2001

Re: Penguin's Renaissance Dramatists Series

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1941  Saturday, 4 August 2001

[1]     From:   David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 2 Aug 2001 16:08:02 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1928 Penguin's Renaissance Dramatists Series

[2]     From:   Todd Pettigrew <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 03 Aug 2001 16:10:42 -0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1928 Penguin's Renaissance Dramatists Series


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 2 Aug 2001 16:08:02 +0100
Subject: 12.1928 Penguin's Renaissance Dramatists Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1928 Penguin's Renaissance Dramatists Series

>It's apparently part of a series
>labeled Renaissance Dramatists. Can someone in the UK or Australia
>enlighten us further about dramatists in the series,

I believe Penguin pulled the plug on this series very soon after it was
launched - so even if there are some authors in the series, there won't
be any more.

David Lindley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Todd Pettigrew <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 03 Aug 2001 16:10:42 -0300
Subject: 12.1928 Penguin's Renaissance Dramatists Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1928 Penguin's Renaissance Dramatists Series

The series also seems to be available in Canada, if not the USA.  I have
copies of

Kyd, The Spanish Tragedie, ed. Emma Smith.

Jonson, Volpone and Other Plays (inc. Every Man  in his Humour, Sejanus,
Volpone, and Epicoene), ed. Lorna Hutson.

Chapman, Plays and Poems (inc. All Fooles, Bussy D'Ambois, The Widdowes
Teares, and selected poems) ed. Jonathan Hudston.

Three Tragedies by Renaissance Women (inc. Tragedie of Iphigeneia,
Tragedie of Antonie, and Tragedie of Mariam) ed. Dianne Purkiss.

All are old-spelling editions and include substantial introductions and
notes.

Todd Pettigrew

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Re: The Tragedy of Claudius

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1940  Saturday,  4 August 2001

[1]     From:   Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 02 Aug 2001 13:47:32 -0400
        Subj:   Re: The Tragedy of Claudius

[2]     From:   Graham Bradshaw <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 2 Aug 2001 17:45:42 +0900
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1921 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 02 Aug 2001 13:47:32 -0400
Subject:        Re: The Tragedy of Claudius

John Drakakis writes:

"I'm a little puzzled too by the handing over of power to Young
Fortinbras at the end.  It's very often played as though Denmark is
being handed over to a dictator who will grind it under his jackboot.
Fortinbras, you will recall, claims that he has 'some rights of memory
in this kingdom'.  We don't know what they are, but Hamlet seems to
concur.  Surely, the point is that Fortinbras behaves like Hamlet's
father.  He fights for bits of land (in Q2) and seems to do so for
honour's sake."

Three points deserve brief mention:

(1) I agree completely with John that Fortinbras gives no indication
that he is -- or will be -- a jack-booted thug. In fact, his words at
the end of the play are measured, thoughtful, and rather impressive,
politically pointed though they surely are, and he evinces an almost
mystical connection to young Hamlet that is hard to fathom: how does
Fortinbras know that Hamlet, Jr., would have been a good king, had he
lived?

(2) Fortinbras's behavior may be more like young Hamlet's than Hamlet
himself realizes in 4.4. Fortinbras in this play functions much like a
blank cipher: we get only the outlines of his actions, not his
motivations. It may be that he is hell-bent for honor as Hamlet thinks,
or it may be that his useless war against the Polack is a cover for
temporizing, for hanging around and being close at hand while Claudius
self-destructs. Curiously, both Hamlet and Fortinbras share the view
that Claudius isn't very able.

(3)Why does Hamlet give Fortinbras his dying voice? It's a mystery, for
sure. But I wonder if a providential interpretation works here: Old
Fortinbras foolishly fought old Hamlet and lost a lot of land. Now, at
the end of the play, the scales are righted -- more than righted,
actually.

--Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Bradshaw <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 2 Aug 2001 17:45:42 +0900
Subject: 12.1921 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1921 Re: The Tragedy of Claudius

>As for Hamlet's nominating of Fortinbras as his successor, can you give
>one logical reason why he does so?

A really good question. Might the answer be simple? Hamlet lives and
dies hating Denmark.He tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that it is a
prison.  He is entirely indifferent to the threat of invasion in the
second scene.  Contrary to conventional expectations, he never expresses
any concern for the fate of Denmark or its Danes, or even for Ophelia
once he has killed her father.

As I have suggested before on this thread, the chief problem in Hamlet
criticism is the tendency to see the play and its other characters
through Hamlet's eyes.

That seems to me far less absorbing than the extraordinary contrast it
blocks out: Prince Hamlet is never interested in how anybody else thinks
and feels, including his mother, Ophelia and Horatio, whereas the play
is powerfully interested in how everybody else thinks and feels?

