2000

Re: Authentic Performance

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1722  Tuesday, 12 September 2000.

From:           Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 12 Sep 2000 01:07:43 -0700
Subject: 11.1712 Re: Authentic Performance
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1712 Re: Authentic Performance

Since I far from being a linguist, I hesitated to mention Hebrew
relevance Here  although I am convinced that it pertains to a valuable
source for textual researches. (It is also a path for determining
Shakespeare's involvement in the KJ bible and  proof that he wrote the
Funeral Elegy.)

Many critics cite Shylock's name as an example of how Shakespeare wanted
people to feel about the character. They say that the 'lock' in the name
was on account of Shylock's 'miserliness'.  Never mind the explanation
(which I think is spurious ) although interpretations surely must be
taken into account - but in regard to 'lock': is it indeed with a strong
final K?  Considering normative Hebrew I believe that it should be
pronounced rather as in the Scotch loch. However you may regard the
character, it is fair to suppose that Shylock's mother did not think in
the same way and that she chose a name for her baby from normal sounding
Hebrew nomenclature. A good Hebrew name for Shylock might be the name
for messenger. Shaliach.  The final letter is a chet and it sounds
similar to the Scotch ch. Other interpretations strengthen the
possibility.

One immediately hears the Hebrew 'shai' which is a gift. The next
syllable, LaCh means to you (fem.).( It is a chuf ending which in sound
is like the Scotch ch) Shylock makes many contributions but the one he
is keen on delivering is to Jessica. Another way of reading, I concur,
is to combine Hebrew with English, making a present  which is locked, or
undisclosed. It is an undisclosed gift of interpretation to the
audience. There is also 'sh-li'. my own, that is locked, Shylock's
assets are locked before the court unlocks them. But to finish off the
word with a hard K after syllablizing sh'l plus vowel is unpleasant.
Much sweeter is a deep, soft ch.  S. J.  Shoenfeld  mentions the
Biblical David's adversary in life, mad King Saul, in Hebrew 'Shaul'.
However the word for borrower 'Sho'el' is written like Shaul, both
containing the consonant stem for Shylock. The ending then becoming a
grammatical suffix (which I have already described for the feminine. In
the masculine there is an added pen ultimate sound,  but not the final
Scotch ch.) This meaning is united specifically by the Duke's judgment,
to another connotation that can be found in books on Hebrew law.  The
'Shalish', again with the same consonants, literally the third party, is
he that holds a bond in a litigation between a creditor and a debtor.
Here the letter shin with its sh sound is even softer.  Sir Israel
Gollancz points out that Shylock comes from the Hebrew word 'shallach'
meaning 'cormorant' which according to the Elizabethans meant usurer,
"in the same way that we use the term vampire." Again it would be a
Scotch ch.

However there are hard final K's in Hebrew and in English  We see it in
the name of Yorick -  not an English sounding name. In Hebrew ( with a
kof)  it can mean more than one thing depending upon how one chooses to
pronounce the vowels (since they are not written). Yet all these
variations suit the nature of  the king's jester. 1. Yarak, 'spat out'
or 'thrown out':  Yorick is thrown out of his grave and his nature
during his lifetime was to blurt out harsh words. 2. Yareek, 'to be made
empty': By his removal, the grave is made empty as well as the enclosure
of his skull. "That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once." 3.
Yarok, 'green': The worldly remains of Yorick is moldy. His nature was
jealous, for he is carefully depicted to have Robert GREENE's fiery
nature, the king's own jester indeed, who had  contended with the
burgeoning play write, William Shakespeare: "he has borne me on his back
a thousand times".

Not to make this too long, I speculate that English final ks could have
been usually  pronounced by Shakespeare in the Scottish manner, and that
perhaps only for special, foreign names or in sarcasm would a hard k be
employed.

Florence Amit

Re: Hamlet Interval

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1725  Tuesday, 12 September 2000.

From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Sep 2000 11:08:35 -0700
Subject: Re: Hamlet Interval
Comment:        SHK 11.1678 Re: Hamlet Interval

Sorry to be so late with an addition to this post, but I've been in
Ashland, Oregon watching their new production of Hamlet, which also
places the interval in an odd place, after the "Now can I drink hot
blood." speech, but before Hamlet encounters Claudius praying.

It is especially odd since it tends to underline the impression that
Hamlet has been delaying, though the excellent program note my
listmember Bernice W. Kliman points out that is something of a false
impression and mentions other aspects of the play that warrant deeper
consideration.

It seems worth mentioning that the actor playing Hamlet tends to be over
the top in all his performances - and I seen him a dozen time or more.
His rant as he told the players to follow the modesty of nature was
unintentionally hilarious, though I was the only one who laughed.
That's OK.  I still think I am right.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

Re: Word-Frequency List

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1724  Tuesday, 12 September 2000.

