2001

Re: The Tamer Tamed

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1107  Friday, 11 May 2001

From:           Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 11 May 2001 01:52:06 +0100
Subject: 12.1043 Re: The Tamer Tamed
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1043 Re: The Tamer Tamed

> In these combined productions, did the actors who played Kate, return
> to play Petruchio's second wife?  Was the characterization noticeably
> different?  This would make a long evening.  Were the plays cut much?
>
> Enquiring minds want to know,
> Mike Jensen

I just saw the Arcola Theatre production, which turned out to be very
enjoyable.  Kate and Maria (Petruchio's wives) were indeed both played
by the same actress, as were Bianca and Livia (the younger sisters),
Lucentio and Rowland (the younger sisters' young lovers), Baptista and
Petronius (Kate and Maria's fathers) and naturally Petruchio was the
same actor on both occasions - conversely Maria's cousin Bianca was
seperated from Kate's sister of the same name by being played by a
different actress, and Moroso was played by a different actor from
Gremio (elderly and unsuccessful suitors to the younger sister) but by
the same actor as the elderly Vincentio (Lucentio's father).

Unlike the other abridgements of "The Tamer Tamed" that I have heard of
(by Garrick, Alex Gross' so far unperformed adaptation, and the
Queensland University production mentioned by Drew Whitehead), Arcola
retained the vast majority of the sub-plot, apparently taking their cuts
from main plot and sub-plot equally.  The cutting was so skillfully done
that I doubt any audience member who did not already know the two plays
(each reduced to an hour and a half) would have noticed that anything
had been cut at all.

Some of the problems noticed by critics reading "The Tamer Tamed" - the
"weak" sub-plot, and the rather sudden ending of the main plot with
Petruchio not actively submitting, only having Maria say that he has -
turned out not to be difficulties in the performance, slipping by easily
enough.  The production was apparently enjoyed by the audience, very few
of whom are ever likely to have read the play.

I am sorry to hear that Drew Whitehead found the Queensland University
production of the two plays disappointing.  For me the Arcola Theatre
production triumphantly proved that "The Tamer Tamed" is a very playable
production, and performs well for a modern audience if well acted and
directed.

Thomas Larque.

_______________________________________________________________
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.
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>

Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1106  Friday, 11 May 2001

From:           Abdulla Al-Dabbagh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 May 2001 11:31:31 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Hamlet

I am told this is available on tape now:

Hamlet

Words by Adam MacNaughton
Music: The Mason's Apron

There was this king sittin in his gairden aw alane
When his brother in his ear poured a wee tait o henbane
Then he stole his brother's crown and his money and his widow
But the deid king walked and got his son and said, Hey listen kiddo

I've been killt and it's your duty to take revenge on Claudius
Kill him quick and clean and tell the nation what a fraud he is
The boy says, Right, I'll dae it, but I'll need tae play it crafty
So that naebody will suspect me I'll kid on that I'm a daftie

Then wi aw except Horatio, and he trusts him as a friend
Hamlet- that's the boy- kids on he's roond the bend
And because he wasnae ready for obligatory killin
He tried to make the king think he was tuppence aff a shillin

Took the mickey oot Polonius, treated poor Ophelia vile
Telt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that Denmark was a jile
Then a troupe o travellin actors like 7:84
Arrived tae dae a special one-night gig in Elsinore

Hamlet, Hamlet loved his mammy
Hamlet, Hamlet actin barmy
Hamlet, Hamlet hesitatin
Wonders if the ghost has cheated
That is how he's waitin

Then Hamlet wrote a scene for the players tae enact
While Horatio and him watched tae see if Claudius cracked
The play was called The Moosetrap, no the one that's runnin noo
Sure enough the king walked oot afore the scene was through

So Hamlet's got the proof that Claudius gied his dad the dose
The only problem bein noo that Claudius knows he knows
So while Hamlet tells his mother that her husband's no a fit one
Uncle Claud put oot a contract with the English king as hitman

And when Hamlet killed Polonius, the concealed corpus delicti
Was the king that's choosed to send him for an English hempen necktie
Wi Rosencrantz and Guildenstern tae make sure he'd get there
Hamlet jumped the boat and put his finger on the pair

Meanwhile Laertes heard his dad had been stabbed through the arras
He came running back tae Elsinore tout de suite hot-foot fae Paris
Ophelia wi her dad killed by the man she was tae marry
Efter sayin that wi flooers she committed hari-kari

Hamlet, Hamlet: nae messin
Hamlet, Hamlet learned his lesson
Hamlet, Hamlet: Yorick's crust
Convinced him that man, good or bad
At last must come tae dust

