2002

Re: Second Maiden and Cardenio

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0702  Friday, 8 March 2002

[1]     From:   Jonathan Hope <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 7 Mar 2002 16:35:39 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0683 Re: Second Maiden's Tragedy

[2]     From:   Ward Elliott <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 07 Mar 2002 17:28:12 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.0683 Re: Second Maiden's Tragedy

[3]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 07 Mar 2002 14:55:32 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0683 The Distress Lovers


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jonathan Hope <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Mar 2002 16:35:39 +0100
Subject: 13.0683 Re: Second Maiden's Tragedy
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0683 Re: Second Maiden's Tragedy

>In regards to the lost 'Cardenio', it seems the only candidate that
>comes close would be the Lewis Theobald play "The Distressed Lovers".
>While I've seen this alluded to in several play critiques and WS
>biographical data, I haven't seen any particular research done on the
>play itself.  Does anyone know of any published stylistic studies done
>on the play?  Are there any passages/sections that resemble Shakespeare?

I think you mean *Double Falshood* - there's a section on this in my
book *The authorship of Shakespeare's plays* (CUP 1994) - pages 89-100.
The evidence is not clear because of the way Theobald tended to adapt
Shakespeare (I look at his adaptation of *Richard II* as a guide to
this), but scene 1.02 looks like it might have a 'Shakespearean'
original underlying it, while 2.03, 4.01 and 5.02 look more
'Fletcherian'.

Generally the linguistic evidence supports the notion that *Double
Falshood* is an adaptation of a play by Shakespeare and Fletcher.

Jonathan Hope
Strathclyde University, Glasgow

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ward Elliott <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 07 Mar 2002 17:28:12 -0800
Subject: 13.0683 Re: Second Maiden's Tragedy
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.0683 Re: Second Maiden's Tragedy

Isn't The Double Falsehood the proper Theobald candidate for
Shakespeare's lost Cardenio?  See Wells & Taylor's Textual Companion to
Shakespeare, p.  133.  Students in the Claremont Shakespeare Clinic
tested it, along with The Second Maiden's Tragedy, in the 1990's and
found neither play a likely Shakespeare ascription on stylometric
grounds.  No Shakespeare play had more than three rejections in the 51
tests used.  The Double Falsehood  had 16 rejections, The Second Maid's
Tragedy had 27 rejections.  The odds that Shakespeare could have
produced such an outcome by chance are several billion times worse than
those for his least Shakespearean comparable core play, The Merry Wives
of Windsor.  A description of the Clinic's methods and preliminary
findings may be found in CHum 30:191 (1996), slightly revised findings
in CHum 32: 425, 453-54.

Ward Elliott

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 07 Mar 2002 14:55:32 -0500
Subject: 13.0683 The Distress Lovers
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0683 The Distress Lovers

> In regards to the lost 'Cardenio', it seems the only candidate that
> comes close would be the Lewis Theobald play "The Distressed Lovers".
> While I've seen this alluded to in several play critiques and WS
> biographical data, I haven't seen any particular research done on the
> play itself.  Does anyone know of any published stylistic studies done
> on the play?  Are there any passages/sections that resemble Shakespeare?

I found a little volume about this play at the New York Public Library
many, many years ago.  The book printed the play, gave its history and
had a commentary on its likely provenance.  The author concluded that
Theobald had palmed off one of his own monstrosities as a revision of a
play by Shakespeare which Theobald said he had in MS.  Theobald probably
intended to be caught out.  For example, there was a line in the second
half that was taken by the first audience as an acknowledgment that is
was a joke.

This seems perfectly credible to me.  I can't believe that a bardolator
like Theobald would have revised a genuine MS by Shakespeare.  He is far
more likely to have included it in his edition of the works.  Remember,
the Theobald edition came out after Pope's (not a close friend of
Theobald -- see the Dunciad), and Pope deleted six plays that had been
added in the second reprint of F3, so it would have been opportune for
competitive reasons to add another play if it could be justified.

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Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0701  Friday, 8 March 2002

[1]     From:   Jonathan Hope <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 7 Mar 2002 16:03:29 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

[2]     From:   H David Friedberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 07 Mar 2002 13:56:29 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

[3]     From:   Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 7 Mar 2002 23:27:15 +0000
        Subj:   SHK 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

[4]     From:   Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Mar 2002 09:59:35 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jonathan Hope <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Mar 2002 16:03:29 +0100
Subject: 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

Mark Perryman's *Philosophy Football* (Penguin 1997) has Shakespeare
lining up as midfield playmaker (hem hem) alongside Sun 'The Art of War'
Tzu  - a fearsome combination of creativity and strategy - which is just
as well, as I'm less impressed by the forward line - Umberto Eco and
Gramsci through the middle, and Oscar Wilde and Bob Marley (!) playing
wide.