Best wishes. Graham

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Re: T and C (Ashland)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1938  Thursday, 2 August 2001

From:           Jeannette Webber <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 2 Aug 2001 01:20:59 EDT
Subject: 12.1866 Re: T and C (Ashland)
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1866 Re: T and C (Ashland)

I just returned from vacation to read your discussion of the Oregon
Shakespeare Festival's Troilus and Cressida, which I too saw in early
July.  Good points were made about Helen and Cressida, to which I have
little to add (I agree that the Greek kissing scene is nearly
unbearable. Calchas' leaving part way through the scene makes us wonder
why ever he bargained so hard for his daughter to come to the Greek camp
when he can't take care of her!)  I wasn't impressed with Ken Albers'
Pandarus, particularly in his final speech, and not just because it's
moved from the end of the play.  To show how sick he is, he has a
coughing fit and thus diminishes the impact of his lines (and their
clarity).   In an e-mail to a friend soon after seeing the show in early
July, other points struck me.  Here it is, slightly edited:

Alas, the most disappointing play I saw in Ashland was Troilus and
Cressida --and not just because of comparing it to that intense version
in NY last April with Tony Church as Pandarus.  That production had its
weaknesses, particularly the actor who played Troilus.  Ashland's
Troilus is wonderful, the hunk Kevin Kenerly whom we've long admired.
OSF must too: his photos from this play and Life is a Dream grace many
of their printed materials this year.  But the production plays to the
groundlings via a hectically-acted Thersites, as well as in other ways.
It substitutes a much repeated 'all is war and lechery' emphasis for any
deeper exploration.  The Greeks, who would be at least a little grubby
after nine years camping out, wear costumey velvets.  Patroclus has
basically no character at all and, I guess to define their relationship,
he and Achilles make out a lot.  A weird detail is that Patroclus'
bloody corpse hangs from stage above through much of the final action,
giving some unintentionally funny moments:  Achilles plays with his feet
at one point, though eventually simply dodges the body as if it's a
troublesome prop.  When they take their bows, that moment of darkness
should have been used to unstrap poor Patroclus from his hanging ropes.
Instead we see him unfastened and he goes offstage at the end with a big
metal hook on the middle of his back.

Hector is badly cast, a decent actor but no hero of Troy (and poorly
costumed besides), and the Trojan council scene is too sparsely
attended, with Cassandra making only a flying entrance and exit instead
of being an anguished presence through the debate and Hector's selling
out.

The production doesn't feel well thought out, though as theatre it does
keep your interest; we didn't doze off or anything.  There are just too
many purposeless or bizarre choices and loads of missed opportunities
(the Trojans don't even parade by when Pandarus teases Cressida at the
beginning:  a perfect way to introduce the main characters!).  You may
want to see it anyhow, but it's not worth planning your summer around.

Cheers,
Jeannette Webber

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Re: Two Gents, Catching Cold

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1939  Thursday, 2 August 2001

From:           Billy Houck <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 2 Aug 2001 02:19:52 EDT
Subject: 12.1922 Re: Two Gents, Catching Cold
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1922 Re: Two Gents, Catching Cold

In a message dated 8/1/01 7:40:49 AM, David Wallace writes:

<< Houck's description appears to
report the play as a farce and the characters as puppets. The result
produces politics where we ought to see personalities; cheap shots where
genuine spiritual concerns are at stake. >>

I beg your pardon.

Perhaps I was not making myself clear.

I am the director of the production described.

I was not asking for anyone to write an analysis of a production they
had not seen.

I was writing a description of my production, and asking if anyone had
another method of staging this scene. There must be many.  In a scant 25
lines, a man tries to rape a woman, is stopped by his friend, who is
also the woman's lover, who accepts his apology then offers to give his
rights to the woman to his friend, the rapist. Meanwhile, the rapist's
lover, who is  dressed as a boy, "swoons."

Getting all this action into this very short time with any sense of
plausibility creates a problem for directors. I solved it by giving
Silvia a chance to fight back.

I'm interested in hearing about others' interpretations.

Billy Houck

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Re: To be or not to be

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1937  Thursday, 2 August 2001

From:           Andrew W. White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 1 Aug 2001 17:47:58 -0400
Subject:        Re: To be or not to be

Ed Taft asks:

>Who else in this play may love and trust his father too much, and may be
>allowing himself to be used as a tool to further a father's ends?

True -- and that's why I feel Hamlet's initial pleadings, and his
initial use of "nunnery" appeal to Ophelia's truthful nature.  He knows
she's in too deep for her own good, and begs her to admit it's a
set-up.  Her failure to do so sets him off in another direction entirely
-- she, of all people, should understand the need to level with him, and
yet she, of all people, is out to set him up.  Hence, his switch to the
other, brothel sense of "nunnery" and related insults for the rest of
the scene.

I think the use of the word "nunnery" covers both, opposite senses of
the word, and that is what makes the scene so especially powerful, and
painful for the audience to watch, because they can see what would have
been, if only things had happened differently.

Andy White

_______________________________________________________________
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>

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