The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0053 Sunday, 1 February 2009
Date: Monday, 26 Jan 2009 20:01:02 -0000
Subject: 20.0043 Real Skull Used for RSC's 'Hamlet'
Comment: Re: SHK 20.0043 Real Skull Used for RSC's 'Hamlet'
Mike Shapiro wrote:
>In Malvolio's reading of the forged letter supposedly
>from the Countess, the playwright's object is to expose
>M's inflated ego and inevitable downfall of those who
>believe they have cornered the market on moral authority.
>Other letters such as the Much Ado, Leonato letter are
>purely exposition vehicles. An actor can look at the
>letter see that the words are correct but his mind should
>be creating the author's intention. It's easier to have
>memorized the lines and tend to the author than read the
>actual text which adds another task to the already
It may be easier *now*, but it is generally accepted (e.g. by Simon
Palfrey & Tiffany Stern, Shakespeare in Parts, 2007) that in the
original productions anything written on a letter, etc, was read and
*not* memorised - not least because of the number of plays in the
repertory. All in all, it's probably not a good idea to think too much
about an author's "intention".
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