2003

Re: Shakespeare in London in June

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0918  Tuesday, 13 May 2003

From:           David M Richman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 May 2003 12:30:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 14.0881 Shakespeare in London in June
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0881 Shakespeare in London in June

There is a good deal of Shakespeare in London in June.  Henry V at the
National; Richard II (with all men) Richard III (with all women) and, as
a bonus, Dido Queen of Carthage (Marlowe--both genders in the cast) at
the Globe; Dream and 2 Gents at Regents Park Open Air; and Merry Wives,
RSC productions that have played at Stratford and on tour at the Old
Vic.  Henry V, Nicholas Hytener's premier production as new director of
the National Theatre is a modern-dress production that shows Henry as a
sometimes petulant, always charismatic media star.  His big speeches are
for broadcast, and they are heard in sound bites repeatedly throughout
the show.  When he is disagreed with, as in the scene with Williams, he
grows pettish and tyrannical.  Adrian Lester turns in what, to my ear,
is a superb performance.  He negotiates all the big speeches.  On "This
is the feast of Crispian" he conjures, as a storyteller, the old war
heroes bragging about the battle they survived.  This Henry is a
politician, deal-maker, and his rather inept edgy wooing in the last act
becomes downright scary.  (The first time we see Catherine, she is
watching a broadcast of his "rape" speech to Harfleur, and she clearly
remembers this as he commands a kiss.  The other performances are not,
to my ear, as satisfying.  I was particularly disappointed with Pistol,
whose diction is mushy, but perhaps I am spoiled by the memory of Robert
Newton.  The Richard II, which I attended at the Middle Temple, is a
wonderful pageant, but, to my ear, a disappointing production.  Mark
Rylance trades on his very considerable charm, but does not touch the
passion, the anguish, and the political complexity.  His Richard is JUST
weak and self-indulgent.  Rylance was a near-perfect Olivia in Twelfth
Night last year, and many of Olivia's mannerisms, including her stammer,
turn up in his Richard to the detriment of the latter role.

Cheers,
David Richman

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Re: Hamlet and Belleforest

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0918  Tuesday, 13 May 2003

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 May 2003 12:17:07 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0905 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques

[2]     From:   Annalisa Castaldo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 May 2003 14:58:49 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0905 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques


[1]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 May 2003 12:17:07 -0500
Subject: 14.0905 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0905 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires
Tragiques

Claude Casper quotes Wilde,

>. . . Where, if not from the Impressionists, do we get those
>wonderful brown fogs that come creeping down our streets, blurring the
>gas-lamps and changing the houses into monstrous shadows? To whom, if
>not to them and their master, do we owe the lovely silver mists that
>brood over our river, and turn to faint forms of fading grace curved
>bridge and swaying barge?  The extraordinary change that has taken place
>in the climate of London during the last ten years is entirely due to a
>particular school of Art.

Good, good. This clarifies everything. And we can further see that the
people who died in the great "killer smogs" of the 40's were not done in
by poisonous coal smoke mingling with a naturally dank and swampy
climate but rather by a handful of painters.

If this happened in America, the heirs of the victims would immediately
file suit against the museums where these paintings are hanging and
collect several million dollars in damages. The museums' insurance
carriers would then insist the painting be taken off display and also
increase their liability insurance ten-fold. However, it would all work
out for the best: the museums could sell the paintings overseas and use
that money to pay their insurance bills.

Cheers,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Annalisa Castaldo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 May 2003 14:58:49 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 14.0905 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0905 Re: Hamlet and Belleforest's Histoires
Tragiques

I think Kenneth Chan has pointed out the major flaw in the idea that
Hamlet doesn't delay. Whether or not he jumps to his revenge, Hamlet
himself clearly feels he is slacking (and so does the Ghost "thy almost
blunted purpose") and talks about it endlessly. By comparison, Vindice
of The Revenger's Tragedy has waited (I believe) 7 years for his
revenge, and doesn't seem at all disturbed.

But what is confusing is that, as the first quote by Grebanier points
out, if one reads carefully, 2 months seem to have gone by between 1.5
and 2.1. Shakespeare does not appear to want to make a big deal of this,
and yet he keeps mentioning it in offhanded ways. Like the fifth act
specification of Hamlet's age (a move which only confuses the picture),
I can't help but wonder why the references to a gap exist at all, if we
are not supposed to pay attention?

Annalisa Castaldo

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Re: Monkeys

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0916  Tuesday, 13 May 2003

[1]     From:   Harry G. Rusche <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 May 2003 10:36:02 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0901 Re: Monkeys

[2]     From:   Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 May 2003 09:52:12 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0901 Re: Monkeys

[3]     From:   Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 12 May 2003 08:05:24 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0901 Re: Monkeys [and Shakespeare?]


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry G. Rusche <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 May 2003 10:36:02 -0400
Subject: 14.0901 Re: Monkeys
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0901 Re: Monkeys

Here's a bit of silliness I put together for my Shakespeare students.

Monkeys-s-s Typing Is-s a Mess-s-s
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LONDON, May 9 (AP) - Give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite
number of typewriters, the theory goes, and they will eventually produce
the complete works of Shakespeare.

Give six monkeys one computer for a month, and they will make a mess.

Researchers at Plymouth University in England reported this week that
monkeys left alone with a computer failed to produce a single word.

