2005

Making King John a Play Worth Watching

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1392  Thursday, 25 August 2005

[1] 	From: 	Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 08:41:28 -0500 (EST)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1365 Making King John a Play Worth Watching

[2] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 12:54:02 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1378 King John

[3] 	From: 	Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 11:30:15 -0700
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1378 King John


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 08:41:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 16.1365 Making King John a Play Worth Watching
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1365 Making King John a Play Worth Watching

I don't quite understand people's reluctance about King John. The 
production about five years ago at the Alabama Festival could be added 
to those attesting to its stage merits. It has a number of memorable 
characters and situations-the Bastard Falconbridge, Hubert, King John 
himself, the death of Arthur, the capitulation to Pandulph, John's own 
poisoning. And it should be an important text to anyone studying 
Shakespeare and the religious politics of his day, with a version of 
John that contrasts to the proto-Protestant of Foxe and the Troublesome 
Raigne while not fully portraying the despot of earlier Catholic 
historiography.

Jack Heller

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 12:54:02 -0400
Subject: 16.1378 King John
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1378 King John

Charles Weinstein, whose reviews are always welcome to me, says

 >I count King John as one of the BBC's more successful offerings

Odd, I thought it was the least well conceived and could compete 
successfully with the AYLI starring a clueless Helen Mirren for most 
uninteresting.  Even the execrable Shrew, which Jonathan Miller 
deliberately made drab, was better.

For me, whatever charm the production had was overwhelmed by Leonard 
Rossiter's lackluster John.  Perhaps he was out of his element, but I 
couldn't make up my mind whether John was sedated or just uninterested. 
  The contrast with Rossiter's brilliance in Reginald Perrin and Rising 
Damp made it all the more disappointing.  (By the way, does anyone know 
if DVDs of those series are available in NTSC?)

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 11:30:15 -0700
Subject: 16.1378 King John
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1378 King John

Charles Weinstein (obviously in a good mood) wrote.  "Al Magary has some 
unkind words for the BBC's King John; but the production has too many 
good performances to warrant such dismissal..."

I am happy to see a good defense and I pledge that one day I will give 
BBC's KJ another chance. I think it has become more difficult to watch 
standard televised stage performances from a couple decades ago because 
their production qualities are so dismal in comparison to today's 
movies.  Even low-budget filmmakers find interesting locations, move the 
camera(s) around, and do creative editing.  Audiences of course have 
different expectations when they see live theater, but it seems to me 
from 3,000 miles distance that the Lenox King John has been deliberately 
made visually and otherwise more appealing, and so would both please the 
people in the seats and make a better TV version.

"If I were king" I'd tell PBS or another American television outfit to 
hire some indie film people and produce a significant new set of 
Shakespeare on DVD based on the many regional theater productions I've 
been reading about this summer.  (Arrange a free Google News alert on 
"Shakespeare" to get a daily roundup from around the world.)

Cheers,
Al Magary

_______________________________________________________________
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 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Archbishop's Speech, Henry V

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1391  Thursday, 25 August 2005

[1] 	From: 	Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 09:18:22 -0500 (EST)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1368 Archbishop's Speech, Henry V

[2] 	From: 	Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 25 Aug 2005 03:28:17 -0700
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1368 Archbishop's Speech, Henry V


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 09:18:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 16.1368 Archbishop's Speech, Henry V
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1368 Archbishop's Speech, Henry V

The problem of the archbishop's speech seems especially to call for 
performance considerations. I've seen the play staged four or five times 
(including a good staging a week ago at the University of Notre Dame), 
and the stage solution seems to be: The archbishop's argument is crap, 
and everyone seems to know it. But it is also a useful pretense made all 
the better by the arrival of snide French ambassadors. Insult seems to 
be the precipitating cause for Henry's war.

Jack Heller

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 25 Aug 2005 03:28:17 -0700
Subject: 16.1368 Archbishop's Speech, Henry V
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1368 Archbishop's Speech, Henry V

Non-repair of the Archbishop's errors is interesting? No more 
interesting than why editors don't correct Dogberry's mistakes, or Elbow's.

