2009

Collegial Help: Interacting with Globe Theater Actors

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0021  Wednesday, 14 January 2009

From:      Joe Conlon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:      Thursday, 8 Jan 2009 17:17:47 -0500
Subject:   Colleague needs help finding a chat-type source for the New Globe

A colleague of mine who is teaching a high school English course is 
looking for a website or alternative way for her students to interact 
with actors performing Shakespeare's plays at the New Globe in Bankside.

She is designing an interactive unit for her students as an assignment 
in her Master's program and is doing a virtual tour of both the old and 
new Globes.  She wants a way to have her students be able to ask 
questions of actors who have performed in the space.

I have given her the following sites as starting points, but I don't 
have a source for her specific question.

Can anyone else suggest something?

Great Buildings Online:
http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Globe_Theater.html

GlobeLink:  Globe Education's online resource
http://www.globelink.org/

GlobeLink:  virtual tour
http://www.shakespeares-globe.org/virtualtour/

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Joe Conlon
Warsaw, IN, USA

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Book Announcement: NKS HAMLET

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0020  Wednesday, 14 January 2009

From:      David Horvath <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:      Wednesday, 14 Jan 2009 14:33:41 -0500
Subject:   New Release: NKS: Hamlet

Focus Publishing is proud to announce the newest publication from the 
New Kittredge Shakespeare Series.

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Editors: Bernice W. Kliman & James H. Lake
2009 . 978-1-58510-140-5 . paper . 208 pages . 51/2 x 81/2 . $8.95

Each edition includes:

The original introduction to the Kittredge Edition

*NEW* Introduction to the Focus Edition with a section on performance 
considerations and performance histories.

*NEW* Performance notes that appear separately and immediately below the 
textual footnotes.  These include discussions of performance concerns 
(places where directors or actors need to make choices), staging, issues 
of interpretation, etc.

*NEW* How to read the play as Performance Section. A discussion of the 
written play vs. the play as performed (considerations, differences, 
accomplishments, etc.); film and/or stage; historic and modern that will 
allow the reader to envision the work "off the page."

*NEW* Comprehensive Timeline covering major historical events (with 
brief annotations ) as well as relevant details from Shakespeare's life.

*NEW* Topics for Discussion and Further Study Section. Critical Issues: 
dealing with the text in a larger context. Performance Issues: Questions 
related to the Introduction to the Focus Edition's performance histories.

Complete details here: http://pullins.com/Books/NewKittredgeShakespeare.htm

David Horvath, Marketing Manager


_______________________________________________________________
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
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Heroes

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0018  Thursday, 8 January 2009

[1]  From:   John W Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:   Tuesday, 06 Jan 2009 17:11:53 -0500
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.005 Heroes

[2]  From:   David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:   Wednesday, 07 Jan 2009 13:45:34 -0500
      Subj:   Re: SHK 20.005 Heroes


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:      John W Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:      Tuesday, 06 Jan 2009 17:11:53 -0500
Subject: 20.005 Heroes
Comment:   Re: SHK 20.005 Heroes

Felix de Villiers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

 >David Basch tells us himself that we would have no Hamlet if he had
 >been like Horatio. A play made up of Horatios would die on its feet.
 >At most, we can imagine him as the upright observer of neuroses and
 >wrong-doings in a novel, but it would be the wrong-doings or
 >problematic characters that would give substance to the novel

But surely this is the very definition of the Chekhov-Inge line of drama?

 >Hamlet's words, "Give me that man/That is not passion's slave," sum
 >up the whole of Schopenhauer's philosophy, which lead pretty much to
 >a negation of life itself and a sympathy with Buddhism.

I cannot work out what you mean by this. Do you mean that Hamlet is a 
follower of Schopenhauer, and that the speech is in keeping with this, 
or do you mean that Schopenhaue is "passion's slave", and that Hamlet is 
opposing himself to that philosopher? And, either way, just how much 
Schopenhauer-like philosophy existed in Jacobean England (or mediaeval 
Denmark) for Hamlet to be responding to either? Surely Hamlet is 
praising Horatio as a representative of the Renaissance flowering of 
Stoicism?

