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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: November ::
Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2093  Wednesday, 15 November 2000.

[1]     From:   Kevin J. Donovan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 11:06:51 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 09:41:24 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

[3]     From:   Stuart Manger <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 18:44:28 +0000
        Subj:   SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

[4]     From:   Peter Paul Schnierer <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 20:41:00 +0100 (MET)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

[5]     From:   Evelyn Gajowski <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 11:57:46 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

[6]     From:   Thomas Berger <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 16:50:53 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

[7]     From:   Marti Markus <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Nov 2000 00:35:14 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

[8]     From:   Dana Shilling <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 23:06:37 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kevin J. Donovan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 11:06:51 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

A few memorable ones that spring to mind include the directions for the
death-scene of the eponymous hero of _Cambises, King of Persia_
following his explanation in clunky fourteeners of how his sword has
shot out of its scabbard and stabbed him through the side: "Heere let
him quake and stir." Then there's the description of Isabella's
reverence to her husband's picture in _The White Devil_: "shee kneeles
downe as to prayers, then drawes the curtaine of the picture, doe's
three reuerences to it, and kisses it thrice. . ." (they just don't make
wives like that anymore). And finally this startling stage direction in
_The Devil is an Ass_: "He grows more familiar in his courtship, plays
with her paps, kisseth her hands, &c." I don't have a copy of Peele's
_Battle of Alcazar_ handy, but Muly Mahomet's entry with a great hunk of
meat on the end of his sword, supposedly taken from a lioness to feed
the fainting Calypolis ("meat of a princess, for a princess meet"), is
also memorable.

Kevin Donovan <
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Middle Tennessee State University

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 09:41:24 -0800
Subject: 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

Paul, I don't find the stage direction for Hieronoimo to bite out his
tongue at all silly.  It makes sense in context.  What I find silly is
giving him a knife a bit later.  Did they really think he'd use it get a
better point for writing?  How stupid is that?  (And since I have not
read the play in a decade and a half, how silly am I if I'm saying all
this while misremembering the action of the play?)

Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 18:44:28 +0000
Subject: Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

And the despair for modern stage managers when confronted with The
Tempest- 'and with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes'.

Oh, REALLY?

What quaint device? How vanishes? Help!

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Paul Schnierer <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 20:41:00 +0100 (MET)
Subject: 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

Do plays set in Jacobean London count? That would accommodate my current
favourite, Stephen Jeffreys' stage direction upon the death of the old
Queen in *The Clink* (1990): "Elizabeth is turned into a legend."

Other than that, Marlowe's "The King rageth" (*Edward II*, Act V, scene
1) is both concise and pointless.

Cheers,
Peter Paul Schnierer

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Evelyn Gajowski <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 11:57:46 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

How about "Enter GIOVANNI with a heart upon his dagger" from John Ford's
*'Tis Pity She's a Whore* 5.6?  Not particularly "humorous," to my mind,
but pretty "far out" there, especially in terms of the anatomization of
the female, a la Petrarch, et al.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Berger <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 16:50:53 -0500
Subject: 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

The teenager in me loves the following stage direction from _Love's
Cure_, by who knows, in the Beaumont and Fletcher canon:

Enter Vitelli, purused by Alvarez and Sayavedra, Clara beating off
Anastro.

tom berger

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marti Markus <
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Date:           Wednesday, 15 Nov 2000 00:35:14 +0100
Subject: 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

To bit out one's tongue? A trifle. Anybody could do that. My favourite
stage direction is not as sensational, it is just: "[Calantha dies]".
But how does good Calantha die??? Mark her words: "One kiss on these
cold lips; my last. [Kisses Ithocles' corpse] Crack, crack!..." (John
Ford, "The Broken Heart", V.III. 77)

Yes, she breaks her own heart! So much for performative utterances.

Markus Marti
Basel University
http://www.unibas.ch/shine/

[8]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Shilling <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 23:06:37 -0500
Subject: 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

Paul E. Doniger said:

>What Elizabethan/Jacobean stage
> directions do you find most ridiculous? Far fetched? Far out? or just
> plain humorous.  For me, the number one absurdity is from _The Spanish
> Tragedy_ 3.3: "He [Hieronimo] bites out his tongue."

Actually, this sounds like simplicity personified to me--the actor just
has to put a sponge soaked in red liquid in his mouth and spit it out.
Fun for the whole family!

Dana Shilling
 

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