2006

Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0372  Friday, 28 April 2006

[1] 	From: 	David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 10:43:18 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0365 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

[2] 	From: 	Jeffrey Jordan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 12:28:52 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0365 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 10:43:18 -0500
Subject: 17.0365 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0365 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

Elliott Stone wrote:

 >Thoughts while shaving:
 >
 >1. Why, if the First Folio was such a high end expensive book
 >did the editors choose such a complete unknown as Martin
 >Droeshout to do the engraving?
 >
 >2. Why, make such a fuss about the accuracy of the likeness
 >when it was virtually certain that young Droeshout could not
 >possibly have met Shakespeare?
 >
 >3. In this age, when everyone is falling over each other questioning
 >Shakespeare's Catholic connections, why, are we not talking about
 >Droeshout's Catholic religion?  We know that he fled England for
 >Spain where he worked illustrating the Catholic Index for the
 >Cardinal!

Mr. Stone is apparently not familiar with the latest scholarship on 
Martin Droeshout by Mary Edmond, which has rubbished the old tradition 
(dating back to the late 19th century but based on very little evidence) 
that the engraver of the Folio portrait was the Martin Droeshout born in 
1601.  As Edmond has shown persuasively in an article in Shakespeare 
Quarterly in 1991, and also in her recent Oxford DNB article on 
Droeshout, the engraver was almost certainly the Martin Droeshout born 
in the late 1560s, who was a member of the Painter-Stainers' Company of 
London.  There is no specific evidence that he ever went to the 
continent, though he did marry women from Brussels and Antwerp.  The boy 
born in 1601 was this Martin Droeshout's nephew, but there is no 
evidence that the younger Martin was ever an engraver.

Dave Kathman
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[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jeffrey Jordan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 12:28:52 -0500
Subject: 17.0365 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0365 Chandos Portrait Probably Genuine

 >1. Why, if the First Folio was such a high end expensive
 >book did the editors choose such a complete unknown
 >as Martin Droeshout to do the engraving?

The family name was known, since his father and older brother were 
established engravers, as I understand it.  So the "complete unknown" 
isn't accurate, as far as the Droeshout family name goes, anyway.

I did a search of the archives here, and noticed an assertion that 
Martin Droeshout went to the same church as Ben Jonson.  Is that a 
confirmed fact?  Since Jonson did the nice poem for the FF, the 
acquaintance between Jonson and Droeshout (if that's true) might be 
enough to explain Martin Droeshout doing the engraving.

The assertion of Droeshout and Jonson attending the same church is in a 
post by Elliott Stone, 04/22/05.

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Dumbshows?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0371  Friday, 28 April 2006

From: 		Jeffrey Jordan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 15:23:38 -0500
Subject: 17.0363 Dumbshows?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0363 Dumbshows?

Replying to Kenneth Chan.

 >Please note that the psychological studies I was
 >referring to are not merely hypothetical theories
 >about the subconscious that some psychologist
 >dreamt up; they are actual observations of real
 >human behavior. ...

But the question must arise of whether Shakespeare's personal 
observations of human behavior were the same as what the modern 
psychologists have observed from their formal data.  S was a fine 
psychologist in an informal way, as his works reflect, but he wasn't 
doing formal studies, treating his audience as data, and the modern 
psychologists aren't doing fictional drama (at least not 
intentionally.)  The focus is quite different.  There's a serious issue 
of relevance, in attempting to apply modern psychological theories to 
16th century dramatic works.  Further, the world of drama is, by 
definition, artificial, and not the natural world of typical human 
behavior.  The psychology of any fiction is "abnormal" in the sense that 
fiction is a departure from reality.  It's dubious that a scientifically 
rigorous, real world theory of psychology is going to apply to a 
fictional work, which was intentionally written to be different from 
everyday reality.

 >Recall here that W. W. Greg, J. Dover Wilson, and
 >Terence Hawkes all considered Claudius's
 >nonreaction to the dumb show as a problem that
 >threatened the consistency of the play. This is a
 >serious charge, ...

