2004

Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's Pericles

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0777  Tuesday, 30 March 2004

From:           W.L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Mar 2004 15:17:38 -0500
Subject:        Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's Pericles

The Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's Pericles opened on March 25 and
runs only until April 11 at their theatre (719 Race Street in downtown
Cincinnati). I saw it yesterday (3/28/04) and was very favorably
impressed by the production directed by Rebecca Bowman.  If you live in
or near Cincinnati, it's a must-see. For tickets call 513-381-BARD.

The set is elegant. At the rear of the stage is an elaborate library
with several rows of shelves with spines facing the audience.  These are
used later for entrances and exits.  At the center rear is a chair --
the chair where Gower (Matt Johnson) is found reading a book as the
house lights come up and the chair to which he retires at the end of the
play.  Behind his chair is a place for pull down maps -- used by Gower
to indicate the changes of scene.  In front is a bare thrust stage.

Gower does not leave the stage after his choric speeches. He jumps in to
play minor parts -- after removing his Gower medieval headdress.  When
playing these minor parts, he never quite gives up his role as Gower --
who cues the audience with smiles, smirks, and winks.  The audience is
in on the joke.  Apparently Gower is reading the play to us -- and the
book is his constant prop -- although at times he does sit and watch the
play with the audience.

Nick Rose -- who has been acting in and directing Shakespeare's plays
for the last ten years -- is Pericles, and I asked him if he noticed
differences in style in the script.  He really couldn't put his finger
on any particular shift, but he did think that this was an easy role to
learn -- and he thought that was significant.  Perhaps another hand was
involved in writing the script (as many scholars believe).

There is more to be said about this excellent production, but I have
other work to do!

Bill Godshalk

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Tempest - TLN 2296

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0776  Tuesday, 30 March 2004

From:           Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 30 Mar 2004 11:31:42 +0000
Subject:        Tempest - TLN 2296

Upgraded Coventry Airport (nearest to Stratford) begins international
flights 30th March. Further developments are proposed. Move afoot to
rename it "Shakespeare International".

Best,
Graham Hall

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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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Dancing in Shakespeare a good idea

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0774  Monday, 29 March 2004

From:           Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 27 Mar 2004 05:40:31 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 15.0752 Dancing in Shakespeare a good idea
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0752 Dancing in Shakespeare a good idea

Let's not forget the seemingly superfluous idea of the ending jig. If
the performances at the new Globe can be considered any indication, the
jig is a massively successful tension breaker. If the audience is
watching a tragedy, the applause generated by the jig breaks that
tension to a wonderfully cathartic degree. Regardless, the audience gets
really caught up in the spirit of the thing and leaves the theatre with
smiles on their faces. Not necessarily what I always see coming out of
the RST on any given night.

Brian Willis

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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
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Stylometrics

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0775  Monday, 29 March 2004

[1]     From:   Ward Elliott <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 26 Mar 2004 15:29:14 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0767 Stylometrics

[2]     From:   David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 26 Mar 2004 22:03:07 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0750 Stylometrics


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ward Elliott <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 26 Mar 2004 15:29:14 -0800
Subject: 15.0767 Stylometrics
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0767 Stylometrics

I. William Davis wonders how stylometrics are received by the full body
of Shakespeare scholarship and whether Shakespeare's writing evolved.
Neither Valenza nor I, nor our Shakespeare Clinic students, are
Shakespeare regulars who could in any way properly offer to speak for
the full body of Shakespeare scholarship. But we have published over a
dozen articles in the top refereed journals, including the Shakespeare
Quarterly, so I would guess that our work is at least within the
regulars' range of doctrinal tolerance.

