2000

Re: Second-Hand Fighting and Monsters

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0398  Thursday, 24 February 2000.

From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 14:34:29 -0500
Subject: 11.0384 Re: Second-Hand Fighting and Monsters
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0384 Re: Second-Hand Fighting and Monsters

Add the Prince's report of the Battle of Gad's Hill to Poins, and
Falstaff's delightfully revisionist retelling.

David Evett

Re: Armorial Device

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0397  Thursday, 24 February 2000.

From:           Nancy Charlton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 14:01:49 -0500
Subject: 11.0387 Re: Armorial Device
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0387 Re: Armorial Device

As to the Spencer/Spenser connection, there is one.  It was explained to
me a couple of years ago by a friend of mine, Arthur Spencer, historian
and genealogist in Portland OR.  It is quite involved and I cannot find
my notes, but I will write to Art and ask him again.  He was interviewed
in the Oregonian at the time of Diana's death, and the article may be
available online but I can't give you an exact URL right now.  He will
be interested to know about the Marlowe book that Sean Lawrence
mentioned.

I do recall that they are related to the Butlers and Chamberlains, all
being important offices within great houses.

Nancy Charlton

Re: Who's Who in Hell

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0395  Thursday, 24 February 2000.

[1]     From:   Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 14:33:37 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell

[2]     From:   Patrick Dolan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 13:34:04 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell

[3]     From:   Matt Kozusko <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 13:48:23 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell

[4]     From:   David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 15:14:35 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell

[5]     From:   Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 17:03:03 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0381 Who's Who in Hell

[6]     From:   Gerda Grice <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 17:52:45 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell

[7]     From:   Marti Markus <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 24 Feb 2000 00:26:08 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell

[8]     From:   Dana Shilling <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 19:56:41 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 14:33:37 -0500
Subject: 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell

Since comedy and tragedy both predate heaven and hell, why not define
the latter in terms of the former rather than vice versa?

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Patrick Dolan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 13:34:04 -0600
Subject: 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell

Depends on whether or not you think Northrop Frye is "traditional." If
you look at Sidney's Apology, you'll find that tragedy and comedy are
class and moral categories. We emulate the virtues of the noble and
laugh at and avoid the vulgarities of the ignoble. Frye's categories
make sense, but they aren't Sidney's or anyone else's in the late
sixteenth century as far as I can tell.

Is there someone on this list who knows sixteenth century genre theory
better than this?

Pat

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matt Kozusko <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 13:48:23 -0600
Subject: 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell

Dana Shilling notes that in the Elizabethan world-view, Shylock's
commanded conversion is something more of a salvation than a curse.
Officially, canonically, this is sound reasoning.  Still, one suspects
audiences were capable of empathy for Shylock.  The pain of a forced
religious conversion was after all not too distant as a familiar idea,
if not a familiar experience, at the close of the 16th century.  Either
way, surely, we are not the first century of readers to perceive in
Shakespeare a delicacy, a sympathetic regard, for the villain, or
accordingly to hear Shylock on his own terms.

Matt Kozusko

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 15:14:35 -0500
Subject: 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell

The terms if not the outcome of Claudius's visit to the chapel of
Elsinore Castle should tell Dana Schilling that traditional Christianity
does not see killing infallibly sending the killer to hell: no sin,
however heinous, for which sincere penitence is offered and sustained,
is too grave for divine forgiveness.  Horatio implies as much in his
pious hope for flights of angels to escort Hamlet's soul-though to be
sure they might take it down as well as up.  Hamlet Sr. smote the
sledded Polack, but has managed to get to Purgatory, it would appear.
Is Lear damned for killing the slave that was hanging Cordelia?  Edgar
for Edmund?  Given in particular that all these, like Romeo/Tybalt, are
in what we would call fair fight-opportunity for the victim to defend
himself, by contrast with Desdemona and Duncan.  I'm equally
uncomfortable with this simplistic paradigm at the comic end-there's a
reading of All's Well or even Shr that would see marriage vows made
insincerely as mortally sinful, since they violate the commandment about
taking God's name in vain.  Nor does the paradigm help with generically
anomalous work like *Troilus*--nor, indeed, with any of the plays with
pagan settings, all of whose characters are headed for the Bad Place.

Apocalyptically,
Dave Evett

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 17:03:03 -0500
Subject: 11.0381 Who's Who in Hell
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0381 Who's Who in Hell

Dana Shilling offers this conclusion:

>Tragedy:
>the people we're rooting for go to Hell. Comedy: the people we're
>rooting for don't.

While I don't see this for every play (The Comedy of Errors? All's Well
That Ends Well?), I do think this conclusion may hold true for some
dramatists and for the choices Shakespeare made in some plays (Two
Gentlemen of Verona, for example). In John Ford's Political Theatre,
Lisa Hopkins has shown that for Ford, tragedy often results from a
rejection of, or a lack of access to, sacraments. Thomas Middleton's
comedies often have a concluding conversion or repentance. One
modification I would add: Tragedy may also genre for dealing with
martyrdom-a possibility for both The Duchess of Malfi and The Second
Maiden's Tragedy. But the martyrs are not headed for hell.

