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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Polonius Gets the Point
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1391  Wednesday, 6 June 2001

[1]     From:   Peterson-Kranz Karen <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 09:44:49 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1372 Polonius Gets the Point

[2]     From:   Charles Weinstein <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 19:40:50 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1372 Polonius Gets the Point


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peterson-Kranz Karen <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 09:44:49 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.1372 Polonius Gets the Point
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1372 Polonius Gets the Point

Shooting as a substitute for stabbing doesn't bother me THAT much,
although it is assuming rather a flavor-of-the-month quality in recent
productions (and -- maybe especially -- films), thus risking losing
whatever freshness or shock value it once may have had.

Beyond that, it seems like there would be at least one distinct
practical problem with having Hamlet shoot Polonius, though.  Unless he
has a weapon equipped with a silencer, wouldn't the noise alert the
Elsinore Secret Service guys to dirty business afoot in HM's closet?
Wouldn't they all come crashing in?  And then, however would Hamlet have
time to finish instructing his mother in the finer points of moral
behavior?

But seriously -- Graham, how do the productions you've seen handle this?

Cheers,
Karen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charles Weinstein <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Jun 2001 19:40:50 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 12.1372 Polonius Gets the Point
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1372 Polonius Gets the Point

"Discharges into the arras are always such an anticlimax."

True, but if a rapier may mutate into a revolver, an arras may likewise
change identities.  Thus, I played Polonius in a recent production where
the character was indeed shot, but through a pane of opaque glass.  As
the gun fired I activated a mechanism which caused the pane to shatter.
I fell backward in a hail of fragments.  It felt climactic rather than
anti-.

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