1998

Re: "Bad" Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0936  Monday, 5 October 1998.

[1]     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 02 Oct 1998 19:34:46 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0933  Two Questions: Aldridge and "Bad"

[2]     From:   Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 5 Oct 1998 11:07:22 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0933  Two Questions: Aldridge and "Bad"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 02 Oct 1998 19:34:46 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0933  Two Questions: Aldridge and "Bad"
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0933  Two Questions: Aldridge and "Bad"

Parts of the altar are delightfully blemished, as if some Posterior Muse
had installed gargoyles. Surely there is a plethora from which to
choose. My favourite bad bit is Laertes' response to "Thy sister's
drown'd, Laertes", which I think is something like "Drown'd? Oh! Where?"
Mind you, the page just ain't no stage. That "Oh!"" can, in the lungs
and larynx of a fine actor, be like the cry of Medea or Elektra.

Good artists in the theatre have been making silk purses out of such
sow's ears for four hundred years. I'd hope a similar point would be the
foundation of your talk in Poland.

Harry

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 5 Oct 1998 11:07:22 GMT
Subject: 9.0933  Two Questions: Aldridge and "Bad"
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0933  Two Questions: Aldridge and "Bad"

On Shakespeare as a 'bad' writer, may I suggest George Steiner's
brilliantly provocative Ker lecture, 'A reading against Shakespeare',
published by the University of Glasgow in 1986.

Re: Bankside Globe

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0935  Monday, 5 October 1998.

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 2 Oct 1998 17:12:24 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0930  Re: Bankside Globe

[2]     From:   William Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 02 Oct 1998 17:12:48 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0930  Re: Bankside Globe

[3]     From:   Justin Bacon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 03 Oct 1998 02:40:15 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0908  Re: Bankside Globe


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 2 Oct 1998 17:12:24 -0400
Subject: 9.0930  Re: Bankside Globe
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0930  Re: Bankside Globe

On the subject of 'seeing' versus 'hearing' an Elizabethan play, several
esteemed contributors have argued that the latter was what Elizabethans
thought they were doing. Barbara Palmer notes that

> The customary (actually, I know of no variations thus
> far) phrase in the records is that one goes to hear
> a play: e.g., "Pd to my master when he went to
> hear a play at poule's" or "pd to the links when my
> mistress went to hear a play at blackfriars."  This
> phrasing of going "to hear a play" holds for all of
> the extant Talbot, Shrewsbury, Saville, Wentworth,
> Hardwick, Clifford, and Ingram family records-no mean
> sample and with a chronological spread from c.1590 to c.1640.

This is powerful evidence indeed. But it also appears from Henslowe's
records and other sources that the companies spent huge amounts of
money-often as much as the cost of a custom-built playhouse-on their
costumes. That suggests that even if the customers thought that they
were going to a play to treat their ears, the players took a great deal
of trouble to feast their eyes too. Maybe saying that you went to listen
was considered more sophisticated than saying that you went to look.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 02 Oct 1998 17:12:48 -0500
Subject: 9.0930  Re: Bankside Globe
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0930  Re: Bankside Globe

Tom Simone said:

"As for the response of the actors, I believe the Globe Shylock (forgive
me, his name escapes me and my program is elsewhere) was quite disturbed
by the audience reaction to his performance. I do not believe the
MERCHANT production was particularly good, and it surely did not know
what to do with the Shylock and anti-semitic elements of the play or the
audience.

In response to David Nicol about the AS YOU LIKE IT production, the
"milling audience" was clearly included in the production's plans.  All
of the yard action and the majority of entrances and exits through the
yard showed a production concern with involving and directing the
audience's attention.  One of my students who went to a second
performance, now in the yard, exclaimed "I held Orlando's coat!"  And
another said, "Touchstone shared my beer!"

The point is, in my view, that the dynamic of the theater and the
greater mobility of body and voice in the audience demand a good
production that considers the experience of the new Globe.  I believe
that, among other things, the AS YOU LIKE considered and worked very
well with the theater and the audience.  The MERCHANT production seemed
adrift."

Two points:  Several of my students had extended conversations with
Norbet Kentrup (Shylock in the Merchant) this summer and he expressed
such views as Tom Simone suggests, but not only toward the audience but
toward the whole production.  Nothing personal, mind you, but a full
understanding of the source (Jewish) of Portia's "Quality of  Mercy"
speech and the Christians' failure to follow any of the precepts in it.
Second, the AYL use of the yard is not only a modern intrusion into a
historical model, it flies in the face of much of what we know of the
pre-1642 stage.  Have a look at items 31 and 34 in R. A. Foakes
+Illustrations of the English Stage: 1580-1642+ London: Scolar, 1985.
In these two instances the stage has railing which looks, in 31, about
shin-, or knee-, high to me.  I also recall seeing, but am currently
unable to find, an illustration of the stage from the period with
pointed, curved iron spikes pointing outward toward the audience.  It
might seem that rather than making use of the yard and the theatre
entrances a Renaissance company might have been very concerned to
maintain some distance from the audience-a Safety Curtain for different
means?