It may be a serious charge, but were they right in making it?  Such 
charges are obviously no threat to the play, itself, since Hamlet 
continues to exist, and continues subject to any number of further 
interpretations, beyond their own.  They weren't really talking about 
Hamlet, itself, but rather their own understanding of it.  Hamlet, and a 
person's understanding of Hamlet, are two different things.   Certainly 
it's proper to respond to earlier criticisms of the play, and I don't 
mean to suggest otherwise.  However, even if one achieves a goal of 
persuading others, in the contemporary world, that doesn't make one 
right about Hamlet.  One could persuade others to one's point of view, 
at the current time, but still be wrong about what S originally 
intended.  The world of possibilities is a large place.

 >All that is required is that we consider Claudius
 >as a person ...

Except, Mr. Cook has just posted not to do that. :)   It is, indeed, not 
a valid point of view.

Claudius is a "person" only in that S gave him certain things to say in 
the playtext, and that's it.  Claudius, himself, has no psychology, none 
at all.  It's impossible, since Claudius the person isn't really there. 
  Trying to analyze Claudius's psychology runs into the basic problem 
that there's nobody on the couch, and the psychoanalyst is only talking 
to himself.

On my own website, I make common use of the figure of speech that a 
character is a person, and discuss the characters as if they were 
people, but that's only intended as a figure of speech.  It's understood 
(or should be) that since the characters are supposed to be people, one 
speaks of them that way.  But it's only a manner of speaking.  Saying 
"the character" all the time, over and over, gets very tedious, for both 
writer and reader.

Oh, I wanted to ask the participants in general, how often is the Hamlet 
Dumb Show performed in English classes, particularly at the U.S. high 
school level?  I mean having the class perform it.  It seems perfect to 
me, that when students reach the works of S, that the teacher could have 
them perform the Dumb Show, as a little taste of "real Shakespeare 
theater."  It's short, it's simple, and no dialogue.  Dialogue from 
before and after the D.S. could be added as desired.  And with no 
explicit instructions for performing the D.S., that opens it up very 
nicely for classroom creativity.  Students  could do it their own way, 
talking about seating positions of the various characters, and the 
audience, how they think it should be  done, how they think S intended 
it to be done, and talk about it.  Seems to me there's significant 
classroom potential, and a nice break from the old "find four similes" 
bit, but is the D.S. being used in classrooms at all?  I'm not in touch 
with what's being done in English classes these days, and am just curious.

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Stratford

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0369  Friday, 28 April 2006

[1] 	From: 	David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 11:05:32 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0361 Stratford

[2] 	From: 	Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 12:07:05 -0400 (EDT)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0361 Stratford

[3] 	From: 	Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 17:39:29 +0100
	Subj: 	Stratford

[4] 	From: 	David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 23:05:31 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0361 Stratford


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 11:05:32 -0500
Subject: 17.0361 Stratford
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0361 Stratford

Gabriel Egan or others with closer ties to Stratford may have more to 
say on this, but Peter Bridgman's rant about the Birthplace seems to me 
to contain a number of distortions.

Peter Bridgman wrote:

 >Gabriel Egan writes ...
 >
 >>It seems implied here that the birthplace is a fake and that
 >>Barton was disappointed when she realized that it was. If
 >>so, evidence is required. If not-if Barton was just disappointed
 >>that a 16th-century house isn't as she expected-then I'd suggest
 >>that this was a valuable learning experience.
 >
 >Carol Barton is entirely right.  The so-called "birthplace" is an
 >outrageous fake.
 >
 >In Shakespeare's time there were two adjoining timber-roofed
 >properties on the site of the present detached tile-roofed "birthplace".
 >WS must have been born in the eastern property as his father only
 >purchased the western property when WS was 11 (the western half
 >now has the period cradle!).

I am not aware of any evidence that the property purchased by John 
Shakespeare after William's birth was specifically the western property; 
as far as I recall, the records are ambiguous on this point, only noting 
that the property was on Henley Street.  However, it's possible that my 
memory of the facts is faulty.  Does Mr. Bridgman have any documentation 
to back up this assertion?

