1999

Re: Caliban and Ariel

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1313  Monday, 26 July 1999.

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 23 Jul 1999 16:46:41 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Caliban and Ariel

[2]     From:   Marilyn Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 23 Jul 1999 11:47:03 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1303 Caliban and Ariel

[3]     From:   David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 23 Jul 1999 16:41:51 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1303 Caliban and Ariel

[4]     From:   Brian Haylett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 23 Jul 1999 20:27:52 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Caliban and Ariel

[5]     From:   Peter Hillyar-Russ <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 24 Jul 1999 11:11:52 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 10.1303 Caliban and Ariel


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 23 Jul 1999 16:46:41 +0100
Subject:        Re: Caliban and Ariel

Stuart Manger asks,

>[b] Is there any evidence that Ariel was ever played by a boy in
>Jacobean times, given that he has a lot of songs, and is presumably
>expected to leap about gymnastically - I know that doesn't necessarily
>mean anything!?

Of the two 'fishy' costumes used in the original performances, one was a
close fit on the body of John Rice. So, either Caliban or Ariel was
played by a boy. See Michael Baird Saenger "The costumes of Caliban and
Ariel qua sea-nymph" Notes and Queries 240, 1995, pp 334-336.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marilyn Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 23 Jul 1999 11:47:03 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 10.1303 Caliban and Ariel
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1303 Caliban and Ariel

Stuart Manger wrote:

>[b] Is there any evidence that Ariel was ever played by a boy in
>Jacobean times, given that he has a lot of songs, and is presumably
>expected to leap about gymnastically - Iknow that doesn't necessarily
>mean anything!? What striking performances of Ariel can
>correspondents recall?

I've never been convinced that Ariel is either male or female... though
for me it's always been a more feminine than masculine entity.

Most memorable?  Back in the days when Bob Brustein directed the Yale
Repertory Theatre, the Rep mounted a production (I do not know the
director) in which Carmen DeLavellade (that is probably misspelled!) and
several other dancers inhabited a single large semi-opaque stretchable
envelope.  The choreography of each of the dancers was such that Ariel
became an amorphous shape, genderless and actually removed from human
form entirely.  Also amazingly effective.  I remember nothing else about
the casting and little about the production, though I do have several
mind-scapes of the visual effects including the wrecked ship at the
beginning.

Marilyn Bonomi

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 23 Jul 1999 16:41:51 GMT
Subject: 10.1303 Caliban and Ariel
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1303 Caliban and Ariel

>A bundle of questions about The Tempest:
>
>[a] What are current views on how to interpret Caliband and Ariel on
>stage? Colonised Caliban? Ethnic Caliban? Superhuman ? Sub-human
>Caliban? Young? Old?

The range of possible representations is, of course, enormous.  The
Shared Experience Theatre Company in 1996 had Caliban young and virile,
faintly scruffy but otherwise undifferentiated, and staged a dumb-show
before Act1 in which Miranda and Caliban almost got it together before
Prospero intervened.  Tim Walker in Leeds this year inserted prominent
'fangs', and some disfiguring facial make-up, but had him speak in very
courtly style (as one taught by Prospero and Miranda might).  the
'colonial' Caliban seems to be somewhat out of fashion - a performance
at the Victoria Theatre Stoke on Trent last year had a Caliban in furry
costume that wouldn't have looked out of place in the early 1900s. The
recent fashion has perhaps been to transfer the narrative of oppression
from Caliban to Ariel - Simon Russell Beale's performance in Sam
Mendes's 1993 RSC staging (see Peter Holland's English Shakespeare's for
excellent review), Olwyn Fouere's in ESC Tempest of (I think 1992), and
the Ariel in the Shared Experience performance were all, in varied ways,
characterised as unwilling servants under duress.  In the most recent
Adrian Noble RSC performance the attempt was to convey to the audience
that Prospero never actually saw Ariel (an effect which most of the
audience clearly did not understand - though Gielgud in his
autobiography somewhere says that when he played Prospero he tried not
to look at Ariel, which might testify to something of the same idea).

>[b] Is there any evidence that Ariel was ever played by a boy in
>Jacobean times, given that he has a lot of songs, and is presumably
>expected to leap about gymnastically - I know that doesn't necessarily
>mean anything!? What striking performances of Ariel can correspondents
>recall?