Jonathan Hope
Strathclyde University, Glasgow, sadly watching Newcastle's challenge
fade

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           H David Friedberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 07 Mar 2002 13:56:29 -0500
Subject: 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

> Quote from a very serious top manager straining to be wise: "A game of
> football is not over till the final whistle blows".
>
> Not great poetry either.

No, but this might be:  "It ain't over till its over,"   L.P. (Yogi)
Berra

Yes. The Yogi Berra statement is profound.  Like Irish bulls his
pronouncements are pregnant with hidden meaning

Besides, a soccer game is not necessarily over when the final whistle
blows

Can not the Disciplinary Committee suspend a player later on for several
games?  etc., etc

H David Friedberg

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Mar 2002 23:27:15 +0000
Subject: Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos
Comment:        SHK 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

The quote about football being more serious than life or death is by
Bill Shankly, late and lamented manager of Liverpool FC I think you'll
find.

Stuart Manger

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 09:59:35 -0000
Subject: 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

John Ramsay recalls this anecdote:

Naive reporter, after a Manchester United game: "Why does soccer have to
be such a life and death matter?" Manager of United: "But you don't
understand. It's much more serious than that."

That was Bill Shankley (1913-1981 manager of Liverpool FC), surely? As
quoted in The Sunday Times obits October 4th 1981 (and elsewhere).

m

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"frog"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0699  Thursday, 7 March 2002

From:           Frank Whigham <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 07 Mar 2002 08:25:55 -0600
Subject:        "frog"

Do we know if the abusive use of the term "frog" for the French has
anything to do with Elizabeth I's nickname for her French suitor
Alen


Re: Mamillius' Age

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0700  Friday, 8 March 2002

[1]     From:   Janet Costa <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 7 Mar 2002 07:55:26 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0685 Re: Mamillius' Age

[2]     From:   Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 07 Mar 2002 19:35:57 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0685 Re: Mamillius' Age

[3]     From:   John Marwick <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 9 Mar 2002 23:51:11 +1300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0685 Re: Mamillius' Age


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Janet Costa <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Mar 2002 07:55:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0685 Re: Mamillius' Age
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0685 Re: Mamillius' Age

>Was Mamillius supposed to be disabled? Was it a wheel
>chair? Was anything done with this rather interesting idea? Was it
>abled/disabled-blind casting? Was I mistaken entirely (or
>hallucinating again)?

>At any rate, the Mamillius-actor seemed, in that production, to be a bit
>older than usual, lending some credence to the "he's as old as
>the actor playing him" view.

     Cheers,
     Karen

Yes, Mamillius was wheeled out in a Victorian cane-backed wheel chair,
down stage-left. The actor was female, and if memory serves, doubled
Perdita. The age thing implied he was an adolescent. I read it as about
12 or 13. With the doubling, it could have been meant to be 16. Nothing
was done with the idea because of the doubling. The wheelchair motif had
also appeared in Kathryn Hunter's Lear, where it was much more
effective, especially when repeated for the death of Cordelia.

     Janet

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 07 Mar 2002 19:35:57 -0500
Subject: 13.0685 Re: Mamillius' Age
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0685 Re: Mamillius' Age

>At any rate, the Mamillius-actor seemed, in that production, to be a bit
>older than usual, lending some credence to the "he's as old as the actor
>playing him" view.

In which case, the Arthur in last year's King John at the Alabama
Shakespeare Festival would have been about 23 (by my guess).

Jack Heller

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Marwick <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 9 Mar 2002 23:51:11 +1300
Subject: 13.0685 Re: Mamillius' Age
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0685 Re: Mamillius' Age

I saw and enjoyed greatly the 98/99 RSC/Anthony Sher production and,
yes, Mamillius was in a wheelchair. He was played by Emily Bruni - who
also played Perdita.

Ms Bruni is not particularly short so it may have been easier for her to
play Mamillius in a chair.  I found the effect of having a son who was
clearly weak and unwell to add something to the play - what may it have
meant about the relationship between Hermione and Leontes if they have
only one child who is a sickly son? - not difficult to believe that it
could be the cause of some difficulties in their marriage - and her
present pregnancy must be that much more precious - and so more terrible
if it's not actually Leontes' baby.

However, the production, including this feature was by no means
universally applauded. Paul Taylor in the Independent said "The one big
error is to make Leontes' young son, Mamillius, a pasty weakling in a
wheelchair, and to have him performed by the actress (Emily Bruni) who
goes on to play the lost and rediscovered daughter, Perdita. The little
boy needs to be robust so that his pointless death comes as a harrowing
shock, and he should not symbolically metamorphose into his sister,
because his demise has to register as a tragedy time cannot redeem."

