2001

Re: Beale Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0925  Wednesday, 25 April 2001

[1]     From:   J. Birjepatil <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 11:04:59 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0915 Re: Beale Hamlet

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 08:28:46 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 12.0915 Re: Beale Hamlet

[3]     From:   Vick Bennison <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 21:40:10 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0915 Re: Beale Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           J. Birjepatil <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 11:04:59 +0000
Subject: 12.0915 Re: Beale Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0915 Re: Beale Hamlet

I have not seen the Beale performance but the controversy surrounding
his Hamlet reminds me of the way Shakespearewallahs in England reacted
to David Warner's 'hippy' RSC Hamlet in the mid-sixties. Although Warner
's delivery  flouted conventional sonorities much to the dismay of
academic critics, his was nevertheless a powerful engagement with Hamlet
as a man crucified by experience beyond his reach.  Ethan Hawkes's film
version of Hamlet and Al Pacino's Richard III were also well received in
England.  Transatlantic transfers of stage productions do not always go
awry, but Branagh's Hamlet was subjected to somewhat fierce mauling in
Britain whereas in the US it was hailed as a meaningful production.

J. Birjepatil

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 08:28:46 -0700
Subject: Re: Beale Hamlet
Comment:        SHK 12.0915 Re: Beale Hamlet

With respect to William Proctor Williams, who wrote,

>Charles Weinstein's comments on Beale's Hamlet are in rather marked
>contrast to its reception in the UK where it was praised.  I saw it at
>the National and agreed with the critics.  Perhaps productions change
>when they cross the Atlantic, or perhaps the audiences are different on
>the western side of the Atlantic.

Or perhaps beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Mr. Weinstein is well
known for his jaundiced eye.

Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Vick Bennison <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 21:40:10 EDT
Subject: 12.0915 Re: Beale Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0915 Re: Beale Hamlet

Karen Peterson-Kranz said:

>Coveney suggested that Beale's performance might be a candidate for this
>generation's reinvention of *Hamlet*.

Exactly.  A Dilbert Hamlet.

I saw it in Boston.  I liked it.  But I'm a software engineer who works
in a cube just like Dilbert.

- Vick Bennison

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Re: Feathers

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0924  Tuesday, 24 April 2001

From:           John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 11:24:56 +0100
Subject: 12.0855 Re: Feathers
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.0855 Re: Feathers

I am reluctant to accept Marcus Dahl's two pennyworth of wit (half a
groatsworth?).  There is an expression somewhere about wooden nickels
which I am sure someone will explain to me...

The question of the ordering of the parts of Henry VI is thoroughly
chewed over most recently by Ronald Knowles in his Arden 3 edition of
2H6 (1999), and by Edward Burns in his Arden 3 edition of 1H6 (2000),
and also by John Jowett in his Oxford edition of R3 (2000), so there is
no need to disturb the shade of John Dover Wilson!  Knowles, Burns and
Jowett seem to be in broad agreement, which I shall attempt to
summarise.

In Thomas Nashe's Piers Penniless (1592), he mentions a Talbot play.  In
a separate passage he praises Ned Alleyn.  Ned Alleyn was a leading
player of Lord Strange's men, who in 1592 were playing at the Rose.
Henslowe's 'Diary' records a 'Harey the vj' as a new play in 1592, and
something of a hit, as the takings were large.  This all fits together
neatly, the only problem being that if Shakespeare wrote 2H6 and 3H6 (1
Contention and True Tragedy) subsequently his career becomes a trifle
congested with plays.  'Harey the vj' thus appears too late to be 1H6,
unless this is a prequel to 2H6 and 3H6.  (2H6 and 3H6 are clearly
intended to be a two-part play inspired by Marlowe's Tamburlaine.  There
are apparently no instances of a three parter).

Why should we think that 2H6 and 3H6 were written earlier?  Well, first
there are the plot inconsistencies.  But these are only inconsistencies
if the plays are performed in chronological order, not if 1H6 is a
prequel.  Much more interesting is Greene's Groatsworth of Wit (1592).
This includes the famous passage 'an upstart crow, beautified with our
feathers, that with his Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde...'  Those
feathers again!  The line 'his Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde' is
printed in italics, so the author, his printer, and hopefully his
readership, recognised it as a parody of a famous line in 3H6.  This
would have already been performed on a London stage, presumably by Lord
Strange's Men.  It doesn't feature in Henslowe's Diary, so it was
presumably performed in 1591 at the latest.  (Greene's Groatsworth seems
to have been published posthumously.  I understand that Marcus thinks it
was also written posthumously, but this still doesn't shift its date
from 1592.)