Unless you are putting an improbable interpretation on "passion", I do 
not see what the Great God ???? has to do with anything.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:      David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:      Wednesday, 07 Jan 2009 13:45:34 -0500
Subject: 20.005 Heroes
Comment:   Re: SHK 20.005 Heroes

My comment earlier on Horatio in the context of "hero" seems to have 
shed much heat if not always the light that I had tried to bring.

I believe I got in on the discussion of heroism when I found Horatio's 
role being denigrated, reducing him to a kind of non-entity. I argued 
that he was no such non-entity, but a man of sterling qualities. But he 
is a powerless man set within the maelstrom of Denmark with his only 
impact the moral example of his conduct. His is the voice of skepticism 
and reason and his only role is to be a friend to Hamlet and to speak to 
him as a friend and be Hamlet's sounding board.

For example, Horatio recognizes that the dueling match is a trap and he 
tries to warn Hamlet, saying, "My Lord, you will love that wager." And 
when Hamlet has misgivings about participating in the duel match, 
Horatio advises that he say that he is ill. Despite this, Prince Hamlet 
overrules him in this and everything else. Try and tell a determined 
prince a thing or two!

Recall also at the beginning of the play, when Hamlet expresses his 
bitterness at his mother's swift remarriage, Horatio does not contradict 
nor inflame but soothes, saying, "Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon."

There is really nothing that Horatio could do in the circumstance but 
serve as a true friend to Hamlet. We see Horatio's importance in 
Hamlet's moving tribute to Horatio's character. It is ironic how all 
regard Hamlet as so brilliant but yet fail to take his judgment 
seriously about his friend, though some (Carol Barton, Conrad Bishop) do 
recognize that Horatio provides the example of traits that might have 
made Hamlet more effective in his efforts to regain the throne.

I agree with Conrad Bishop's characterization of Horatio. Conrad well 
describes the literary concept of the "pivotal character," the person 
who remains the same as all about him change. It seems that Horatio is 
such a character in this play.

When I alleged that Horatio was a hero, I mentioned it in the context 
that he was the kind of person that has brought his emotions into 
balance with his life, a characteristic that makes him a man picked from 
ten thousand -- as Hamlet describes him -- with a virtue that Hamlet is 
not able to bring off in himself. This is a towering trait and I 
rejected the idea of minimizing the importance of his character in the 
play and the role he plays, though he is not heroic in action like Hamlet.

In contrast, Hamlet's anger -- his passion -- is so fierce and 
uncontrolled that he can scarcely contain it. It is only overpowered by 
his other passion to be righteous that makes him try for proof of the 
ghost's assertions. Hamlet is so determined to mete out due punishment 
to Claudius that he wants the perfect vengeance and withholds his sword 
from killing Claudius in order to leave open the opportunity to get that 
perfect vengeance. That turns out to be a fatal over scrupulousness -- 
an over righteousness -- that leads to his own destruction. This is what 
Felix de Villiers on our list calls "over zealousness." Being "over 
righteous" is not a good trait, but an overshooting of the mark that 
makes things worse.  As a result of this over shooting, Hamlet can't 
kill the king until he is able to mete out the same terrible fate that 
Claudius meted out to his father and which Hamlet feels Claudius 
deserves. Hamlet thinks that it is only "right" that this be done. 
Ironically, Hamlet later wonders why he finds himself in a pickle, being 
shipped out from Denmark by the man he let live. Hamlet had been the 
victim of his unbridled passion, doing the thing he would, rather than 
the thing he should.