Then Laertes lost his place and was demandin retribution
And the king says, Keep the heid and I'll provide you a solution
He arranged a swordfight for the interested pairties
Wi a blunted sword for Hamlet and a shairp sword for Laertes

Tae make things double sure, the old belt and braces line
He fixed a poisoned sword-tip in a poisoned cup o wine
The poisoned sword got Hamlet but Laertes went and mucked it
Cause he got stabbed hissel and he confessed afore he snuffed it

Hamlet's mammy drank the wine, and as her face turned blue
Hamlet says, I quite believe the king's a baddie noo
Incestuous murderous damned Dane, he said to be precise
And made up for hesitatin by killing Claudius twice

Cause he stabbed him wi his sword and forced the wine atween his lips
He cried, The rest is silence- that was Hamlet had his chips
They fired a volley ower him that shook the topmost rafter
And Fortinbras, knee-deep in Danes, lived happy ever after

Hamlet, Hamlet- aw the gory
Hamlet, Hamlet: end of story
Hamlet, Hamlet- I'm away
if you think that this is borin
You should read the bloody play

_______________________________________________________________
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.
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>

Re: Tragic Hero

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1104  Friday, 11 May 2001

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 May 2001 09:07:00 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1091 Re: Tragic Hero

[2]     From:   Stevie Gamble <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 10 May 2001 18:04:26 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1091 Re: Tragic Hero


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 May 2001 09:07:00 -0700
Subject: 12.1091 Re: Tragic Hero
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1091 Re: Tragic Hero

Ms. Hughes wonders:

>I am truly perplexed as to why the idea that Shakespeare based MOV in part
>(note: IN PART) on a current situation (snip) why it should be necessary to
>haul out citations to prove it.

Because that is what scholars do.  They don't assume.  They demonstrate.

>I never sought to prove it, only to suggest
>that such a thing was likely. Are we to
>restrict ourselves on this list to discussing only that which has been
>"proven" to the rest
>of us?

Possible, yes.  Likely?  Prove it.

Is it likely that there were bed tricks, people sneaking into wives
rooms to steal bracelets and look for moles, and ghosts going to their
sons to request revenge?  Why would *MOV* be more likely to be based on
a real event than these incidents?

>I know from gong through this kind of thing
>before and from watching these same tactics
>used on others, that nothing that I offer in
>the way of evidence will be sufficient and so to dig it out will be a waste
>of time.

This is wrong.  Most of us will gladly follow the evidence if you
present it.  Your suggestion would be a fascinating addition to our
knowledge of the play, IF it is more than just a warm fuzzy feeling.

>I don't post for Jensen, who has shown his
>animosity towards my ideas frequently over
>the years,

Not your ideas as much as your inability to back them up.  Discourse
should be on the level of what is known, not what you hope is true.

>Why can't Jensen and Gamble do as I do to
>them or to anyone whose posts don't interest
>me or with which I don't agree, simply ignore me?

Because I care about getting at the truth, and I care about using sound
tools so we will know the difference between facts and fancy.

>Why try to beat me, or anyone else, to death
>with words? Is this your idea of scholarship?

I hold you to the same principles of discourse that I want to be held
to.  I consider it a kindness when I make error if it is pointed out to
me.  If there is a lack of gentleness in the way I point your errors out
to you, it is due in part to frustration over your pattern of doing this
that remains proud and uncorrected, and some rather annoying off list
messages you sent a few years ago.  Remember the one when you wrote, "I
don't care about critical thinking.  I care about thinking."  That
reveals so much.

>Are we to have a vote on whether or not
>Stephanie Hughes is a fool and should be
>peppered to death with paper bullets or
>shall we proceed with courteous discourse,
>state our own views  (when we have them and
>when they are relevant) and politely refrain from pointless diatribes once
>it becomes clear that the argument can go no further?

If I understand this, do I?, I really think it misses the point.  I
appears to assume that all opinions have equal weight, and should be
simply stated, not held up to scrutiny.  Obviously, this list debates
ideas all the time.  If an idea is bad, it will be pointed out.  If it
has no known basis if fact, as does your idea about *MOV* being based,
in part, on an actual incident, that too is pointed out.  I encourage
this.  It is part of the process.  This is actually a good thing.  Not
all ideas have equal merit.  Some are wrong, and that should be noticed.

>I worry about Mike Jensen. He gets so worked
>up over infractions of the rules, rules that as far as I can see are purely
>of his own making.

Worry?  Gee, thanks.  Nice of you.  Hmmm.  The principles of good
scholarship are of my making.  Well, thanks for the promotion, but I
can't claim credit.  I've had good teachers.

>How nice it would be if Jensen's courtesy
>extended to those who don't share his views.