[1]     From:   Scott Crozier <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 12 Sep 2000 08:26:22 +1000
        Subj:   Word-Frequency List

[2]     From:   John Jowett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 12 Sep 2000 10:11:45 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1715 Re: Word-Frequency List


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Crozier <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 12 Sep 2000 08:26:22 +1000
Subject:        Word-Frequency List

Michael Best asks if anyone knows of word frequency lists on the Net.
Thee two sites may not be exactly what he is wanting but the University
of Hanover site on Shakespeare statistics is interesting:
http://sun1.rrzn.uni-hannover.de/~nhtnilse/welcome.htm and the other
from Mt Ararat High School is a useful word frequency list.   I cannot
vouch for the accuracy of it but I have used it in class with worthwhile
results.  For example, in which tragedy does the word love appear most
often?  What does this tell us?
http://www.mta.link75.org/curriculum/english/shake/
<http://www.mta.link75.org/curriculum/english/shake/>

Regards,
Scott Crozier
Director of Drama
St. Michael's Grammar School
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Jowett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 12 Sep 2000 10:11:45 GMT
Subject: 11.1715 Re: Word-Frequency List
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1715 Re: Word-Frequency List

I've just had a quick look at Michael Best's provisional list of the
frequency of words in Shakespeare.  Anyone using this potentially
valuable resource should be aware not only of Michael's own caveats, but
also that the list includes words from stage directions and
speech-prefixes without differentiation.  This leads to some surprising
results.  For example, where the Harvard concordance lists 17 instances
of 'Vincentio', the figure given in the word-frequency list is 233,
which makes it apparently commoner that 'breath', 'talk', or 'less'.
Presumably Michael used a public-domain edition in which 'Vincentio' was
given as the speech heading for the Duke in Measure for Measure; in the
Folio, of course, 'Vincentio' is printed in the list of 'The names of
all the Actors' but nowhere in the text of that play.  In this case the
edition from which the list was compiled highlights the issue, but all
names are affected to a greater or lesser extent; for instance 'Macbeth'
has 42 occurrences in Harvard, 247 occurrences in the frequency list.

John Jowett

Shakespeare's Use of Dialect

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1726  Tuesday, 12 September 2000.

From:           Peter T. Hadorn <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Sep 2000 13:28:05 -0500
Subject:        Shakespeare's Use of Dialect

A student in class last week said that he had heard that Shakespeare
made no use of various English dialects in his plays.  With Fluellen,
Jamy, and Macmorris in "Henry V" springing to mind I quickly said that
he was mistaken, but I thought I'd put it to the list to get a more
informed opinion on the matter.

I would think that those plays that are set in foreign lands would
naturally be irrelevant here; that makes the history plays and
(perhaps?) "Cymbeline," "Lear," "Merry Wives," and "Macbeth" the only
places where various English dialects could be applicable.

Any opinions?

Peter Hadorn
University of Wisconsin-Platteville

CSF Merry Wives of Windsor

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1723  Tuesday, 12 September 2000.

From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 11 Sep 2000 13:55:50 -0400
Subject:        CSF Merry Wives of Windsor

The Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's production of The Merry Wives of
Windsor, directed by R. Chris Reeder, opened on September 7 and runs
through October 1.  I saw the show on September 8, and it was
excellent.  The costuming is never-neverland 20th century.  Caius (Jeff
Groh), for example, wore a flame-colored suit; Sylvester Little, Jr., as
Slender, wore something resembling 1940s zootsuit, and Amy Hutchins --
Mine Host of the Garter -- was dressed rather conventionally in slacks,
jacket and tie.

The stage is two-levelled with stairs to both right and left, and three
exits on the second level.  Ford's Keystone Kops searches for Falstaff
take place back and forth through these three upper level exits, while
Mrs. Ford (Anne Schilling) and Mrs. Page (Sherman Fracher) remain below.

The show has only eleven actors, and the doubling (or dodging, if you
prefer David Bradley's term) is intense.  For example, Giles Davies
plays both Shallow and Bardolph, Jeff Groh both Caius and Pistol, Amy
Hutchins Mistress Quickly and the Host, Corinne Mohlenhoff Anne Page,
Robin, and William Page, and Joe Verciglio Evans and Fenton.  I did not
have my stop watch with me, but some of the changes seem to have been
accomplished in under a minute.  In fact, Amy Hutchins (puckishly) has
to do one of her changes (in Act 4) in full view of the audience.  It
was a nice comic moment as she shifted character and garments while we
watched.

I found Nick Rose convincing as a very fat, but not terribly dissolute,
Falstaff who is deceived by his own greed as much as by the merry
wives.  Jeremy Dubin's Ford was equally well done, and I was pleased
that his disguise as Brook was not overdone.  In this production, the
Fords seem to be younger than the Pages, played by Brian Isaac Phillips
and Ms. Sherman Fracher. Their relative youth (rather than Ford's
perversity) may account for the fact that they have no children.

I recommend this production to anyone who can get to Cincinnati to see
it.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

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