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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Acting the Bard
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0978  Monday, 8 April 2002

From:           Jane Drake Brody <
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Date:           Saturday, 6 Apr 2002 10:35:20 EST
Subject:        Acting the Bard

I am probably naive about such things, but I have always felt the fact
that Shakespeare left his characters open to interpretation was a
tribute to a more complicated view of human nature than the dramatic
literature which preceded him.  The idea of absolutes, so present in
medieval drama (and in some of his contemporaries) is with few
exceptions no longer seen in his work and it becomes more interesting
for that exact reason.  I find the idea that he simply told the actors
what he meant a bit far-fetched.  The greatness in the writing and its
ability to reverberate across the years is lodged permanently in its
ambiguities.  And, while scholars may pooh-pooh the need for actors to
settle on "motivation," without some idea of the logic of the role an
actor has nowhere to go.  Yes, the audience may view the character as
absolute evil or motiveless, but for them to truly believe the actions
of the actors, the actors must have some sort of emotional pattern to
follow regardless of whether they are working from a technical or from a
"method" perspective.

Jane Drake Brody

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