2005

Caliban's Father

	
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1546  Saturday, 17 September 2005

From: 		Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 16:26:01 +0100
Subject: 16.1529 Caliban's Father
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1529 Caliban's Father

And Ariel's sulky challenge in Act 1 within minutes of getting on stage? 
'Is there more toil?' - and look at Prospero's violent response?

No, Ariel is not willing, but scared into submission. So, NOT a good 
angel but a 'pressed man'. Then turn to Ariel's ecstatic departure at 
the end of Act V? Prospero tells Ariel 'to the elements be thou free'. - 
recognising the servitude that Ariel talks of in Act 1.

Add Prospero's graphically recalled and obviously previously enacted 
punishments for Caliban should he transgress? BOTH Ariel and Caliban are 
threatened with appalling punishments + the enslavement threats to 
Ferdinand even with the intercessions of Miranda? No, I do NOT think we 
are looking at any kind of schematic upgrading of Everyman in that sense 
at all.  This is reductionist over-simplification, quite apart from the 
tricky fact that it flies in the face of the textual evidence.

Just a minor point for some, of course, judging by recent postings.

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Midsummer Night's Dream and High Schools

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1545  Saturday, 17 September 2005

From: 		Jim Blackie <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 10:53:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 16.1530 Midsummer Night's Dream and High Schools
Comment: 	RE: SHK 16.1530 Midsummer Night's Dream and High Schools

Amazing analysis, sir!

As Polonius opined, "brevity is the soul of wit" - Good answer and worth 
of "family fued!" [clap clap clap clap] ; )

I needed a laugh. Thank you. (also, it's probably more true than not)

Jim Blackie

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Performing Angelo

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1543  Saturday, 17 September 2005

[1] 	From: 	Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 11:05:42 -0400
	Subj: 	Re Performing Angelo

[2] 	From: 	Julia Griffin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 15:48:01 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1532 Performing Angelo

[3] 	From: 	Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 22:55:15 -0400
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 16.1532 Performing Angelo


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 11:05:42 -0400
Subject: 	Re Performing Angelo

"Any character who addresses his penis onstage is a "comedic" 
character....What I keep wondering is if Elizabethan propmasters had 
some sort of device by which the swelling under Angelo's robes could be 
made readily apparent to the audience. We know Angelo is hiding 
something from Isabella because he has turned away from her, as 
evidenced by her twice asking him to turn back, and his strangled 
utterances bidding her to go and come back another time."  Abigail, that 
is absolutely brilliant! That one flew right under my radar screen, but 
of course that is exactly what is going on.

"Professor Martha England of Queens College, CUNY, who insisted we 
remember that the above three characters were very young, otherwise 
their mistakes would not be forgivable." Abigail, where is the evidence 
that the Duke is young? I agree that Angelo and Isabella are, but I see 
the Duke as a middle aged Lothario/Machiavel, sort of like Joseph 
Heller's protagonist Bobby Slocum in Something Happened.

"In fact, Measure would be a tragedy instead of a comedy if the Duke 
didn't run into Isabella at the prison. It's quite amazing. He's dressed 
as a monk.  She's dressed as a nun. He's walking out of the cells, she's 
walking toward them...they pass. As near as I can tell from the dialog 
in that scene, the Duke almost leaves the stage entirely (because 
Isabella has the chance to complete her dialog with the Provost) and 
then doubles right back to speak to the Provost again, himself.  It's 
like lightning strikes him but it takes a second for him to process it. 
  BUT AFTER THE DUKE SEES THE NUNLET, ALL HIS PLANS CHANGE. He just 
refuses to admit why." Abigail, that is very ingenious close reading, 
but, with all due respect, I believe your initial premise is 180 degrees 
off, and therefore you've got the Duke absolutely backwards. To my mind, 
he was expecting Isabella there, in fact, that was the whole point of 
his leaving and coming back disguised, i.e., so that he could get her to 
come back to Vienna, so he could get close to her without her knowing 
it's him! Why? Because, I'd argue, they know each other from before, and 
their last encounter left a rather negative impression on her. Seen that 
way, the whole play is actually a very dark screwball comedy-He's 
looking to win her back, and the fate of Vienna is just a cover story. 
He has just come up with a very peculiar/over-the-top way of doing it!

"I've always thought Isabel's visit to her doomed brother Claudio is a 
comic scene, although I've never been able to convince anyone else." 
I'm with you 100%, Bob! "Although Claudio at first clucks 
sympathetically with her refusal even to imagine such a thing, soon he's 
trying to sell her on the idea. Although it's always played solemn as 
stone, I believe it was written to be funny, that "Death is a fearful 
thing" is a comic pivot line something like Benedick's "Man is a giddy 
thing"-a lame general abstraction about nature to justify one's own 
less-than-perfect self, and, of course, human weakness is the stuff of 
comedy." That is pitch perfect, Bob, it fits with my sense of MFM as a 
very dark screwball comedy.

