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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: March ::
Cymbeline: staged or read?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0737  Friday, 30 March 2001

From:           Karen Peterson-Kranz Karen <
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Date:           Monday, 26 Mar 2001 05:43:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Cymbeline: staged or read?

A friend -- actually, a former professor -- recently saw the (Seattle)
Intiman Theatre's production of *Cymbeline*.  Among other comments, he
wrote:

"The play is one that, I think, no modern audience can take at all
seriously, since it is filled from end to end with plots devices and
characters of an entirely symbolic/romantic nature.  These are not
people we see before us, but mere icons and allegories.  Moreover, the
allegory is simplistic and obvious in the extreme...."Cymbeline is best
READ now, and not staged.  And read as an exercise in antiquarian
moralism."

I happen to disagree with him, but I was curious about what others might
think, especially about the remark that this play is best read rather
than performed.  Do list members have any other candidates for plays
that hold up better on the page than on the stage?

Cheers,
Karen Peterson

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