The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2468 Monday, 30 December 2002
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 10:48:11 EST
Subject: 13.2456 Re: Cordelia and Listening to the Play
Comment: Re: SHK 13.2456 Re: Cordelia and Listening to the Play
I have noticed something that ALWAYS happens when a writer has written a
good play: the play invariably contains meanings and implications that
the writer had no idea were in it - sometimes to the author's delight,
other times to the author's horror. The audience is the final arbitrator
of a play, not the actors, designers, directors, critics, or, oddly
enough, the playwright. Writing a play is an act of courage in that it
places so much faith in a very large group of artists, and requires the
author to remove him or herself at a certain point to really see what it
is they have wrought. This is exhilarating, terrifying, and, often,
addictive. However we phrase it, "listen to the play" is an attempt, I
believe, to define this phenomenon. The play becomes its own voice.
Independent of all.
Plays also change their meaning depending in the time in which they are
presented, MERCHANT being the very obvious example.
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