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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: October ::
Clocks and Bells
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1706  Thursday, 6 October 2005

[1] 	From: 	Tom Rutter <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 4 Oct 2005 20:15:08 +0100
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1686 Clocks and Bells

[2] 	From: 	Bill Arnold <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 4 Oct 2005 12:32:39 -0700 (PDT)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1686 Clocks and Bells


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Tom Rutter <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 4 Oct 2005 20:15:08 +0100
Subject: 16.1686 Clocks and Bells
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1686 Clocks and Bells

I was put in mind of the same question (i.e., how noise from outside the 
playhouse might have been incorporated in performance) when watching The 
Tempest at the Globe a couple of weeks ago. An aeroplane went loudly 
overhead at a comically appropriate moment-I think it was when Alonso 
asks 'What harmony is this?' in III.iii, though I wouldn't swear to 
it-which got a laugh.

Tom

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Bill Arnold <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 4 Oct 2005 12:32:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 16.1686 Clocks and Bells
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1686 Clocks and Bells

Steve Sohmer writes, "The Globe stood only a short walk from St. Mary 
Overy, and across the river from Saint Bennet's church at Paul's Wharf. 
Shakespeare is certainly glancing across the river in Twelfth Night: 
'the belles of S[aint] Bennet sir, may put you in minde, one, two, 
three.'...Turning to Hamlet, if a performance of this play at the Globe 
(or anywhere else) commenced at two o'clock, the bells of Saint Mary 
Overy and Saint Bennet (or some other nearby church) would have chimed 
four o'clock shortly before Hamlet recalls 'my father died within's two 
houwres' (Q2 3.2.135). I suppose one could say there's a good deal of 
inferential evidence that clocks and bells were audible within the 
Globe, and that Shakespeare took note (and advantage) of them. Hope this 
helps."

Wow.  Does it ever.  So, can I conclude that Will Shakespeare had the 
audience so much in mind that he had the church bells OUTSIDE the Globe 
become PART of the play?  And if that is so, then it begs the conclusion 
that the audience, the world of England of the audience, and all that 
THAT entails was CENTRAL to his dramas?  What could be more DRAMATIC 
than an audience thinking a play in another time and place was PRESCIENT 
to the present?  And what does the SPIRIT of the father of Hamlet 
suddenly suggest to just SUCH an audience so much as PART of the PRESENT 
and the PLAY, and THEM?

If I am not mistaken, you are on to SOMETHING very NEW and very BIG in 
the DRAMATURGY of Shakespeare.

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

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