The errors in the Archbishop of Canterbury's speech are plainly WS's 
intention. As clear as is the summer's sun, this comic speech is 
intended to show the A of C as a shameless gasbag as he grinds the 
political axe he's already told us about in the previous scene. To sell 
his sovereign on a French war he pitches him all the baloney he can 
find. The Archbishop's lame arithmetic and his dizzyingly nonsensical 
comic history pageant (and I am sure names like Blithild, Pepin, and 
Ermengare sounded as amusing then as now) show the audience that he's 
full of it. The historical accuracy of which French king he's talking 
about or of anything else he says is utterly beside the point. Trying to 
correct him at all is just a mistake.

Bob Projansky

_______________________________________________________________
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 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Joshua Logan and "Hamlet"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1389  Thursday, 25 August 2005

From: 		L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 20:54:48 -0500
Subject: 16.1366 Joshua Logan and "Hamlet"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1366 Joshua Logan and "Hamlet"

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

 >My nominee for the moment of self-realization is the 23/24 word
 >monosyllabic clause following and preceding caesurae in "How
 >all occasions ...".  Of course, this doesn't apply to the folio version.

[Hamlet's treatment of R & G expresses his new determination (inspired 
by Fortinbras?) to act rather than to react?  And that determination 
arises from Hamlet's awareness of what he has been lacking all along?]

[L. Swilley]

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

 >With all due respect to Logan, Shakespeare
 >does not appear to convey his message the way Logan suggests.
 >
 >Shakespeare's message actually does not reside in what his
 >protagonist learns about himself. The message resides in the
 >audience's emotional experience of the play in its entirety.

  [Isn't the "message" of the play the plot thereof? Isn't the action of 
the play one dimension, the audience reaction entirely a distinct other?]

 >Shakespeare conveys his message
 >by making us live through it. It is akin to an initiation where
 >one learns because one has experienced it directly. This is
 >what makes Shakespeare's plays so valuable.
 >
 >A good example of how Shakespeare conveys his meaning is
 >found in Hamlet. Here, Shakespeare relentlessly repeats his
 >message throughout the play via dramatic portrayals of its
 >meaning so that we can experience it directly.

  [If the "message" is everything, how many times must it be repeated 
before the audience gets it? Might not the play end with the third 
dramatic form of the "message" just to be sure that even the more obtuse 
among us get the point?  If not, what is the developing pattern of the 
dramatic incidents that presents  more than the "message"?  In any case, 
what is "message" more than what is commonly called "theme"? Does your 
idea of "message" (or theme) preclude the description of the play as the 
action of the main character? ]

[L. Swilley]

_______________________________________________________________
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 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

What Happens in "Hamlet"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1390  Thursday, 25 August 2005

From: 		Steve Roth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 10:01:20 -0700
Subject: 16.1357 What Happens in "Hamlet"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1357 What Happens in "Hamlet"

I took a stab at addressing Wilson's important but sometimes-wacky 
contentions in "Who Knows Who Knows Who's There? An Epistemology of 
Hamlet (Or, What Happens in the Mousetrap)" in EMLS 10.2:

http://www.shu.ac.uk/emls/10-2/rothepis.htm

It also includes references to, and comments upon, the other scholars 
who have participated in this affray.

Comments welcome.

Thanks,
Steve
http://princehamlet.com

_______________________________________________________________
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 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Comment

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1388  Thursday, 25 August 2005

[1] 	From: 	Deborah Selden <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 09:35:51 -0500
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 16.1377 Comment

[2] 	From: 	Scot Zarela <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 13:04:22 -0700
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1363 Comment

[3] 	From: 	Andy Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 19:48:39 -0300
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1377 Comment


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Deborah Selden <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 24 Aug 2005 09:35:51 -0500
Subject: 16.1377 Comment
Comment: 	RE: SHK 16.1377 Comment

As an attorney, confrontation is the coin of my trade.

When faced with this behavior in SHAKSPER, I sigh at the testosterone 
driven pomposity and hit "Delete."

Talk about flocci


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