1999

R + J

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2207  Tuesday, 14 December 1999.

From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 11 Dec 1999 22:50:54 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        R + J

A late word on Rom from Alec Guinness, A Positively Final Appearance:
"Shakespeare's Birthday, 23 April; he would be four hundred and
thirty-three today so I greeted him by going to the Odeon, Marble Arch,
to see Baz Luhrmann's film William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.  I
enjoyed it a lot and I find my mind keeps returning to its images and
ideas, but I regret the title.  'Rom and Jule' or 'Eo and let' or 'Cut
him out in little stars' or 'A word and a blow' or 'Peppered for this
world' would all be extravagant but possible titles, and more
justifiable" (16).

DC - Hamlet, Shakespeare's R&J

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2206  Tuesday, 14 December 1999.

From:           Jimmy Jung <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 10 Dec 1999 13:34:32 -0500
Subject:        DC - Hamlet, Shakespeare's R&J

Just a short note to say there is a very very cool production of Hamlet
closing at the Folger, in DC on the 12th.  I say cool because director
Joe Banno has cast four people in the role of Hamlet, three women and a
man (although the cross gender casting seems to have little meaning
here).  The result is an incredibly effective method of examining the
internal conflicts and various facets of the crazy Dane.  It is
augmented by a stage set with mirrors that are constantly reflecting the
players and occasionally backlit to allow one cast member to appear as
the reflection of another; a mesmerizing funhouse effect.  The "primary"
Hamlet is played by Holly Twyford, whose petite size and small pipe
gives the character a tortured adolescent aspect.  The other three
Hamlets typically express his calm philosophical side, his wild mad side
and a third kind of middle of the road aspect that I had some difficulty
figuring out.  The program notes describe these aspects as Eye, Sword
and Tongue respectively, and apparently take their cue from Ophelia's
line, " O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!  The courtier's,
soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword."

During soliloquies, like "To be or not to be ...", these "other"
Hamlet's take the various sides of the argument.  On other occasions,
they are the voices in his head urging him on, often repeating bits of
previous dialog to whet Hamlet's purpose.  Gertrude's bedroom scene
reaches the height of stichomythia-ness as each of the Hamlets delivers
a line in turn, while changing places through a revolving mirror door.

It was my first impression that Banno and Dramaturg, Cam Magee (who is
also the philosophical Hamlet) had been doing a lot altering of the
text.  They have; but the program notes also indicate that they freely
incorporated the "notorious First Quarto text."  The most satisfying
result of this choice is a second performance of "to be or not to be."
Late in the play Hamlet returns to Ophelia's grave and repeats his
soliloquy, this time using the Q1 version.

 To be or not to be, I there's the point,
 To die, to sleep, is that all? I all:
 No, to sleep, to dream, I mary there it goes,
 For in that dream of death, when wee awake,
 And borne before an everlasting judge
 From whence no passenger ever returned
 The undiscovered country, at whose sight
 The happy smile, and the accursed damn'd.

The speech is a mixed up ole' mess, but in a production that emphasized
the fractured nature of the lead character, the effect is one of fusing
disparate elements, before rushing headlong into the finale.  Hamlet
senior is a surprisingly tangible ghost, tromping in and out regularly,
including a very early flash-back scene where he reads young Hamlet a
bedtime story, the story of Priam and Dido, discussed by Hamlet and the
player later.  This production has only one player, who recruits
volunteers from his audience to perform.  Naturally, Gertrude and
Claudius are called upon to help with the dumb show.  This performance
of "The Mousetrap" is also highlighted by having Rosencrantz's cell
phone go off during the players speech.  He is, of coursed shunned by
both real and performed audience alike.