Arnie Perlstein
Weston, Florida

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Julia Griffin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 15:48:01 -0400
Subject: 16.1532 Performing Angelo
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1532 Performing Angelo

I don't see why we should imagine the Duke and Angelo as particularly 
young: the Duke speaks of laws let slip for 14 years (Claudio says 19), 
and seems to imply that this is his fault; Angelo should have married 
Mariana 5 years ago, so he isn't a baby.  Whether you think he'd be 
forgivable at any age is, of course, a personal thing.

For the visit of Isabella to Claudio: I think the first part of the 
scene is often played with (if not for) laughs: "Thanks, dear Isabel" 
can hardly help being funny, in its context (if all I had to do was die 
for you, I'd be only too happy); and perhaps Isabella's fear that 
Claudio might prefer "six or seven winters" of life to her honour (how 
old does she think he is?) has its humorous side too.  But "death is a 
fearful thing" - that doesn't seem so promising.  Timor mortis conturbat 
me.  "To lie in cold obstruction and to rot" - giggling, anyone?  It 
might get a laugh on Olympus, but probably not down here.

Julia

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 22:55:15 -0400
Subject: 16.1532 Performing Angelo
Comment: 	RE: SHK 16.1532 Performing Angelo

Alan Rickman is too old to play Angelo. If you want to see the comedy in 
the scene, cast Leo Di Caprio as Angelo. Cast Jude Law. Cast Joaquin 
Phoenix.  Cast Jack Black.

By the same token, Richard E. Grant is too ancient for Claudio. Claudio 
should be played by any newcomer who looks like or is a teenager(the 
boys who play Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, for instance). Richard E. 
Grant could, stretching it, be the Duke. Although I think I'd prefer 
Orlando Bloom. Johnny Depp.

There's no humor in a middle-aged man thinking he is the master of his 
domain. But when twenty and early 30s-somethings spout that nonsense, 
well, Seinfeld knew it was funny. So did Shakespeare.

_______________________________________________________________
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Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
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Hamlet an Allegory

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1544  Saturday, 17 September 2005

From: 		Elliott Stone <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 18:55:43 -0400
Subject: 	Hamlet an Allegory

The very best way to tell if a play is meant to be an allegory is to 
have the author tell you. Shakespeare was adept at telling his audience 
exactly what the theme of his play was in the very first few lines.

The first sentence of Hamlet is spoken by Barnardo a sentinel who is 
"meeting" and relieving Francisco the sentinel who is on duty. The play 
begins-
"Barnardo Who's there?"

It has been basic soldiering from time immemorial that the man on guard 
duty always speaks first. "Halt who goes there "or "Halt what is the 
password" or "Stand and unfold yourself". Why would our Shakespeare get 
this wrong? Why would he make such a fundamental error?

I would argue that Shakespeare has not made an error. The word "meeting" 
is an emendation or addition to the text added by the modern editor. 
Barnardo is meant to address the audience when he says "Who's there?"

The answer to that question in the minds of the audience had to be that 
the play was meant to be about the most important news of the day which, 
of course, was the situation of the Elizabethan Court.

My further suggestion is that you heed Prince Hamlet's words and 
instructions to the players""Do you hear, let them be well us'd, for 
they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time".

Best,
Elliott H. Stone

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The Hobart Shakespeareans

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1542  Saturday, 17 September 2005

[1] 	From: 	Dale Lyles <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 10:04:57 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans

[2] 	From: 	Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 10:35:03 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans

[3] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 12:30:28 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans

[4] 	From: 	John W. Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 15:54:36 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans

[5] 	From: 	Bob Linn <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 20:50:11 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans

[6] 	From: 	Patty Winter <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 22:12:43 -0700
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Dale Lyles <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 10:04:57 -0400
Subject: 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans

I agree with Professor Hawkes that the purpose of the education is to 
give students the tools they need to challenge the status quo. With all 
due respect, however, Terence, the status quo for the children in that 
elementary school is one of dead end poverty. As an elementary educator 
myself, I was envious of Esquith's ability to show these children that 
they were indeed empowered to attend a university where they might 
encounter a mind such as yours, because otherwise they would never dream 
of it. We have to be very careful when we make sociopolitical 
pronouncements on the behalf of others who may not have the 
sociopolitical blessings we cherish.

Having said that, I too was made very uncomfortable by the incredible 
amount of money it must take to run that class. I have no doubt that the 
other teachers despise him! I wondered too how children are chosen to be 
in the class, and what kind of intrigue that arouses at Hobart Elementary.