 >At some time between 1603 and 1646 a tenant in the eastern
 >property transformed it into a pub called the Maidenhead (later
 >the Swan and Maidenhead).  In 1762 Richard Greene made a
 >sketch of the two buildings, showing dormer windows in the
 >roofs and a porch in front of the western property.  Thirty years
 >later, dormer windows and porch were already gone and the
 >western property was now a butcher's shop.  In 1808 a new buyer,
 >Thomas Court, removed the exterior timber framing and refaced
 >the eastern property, i.e. the pub, in red brick.  Only in 1847 was
 >a Shakespeare Birthplace committee formed to purchase the two
 >properties and set up a birthplace monument. Incredibly, they
 >demolished both buildings and built the present fake-Tudor
 >building to resemble Greene's 1762 sketch.

As far as I'm aware, the Trust did not "demolish" the Birthplace 
properties; they renovated and restored them to make them look roughly 
as they would have in the 16th century, which is not the same thing as 
"demolishing" them.  They did demolish the buildings on either side of 
the Birthplace, to reduce the risk of fire.

 >None of the period furniture in the present building has any
 >connection with the Shakespeare family.

I don't think anybody associated with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust 
has ever claimed that the furniture now in the Birthplace is the 
original furniture that the Shakespeare family owned. It is simply 
period furniture, and perhaps some replicas (I'm not sure off the top of 
my head), to give visitors a feel for what the interior of the home 
would have been like in the 16th century.  One may find this too 
touristy for one's taste, but to imply that the Trust has been 
dishonest, as Mr. Bridgman appears to do, seems disingenuous to me.

Dave Kathman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 12:07:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 17.0361 Stratford
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0361 Stratford

Thank you, Peter. I hadn't intended to respond to Mr. Egan's diatribe 
(more in the spirit of giving Hardy less busywork to do, than because I 
couldn't). However: to second your response, for which many thanks, the 
only apparently "authentic" anything at the Birthplace was a small piece 
of wattle-and-daub covered by acrylic--everything else could and was 
being touched and mauled by the many visitors (and clearly had little 
value to anyone, even the proprietors).

I apologize for the typo--I meant "Avon" where I wrote "Arden" (with 
reference to the robotic swans), as well as for what I'm sure Mr. Egan 
will regard my own sentimentality with respect to the numerous 
properties of such landmarks. However: I far preferred to stand at the 
British Library viewing Caxton's _Canterbury Tales_ (open, to my 
delight, to the Wife of Bath's prologue!), or at Westminster in front of 
his sarcophagus (whispering "Whan that Aprill . . ."), or at the quiet 
little church in the Barbican where Milton's bones lie, or even in the 
Bucks house where he once lived, than to be anywhere in the tourist trap 
that is Stratford. What I missed, and dearly so, was the sense of 
history, of connection, of some vestige of the boy who would grow to be 
Shakespeare in anything I saw or felt. Anne Hathaway's house was already 
closed by the time we got there; perhaps that would have been more "real."

And I heard the paid tour guide tell some of the most outrageous fibs 
man ever uttered as matter of factly as if they were gospel--to people 
who clearly didn't know enough to laugh in his face.

In all--the experience was a sad one, for someone who had been 
introduced to Shakespeare by English parents whose life circumstances 
hadn't allowed for the completion of A-levels . . . but who nonetheless 
held the Bard of Avon in everlasting esteem.

Thank you for understanding.

Carol Barton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 17:39:29 +0100
Subject: 	Stratford

Brian Willis will know that I'm a patient man. But why on earth would a 
version of Othello, given in German, be of any interest to an audience 
in Stratford?

T. Hawkes

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 23:05:31 -0500
Subject: 17.0361 Stratford
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0361 Stratford

Peter Bridgman wrote:

 >Gabriel Egan writes ...
 >
 >>It seems implied here that the birthplace is a fake and that
 >>Barton was disappointed when she realized that it was. If
 >>so, evidence is required. If not-if Barton was just disappointed
 >>that a 16th-century house isn't as she expected-then I'd suggest
 >>that this was a valuable learning experience.
 >
 >Carol Barton is entirely right.  The so-called "birthplace" is an
 >outrageous fake.
 >
 >In Shakespeare's time there were two adjoining timber-roofed
 >properties on the site of the present detached tile-roofed "birthplace".
 >WS must have been born in the eastern property as his father only
 >purchased the western property when WS was 11 (the western half
 >now has the period cradle!).

