2001

Re: Camillo and Paulina

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1420  Friday, 8 June 2001

[1]     From:   Rita Lamb <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 7 Jun 2001 22:29:29 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1401 Re: Camillo and Paulina

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 07 Jun 2001 16:05:12 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1401 Re: Camillo and Pauli

[3]     From:   Richard Regan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Jun 2001 00:18:45 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1401 Re: Camillo and Paulina


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rita Lamb <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Jun 2001 22:29:29 +0100
Subject: 12.1401 Re: Camillo and Paulina
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1401 Re: Camillo and Paulina

I don't know how Leontes' action would appear in the real world, but in
the half-fairytale world of this play, it makes good sense to me.

For most of the unseen years of Hermione's 'death' Paulina has been
leading a vital double life.  She has been preserving Hermione, while
attending on Leontes like a genteel fury, the living embodiment of his
guilty conscience.  Once the royal reunion happens however she's
completely unemployed.  Moreover she is now not the wife of a missing
lord but an acknowledged widow.  I imagine at this point a contemporary
audience would picture her retiring from court and living the sort of
pious existence the old Countess Rousillon has in AWTEW. This wouldn't
do for Paulina, who needs to be active.

So if I had been a woman in that audience, I'd have thought it a poor
return for all Paulina had done if she was shipped off to some early
retirement home.  She's not above fifty, surely.  A nice new husband and
a leading role at court is a much better reward, and a totally
satisfying ending.

Leontes says he partly knows how Camillo feels. I'm happy to believe
him.  I quite willingly imagine all sorts of tentative remarks and
significant glances offstage, prompting the king into making his happy
pronouncement.  Anyway, Leontes must know Paulina pretty well by now,
surely, and she has just (wistfully IMO) announced that there's nothing
for her to do now they've all found each other but be an old solitary
dove and mourn her dead husband till she drops off the perch herself.
What should the king reply to that?
'Yes.  When are you leaving?'

I think Leontes comes up with the only feel good solution.

Rita Lamb

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 07 Jun 2001 16:05:12 -0700
Subject: 12.1401 Re: Camillo and Paulina
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1401 Re: Camillo and Paulina

>The answer, I believe, is "No." [Is that "cynical" enough for you, Mike?]
>
>--Ed Taft

More than enough, Edmund.  Being a wide eyed dreamer, and a sucker for a
love story, especially if the lovers have to overcome themselves to
embrace love, I have another line through this scene.  Leontes is in
restitution overdrive.  He has grappled with his guilt for what he did
to his wife, and again embraces her in love.  That done, he now has an
opportunity to make restitution for depriving Paulina of her husband,
and does so.

As a playwright for The King's Men, if the King ever figured out what
Shakespeare was up to, assuming your scenario is correct, the company
could soon be looking for a new patron.  Not a great idea.

Is that naive enough for you, Ed?

All the best,
Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Regan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Jun 2001 00:18:45 EDT
Subject: 12.1401 Re: Camillo and Paulina
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1401 Re: Camillo and Paulina

I agree with Professor Taft on the final moments of The Winter's Tale.
His insights seem just right for Shakespeare's conception of the trials
of Leontes.

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

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Warde Richard III on DVD

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1419  Friday, 8 June 2001

From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Jun 2001 12:24:27 -0400
Subject:        Warde Richard III on DVD

The Warde Richard III will be out June 26 (as will the Janning Othello)
from Kino on June 26.

http://www.kino.com/video/videoframe.html

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Re: Titus on DVD? (UK)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1417  Friday, 8 June 2001

[1]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 07 Jun 2001 16:24:39
        Subj:   Re: Titus on DVD? (UK)

[2]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 07 Jun 2001 16:24:39
        Subj:   Re: Titus on DVD? (UK)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 07 Jun 2001 16:24:39
Subject:        Re: Titus on DVD? (UK)

Dear SHAKSPEReans

Many thanks to those who have replied to my posting.

I should have said that my DVD player can play only UK-formatted DVDs as
I bought my laptop in the UK, instead of saying that I live in the UK.
(As we discussed before, most (if not all) US-formatted DVDs cannot be
played on UK-formatted DVD players.)

So to make it clear, I should say this time...if anyone knows if Titus
is available on UK-formatted DVD, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

Best,
Takashi Kozuka

*****************************************************************
NEW DIRECTIONS IN BIOGRAPHIES OF SHAKESPEARE, MARLOWE AND JONSON
http://www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/ren/new_directions.htm
*****************************************************************

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 07 Jun 2001 16:45:39
Subject:        Re: Titus on DVD? (UK)

>I found that an Italian bookshop does sell copies of Titus.

Can we play this one on a UK DVD player?

>I reckon that http://www.amazon.co.uk also does them, just as
>http://www.internetbookshop.co.uk

No, they don't... I checked with them before I posted my enquiry... The
biggest online DVD store in the UK doesn't, either.

Best,
Takashi Kozuka

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Re: Beale's Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1418  Friday, 8 June 2001

[1]     From:   Virginia Byrne <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 7 Jun 2001 12:30:57 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1399 Re: Beale's Hamlet

[2]     From:   Douglas E. Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 7 Jun 2001 11:57:30 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1399: Beale's Hamlet

[3]     From:   Charles Weinstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Fri, 8 Jun 2001 08:33:21 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1359 Beale's Ham


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Virginia Byrne <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Jun 2001 12:30:57 EDT
Subject: 12.1399 Re: Beale's Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1399 Re: Beale's Hamlet

Okay folks I saw the Boston production which I might add was certainly
dominated by Mr. Beale but this is what the trunks conjured for me very
nicely I might also add... the transience of theater....I felt it said
as many productions lately  are again trying to  say (i.e.  the recent
A.R.T.'s R2)..."this is a play..and we are but shadows and when it is
over we will pack our bags and move to Phoenix"  and I loved it....

