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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: June ::
Re: Senile Dementia
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1199  Friday, 9 June 2000.

From:           Werner Broennimann <
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Date:           Friday, 09 Jun 2000 09:03:03 +0100
Subject: Re: Senile Dementia
Comment:        SHK 11.1093 Re: Senile Dementia

Many of the points made in this thread are discussed in one way or
another in Cedric Watts's chapter "'Great thing of us forgot!': Albany's
amnesia or Shakespeare's"--part of the book co-authored with John
Sutherland ("Henry V, War Criminal? & other Shakespeare Puzzles", Oxford
World's Classics).  On the forgetting of lines Watts's reference to
Marlon Brando's acting style offers another instance of the theatrical
exploitability of lapses of memory: "During dialogues his eyes would
seldom rest on the other person but would roam to the sides, above,
below, beyond, around, and back. According to his biographers, Brando's
memory needed considerable assistance, so his lines were written down
and discreetly arranged about the set for him to read." (39) Watts
briefly touches on the dramatic functions of forgetfulness in Polonius,
Shallow and Silence, Hotspur, Hal, and Prospero before turning to the
cruel dramaturgy of Albany's forgetting about Cordelia.

Werner Br

 

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