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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: July ::
Shakespeare and Aging
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1244  Monday, 25 July 2005

[1]     From:   Nancy Charlton <
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        Date:   Friday, 22 Jul 2005 18:59:13 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1238 Shakespeare and Aging

[2]     From:   Marvin Krims <
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        Date:   Friday, 22 Jul 2005 16:22:37 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.1238 Shakespeare and Aging


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nancy Charlton <
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Date:           Friday, 22 Jul 2005 18:59:13 +0000
Subject: 16.1238 Shakespeare and Aging
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1238 Shakespeare and Aging

I have found this thread coinciding with a question I've had for quite
awhile: what possible Shakespearean roles could older women play?

The Weird Sisters, obviously and perhaps exclusively, as long as the
actress could sing and dance a bit. However, at a performance of "Taming
of the Shrew" last Saturday, a woman not much younger than I, played,
with great panache, the Widow--with all of four lines to speak but
critical to the action. (She also directed the show, and most ably.)

So I thought, while grandma types could hardly be Kate or Imogen or
Rosalind or Beatrice, surely Shakespeare didn't relegate them entirely
to roles barely more than walk-ons. Excluding gender-bending, these came
to mind:

The Duchess of Gloucester in Richard II.
Margaret in Richard III.
Gertrude, with reservations.
Volumnia, perhaps the meatiest.
Possibly the Mistresses Ford, Page or Quickly, though they aren't
exactly over the hill.
Queen Elinor in King John.

Any other possibilities?

Nancy Charlton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marvin Krims <
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Date:           Friday, 22 Jul 2005 16:22:37 -0400
Subject: 16.1238 Shakespeare and Aging
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.1238 Shakespeare and Aging

Thank you, Ed, for your additional commentary.

I'd like to go back to Prospero if we might. Might we say that Prospero
mellowed with age, becoming more forgiving with less need to control
everything? Are there also represented other positive aspects
represented as well.

Marv

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