Many SHAKSPERians are understandably jumpy about drawing conclusions
from outsiders' novel, stylometric evidence which still has not yet been
digested by the profession.  So were we in 1990-96 when our findings
really were novel and tentative.  But we are much less jumpy now, for
three reasons:  1) our internal-evidence conclusions have no gross
conflicts with external evidence.  Our tests don't say that Sejanus was
by Shakespeare or Hamlet by someone else.  2)  For plays we have found
so much redundancy of evidence that half our tests could be thrown out
for whatever reason and the remaining tests would still put almost all
of Shakespeare's and others' plays on different planets.  All those
gazillions of relative odds mean we've got a large margin of error.  And
3) our actual errors turned up since 1996 have turned out to be
vanishingly small, and certainly not for lack of vigorous adversary
scrutiny.  Besides passing muster with our publishers' referees, our
evidence has survived highly adversary, shock-and-awe challenges from
Don Foster and others and emerged all but unscathed.  I have no doubt
that further errors will turn up under further examination, but I would
be surprised if they were big enough to change our outcomes.  And I'm
confident enough to back it up with a $1,000 bet and to hope that it
will help make evidence like ours more digestible to Shakespeare regulars.

II. Bill Godschalk wonders what our tests say about Arden of Feversham
and Edward III.  The short answer for the whole plays is that they don't
look much like Shakespeare's solo work.  Arden has 13 rejections in 48
tests, Edw3 has 10.  No core Shakespeare play has more than two.
Comparative odds against Shakespeare authorship are very long, in the
mid-gazillions.
Whether Shakespeare could have written the "Shakespeare Scenes" of Edw3
is a much harder question, for which we have done much of the
preliminary counting, but not yet the full analysis.  For these shorter,
more variable passages we have only 12-14 validated tests, not 48.  Of
the suspected "Shakespeare scenes," 1.02 has one rejection and could be
Shakespeare (again, note that we don't say *must be* or *is*
Shakespeare's).  2.01, 2.02, and 4.04 have two rejections each, and fall
outside our Shakespeare profiles, but only by one order of magnitude,
not gazillions.  The odds that three out of the four "Shakespeare
scenes" would fall outside the Shakespeare envelope and still be
Shakespeare are lower.

Most, but not all, of the "non-Shakespeare scenes" also fall an order or
two of magnitude outside the Shakespeare envelope.  1.01, 3.01-3.05, and
4.01-4.03 have two or three rejections each - but 5.01 has only one
rejection and 4.05-4.09 none at all, which means that our tests by
themselves can't rule them out as "possibly Shakespeare."  Bill
Godschalk and other SHAKSPERians are more into Edw3 than we are, and
perhaps can cast further light on these outcomes.  I know that some
people think the whole play is Shakespeare's (we don't), but I'm not
aware of anyone who has singled out 5.01 or 4.04-4.09 as particularly
Shakespearean.

We expect to do more work on Edw3 this summer, looking to see how useful
tests we consider well-validated for long, single-authored plays can be
for sorting out shorter, possible multiple-authored passages.  Among
other things, having looked at our preliminary results and compared
notes with present-day screenwriters, we are becoming more and more
skeptical, not that Shakespeare did his share of co-authoring, but that
he and his co-author divided the work up neatly scene by scene to make
it easier for stylometrists to determine neatly and precisely who wrote
what.

For now, on balance, I am doubtful that Shakespeare wrote either the
"Shakespeare Scenes" or the "non-Shakespeare scenes" of Edw3.  The
comparative odds against most of the individual scenes are already an
order or two of magnitude worse than the worst core Shakespeare outlier;
the comparative aggregate odds against either *set of scenes,* taken as
wholes, coming from Shakespeare's hand would be lower yet.  If this is
so for our "couldn't-be" scenes, we would guess that the individual
"could-be" scenes are probably false positives, of which some are to be
expected in non-Shakespeare samples shorter than 3,000 words.  The tests
are not perfect, and they get less and less perfect as the text blocks
at issue get shorter.  Hence, we see it as a close call, too close for
us to say that reasonable people could not conclude otherwise.  If they
do, I would think they would want a look at our evidence before making
up their minds.

Whether Shakespeare wrote the whole play solo is not such a close call.
  Our tests say the comparative odds against it are many orders of
magnitude greater than those against the individual scenes, and the task
of justifying a Shakespeare ascription, correspondingly many times more
daunting.

Ward Elliott

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 26 Mar 2004 22:03:07 -0500
Subject: 15.0750 Stylometrics
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0750 Stylometrics

 >In any
 >case, I should expect Milton to have the greater vocabulary, with his
 >polyglot education.