Jack Heller

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gerda Grice <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 17:52:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell

Carol Barton's comment that comedies end in reconciliation, reunion or
marriage and tragedies end in death is perhaps a bit of an
oversimplification.  Some very well known comedies-Jonson's Volpone and
Moliere's The Misanthrope are just two that spring to mind-do not end in
either reunion, marriage or reconciliation.  And the work that Aristotle
seems to have regarded as the model of what tragedy should be, King
Oedipus does not end in death-or, at least, not in the death of the
hero.

Gerda Grice
Ryerson Polytechnic University
Toronto, Canada

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marti Markus <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 24 Feb 2000 00:26:08 +0100
Subject: 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell

>Dana, I really think your inquiry would be better served by the
>traditional definitions: a comedy ends in marriage, reunion, or
>reconciliation. A tragedy ends in death.
>
>Best,
>Carol Barton

Yes, this is the traditional definition. Long live Aristotle! But there
are also traditional beginnings, and there are traditional settings, and
there are traditional characters, and there are traditions of style,
language, intonation, performance etc.

Will we not have a certain (and sometimes quite a clear) disposition
after the first scene of a play we do not know - even before we know its
ending?  Are endings so important?

Consider "A Midsummer Night's Dream": Is it a tragedy? It ends [well,
not quite, but it almost ends] with the tragical death of Pyramus and
Thisbe - Romeo and Juliet in classical disguise! There are Shakespeare's
"problem plays". What are they? Consider "Troilus and Cressida": What is
it? Who dies? And when?

What kind of reconciliation, marriage or whatever other happy reunion
have we got in "Volpone"?

In many plays (from Shakespeare till today) "reconciliation" may mean
"death", whereas "not being allowed or not being granted to die" may be
a truly tragic ending (e.g. Sartre, Becket et al.). Marriage and other
reunions are not necessarily a key to paradise and they are not
necessarily serene, romantic or comic, either. Just take family
reunions: don't they have an inherent tendency to be boring or to turn
into "real" (i.e. almost classical) tragedies both in life and on stage?

Markus Marti

[8]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Shilling <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 19:56:41 -0500
Subject: 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0388 Re: Who's Who in Hell

LLL ends with no weddings and a funeral, but I wouldn't call it a
tragedy.  As for marriage and reconciliation, I can't help recalling the
English 101 chestnut that Milton wrote "Paradise Lost" shortly after
getting married, and "Paradise Regained" as a widower.

Dana

Re: Chicago MND

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0396  Thursday, 24 February 2000.


[1]     From:   David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 19:48:46 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0393 Chicago MND

[2]     From:   Eric W Beato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 21:55:55 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 11.0393 Chicago MND

[3]     From:   Michael Meyers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 21:41:54 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.0393 Chicago MND


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 19:48:46 -0600
Subject: 11.0393 Chicago MND
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0393 Chicago MND

Jack Kamen wrote:

>I have seen more than a hundred Shakespeare productions but have not
>enjoyed one more than the MND presented at the Shakespeare Theater on
>Chicago's Navy Pier.
>
>Its costuming, lighting, originality of presentation and acting skills,
>made this, at least for me, an unforgettable midwinter night's treat.
>
>The run ends April 1st.
>
>I would like to hear others' comments.

I saw the production, and I was also impressed.  Apparently it's based
closely on a production which was very successful in Minneapolis, with
the director (Joe Dowling), Puck (Danyon Davis), and Bottom (Richard
Iglewski) all coming from there to Chicago for this production.  I saw
it several weeks ago, but unfortunately had to leave at intermission
because my date became ill.  However, we're going back to see it again
on April 1, the last show of the run.

I e-mailed some of my impressions to a friend the day after seeing it,
and I'm posting those comments below.  They're very informal, but should
give you some idea of what it's like.  I think the weekend shows are
pretty much sold out for the rest of the run, but you can always check,
and there may still be weekday seats.  The phone number for the box
office is (312) 595-5600.

Dave Kathman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
*****************************

Overall, I really liked it.  They did the standard doubling of
Theseus/Oberon and Hippolyta/Titania, and Puck also doubled as
Philostrate, which I guess is less common.  In fact, they explicitly
emphasized the doubling at the beginning.  Puck came out, dressed in a
thong, leaping around, doing somersaults, giggling, and eventually sat
in the audience.  Two women came out, carrying a pair of black pants and
a shirt and jacket, and motioned to Puck.  He whimpered and came down on
stage, where they dressed him as he made faces and noises.  When he was
dressed as Philostrate, he strode over to the side of the stage, music
started, a set was rolled out, and Theseus and his court came out to
start the first scene.

