Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: Inconsistencies
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0647  Tuesday, 5 March 2002

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 04 Mar 2002 12:30:49 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Inconsistencies and Shakespeare's Writing Process

[2]     From:   David Wilson-Okamura <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 04 Mar 2002 12:39:14 -0600
        Subj:   Inconsistencies, Revision; Beards

[3]     From:   Dave Kathman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 4 Mar 2002 23:35:39 -0600
        Subj:   Re: Inconsistencies and Shakespeare's Writing Process

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 04 Mar 2002 12:30:49 -0500
Subject: 13.0640 Inconsistencies and Shakespeare's Writing
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0640 Inconsistencies and Shakespeare's Writing
Process

> The banished Kent, who has "raz'd" his "likeness" (shaved off his beard)
> in order to establish a disguise, later confronts Osric with a memorable
> torrent of verbal abuse, and challenges him to draw.  The cowardly Osric
> refuses to unsheath his sword, <snip>
> It's certainly true that there are a whole lot of these kinds of
> problems in KING LEAR; they suggest to me that WS may have made a habit
> of writing "in the heat," without going back and checking important
> details

Like transposing Osric from Hamlet to Lear.  Obviously, you meant
Oswald.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Wilson-Okamura <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 04 Mar 2002 12:39:14 -0600
Subject:        Inconsistencies, Revision; Beards

Brandon Toropov <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 > wrote:

>The banished Kent, who has "raz'd" his "likeness" (shaved off his beard)
>in order to establish a disguise, later confronts Osric with a memorable
>torrent of verbal abuse, and challenges him to draw.  The cowardly Osric
>refuses to unsheath his sword, and later, in a craven lie constructed to
>impress Cornwall and Regan, explains that he has spared his would-be
>assailant's life "at suit of his grey beard."

This doesn't address Mr. Toropov's query about whether Shakespeare
worked from an outline, but a quick check of the Oxford texts shows that
the inconsistency is common to Q1 (4.4; cf. 7.61,65) and F (1.4.4; cf.
2.2.62,66). Unlike some inconsistencies in Shakespeare's text, this one
would have _had_ to be addressed in rehearsal. (Does Kent go out
beardless in 1.4 or not? Ditto for 2.2.) Unless I'm mistaken, this makes
against the theory that F represents a post-production revision.

Any ideas on how they would have represented beardlessness on stage? (I
can't imagine that a working actor would actually shave his beard for
the part -- what would his girlfriend think?)

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dave Kathman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 4 Mar 2002 23:35:39 -0600
Subject: 13.0640 Inconsistencies and Shakespeare's Writing
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0640 Inconsistencies and Shakespeare's Writing
Process

Brandon Toropov wrote:

>What do people think of the theory that WS developed an OUTLINE DOCUMENT
>of some kind -- a general plot summary, perhaps visual in nature -- that
>he could have posted on a wall, say, and used to check quickly what was
>supposed to happen next as he wrote?
>
>Such a document would have included BASIC SCENE INFORMATION ("Kent
>abuses and draws on Osric, and is eventually put in the stocks for doing
>so") but would not, of course, have included ALL the relevant
>information about the characters involved (for instance, it would not
>have contained a reminder that Kent had shaved off his beard.) As WS
>used this document, he would have "improvised" striking, theatrically
>effective lines (like the "grey beard" line) as he saw fit.
>
>I'm not suggesting we could reconstruct this hypothetical outline
>document; I am interested, though, in what people think of the
>possibility of its having existed.

From W. W. Greg, *Dramatic Documents from the Elizabethan Playhouses:
Commentary* (1931), pp. 1-2:

"Theatrical Plots are documents giving the skeleton outline of plays,
scene by scene, for use in the theatre, a small group of which has
survived from the last twelve years or so of Elizabeth's reign.  In this
sense the word 'Plot' is a highly specialized term of the early
playhouses.  Essentially it is the same word that we use in speaking of
the plot of a play or novel, the original word meaning ground-plan.  But
among playwrights it very naturally assumed the meaning of an outline
sketch serving as a guide for the composition of a play, especially when
this was to be written by several authors in collaboration.  Thus we
find Henslowe recording that Jonson was engaged on a play of which 'he
showed the plotte vnto the company' and that Chapman wrote a tragedy 'of
bengemens plotte', which may refer to the same.  This was clearly not a
Plot in the technical sense.  It may, however, have included, though it
can hardly have been confined to, a list of scenes with the characters
appearing in each, such as we find illustrated in a note among
Henslowe's correspondence to which I shall return later.  A list of this
character would need little elaboration to convert it into a theatrical
Plot of the simplest type, as seen in The Dead Man's Fortune, and it is
easy to suppose that it was from such a beginning that the documents we
are considering were evolved."

[note] "The use of 'plot' in the sense of a rough sketch continued in
theatrical circles.  The manuscript of The Faithful Friends, assigned
therein to Beaumont and Fletcher (Dyce MS. 10), most likely belongs, in
spite of the late character of the writing, to the second quarter of the
seventeenth century.  On p. 69 occurs the following:

          'The Plott of a Scene of mirth
           to conclude this fourth Acte.
     Enter Sr Pergamus the foolish knight like a Bridegroome
     leading Flauia his Bride, Bellario the singing Soldier,
     Black Snout the Smith, Snipp Snapp the Tayler and
     Cauleskin [sic] the Shomaker.
     An Altar to be sett forth with the Image of Mars: Dindinus [sic]
     the Dwarfe bearing Sr Per: Launce and sheild wch are
     hung vp for trophees: and Sr Perg: Vowes for the loue
     of Flauia neuer to beare Armes agen, the like dos Bla:
     snout who hangs vp his Sword and takes his hammer vowing
     to God Vulcan neuer to Vse other Weapon, The Taylor and
     the Shoomaker to vowe the like to God Mercury Then
     Bellario [to] Sings a songe how they will fall to there
     old Trades, a clapp of Thunder and all run of/
                                                     finis 4 Act

After this is inserted a leaf, of smaller size and written in another
hand, which contains the text for the scene in question."

Dave Kathman

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.