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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: High School Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: Monday 1 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Pat Dolan <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Feb 1999 11:54:00 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0323 Re: High School Shakespeare

[2]     From:   John Savage <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Feb 1999 10:27:54 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 10.0314 Re: High School Shakespeare

[3]     From:   Helen Ostovich <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Feb 1999 14:02:34 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0323 Re: High School Shakespeare

[4]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Sunday, 28 Feb 1999 12:56:19 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0323 Re: High School Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pat Dolan <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Feb 1999 11:54:00 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 10.0323 Re: High School Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0323 Re: High School Shakespeare

I'd question movies as evidence for the "universal" quality of
Shakespeare-any Shakespeare movie will almost by definition be made by a
person educated in a system that represents Shakespeare as central to
the traditions and culture it transmits and positions knowledge of him a
validation of one's abilities within that culture.

The current spate of filmed Shakespeare strikes me more as the
industry's response to a variety of critiques-often right-wing, but not
always-which suggest that the industry (a crude term, I know, but the
best I can do before my meeting this afternoon) is culturally pernicious
and illiterate (not non-literate). I suspect that they too want credit
for their Shakespearean knowledge.

More cynically, I think they want to dispense that credit for cash.

Speaking of which, is it true that Les Liasons Dangereuses has been set
in high-school? Now that would be cool.

                Pat

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Savage <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Feb 1999 10:27:54 -0500
Subject: Re: High School Shakespeare
Comment:        SHK 10.0314 Re: High School Shakespeare

>Baz Luhrmann's R & J reduced the
>adult characters, Paris, and Mercutio to caricatures in order to reserve
>the audience's sympathy for Romeo and Juliet.

Yes, that film was basically a cartoon for teenagers.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Helen Ostovich <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Feb 1999 14:02:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 10.0323 Re: High School Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0323 Re: High School Shakespeare

I have no problem with teen-directed versions of Shakespeare.  What I
want to see now is senior citizen Shakespeare:  how about a King Lear
whose place is either in the streets or in an old folks' home, but not
in your home?  How about an age-reversed Romeo and Juliet as
octogenarians in love, but separated by warring factions of children?
Just how much older than Desdemona IS Othello-and just how old is she?
_All's Well That Ends Well_ may be the perfect senior citizen play:  who
wants a return to marriageable youth when Bertram is the available
husband?  More suggestions welcome.

Helen

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Sunday, 28 Feb 1999 12:56:19 -0500
Subject: 10.0323 Re: High School Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0323 Re: High School Shakespeare

Are we talking about DiCaprio's R&J? Of course it's "eye candy." Film is
a visual language. Any film of a Shakespeare play is being read/seen IN
TRANSLATION.

Branagh translated a long scene in Henry V to one gesture with a glove.
It took my breath away. But it made me go back and read the original.
Americans today are bilingual in English and film without even realizing
it.  Make your students sensitive to that.
 

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