WPW

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Justin Bacon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 03 Oct 1998 02:40:15 -0500
Subject: 9.0908  Re: Bankside Globe
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0908  Re: Bankside Globe

Abigail Quart wrote:

> Take another look. Daughters disobeying their fathers in the name of
> love was sometimes a necessary thing, but never a good one.

In your opinion. Shakespeare's opinion is clearly quite different. In
MND, R&J, OTHELLO and LEAR we see clear examples of daughters rebelling
against their fathers-and the fact that this was considered the *right*
choice.  In HAMLET we see Ophelia *fail* to rebel against her father and
the result is hardship for herself and Hamlet, and her eventual death.
In LEAR we even hear the words, from Cordelia's lips:

"You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me: I
Return those duties back as are right fit,
Obey you, love you, and most honour you.
Why have my sisters husbands if they say
They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed,
That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry
Half my love with him, half my care and duty:
Sure I shall never marry like my sisters,
To love my father all."

Or Desdemona in OTHELLO:

"My noble father,
I do perceive here a divided duty:
To you I am bound for life and education;
My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you; you are the lord of duty,--
I am hitherto your daughter: but here's my hudband;
And so much duty as my mother show'd
To you, preferring you before her father,
So much I challenge that I may profess
Due to the Moor, my lord."

> It always
> came on the heels of parental abdication of an unwritten law to rule
> wisely and with love.

Well, yes. If the father didn't force the issue then the issue wouldn't
be forced, QED. However, these two passages also point out two things:

1. If the father DOES force the issue, then the daughter is right to
"prefer [her husband] before her father".
2. Even if the father does NOT force the issue, then the daughter must
still give "half [her] love" to him. If the father recognizes this
truth, fantastic. If not, it doesn't change the issue.

> Shakespeare saw the role of parents as he saw the
> role of kings. A good king does not force his subjects, does not push
> them into actions against heart and conscience. Neither does a good
> parent. When either or both child and citizen are forced to rebel by the
> abdication of right authority, confusion and danger and often death
> ensues.

Or happiness and prosperity. Cordelia wins a better husband for her
wisdom although she ends in tragedy for quite different reasons;
Hermia's story ends in happiness; Desdemona and Juliet do not end up
dead BECAUSE they disobeyed, but for quite different reasons. Ophelia,
OTOH, dooms herself in her decision to honor her father before her love.

Justin Bacon
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Two Questions: Aldridge and "Bad"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0933  Friday, 2 October 1998.

From:           KrystynaKujawinska-Courtney <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 01 Oct 1998 16:46:57 -0500
Subject:        Two Questions: Aldridge and "Bad"

I have two questions.

1. I am in the middle of writing a monograph on Ira Aldridge's visits in
Central and Eastern Europe and his cultural and political influences and
connections. When he played in Poland on six occasions, he always added
Issak Bickerstaff's play THE PADLOCK (known in Polish as SPANISH
FRIVOLITY) to his standard repertoire of Shakespeare's plays (OTHELLO,
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, MACBETH). The archive sources say that he always
sang four American songs in his presentation of THE PADLOCK. Herbert
Marshall and Stock, the authors of Aldridge's biography, say that he
used to insert in his productions Black songs of freedom. I have found
out the titles of these songs at one of the Polish theatre playbills,
and I am very much interested in getting some more information on these
songs. They were advertised in Polish as:

--DEAR HEART, WHAT A TERRIBLE LIFE AM I LED;
--OPOSSUM UP A GUM TREE;
--A NEGRO-BOY;
--DEAR LORD, DON'T BE ANGRY.

Ira Aldridge died and is buried in my native town--LODZ

2. The Lodz Section of the Polish Academy of Science has approached me
to give them a lecture on Shakespeare as a "bad" writer. It is a real
challenge, since the Polish Shakespeare is the Shakespeare of tradition
embedded in bardolatory and in conservative and essentialist
interpretations. Could the member of the Conference help me with any
ideas how to deal with this subject, and any bibliographical data,
please?

Re: Ed3

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0934  Monday, 5 October 1998.

[1]     From:   David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 02 Oct 1998 15:31:59 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0931  Re: Ed3

[2]     From:   Jerry Bangham <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 3 Oct 1998 09:26:55 -0500
        Subj:   Edward III

[3]     From:   Justin Bacon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 03 Oct 1998 03:00:23 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0929  Re: Ed3


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 02 Oct 1998 15:31:59 -0500
Subject: 9.0931  Re: Ed3
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0931  Re: Ed3

Scott Oldenburg wrote:

> What is the probability that the next
> Riverside (or other publication of the complete works) will include
> _Edmund Ironside_?

Extremely low, approaching zero.  I'm not aware of any Shakespeare
scholar other than Eric Sams who takes seriously Sams' claim that this
play was written by Shakespeare.  Shakespeare certainly was familiar
with *Edmund Ironside* and used it as a source for Titus Andronicus, but
the arguments against his authorship are good ones, in my opinion.
Donald Foster, in a review of Sams' *Edmund Ironside* book in
Shakespeare Quarterly (around 1988, I think) summarized the arguments
against the attribution to Shakespeare and presents some arguments in
favor of Robert Greene's authorship.

