
around doing stupid things like acting," he said.

After winning an Oscar for best actor in 1992 for "The Silence of the
Lambs," Hopkins summed up his career, saying, "I've done one or two good
films and some bad films."

"It was a complete waste of time," he added.  "I'm very grateful to the
business, they've paid me well but I've got enough... money to live for
the rest of my life."

Hopkins acknowledged. "I'm interested in music, I write and I like Los
Angeles and I'm just going to drop out," he said.

Hopkins revealed that he had "been in deep depression over acting and
tried to cover it up."
"I've been in turmoil pretending everything was okay," he admitted.

"I've got to get out because I think acting is very bad for one's mental
health," Hopkins said.

"My joke has always been, 'It sure beats working for a living' but the
joke has caught up with me now," he concluded.

I just don't understand. But I guess no one but Sir Hopkins himself
does. And the rest of the world must simply stand by with our mouths
gaping open.        -Sally Schutz

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James P. Lusardi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 13:12:26 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 9.1307  Titus Andronicus
Comment:        RE: SHK 9.1307  Titus Andronicus

Dear Jason M.:

In fact, Titus has proved eminently stageworthy.  Deborah Warner's 1987
RSC production and Julie Taymore's 1994 Theatre for a New Audience
production in New York offered me two of the best evenings I've had in
the theatre.  Jane Howell's version for the BBC series is also quite
good.
 Taymore will be doing the projected film version with Hopkins.
According to what I've heard, when Taymore contracted with Disney to do
The Lion King on B'way, she made the Titus project part of the package.
Hoo-ray for her.

Yours--Jim Lusardi, Shakespeare Bulletin

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Sirofchuck <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 11:59:53 -0900
Subject: 9.1307  Titus Andronicus
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1307  Titus Andronicus

>I read in Monday morning's "USA Today" that actor Anthony Hopkins is
>ceasing his acting career after filming Titus Andronicus.  Has anyone
>heard anything in relation to this project, and why someone would go
>through the trouble of filming such a bawd of a play, especially with
>someone as good as Anthony Hopkins in the lead?

I recently read a description of Titus Andronicus by Norrie Epstein
stating that it was a "violent and offensive play" and "[it] shows the
writer as a practical man of the theatre whose instincts tell him
exactly what his audience craves-and who gives it to them in spades" I
believe that sufficiently explains its attraction to Hollywood.  Now, if
they can just get Brad Pitt to sign on.......

Mike Sirofchuck
Kodiak High SChool

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Belinda Johnston <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 17 Dec 1998 12:38:44 +1100 (EST)
Subject: 9.1307  Titus Andronicus
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1307  Titus Andronicus

I have heard nothing of the project but I look forward to seeing it!
Have we not yet got beyond the tiresome vilifications of this fabulously
excessive play?

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eric W Beato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 22:09:52 -0500
Subject: Titus Andronicus
Comment:        SHK 9.1307  Titus Andronicus

>I read in Monday morning's "USA Today" that actor Anthony Hopkins is
>ceasing his acting career after filming Titus Andronicus.  Has anyone
>heard anything in relation to this project, and why someone would go
>through the trouble of filming such a bawd of a play, especially with
>someone as good as Anthony Hopkins in the lead?

Actually, we here in Chicago have been able to see this work on stage
twice in the past decade.  In both cases, I took serious high school
students to see the work and was impressed by the power and
effectiveness of what is often considered a less-than-impressive text.
Live, it is a work revealing the intense angers, rages and desires that
lead to incredible cruelty and violence.  When the Organic staged the
work in the late 1980s, the work featured modern dress.  Titus was clad
in US Marine fatigues.  Within weeks of seeing this version, I saw a
photograph of a key scene in the Vietnam war film PLATOON.  The striking
resemblance was something I remember a decade later.

In both cases, serious students of theatre became wrapped up the
politics and the intrigue of this work.  I can't wait to see Hopkins'
version.

Rick Beato
Lisle Senior High School

PS:  My first thought upon hearing the rumor of Hopkins' retirement was
that this role might have worn him out.  Here's hoping he will recover
and reconsider the retirement.

