2006

Doubt

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0704  Monday, 31 July 2006

[1] 	From: 	Charles Weinstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Fri, 28 Jul 2006 18:30:19 -0400
	Subj: 	Doubt

[2] 	From: 	Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Monday, July 31, 2006
	Subj: 	Re: Doubt


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Charles Weinstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Fri, 28 Jul 2006 18:30:19 -0400
Subject: 	Doubt

Hardy Cook, echoing David Lindley, writes:

"But there is no doubt that Shakespeare wrote for boy (or male) actors, 
and that this must have, to some degree, conditioned the way he composed 
his female roles.

There is NO doubt."

No?  I think that Shakespeare was uncompromising in the creation of his 
characters, that he expected his actors to keep up with him, that he was 
pleased when they could, and that he didn't change his writing one iota 
when they couldn't.  I also think that his female characters are most 
emphatically NOT boys in dresses.  So there.

--Charles Weinstein

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, July 31, 2006
Subject: 	Re: Doubt

Charles Weinstein writes of me, echoing David Lindley:

 >>"But there is no doubt that Shakespeare wrote for boy (or male) actors,
 >>and that this must have, to some degree, conditioned the way he
 >>composed his female roles.
 >>
 >>There is NO doubt."
 >
 >No?  I think that Shakespeare was uncompromising in the creation of
 >his characters, that he expected his actors to keep up with him, that 
 >he was pleased when they could, and that he didn't change his writing 
 >one iota when they couldn't.  I also think that his female characters 
 >are most emphatically NOT boys in dresses.  So there.

I was trying to end a thread not begin another, yet I am compelled to 
respond to Charles Weinstein before I end this for good.

Now, I don't know what "Shakespeare was uncompromising in the creation 
of his characters" means. If it means that Shakespeare created 
characters, male and female, that are so memorable that the plays in 
which they appear are still performed and discussed four hundred years 
after their creations, then we have no argument.

However, I have no idea what evidence Charles has for making these 
assertions:

1. "he expected his actors to keep up with him,"

2. "he was pleased when they could, and"

3. "he didn't change his writing one iota when they couldn't."

Short of having a time machine or channeling Shakespeare, I cannot 
understand how Charles can make these statements with such 
uncompromising assurance.

Finally, Charles with emphasis maintains, "I also think that his female 
characters are most emphatically NOT boys in dresses." I agree: 
Shakespeare female characters are, just that, female characters, but the 
reality is that Shakespeare's female characters were played by males, 
who by every indication possessed varying degrees of accomplishment in 
their performances so much so that eye witnesses to the plays referred 
to the characters using female pronouns. I would add that the evidence 
suggests that Shakespeare was an accomplished playwright who wrote for 
the conditions under which his plays were performed, including the FACT 
that his female characters were enacted by male actors.

Now, what is it that I wrote above that prompted Charles Weinstein's "So 
there"?

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Seattle All-Female Hamlet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0703  Monday, 31 July 2006

[1] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Friday, 28 Jul 2006 11:51:01 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0699 Seattle All-Female Hamlet

[2] 	From: 	Donald Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Monday, 31 Jul 2006 09:27:04 -0500
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0699 Seattle All-Female Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 28 Jul 2006 11:51:01 -0400
Subject: 17.0699 Seattle All-Female Hamlet
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0699 Seattle All-Female Hamlet

 >At the risk of trying the patience of all and sundry, and Hardy too,
 >one brief observation on that issue, of what S wrote.  At the Mousetrap
 >play, Ophelia says "the King rises."  Three little words, from the hand
 >of S.  When Ophelia says that, three things are happening.
 >
 >Claudius has risen, just before her line, and flees the room.  This is 
literally what she means.
 >
 >The Ghost rises invisibly from the earth, or floor, as she speaks. 
<snip>
 >
 >Hamlet rises just after Ophelia speaks.  <snip>
 >
 >That's how Shakespeare wrote it, for that small moment at Ophelia's 
little line.