Notice also the gross over righteousness of his behavior toward Ophelia. 
  All Hamlet can see is that she allows herself to be used by her father 
to spy on him. It reveals how far gone he is in his over righteousness 
and contempt of character weaknesses in others. He is livid at what 
Ophelia lends herself to, failing to realize that Ophelia is a 
defenseless, young girl, beaten down by her father, and that she acted 
out of loving concern for him.  Yet Hamlet thinks the worst and turns 
his maximum venom upon her.

The point is well taken by David Evett that King David -- another man 
who cannot escape the rule of his passions -- as nevertheless a hero, 
accomplishing great things at the risk of his life and leading his 
nation to peace and security. And as Conrad Bishop describes the 
characteristics of a hero, Hamlet too is a hero -- a man of action, 
that, despite his incomplete emotional self-control, manages in the end 
to bring off his mission, punishing Claudius and cleansing Denmark of 
the taint of a usurping murderer. No argument about this.

Notice also the progress in Hamlet's character. In Hamlet's dying 
breathe, Hamlet acquiesces in the acceptance of the "unimproved" 
Fortinbras as king -- that is, acceptance of a man unproven in 
character. This is a parallel to the words of the Bible's Ecclesiastes 
about a king who resigns himself as to how it is that, after having 
labored mightily with great skill and wisdom to create a strong, 
prosperous kingdom, he must end up leaving all to another man, without 
knowing whether that person will be a wise man or a fool. At the end, a 
chastened Hamlet finds himself accepting of that less than perfect 
condition. The question is not whether Fortinbras is good as a military 
man and a man of action, but whether he will be a person ruled by his 
passions that will angrily lead his country into fruitless wars or will 
derail the peace of his kingdom by chasing after someone else's wife. 
That is the remaining question about Fortinbras. At the time, Hamlet 
cannot know that about Fortinbras, but he yet acquiesces in that less 
than perfect situation, recognizing that we must allow ourselves to 
accept such unknowns rather than holding out for the certainty of a 
perfect leader.

The major issue of the play turns out to be character -- the kind that 
Horatio exemplifies. The tragedy presented in the play is that a good, 
wise, brilliant, brave, and talented man like Hamlet can meet a tragic 
end as a result of his own character flaw, his being a slave to his 
passions.

That is Hamlet's story, which he wants Horatio, his friend, to live to 
tell to the world, making the world aware of Hamlet's many virtues and 
to teach the lesson of how much better things would have been had Hamlet 
conquered his passions and been more like his friend Horatio.

David Basch

_______________________________________________________________
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CFP: Shakespeare in Culture (Taiwan)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0019  Wednesday, 14 January 2009

From:      B Lei <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:      Monday, 12 Jan 2009 22:28:49 +0800
Subject:   CFP: Shakespeare in Culture (Taiwan)

Shakespeare in Culture
4th Conference of the NTU Shakespeare Forum
National Taiwan University, Taipei
November 26-28, 2009

Call for Papers

The NTU Shakespeare Forum will host its fourth conference, "Shakespeare 
in Culture," in Taipei on November 26-28, 2009.  Keynote speakers 
include Richard Burt (University of Florida), Dennis Kennedy (Trinity 
College Dublin), and Ann Thompson (King's College London).  A Chinese 
opera adaptation of The Merchant of Venice by the Taiwan BangZi Company 
will be premiered in conjunction with the conference.  There will also 
be a pre-conference workshop conducted by C. C. Yang (Taipei Veterans 
General Hospital) on using information technology to resolve authorship 
disputes.

Our focus: Shakespeare, as well as the reading, teaching, and 
performance of Shakespeare, does not exist outside culture.  Defined by 
OED as "The distinctive ideas, customs, social behavior, products, or 
way of life of a particular society, people, or period," various 
cultures not only inform the Shakespearean corpus, productions and 
scholarship, but are also reciprocally shaped by them.  Proposals for 
20-minute papers are invited on any aspect of the conference theme. 
Topics may include, but are not restricted to Shakespeare and early 
modern culture (such as print culture, Protestantism, material culture, 
gender); Shakespeare and politics; Shakespeare and (post)colonialism; 
Shakespeare and media (theatre, film, television, computer); popular 
Shakespeare; Shakespeare and theory; Shakespeare and other arts and 
sciences; Shakespeare and diaspora; and non-English Shakespeare.