Re: Ghost from Purgatory

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1313  Thursday, 17 December 1998.

[1]     From:   An Sonjae <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 17 Dec 1998 10:06:08 +0900
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1304  Re: Ghost from Purgatory

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 17 Dec 1998 06:33:58 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1304  Re: Ghost from Purgatory


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           An Sonjae <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 17 Dec 1998 10:06:08 +0900
Subject: 9.1304  Re: Ghost from Purgatory
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1304  Re: Ghost from Purgatory

> A study of Shakespeare's reaction to the revenge plays popular in his
> day might shed light on the viability of the second interpretation.
(Roger Schmeeckle)

One such study, and a very nice one, mainly prompted by Prosser's
dogmatism in insisting that only the devil could possibly urge Hamlet to
take revenge, can be found in Peter Mercer's "Hamlet and the Acting of
Revenge" (Macmillan 1987) ISBN 0-333-43333-5. I recommend it strongly. A
much more complex (and perhaps therefore more rewarding) approach to the
broader issues will be found in John Kerrigan's "Revenge Tragedy:
Aeschylus to Armageddon" (Oxford 1996) ISBN 0-19-812186-5.

An Sonjae (Br Anthony)
Sogang University, Seoul, Korea

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 17 Dec 1998 06:33:58 -0000
Subject: 9.1304  Re: Ghost from Purgatory
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1304  Re: Ghost from Purgatory

There is the question as to why Shakespeare should choose to locate the
Ghost as coming from Purgatory (if it does so).

The answer could be stated (somewhat schematically) as follows:

If the Ghost is either a devil or the spirit of Old Hamlet returned from
hell, its advice would be damnable and should be rejected immediately.

If the ghost is either and angel or the spirit of Old Hamlet returned
from heaven, then its advice would have (almost) the status of a divine
command, and should be followed immediately.

If the Ghost is the spirit of Old Hamlet returned from purgatory, then
it has only that authority (and knowledge) which would have been
possessed by its formerly living self.  In this case, Hamlet is left to
decide for himself the truth of the situation and the actions he must
take.

From this perspective, there would seem to be fairly compelling dramatic
reasons for Shakespeare locating the Ghost as coming from Purgatory.
Unfortunately, these same reasons prevent us from extrapolating from the
play to any religious ideas held by Shakespeare in a non-dramatic
context.

With regard to the points made by Roger Schmeeckle:

"The ambiguity concerning whether the ghost is real or a deception of
the devil is early established, and, to the best of my knowledge, never
resolved.

... when he wishes Claudius to suffer eternal punishment in hell, he has
reached the nadir of corruption, resulting in the murder of Polonius,
Hamlet's flight, and, by the time he returns, a complete change of
heart, a divinity having shaped his ends, howsoever he willed.

A study of Shakespeare's reaction to the revenge plays popular in his
day might shed light on the viability of the second interpretation."

I discuss these issues (although with different conclusions), along with
the nature and status of the Ghost, in my article, "The Instability of
Hamlet", Critical Survey 3, no. 2 (1991), pp.170-177.

Robin Hamilton

Update on Ethan Hawke's Contemporary Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1311  Thursday, 17 December 1998.

From:           Christine Mack Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Dec 1998 10:17:27 CST6CDT
Subject:        Update on Ethan Hawke's Contemporary Hamlet

I just received this on another listserv. --Chris Gordon

Hawke 'Hamlet' to be Miramax

NEW YORK-Miramax Films has acquired all rights to double A films'
"Hamlet," a modern update of the Shakespearean tragedy starring Ethan
Hawke as a brooding filmmaker and heir to the Denmark Corp. Set in New
York, the film also stars Kyle McLachlan as Claudius, Sam Shepard as the
ghost of Hamlet's father, Diane Venora as Gertrude and Bill Murray as
Polonius. Michael Almereyda, who helmed the vampire tale "Nadja" and
Trimark's upcoming mummy movie "Trance," adapted the Bard's play and
directed.

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