2001

Re: Which Potato

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1440  Monday, 11 June 2001

From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 08 Jun 2001 12:53:48 -0400
Subject: 12.1431 Re: Which Potato
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1431 Re: Which Potato

I wrote:

>In the Arden edition of TRO, Bevington does not distinguish between
>common and sweet potato (see note on 5.2.56).

Ooops!  I thought I had pulled Bevington from the shelf, but instead I
had pulled Palmer's Arden edition of T&C.  Bevington does indeed go for
the sweet potato and cites Gordon Williams. (See Bevington's note on
5.2.57-8.) Palmer gives the anecdote regarding the Eigth Army's use of
passion-fruit.

Sorry for the confusion.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

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Re: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Names

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1439  Monday, 11 June 2001

[1]     From:   Steve Sohmer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Jun 2001 11:18:40 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1425 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Names

[2]     From:   Mette M


Re: Camillo and Paulina

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1437  Monday, 11 June 2001

[1]     From:   Lawrence Manley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Jun 2001 10:50:29 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1420 Re: Camillo and Paulina

[2]     From:   Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 08 Jun 2001 12:16:48 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Camillo and Paulina

[3]     From:   Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Jun 2001 16:01:28 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1420 Re: Camillo and Paulina


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lawrence Manley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Jun 2001 10:50:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 12.1420 Re: Camillo and Paulina
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1420 Re: Camillo and Paulina

I came into this thread late, so forgive me if this has already been
mentioned: doesn't the possible doubling of Camillo with Antigonous add
something rather nice to the ending?

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 08 Jun 2001 12:16:48 -0400
Subject:        Re: Camillo and Paulina

Mike Jensen writes:

"That done, [Leontes] now has an opportunity to make restitution for
depriving Paulina of her husband, and does so."

Yes, of course. And he shuts her up, too: "Peace"! But if he took the
time to know Camillo's mind, why not take the time to learn Paulina's?

He thinks he knows Paulina's mind and how it works. Gee, it seems to me
that he made a similar assumption about another woman at the start of
the play. Moreover, he wouldn't listen to the woman herself -- or to
anyone else's views, either. He shut them all up, except Paulina, who
refused to be silenced.

Now, he has silenced her, too.

This king hasn't learned much, Mike. He has to face the evidence that he
as wrong in the past, but he has not changed because of it.

I'll agree with you on one point: all this is designed to go right over
James's head. But it doesn't have to go over ours.

--Ed

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Jun 2001 16:01:28 +0100
Subject: 12.1420 Re: Camillo and Paulina
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1420 Re: Camillo and Paulina

> At the risk of seeming frivolous next to HIS ideas, I suggest also that
> Shakespeare is still trying to balance elements of tragedy and comedy in
> the final scene. The stretched language of Act 5 evokes almost a
> desperation to pull off this most challenging form of tragicomedy, and
> what better way to end it than with another marriage?
>
> Richard Regan
> Fairfield University

While appreciating the views of the ending of WT put forward which see
it as all-is-redeemed (if I may be allowed a gross over-simplification
of part of this thread), I'd respectfully beg to differ.  I entirely
agree with Richard Regan that it's a tragicomedy:  Acts I-III give us
Othello-in-brief; Act IV gives us an entire Shakespearean comedy (boy
meets girl, boy loses girl, boy [will] get{s} girl), with, within it,
Polixines behaving in the comic realm in a way all-too-analogous to that
in which Leontes behaves in the tragic realm.  Act V gives us something
outside the normal boundaries of comedy and tragedy.

When Leontes is confronted with the statue of Hermione, he says:

Thou art Hermione; or rather, thou art she
In thy not chiding, for she was as tender
As infancy and grace.  But yet, Paulina,
Hermione was not so much wrinkled, nothing
So aged as this seems.

Time is +not+ redeemed.  The sixteen years aren't simply abolished.
This is, and is not, Hermione.  At the very moment that Perdita is
restored to her father, we're reminded of the (irretrievably) dead
Mamillius.  Antigonous has been devoured by a bear, and won't be back.

I can't think of any other play by Shakespeare that ends in quite this
fashion, facing us with such a demanding complexity.

Robin Hamilton

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Re: Colorblindness

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1438  Monday, 11 June 2001

[1]     From:   David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Jun 2001 16:14:09 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1424 Re: Colorblindness

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 08 Jun 2001 09:32:52 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1424 Re: Colorblind

[3]     From:   Philip Tomposki <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Jun 2001 14:44:30 EDT
        Subj:   Re: Colorblindness

[4]     From:   Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 08 Jun 2001 11:49:34 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1424 Re: Colorblindness


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Jun 2001 16:14:09 +0100
Subject: 12.1424 Re: Colorblindness
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1424 Re: Colorblindness


>What input might I get about casting Shylock with a female actor? My
>best actor is female and I thought it might add some interesting  sub
>text.

If it is gender-*blind* casting it precisely adds no subtexts at all,
indeed prohibits an audience from reading for subtexts.  If it is
cross-gender casting, then it's very different, and allows for all the
subtexts you like.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 08 Jun 2001 09:32:52 -0700
Subject: 12.1424 Re: Colorblindness
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1424 Re: Colorblindness

My friend Michael Morrison is a believer in colorblind casting, but is
aware of the political climate that makes it a no-no to cast white
people in colored roles.  Michael is Jewish.  His wife is
African-American.

