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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: February ::
Date of King John
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0292  Monday, 14 February 2005

[1]     From:   Bob Grumman <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Feb 2005 10:19:35 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0281 Date of King John

[2]     From:   Michael Egan <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Feb 2005 05:43:36 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0281 Date of King John

[3]     From:   Geralyn Horton <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Feb 2005 12:24:33 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0281 Date of King John

[4]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Feb 2005 18:17:29 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0281 Date of King John

[5]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Feb 2005 18:17:29 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0281 Date of King John

[6]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Sunday, 13 Feb 2005 23:22:30 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0268 Date of King John


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Grumman <
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Date:           Friday, 11 Feb 2005 10:19:35 -0500
Subject: 16.0281 Date of King John
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0281 Date of King John

Michael Egan writes:

 >There are other features of  John F1 suggesting an
 >unperformed/unfinished text (i.e., it is not 'complete' as Grumman
 >claims). For instance, at III.ii.59-68 the King tells Hubert to kill
 >Arthur, but when the assassin comes to do it he carries instructions
 >only to blind the prince (IV.i.37-42). The discrepancy is never
 >explained (it seems to have been a careless carry- over from TR--another
 >detail confirming that play's priority). Isn't it likely that if KJ were
 >ever staged the actors would have pointed out the problem to
 >Shakespeare, who would then have made the correction?

First off, I meant "complete enough."  Probably no play is "really"
complete.  Other plays of Shakespeare's have loose ends, as Bill
Godshalk points out.  Also, I didn't realize the discussion was only
about whether this particular version of King John was performed or not,
so I was merely arguing that some version of this play was performed.

--Bob G.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Egan <
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Date:           Friday, 11 Feb 2005 05:43:36 -1000
Subject: 16.0281 Date of King John
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0281 Date of King John

I'm glad Bill Godshalk likes King John; so do I. To say that it is
interesting but not quite successful is not the same as calling it a
disaster. In many ways it is a seminal work. As Harold Bloom notes of
the Bastard in The Invention of Human: '...no one before in a
Shakespearean play is so persuasive a representation as a person. It is
not too much to say that the Bastard in King John inaugurates
Shakespeare's invention of the human, which is the subject of this
book.' Inter alia, this claim shows the importance of getting the play's
chronology right-uncritically accepting Honigmann, Bloom dates it before
1591, which makes a nonsense of what we know of Shakespeare's evolution
as a writer.

Another sign of the KJ's experimental nature is the scene in which
Arthur leaps from the walls to his death. It's theatrically powerful but
notoriously difficult to stage-the jump must be credibly fatal but not
from a point so high as actually to hurt the actor. On the other hand
Rich

 

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