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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: January ::
Wordless Macbeth
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0045  Friday, 19 January 2007

[1] 	From: 	Peter Holland <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 18 Jan 2007 12:00:55 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0041 Wordless Macbeth

[2] 	From: 	Norman D. Hinton <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 18 Jan 2007 11:50:50 -0600
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0041 Wordless Macbeth

[3] 	From: 	Sarah Neville <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 18 Jan 2007 14:51:22 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0041 Wordless Macbeth

[4] 	From: 	Rolland Banker <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 18 Jan 2007 17:50:37 -0800 (PST)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0029 Wordless Macbeth

[5] 	From: 	Douglas Galbi <
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	Date: 	Friday, 19 Jan 2007 12:57:50 -0500
	Subj: 	Wordless Macbeth


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Peter Holland <
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Date: 		Thursday, 18 Jan 2007 12:00:55 -0500
Subject: 18.0041 Wordless Macbeth
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0041 Wordless Macbeth

While SHAKSPERians are busy mocking wordless productions, please 
consider the following two cases: (1) the hundreds of silent films of 
Shakespeare made, shown, discussed and enjoyed (and mostly lost for 
ever) (2) the long tradition, especially in England, of Shakespeare on 
radio. We can, if we choose, laugh at silent Shakespeare films but many 
of us spend time, as scholars and as teachers with our students, trying 
to understand what these films set out to achieve and how the cultural 
contexts of their reception might best be considered. I don't think we 
are wasting our time by doing so. And, as to radio/audio Shakespeare 
(which have given me many of the finest experiences of Shakespeare in my 
life), I find wordless Shakespeare no more ridiculous than invisible 
Shakespeare.

Peter Holland

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Norman D. Hinton <
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Date: 		Thursday, 18 Jan 2007 11:50:50 -0600
Subject: 18.0041 Wordless Macbeth
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0041 Wordless Macbeth

I guess coming next are "Beethoven without the Music", and "Monet in the 
Dark", eh ?

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Sarah Neville <
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Date: 		Thursday, 18 Jan 2007 14:51:22 -0400
Subject: 18.0041 Wordless Macbeth
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0041 Wordless Macbeth

Just a (perhaps not so) innocent question of the dismissers of the 
"Wordless Macbeth": when a deaf person goes to see a (worded) 
Shakespeare play, are they also not seeing "Shakespeare"?

Sarah Neville

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Rolland Banker <
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Date: 		Thursday, 18 Jan 2007 17:50:37 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 18.0029 Wordless Macbeth
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0029 Wordless Macbeth

T. Hawkes asks,

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

I'll tell you how, Mr. Hawkes; and why must I always play the role of 
the world-weary autodidactic bardolator for the lettered-sort? Anyhow, 
here is the splendored aesthetic answer in all its glory(now you hear 
it, now you don't):

  (This space reserved for something profound--silence perhaps?)

Cheers and all the best,
Rolland Banker

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Douglas Galbi <
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Date: 		Friday, 19 Jan 2007 12:57:50 -0500
Subject: 	Wordless Macbeth

Mari Bonomi wrote:

[quote]

 >*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.

[end quote]

Several other posters to this list expressed similarly sentiments, 
modulated of course through differences in personality and experience. 
I tried to indicate in the full review (see 
http://purplemotes.net/2007/01/15/synetic/ ) that what counts as 
authoritative communication (spoken?, written?, visual image?, physical 
gesture?) was of great concern to Shakespeare and his time.  So too was 
a concern about oneness and idolatry.  Not taking for granted particular 
positions on these issues is profoundly important for appreciating 
Shakespeare's art.

Fidelity to Shakespeare's work is an aesthetic judgment. For example, a 
person who reads Macbeth carefully might notice some lines that seem to 
be not like Shakespeare, e.g. Act 4, Scene 1, ll. 39-43. My judgment is 
that Synetic Theater's production of Macbeth is, with perhaps some human 
failings, truly faithful to Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Douglas Galbi

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