2003

Re: The Public Theater's AS YOU LIKE IT

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0787  Friday, 25 April 2003

[1]     From:   Ben Spiller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 24 Apr 2003 20:05:59 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0764 Re: The Public Theater's AS YOU LIKE IT

[2]     From:   Bill Lloyd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 24 Apr 2003 16:42:54 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0726 Re: The Public Theater's AS YOU LIKE IT


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ben Spiller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 24 Apr 2003 20:05:59 +0100
Subject: 14.0764 Re: The Public Theater's AS YOU LIKE IT
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0764 Re: The Public Theater's AS YOU LIKE IT

Typing error in last message -- '1620' should have read '1623' --
apologies!

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Lloyd <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 24 Apr 2003 16:42:54 EDT
Subject: 14.0726 Re: The Public Theater's AS YOU LIKE IT
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0726 Re: The Public Theater's AS YOU LIKE IT

I'd imagine the incredibly-small cast productions where actors play more
than one character simultaneously, essentially talking to themselves,
like Basil Fawlty chewing out his invisible cook in Waldorf Salad, work
better for comedies than for more serious plays.

That said, I agree that casting for a minimum cast can bring out some
interesting resonances. We're all familiar with Theseus and Hippolyta
being doubled with Oberon and Titania in MND. I once experimented on
paper with seeing how few actors I could cast an essentially uncut
Hamlet with. Some liberties were taken-- just one ambassador not two;
guards or soldiers represented by just one guy with a spear, and that
guy might be Ophelia with a helmet and a cloak-- but some interestingly
resonant doublings suggested themselves. I got it down to just 11
actors: 8 men and 3 boys/women.

Hamlet of course is too large a part to double, though in a pinch he
could play one of the sailors who delivers Hamlet's message to Horatio--
a little irony there-- but perhaps even more irony in the sailors being
played by Rosencranz and Guildenstern, bringing news of their 'own'
deaths.

Maybe this has been noticed before, but I was surprised to find that it
is easy to double Claudius and the Ghost. The fact that they are
brothers resonates with the actor's resemblance to 'himself', one self
noble seeming, the other corrupt seeming.

Then, for a small troupe with just one leading comedian, you can double
[or rather triple] Polonius, the 1st Gravedigger and Osric. Quite a
range of comic characterization, and an opportunity for a tour de force
by the principal clown.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are the Mutt-n-Jeff team, playing Marcellus
and Barnardo, the sailors, and other small parts, especially after they
go to England and die.

If you double Francisco and Fortinbras, you can start and end the play
with the same actor. Fortinbras speaks the last line; and though it's
the second not the first line that Francisco speaks, it is he who is on
guard at the start of the play and is them approached by Barnardo. If
you're feeling Joycean you can then start the play all over again...

Laertes the ranter makes a good First Player, who should play the
Prologue and Lucianus rather than the Player King. Then you have
[Laertes] killing [Hamlet (Sr)] several acts before Laertes kills
Hamlet.

The maximum scenes are the final scene; and the play within the play
scene where two men and a boy act four parts for a court consisting of
Claudius and Gertude, Hamlet and Horatio, Polonius and Ophelia, and
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, four resonant pairs.

Anyone for Tempest?

Bill Lloyd

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Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques (1576)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0786  Friday, 25 April 2003

From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 24 Apr 2003 08:56:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques (1576)

SHAKSPEReans.  In my search for the 1960s book on Hamlet which put a
different spin on the old canard that he was "the Procrastinator" I have
begun re-reading Bernard Grebanier's The Heart of Hamlet.  In a section
beginning with "Hamlet's Procrastination" [pages 80 to 119], Grebanier's
spells out his thoughts on the title and subtitle of his book: "The
Heart of Hamlet: The Play Shakespeare Wrote."

In my request for the book Bill Lloyd wrote us, "I suspect the book from
the 60s that Bill Arnold was trying to recall that argued for a
non-procrastinating Hamlet is Bernard Grebanier's 'The Heart of Hamlet'.

It was published in 1960, and as I recall [though it's been decades
since I read it] it offered 'corrective' interpretations of a number of
aspects of the play, including Hamlet's assumed madness and his seeming
procrastination."

To Bill Lloyd, I say, right on, and suggest Hamlet aficionados get a
copy and read it.  In his section on Hamlet and the critics [pages 75 to
79], Bernard Grebanier's writes, in part:

"The tale appeared in Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques (1576)...  in
Belleforest's tale we have substantially the same story (except for the
Ghost) that Kyd must have told...[in the story by
Belleforest][Hamblet]assumed lunacy succeeds in defending 'his life from
the treasons and practices of the tyrant, his uncle...  Hamblet suspects
a trick, and counterfeiting a fit of lunacy [kills the man behind the
curtains of Geruth's chamber]...he cries, 'A rat, a rat!'...He now turns
on his mother and upbraids her for marrying and defending the murderer
of his father; he also confesses that his insanity is feigned and
explains why.  She is so much overjoyed to find her son truly sane that
she honestly repents, and agrees to do nothing to betray his secret or
interfere with his taking vengeance on his uncle...[after he kills the
King] [Hamblet] severs Fengon's head from his body, crying: 'this just
and violent death is a just reward for such as thou art; now go thy
ways, and when thou comest in hell see thou forget not to tell thy
brother...that it was his son that sent thee thither with the message,
to the end that being comforted thereby, his soul may rest among the
blessed spirits,and quit me of the obligation that bound me to pursue
his vengeance upon mine own blood.'...people gather, and Hamblet reveals
the truth, supported by his mother's public confession and repentance.
His oration so much moves the Danes that he is proclaimed king."

