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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: August ::
Re: Feste's Speeches
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1560  Tuesday, 5 August 2003

From:           Steve Urkowitz <
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Date:           Monday, 4 Aug 2003 21:44:18 EDT
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 25 Jul 2003 to 28 Jul 2003 (#2003-129)

>Some of Feste's speeches seem
>to me improvised rather than written, which would fit in admirably with
>Robert Armin's known talents.
>
>Mark Adderley
>Missouri Valley College

Out of touch with the list for a long while -- joyously married on 21
June, involved in selling my house and buying an apartment, adventures
all -- I happened on this wishful thought from Mark Adderly in the
color-blind acting strand.  Really good writing always seems improvised.
That's why we like it more than purely formulaic writing, yes?  Our guy
Shakespeare IS our guy because we like his improvising -- he fakes
spontaneity.  His actors do that too, really well.

But one of the things that didn't happen much back then (save for the
odd commonplace book) and doesn't much happen today (unless you're a
politician) is for truly spur-of-the-moment utterances to leap from the
resonating air inside the Globe playhouse down onto a manuscript page
that somehow then became printer's copy for the First Folio. "Gee, Will.
Did you hear that speech I ad libbed?  Put it into the script so I can
remember to do it again."  Not.

The test would be perhaps if Feste's speeches were measurably unique in
Robert-Arminian style. But here I'm drifting into silly season.

Joys if imagination to all,
Steve Ur-Quarto-witz the happy.

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