2004

Shakespeare of Canada

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0756  Thursday, 25 March 2004

From:           John Ramsay <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 24 Mar 2004 10:32:43 -0500
Subject: 15.0745 Shakespeare of Canada
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0745 Shakespeare of Canada

This is the second time Stratford Canada has taken Lear on the road. In
1964 the young Stratford Canada company took Lear, with a very young
John Colicos in the title role, to Stratford England and received the
same sort of rave reviews the current version of Lear is enjoying.

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The Three Sons in Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0755  Thursday, 25 March 2004

From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 23 Mar 2004 10:36:57 -0500
Subject:        The Three Sons in Hamlet

Jay writes that his interest in Hamlet lies in the besieged state of
[Hamlet's] mind. Well, yes, of course. And that's directly related to
the issue of how to treat others.  Should Hamlet engage others with
respect for their personhood and freedom and innate dignity - as he does
Horatio, for example? Or should he adopt the ethic of his own father -
use others -- even sacrifice their lives - to get what he wants?  He
moves from one approach to another as the play progresses. In key scenes
like 3.1 and 3.4, both ethics coexist in a way that wonderfully
complicates the action and Hamlet's mental state - exactly Jay's interest.

Sean himself points out that Fortinbras uses an army to capture a little
piece of Poland. Why doesn't he do the same in Denmark?

Ed Taft

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Bearman on Will

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0753  Thursday, 25 March 2004

From:           Dennis Taylor <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Mar 2004 15:34:14 -0500
Subject:        Bearman on Will

According to David Kastan in The Chronicle of Higher Education (Feb. 6,
2004), "The Catholic testament that was discovered in 1759 in the
rafters of the Henley Street house where Shakespeare was born has
recently been identified as a forgery" (p. B13). Kastan is probably
referring to Robert Bearman's "John Shakespeare's 'Spiritual Testament':
A Reappraisal," Shakespeare Survey 56 (2003): 184-202. But to accept
Bearman's argument as canonical, as Kastan does, is premature.
In an article under consideration, I propose the following points.

1) Jordan's forgery of the first leaf of the will need not be mentioned
in connection with the five leaves of the will as published by Edmond
Malone in 1790.
2) Malone's knowledge of the will was independent of Jordan's
intervention, and the will's discovery was attested by several reputable
residents of Stratford.
3) The theory that Jordan early conspired with the bricklayer to plant a
doctored will in the Henley Street is extremely unlikely for a number of
reasons.
3) The discovery of a template for the will, in the Borromeo formulary,
was an astonishing confirmation of the historical authenticity of the
will's language.
4) The assumption that Jordan concocted the first leaf of the will
cannot be taken for granted, despite his unsatisfactory explanation on
how he obtained possession.
5) The labeling of the entire will as "Jordan's forgery," a mistake
traditionally made by mainstream scholars, is based on an historical
myth which needs to be deconstructed.
6) Malone's late and unexplained doubts about the will can be given
various explanations and were, arguably, answered by the discovery of
the Borromeo template and other later research.
7) William Allen's reference to "testamentis" to be carried into England
refers, as is more likely, to copies of the Borromeo template, as shown
by examination of other uses of "testamento" and "testamenta" in the
Allen correspondence. (But this is a close call)
8) The conditions of persecution and concealment in the 16th and 17th
century explain the gaps in the 'geological record' of such testaments,
and also explain the behavior of John Shakespeare in hiding the will.
9) The phrasing in the will, "when I least thought of it," supposed to
reflect a later idiom, can in fact be cited in examples nearly
contemporary to John Shakespeare.

Best
Dennis Taylor

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A Thought for St. David's Day

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0754  Thursday, 25 March 2004

[1]     From:   W.L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 22 Mar 2004 16:17:56 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0740 A Thought for St. David's Day

[2]     From:   Thomas Pendleton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Mar 2004 18:28:51 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0740 A Thought for St. David's Day


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W.L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Mar 2004 16:17:56 -0500
Subject: 15.0740 A Thought for St. David's Day
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0740 A Thought for St. David's Day

Sean Lawrence asks:

 >Has anyone tried to substitute "Oldcastle" for "Falstaff" throughout,
 >and see if it has any effect on the scansion?

Humphreys identifies two places in 1 Henry IV -- 2.2.103 and 2.4.521
(Humphreys' Arden edition). The first is: "Away, good Ned -- Falstaff
sweats to death."  Humphrey claims that the line would be "decayllabic
like its context were the name 'Oldcastle'" (xv-xvi).  To my admittedly
tin ear, there is little difference between "Falstaff" and "Oldcastle"
in terms of scansion.  And the second passage Humphreys identifies is in
prose: "Falstaff! -- Fast asleep behind the arras, and snorting like a
horse."