The non-fairy scenes were in modern dress-Theseus, Egeus, and
Philostrate in tuxedoes, Lysander and Demetrius in military uniforms.
When the lovers went out into the forest, the were first wearing casual
clothes, but then the fairies made their clothes disappear (in a neat
bit of business- it looked like they were pull-away clothes attached to
wires), and they were in their underwear for the rest of the forest
scenes.  As far as acting goes, the lovers (Hermia, Helena, Demetrius,
Lysander) were fine, but didn't leave that much of an impression on me.
(It didn't help that Demetrius and Lysander looked quite a bit alike.)

The rude mechanicals were in working-class garb.  Snout was in a
mechanic's overalls; Snug (a big guy) was in a baseball cap.  Robin
Starveling was played by a woman, which is not contradicted anywhere in
the text (including the androgynous name), and which added a little
laugh when Snout says, "Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?", and
Starveling says, "I fear it, I promise you." Their Bottom, a guy named
Richard Iglewski, was very good.  He was dressed a little better than
the other mechanicals, with his jacket draped over his shoulders, and
spoke with a dandified pseudo-British accent.  The ass's head they made
for him was very well done; it covered his head competely, but the mouth
moved, and you could hear his voice clearly.

The music was very well done in this production.  They had background
music at the beginning and at various scene changes which was enjoyable
and effective.  When Titania is falling asleep in the woods in 2.2, the
fairies' "Lullaby" song was done as a sort of Motown/doo-wop number;
very entertaining and catchy.  When the mechanicals entered for their
practice scene in the forest, they came in from the back of the theater,
through the audience, singing "High Hopes", which got laughs.
Unfortunately I didn't get to see the music in the last two acts, but
I'm sure it was good, and I'll get to see it in a couple of months.

Well, I guess this wasn't so much a review as a bunch of impressions.
But it should give you some idea of what it was like.  The theater
itself is pretty cool, with a thrust stage surrounded on three sides by
the audience.  There's a balcony going all around on three sides, but
with only one row of seats.  We were in the balcony on the very end,
near the rear left corner of the stage, but they were still pretty good
seats.  The whole thing is less than 100 feet wide, because of the
restraints of where they built it.  It's really a cool space, and I'm
looking forward to seeing more things there.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eric W Beato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 21:55:55 -0500
Subject: Chicago MND
Comment:        SHK 11.0393 Chicago MND

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, newly installed on Navy Pier, is a leader
in Chicago theatre,and the MND currently on stage is a real treat for
the Shakespeare buff as well as for the casual viewer.

I don't think I ever laughed so hard in any theater anywhere as I did
for this performance.  The music, the lighting, the directing, the
casting- every aspect of the production is first class.  Even the
costuming of Bottom was superb-without a doubt, the finest head of an
ass in Dream history.

See it if you possibly can.

Rick Beato
Lisle IL Senior High School

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Meyers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 21:41:54 -0600
Subject: 11.0393 Chicago MND
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.0393 Chicago MND

>I have seen more than a hundred Shakespeare productions but have not
>enjoyed one more than the MND presented at the Shakespeare Theater on
>Chicago's Navy Pier.

Jack, I agree 100%.  It was great.  It was soooo funny.   However, I
wonder if it might be too madcap for this academic group.

Michael

Re: Titus Article & Books

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0394  Thursday, 24 February 2000.

From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Feb 2000 10:24:16 -0800
Subject: Re: Titus Article & Books
Comment:        SHK 11.0385 Re: Titus Article & Books

Everyone interested in Taymor's Titus may want to check out the current
issue of American Cinematographer, cover date 2/00.  It has a lengthy,
and occasionally technical interview with cinematographer Luciano
Tovoli, ASC, which I only partly understood.  You can amaze your friends
by talking about how having to drop down to 1600 kilowatts in the
coliseum scene worked just fine.  I understood all the stuff about
vision and clarity of image, so there are rewards for non-technical
readers as well. The screenplay will be published in the United States
this April.  It will be a heavily illustrated hardback, retailing for a
depressingly high $39.95.

On another note, although I was pretty certain there was no book
dedicated to Warner's Titus, I hoped I was wrong.  Since no one has come
forth, so far, with information, I have an alternate suggestion.

Unless I have overlooked something, I wonder if the book Michael Yawney
saw was actually the Titus Andronicus volume in Manchester University
Press' "Shakespeare in Performance" series?  It has Brian Cox face on
the cover and gives the best coverage on the production I have seen.
Someone picking up the book and spot reading could come upon the Warner
section and easily remember the book as dedicated to that production.

I was interrupted by life after reading just a few pages of this book,
and didn't get to the Warner section.  I suspect it is worth reading.
Everything by Allen Dessen is worth reading.

Next time you are in Stratford, go to the Shakespeare Center Library and
get the production photos, prompt book, and reviews.  You'll learn even
more.

Best,
Mike Jensen

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