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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: November ::
Shadowplay
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1937  Wednesday, 23 November 2005

[1] 	From: 	John Briggs <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 22 Nov 2005 18:22:27 -0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1924 Shadowplay

[2] 	From: 	Geralyn Horton <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 22 Nov 2005 12:47:18 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: Shadowplay addition

[3] 	From: 	Peter Bridgman <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 22 Nov 2005 20:16:00 -0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1924 Shadowplay


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John Briggs <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 22 Nov 2005 18:22:27 -0000
Subject: 16.1924 Shadowplay
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1924 Shadowplay

 >How many minor errors in things I know about as a careful reader of
 >the plays add up to a reason to distrust an author's argument in re:
 >things about which she is an expert and I am ignorant (for instance,
 >whether RIII is a recognizable portrait of Robert Cecil)?

I think it would be a mistake to assume the author is an expert about 
anything.

John Briggs

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Geralyn Horton <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 22 Nov 2005 12:47:18 -0500
Subject: 	Re: Shadowplay addition

I should have included an example:  re 12th Night, Asquith says "Viola 
quickly finds service in Olivia's household." ... "her beauty and 
integrity intrigue Olivia... awakening to the discovery of a new paragon 
in her own household".   It's hard for me to imagine that anyone who has 
ever seen a performance of the play would place Viola in Olivia's 
household rather than Orsino's.   The main point Asquith is making in 
this paragraph is that Countess Olivia is intended as, and would have 
been perceived as, a character analogous to Queen Elizabeth.   Not a new 
thought: the costumer for the production in which I played Olivia in 
1961 had the same idea, and dressed me to match portraits of Queen Bess. 
   (I thought that decision unimportant but easier to work with than 
most bright ideas costume people come up with.)  But for a scholar to 
make a convincing argument that the plot is a coded pro-Catholic 
message, shouldn't plot details such as who is a member of whose 
household and therefore owes fealty to whom be sorted out correctly?

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Peter Bridgman <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 22 Nov 2005 20:16:00 -0000
Subject: 16.1924 Shadowplay
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1924 Shadowplay

Geralyn Horton asks ...

 >How many minor errors in things I know about as a careful reader of
 >the plays add up to a reason to distrust an author's argument in re:
 >things about which she is an expert and I am ignorant (for instance,
 >whether RIII is a recognizable portrait of Robert Cecil)?

Robert Cecil was certainly "misshapen", with a "wry neck, a crooked back 
and a splay foot", but Richard's hunchback came from an earlier source. 
  In Richard III (3.4) the king says ...

My lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn,
I saw good strawberries in your garden there.
I do beseech you send for some of them.

The Bishop of Ely in the play is John Morton, a mentor of Thomas More, 
and the chief source of Tudor propaganda against Richard III, the last 
of the Plantagenet kings.  It was Morton who first depicted Richard as a 
hunchback and villain.

Peter Bridgman

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