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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: November ::
Re: Taming of the Shrew Film
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2184  Sunday, 3 November 2002

[1]     From:   Richard Burt <
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        Date:   Thursday, 31 Oct 2002 11:33:17 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2171 Re: Taming of the Shrew Film...

[2]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Thursday, 31 Oct 2002 14:15:07 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2171 Re: Taming of the Shrew Film

[3]     From:   Ruth Ross <
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 >
        Date:   Thursday, 31 Oct 2002 16:55:11 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.2171 Re: Taming of the Shrew Film...

[4]     From:   John Zuill <
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        Date:   Friday, 01 Nov 2002 13:44:24 -0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2171 Re: Taming of the Shrew Film...


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 31 Oct 2002 11:33:17 -0500
Subject: 13.2171 Re: Taming of the Shrew Film...
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2171 Re: Taming of the Shrew Film...

>Responding to think John V. Knapp <
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 >,
>Michael B. Luskin writs that he "raises good points
>about the dangers of exposing children (by the way, why semi-literate?),
>to film before reading the text.
>
>He also points out that seeing the play live is better than seeing the
>film, though still not as good as wrestling with the language.  Well,
>maybe.
>
>I submit that . .  . by seeing wonderful performances, on film or
>live, there is a chance that the child will WANT to read the play.  I
>think that Polanski did more for Macbeth's popularity than Shakespeare
>did.

I agree with Luskin and have adopted the "clueless" approach to teaching
Shakespeare, beginning with a film first, and then moving into the
play.  My point, however, is to get them back to the "real thing," but
to create a dialectic between texts and performances so that they can
ask both what a given performance brings to a given text and what kinds
of things at given moment Shakespeare enables.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 31 Oct 2002 14:15:07 -0500
Subject: 13.2171 Re: Taming of the Shrew Film...
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2171 Re: Taming of the Shrew Film...

Michael B. Luskin <
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 > writes,

>By the same token, as a member of a family with three generations of
>professional musicians, I can tell you that EVERY ten year old knows
>that opera is loooong, loud, boring, and stupid.  I can also tell you
>that every ten year old who has been to an appropriate opera,
>Cavalleria, Fledermaus, Pagliacci, Traviata, Rheingold, thinks it is
>terrific.

Was I the only child who ever lived, to say, "Although this art form
seems peculiar to me now, credible adults clearly think much of it, and
therefore I shall pay attention to it as best I can, trusting that, with
maturity, I shall appreciate it more?"

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ruth Ross <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 31 Oct 2002 16:55:11 -0500
Subject: 13.2171 Re: Taming of the Shrew Film...
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.2171 Re: Taming of the Shrew Film...

C'mon! Shakespeare did not write to be read; he wrote to be performed.
And some of the people in his audience, especially those in the pit,
were illiterate or semi- and just loved a good story. He wrote to please
them, too, not just the "educated" noblemen seated in the more expensive
seats. Heaven forfend that the groundlings started to throw things or
(dread!) ask for their money back. It's time to stop making our students
think they're too stupid to ever understand the Bard -- unless a
brilliant teacher explains it to them! -- and let them enjoy it!
Obviously, seeing a live performance isn't always possible, so a movie
is the next best thing. I often have them read the opening act and then
show it to them on the VCR, whetting their appetites. We then read the
rest of the play fairly quickly and watch the rest of the film
afterwards. My junior English students loved "Othello" this way and felt
really good about being able to understand it.

The commedia del'arte version we've been talking about is engaging,
fast, and fun. Taylor and Burton are a bit long in the tooth, but the
sumptuous costumes and scenery are also grabbers.

I say, whatever it takes to get kids to enjoy Shakespeare, USE IT! Get
out of the ivory tower. BTW, try linking "Hamlet" with "Home Alone."
Both are revenge plays. Sure makes "Hamlet" accessible to non-readers.

Ruth Ross
Teacher of English 11 and 12

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Zuill <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 01 Nov 2002 13:44:24 -0300
Subject: 13.2171 Re: Taming of the Shrew Film...
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2171 Re: Taming of the Shrew Film...

>In my experience, reading the plays for most is akin to punishment,
>something to be endured.  By seeing wonderful performances, on film or
>live, there is a chance that the child will WANT to read the play.  I
>think that Polanski did more for Macbeth's popularity than Shakespeare
>did.

Reading plays has always been a bitter experience for me and very
boring.  If I had never been in a Shakespeare play or seen one, I doubt
I would have bothered reading him.

My reading experience is never as good as the hearing of Shakespeare. I
always assume that my acting students and young people whom I direct are
the same.  I am rarely wrong. I guess I am a somatic proponent on this
list. But that

 

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