2003

Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0261  Wednesday, 12 February 2003

[1]     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 13:19:03 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 14.0245 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting

[2]     From:   Nancy Charlton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 10:34:48 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0245 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 13:19:03 -0500
Subject: Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting
Comment:        SHK 14.0245 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting

Tom Reedy writes,

'with a Shakespearean sentence, you get more than the meaning, you get
elements which suggest other interpretations, even though they don't
register in the conscious mind.'

and adds

'This type of literary technique is not taught at university or picked
up through reading; this is congenital, the hallmark of inborn literary
genius.'

I'd have thought that in fact it's a feature of all uses of language,
not just those employing 'literary technique'. It's certainly not
limited to the cavortings of that seedy old reprobate 'inborn literary
genius.' No utterance or piece of writing can avoid being shadowed by
the ghostly presence of 'meanings' other than those to which it's
overtly committed. Of course, this aspect of language can be exploited
well (James Joyce) or poorly (Dylan Thomas) but Shakespeare, it seems to
me, rarely sets out to exploit it at all. What Stephen Booth draws
attention to is the product of brilliant reading, as much as Bardic
writing.  Mind you, we presentists don't necessarily recognise any
distinction between the two.

T. Hawkes

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nancy Charlton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 10:34:48 -0800
Subject: 14.0245 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0245 Re: Shakespeare's Handwriting

Much thanks to Tom Reedy for his summary of the article in which is
explicated what

>Stephen Booth calls "ideational static" in the  language of the
>fragment similar to Shakespeare's.

>"Just before the Battle of Agincourt, King Henry prays:

Brought to mind the civil war song: "Just before the battle, Mother/ I
am thinking most of you..."

A considerable paradigm shift!

>When the prayer continues, its topic
>shifts and also does not: 'Not today, O Lord,/O not today, think
>not upon the fault/My father made in compassing the crown' (289-91).

Could this also be an echo, an allusion to a line from the Psalms that
makes its way into various liturgies at several points: "Not unto us, O
Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for
thy truth's sake." ?

If so, might this be taken as a tacit disavowal of guilt for the theft
and stealing--a sin in the eyes of God no matter what good cause it is
committed for. And the more intensely so since the Lancastrian
usurpation was against an anointed king.

>The new topic, Lancastrian guilt, maintains and makes overt the
>shadow topic of the first lines, theft: Henry Bolinbroke's fault was
>stealing the crown" (14-15).

>Booth says that these elements are NOT "elements that once were
>or should henceforth be active elements in one's conscious
>experience of the passages in which they innocently lurk" (11).
>Indeed, he makes no
>claim that Shakespeare put them in consciously.

Why would he have to? They were ideas simply in the air. If I say to
someone that such-and-such an address is on Maryland Avenue or Marvin
Gardens or Park Place, they know exactly what I'm talking about because
nearly all Americans have played Monopoly and so the reference is quite
clear. To call something "Mickey Mouse" is equally well understood, but
I got into trouble once by using "before the Flood" as a metaphor for
"quite some time ago." In 500 years there will be a new pop culture and
the above will require footnotes.

Nancy Charlton

_______________________________________________________________
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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Re: Marvin Rosenberg

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0260  Wednesday, 12 February 2003

From:           Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 17:54:36 +0000
Subject: Re: Marvin Rosenberg
Comment:        SHK 14.0236 Re: Marvin Rosenberg

AS one who has only 'met' Marvin Rosenberg through his books, may I too
pay tribute to his painstaking and at times exciting work, always
directing the student's attention to the stage possibilities of the
Shakespeare texts, not allowing them to desiccate in the fierce heat of
dry theorising. Ave atque Vale.

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

Re: MoV Quoted in THE PIANIST by Polanski

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0258  Wednesday, 12 February 2003

From:           Nick Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 11:32:48 -0500
Subject: 14.0243 Re: MoV Quoted in THE PIANIST by Polanski
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0243 Re: MoV Quoted in THE PIANIST by Polanski

In a very different tone, there is the climactic, and complicated, scene
in "To Be Or Not To Be" (Lubitsch, 1942, reworked by Mel Brooks, 1983),
in which Greenberg delivers "Hath not a Jew..." directly to "Hitler."

Nick Jones

_______________________________________________________________
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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.

