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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: August ::
Some Squeaking Cleopatra
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1545  Friday, 1 August 2003

From:           Dana Shilling <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jul 2003 10:48:57 -0400
Subject:        Some Squeaking Cleopatra

I'm bemused by the assumption of some posters to this thread that
"authenticity" is measured by one or perhaps two criteria (race and
conformity to conventional standards of attractiveness). I bet that, to
an Elizabethan audience, it took far more suspension of disbelief to
accept a grungy vagabond of an actor as a nobleman or King than to
believe that a person of Asian descent is a Paduan shrew, for example.

Even if a dramatist has an audience of kings, s/he generally has to rely
on the actor's imagination rather than experience of committing murder,
and wonderful romantic performances are regularly given by pairings of
performers who, in real life, are happily married to someone else,
celibate, exclusively homosexual, or simply can't stand the other actor.

Dana Shilling

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editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

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