Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: September ::
Re: Shakespeare in Schools
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1816  Tuesday, 26 September 2000.

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 25 Sep 2000 11:09:47 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 11.1807 Re: Shakespeare in Schools

[2]     From:   L. Swilley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 26 Sep 2000 09:29:07 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1807 Re: Shakespeare in Schools


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 25 Sep 2000 11:09:47 -0700
Subject: Re: Shakespeare in Schools
Comment:        SHK 11.1807 Re: Shakespeare in Schools

Marcus, I'm stunned.

> many of the feats attributed to Shakespeare's art... are not in fact his:
> the plots for instance or the fact that many of the character-types
> listed as being so stimulating are in fact older and (by now) virtually
> standard tropes

Your emphasis on the language is a fine emphasis, but surely you don't
mean that characters and plot have no interest?

The experience of Shakespeare is language, yes, but also plot,
character, and more.  When I speak to Shakespeare novices, they tend to
focus on plot.  In fact, the contractor of the house I'm buying just
told me he likes to go to the plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival,
but he avoids Shakespeare.  For him the density of the language is a
barrier to understanding the action.  I've heard that a lot.  It is also
the comment of one of the smartest people I know.

It isn't really where the characters or plots were found.  It is what
Shakespeare does with them.  As has often been pointed out, comparison
of the revengers in Hamlet and The Spanish Tragedy makes that case for
Shakespeare's creativity, as does a study of how Shakespeare modified
received plots to suit his "art."

Perhaps you overstated your case and would like to offer a
qualification?

All the best,
Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           L. Swilley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 26 Sep 2000 09:29:07 -0500
Subject: 11.1807 Re: Shakespeare in Schools
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1807 Re: Shakespeare in Schools

Terence Hawkes wrote,

" I find it rather worrying that L. Swilley bursts into tears at
references to Antony's legs, or King Lear's buttons. This is surely what
comes of being exposed to Shakespeare at an early age. In Britain, most
theatres now offer counselling for such conditions. Indeed, at
Stratford, the possibility of minor surgical intervention and ongoing
nursing care has been considered. The Globe, meanwhile, continues to
rely on leeches and the casting of water."

It is very kind of Mr. Hawkes to be concerned for my tear-bursting.  In
turn, I commiserate with him for his unfortunate inability to understand
my buttons/legs references in their *contextual* settings of *character*
and *story*.  Undoubtedly, Mr. Hawkes' mind has been poisoned by too
many of our bad American films wherein character and story are
sacrificed to sensational episodic bits and pieces (car races,
shoot-outs, etc.), a disease the cure for which is surely Mr. Hawkes'
closer, more thoughtful reading of Shakespeare's plays.

L. Swilley
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.