Virginia Byrne

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas E. Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Jun 2001 11:57:30 -0500
Subject: 12.1399: Beale's Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1399: Beale's Hamlet

Just to add to the chorus of responses, here are some musings written
just after I saw the RNT Hamlet at the Guthrie in early May:

I can say that, among the 10 or so stage and film productions I've seen,
this is neither my favorite Hamlet nor the worst I've seen.  It
resembles most a very Catholic Hamlet I saw 11 years ago in Buenos
Aires: in fact, the tableau of mother, ghostly father, and son recalled
the earlier production's ghost realm, to which (in a manner that evoked
Kyd's Spanish Tragedy) the dead characters repair to reunite with lost
loved ones: there's the strangest set of family reunions at the end of
that version--odd but fascinating.

The RNT production is far more restrained, but the minimalist chapel
setting, the trunks that double as coffins and graves, keep us in mind
of 'last things' from the very start.  I like that concept.

I like too what Catherine Belsey might call Beale's "effeminate"
Hamlet--not a reference at all to our notions of sexual orientation, but
the term Belsey uses to describe a prominent 19th century view of the
character both on stage and in painting (detailed in a wonderful SAA
lecture a few years ago).  It is best captured in the inability (or
hesitation) of Beale's Hamlet to kill a Claudius that willingly bares
his chest to him.  It is the strain of Hamlet that led great women of
the nineteenth and early twentieth-century stage like Bernhardt to the
part.  Oddly enough, Beale's size lends itself to this sensitive Hamlet,
because it jars with the two most popular recent versions, both on film
of course: Gibson's hyper-virile, Freudian Hamlet and Branagh's tightly
trussed but internally raging Hamlet (belatedly transformed into Errol
Flynn).  By comparison, Beale's is full of doubt and scruple (often
religious, I think), tender, absurd, and nostalgic.

That's also why I like Caird's conception of Gertrude, though I don't
think Sara Kestelman brought it off well.  I like the sense that
Gertrude is leading a double life--with her present husband at court and
with her first in the secrecy of her closet.  That makes Hamlet very
much her son--in a way that does not need to rely on the Freudian antics
of Zeffirelli's Hamlet (Gibson).  They both long for an irretrievable
past, a lost innocence--and the man (or ghost) who 'embodies' it.  I
just wish that this actress had been even modestly 'readable' before the
bedroom scene.  There's no sense, for me at least, of who she is before
that scene.

I liked the Claudius, even after his rather ritualistic contortions of
guilt (which begin in the chapel scene) transform him from rational good
sense and even an air of concern for others into the villain we know he
really is.  I liked Horatio well enough.  No problems, either, with the
rather expressionistic otherworldly ending.  But I didn't like the
aria-like final speech of Hamlet; it seemed to me the only false note in
Beale's performance even if it is meant to anticipate the shift to that
other world in which Horatio delivers his final words.

As with Kestelman's Gertrude, I was disappointed with Ophelia, though I
thought her mad scenes were stronger than the earlier ones.  I also
think few directors and actors have found the modern possibilities in
Ophelia.  I think the best contemporary interpretation I've seen (though
not necessarily the best acting) is the Ophelia in the recent Ethan
Hawke Hamlet, and that actress is helped by paring the text down to its
barest bones.  Caird's Ophelia simply walked in from a thousand other
productions and the pictures (once again) of the Pre-Raphaelites.

So I guess I wasn't wowed, but obviously I did find the production
affecting in some aspects (it probably helps to be an ex-Catholic) and
thought-provoking.

Douglas E. Green
Prof. of English / BAGLS Adviser
Augsburg College

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charles Weinstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Fri, 8 Jun 2001 08:33:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 12.1359 Beale's Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1359 Beale's Hamlet

An absence of looks, charm and appeal can never be a non-issue in a
leading actor, certainly not when he's playing a character who is
supposed to have a large measure of personal fascination. Yet I admit
that Beale's homeliness is not the only, or the most important issue.
Far more serious is the fact that his Hamlet is neither emotionally,
intellectually nor rhetorically compelling:  he is, in fact, a dullard
and a bore.  In such a situation, physical attractiveness can sometimes
carry an actor along at least part of the way. (It did wonders for Ralph
Fiennes, whose Hamlet was otherwise notable only for its mechanical
speed).  Yet Beale lacks even that refuge.

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Re: Possible New Portrait

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1416  Thursday, 7 June 2001

From:           Sara V. Fink <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 07 Jun 2001 07:01:58 -0400
Subject: 12.1164 Re: Possible New Portrait
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1164 Re: Possible New Portrait

>"Shakspere," the withered piece of linen is said to read, "born April 23
>1564, Died April 23 1616, Aged 52. This Likeness taken 1603, Age at that
>time 39 ys."
>
>The trouble is, says Mr. Foster, the style and spelling of this
>inscription are distinctly mid-19th century.

Since the linen label was dated at between 1475 and 1640 by the Canadian
Conservation Institute, and the exact wording given by the Institute was
based partly on Spielmann's 1909 report, may I suggest that this exact
wording might be a roughly 19th c. interpretation of what was already a
badly faded and difficult to read inscription?  It was not uncommon for
owners of portraits in the 17th as well as later centuries to affix
labels identifying sitters, with death date.

Birthdays indeed are not recorded at this period, but I wonder ... is it
true that no one kept track within families?  Were birthdays not
celebrated, was it christening days instead, or some other nearby event?

Sara V. Fink
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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