One day, Michael and I were walking around New York City going to second
hand bookstores, and we talked about his son Noah.  Michael said,
"Nobody can tell him he can't play both Othello and Shylock!"

Well done, Michael!

Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Philip Tomposki <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Jun 2001 14:44:30 EDT
Subject:        Re: Colorblindness

"What input might I get about casting Shylock with a female actor? My
best actor is female and I thought it might add some interesting  sub
text. I am sure it has been done..anyone seen it done and what's the
reaction?

Virginia Byrne"

The regrettably now defunct Rhode Island Shakespeare Theatre did a
version of MoV with a female Shylock about a dozen years ago.  If memory
serves, the director made no attempt to alter the setting or time.
Shylock was played as a female.  Except for the necessary language
changes (i.e. mother for father, she for he, etc.) no attempt was made
to 'feminize' the role.  Fortunately, the actress playing Shylock was
strong enough in the part so that I quickly forgot she was supposed to
be male.  I suspect that if the director had tried to make more of the
actor's sex it would have been more of a distraction than an asset.

All this, of course, begs the question of why you want your strongest
actor taking the role of Shylock.  If I recall correctly, the original
topic of the 'Tragic Hero' discussion, before it veered off into a
debate over alleged Hebrew subtexts, dealt with the appropriateness of
making Shylock the central character of the play.  IMHO this is not what
Shakespeare had in mind.  (After all, Shylock has, I believe, the
shortest role of all the principals.) Portia would seem a better
choice.  In the TRIST production, Portia was played by a more
attractive, younger looking actor who, fortunately, was able to hold her
own.  For better or worse, visual impact on stage does matter, and if
that's your consideration, by all means give it a try.  Otherwise,
unless you also have a very strong candidate for Portia, you may want to
rethink this option.

Philip Tomposki

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 08 Jun 2001 11:49:34 -0500
Subject: 12.1424 Re: Colorblindness
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1424 Re: Colorblindness

My rather predictable reaction to the proposed female Shylock is, "Oh,
God, not again."

Ms Byrne: think of the sub-text that will be *lost*.

On the other hand, if you already conceive of the play as a choice
vehicle for your best actor, cast as Shylock, then we are probably so
far apart that it doesn't matter.

Still, why don't you let the girl do Rosalind or Lady Macbeth or
something?

Regards,
don

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Re: SHAKSPERean Characters

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1436  Monday, 11 June 2001

[1]     From:   Mari Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Jun 2001 14:55:32 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1421 Re: SHAKSPERean Characters

[2]     From:   Lucia A. Setari <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Jun 2001 22:48:00 +0100 (BST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1421 Re: SHAKSPERean Characters

[3]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 08 Jun 2001 19:41:49
        Subj:   Re: SHAKSPERean Characters

[4]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 9 Jun 2001 00:05:48 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHAKSPERean Characters

[5]     From:   Joe Conlon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Jun 2001 23:16:20 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1421 Re: SHAKSPERean Characters


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mari Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Jun 2001 14:55:32 -0400
Subject: 12.1421 Re: SHAKSPERean Characters
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1421 Re: SHAKSPERean Characters

Dream roles? If casting were size, age, gender and talent-blind?

Hmmm...

Beatrice (for her wit and her winning the man)

Rosalind (for the multilayered cross-dressing and b/c somehow she seems
so much more fun than Viola)

Juliet's nurse (such opportunities to creat character) or Juliet's
father (Capulet being by far the most complex character in the play)

Oh wow... so many, many others :)

Mike... how about Mercutio? <BG>

Mari Bonomi

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lucia A. Setari <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Jun 2001 22:48:00 +0100 (BST)
Subject: 12.1421 Re: SHAKSPERean Characters
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1421 Re: SHAKSPERean Characters

I like to fancy myself as Cleopatra.

Yet I suspect that I am most fit to be Margaret in Richard III (but only
on condition that Richard does not look like George Bush....)

Lucia A. Setari

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 08 Jun 2001 19:41:49
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPERean Characters

>George Bush as Richard the Third?

I didn't know he was on this listserve...

Takashi Kozuka

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul E. Doniger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 9 Jun 2001 00:05:48 -0400
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPERean Characters

> >Charles Weinstein wrote:
> >
> > I played Polonius in a recent production ...
> >
> >This gave me considerable pause for thought.  Now, based on their
> >postings here, are there any Shakespearean characters that members might
> >be thought to play in real life (so to speak)?

And John Briggs wrote:

> I'd like to add to this:  is there any Shakespearean character
> SHAKSPERians would most like NOT to be?

Well, I would like TO BE Kent (and to play the part, as well).

And NOT TO BE any of several characters from LLL (although I'd like to
have PLAYED Armado).

My favorites that I have PLAYED are Feste (and Fabian -- remade into one
character!) and Banquo -- Although I AM neither of them (I do admit to a
certain amount of similarity to the jester). Now it would be a thrill to
play Sir Toby Belch (whom I also do NOT want to BE!).

This is fun,
Paul E. Doniger

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joe Conlon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Jun 2001 23:16:20 -0500
Subject: 12.1421 Re: SHAKSPERean Characters
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1421 Re: SHAKSPERean Characters

I think I'd like to be Lord Capulet in Romeo & Juliet.  I love the scene
where he flies into the rage over his wedding plans for Juliet and
Paris.

Joe Conlon

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