The production also finds unrealized humor in the Polonius family, with
Dad being more of a warm, but overbearing father, than a doddering
fool.  He has a military sense of authority, nevertheless, Laertes and
Ophelia tease him and each other.  But nothing's quite as funny as Brad
Waller, who is less of a gravedigger than a mortician.  His scene is
entirely ghoulish, but funny as he prepares Ophelia's body; delivering
his discussion of self destruction and gravemaking, while smoking a
cigarette, clipping her toenails, sewing closed her lips, and using
Yorick's skull as an ashtray.

As a final note, just before the lights go out, there is also the hint
that Horatio may still take the Roman way out.

Okay, it's not such a short note (brevity - soul of wit, whatever); but,
if you're in DC and have finished your Christmas shopping (Boxing day,
whatever) it is well worth seeing.  Also of interest to those of you
discussing Shakespeare's R&J, the adaptation set in an all boy's
boarding school; Joe Calarco will be bringing this adaptation to the
Folger in February.  Both plays are described at:
http://www.folger.edu/public/theater/menu.htm

Two questions: Does anyone know of a copy of The First Quarto on the
web?  And can anyone illuminate Hamlet's request for the Pyrrhus
speech?  I know it relates to fathers and sons.

Jimmy

PS  During the intermission, I had occasion to linger in the Folger
library gift shop, where I could lovingly pet the Norton Facsimile and
wonder greatly at the price.  My thanks to those of you who responded
with specific comments regarding the Yale facsimile.  I have washed off
gross acquaintance.  It now sits on the bottom shelves with Steven King
and Mickey Spillane.  However, early in the facsimile discussion, I
thought I heard scorn for the production of facsimiles at all.  Was that
true?

Nicholas Hammond in "The Tempest" (1983)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2204  Tuesday, 14 December 1999.

From:           Stephen Holcombe <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 09 Dec 1999 18:49:10 -0500
Subject: 10.2189 Nicholas Hammond in "The Tempest" (1983)
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.2189 Nicholas Hammond in "The Tempest" (1983)

I can't help on the availability of this series, but I've seen the
"Tempest" with Zimbalist et. al. and found it solid. Frankly I was
surprised, since productions of Shakespeare which feature actors better
known for their work in American TV series usually seem to be wildly
uneven at best. And for anyone who remembers "Welcome Back, Kotter" the
appearance of the actor who played Horshack as the clown Trinculo must
jar somewhat.  So, no groundbreaking production, but probably effective
as an introductory performance for someone new to the text.

Re: Quartos and Folios

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2205  Tuesday, 14 December 1999.

[1]     From:   Mac Jackson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 10 Dec 1999 13:36:36 +1200
        Subj:   Quartos and Folios

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 13 Dec 1999 09:16:12 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 10.2179 Re: Quartos and Folios

[3]     From:   Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, December 14, 1999
        Subj:   SHK 10.2179 Re: Quartos and Folios


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mac Jackson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 10 Dec 1999 13:36:36 +1200
Subject:        Quartos and Folios

A Book on Shakespeare Quartos and Folios

George Walton Williams's The Craft of Printing and the Publication of
Shakespeare's Works (Washington: Folger Shakespeare Library; and
Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 1985) is reliable,
informative, readable, and brief (100 pages).

Mac Jackson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 13 Dec 1999 09:16:12 -0800
Subject: Re: Quartos and Folios
Comment:        SHK 10.2179 Re: Quartos and Folios

Anne C. Lounsbury told John Savage of some key New Bibliography texts. I
have two others at hand.

Shakespeare's Henry VI and Richard III by Peter Alexander, Cambridge
University Press, 1929, reprinted by Octagon Books, 1973

The Bad Quarto of Romeo and Juliet: A Bibliographical and Textual Study
by Henry Hoppe, Cornell University Press, 1948

There are other books that consider the issue, but I don't have them so
I can't give full information off the top of my head.  I remember two in
part:

E. K. Chambers considers this issue (with much else) in his two volume
William Shakespeare. For Lear, there is Michael Warren's and Gary
Taylor's The Division of the Kingdoms. For a more recent take that grows
largely out of New Bibliography ideas, and considers every play briefly
and clearly, there is William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion by
Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, with John Jowett and William Montgomery,
Oxford University Press, 1987, now available in paperback for W.W.
Norton, 1997(?)

