The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0700 Tuesday, 4 April 2000.
Date: Monday, 3 Apr 2000 17:24:46 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 11.0683 Re: Two Noble Kinsmen
Comment: Re: SHK 11.0683 Re: Two Noble Kinsmen
Well, indeed. The play is a rewrite of Chaucer's The Knight's Tale. I
haven't compared the two texts for almost 30 years, but the CCC
production struck me as bringing out the Chaucerian ironies beautifully.
The actor who played the Prologue and Epilogue even played them as a
Chaucerian figure. He played up both the narrative distance and the
bawdiness in the lines, and did it excellently, too.
When I studied the play as an undergraduate, I think I was focusing on
the differences more than on the similarities, particularly in tone. I
had thought that Shakespeare and Fletcher had softened the characters
and made their love seem more heartfelt than Chaucer did, but this
production showed me that the characters do not have to be played that
I need to go back and reread both texts to see what my more "mature"
understanding will reveal to me now.