Actually it does.  I read something every day on SHAKSPER with which I
disagree, or regard with caution.  I seldom address those issues because
the poster has sound reasons for making the claim.  Those reasons are
given in the post.  I remember it for the next day's posts, then read
and consider the new comments.  Other reasons are given in those posts.
It is one way that I learn, and when discourse is on this level, it is
very useful.  That you would assume I go after everyone who does not
agree with me, tell us a lot more about you than it does about me.

Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stevie Gamble <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 May 2001 18:04:26 EDT
Subject: 12.1091 Re: Tragic Hero
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1091 Re: Tragic Hero

>As I hope I have shown in a number of discussions on this list, I am
>more than willing to dig out citations to back up anything I say when
>asked by someone who shows either a genuine interest in the idea or at
>least a modicum of courtesy.  When, after two posts from Gamble it
>became evident that the intent was not to discuss my suggestion (again,
>that MOV had its basis IN PART from current problems with London
>moneylenders) rather to make me look like an ignorant fool (while at the
>same time publishing a dissertation on usury through the ages, of which
>the relevance to my post was questionable), I did as I usually do in
>such cases, ignored them, a tactic I suggest to others who are afraid to
>post for fear of being trashed in this way.

I have become accustomed, in a brief acquaintanceship, to Stephanie
Hughes' misrepresentation of facts, I have become accustomed to her
misrepresentation of what I have said, and I have become accustomed to
her misrepresentation of what she has said; this latest posting provides
yet another example of all three. I have posted corrections of fact, I
have posted corrections of what I have said, rather than what Stephanie
Hughes says that I have said, and I have even posted corrections of what
Stephanie Hughes has said when she subsequently announces that she said
something quite different. Her apparent conviction that facts are
irrelevant to argument, and that someone correcting issues of fact is
'trashing' the argument does imply a distinctly strange world view, and
for that matter, her conviction that it is perfectly ok to misrepresent
what others have said is also strange, given her cries of injured
innocence.  As for her own statement above re 'current problems with
London moneylenders' what she actually said was:

 >>>I posted ... to
>>>suggest that his intention may have been NOT to paint a nasty picture of
>>>a Jew but a nasty picture of a seemingly doctrinaire Protestant
>>>reformist who dressed in black, named his children after OT characters,
>>>spouted religious doctrine at every turn and fulminated in Parliament
>>>and Church against the theaters while practicing extortion on the side.

There is a world of difference in those two representations; just as
there is a world of difference between my assertion in my first post
that "Elizabethan England had moneylenders in plenty, including John
Shakespeare, some of them rapacious, but very few of them Jews."  And
Stephanie Hughes' subsequent claim that I was so ignorant of the history
of the period that I didn't even know that there were rapacious English
moneylenders at the time.

>I know from going through this kind of thing before and from watching
>these same tactics used on others

What tactics? The correction of issues of fact? The correction of
misrepresentations of the views of others? Expecting people not to
misrepresent their own observations later in the discourse, and
challenging them when they do so?

>that nothing that I offer in the way
>of evidence will be sufficient and so to dig it out will be a waste of
>time.  I don't post for Jensen, who has shown his animosity towards my
>ideas frequently over the years, or for Gamble, but for those who may be
>interested in a different take on the plays. (I too get supportive posts
>off list from others, believe it or not.)
>
>Why can't Jensen and Gamble do as I do to them or to anyone whose posts
>don't interest me or with which I don't agree, simply ignore me? Why try
>to beat me, or anyone else, to death with words? Is this your idea of
>scholarship?

Do you not comprehend the need to make corrections of fact, so that
other readers are not misled into believing that x is so when it is not?
Is repeatedly misrepresenting others your idea of scholarship? Are your
arguments so bad that that the only way you can sustain them is by
misrepresenting fact and then pretending that you could support your
arguments really, but don't have the time or the inclination to do so?
Oh, and do you really believe that you have license to beat others to
terminal boredom with cries of hard done by you are?

Major snip

>If you want citations, Stevie, from me or anyone who posts on this list
>or any other, I suggest you ask politely without assuming that what you
>know is more important than what the other fellow knows.

But I did ask politely. I assume therefore that this is an addendum to
your notions of scholarship; 'I'll only support my arguments if I've got
the time, and the inclination, and definitely only if you ask me really,
really nicely, and I'm the judge of what really, really nicely is.'

I can see that this approach has considerable advantages from your
perspective, but it's unlikely to catch on. At least not with people who
have to be able to sustain their arguments without recourse to personal
whim.  The Merchant of Venice is a great play; one which confronts
questions central to the human experience for five thousand years, and
dilemmas felt as keenly now as when Shakespeare wrote it. It deserves
our best efforts.