Then there is the book that challenges many of the conclusions by Greg,
Pollard, Alexander, and Hoppe: Shakespearean Suspect Texts by Laurie
Maguire, Cambridge University Press, 1996

This is the book currently curling toes around the world.  I'll be
interested to see if someone answers it.

No, Bill, I'm not trying to start a controversy.  I'm just recommending
books.

Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, December 14, 1999
Subject: Re: Quartos and Folios
Comment:        SHK 10.2179 Re: Quartos and Folios

My best read of late on the "bad" quartos is Laurie E. Maguire
*Shakespearean Suspect Texts: The "Bad" Quartos and Their Contexts.* New
York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

As for the First Folio, if you can still find it (try the Folger Library
Bookstore), the most reasonably priced book on the Folios is Peter W. M.
Blayney's *The First Folio of Shakespeare* Washington, D.C.: Folger
Library Publications, 1991.

And if you can afford it, Peter W.M. Blayney's "Introduction."  *The
First Folio of Shakespeare / Prepared by Charlton Hinman; With a New
Introduction by Peter W. M. Blayney*. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton,
1996.

Re: Literary Terminology 2

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2203  Tuesday, 14 December 1999.

[1]     From:   Michael Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 9 Dec 1999 11:37:10 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.2188 Literary Terminology 2

[2]     From:   Bradley Ryner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 09 Dec 1999 18:10:01 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.2188 Literary Terminology 2

[3]     From:   Stefan Kirby <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 10 Dec 1999 23:50:12 -0800
        Subj:   literary terminology 2

[4]     From:   Armando Guerra" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 11 Dec 1999 03:16:25 -0600
        Subj:   literary terminology 2

[5]     From:   Peter Groves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 13 Dec 1999 13:51:57 +1100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.2188 Literary Terminology 2


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 9 Dec 1999 11:37:10 -0800
Subject: 10.2188 Literary Terminology 2
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.2188 Literary Terminology 2

>For all those who helped with Stick O'Mythia, here's another...
>
>Is there a term for the reversal of key words in a well-known phrase, as
>in Mae West's "A hard man is good to find"?

Sounds a bit like hypallage "Awkward or humorous changing of agreement
or application of words.... Sometimes used to describe a deliberately
misapplied epithet, as when, in a well-rehearsed mistake, Churchill
referred to the 'infernal combustion engine.'" Handlist of Rhetorical
Terms, Richard Lanham, 1996 (Hypercard version)

Or how about, "joke"?

Michael E. Cohen
<mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>http://members.aol.com/lymond/

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bradley Ryner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 09 Dec 1999 18:10:01 -0600
Subject: 10.2188 Literary Terminology 2
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.2188 Literary Terminology 2

I want to call it "spoonerism" though I'm not sure if that's the correct
spelling, and might only apply to the transposition of letters "Tons of
Soil" / "Sons of Toil" is in my head for some reason).

This might be the question which would put me out of the running to
become a millionaire.

Brad Ryner

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stefan Kirby <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 10 Dec 1999 23:50:12 -0800
Subject:        literary terminology 2

I don't suppose this would count as a "Spoonerism"? (particularly as it
is an intentional reversal...)

-Stefan Kirby

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Armando Guerra" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 11 Dec 1999 03:16:25 -0600
Subject:        literary terminology 2

Dear Skip Nicholson,

I think the term for that is "broken set expression"-some other people
call it "decomposition of set expressions." It consists, as you said, in
reviving (for some effect) the independent meaning(s) of the parts that
make up the set expression. Hope this helps somewhat. Cheers,

Armando Guerra V


Subscribe to Our Feeds

Search

Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.