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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: November ::
Re: Productions of Much Ado
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1849  Monday, 1 November 1999.

[1]     From:   John Drakakis <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Oct 1999 17:26:13 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.1847 Re: Productions of Much Ado

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Oct 1999 05:58:24 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1847 Re: Productions of Much Ado

[3]     From:   Pervez Rizvi <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Oct 1999 21:01:07 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.1847 Re: Productions of Much Ado

[4]     From:   Todok Hiro <
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        Date:   Friday, 29 Oct 1999 13:48:22 +0900
        Subj:   Much Ado

[5]     From:   Dana Shilling <
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        Date:   Saturday, 30 Oct 1999 02:23:49 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1847 Re: Productions of Much Ado


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Oct 1999 17:26:13 +0100
Subject: 10.1847 Re: Productions of Much Ado
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.1847 Re: Productions of Much Ado

As a PS, I should have said that the Callaghan book will be appearing in
the Accents on Shakespeare Series, a new series that will be starting
publication shortly from Routledge, under the general editorship of
Terence Hawkes.

Cheers,
John Drakakis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Oct 1999 05:58:24 +0100
Subject: 10.1847 Re: Productions of Much Ado
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1847 Re: Productions of Much Ado

Sean Lawrence  writes ...

"This might be in keeping with several rebellions, in Shakespeare and in
history.  The rebellion in Henry IV, part 2, is effectively ended by
Prince John accepting all the rebels demands ...The rconciliation of Don
John and Don Pedro is only hard to believe in an age of
ideologically-driven total war.  If war is only a pursuit of policy by
other means then it need not be much more bitter than party politics
generally are."

But Prince John betrays the leaders of the rebellion, and orders them
executed:

Some guard these traitors to the block of death,
Treason's true bed and yielder up of breath.
         --  2HIV, Act 4, scene 1.

If Don  Pedro had behaved similarly towards Don John in MUCH ADO, the
latter character wouldn't have been around by the beginning of the play
(which may have been, in order of composition, the play which
immediately followed 2HIV).

Robin Hamilton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pervez Rizvi <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Oct 1999 21:01:07 +0100
Subject: 10.1847 Re: Productions of Much Ado
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.1847 Re: Productions of Much Ado

>This "outlaw" figure ..... may well be contrasted
>with another peculiar figure who appears in the SD at the beginning of
>the play, and who modern editors expunge- Innogen, the wife of Leonato.
>Wouldn't it make sense to have the story of the bastard (which is
>ongoing in the play) contast with the "in-law feminine" represented
>initially by the silent Innogen and later by the silenced Hero?

An audience seeing the play for the first time, having never read it,
would not know that Don John is a bastard until Benedick tells them,
quite late, in scene 4.1 ('...if their wisdoms be misled in this, / The
practice of it lives in John the bastard'). By this time, Don John has
already left the stage for the last time.

Noticing that all the other bastards in Shakespeare are announced as
such on their first appearance, I've sometimes wondered if John Dover
Wilson was right in his fascinating but unprovable theory that the
surviving text of Much Ado is a revised version of an earlier play that
had Claudio/Hero as the dominant story, with B&B as minor characters
[see Wilson and Quiller-Couch's Cambridge edition of 1923 if you're
interested in this theory]. When the Hero/Claudio plot was downgraded,
it's quite possible that some early material touching Don John's
parentage was sacrificed. Who knows - maybe Innogen disappeared in the
same revision. Complete speculation, but interesting nonetheless.

I've once or twice wanted to ask whether there was any stage convention
that allowed audiences to recognise bastards without having to be told
in the dialogue, analogous to their recognition of the Fool by his
motley. I never did ask before because I didn't want to bother the list
with such a trivial question, but this thread gives me an opportunity to
ask. Does anyone have an answer?

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Todok Hiro <
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Date:           Friday, 29 Oct 1999 13:48:22 +0900
Subject:        Much Ado

Kristine Steenbergh wrote:
>Don John's remark about Claudio: "that young start-up hath all the glory
>of my overthrow" (I.iii.62) would seem to support the interpretation
>that the battle was one between the two half-brothers, since in the
>opening scene Claudio is described as one of the more successful men
>fighting on behalf of Don Pedro.

Is it so evident? I have had a vague idea that the war mentioned in the
text was one between some enemy country or some such, and in the course
of the battle John did some flagrant treason out of which the conflict
between the two half-brothers ensued.

todok hiro

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Shilling <
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Date:           Saturday, 30 Oct 1999 02:23:49 -0400
Subject: 10.1847 Re: Productions of Much Ado
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1847 Re: Productions of Much Ado

The Much Ado war, like the All's Well war (where the king allows his
nobles to fight for EITHER side) perhaps is as much a macho sporting
event, where the nobility recognized that it was in their best interest
to refrain from killing too many of each other, as a serious event with
negative implications for soldiers (as well as boys and luggage!)

Dana (Shilling)
 

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