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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: February ::
Re: Place of Performance
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0408  Tuesday, 12 February 2002

[1]     From:   Laura Blankenship <
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        Date:   Monday, 11 Feb 2002 14:12:53 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0394 Re: Place of Performance

[2]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Monday, 11 Feb 2002 10:45:22 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0394 Re: Place of Performance


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Laura Blankenship <
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Date:           Monday, 11 Feb 2002 14:12:53 -0500
Subject: 13.0394 Re: Place of Performance
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0394 Re: Place of Performance

>Laura Blankenship writes (of Lear and A Thousand Acres)
>
>>Have you read the novel?  I don't think it's necessarily reductive.<
>>

T. Hawkes writes,

>Yes I have. It reduces the large political, social and economic concerns
>of the play (the issues of Kingship, of national governance, of the
>structure of society etc) to the smaller domestic focus of personal and
>familial relationships, rivalries and finally incest. Your students'
>'stunned silence' at the suggestion that the novel might to any degree
>illuminate the play strikes me as highly intelligent. I'd be inclined to
>join it.

I do see your point in that Smiley does "reduce" the plot to certain
particular concerns.  However, I don't think that the domestic
issues--which are there in the play--are necessarily any less important
than the "larger" issues of Kingship, etc.

As far as the novel illuminating the play, I don't think that it does
and I didn't assign it as a way to help interpret the play.

Laura

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Monday, 11 Feb 2002 10:45:22 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0394 Re: Place of Performance
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0394 Re: Place of Performance

Although I tend to agree with Whitt Brantley that most of the hidden
lives of Shakespearean characters are put onto the stage, I must also
note that characters DO keep secrets from the audience and we are not
always aware of everything that is going on with the plot.  The most
obvious (and dramatically effective) exception to this rule is the
hiding and resurrection of Hermione, whom we are meant to believe is
dead with no suggestion otherwise.

Others do occur: Cymbeline's queen's death is the ONLY announcement the
audience does not anticipate in the final scene of that play. In several
of the stunning turnabouts at the end of the comedies, the characters
tend to say things that we have absolutely no clear indication is going
to be said. Take Valentine's willingness to part with Sylvia at the end
of Two Gents. Who figures that he is going to say that and forgive the
little bastard Proteus so easily?

Brian Willis

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