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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: January ::
Real Skull Used for RSC's 'Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0043  Monday, 26 January 2009

From:      Mike Shapiro <
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 >
Date:      Wednesday, 21 Jan 2009 21:23:30 -0800
Subject: 20.0036 Real Skull Used for RSC's 'Hamlet'
Comment:   RE: SHK 20.0036 Real Skull Used for RSC's 'Hamlet'

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 burdened actor. The 
reading of Henry's casualty list could be about astonishment as to what 
they have accomplished, akin to the retelling of the hunt. An ugly 
analogy would be Osama's video in which he explains to a colleague that 
he hadn't planned, but was astonished that the towers came down . . . 
that he was just hoping that the planes hit the buildings.

Mike Shapiro

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