2007

Shakespeare as Falstaff

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0817  Saturday, 8 December 2007


[1] 	From:	Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Tuesday, 04 Dec 2007 23:43:48 -0500
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0811 Shakespeare as Falstaff

[2] 	From:	John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Wednesday, 5 Dec 2007 17:51:31 -0000
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0811 Shakespeare as Falstaff


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Tuesday, 04 Dec 2007 23:43:48 -0500
Subject: 18.0811 Shakespeare as Falstaff
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0811 Shakespeare as Falstaff

 >what part in Hamlet would the player of Falstaff take?

Polonius seems the obvious choice.  If so, then working backwards, 
Falstaff might have been played by Heminge.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Wednesday, 5 Dec 2007 17:51:31 -0000
Subject: 18.0811 Shakespeare as Falstaff
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0811 Shakespeare as Falstaff

Herb Weil wrote:

 >"Maturing" in quotes certainly did not suggest biographic age, but the
 >increasing skill in portraying complexity.

I'm sorry, but I just don't buy that. Increasing complexity in roles is 
the province of the playwright. It is up to the leading actor to be able 
to fulfill those requirements.

 >Why not just forget the word and question whether the leading actor
 >played both parts?

That's a tough one! The leading actor was a sharer in both the company 
and the theatre. His family were also sharers and built the theatre. 
Would the leading actor take the leading role? What would your call be?

 >Then what part in Hamlet would the player of Falstaff take?

Steve Sohmer (who is hovering on the fringe of this discussion) will 
tell you that Shakespeare played Polonius and the Gravedigger. I am less 
convinced that he played the Ghost.

A rather more cogent question would be to ask who played what in 
"Twelfth Night" (1601/2)? I would say that whoever played Falstaff 
played Sir Toby - would anyone argue? But which role did Richard Burbage 
take? The other leading male roles are Malvolio and the Duke (probably 
in that order). (The play is remarkable for having three strong female 
roles.)

John Briggs

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Bryson Acting Reference

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0816  Saturday, 8 December 2007

From:		Tom Reedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Wednesday, 05 Dec 2007 22:06:32 -0600
Subject:	Bryson Acting Reference

On page 81 of his new Shakespeare biography, Bill Bryson writes that 
Shakespeare "was listed as an actor on documents in 1592, 1598, 1603 and 
1608." Would anyone happen to know what document he is referring to from 
1608? The only one I know of is the deed transferring the Globe from 
John Collett to John Bodley, but it doesn't refer to WS as an actor.

Tom Reedy

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Shakespeare Alive! March Performance Discount

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0814  Saturday, 8 December 2007

From:		Hardy Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Friday, 7 Dec 2007 12:09:20 -0500
Subject:	Shakespeare Alive! March Performance Discount

Maryland Shakespeare Festival
  <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
<http://mdshakes.pmailus.com/pmailweb/f?cide=AVdjgWFawVcnB4cMlQ>

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Shakespeare even cheaper!

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CALL 301.668-4090 OR EMAIL This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Class in OTHELLO

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0815  Saturday, 8 December 2007

From:		David Siar <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Tuesday, 4 Dec 2007 22:49:08 -0500
Subject:	Class in OTHELLO

If anyone on the list has a recommendation for a good discussion of 
social class-related issues in OTHELLO I would be highly appreciative.

Thanks,
David Siar

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Presentism

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0813  Tuesday, 4 December 2007

[1] 	From:	William Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Saturday, 01 Dec 2007 14:43:49 -0500
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0802 Presentism

[2] 	From:	Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Sunday, 2 Dec 2007 17:50:15 -0800 (PST)
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0802 Presentism

[3] 	From:	John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 3 Dec 2007 11:03:46 -0000
	Subj:	RE: SHK 18.0802 Presentism

[4] 	From:	Syd L Kasten <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Sunday, 02 Dec 2007 09:39:22 +0200
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0802 Presentism

[5] 	From:	Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 3 Dec 2007 10:24:09 -0500
	Subj:	Presentism/Absentism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		William Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Saturday, 01 Dec 2007 14:43:49 -0500
Subject: 18.0802 Presentism
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0802 Presentism

Nicole Coonradt takes me to task for writing: "The idea that we can 
interpret the past from any other vantage point than the present, is 
simply wrong." She counters in part with: "Since the post is now, 
effectively "history," and hence part of the past-- ergo, no longer 
"present"-- can the writer even recall what was meant by his use of the 
word [i.e. wrong], given that he is only trapped in the *now* of time? 
Or would that be wrong? But maybe it doesn't even matter, maybe all that 
matters is what I think, right now, this moment, how I read it, since I 
can do no other."