Sure, it is interesting staging.  But to say -- not once, but twice -- 
that this and nothing else was what WS wrote confuses Jeff's directorial 
choice with the Bard's authorship.  Before I can consider this as the 
one and only original intent I would have to see a stage direction 
placing the ghost in this scene, two scenes and about 250 lines before 
his entrance at III.iv.102.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Donald Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 31 Jul 2006 09:27:04 -0500
Subject: 17.0699 Seattle All-Female Hamlet
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0699 Seattle All-Female Hamlet

Lots of people, myself included, have spouted off about what works and 
doesn't work in casting against expectation (male as female, female as 
male, non-white as white, white as non-white, juvenile as adult), and 
probably little more needs to be said.

But if we're actually going to talk about the text, I will add another 
two cents' worth.

Jeffrey Jordan writes: ". . . Ophelia says 'the King rises.'  Three 
little words, from the hand of S.  When Ophelia says that, three things 
are happening. Claudius has risen, just before her line, and flees the 
room.  This is literally what she means."

His point, I know, is otherwise, but as a matter of strict accuracy, 
there is more to it than that. Ophelia's line makes superfluous a stage 
direction to that effect, but the next line, Hamlet's "What, frighted 
with false fire?," would seem to suggest the two of them glaring at each 
other (as in the old BBC version, and very effective it is). Claudius 
could, of course, be rushing off, and the queen likewise speaking to his 
back ("How fares my lord?"), but Claudius himself says, "Give me some 
light. Away!" If I were directing, I would assume that the line 
indicated he was stationary until a torchbearer appeared, a matter of a 
couple of seconds, then would depart.

Quite probably Jordan did not mean that the King is supposed to flee in 
the same comic way that Falstaff does at Gad's Hill, but the scene is 
one of the moments of greatest tension in the play and should be staged 
to make the most of it.

Cheers,
don

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Shakespeare's Siblings

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0701  Monday, 31 July 2006

From: 		William Sutton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 28 Jul 2006 08:56:29 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 	Shakespeare's Siblings

I have a query concerning Shakespeare's brother Gilbert. Peter Ackroyd 
states in his biography, p.45:

'Gilbert Shakespeare was baptised in the autumn of 1566, and nothing 
much more is ever heard of him. He died at the age of 45, having had an 
unremarkable life as a tradesman in Stratford; it was inevitable that he 
followed his father's profession as a glover.'

Inevitable or not, I always believed he could handle a needle and thread 
and be traced to London where he was a haberdasher. Is this fact or fiction?

My thanks for any help on this.

Yours,
William S.

PS any definitive material on his sister Joan and her thespian 
off-spring is also welcome.

blog.iloveshakespeare.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.

Most Glorious Shakespeare Failures

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0702  Monday, 31 July 2006

From: 		Todd Pettigrew <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 28 Jul 2006 13:39:33 -0300
Subject: 	Most Glorious Shakespeare Failures

Recently there has been much discussion of what can work on the stage 
and what can't and what should be done and what mustn't.

All this assumes or at least implies, it seems to me, that only great 
artistic successes are worth seeing and everything else should be 
avoided at all costs. It seems to me though, that it is often quite 
rewarding to see something go absolutely to hell on the stage -- much 
more so than bland competence. If nothing else, it helps to clarify your 
sense on what does work and why.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

Does anyone have any stories of glorious Shakespeare failures to share?

Todd Pettigrew
Cape Breton University

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Hiatus

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0700  Monday, 31 July 2006

From: 		Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, July 31, 2006
Subject: 	Hiatus

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

I have a Friday evening flight from BWI to Heathrow, so I encourage 
those who have any contributions to make to make them by Friday, August 
4. Since I have no plans for editing SHAKSPER while I am in the UK, 
there will be about a two and a half week interruption in service so 
that I can spend rather unfettered a week in Stratford, a few days in 
Oxford, and a week in London.

I have my theatre tickets for Stratford, but I have some inquiries that 
I will treat as personal e-mail should anyone respond. I plan to see, at 
least, Titus at the Bankside Globe. In the past, I always stood in the 
yard; however, I am now unable to do this with my disability. Does 
anyone have recommendations for places to sit in the gallery or about 
the other plays at the Globe or in London. Two years ago, I missed the 
Measure for Measure at the National, arriving from Stratford the day the 
production closed and not being able to get a ticket. I would like to 
try to avoid disappoints like that this year.

Hardy

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Search

Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.