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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: November ::
Re: Maps of Play Settings
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1115  Tuesday, 10 November 1998.

[1]     From:   Kevin J. Donovan <
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        Date:   Monday, 9 Nov 1998 09:32:05 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1105  Maps of play settings?

[2]     From:   Jarrett Walker <
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        Date:   Monday, 9 Nov 1998 21:03:41 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1106  Re: Maps of Play Settings

[3]     From:   Skip Nicholson <
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        Date:   Monday, 09 Nov 1998 20:12:44 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1106  Re: Maps of Play Settings


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kevin J. Donovan <
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Date:           Monday, 9 Nov 1998 09:32:05 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 9.1105  Maps of play settings?
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1105  Maps of play settings?

Be sure to include the seacoast of Bohemia, the topography of Illyria
and Messaline, and the readiest shortcut from Norway through Denmark to
Poland.

Kevin Donovan <
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English Department, Middle Tennessee State University

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jarrett Walker <
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Date:           Monday, 9 Nov 1998 21:03:41 EST
Subject: 9.1106  Re: Maps of Play Settings
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1106  Re: Maps of Play Settings

A map of the play's settings!  Yes, Asimov's map is the best for mundane
purposes, though even he fails to locate the crucial seacoast of
Bohemia!  If your students are literally minded, you might posit the
cataclysmic collapse of Slovenia, Hungary, and Slovakia into the sea,
expanding chasm between the Shakespearean sites of Venice and Illyria
(Croatia) and finally getting marine breezes flowing over Bohemia, today
known as the Czech Republic.  Of course, it would be simpler to submerge
Poland or Austria, but both are Shakespearean sites, at least by
reference.

Your map of England can be quite exact, as Shakespeare's knowledge of it
was.  "Britain" and "France" should also have that precision of military
maps, though last I heard there was no evidence of Shakespeare traveling
to Scotland, Ireland, or across the channel.

A correct map of the Mediterranean, though, should look a bit woozy, its
distances distorted, perhaps with some of the hypothetical Northeast
Passages such as Bohemia requires.  Shakespeare shows little sign of
having known the continent as a place, or having cared much where things
were.  To demand a map is to lose track of Shakespeare's essence as a
stage-artist, whose power to shift the scene in a moment freed him from
tyrannies of time and distance.  His distortions and confusions, more
than any "accurate" map, will lead your students to his real geography.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Skip Nicholson <
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Date:           Monday, 09 Nov 1998 20:12:44 -0800
Subject: 9.1106  Re: Maps of Play Settings
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1106  Re: Maps of Play Settings

> Terence Hawkes points out that "You need a map of Britain, not
> England."

The National Geographic published such a foldout map with the May 1964
issue ("Shakespeare's Britain"). It's also available on the just
released 6-CD set of all the foldout maps. It has all the English,
Welsh, and Scottish sites; it obviously does not show the Mediterranean
settings.

Cheers,
Skip Nicholson
South Pasadena (CA) HS
 

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