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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: May ::
Question on Ghosts
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1005  Wednesday, 10 May 2000.

From:           Carol Morley <
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Date:           Tuesday, 9 May 2000 15:07:17 +0000
Subject:        Question on Ghosts

Re the staging of ghosts on the Elizabethan/Jacobean/Caroline stage:

I've come up with a spook in one of the plays I'm editing for my Ph.D.
(The Jewes Tragedy by William Hemming, dated late 1620s) and now I think
of it, can't recall any Shakespearean or contemporary ghosts who appear
all in white (armour yes, gory locks yes, unspecified as in Richard III
and Julius Caesar ).It's such a cliche of later ghost story imagery, but
where does it come from?  Also, being the victim of parricide, he has
returned to have a word with his guilty son, who unfortunately is by now
so far round the bend that he isn't even able to recognise his father's
spirit.  Caesar's ghost met with deadpan stoicism and a cool 'At
Philippi' rebuff, but this guy is completely wasting his supernatural
time.  Lovely ironies and comparisons abounding, but is it a first on
either count?

Thanks, Carol Morley
 

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