The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.075 Wednesday, 15 January 2003
Date: Tuesday, 14 Jan 2003 13:02:20 -0500
Subject: 14.066 Re: Anyone Know Yiddish?
Comment: Re: SHK 14.066 Re: Anyone Know Yiddish?
>>The Globe did only one M/V, so I assume that Dr. Greenberg saw the
>>one I saw. But it did not appear "odiously antisemitic" to me.
>Not to me, nor to my wife, whose judgment in this case I take a good
>deal more seriously than my own, both because I had been in a
>"Merchant", myself, only a few weeks earlier, and because she is
I missed the earlier reference to the New Globe staging of MOV, being
pressed for time and ignorant of Yiddish. But hearing the production
was disparaged, I must testify that I thought it truthful to the point
of brilliance. Direct address to the audience's sympathies and pointed
irony made every line personal, the audience a sort of jury that was
literally forced to blush for the laughter and approval bestowed on
certain lines and actions as the mirror turned and revealed the malice
behind the point-scoring-- showed scorn its own image. Shylock did evil
in the name of righteousness -- but this flaw is so common as to be near
universal. Our own wrongs are matters of principle, and injustices
against our holy nation must be redressed no matter the cost: how
familiar is that? I just saw William Gibson's "Golda's Balcony", a
monodrama performed with breathtaking brilliance by Annette Miller of
Shakespeare & Company, directed by an Israeli, Daniel Gidron. Meir is
the hero -- no question. But the flaw is the same, and one walks out of
the theatre chilled by the probability that justice enforced by nuclear
weapons will shortly end this experiment in sentience -- by Fire, this
The night I saw the Globe's MOV the point was reinforced by a bomb
threat during the trial scene. The theatre emptied, we discussed among
ourselves why this play might be worth killing and dying for as we
walked next to the night-graced Thames, and then filed back to listen
with life-and-death intensity as the actors took the trial scene again
from the top.
playwright, actor, critic
[Editor's Note: This New Globe production and the Royal Shakespeare one
at Stratford, which played at the same time, were discussed at length on
SHAKSPER. Anyone interested should consult the archives on the web site.
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The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>
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