"They pressed a lot of S's," said Mike Phillips, a researcher in the
project which was paid for by the Arts Council.

The researchers left a computer in the monkey enclosure at Paignton Zoo
in southwest England, home to six Sulawesi crested macaques. Then, they
waited.

Eventually, the monkeys produced only five pages of text, primarily
filled with the letter S. At the end, a few A's, J's, L's and M's were
struck.

"Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and urinating
all over the keyboard," Mr. Phillips added.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 May 2003 09:52:12 -0500
Subject: 14.0901 Re: Monkeys
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0901 Re: Monkeys

The problem was using those ridiculous crested macaques. Far be it from
me to revert to racism, but in my opinion it will take them longer than
infinity to write even "the coutier's soldier's scholar's eye tongue
sword." Without a proper chimpanzee at the keyboard you'll get nothing
but junk.

Here at the Department of Primatography at Nashville Polly in Tennessee,
I and my fellow faculty members have been producing country music lyrics
for some years. We hope to start on the works of WS as soon as our next
million dollar grant comes through.

Dr. J. Fred Muggs, Chair

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 May 2003 08:05:24 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.0901 Re: Monkeys [and Shakespeare?]
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0901 Re: Monkeys [and Shakespeare?]

Michael E. Cohen writes, "Both of the articles cited on the topic of the
MediaLab students' 'experiment' seems to draw the conclusion that the
results disprove the assertion  'that an infinite number of monkeys
given typewriters would create the works of The Bard'.  Actually, it
disproves no such thing. 'Infinite' does not equal 'six' (the number of
monkeys actually participating), nor is a single month an adequate
amount of time in which to judge whether or not the experiment succeeded
or failed (I believe the complete premise also calls for an infinite
period of time, as well as infinite number of typewriters rather than a
single keyboard). Fact is, the monkeys clearly began with the right
letter (quick, name a playwright whose surname begins with 'S'),
indicating that the experiment may actually have begun to show positive
results."

Methinks, this monkey-business has gone far enough :)

By the same logic an infinite number of geckos given computers would
create the works of the Bard.  But what does that prove, even if it
happened?  By golly, those same geckos could have written the KJV if
Divine Providence hadn't beaten them to it.  The conclusion IS: Reason
need not Intellect to Create, but Mind-less "Evolution Creat-eth ALL!"

What IS this: some kind of keyboard-dancing gecko-sicko anti-Creationist
plot by Evolutionists, he saieth, tongue-in-cheek :) ?

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

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Re: Performances and Audiences in Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0917  Tuesday, 13 May 2003

[1] From:               Claude Caspar <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 May 2003 11:13:53 -0400
Subject: 14.0911 Performances and Audiences in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0911 Performances and Audiences in Hamlet

[2] From:               Tony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 May 2003 12:48:28 -0400
Subject: 14.0911 Performances and Audiences in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0911 Performances and Audiences in Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Claude Caspar <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 May 2003 11:13:53 -0400
Subject: 14.0911 Performances and Audiences in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0911 Performances and Audiences in Hamlet

Bloom's new book, "Hamlet," makes much of this.  Keep in mind the
possibility, says Bloom, that regardless of the truth, Hamlet may feel
Claudius may be his actual father, Hamlet being the fruit of their
supposed adultery.  This would make his famous Freudian slip "nephew of
the King,' even more interesting.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 May 2003 12:48:28 -0400
Subject: 14.0911 Performances and Audiences in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0911 Performances and Audiences in Hamlet

Paul Swanson draws attention to a fact worth noting, that

Hamlet and Claudius are each audience members to a performance, and that
after the player's speech, Hamlet admonishes himself for not being as
moved as the player.

It doesn't lead smoothly, however, to Swanson's further remark, that "In
each performance, however, both Hamlet and Claudius respectively are
'touched,' drawing a clear parallel between their characters."

The failure on Hamlet's part to be moved, or at least noting that the
players are more moved by their scripted  speeches than he is by his own
life, is to me most notable for undermining (for the audience) the
assumption by Hamlet that forms a principal basis for staging the
Mousetrap.  That is to say, that a dramatic enactment WILL move those
who see it (well, maybe only guilty souls, but I think his psychological
assumption is not so narrowly limited) to the very foundations of their
beings.

This feeds back into the widely debated question whether Claudius
reveals his guilt when he leaves The Murder of Gonzago, or whether
Hamlet is leaping unjustifiably to conclusions.  If he demonstrates that
his own assumption is wrong, the audience is likely to be more skeptical
of his response to the Mousetrap, and may see equivalent skepticism in
Horatio's remarks as well.  A great deal follows from the discrepancy
between Hamlet's and Claudius's behavior as audience to a performance,
which different prejudices and schools of thought will develop in
different ways, to which I will not add my own favorite ideas.  But I
encourage others to take up the correspondence noted by Swanson and see
where it leads them -- surely to surprising implications.

Tony Burton

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Jennifer Speake

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0915  Monday, 12 May 2003

From:           Kevin De Ornellas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 11 May 2003 08:47:20 +0000
Subject:        Jennifer Speake

Would anyone, by any chance, have the address (electronic or postal) of
the independent scholar, Jennifer Speake?  If so, could the address be
sent to me privately? Thanks.

Kevin De Ornellas
Queen's University, Belfast

_______________________________________________________________
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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