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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: April ::
Re: Walking Out of a Play
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0801  Friday, 14 April 2000.

From:           Judith Matthews Craig <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Apr 2000 17:18:23 -0500
Subject: 11.0776 Re: Walking Out of a Play
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0776 Re: Walking Out of a Play

>>How about this Shakespearean standard for deciding whether or not to
>>walk out on a production: when Hippolyta (clearly speaking for the
>>others in the onstage audience) is bored by the mechanicals'
>>performance
>>("I am aweary of this moon.  Would he would change!"), she is lessoned

>>by Theseus, who agrees with her assessment of their theatrical
>>experience but not her proposed action: "It appears, by his
>>small light
>>of discretion, that he is in the wane; but yet, in courtesy, in all
>>reason, we must stay the time."

Norman Rabkin, Shakespeare and the Common Understanding (New York:  Free
Press, 1967), 201-5, has a wonderful treatment of the moon imagery and
its importance as a symbol of the imagination.   He makes the rather
startling observation that the whole context of the play is "a Mozartean
joke" at the auditors' expense (202) because Hippolyta's assurance that
the wedding will take place on the night of the new moon, when the sky
is dark (1.3.1-11) is contradicted by the almanac brought in by the
mechanicals in 3.1.57-59) explicitly stating that the moon will shine on
Theseus' wedding.

Judy Craig
 

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