2001

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0508  Monday, 5 March 2001

[1]     From:   Robert Peters <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 02 Mar 2001 18:59:59 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0491 Re: Shakespeare Bashing

[2]     From:   Hal Tynan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 2 Mar 2001 14:17:26 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0491 Re: Shakespeare Bashing


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Peters <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 02 Mar 2001 18:59:59 +0100
Subject: 12.0491 Re: Shakespeare Bashing
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0491 Re: Shakespeare Bashing

Jack Heller wrote:

>As one whose research has as much to do with Shakespeare's
>contemporaries as with Shakespeare himself, I suggest that such a
>discussion may be usefully balanced by asking what plays by other
>writers do we favor over particular plays by Shakespeare. And a third
>useful category could be what Shakespeare plays we think are underrated.
>I have seen some fascinating productions of plays that aren't generally
>considered his best, so even if I say that Two Gentleman of Verona does
>not present Shakespeare at his highest powers, I remember vividly a
>touring group from the Kennedy Center staging it as a Western. Just
>listing, then, here goes:

Good idea, here it goes:

Shakespeare's weakest:

Titus Andronicus (makes Hannibal seem like a masterpiece)
The Taming of the Shrew (misogynic and just not funny)

Most overrated plays:

The Tempest (to me the play just doesn't start until it's over)
Hamlet (every time I read the play I don't know if it is the most
profound masterpiece or a badly constructed piece about a neurotic
weirdo - must be me...)
Henry V. (it's propaganda, isn't it?)

Underrated plays:

Troilus and Cressida (cynical, witty, experimental, strange, a nuisance,
sheer punk = fantastic)
Measure for Measure (his most profound play, should get the applause
Hamlet gets)

Plays that should have get the Elizabethan Olivier award rather than
Shakespeare:

Ben Jonson: Volpone (this is just a hilarious, profound comedy that is
really funny)

>Shakespeare's weakest:
>
>Romeo and Juliet (to me, his most overrated work. The boring
>underwritten lovers and family members are easily upstaged by Mercutio
>and Tybalt. The play should have been about them.)

Well, I have to say I LOVE Romeo and Juliet but what Jack Heller says is
right: I prefer Mercutio and Tybalt very much to the lovers. Especially
Romeo is a kind of bore, isn't he?

>Plays better than any of those above by Shakespeare's contemporaries
>
>Marlowe's Edward II

Well, I could never get myself to like Marlowe. Edward II is maybe his
best play but what about stuff like the Jew of Malta? Very very strange
stuff.

Robert Peters
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hal Tynan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 2 Mar 2001 14:17:26 -0700
Subject: 12.0491 Re: Shakespeare Bashing
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0491 Re: Shakespeare Bashing

>Plays better than any of those above by Shakespeare's contemporaries
>
>Marlowe's Edward II
>Ford's Perkin Warbeck
>Webster's The White Devil
>Marston's Sophonisba
>Middeton and Dekker's The Roaring Girl
>Jonson's Bartholomew Fair
>This list could be much longer, but I'll save the rest.

Nooooo, don't save them, SHARE them. <g>

I'm always on the lookout for great plays from Sh's contemporaries.

>Underrated--or Underperformed Shakespeare:
>
>Coriolanus (which could make a great movie)

I agree with these. I've found Coriolanus absolutely fascinating,
regarding what Sh was trying to accomplish with the play, and with the
main character himself. Riveting - yes, it would make a great movie.

Hal

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