I haven't seen Ward's full argument - I'd be curious to know whether he
included in his count Milton's Latin as well as English works - but I'm
not persuaded that level of education is the only relevant issue.
Milton's elitist genres promoted use of learned words with Greek and
Latin roots.  Shakespeare's work for the popular theater invited
recourse to the demotic, mostly Germanic roots though with much French,
including the jargons of farmers and sailors and soldiers and tailors;
I've always loved his exhilarating plunges and leaps of register.  More
narrowly, the kind of education and the uses to which it is put are also
factors.

David Evett

_______________________________________________________________
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The Three Sons in Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0773  Monday, 29 March 2004

[1]     From:   Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 26 Mar 2004 11:34:23 -0500
        Subj:   The Three Sons in Hamlet

[2]     From:   Thomas Pendleton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 26 Mar 2004 14:41:39 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0755 The Three Sons in Hamlet

[3]     From:   Jay Feldman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 26 Mar 2004 14:47:15 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0760 The Three Sons in Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 26 Mar 2004 11:34:23 -0500
Subject:        The Three Sons in Hamlet

Sean Lawrence writes: "There is, therefore, no reason to think that
Fortinbras's objective is greater than the capture of the territories
lost by his father, or that this limited goal does not necessitate an
attack on Denmark in general."

No general would agree with Sean, even the most inept. Having sharked up
a band of ruffians, Fortinbras would be idiotic to attack all of
Denmark, including Elsinore. Yet that is exactly what Claudius seems to
fear, given the opening scene and its implications. Sean will recall
that in the final scene, Fortinbras takes over all of Denmark the first
opportunity he gets.  Moreover, it's clear he doesn't think much of
Claudius.

So the case is no where near as simple as Sean paints it to be.
Shakespeare seems to want us to think about what Fortinbras is really up
to. I don't think there is a definitive answer in the text - at least, I
can't find it. So Jack Heller may be right that Fortinbras is angling
for all of Denmark and that allowing him safe passage is politically
foolish. One thing is for sure: in the final scene, Fortinbras does not
impress us as the hotheaded young upstart that, earlier in the play, we
may have thought he was.

For what it's worth, I think Fortinbras puts on the pressure and then
waits for Claudius's Denmark to fall of its own weight, now that old
Hamlet is dead. It's a pretty clever device, potentially a kind of
revenge, and it is based on the old idea that patience can be the best
way to get even. In other words, he out-Hamlets Hamlet.

Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Pendleton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 26 Mar 2004 14:41:39 -0500
Subject: 15.0755 The Three Sons in Hamlet
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0755 The Three Sons in Hamlet

I think Fortinbras doesn't use his army to capture Denmark because
Shakespeare didn't tell us he did, whatever Branagh might have thought.

Tom Pendleton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jay Feldman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 26 Mar 2004 14:47:15 EST
Subject: 15.0760 The Three Sons in Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0760 The Three Sons in Hamlet

Jack Heller suggests that: "...Fortinbras's strongest case is against
the Danish court itself, something Uncle Norway (reportedly) thinks he
has persuaded Fortinbras to forget about. I'm not convinced that we must
agree with that report, and the permission given to Fortinbras to
traverse Denmark on the route to Poland strikes me as politically
stupid. Among his other faults, Claudius is a bad politician."

Claudius appears to have backing from his immediate court but lacks
support from the rabble. Unlike Laertes, Hamlet never seems aware nor
takes advantage of this potential support that even Claudius
acknowledges:  "the great love the general gender bear him", perhaps
proving Hamlet is also a bad politician.

To suggest that Fortinbras and/or his uncle have planned a covert
invasion of Denmark wanders far from the mark. At least that is my
opinion and will remain so until someone can explain the logic of
Fortinbras marching his army through Denmark to fight a war in Poland,
and then returning battleworn and surely in need of resupply to attack
his actual target. Or are we also not to agree with the report: "Young
Fortinbras, [return] with conquest come from Poland"? After a while, by
not believing the text we could find sufficient conspiracy undercurrents
to have another play, perhaps we could call it "Fortinbras' Secret Revenge".

Jay Feldman

_______________________________________________________________
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.
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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.

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