I don't find this very firm evidence.

Bill Godshalk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Pendleton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 24 Mar 2004 18:28:51 -0500
Subject: 15.0740 A Thought for St. David's Day
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0740 A Thought for St. David's Day

Sean

Your impression that "Falstaff" shows up far more in prose is right. In
1H4 there's only one verse passage "Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to
death" (2.2.108).  This is just nine syllables, but it reads well enough
with the mid line pause; inserting "Oldcastle" makes for a rhythmically
clumsy line.  In 2H4, there are five passages--"And asking everyone for
Sir John Falstaff" (2.2.360), "Give me my sword and cloak. Falstaff,
good night" (2.2.366), "Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this
while?" (4.3.26), "Fare you well, Falstaff. I, in my condition"
(4.3.84), "Go carry Sir John Falstaff to the Fleet" (5.5.91).
"Oldcastle" will add an extra syllable; the fourth of these already has
eleven sylables. In H5, Riverside prints as verse "Boy, bristle thy
courage up; for Falstaff he is dead" (2.3.4), but Bevington and Gurr's
Cambridge edition read this as prose. MWW some other time.

I don't see any evidence that "Oldcastle" was once there and then was
dropped.  And I wonder what the point of the joke "My old lad of the
castle" is unless the more knowledgeable in the audience are aware that
that used to be his name, but isn't now.

Tom Pendleton

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Dancing in Shakespeare a good idea

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0752  Thursday, 25 March 2004

[1]     From:   Jan Pick <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 22 Mar 2004 17:29:35 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0744 Dancing in Shakespeare a good idea

[2]     From:   E. F. Winerock <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Mar 2004 03:59:34 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0744 Dancing in Shakespeare a good idea


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jan Pick <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 22 Mar 2004 17:29:35 -0000
Subject: 15.0744 Dancing in Shakespeare a good idea
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0744 Dancing in Shakespeare a good idea

The latest dance here seems to be based on the Tudor
Bransle/Bransie/Brawl. Steps to the side, reverse, back, forward etc!
Most line dancing is based on Pavanes etc it seems to me!

Jan Pick

PS It makes teaching Tudor dance easier if you can persuade the boys
that it's the same dance as is at number one in the charts!!!

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           E. F. Winerock <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 23 Mar 2004 03:59:34 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 15.0744 Dancing in Shakespeare a good idea
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0744 Dancing in Shakespeare a good idea

The MIT student reviewer's comment, "I hardly think that a two and a
half hour play needs a dance sequence, especially when the time spent
practicing the dances could have been spent practicing some other
important things," demonstrates confusion between performance and text.
It sounds like the problem with this particular production was that the
dancing was done poorly and therefore lost its relevance, not that
dancing should not be in the play.

Throughout his plays, Shakespeare uses dance specifically and
consistently.  Combining music, drinking, and dancing is one of his most
common methods to convey festivity and celebration, while dancing,
especially masked dances, is often used to facilitate flirting and
courtship. In Much Ado the masked dance in Act 2: scene 1 furthers the
courtship plots (Romeo & Juliet, Henry 8), while the dance at the end of
the play cements the happy ending (As You Like It, Midsummer Night's
Dream).

It is true that "Dancing is a great way to pick up people at parties,"
and it was true in Shakespearean England. Dancing gave men and women an
excuse to talk privately with each other without scandal. While it might
be reasonable to cut the dance at the end of a play, or at least have
only a very abbreviated one, unlike in many Restoration plays, dancing
is significant to the plot and to character development in Much Ado and
in Shakespeare plays in general.

As for dances being "expressions of a world reordered by love," (L.
Swilley) I'd recommend looking at Alan Brissenden's Shakespeare and the
Dance for a more complex view. Brissenden points out how interrupted
dancing (Tempest, Love's Labours Lost) and dancing that doesn't happen
(end of Twelfth Night) reflect or symbolize the upset of harmony and
order. He also notes that dancing can be disruptive in of itself or
foreshadow disharmony (as in the dancing of the witches in Macbeth, the
satyrs in The Winter's Tale, and Sir Andrew and Sir Toby in Twelfth
Night). Skiles Howard's The Politics of Courtly Dancing in Early Modern
England also discusses the disorderly aspect of dancing, and there are
many dance resources available at http://www.rendance.org/ and on my
website, http://www.winerock.com/shakespeareandance/.

-- Emily Winerock

_______________________________________________________________
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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