Incidentally, with my apologies to that great actor Sidney Poitier, one
final point:

They call me Miss Gamble.

Stevie Gamble

_______________________________________________________________
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.
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>

Re: Time in Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1105  Friday, 11 May 2001

From:           Steve Roth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 May 2001 10:20:18 -0700
Subject: 12.1094 Re: Time in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1094 Re: Time in Hamlet

At 10:58 AM -0400 5/10/01, Larry Weiss wrote:

>The two references to Hamlet's age in V.i
>are not in Q1 and seem to have been added to assure the audience that
>Burbage was not miscast.

This is the position I came to as well, and that I argue in my Chapter
One and Appendix A, with some qualifications. (I don't claim to be the
first one to arrive at this surmise, though like many others I came to
it independently.)

Problem is, this contradicts the currently accepted textual histories of
the play. According to Dover Wilson, Wells/Taylor, Blakemore Evans,
etc., both F1 and Q2 are ultimately based on a single, pre-Q1,
auctorially authoritative source. By this theory, the four oddly
obtrusive items that cast Hamlet as an adult are all missing from Q1 as
a result of the reporter's error.

But all the major editors/critics (and many minors) since the 1870s have
noted the marked discrepancy between these F1/Q2 items and the
impression of youth given everywhere else, in all editions. (See
<http://princehamlet.com/links.html#critics>.)  Given that somewhat
jarring discordance, the timing of publication for Q1, Q2, and F1, and
the impression of multiple revisions that's so notable in the play's
textual history, it's hard not to think that material was added/changed
after Q1 was reported, and that those changes are reflected in Q2 and
F1.

It's scary to question such authorities. But to quote Wells/Taylor,
assaulting Edwards: "Why should an editor wish to propose an
intrinsically implausible hypothesis for which there is no evidence?
Because it allows the editor to isolate the author's own creative
processes in a single manuscript, and to isolate the debasement of those
intentions in other manuscripts which with the author had no
connection."

I don't say that "there is no evidence" for the currently accepted
textual history. Far from it. But it fails to explain many particulars.
I certainly sympathize: Editors have no choice but to give a single
reading in their texts, and this in a play where alternate
readings/meanings form a great deal of the text's power and beauty.

This need to give a single reading leads editors to propose a (fairly)
simple textual history--a single source, with a couple of variants
forking off, and some questionable "contamination" between them--from
which they can discern more "authoritative" readings. In particular, the
current beliefs shy sharply away from the possibility of multiple,
parallel revisions by the author, later collated in different ways, at
different times, by the author and/or other(s).

I'm not in a position to argue for that theory. I haven't done the due
diligence to support it. But I wanted to point out that the "rewrite for
Burbage" idea, attractive as it is to me, you, and others, is
contradicted by current wisdom.

Thanks,
Steve
http://princehamlet.com

P. S. Your statement that "the character is precisely as old as the
actor playing him appears to be" agrees completely with Dover Wilson:
"Hamlet is an actor made up to represent a certain age, which they
[audience members] accept without question." But this strikes me as a
tautology.

_______________________________________________________________
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.
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>

Re: Parallel Texts

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1103  Friday, 11 May 2001

From:           Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 10 May 2001 09:05:33 -0700
Subject: 12.1053 Re: Parallel Texts
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1053 Re: Parallel Texts

>From: Geralyn Horton

>The King James Bible, Mother Goose, A Child's
>Garden of Verses, Robin Hood and King Arthur, and snippets of
>Shakespeare, were all read aloud at school and church and over the
>radio, and bits were memorized to be recited to the applause of doting
>adults. If you read and hear a word used in its now obsolete meaning 100
>times in varying contexts, you will learn that old meaning just as you
>learn the modern one --- you won't have to look it up in a dictionary.
>Elizabethan English isn't difficult for people who have had some use of
>it.

Poetry was king at the dawn of the print culture because it was the best
way to keep a text in memory. The best poetry, the most alliterative,
the best use of rhyme and meter, the more likely to be remembered. Not
only poets, but philosophers and mathematicians put their works into
verse so they would be REMEMBERED by people who could not read (but who
COULD listen while someone else read or recited).

My love of English literature comes directly from the nursery rhymes my
mother read to me at night before I went to sleep (also the wonderful
poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson). Nursery rhymes are novels condensed
into a handful of lines. Instinctively a child knows they are about
something, which, indeed, they are. Many of them were jingles passed
around as commentaries on the doings of celebrities, kings and queens.
Others are left over from old song lyrics.

Those of you with small children, if you want them to love English
literature, read them nursery rhymes at night before they sleep.

Stephanie Hughes

_______________________________________________________________
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.
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Search

Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.