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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: January ::
Shakespeare's Accessibility
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.046  Thursday, 9 January 2003

[1]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 8 Jan 2003 14:07:36 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.043 Re: Shakespeare and Marlowe

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 08 Jan 2003 08:40:45 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.043 Re: Shakespeare and Marlowe


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Wednesday, 8 Jan 2003 14:07:36 -0000
Subject: 14.043 Re: Shakespeare and Marlowe
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.043 Re: Shakespeare and Marlowe

Claude Caspar wrote: "the greatest question & mystery of our Swan
abides: no one has ever articulated how he, at one and the same time, is
accessible to every audience, both in age and sophistication, including
every cast of politics & creed, yet has yet to be 'understood' by the
most intelligent minds..."

It's not that much of a mystery, surely? He used the accessible English
language to say complex and suggestive things.

And he's not the only person ever to have done such a thing. Who would
ever claim to "understand" (in a total sense) the art of Mozart or
Monteverdi, which is similarly created from a universally accessible
language of musical harmony, rhythm, etc? I should have thought that the
real achievement would be to use the English language to say something
that was completely stable and uncontentious.

Shakespeare was a very good playwright, but he was not a magician, let
alone a Messiah.

martin

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 08 Jan 2003 08:40:45 -0800
Subject: 14.043 Re: Shakespeare and Marlowe
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.043 Re: Shakespeare and Marlowe

Claude Caspar wrote:

>Yes! Yet, the greatest question & mystery of our Swan abides: no one has
>ever articulated how he, at one and the same time, is accessible to
>every audience, both in age and sophistication, including every cast of
>politics & creed...

Er, um, you may want to read the chapters on Shakespeare performance in
Asia and Africa in The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage,
edited by Stanley Wells and Sarah Stanton, 2002.  This material may
somewhat temper these comments.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

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