Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: September ::
Re: Doubled Roles
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1671  Friday, 1 September 2000.

[1]     From:   Jean Peterson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 31 Aug 2000 13:13:21 -0400
        Subj:   Posthumous Doubling

[2]     From:   David Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 31 Aug 2000 18:24:21 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1634 Doubled Roles

[3]     From:   Toby Malone <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 1 Sep 2000 09:55:11 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1634 Doubled Roles

[4]     From:   Michael Yawney <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 31 Aug 2000 23:51:17 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1634 Doubled Roles


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jean Peterson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 31 Aug 2000 13:13:21 -0400
Subject:        Posthumous Doubling

Even if it's not "historically" accurate (and it well may be), I think
the doubling of Posthumous and Cloten would be a fascinating directorial
choice. Posthumous as his own evil twin!  Reminds me of productions of
*Tempest* that double Ferdinand & Caliban (both "suitors" to Miranda,
and both Prospero's "log-men").

Ok, I should be writing a syllabus!

Cheers,
Jean Peterson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 31 Aug 2000 18:24:21 GMT
Subject: 11.1634 Doubled Roles
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1634 Doubled Roles

On doubling.  David Bradley in his 'From text to performance in the
Elizabethan theatre'  (Cambridge, 1992) suggested as one of his 'working
principles' in thinking of casting, 'that speaking actors were not
normally cast for two alternating roles in the same play' (p. 42).  He
admits that this principle cannot 'strictly be derived from the Plots,
but does not contradict their testimony'.  What he calls 'dodging',
could only, in his view, be a 'desperate recourse, but if such a
disposition of cast were planned by a dramatist, the changes of roles
would surely be allowed, as in Alcazr, only after considerably
intervals'.

If he's right, then virtually all of the doublings Larry Weiss proposes
would be excluded  (though not, of course, pre-empted in modern
performances).

Does anyone have evidence that Bradley is wrong?

David Lindley

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Toby Malone <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 1 Sep 2000 09:55:11 +0800
Subject: 11.1634 Doubled Roles
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1634 Doubled Roles

I remember reading something somewhere of a performance of Twelfth Night
where Viola and Sebastian were doubled, which erased the whole 'casting
twins' issue. I'm not sure how they dealt with Act V though - anyone
hear about this idea for this cast?

Toby Malone
UWA

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Yawney <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 31 Aug 2000 23:51:17 -0500
Subject: 11.1634 Doubled Roles
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1634 Doubled Roles

>Members of the List know that I have speculated recently about roles
>that were deliberately crafted to be played by the same actor.  Some
>obvious examples (apart from the too-obvious Antipholi and Dromios) are
>Theseus-Oberon and Hippolyta-Titania; Cordelia-Fool; and
>Mamillius-Perdita.
>
>The recent thread about Cymbeline has led me to muse that
>Posthumus-Cloten also makes a good fit.  Any thoughts?

While the Antipholi and Dromios have been doubled, this has rarely been
a success and the script needs tinkering to accommodate this doubling In
theatrical terms, you really do not want "lookalike" characters to look
to much alike or audience confusion ensues--if characters onstage are
too confused as to identity to help the audience keep things straight,
then the audience needs to see the difference with no difficulty.

The Cloten-Posthumus doubling has also been seen recently and makes an
odd kind of sense. Also, coming at the later end of Shakespeare's
career, at a period where meta-theatrical play was more often scene, I
suspect it is more likely.

Still, these doublings and the more common ones mentioned for MND and KL
mentioned were not seen as recently as 50 years ago. The metaphoric use
of doubling is a modern convention and I would proceed with caution in
making assumptions. In the past, when scholars have projected the
stagecraft of their own time back onto Shakespeare's stage they have
shed more darkness than light.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.