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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: March ::
Re: Inconsistencies
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0695  Thursday, 7 March 2002

[1]     From:   Thomas Larque <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Mar 2002 22:04:06 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0680 Re: Inconsistencies

[2]     From:   Larry Barkley <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 6 Mar 2002 18:16:20 -0800
        Subj:   Inconsistencies


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 Mar 2002 22:04:06 -0000
Subject: 13.0680 Re: Inconsistencies
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0680 Re: Inconsistencies

> All we can say about Kent, I think, is that he has somehow made
> himself unrecognizable.
>
> I also believe that David Wilson's argument is conclusive:  a working
> (adult) actor would surely not shave for a role, particularly in a
> repertory system such as the Globe's.

I understand and support the suggestion that "raz'd" may not have meant
"shaved", but there seems good reason to believe that Kent would have
been able to cut or alter, if not entirely remove, his beard on the
Elizabethan stage without difficulty.

Bottom in his role as amateur actor talks about having the choice of a
range of false beards to play Pyramus.  It certainly seems likely that
Elizabethan actors, like most grown Elizabethan men, would feel the need
to have beards of their own as evidence of their masculinity and status,
and they may well not have wanted to shave for a part, but part of
Kent's disguise might consist of taking off a larger more "noble" false
beard and exchanging it for either a smaller false beard in a "lower
class" style or for the actor's own more modest facial hair.

If an actor did need to shave his face clean for a part (and Dave
Kathman has shown that at least a couple of adult men, on very rare
occasions, seem to have played bit parts as women), he could easily have
appeared at different moments of the same play, or in different plays on
subsequent days, with his beard restored by means of a false substitute.

So it may be unlikely, but it is not impossible for Kent to have removed
his beard.

Thomas Larque.
"Shakespeare and His Critics"
http://shakespearean.org.uk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Barkley <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 Mar 2002 18:16:20 -0800
Subject:        Inconsistencies

Dear SHAKSPEReans:

If I missed an earlier reference, I apologise, but has anyone compiled
and published a list of those seeming inconsistencies that editors
frequently mention, e.g. Iago's claim that Cassio is "A fellow almost
damned in a fair wife" when Cassio seeming has no wife? Such a list
would not include geographical inaccuracies, which if I remember
correctly, this list discussed some months ago.

Larry

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