Any other arguments?  Seeing the two tetralogies on the stage offers
useful comparisons.  2H6 and 3H6 feel 'early'.  It is the evenness of
tone which is most notable.  There is more variety in 1H6, but this may
be the inevitable consequence of it being a collaborative work.  There
is a suggestion that it may be by the same 'team' who wrote Locrine and
Edward III.  3H6 leads directly into R3.  Indeed, in Act 3 Sc 2 of 3H6
the action stops while Shakespeare runs a trailer for R3!  The Richard
passages could, however, be a (slightly) later insertion.  R3 is
different in tone: it is English history played as farce or Grand
Guignol.  We need also to look at the context.  If 2H6 and 3H6 are a
two-parter influenced by Tamburlaine, there is some suggestion that R3
influenced Marlowe's Edward II.  Edward II certainly seems to have
influenced Shakespeare to move up a gear in R2.  By the time of H5
Shakespeare is dazzling us with his virtuosity, and anachronistically
playing with the national themes of a country which wasn't formally
united until 200 years later.  There is a suggestion that in H5
Shakespeare is revisiting some ideas dealt with in Edward III and 1H6,
where he collaborated but didn't have total freedom.

Marcus is right to think that earlier critics have linked the sequencing
of the plays to the question of collaboration, but he has it the wrong
way around: apparently it those who argue for sole Shakespearean
authorship who want the 'natural sequence' and those who argue for
collaboration who want the inverted sequence!

It is probably time to dispose of Marcus's options:

(1) Possible but unnecessary: we want an early date for 2H6, not a later
one.

(2) The irregularities cause problems for the 'natural sequence' not the
authorship.  After all, if the plays are written independently why
assume they are written in sequence?

(3) Unfortunately, the Talbot scenes are the ones universally attributed
to Shakespeare!

(4) Again, unification of plot is only a problem if seen 'in sequence'.

(5) Yes, but it is not confusion, just different views of history or a
development of interpretation.  Again, not a problem in a 'prequel'.

(6) There is no need for 1H6 to be later than 'harey the vj': if they
are not identical 1H6 could easily be earlier.

(7) Unfortunately, there is some evidence that 1 Contention and True
Tragedy are later than the texts of 2H6 and 3H6 which we have.  If not
exactly 'reported texts' there is some merit in thinking of them as
touring versions prepared for Pembroke's Men during 1592-4.  The SDs of
True Tragedy refer to the factions wearing red and white roses, which
those of 3H6 don't, and this seems to derive from the Rose Garden scene
of 1H6.  (I nearly described the 'short' plays as 'performing versions',
but the idea of a performing version of a play is not a sensible one,
even for the desk-bound!)  Where has Marcus got the idea that 2H6 and
3H6 were revised in 1612?  From Shakespeare  preparing his Collected
Works?

John Briggs
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Re: Julius Caesar & Psychoanalysis

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0922  Tuesday, 24 April 2001

From:           Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Apr 2001 20:09:50
Subject:        Re: Julius Caesar & Psychoanalysis

Dear John

Another good source is the Shakespeare Quarterly Bibliography. Speaking
of the SQ Bibliography, does anyone know if the 1999 issue (vol 50
number 5) is available?

Takashi Kozuka

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Re: Historical Accuracy

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0923  Tuesday, 24 April 2001

From:           Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Apr 2001 21:15:23
Subject:        Re: Historical Accuracy

R. A. Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> writes:

>...you might want to
>take more care in your expressions lest you confuse others,
>inadvertently or otherwise.

I sincerely hope I didn't confuse anyone on here. But if it was my
fault, and if I did confuse other SHAKSPEReans, I do apologize.

(This is nothing to do with Shakespeare, but) I wonder why R. A.
Cantrell didn't e-mail me this message personally/directly, instead of
criticizing me publicly. Once in a while I receive personal e-mails from
some other SHAKSPEReans, and I always appreciate their sensitivity.
Cantrell's posting is something these SHAKSPEReans would have e-mail me
personally/directly.

I don't mind being challenged in public, as it happens all the time in
the academic world. I'm just pointing out the fact that *some*
SHAKSPEReans are not sensitive (compared to members on another online
discussion group I'm subscribing to) and that some other SHAKSPEReans
thus consider unsubscribing. This issue seems to come back again and
again; I remember Hardy decided to post a message from another SHAKSPER
on this issue. I think it's a shame...

There was another posting on here in which a SHAKSPER complained that on
another discussion group he/she didn't get sufficient responses to
his/her enquiries about the 'Thomas's. I think I should take this
opportunity to defend the discussion group in question. The fact is many
members did respond. Unfortunately, these replies didn't directly answer
his/her question. But I must say that it was due to the nature of
his/her question.

We always have a writer and a reader, and they often don't interpret one
and the same sentence in the same way... vita numquam est facilis...

With apologies to those whom my previous posting may have confused,

Takashi Kozuka

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Kate Beckinsale

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0921  Tuesday, 24 April 2001

From:           Cary M. Mazer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Apr 2001 14:22:50 -0400
Subject:        Kate Beckinsale

For your amusement:

In yesterday's New York Times Magazine there was a profile of the young
actress Kate Beeckinsale, who made her film debut as Hero in Branagh's
1993 Much Ado.  "When I was cast," she is quoted as saying, "I didn't
know who Keanu Reeves was, and he was my love interest in the film."
As Reeves played Don John and not Claudio, this is either a reflection
of Beckinsale's memory, a covert commentary on Robert Sean Leonard's
Claudio, or else an indication of some pretty odd subtexts that they
must have been playing!  (I expect the first).

Cary

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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