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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: January ::
Wordless Macbeth
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0037  Wednesday, 17 January 2007

[1] 	From: 	Marilyn A. Bonomi <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 16 Jan 2007 14:15:11 -0500
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 18.0029 Wordless Macbeth

[2] 	From: 	Terence Hawkes <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 17 Jan 2007 09:38:23 -0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0029 Wordless Macbeth


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Marilyn A. Bonomi <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 16 Jan 2007 14:15:11 -0500
Subject: 18.0029 Wordless Macbeth
Comment: 	RE: SHK 18.0029 Wordless Macbeth

Having read Galbi's description of the wordless "Shakespeare" plays, I'm 
left not wordless but distinctly puzzled.

Even Hamlet's mousetrap dumb show had a narrative to go with it.

Absent a thorough knowledge of the Shakespeare plays, how can an 
audience member know that what he or she is seeing is "Shakespeare's 
Hamlet" or "Shakespeare's Macbeth" and not merely a dumb show, a ballet, 
a "production" involving some people charading emotions, interactions, etc.

It may well be very dramatic, very moving, even very powerful.  And it's 
clearly based on a specific text.

But just as Baz Luhrmann did not make "Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet" 
but rather Baz Luhrmann's R&J (no matter what *title* he gave his film), 
is this theatre company really presenting *Shakespeare*?  Or rather, are 
they not presenting their own interpretation of the plots of several 
Shakespeare plays?

*Can* we divorce the play from its language and still call it the play 
Shakespeare *wrote*?

That is not to say that one cannot celebrate Shakespeare by creating 
one's own interpretations of his stories... it is merely to say that 
calling such interpretations "Shakespeare" is to me a significant 
misnomer.  I love Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet Overture/Fantasy." 
I've used it as a teaching tool, asking students to listen to it and 
tell me the story that the music is telling (this is a good way to use 
any programmatic work).  But it is *not* the play by Shakespeare that I 
taught 2-5 times a year for close to 40 years.  Both are rich works of 
art, but they are not the *same* work of art.

Mari Bonomi

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Terence Hawkes <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 17 Jan 2007 09:38:23 -0000
Subject: 18.0029 Wordless Macbeth
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0029 Wordless Macbeth

Douglas Galbi claims that a 'wordless' production of Macbeth 'profoundly 
explores Shakespearean art'. How?

T. Hawkes

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