Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: November ::
Real Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.2030  Tuesday, 30 November 2004

[1]     From:   L. Swilley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 29 Nov 2004 06:53:48 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.2024 Real Hamlet

[2]     From:   Edward Brown <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 29 Nov 2004 07:43:42 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.2024 Real Hamlet

[3]     From:   Annalisa Castaldo <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 29 Nov 2004 08:58:28 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.2024 Real Hamlet

[4]     From:   Bill Arnold <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 29 Nov 2004 06:20:47 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.2024 Real Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           L. Swilley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 29 Nov 2004 06:53:48 -0600
Subject: 15.2024 Real Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.2024 Real Hamlet

Let's try this:

1) Every play is a configuration of interpretative possibilities; read
or acted, the reader or director has only to respect the proportions of
the argument as written. Any interpretation that does this is
acceptable, one better than another only for its having better
"explained" all the parts as a consistent whole.

2) We cannot know precisely what Shakespeare or any other writer
intended (After the fact of writing, I doubt that they themselves could
say exactly), we know only our interpretation of it, and that must
suffer and survive the examination of consistency of argument.

3) If there are several texts of "Hamlet" or any other play, each text
is a separate interpretative problem; if we choose to use some of this
one, some of that, we have created a new text, a new play for
interpretation.

L. Swilley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Brown <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 29 Nov 2004 07:43:42 -0600
Subject: 15.2024 Real Hamlet
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.2024 Real Hamlet

In an earlier post, Bill Arnold seems to equate and confuse Variorum
(various) with
veritas or verus (true), implying that a variorum edition is a "true"
edition, rather than merely a collection of editions and notes from
various editors.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Annalisa Castaldo <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 29 Nov 2004 08:58:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 15.2024 Real Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.2024 Real Hamlet

Bill:

As a good postmodern, the term "real" makes me uneasy because it implies
value, objectivity, all those things I'm not sure I believe in. But in
essence, I completely agree with your point. The textual Hamlet and the
production Hamlet (and Colin Cox's post makes the point excellently) are
very different and that needs to be stated up front. As commentators, we
are bound to the text (aren't we all annoyed by the student who took
Psych 100 and insists on analyzing the characters?).

I admit to skipping a few of the early posts in this thread, so forgive
me if I ask something you have already answered, but what do we do about
the multiplicity of texts? You say W.S. had a Hamlet. He actually
appears to have had 3, plus the sources, which informed *his* Hamlet
(and possibly the Ur-Hamlet). Can we decide which is real or realer? Do
we treat all the texts exactly the same, even when they contradict each
other, or appear to have obvious printing house errors?

Whenever I start thinking about all the layers of print and error
between us and whatever Shakespeare first imagined, I can't help but
feel completely free from that original. If I can't find the real
original text, I can have any text I want!

Annalisa

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 29 Nov 2004 06:20:47 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 15.2024 Real Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.2024 Real Hamlet

Colin Cox writes, "As actors, we are taught to trust the text in the
sense that Shakespeare clearly indicates the range of choices that are
available to us. The magic of Shakespeare, however, and this is the
genius of it all, is he never tells you how to play the part.
Shakespeare asks you to bring everything you are to the role and infuse
his characters with your life experience. If I trust this and the
template that Shakespeare has provided, my Hamlet will in no way, nor
must it ever, resemble Bill's Hamlet or Annalisa's Hamlet. When they do,
the play will no longer be the thing . . ."

Hi, Colin.  In the preface to your remark above, you indicate EXACTLY
where you are coming from in this tread: as an actor.

Well, that is fine, and I hope you can understand that that has nothing
to do with this discussion: the "Real Hamlet"!  Your Hamlet and Fred's
Hamlet and Mel Gibson's Hamlet and Bill's Hamlet and Annalisa"s Hamlet
have nothing to do with Will Shakespeare's Hamlet.

This talk of the "magic of Shakespeare" and the "genius of it all" is a
fine GLOSS on the reality that the "real Hamlet" lies embedded within
the text which is on the printed page.  A friend if mine Dan Keyes wrote
a work of fiction called *Flowers for Algernon* which became an
Oscar-winning performance movie *Charley* with Cliff Robertson, but Dan
has told me MORE THAN ONCE that the movie performance was NOT the way
the author viewed the story when he wrote it as a TEXT.

So, can you NOT understand that not all readers and scholars see
Shakespeare as drama or a movie or a TV drama: but they do READ the
text[s] and there is a "real Hamlet" which a lot of actors and directors
BUTCHER, regardless of their type-casting, age, sex, whatever.

Respectfully disagreeing with your ACTOR-limited point of view of the
value of the text, please take note: zillions of readers have NEVER seen
a staged drama or movie of *Hamlet* and yet this *collective-unconscious
Hamlet* does reside in those zillion minds and your vacuous Prince
Hamlet is not the "real Hamlet" held in those minds.  As scholars, we
ought to be able intellectually discover the "real Hamlet" in the text.

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

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail 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.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.