The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0523  Thursday, 16 March 2000.

From:           Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 16 Mar 2000 12:25:32 +0000
Subject: 11.0506 Re: Julius Caesar, Cesario, Ganymede
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0506 Re: Julius Caesar, Cesario, Ganymede

In an outright historical play there may be pitfalls about allowing a
too pedantic overview to interfere with enjoying a creative exploration
of characters and events. But it is also true that  'Literary
Transfigurations' (as mentioned by "Zilkowski's" book - as I remember -
about the literary transfigurations of Christ) are an important part of
a creative artist's repertoire and allows for deep resonance when the
play is not named "historical".  In order for a transfiguration to work
there must be certain key events and names, even as altered, which will
resound. The interaction of author with audience is never more in
concord. The artist provides the stimuli and the audience recalls.
Since actors are rather overlooked by the process, it is no wonder that
they resent it. However they too may benefit.  What is a Hamlet removed
from the Reformation, Calvin and Luther? - a man overly impressed with
his mother. Why should not his "sweet religion" move him? What has " The
Merchant of Venice" been without recalling Duke Joseph Nasi, in regard
to Antonio's lost argosies and the inquisition, regarding the plight of
conversos who might choose to escape it in secret elopements and flight,
like Lorenzo?  Time is dimming the actualities of events that moved
Shakespeare. Rather then blotting them out willfully, I believe that
they must be maintained and thank God, at last seen with a degree of

Yes, pedantry can be excessive and theatrical events are to be enjoyed,
but Shakespeare is never  superficial.

Florence Amit

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