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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: November ::
Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2109  Friday, 17 November 2000.

[1]     From:   Tim Brookes <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 09:45:24 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2107 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions

[2]     From:   Hope Greenberg <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 11:06:14 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2107 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions

[3]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 11:29:15 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 11.2107 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions

[4]     From:   Eric I. Salehi <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 14:45:13 -0500
        Subj:   Re:SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

[5]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 08:51:07 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2107 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tim Brookes <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 09:45:24 -0400
Subject: 11.2107 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2107 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions

Isn't there a Shaw play that calls for a lightning bolt to bounce around
the stage and strike one or more of the characters?

Tim

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hope Greenberg <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 11:06:14 -0500
Subject: 11.2107 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2107 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions

Paul E. Doniger <
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 > wrote:

> I don't know ... it seems to me that, although it certainly is possible,
> biting one's own tongue off would be quite a challenging (not to mention
> repugnant and excruciatingly painful) task. How sharp are our teeth,
> anyway?

Challenging, perhaps, but as a literary image it seems to remain in
vogue. I believe Thomas Harris has his Dr. Lechter convincing a prison
mate to do the same in 'The Silence of the Lambs.'

- Hope Greenberg, U of Vermont

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 11:29:15 -0800
Subject: Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        SHK 11.2107 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions

A nice man named Paul Doniger wrote:

> I often wonder how this absurd play
> ever managed to be such a smash hit

An understandable point of view.

Recent productions of Pericles show us that unpromising texts can make
good theater.  I'm actually writing about the play Paul mentioned, The
Spanish Tragedy, but I assume more of us have read and seen Pericles
than have read and seen ST, so I offer Pericles as an analogue.

I saw ST in the smallest house in what is now called The Royal National
Theatre in London many years ago.  They fiddled with the text a bit, but
not overwhelmingly.  The biggest change was to put Revenge on stage in
many scenes where the script does not call for him.  I thought it was a
very good production, mostly marred by a few lightweight actors in
supporting roles.  The critics liked it even more than I did.  The RSC
did the play about 2 years ago to much acclaim. I did not see that
production and do not know if they tinkered with the text.

If we accept that it can be stage worthy in our time, then I don't think
it is too much of a stretch to imagine it could be popular over 400
years ago.  Make sense?

All the best,
Mike Jensen

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eric I. Salehi <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 14:45:13 -0500
Subject: Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re:SHK 11.2091 Far-fetched Stage Directions

One of my favorites is the opening direction from _Othello_ I.iii.  Q1
reads: "Enter Duke and Senators, set at a table, with lights..."  I
remember Leonard Barkan conjuring an image of the actors wearing hanging
sandwich-board props.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 08:51:07 +0000
Subject: 11.2107 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2107 Re: Far-fetched Stage Directions

When Hieronymo bites off his tongue and spits it out it seems to us
today like pointless violence.  It's original audience, much more
attuned to symbolism than we are, would probably have understood it
right away as not so much real as symbolic; in this case of the fact
that he cannot speak (the truth).

Stephanie Hughes
 

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