By "wrong" I meant "not congruent with reality as I experience it." As 
Nicole suggests, perhaps other people are able to transcend the present, 
but since I cannot, I would not be aware of their transcendence. Perhaps 
a genuine mystical experience might be considered a transcendence of 
time. Unfortunately for me, I am caught in the here and now, and so I'd 
better try to make the most of it.

Bill

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Sunday, 2 Dec 2007 17:50:15 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 18.0802 Presentism
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0802 Presentism

Bill Godshalk writes:

 >Joe Egert writes to Terry Hawkes: "I'm afraid,
 >Terry, my (your?)
 >limitations deprive me of the truth of your assertion, which I find not
 >just absurdly self-destructive, but defeatist and pernicious in RA
 >Cantrell's sense as well."

 >Joe Egert finds Terry Hawkes' position "not just absurdly
 >self-destructive, but defeatist and pernicious." But true and honest,
 >I'd add. Yes, it may be difficult to accept and applaud human
 >limitations, but these limitations do not go away. They are part of
 >human life on this planet. We live in the present, and history is a
 >human reconstruction. Of course, something happened in 1600, but our
 >narrative of what happened is conjectural, based on artifacts that must
 >be interpreted in the present. If you think otherwise, tell us the
 >"truth" about the relationship of Q1 Hamlet to Q2 Hamlet. Or take
 >Pilate's position.

JE: I wonder, Bill, if you're not burning a straw man. No one here is 
denying our limitations in seeking the truth. The present sitz is merely 
one of many such obstacles--an elementary truism acknowledged by every 
competent scholar before and after Aurelius, but carried to a defeatist 
extreme by Hawkes and company. I've not yet reached Cantrell's point of 
impugning their motives. The effect, however, of such cognitive 
defeatism is much the same, i.e., reducing scholarship to a mere 
groundless rhetorical exercise. Accomplished disciplined scholars that 
they are, Hawkes, Drakakis, et al, in practice abandon their theories 
and instead rely on gathered evidence to unmask the villain du jour or 
to edit a Shakespeare play. Who are the Pilates here?

Think, Bill, think what Terry has written and what corrosive impact it 
will have on your craft should such extreme presentism sweep all before 
it: "To seek 'the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth' is 
absurdly self-destructive."

Presentism (as presently appropriated) aims a knife at the cognitive 
heart of scholarship.QED.

   Joe Egert

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 3 Dec 2007 11:03:46 -0000
Subject: 18.0802 Presentism
Comment:	RE: SHK 18.0802 Presentism

I'm afraid that Don Bloom's 'absentism' just won't fly, partly because 
these plays aren't modern naturalistic soap operas. Partly also because 
they take us back to issues like 'how many children had Lady Macbeth'. 
The question is: what do we do with information that comes to us by way 
of narrative whose actions we don't see? Do we assume that there is a 
part of the play going on elsewhere, that we only get to hear about? Or 
is it a question of offering a handy explanation that we don't need to 
worry about. The kind of 'absentism' that Bloom seems to favour will 
have us investigating Gertrude's affair with Claudius, Portia's girlhood 
in MV, and the ins and outs of Othello's courtship of Desdemona. All 
good novelistic stuff, but misplaced.

I thought that his 'absentism' might have meant 'symptomatic reading' 
which would take us back to Ernest Jones's Hamlet and Oedipus, although 
for me more interestingly to Macherey's Theory of Literary Production. 
The latter can be easily folded into Terence Hawkes' 'presentism', 
which, by the way, isn't 'bleak' at all.

Perhaps we should leave Joe Egert to toil in the labyrinth of truth; 
when he gets to the centre he'll find, pace Derrida, that the centre is 
not the centre. Just make sure that you take a reel of cotton with you 
Joe, it'll help you when you are trying to get out!

Very best,
John D

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Syd L Kasten <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Sunday, 02 Dec 2007 09:39:22 +0200
Subject: 18.0802 Presentism
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0802 Presentism

Thank you Donald Bloom for the unexpected Present:  laughter!!

What a great way to start a day.

May your own stocking be filled.

Syd Kasten

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 3 Dec 2007 10:24:09 -0500
Subject:	Presentism/Absentism

Scholars are always looking for "the next new thing" in literary 
criticism, so kudos to Don Bloom for absenting himself from the 
discussion of presentism so as to present us with a new absence: 
"absentism." I must admit that it sounds good to me!  Why is Lear's wife 
absent? Why does the absent Falstaff haunt _Henry V_? and what about 
those pesky children of Lady Macbeth?

Happy Holidays to all.

Ed Taft

_______________________________________________________________
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 
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