Still, what he does for them is phenomenal (if a little gooey at times); 
his affection and dedication are unquestionable; and all in all his 
classroom puts the lie to the importance of standardized curriculum and 
testing. And what a powerful experience for the kids! I'm the assistant 
director of Georgia's summer program for gifted high schoolers, and I 
recognized precisely what was happening to the kids as they moved 
through Esquith's class: it was life-altering and empowering.

Dale Lyles
Newnan Crossing Elementary School

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 10:35:03 -0400
Subject: 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans

To buy the DVD (or vhs tape), call 1800 336-1917. The cost is 26.95. The 
order info appeared at the end of the program. odd that it is not on the 
website.

While Terence Hawkes is of course free to attack a documentary he hasn't 
seen, I think his conclusions about the teaching program are debatable. 
In any case, I read the Hobart Shakespeareans documentary in relation to 
a number of other public Shakespeare initiatives in the U.S. that 
include the NEA's Shakespeare in American Communities, Will to Power to 
Youth (also in L.A.), and Colors Straight Up. Laura Bush has been 
pushing Will Power to Youth, partly as a transnational initiative with 
Mexico. Also relevant are the various Shakespeare in prison programs, 
documented in Hank Rogerson's film documentary Shakespeare Behind Bars 
and also the subject of a book of the same title by Jean Troustine. A 
related documentary about Othello in a Brixton prison aired recently in 
the U.K. (This prison performance and related Shakespeare performances 
in 70 other U.K. prisons were directed by Dr Bruce Wall, creator and 
director of London Shakespeare Workout Prison. See 
http://www.insidetime.org/Articles/Nov_Dreamfactory.htm) And a somewhat 
related reality tv kind of documentary entitled "My Shakespeare" aired 
recently in the UK. it involves a black actor returning to Harlesdon, a 
poor, high-crime neighborhood in northwest London, and auditioning and 
rehearsing, with the videoconferenced aid of Baz Luhrmann, local 
immigrants, mostly black, in a production of Romeo and Juliet. What I 
find interesting about these kinds of public Shakespeares (and their 
televisualization on PBS and off) is that they don't fall into 
simplistic oppositions between institutional Shakespeare (read 
conservative) and alternative Shakespeares (read progressive), between 
incarcerated Shakespeare and liberated Shakespeare. If anyone is 
interested in my take on recent public Shakespeares in the U.S. and 
U.K., please see my article "Bands of Brothers" in Ayanna Thompson's 
forthcoming edited collection on Shakespeare and raceblind casting 
(Routledge 2006).

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 12:30:28 -0400
Subject: 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans

 >The arrangement whereby each child receives a
 >monthly "paycheck" in a classroom currency, and
 >then pays 'rent' to sit at a desk makes the blood run
 >cold.  This is merely a self-deluding and ultimately
 >corrupting endorsement of the status quo. Isn't the
 >purpose of education to challenge it?

To question its assumptions in a rational and dispassionate discourse, 
surely; but in a mature fashion that cannot be expected in the lower 
forms.  To my mind, the purpose of elementary education is not to 
undermine the foundations of established society but to equip our 
children to live within it, and perhaps someday to re-edify it.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John W. Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 15:54:36 -0400
Subject: 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans

Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

 >This is merely a self-deluding and ultimately corrupting
 >endorsement of the status quo. Isn't the purpose of
 >education to challenge it?

No, the purpose of education is to instill the knowledge and reasoning 
ability necessary to consider it, and then to challenge it if need be.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Bob Linn <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 20:50:11 -0400
Subject: 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans

"The Hobart Shakespeareans" make Terence Hawkes' "flesh creep," and the 
teacher's methods of class control make his "blood run cold."   I wonder 
how seeing a typical American school group studying Shakespeare would 
affect him.  Emergency vehicles would have to stand by.  Actually, I'm 
not sure of what Hawkes' point is.  What would be his approach to 
introducing students, elementary or older, to Shakespeare so as not to 
be self-deluding and corrupting?

Bob Linn

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Patty Winter <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 15 Sep 2005 22:12:43 -0700
Subject: 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1528 The Hobart Shakespeareans

    >From: 		Virginia Byrne <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
    >
    >http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2005/hobart/
    >
    >I looked at the website. Where did you see that the DVD was available?

You can click on the Buy Film link at the left-hand side of that page, 
or go directly to the site mentioned:

    http://www.shopthirteen.org

Here's the direct link to the page for the HS DVD:

http://www.shopthirteen.org/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=36254&storeId=10552&catalogId=10101

What an inspiring program! It's hard to believe that none of these kids 
speak English as their first language. The visits by Michael York and 
Ian McKellen were delightful surprises, too. I'm going to go send notes 
to a bunch of friends recommending that they watch the show if it 
repeats in their area.

Patty

_______________________________________________________________
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 
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