Re: I must to England

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0259  Wednesday, 12 February 2003

[1]     From:   David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 12:09:36 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0235 Re: I must to England

[2]     From:   Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 11:54:55 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0235 Re: I must to England

[3]     From:   Jay Feldman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 15:52:28 EST
        Subj:   I must to England?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 12:09:36 -0500
Subject: 14.0235 Re: I must to England
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0235 Re: I must to England

Back in the days when I was teaching, the canon every couple of years,
and hence rereading most of the plays regularly, I used occasionally to
think I should make a list of all the places like the one under
consideration, Hamlet's stating to Gertrude toward the end of the closet
scene that he "must to England," where a dramatic personage reveals
knowledge of some feature of the plot that we have not observed him or
her acquire.  I have a feeling that there must be half-a-dozen of them.
I used to use the fact as a way to remind my students that the real
audience for every dramatic speech is the folks in the seats.  In this
instance, we know Claudius means to send Hamlet to England because we've
heard him say so, twice; it would be a very astute spectator indeed who
noticed during a first or even a repeated viewing of the play on the
stage that Shakespeare has not troubled to stage the communication of
the information to Hamlet himself.

Dave Evett

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 11:54:55 -0600
Subject: 14.0235 Re: I must to England
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0235 Re: I must to England

I have always regarded this (Hamlet's knowledge of the trip to England)
as a given that Shakespeare didn't bother to write (there's a great deal
of this). Claudius tells Polonius that he's going to clear mad Hamlet
out of his proximity by sending H on a diplomatic mission to England. It
is easy to assume (and WS may have assumed it) that Polonius would
immediately send a formal note to the Prince to this effect. Of course,
Hamlet is no Voltemand or Cornelius that can simply be dispatched (and
that would leap at such an opportunity) so it would have to be handled
with great discretion. But I can't see any reason to assume that he
*wouldn't* have been notified that way.

The implicit time-line: Claudius thinks about possible solutions to the
mad Hamlet question, one of which is sending him to England for a while;
after eavesdropping on the "nunnery" scene he tells Polonius he's
decided on the England trip; Polonius arranges for R&G as attendants and
notifies Hamlet of the king's desire; Hamlet smells a rat but goes ahead
with the Mousetrap; having the gotten the desired response from the
king, he goes to berate his mother, unfortunately murdering Polonius by
mistake during the interview; Claudius, hearing of P's death, decides he
can't be satisfied with merely exiling H for a while, writes secret
orders for his immediate execution and gives them to R&G.

I realize that this has a very subjunctive quality, but I don't think
that the matter quite constitutes a serious crux when it is quite
possible to imagine an easy (but unwritten) solution.

Cheers,
don

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jay Feldman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 15:52:28 EST
Subject:        I must to England?

"Brian Willis asks: . . . Towards the end of the scene, he tells
Gertrude: "I must to England; you know that?" and she replies, "Alack, I
had forgot: tis so concluded on." How does Hamlet know he is being sent
to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as his adders fanged?"

These inappropriate declarations from Hamlet support the belief that he
is either psychic, made clear in his retort to Claudius: "I see a cherub
that sees them", or a less than accomplished time traveler, evidenced by
his inelegant return to Act V as a 30 year old. Perhaps Shakespeare, the
busy playwright/actor neglected or occasionally forgot to closely
proofread his work, or made frequent, hasty changes to meet the needs of
time, audience, and critics.

I guess when producing Hamlet, one must consider the audience (unless
composed of Bardolators) is not likely to notice inconsistencies in time
or comment such as the misplaced "I must to England...". Further, I
doubt the typical playgoer caught in the emotions of mother and son,
would notice the compounding anomalous words from Q2: "There's letters
seal's, and my two schoolfellows...must...marshal me to knavery...." To
omit them would be to deprive an actor of lines to sink his teeth into
and the audience of an opportunity to image a hoisted petard. Hamlet's
depiction of R&G's perhaps undeserved end, is delightful reading; and
his resourceful attachment to his father's signet, further proof of that
cherub.

