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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: April ::
WordHoard
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0281  Wednesday, 5 April 2006

From: 		Steve Urkowitz <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 05 Apr 2006 06:18:28 -0400
Subject: 	Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 3 Apr 2006 to 4 Apr 2006 (#2006-34)

Phillip Weller suggests that if the frequent use of SIR and LORD are 
parts of addresses in plays then the finding is not particularly 
important.  I would like to suggest instead that such a finding should 
lead us to pay more attention to such "indicative" or deictic markers in 
Shakespearean dialog.

Pointing to or calling out to  people and things seems an almost 
obsessive verbal function in the dialogue.    "Ye powers," and "O 
Nature" and that run-of-the-mill "my Lord" encourage vigorous verbal and 
physical actions of pointing and looking.  If I may suggest further, I 
think it is just this dense web of actions that makes Shakespeare so 
appealing to actors and audiences.  Doing Shakespeare means that you're 
always doing, acting, involving your own fictional persona with the 
fictions of those others on stage.  It's called PLAYING.

If you find yourself snoozing at a performance, just check to see if the 
actors are using those "addresses" as vocal springboards or instead are 
sliding past them. And I wonder if there's a countable difference 
between Shakespeare's usage and those of those guys who Gary Taylor so 
champions?  But that's another post to puzzle through ....

Joys of indicating, my most noble Lords,
Steve Urquartowitz

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