Graduate students are invited to apply to attend the pre-conference 
graduate sessions on the same theme.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a short bio by March 15, 2009. 
Completed papers must be submitted by September 30.  A book based on the 
conference proceedings will be published by the NTU Press in 2010.  To 
facilitate discussion among international scholars, papers in English 
are preferred.  For submissions and queries please contact Bi-qi 
Beatrice Lei at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Updates can be found on 
www.shakespeare.tw.


_______________________________________________________________
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The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Was Chichelle There?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0017  Thursday, 8 January 2009

From:       Harvey Roy Greenberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:       Wednesday, 7 Jan 2009 22:02:48 EST
Subject: 20.009 Was Chichelle There?
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.009 Was Chichelle There?

I have not read Catto's article, but the research I've done -- and I am 
not, repeat, not a Shakespearean scholar -- regarding the Archbishop's 
prolix oration in Act I, Sc 2, H5, indicates sharply divided opinions, 
with evidence offered to back up the position both that Chichele wasn't 
present, or that he was.

It's been maintained that Chichele was elsewhere when he supposedly gave 
the speech, and that the supposed appearance before king and court, with 
accompanying oration, was invented out of whole cloth in aid of 
furbishing the Tutor mythos. According to this theory, Chichele was not 
present at the Great Parliament in Leicester; also, instead of the 
alleged bill intended to strip the Church of land and wealth being 
brought forward, a bill was actually proposed, supported by H5, to bring 
a dissident sect to heel -- ?Lollards?.

The opposing opinion is that the scene did take place in real historical 
time at the Leicester parliament, and was more or less correctly 
described in the Holinshed and Hall chronicles, derived from legitimate 
earlier sources.

In any case, the speech in the Chronicles was essentially translated 
into choice verse by Shakespeare, with its sense and much of its content 
unchanged.

I have elsewhere argued that Shakespeare intended the speech to be as 
seriously hearkened to by his 1599 audience as it was received by King 
and court a century earlier. I still believe that an essentially comedic 
reading of the oration is absolutely inappropriate, except perhaps for a 
mort of irony related to Canterbury's statement that his exploitation re 
the French succession was  'clear as the summer sun". On the other hand, 
it's been maintained that Shakespeare may have intended a satirical 
performance, given his alleged distaste for the then Archbishop, who was 
apparently no friend of the theater. Under this rubric, Aylmer's 
doddering Polonius-like Canterbury is in the right ballpark.

However, I deem -- always under potential correction -- that Chichelle's 
presence or absence is essentially immaterial to considering the mode of 
performance of the oration, which I think should be essentially serious, 
however the knotted legal argument over the Salic Law and the vexed 
nature of the French succession is handled. I cannot see the oration 
being elided entirely, and merely citing the Salic land's being in 
Germany won't answer. The pivotal issue is the legitimacy of succession 
of the respective monarchs, both lineages being derived through the 
feminine. If this argument is not preserved in some fashion or another, 
the primary mainspring of the play, the French invasion, the casus belli 
so to speak, is erased. The central problem I have addressed elsewhere 
is how to preserve the overall sense of the oration -- both the location 
of the Salic territory, and the complex putatively 'impure" French 
succession, for a contemporary audience without sending viewers into a 
state of uncomprehending boredom.

Again, none of the above is offered as received truth. We certainly 
don't know exactly how the speech was performed in 1599 -- one can only 
surmise the mode. As we can only surmise what Shakespeare's underlying 
intentions regarding the oration were and how it should be played, his 
beliefs concerning the maintenance of monarchic order, et cetera. Due 
critical modesty is, of course, essential in dealing with these very 
vexed issues.

Harvey Roy Greenberg MD

_______________________________________________________________
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.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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