2006

My Reading of "The Tempest"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0756  Thursday, 31 August 2006

[1] 	From: 	TJ Sellari <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Tuesday, 29 Aug 2006 23:02:23 +0800
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0748 My Reading of "The Tempest"

[2] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Tuesday, 29 Aug 2006 13:19:22 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0748 My Reading of "The Tempest"

[3] 	From: 	Nabie Swaray <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Tuesday, 29 Aug 2006 16:28:08 -0700 (PDT)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0748 My Reading of "The Tempest"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		TJ Sellari <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 29 Aug 2006 23:02:23 +0800
Subject: 17.0748 My Reading of "The Tempest"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0748 My Reading of "The Tempest"

Joe Egert writes:

 >But, my dear Swaray, isn't Caliban what Prospero wants to be?

What do you contend Prospero wants to be? What is Caliban? I suspect 
only vague or unjustifiably narrow answers to these questions will allow 
a positive answer to the one above.

Tom Sellari

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 29 Aug 2006 13:19:22 -0400
Subject: 17.0748 My Reading of "The Tempest"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0748 My Reading of "The Tempest"

Joe Egert asks,

 >isn't Caliban what Prospero wants to be?

I assume he means "Wasn't Caliban what Prospero wanted to be before he 
was educated," that is, did Prospero crave existence in the state of 
nature.  I think the answer is most assuredly not.  It seems to me that 
Prospero is the quintessential inward man, most content to read and 
reflect (e.g., "I lov'd my books") and not inclined to forage.  An 
uneducated savage in the state of nature would not be what he sought to 
emulate.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Nabie Swaray <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 29 Aug 2006 16:28:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 17.0748 My Reading of "The Tempest"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0748 My Reading of "The Tempest"

Hello Mr. Egert: Thanks for responding to my last reflection on: My 
Reading of "The Tempest." I meant to say natural and man-made disasters. 
That is the only correction I will make. As far as my reinterpreting 
Shakespeare's "The Tempest," I stick to my opinion and my adaptations 
will force others to rethink their interpretation of the play when its 
historic and political content are taken as a reflection of what has 
happened and continues to happen in the continent of Africa. I will not 
only focus on the conquest of the Europeans in Africa but also that of 
the Arabs who are often mistaken as Africans, and their alien 
religion-Islam-as an African religion. Time will unfold how redundant 
and laughable these assumptions are. Because, when it comes to the 
treatment of Africans, the Arabs are as guilty as the European 
conquerors. Shakespeare's "The Tempest" has never been so relevant and 
appropriate in analysing Africa's woes and tragedies. What makes you 
think that Prospero wants to become Caliban or return to a state of 
nature that does not enhance the quality and intellect of Man and 
existence.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read my assertions.

Nabie.

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Hamlet: The Actors Cut - Pitlochry

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0755  Thursday, 31 August 2006

From: 		Alan Horn <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 30 Aug 2006 06:35:56 -0400
Subject: 17.0747 Hamlet: The Actors Cut - Pitlochry
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0747 Hamlet: The Actors Cut - Pitlochry

There's a lot of speculation about what Q1 of Hamlet may be. Whatever it 
is, it's probably not what you're looking for. Unless you want your 
students to go through life thinking Hamlet's third-act soliloquy goes 
like this: "To be, or not to be, I there's the point, To Die, to sleepe, 
is that all? I all: No, to sleepe, to dreame, I mary there it goes, For 
in that dreame of death, when wee awake, And borne before an euerlasting 
Iudge, From whence no passenger euer retur'nd, The vndiscouered country, 
at whose sight The happy smile, and the accursed damn'd."

My advice: teach Macbeth.

Alan H.

_______________________________________________________________
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.
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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.

Shakespeare and the Queen's Men

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0753  Thursday, 31 August 2006

From: 		Helen M. Ostovich <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 31 Aug 2006 11:25:32 -0400
Subject: 	Shakespeare and the Queen's Men

For those of you who plan to attend the conference on Shakespeare and 
the Queen's Men, the program and the performance schedules are now 
online.  Conference registrants have first choice on tickets until Sept 
7. Shortly after that, the general public will be able to buy tickets, 
and we anticipate being sold out in some venues.

If you are near the Toronto/Hamilton area, and if you want to attend, 
please go online and place your orders.

http://www.reed.utoronto.ca/QueensMen/about.html

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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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.

Hamlet's Age

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0754  Thursday, 31 August 2006

From: 		Mark Alexander <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 29 Aug 2006 08:22:50 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 	Hamlet's Age

Is there a consensus on Hamlet's age or is it still an unsolved mystery? 
  I know if you do the math correctly, during the Gravedigger's scene 
they set his age at 30.  I have read some criticism that Shakespeare 
made a "mathematical mistake" with this scene because he seems much 
younger in most of the play.