Peter Bridgman's assertion that the western part of the Shakespeare 
Birthplace wasn't bought until William was 11 didn't sound quite right, 
and now I've had a chance to confirm this by looking in Schoenbaum's 
*William Shakespeare: A Documentary Life* and Mark Eccles's *Shakespeare 
in Warwickshire*.  Schoenbaum points out that the first record of John 
Shakespeare in 1552 shows that he was a householder in Henley Street 
then, so presumably this was at least part of the Birthplace. 
Schoenbaum says that "this must have been in the western part of the big 
double house; the wing in which, in afterdays known as the Birthplace, 
has made of Stratford a secular shrine" (15).  I'm not sure what 
evidence there is that this was the western part, but on the other hand, 
I know of no evidence that it *wasn't* the western part; as I said in my 
earlier post, the evidence is ambiguous.  Both Schoenbaum (15) and 
Eccles (24) then note that in 1556, John Shakespeare bought from Edward 
West a house with adjacent garden in Henley Street.  This must have been 
the other half of the Birthplace; Schoenbaum says that "this was to be 
the eastern wing, known to posterity as the Woolshop", though again, I'm 
not aware of any definitive evidence as to which wing it was.  So by 
1556, eight years before William Shakespeare was born, John Shakespeare 
owned two houses in Henley Street, which presumably were the two 
adjacent houses later joined together and today preserved as 
"Shakespeare's Birthplace".  It's reasonable to believe that William 
Shakespeare was born in one or the other of them, though we can never 
know with 100% certainty.

Mr. Bridgman's assertion that "his father only purchased the western 
property when WS was 11" appears to be based on the fact that in 1575, 
John Shakespeare purchased two houses in Stratford, with gardens and 
orchards, from Edmund and Emma Hall.  However, as Eccles notes, "There 
is nothing to show that either of these houses was in Henley Street" (27).

Dave Kathman
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Rushes on the Elizabethan Stage

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0370  Friday, 28 April 2006

[1] 	From: 	David Frankel <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 12:15:06 -0400
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0364 Rushes on the Elizabethan Stage

[2] 	From: 	Sidney Berger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 13:00:16 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0364 Rushes on the Elizabethan Stage


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Frankel <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 12:15:06 -0400
Subject: 17.0364 Rushes on the Elizabethan Stage
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0364 Rushes on the Elizabethan Stage

The following comes from Patrick Finelli's mini-essay on the Green Room 
at http://www.connectedcourseware.com/ccweb/grnrm.htm:

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first reference is in 
Colley Cibber's Love Makes a Man (1701)

"I do know London pretty well, and the Side-box, Sir, and behind the 
scenes ay, and the Green-Room and all the Girls and Women-Actresses 
there." [3]

Fielding provides further evidence about backstage activities in 1736:

"Sir, the Prompter and most of the players are drinking tea in the 
Green-room." [4]

Incontrovertible evidence that the room's identity is derived from its 
location is found in Shadwell's earlier play, A True Widow (1678) after 
Gartrude favors Selfish with her love and beauty backstage in return for 
a song. The conceited Selfish greets the retired gentleman Bellamour with:

I am the happiest Man, I think, that ever the Sun shin'd on: I have 
enjoyed the prettiest Creature, just now, in a Room behind the Scenes. [5]

The transition in nomenclature is clear before the end of the act when 
the suitor Stanmore reveals that Selfish told him about deflowering 
Gartrude. The place and the action are unmistakable:

"Selfish, this Evening, in a green Room, behind the Scenes, was 
before-hand with me; she n'er tells of that: Can I love one that 
prostitutes her self to that fellow?" [6]

Samuel Pepys describes an encounter with Nell Gwyn and others in the 
Scene-room at the Drury Lane Theatre Royal in 1667:

I to my tailors and there took up my wife and Willet, who stayed there 
for me, and to the Duke of York's playhouse; but the House so full, it 
being a new play The Coffee-House, that we could not get in, and so to 
the King's House; and there going in, met with Knepp and she took us up 
into the Tireing-rooms and to the women's Shift, where Nell was dressing 
herself and was all unready; and is very pretty, prettier then I 
thought; and so walked all up and down the House above, and then below 
into the Scene-room, and there sat down and she gave us fruit and here I 
read the Qu's to Knepp while she answered me, through all her part of 
Flora's Figarys, which was acted today. [7]

C. David Frankel
Assistant Director of Theatre
School of Theatre and Dance
University of South Florida

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Sidney Berger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 13:00:16 -0500
Subject: 17.0364 Rushes on the Elizabethan Stage
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0364 Rushes on the Elizabethan Stage

I believe the tradition of the "Green Room" was begun by noted 
eighteenth century actor, David Garrick who chose that space for his 
actors to greet their guests. In that way, he avoided civilians 
traipsing through the backstage area. It was called the Green Room 
because the walls happened to be of that color.

Sidney Berger

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Characters, Motivations, Themes,

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0368  Friday, 28 April 2006

From: 		Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 27 Apr 2006 17:33:56 +0100
Subject: 17.0359 Characters, Motivations, Themes, and ULTIMATE 
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0359 Characters, Motivations, Themes, and ULTIMATE 
Meanings

 >Of course in my classes, I discuss characters' back stories
 >and motivations, and themes and meaning of plays; but I
 >do so in the CONTEXT of performance realizations.
 >Particular performances interpret scripts in particular ways.
 >Olivier's Hamlet portrays a "man who could not make up his
 >mind"; another actor's or director's Hamlet might not be so
 >troubled. The point is not which of the TWO performance
 >realizations is the ULTIMATE, the ONE, the ONLY, the
 >TRUE Hamlet, but how well each finds textual justifications
 >for its choices in performance. At the Shakespeare Theatre,
 >for example, I saw the same actor (Fran Dorn) in one
 >production of OTHELLO portray a sassy, independent,
 >unapologetic Emilia and in another Emilia as the victim of
 >spousal abuse. Each choice was appropriate its particular
 >production. In a memorable discussion in 1996 of characters
 >as not being REAL people, I tried to distinguish between,
 >what I called, textual and performative characters - characters
 >in texts and characters in performances
 ><http://www.shaksper.net/archives/1996/0100.html>. A textual
 >characters has no back stories, no history, no past; a performative
 >character, on the other hand, may be acting as though she
 >suffered abuse from her husband.]

Could part of the problem Carol Barton astutely points out be in 
something Hardy Cook says in his Editor's notes: the teaching of a 
character's 'back story'. I think we may need to know what Hardy means 
by 'teaching the back story'?

Being a bit puzzled, I have to ask, how can you 'teach a back story'? 
These are characters in a play with no existence outside the play, and 
not some actual historical character from some actual historical period. 
They have no 'back story'. One might work up the documented historical 
background of a KNOWN historical figure e.g. Clarence, Bolingbroke, 
Brutus - but be very careful of ascribing to the Shakespeare's 
inventions similar knowledge, complexities etc. BUT how do you  teach a 
back story for Prospero, Oberon, Angelo, Hamlet, except through the 
evidence of the play itself? And the whole business this group has 
suffered over this winter over the role of Shylock has exemplified 
perfectly the dangers of inventing / speculating / extrapolating / 
reacting to a 'back story'.

As an English academic myself, can I ask my American colleagues if this 
is a common way into teaching a new Shakespeare play in high school / 
universities in US? If it is, then maybe some of the issues Carol Barton 
talks about are more than likely to occur and might give rise to some of 
the problems she identifies?

[Editor's Note: I am sorry that I am too busy right now to respond in 
depth. But for the record, I did not mean to imply that one could teach 
a back story but that discussion of possibilities outside of the text 
while completely fruitless in relation to the script may have utility 
when one is trying to explain an interpretation that is made in a 
performance.]

_______________________________________________________________
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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