There seems to me to be little evidence that he wasn't.  The casting of
the play for the standard company almost certainly requires that Ariel
be played by a boy actor - and the spirits also.

>[c] And the Act 4 Spirits? What kinds of voices would be expected for
>the music?

I would think that they would be boy's voices; the question is whether
Ariel played Ceres (it depends how you interpret 'when I presented
Ceres') with another singing boy playing Juno.  If, as Kermode suggests
(but I don't believe) Ariel played Iris, then a further singing boy
would be required.

At this date one assumes that the music might have been of a fairly
'advanced' declamatory style - something of which Robert Johnson, who
provided settings that survive for two of the songs, would certainly
have been capable.

>[d] I cannot find a cast list for the 1612-13 performance before James l
>- does it exist?

If it does I'd love to know!

>[e] is there anything beyond theatrical tradition that Ben Jonson was
>involved in that celebratory production?

Not as far as I am aware.

(Though the preface to Bartholomew Fair indicates that Jonson had a
pretty sniffy attitude to the 'servant-monster' and 'drolleries' of the
Tempest)

>[f] can I have advice about what Jacobeans meant by a 'banquet'?
>Presumably a small selection of goodies at the side of a hall on a small
>'banc' / bench or similar?

I think it could very well mean something much more substantial.

>[g] And that nightmare SD for any stage manager today - Ariel makes a
>banquet disappear with 'a quaint device'. What kind of 'device'?

Andrew Gurr suggests a 'reversible table top'.  The stage direction is
possibly  the scribe Ralph Crane's sophistication of a balder original.

David Lindley
School of English
University of Leeds

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Haylett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 23 Jul 1999 20:27:52 +0100
Subject:        Re: Caliban and Ariel

>[g]And that nightmare SD for any stage manager today - Ariel makes a
>banquet disappear with 'a quaint device'. What kind of 'device'?

It has been suggested - I cannot remember where - that use would be made
of what has become a stock magician's device: a table with flip-over top
on which the banquet was stuck.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Hillyar-Russ <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 24 Jul 1999 11:11:52 +0100
Subject: Caliban and Ariel
Comment:        SHK 10.1303 Caliban and Ariel

Stuart Manger asks:

>What striking performances of Ariel can correspondents
>recall?

1) The RSC production by Sam Mendes in 1992 had Simon Russell Beale as
Ariel to Alec McCowan's Prospero. The staging was in modern dress, and
Russell Beale was dressed like a modern day servant, in grey, tunic
style, suit. He played the role, in one critics description, like a
surly school-boy, obedient to his headmaster by force alone. The set was
dominated by a huge blue door on the back wall of the stage, never
opened through the play, until - having been released "Be free and fare
thou well", Ariel spat full in Prospero's face, and exited through the
door.

2) A couple of years later David Thacker toured a smaller scale
production, also for the RSC. This appeared at Stratford on the smaller,
thrust stage, of the Swan Theatre. In this Paul Jesson played Prospero,
and a young actress/dancer, Bonnie Engstrom, played Ariel with great
agility, not to say panache and 


Re: Elizabeth I

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1312  Monday, 26 July 1999.

[1]     From:   Debbie Barrett-Graves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 23 Jul 1999 13:26:05 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1298 Elizabeth

[2]     From:   Robert F. O'Connor <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 25 Jul 1999 18:10:36 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1298 Elizabeth

[3]     From:   Kenneth Robert Patterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 25 Jul 1999 11:45:49 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.1311 Re: Virginity of Elizabeth I

[4]     From:   Christine Tsai <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 26 Jul 1999 17:43:02 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1298 Elizabeth

[5]     From:   Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 26 Jul 1999 09:34:24 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1311  Re: Virginity of Elizabeth I

[6]     From:   Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, July 26, 1999
        Subj:   Elizabeth I



[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Debbie Barrett-Graves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 23 Jul 1999 13:26:05 -0600
Subject: 10.1298 Elizabeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1298 Elizabeth

I would recommend the following text in response to Tiffany Rasovic's
query about a biography of Elizabeth:

Levin, Carole.  *The Heart and Stomach of a King: Elizabeth I and the
        Politics of Sex and Power.*  Philadelphia: U of Philadelphia P,
1994.

