2002

Scotland, PA

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0641  Tuesday, 5 March 2002

From:           R.A. Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 04 Mar 2002 09:45:02 -0600
Subject:        Scotland, PA.

Scotland, Pa. rocks, can't get enough of it. But I can't see the
interpretation as very realistic because where are you gonna find a
place with all those kickass Camaros and no Mustangs, huh, Canada or
somthin.

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell
<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

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Inconsistencies and Shakespeare's Writing Process

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0640  Monday, 4 March 2002

From:           Brandon Toropov <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 4 Mar 2002 04:50:05 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Inconsistencies and Shakespeare's Writing Process

Among the numerous amusing inconsistencies in KING LEAR is this one, my
favorite:

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."

Bradley argues that KING LEAR'S extremely intricate story occasionally
got the best of Shakespeare the plotmaster, who, he claims, here left
more loose ends and contradictions than in most of his other plays.
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 he had set down earlier in his "foul papers." Perhaps this was
his usual method of working; if so, how did he keep track of big plot
issues as he went along?

My late professor Jim Clay always argued that he "must have outlined
like crazy," and that the outlines focused on the theatrical
"happenings" of each of the scenes, not necessarily on questions of
consistency.  That opinion came back to me recently as I watched the
Olivier video production of KING LEAR (in which Kent has grown a bit of
stubble by the time he lays into Osric, thus maintaining his disguise
and justifying the "grey beard" line).

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.

Brandon

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RSC Merchant

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0638  Monday, 4 March 2002

From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 3 Mar 2002 22:17:15 -0500
Subject:        RSC Merchant

Many of you are aware that the RSC has just finished a 2-week residency
at Davidson College in North Carolina.  Last week I was able to see
their highly satisfying production of *Merchant of Venice*, which
inaugurated the handsome new Duke Family Performance Hall on the
Davidson campus.  The work was directed by Loveday Ingram; she looks
about 18 in her program photo, but elicited from a mostly youthful cast,
most with no previous RSC experience, a lucid, coherent, subtle, and
provocative performance of this difficult play.  Ian Bartholomew as an
urbanely vigorous Shylock, Hermione Gulliford as a Portia testily galled
by the constraints of gender and social position, and Isabel Pollen as a
quietly desperate Jessica who in an odd way becomes the most important
figure on the stage, were particularly impressive members of a strong
cast.

Homosociality, not homosexuality, latent or otherwise, governed the
relationships of the Christian Venetians, together with a strong sense
that their social and economic entitlement made them both unable and
unwilling to understand or sympathize with alterity--Sol. and Sol.
listened courteously to "Hath not a Jew," etc., but it made no dent.
Shylock was equally imprisoned in his Jewish sense of an election based
on passive/aggressive endurance rather than active virtue; it is perhaps
worth noting that while money-lenders do run risks, the productive
outcome of their activity totally depends on the active agency of
others.  When he did break out, it was as though the removal of his
previous restraints threw him out of control: at the critical moment of
the trial scene, he was moving rapidly toward Antonio with his dagger
raised above his head, ready to kill, before Portia stepped in to
intervene.

Antonio's economic failure, coupled with the absence of his only real
friend, left him vulnerable and alone--it occurred to me for the first
time to notice that Shakespeare is careful not to supply Antonio with
anybody who corresponds with Shylock's associate Tubal, and so to
suggest that the system, not the people who operate in it, is
defective.  At the end, he, but even more markedly Jessica, are caught
in the middle.  Her progressive alienation, set off by a nicely nuanced
performance by Ben Turner as a charming but inconstant Lorenzo, made the
production's final image, of this thoughtful, affectionate, unhappy
girl, downstage center in a fairly strong light, with Antonio in the
shadows up left, unexpectedly moving--more, perhaps, than the similar
but more overt image at the end of Jonathan Miller's film.

The production was not wholly sober, to be sure--the two Gobbos (we saw
the understudy for Lancelot, and I've lost the slip that gave his name,
but David Peart played the father), were funnier than most I've seen,
and Michael Gardiner made a side-splitting Prince of Aragon, complete
with lisp.  I found Paul Hickey's 40-something Bassanio weak, though
this might have been by design--a society that allows a man to live in
comfort for several decades without ever producing any useful work is
doing him and itself no favors.  His physical resemblance to the Duke of
Edinburgh may also have been part of the plan.

David Evett

_______________________________________________________________
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.
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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.

Fine Student CYMBELINE at NYU

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0639  Monday, 4 March 2002

From:           Steve Urkowitz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 3 Mar 2002 22:22:08 EST
Subject:        Fine Student CYMBELINE at NYU

This is a marvelous, small (45 seat?) studio production, delightful in
many many ways.  I saw it on Saturday night.  It runs only through
Wednesday.  Though they're only undergraduates, the production builds to
far more satisfying  conclusions than the professional versions I've
seen.

CYMBELINE by William Shakespeare
Tisch School of the Arts, Department of Drama
Classical Studio

March 2-6 @ 7:30pm

Studio 3  721 Broadway, 2nd floor  (this is a couple blocks south of the
8th street/Astor Place station of the east side trains)
Admission Free
Info and Reservations: e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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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.

Romeo & Juliet (Special Edition - UK)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0637  Monday, 4 March 2002

From:           Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 3 Mar 2002 20:21:28 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        Romeo & Juliet (Special Edition - UK)

Dear SHAKSPEReans in the UK

A "special edition" of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet will be available
on DVD from 4 March. An ad in the Independent's "Magazine" says that the
DVD includes "some bonus materials created by the director himself".

If you are a big fan of Nicole Kidman, you may be interested in the
"collector's edition DVD boxset" of Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge.

Best wishes,
Takashi Kozuka

_______________________________________________________________
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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