> What is the consensus among members of this list
> regarding Edmund Ironside and other Shakepeare apocrypha?

There's little consensus regarding most of the Shakespeare apocrypha-by
definition, or it would be considered part of the canon rather than
apocrypha.  But some plays formerly considered apocrypha have made their
way into the canon.  As this thread has indicated, a consensus has
slowly been emerging that Shakespeare was at least the part author of
*Edward III*, with the Arden, New Cambridge, and new Riverside editions
including the play. Hand D of *Sir Thomas More* is even more widely
accepted as Shakespeare's-it has been included in all the major
one-volume editions since the first Riverside (1974), and several books
arguing for the attribution have been published.  Early in this century,
*The Two Noble Kinsmen* and *Pericles* were widely considered
apocryphal, and as recently as 1969 both were excluded from the
one-volume Penguin edition, but today they are generally considered to
be collaborations between Shakespeare and other authors, and are
included in all major editions.  More recently, the subject of whether
the *Funeral Elegy* was written by Shakespeare has been a contentious
one, with many people arguing passionately against Shakespeare's
authorship of the poem despite its inclusion in the recent new
Riverside, Bevington, and Norton editions.  There was a lot of
discussion of the poem on this list back in early 1996, and that
discussion is archived on the web at:
http://mbhs.bergtraum.k12.ny.us/cybereng/ebooks/fe-crit.txt

Other recent attributions to Shakespeare, such as Charles Hamilton's
claim that the well-known *Second Maiden's Tragedy* is actually
Shakespeare and Fletcher's *Cardenio* with the names changed, have met
with much less favor.

Dave Kathman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jerry Bangham <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 3 Oct 1998 09:26:55 -0500
Subject:        Edward III

Play gets first staging as Shakespeare's work

By Leah Eichler

TORONTO (Reuters) - A small Canadian theater will stage the first
production of ``Edward III'' since the official arbiter of The Bard's
legacy pronounced it a bona fide Shakespearean play.

Shakespeare by the Sea, a Halifax-based theater company dedicated to the
presentation of classical plays, will demonstrate its thespian prowess
Friday with its production of the work, which was authenticated by the
Arden Shakespeare Series, the world's leading publishers of William
Shakespeare's works.

``To our knowledge, Shakespeare by the Sea will be the first theater
company in the world to publicly perform excerpts of the play since
authentication,'' Elizabeth Murphy, the theater company's general
manager, said Thursday.

The Sunday Times of London reported earlier this week that Arden had
confirmed the play's authorship.

The last time the play was performed was in 1987 by Theatr Clwyd in
Wales, which listed it as written by ``question mark.''

With just three days' notice, the Canadian theater company downloaded
the play in Old English from the University of Virginia's Web site and
translated an excerpt for production.

Patrick Christopher, head of the acting program at Dalhousie University
in Halifax, adapted the excerpt from the Old English text for the
theater company on Wednesday.

The play, which will be staged before an audience expected to number
200, will be performed as a one-man show acted by Christopher.

``It's extraordinary,'' he said. ``I took the copy to my class of acting
students yesterday. I didn't realize how exciting it was to have a new
play that's 400 years old to add to such a small canon of work by
Shakespeare.''

Since the play ``Edward III'' emerged approximately 400 years ago, its
author has been unknown. Arden concluded its authenticity after running
a computer analysis of text and language. Scholars now presume the play
to be one of Shakespeare's earliest works, written in 1594-95 between
``Titus Andronicus'' and ``Romeo and Juliet.''

The play tells the story of the first campaigns of the Hundred Years
War, when British monarchs tried to reclaim their Norman territories in
France while holding off the Scots from the North.

Reuters/Variety

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Justin Bacon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 03 Oct 1998 03:00:23 -0500
Subject: 9.0929  Re: Ed3
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0929  Re: Ed3

> Finally, what's this about _E3_ bringing Shakespeare's canonical count
> to 39? Was another contested play recently added?

The Two Noble Kinsmen (supposedly recognized in the 1970s) would bring
it to 38, with E3 bringing it to 39.

Justin Bacon
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re: Marlowe Plays; Thanks

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0932  Friday, 2 October 1998.

[1]     From:   James P. Lusardi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 01 Oct 1998 12:43:49 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 9.0926  Re: Marlowe Plays

[2]     From:   Mary McNally <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 01 Oct 1998 15:19:06 +0100
        Subj:   Thanks


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James P. Lusardi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 01 Oct 1998 12:43:49 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 9.0926  Re: Marlowe Plays
Comment:        RE: SHK 9.0926  Re: Marlowe Plays

If it's still in print, see Irving Ribner, ed.  The Complete Plays of
Christopher Marlowe.  New York:  Odyssey P, 1963.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary McNally <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 01 Oct 1998 15:19:06 +0100
Subject:        Thanks

Thank you, everybody, for the recent replies about the Shakespeare
CD-Rom.  Mary McNally

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