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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: November ::
Re: Woody; Romeo; Lion King; MND
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1143  Monday, 16 November 1998.

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Nov 1998 12:23:05 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1132 Re: Welles, Woody, Branagh & the Bard

[2]     From:   Leslie Kuo <
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        Date:   Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 11:18:50 +0800
        Subj:   How to act as Romeo, again

[3]     From:   Justin Bacon <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 11 Nov 1998 13:55:24 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1078 Re: Lion King 2; Reference; Teaching Sonnets

[4]     From:   Justin Bacon <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 11 Nov 1998 14:00:39 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1082 MND


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Nov 1998 12:23:05 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 9.1132 Re: Welles, Woody, Branagh & the Bard
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1132 Re: Welles, Woody, Branagh & the Bard

> Allen's character in _Annie Hall_ mentions Shakespeare in the Park.

From memory it's:

Allen: "You shouldn't be doing this rubbish, you should be doing
Shakespeare in the Park"

Allen's Manager "I did Shakespeare in the Park. I got mugged. Somebody
tried to steal my leotard."

Gabriel Egan

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Leslie Kuo <
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Date:           Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 11:18:50 +0800
Subject:        How to act as Romeo, again.

Hi,

Thanks for your suggestions. However, I have to apologize that I forgot
to describe my situation. The fact is that I am in a Chinese university,
Wuhan University to be exact. The Shakespeare Drama Society is run by
the English Department and we put on one or two plays each year and this
year it should be R&J. The English majors, especially the society
members, should have no big problems in understanding the original play.
But the acting is open to all the school and about 90 percent of the
audience will be non-English majors. In that case, some of the audience
will feel it difficult to understand the lines. We will try to outline
the story during the intervals between scenes so that they can
understand what is going on more easily. As to adjusting the words,
there is a fierce dispute among the members. I personally oppose the
idea, believing it is a kind of profane act toward Shakespeare. Since I
am the assistant director, besides acting as Romeo, my proposal has been
reluctantly accepted. But changing the words is still under discussion
by some members.

Yap, I am fully aware of the fact that we have cut too much from the
play since we will only put on five scenes. I believe it is the best to
act all the scenes out. However, the difficulty is that the fund is
quite limited.  Our society relies solely on public donations and is
quite short of money.  Anyway, I, together with my fellow members, will
work hard to get it done well.

Sincerely,
Leslie Kuo

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Justin Bacon <
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Date:           Wednesday, 11 Nov 1998 13:55:24 -0600
Subject: 9.1078 Re: Lion King 2; Reference; Teaching Sonnets
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1078 Re: Lion King 2; Reference; Teaching Sonnets

> I mentioned the connection between the first Lion King and _Hamlet_ to a
> colleague and we both agreed that the story more closely resembles
> _Richard III_, told from Richmond's perspective (Richmond being Simba).
> _H_ is a possibility, but _R III_ is more likely.  I've tried not to see
> the Disney Video Sequels, as they are generally of lesser quality and
> are just looking to make more money off hapless parents of younger
> children, a practice that I do not feel good supporting.  So someone
> else is going to have to tell me about "Lion King II."

Lion King II, surprisingly, was of the same quality as the first (right
down to the same weaknesses-a strangely over-colored musical sequence
which blasted the mood of the African safari right out of the film; and
a strange musical number connecting the first half of the movie to the
second). I'd rent it, but have no intention of owning it.

I would say, however, that the first Lion King is *much* closer to
Hamlet than R3 -- uncle kills father, marries mother, is revenged by
son.

Justin Bacon

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[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Justin Bacon <
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Date:           Wednesday, 11 Nov 1998 14:00:39 -0600
Subject: 9.1082 MND
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1082 MND

> 5. Why is Lysander the only one of the lovers targeted for the
> lovejuice?

Demetrius. Because there's no reason to target anyone else.

> 7. If this play is a comedy, then what is your definition of comedy?

A happy ending wherein the main characters aren't dead. It helps if
there are some jokes, which MND contains aplenty.

One wonders, if this play is not a comedy in your opinion, what *your*
definition of comedy is.

> 8. Why is Puck so dejected at the end? So defensive? So SCARED? Read the
> Epilogue; is he happy? or is he scared stiff? And why? Because when
> Oberon needed him to wage war on Titania, he was wanted warmed by power
> from the boss. Once the CEO makes it up
> with Titania, then Puck is redundant as an instrument of mischief and
> revenge - he ceases to ahve afunction, and is close to being cast into
> outer darkness, but in this play without the benediction of the Oberon /
> Prospero figure. Or are we going to hide behind the call-on tradition
> that all Puck is doing is begging the audience for their applause?

Hide behind? That's what Puck is *doing*? Is Rosalind's speech at the
end of As You Like It secretly conveying some message? No, it's just a
theatrical convention. Time to get a hold of yourself.

> I mean, stuff the 'triadic' significances, and tell me about the meat of
> this so-called superficial play. MND is dynamite, under the guise of
> fairydom and post Rackham whimsy and countless college plays with
> simpering girls in tutus. For the Elizabethans, fairies were Other
> World, dangerous, enigmatic, powerfully conscienceless, gleefully
> mischievous. Unlike Dr Faustus where magic is merest cabaret, the magic
> in this play is hugely disruptive, and transforming, life-changing and
> also healing.

Gotta agree.

> So, people, tell me about PUCK!! Who is he?

Now *this*, on the other hand, is a question I think is often
misanswered.  Puck is too often interpreted as being *vindicatively*
mischievousness and spiteful. This is clearly against the grain of
Shakespeare's text, where Puck is presented as mischievous-yes-but a
cheerful, gleeful mischievous.

Justin Bacon

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