The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2254 Monday, 11 November 2002
Date: Sunday, 10 Nov 2002 11:22:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Altered Passages
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, as part of the exhibition called "Making
Shakespeare" I've curated at the Rosenbach Museum & Library in
Philadelphia, I'm giving a public talk in December on 18th-century
alterations of Shakespeare, accompanied by actors performing scenes from
the plays. It's aimed at layfolk, not scholars, and is meant to be
equal parts informative and fun. I'm now looking for good passages, and
I'll almost certainly contrast the conclusion of _Lear_ with Tate's
version, and I'm fishing for a good passage in the Dryden-Davenant
_Tempest_ to play against the original (though I should re-read _All for
Love_ as well). Maybe something from Cibber's _Richard III_. Otway's
"Oh Marius, Marius, wherefore art thou Marius?" should be good for a
laugh, and though they're not C18 adaptations, I'd like to do the "To be
or not to be, I theres the point" speech of Q1 and Twain's "To be or not
to be, that is the bare bodkin."
I'd also like to include a passage from the Bowdlers' _Family
Shakspeare_, and am looking for the most extreme expurgation of the lot
-- one that's very bawdy in the original and thoroughly cleaned up in
the revision. I'll have to get to a library to see the Bowdler edition,
but for now I'm considering the dialogue between Gregory and Sampson in
_R&J_ ("Draw thy tool . . . My naked weapon is out"), or perhaps the
"country matters" bit from _Hamlet_. Anything else come to mind? --
anything from _Measure for Measure_, maybe? -- _Othello_? I suppose the
question is: what's Shakespeare's badiest scene?
All tips for promising scenes are welcome. And anyone who'll be in
Philadelphia on Friday, 13 December, is welcome to stop by.
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