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Home :: Archive :: 2010 :: October ::
Actor Doubling
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0391  Monday, 4 October 2010

From:         John Drakakis <
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Date:         September 30, 2010 10:18:20 AM EDT
Subject: 21.0387  Actor Doubling
Comment:      RE: SHK 21.0387  Actor Doubling

I find Bill Blanton's claim that Shakespeare played the role of Shylock one that has 
little evidence to support it.

There is a much stronger case (though it is still speculative) for the doubling of 
Shylock and Morocco, since this would give a literal gloss to the dialogue between 
Salanio, Salarino and Shylock at 3.1. where the Jew's 'flesh' is described as 'jet' 
compared to Jessica's 'ivory'. This doubling is just possible since Shylock has some 
7 lines in which to change costume between 1.3. and 2.1. Gabriel Egan, in an earlier 
posting suggested that it was possible to remove black-face makeup very quickly, 
although if my speculation is correct, then that may not have been necessary. I 
provide a full casting list for the play in my forthcoming Arden 3 edition.

Best wishes,
John Drakakis


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