Debbie Barrett-Graves
College of Santa Fe
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert F. O'Connor <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 25 Jul 1999 18:10:36 +1000
Subject: 10.1298 Elizabeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1298 Elizabeth

Scholarly biographies of Elizabeth ... I've read four in the past year,
including Lytton Strachey's somewhat melodramatic 'Elizabeth and
Essex'.  Four might seem excessive, but I discovered something new in
each of them.

'Scholarly' is a slippery term ... I'd have to say that the best going
is the most recent: Alison Weir's "Elizabeth the Queen' - but then I am
a great fan of all of Weir's work.  But if I have any complaint with it
(and this applies to the others I have read as well), it is that it
fails as a scholarly work in only one respect: footnotes.  There were
many times when I would have liked a clear attribution or a given remark
or anecdote or incident, though I admit giving a full description of
sources for some matters, even in period materials, might soon get
tiresome.

Rob O'Connor

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth Robert Patterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 25 Jul 1999 11:45:49 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 10.1311 Re: Virginity of Elizabeth I
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.1311 Re: Virginity of Elizabeth I

Where is this last quote from?

>Very much to the point was Henri IV of France's observation, "Elle est
>vierge comme je suis catholique."

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Tsai <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 26 Jul 1999 17:43:02 +0800
Subject: 10.1298 Elizabeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1298 Elizabeth

You might like to take a look at  Neville Williams's "The Life and Times
of Elizabeth I," whose general editor is Antonia Fraser, 1972.

Christine Tsai

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 26 Jul 1999 09:34:24 EDT
Subject: 10.1311  Re: Virginity of Elizabeth I
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1311  Re: Virginity of Elizabeth I

Germaine Greer (whose M.A. thesis was on Shakespeare) has a new book out
about women; she was interviewed recently on NPR, and based on that
interview, I think anyone seriously interested in understanding the
range of possibilities about Elizabeth's sex life might well consult
Greer's book, whose title may be something like Whole Woman or Total
Woman. Sorry I don't have it.

Regarding the request for a biography of Elizabeth that stands out so as
to be sufficient in itself, I liked Jasper Ridley's a lot. But even
better is a chronologically-arranged compilation of Elizabeth's own
writings put together with excellent notes by an actress (sorry can't
bring up her name!). Were I teaching, I would recommend it to students,
as being from the source. The caution, however, as always, is that all
the biographers put together will not give you the full story, or a very
clear picture.

I will also be very happy to see what other list people recommend for
biographies of Elizabeth. And any new good ones on Shakespeare, for that
matter. If they exist.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, July 26, 1999
Subject:        Elizabeth I

I enjoyed Maria Perry's *Elizabeth I, The Word of a Prince: A Life from
Contemporary Documents*, 1990. The problem is that I am not sure how
readily available this book is. I got my copy from The Folio Society.

Re: Those Pesky Pirates of Hamlet Again

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1310  Friday, 23 July 1999.

From:           H. R. Greenberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 22 Jul 1999 17:22:26 EDT
Subject: 10.1294 Re: Those Pesky Pirates of Hamlet Again
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1294 Re: Those Pesky Pirates of Hamlet Again

For this relief, much thanks. hrg md endit

Re: Virginity of Elizabeth I

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1311  Friday, 23 July 1999.

From:           Tom Dale Keever <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 23 Jul 1999 00:12:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Virginity of Elizabeth I

Elizabeth's "virginity" should be understood as a political, and
religious, decision of policy, a brilliant symbolic maneuver in an age
when such symbolism was very potent, not a physiological fact.  For all
its historic inaccuracies the recent film got that larger issue pretty
much right.

A useful contribution from the perspective of modern anthropology was
made by Clifford Geertz in his essay, "Centers, Kings, and Charisma:
Reflections on the Symbolics of Power," which can be found in his book
Local Knowledge and many anthologies.

Very much to the point was Henri IV of France's observation, "Elle est
vierge comme je suis catholique."

Re: Bookstores in London

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1309  Friday, 23 July 1999.

From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 22 Jul 1999 10:47:40 +0000
Subject: 10.1287 Re: Bookstores in London
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1287 Re: Bookstores in London

Thanks for your final notes on London booksellers.  I'll be printing
everything out and taking it with me.  Glancing over London A-Z, it
seems that most of them are fairly close together, within walking
distance or an easy tube-ride.

By the way, Terence, I was heartened to hear that at least the
booksellers are manfully attempting to rescue Britain from the
capitalist age.

Cheers,
Se


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