I agree with the second point about doubling with Perdita but I found
Mamillius' weakness to make his death more beleavable.  When I directed
the play in New Zealand, I used a similar approach by giving Mamillius a
leg caliper and crutches (actually there is a reference to crutches in
the first scene which fitted quite nicely since we brought Mamillius
into the first scene between Camillo and Archidamus). However, the
doubling we used had the actor who played Mamillius also play Time - and
that seemed to work well - we started the play with Mamillius discovered
reading a large nursery rhyme book and his voice over of "A sad tale's
best for winter" - then bringing him back on at the start of the second
half (start of Act IV) as Time - played dressed in exactly the same
clothes as Mamillius but all in white so that he sort of represented
Mamillius' ghost - and finally bringing him on above looking down at the
end of the play as a reminder that not all parts of this fairy tale end
happily.

_______________________________________________________________
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A Renaissance in Need of Reformation

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0698  Thursday, 7 March 2002

From:           Charles Weinstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 6 Mar 2002 20:35:33 -0500
Subject:        A Renaissance in Need of Reformation

The rash of Shakespearean films that erupted during the last decade has
occasioned talk of a "renaissance."  The term is inappropriate.  It
connotes a judgment of excellence; it may not be applied to fluent
mediocrity or prolific failure.

Shakespeare's plays are dramas, that is, studies of character and
conflict.  It follows (does it not?) that productions of these plays
must stand or fall by their acting.  No amount of clever direction or
advanced design will redeem a Shakespearean production from bad or dull
performances.  What, then, are the leading performances in this
decade-long renaissance?

Mel Gibson's Hamlet, a dumb, sweet-faced jock; Laurence Fishburne's
Othello, a sullen, glowering bore; Ian McKellen's sexless prune of a
Richard; Al Pacino's ludicrous "search" for the same character; Claire
Danes' so-called Juliet with her blank face, toneless voice and general
incompetence; the stunningly inept DiCaprio, making Shakespeare sound
like Pig Latin; Emma Thompson's bland and hammy Beatrice; Derek Jacobi's
effete and spinsterish Claudius; Ben Kingsley's grim, portentous and
insufferably self-important Feste; Nigel Hawthorne's unfunny Malvolio;
Alicia Silverstone's Princess, a walking definition of the word
"Clueless;" Calista Flockhart's Helena with her ridiculous mid-Atlantic
accent; Ms. Thompson's Katherine, as girlish as a bluestocking and as
French as Yorkshire pudding; Harry Lennix' Aaron, tip-toeing through the
language as though it were a minefield; the collective impostures of
Keanu Reeves, Denzel Washington, Robert Sean Leonard, Michael Keaton,
Billy Crystal and Robin Williams, a/k/a "The Innocents Abroad;" the
decorative superficialities of Jessica Lange, Annette Bening, Michelle
Pfeiffer, Glenn Close, Julie Christie, Kate Beckinsale and Kate Winslet,
a/k/a "Babes in Bardland;" and the Benedick, Berowne, Iago and Hamlet of
Kenneth ("a little o'erparted") Branagh, a man whose considerable
assurance is not equaled by his talent.

Salvaging films from performances such as these would tax the ingenuity
of any director.  In these cases, however, the directors are usually
responsible for the casting; and they compound this offense by adding
their own vulgarity, ignorance and tastelessness to the mix.  Stir well,
and what emerges from this witches' broth?

Julie Taymor's Titus, a three-hour exercise in window dressing; the
Loncraine/McKellen Richard III, a/k/a "Notes on Camp;" Baz Luhrman's
Romeo+Juliet, neatly instantiating its own thesis that all good things
can be turned into garbage; Oliver Parker's instantly-forgettable
Othello, slipping in and out of the mind like Muzak; Branagh's "uncut"
Hamlet, a wheezing white elephant plodding its way to the ivory
graveyard; his Much Ado, designed, shot and acted with all the
professionalism of a home movie; his Love's Labour's Lost, endurable for
six minutes; Michael Hoffman's community-theater Midsummer with its
foolish Hollywood stars; Zeffirelli's quixotic efforts to medievalize
Hamlet; last (and most assuredly least), Looking for Richard, an
enterprise so devoid of knowledge, intelligence and basic skill that it
easily ranks as one of the most embarrassing films ever made.

This is no renaissance; it's a reversion to barbarism.  It sickens me
that academics are actually studying, teaching and writing analytical
essays on this rubbish.  At least the monkish elite of the Dark Ages
devoted their hours to culling the cream of earlier generations, not
wallowing in the dreck of their contemporaries.

--Charles Weinstein

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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.

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