Harold Bloom said in a lecture that Hamlet ages in the play.  He starts 
out around 19 and ends up 30 years old.  Of course, that would require 
the entire play to take place over an 11 year period.  Is it possible?

My "feel" of the play tells me that Hamlet is in his late teens or early 
20s.  I would say a precocious 20 year old. However, that is my feel by 
today's standards.  I don't know what society or human maturity was like 
400 years ago, but I'm guessing it wasn't that radically different.  I 
come to this age conclusion from these simple observations:

1) Hamlet has recently returned from school.  (How many 30 year old men 
were still in school during this time? Most doctors finish in their late 
20s by today's standards)

2) Even though very aware and intelligent, he behaves like very young man.

In conclusion, I'd like to say I've seen many Hamlets, and the best 
acting was Derek Jacobi.  However, he was 42 in the version I saw. 
Patrick Stewart played Claudius and was 40 at the time! Good acting but 
would have preferred Jacobi as Hamlet when he was 20 rather than 42.

Any consensus on Hamlet's age?

Mark Alexander

[Editor's Note: I post this with serious reservations. The first is that 
the topic has been discussed at length in the past on SHAKSPER; these 
past discussion can be found in the archives. The second is that the 
question both is and is not answerable. The gravedigger clearly 
indicates that Hamlet is 30, but has Shakespeare compressed time 
radically as he did in Othello, making the Hamlet character somehow much 
younger when the events of the play begin? The issue of how old actors 
have been when they played Hamlet is a separate question altogether. 
Then, of course, there is also the issue that Hamlet is a character in a 
play, not a living person; therefore, Hamlet's age is equal to the 
number of children Lady Macbeth had. (42 wasn't it?) -HMC]

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Most Glorious Shakespeare Failures

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0752  Thursday, 31 August 2006

From: 		Kevin De Ornellas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 30 Aug 2006 12:47:16 +0100
Subject: 17.0702 Most Glorious Shakespeare Failures
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0702 Most Glorious Shakespeare Failures

A few weeks ago, Todd Pettigrew asked: "Does anyone have any stories of 
glorious Shakespeare failures to share"?

I think that this deserved more of a response than it got - although 
hardly scholarly, the citing of a few theatrical disasters might offer 
at least ephemeral relief from the burdens of preparing for the new 
semester in three weeks' time.

Ken Dodd (the Diddy Man to you in the UK; Yorick from Branagh's "Hamlet" 
to you in the US and elsewhere) tells a good story about playing 
Malvolio in Liverpool in the early 1970s. Dodd was admirably disciplined 
throughout the run, but lost his cool when his steward's chain fell 
apart when he (Dodd or Malvolio, I'm not sure which) got over-excited in 
the presence of Olivia. Apparently, bits of the chain flew all over the 
stage, forcing Dodd to improvise: "When I'm with thee I have the 
strength of 20 men". Reputedly, the audience loved it.

The Stratford, Zeffirelli-directed "Othello" from the early 1960s was 
also a great disaster. Peter Hall has written about it; and Sheridan 
Morley covers it well in his splendid biography of John Gielgud - who 
played the Moor. Apparently, stone columns swayed madly every time an 
actor touched them. An inexperienced, hapless Iago didn't know his 
lines, and wasn't sure at one point whether or not Cassio was dead. And 
some extras were sent flying by a mysteriously mobile wall. By all 
accounts, Gielgud looked ridiculous in Venetian robes. When his 
blackened face was visible on the too-dark stage, it was obvious that 
his false beard wasn't adhesive enough, meaning that in the early shows 
Gielgud had to attach the beard to his face with his hand for large 
stretches of time. Michael Billington famously wrote that Olivier played 
Hamlet as the tragedy of a man who could not make up his mind, whereas 
Gielgud was forced to represent Othello as the tragedy of a man who 
could not make up his beard.

You would think that the political assassination of Julius Caesar by 
Brutus would have been moving and relevant to a mid-1990s Belfast Arts 
Theatre audience. On the night I saw it, however, the replacement of 
Shakespearean-style knives with Ulster-style handguns did not have the 
requisite emotive impact. When Caesar was shot, paramilitary-style, the 
entire theatre laughed uproariously - a laughter that rarely diminished 
during the remaining two-and-a-half acts.  This was hardly an ideal 
theatrical milieu for the transmission of salutary tragedy.  Actually, 
in the same theatre at about the same time, I remember a drunk man (who 
looked uncannily like Frank Butcher from "Eastenders") ruining the mood 
of "Richard III" by repeatedly shouting "Where's your fucking hump?!" 
during Gloucester's soliloquies.

Morley does not include anecdotes about these particular disasters in 
his recent book, "Theatre's Strangest Acts" (London: Robson Books, 
2006). But he does include many other stories of Shakespeare-related 
catastrophes - I recommend it for diverting bathroom reading.

Kevin De Ornellas
University of Ulster
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

_______________________________________________________________
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.

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