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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: May ::
Assorted Responses
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0845  Tuesday, 11 May 1999.

[1]     From:   Stanley Wells <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 May 1999 15:51:32 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0838 Various Queries

[2]     From:   Tom Bishop <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 May 1999 10:47:10 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0840 Re: Lack of Toilets

[3]     From:   Andy White  <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 May 1999 11:13:06 -0400
        Subj:   Time Period for Hamlet?

[4]     From:   Brian Haylett <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 May 1999 20:18:38 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Chooseth

[5]     From:   Drew Alan Mason <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 May 1999 07:03:06 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0778 Classifieds

[6]     From:   Marti Markus <
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        Date:   Tue, 11 May 1999 01:33:37 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0838 Various Queries


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stanley Wells <
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Date:           Monday, 10 May 1999 15:51:32 +0100
Subject: 10.0838 Various Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0838 Various Queries

Andy Drewry may find relevant discussion of Polonius's name in G. R.
Hibbard's Oxford edition (1982; paperbacked in the Worlds Classics
series), pp. 74-5.

Stanley Wells

The Shakespeare Centre
Henley Street
Stratford-upon-Avon

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Bishop <
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Date:           Monday, 10 May 1999 10:47:10 -0500
Subject: 10.0840 Re: Lack of Toilets
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0840 Re: Lack of Toilets

One contemporary, perhaps exaggerated, "eye-witness account" (in several
senses) is fabulated in the anti-masque intro to Jonson's "Love
Restored" (1612) where Robin Goodfellow is trying to talk his way
uninvited into a crowded hall where audience have been waiting al lday
for the evening's festivities.  In speaking of an attempt to sneak in
disguised as a country woman, he reports a propos of facilities for
ladies at court performances that (quoting from Herford and Simpson):

"Mary before I could procure my properties, alarum came, that some of
the whimlen's [sic] had too much; and one shew'd how fruitfully they had
watered his head, as he stood under the grices; and another came out
complaining of a cataract, shot into his eyes, by a planet as he was
star-gazing."

How accurate this may be one cannot know, but it wouldn't have been a
laugh-line if it hadn't been at least a plausible scenario for the
conditions that had to be endured.

Tom

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andy White  <
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Date:           Monday, 10 May 1999 11:13:06 -0400
Subject:        Time Period for Hamlet?

Because the description of Elsinore castle is specific, and involves the
one which was in operation during Shakespeare's time, it is safe to say
that Hamlet is intended as a contemporary play.

What makes this question difficult for me, and other questions like
this, is that the 'place' is not simply Elsinore but also London-the
references to the boy company in Blackfriars, which Elsinore doesn't
have, and references to the 'nunneries', i.e., the whorehouses outside
the Globe which had been run by the Bishop of Winchester for centuries
before Henry VIII handed them over to Anglican pimps-make questions of
exact time and place hard to answer.

Not that these questions can't be asked, but that they generate more
problems than answers, and thereby give us insight into how Shakespeare
sought to have it both ways-evoke the mythic and the contemporary, the
foreign and domestic, on the same stage.

Andy White
Arlington, VA

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Haylett <
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Date:           Monday, 10 May 1999 20:18:38 +0100
Subject:        Re: Chooseth

>Over the years I've almost convinced myself that Portia does the
>cheating (e.g., the song with the "lead" rhymes; her assertion that
>she'd cheat rather than be married to a sponge)

Remember, though, that she uses the word 'hazard' in the presence of
each of her courtiers, so all get that clue. I lean towards the belief
that the song is not assumed to be heard by Bassanio, who is talking at
the time, according to the Folio.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Drew Alan Mason <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 May 1999 07:03:06 +1000
Subject: 10.0778 Classifieds
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0778 Classifieds

>The May issue of Harper's has this classified ad:
>
>       TEACHERS:  Stop forcing students to read my plays.
>       Take them to a theater or show videotapes; then
>       discuss.  W.S.

I love it!  My philosophy exactly.  Plays are meant to be seen and not
read. Unless of course that playwright is Seneca.

Three Cheers!

Drew Mason
St Johns School, Guam

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marti Markus <
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Date:           Tue, 11 May 1999 01:33:37 +0100
Subject: 10.0838 Various Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0838 Various Queries

>I am currently working on a paper to reduce the length of Hamlet to a
>half an hour. When I first went through making the reductions, I
>completely eliminated Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Ophelia from the
>play in order to focus on the relationship between Hamlet and Claudius.
>Now I'm beginning to wonder if I was too hasty, especially with cutting
>out Ophelia. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Just do the "Mousetrap" - it has been running for 40-odd years in
London.

M. Marti
 

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