_______________________________________________________________
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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Re: Representing Ariel

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0257  Wednesday, 12 February 2003

[1]     From:   Kristen McDermott <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 11:20:25 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0239 Representing Ariel

[2]     From:   David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 12:17:20 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0239 Representing Ariel

[3]     From:   Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 18:15:30 +0000
        Subj:   Aunty Beeb's Ariels

[4]     From:   Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 18:18:37 +0000
        Subj:   SHK 14.0239 Representing Ariel

[5]     From:   Jan Pick <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 22:36:21 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0239 Representing Ariel


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kristen McDermott <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 11:20:25 EST
Subject: 14.0239 Representing Ariel [was BBC Series]
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0239 Representing Ariel [was BBC Series]

I was moved by the conception of Ariel in the production featured in the
PBS "Behind the Scenes with Julie Taymor" video.  The character was
created by a dark-veiled puppeteer, who voiced Ariel and held a simple
white mask in her hand.  The mask swooped and fluttered to indicate mood
and movement, while the puppeteer's body was mostly still except for
moving around the stage -- quite eerie and lovely.  I'm interested to
see which director will soon decide to tackle "The Tempest" using the
latest CG effects -- I can imagine a wonderful Caliban created in the
same way as Andy Serkis' Gollum in "The Two Towers."

Kristen McDermott

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 12:17:20 -0500
Subject: 14.0239 Representing Ariel [was BBC Series]
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0239 Representing Ariel [was BBC Series]

I haven't seen the BBC *Tempest* since it was first broadcast in the US
because I thought it too dreadful to be worth the time and trouble.  I
thought then, however, that a very peculiar feature of a made-for-TV
version of the play was the half-arsed use of the possibilities inherent
in the medium for special effects--as I recall, nothing more spectacular
than stopping the camera briefly a couple of times so that Ariel could
suddenly vanish or appear.

Dave Evett

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 18:15:30 +0000
Subject:        Aunty Beeb's Ariels

The only decent Aunty Beeb Ariel sticks atop Broadcasting House in
Portland Square, London. Another, as I recollect, was their house
magazine which, unless I'm mistaken, has folded. Although I may be
confusing this with the name they gave the staff canteen - which didn't
do banquets well at all.

Best,
Graham Hall

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 18:18:37 +0000
Subject: Representing Ariel [was BBC Series]
Comment:        SHK 14.0239 Representing Ariel [was BBC Series]

David Lindley and I will both remember a notable recent challenging and
successful RSC Stratford production that had Ariel in multiple,
sometimes androgynous, sometimes sex-specific forms. I suspect that
Ariel - even more than Puck? - is arguably the most visually elusive and
problematic stage character Shakespeare ever created - as indeed he
(she?? it?? - there we go!) seems to intend, judging by what he/she/it
says of him/her/itself, BUT Ariel is so entirely and so wonderfully
theatrical a trope.

But doesn't theatre frequently depend on such visual surprise,
make-believe, defiance of expectation and/or convention, so that any
stage representation of Ariel is bound to enthral or polarise or
exasperate audiences who have a pre-conceived notion of how each
character should be realised. The burly Ariel of Simon Russell Beale
happened to outrage me, but others found it totally consonant with the
comic framework of the play. I have produced the play twice in the last
fifteen years in the school in which I teach: first time we used a very
slim, ethereal looking 14 yr old boy with brilliant and naturally white
hair - uncannily like Legolas in the current Lord of the Rings films ,
the second time a strapping shaven headed Glaswegian lad of 18.

BUT the way you cast / direct Propsero in each context is critical to
the play's visual and even emotional and theatrical logic. The poetry's
the thing anyway. Unless you make the Ariel trope so seriously radical -
in my view that is what Russell Beale did - audiences are fantastically
tolerant and curious - possibly more so in The Tempest than any other of
Shakespeare's plays, and actively enjoy the puzzle / challenge you set
them by such casting.

Stuart Manger

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jan Pick <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 2003 22:36:21 -0000
Subject: 14.0239 Representing Ariel [was BBC Series]
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0239 Representing Ariel [was BBC Series]

Mary Todd follows the outdated idea that Shakespeare is for the study
only, then?  A mistake to put the plays on stage at all!  I find the
BBCs useful as a basic introduction - my own children were introduced to
the plays we were going to see on stage through them so that they could
pace the performance on stage - my daughter saw 'Romeo and Juliet' at
age 6, both as a video (BBC) then at Stratford - and has been hooked
ever since, so we, in our superior wisdom, should not knock them too
much.  She passed on her enthusiasm to a large number of her friends.
Not many series inspire a child so that by the time she is 18 she has
seen all but three of the plays and many of them many times!  My son's
special was 'Coriolanus', which he thought was fantastic!

Jan Pick

_______________________________________________________________
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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