My reactions, similar to Bernard Grebanier--but not speaking for him--is
to denounce the interpretation of Shakespeare's Hamlet which wishes to
see him as "The Procrastinator" and I reaffirm my previous posts to this
list that he acts as the Good Prince in his attempts to restore Order to
the earthly Kingdom, and his belief in the Eternal Spirit--both good and
bad spirits--as Hamlet put fopth in his dichotomy speeches in the
opening segments with the ghost of his dead father.

Grebanier also discusses briefly the dating and translation issues of
the original tale which appeared in French in 1576 [page 75] and the
question of how Shakespeare came upon this plot he borrowed for his own
version of Hamlet, the play, and Hamlet, the character therein.

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

_______________________________________________________________
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Re: A Dream of Hanoi

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0784  Friday, 25 April 2003

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 24 Apr 2003 10:34:36 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0773 Re: A Dream of Hanoi

[2]     From:   Suzanne Westfall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 24 Apr 2003 12:29:40 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0773 Re: A Dream of Hanoi

[3]     From:   Matthew Baynham <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Fri, 25 Apr 2003 09:34:10 +0100
        Subj:   Calvinism and Money


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 24 Apr 2003 10:34:36 -0500
Subject: 14.0773 Re: A Dream of Hanoi
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0773 Re: A Dream of Hanoi

Anna Kamaralli writes,

>Richard Burt's critique of this film makes me reflect on an attitude
>that often crops up in the US media that it seems to me has derived, in
>a curious way, from the influence of Calvinism on that culture.
>
>It began with the confusing of money with morality, whereby poverty and
>failure were viewed as morally suspect, and those with money were
>assumed to be more morally worthy than the poor. That was the Calvinist
>bit . . .

I'm afraid I find myself puzzled by the connection of Calvin to "the
confusing of money with morality. This is not one of his teachings that
I have come across, although my reading in the "Institutes" is
admittedly limited.

Could I get a clarification on the meaning of Calvinism and Calvinist as
used in this context?

Cheers,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Suzanne Westfall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 24 Apr 2003 12:29:40 -0400
Subject: 14.0773 Re: A Dream of Hanoi
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0773 Re: A Dream of Hanoi

In light of Richard Burt's observations, I find it disturbing that this
Oregon production is one of those chosen by the NEA to tour all over the
US in the coming year.  Apparently someone thought that the
Vietnamese-American effort was a good choice for diversity without
looking too far beneath the surface!

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Baynham <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Fri, 25 Apr 2003 09:34:10 +0100
Subject:        Calvinism and Money

I have heard Calvin blamed for many things, but never before for
confusing money with morality. For the record:

'It is entirely lawful for us to keep our corn and wine laid up in
granaries and cellars whilst everyone should continue to pray truly for
their daily bread from God. And this will be, if the rich do not
greedily swallow up everything they can lay their hands on; if they do
not avariciously scrape up here and there; if they do not gorge
themselves upon the hunger of the poor; if they do not, as far as in
them lies, reject the blessing of God. In short, if they do not
immoderately accumulate large possessions, but are liberal out of their
present abundance, are not too anxious as to the future, and are not
troubled, if needs be, that their wealth should suffer diminution; and,
even more, if they are ready to endure poverty, and glory not in their
abundance, but rely on the paternal bounty of God, [then their prayer
will be honest]. And surely we often find that what misers collect by
means of theft, rapine, fraud, cruelty, trickery or meanness, is often
turned into corruption.'
((c) Jean Calvin, Commentary on the Pentateuch, 1, p. 281 accessed at
www.tasc.ac.uk/histcourse/reformat/theologb/usury.htm)

Matthew Baynham
Chaplain
Bishop Grosseteste College


_______________________________________________________________
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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: God Save the Queen

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0785  Friday, 25 April 2003

From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 24 Apr 2003 10:42:40 -0500
Subject: 14.0774 Re: God Save the Queen
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0774 Re: God Save the Queen

Terence Hawkes writes,

>The search for an English national anthem is unrelenting. In the latest
>survey, published today, more than half those questioned voted for
>'Jerusalem', William Blake's poem set to music by Hubert Parry. Fourth
>place went to 'All You Need Is Love'.

It's been so long now that I can't remember the words exactly (others
probably can) but my vote would go to "The Man Who Invented Beer." We
all stood up for that one, and nobody rushed away.

Cheers,
don

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Re: Dicky number too

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0783  Friday, 25 April 2003

From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 24 Apr 2003 10:25:39 -0500
Subject: 14.0766 Dicky number too
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0766 Dicky number too

To B. Z. "Bub" Hall:

When Jesus of Nazareth spent 40 days in the wilderness, he probably
wasn't waiting for a bus.

(But, says the demonic-looking gnome in the next office but one, the bus
was waiting for him. And its number was 666, says his crony, the
gargoyle, snickering. They have the nastiest laughs, the two of them,
but they do seem to enjoy life a great deal.)

"Therefore, friends, As far as to the sepulchre of Christ, Whose soldier
now, under whose blessed cross We are impressed and engaged to fight,
Forthwith a power of English shall we levy; Whose arms were moulded in
their mothers' womb To chase these pagans in those holy fields Over
whose acres walk'd those blessed feet Which fourteen hundred years ago
were nail'd For our advantage on the bitter cross."

(Not a political statement by any means)

I, for one, miss terribly Easter egg rolling on the White House lawn.

Cheers,
Wayfairn Stranger

_______________________________________________________________
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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