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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: August ::
Re: Cymbeline at Shakespeare Santa Cruz
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1507  Tuesday, 15 August 2000.

[1]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Monday, 14 Aug 2000 12:45:11 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 11.1501 Re: Cymbeline

[2]     From:   Peter Groves <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Aug 2000 16:00:01 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1501 Re: Cymbeline at Shakespeare Santa Cruz


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Monday, 14 Aug 2000 12:45:11 -0400
Subject: Re: Cymbeline
Comment:        SHK 11.1501 Re: Cymbeline

Ros King  endorses that view that Cymbeline is 'perhaps the best play
that Shakespeare ever wrote',  and speaks of its 'wonderfully sharp,
polished .  . . writing.'  Not on your nellie. Dr. Johnson's estimate of
the plot's 'unresisting imbecility' is still hard to refute, and the
play's language, far from being sharp and polished is often notoriously
contorted and impenetrable. E.g.

Sluttery, to such neat excellence opposed,
Should make desire vomit emptiness,
Not so allured to feed.
(1. 6. 44-46)

-or-
                forthwith they fly
Chickens the way which they stooped eagles: slaves,
The strides they victors made; and now our cowards,
Like fragments in hard voyages, became
The life o' the' need.
(5. 3. 39-45)

Mind you, it is largely set in Wales.

Terence Hawkes

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Groves <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 Aug 2000 16:00:01 +1000
Subject: 11.1501 Re: Cymbeline at Shakespeare Santa Cruz
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1501 Re: Cymbeline at Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Ros King wrote:

> Just for the record, however, I want to
> counter Lila Geller's suggestion that the director, Danny Scheie, 'did
> not like or trust the play' [_Cymbeline_]. He actually stated publicly that he thought
> it was, from a technical point of view, perhaps the best play that
> Shakespeare ever wrote.  This might sound like special pleading to
> encourage an audience most of whom had not even heard of the play
> previously, but it is an opinion that he genuinely holds and that I
> share.

It was also Tennyson's favourite Shakespeare, though more for its poetry
than its dramaturgy.

Peter L. Groves
Department of English
Monash University
 

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