2010

Hermione?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0307  Friday, 23 July 2010

[1]  From:     David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:     July 20, 2010 6:22:44 PM EDT
     Subj:     Re: SHK 21.0294  Hermione?

[2]  From:      Evelyn Gajowski <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      July 20, 2010 7:49:35 PM EDT
     Subj:      RE: SHK 21.0294  Hermione

[3]  From:      Martin Mueller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      July 20, 2010 11:18:22 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0294  Hermione?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:        David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:        July 20, 2010 6:22:44 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0294  Hermione?
Comment:     Re: SHK 21.0294  Hermione?

Just in terms of theatrical efficacy, I want to join the "She hangs about 
his neck" crowd, while remembering a memorable production at Stratford, ONT 
(1986?) in which three splendid actors -- Goldie Semple as Hermione, Colm 
Feore as Leontes, and Martha Henry as Paulina -- took that scene with 
mesmerizing slowness, as though every word was being squeezed out in a 
bubble of emotional tension so great that any false note might break it. The 
giant main stage auditorium was full and rapt. When Hermione finally raised 
her hand and then placed her arms around her neck it was like the flowing of 
melted glass, until the two were locked in a long, still, silent embrace, 
only finally broken by the whispered, "She hangs about his neck." The 
fullness of the reunion was that complete and solid. It had been hard earned 
by Feore's anguished repentance, which he spent mostly abased before his 
confessor, Paulina -- and the interspersed joys and frustrations of the 
courtship of Perdita and Florizel in a richly rustic Bohemia, whose own 
union as described in the previous scene and only swiftly acknowledged in 
the whirl of the final minute of this one would have been equally belied by 
an equivocal treatment of her parents' reconciliation. I've seen a dozen 
productions of the play; this one ranks among the two or three most moving 
and satisfying of any of the hundreds of Shakespeare plays I've seen, on any 
stage.

David Evett

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Evelyn Gajowski <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 20, 2010 7:49:35 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0294  Hermione?
Comment:      RE: SHK 21.0294  Hermione?

Dear SHAKSPER members,

I'd like once again to remind members that, in an earlier SHAKSPER 
discussion of this question, Adrian Kiernander described the idea of the 
reconciliation of Hermione and Leontes in the final scene of The Winter's 
Tale as "a heterosexual male fantasy of forgiveness."

Evelyn Gajowski
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

[Editor's Note: I believe the discussion to which Evelyn refers is here 
http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2009/0458.html. This is an appropriate time 
to remind subscribers that the SHAKSPER fileserver is the home of the 
archives of twenty-one years of discussions on this list as well as a wealth 
of other information. If you have not visited it lately, you might play with 
the search and browse functions to find something of interest to you. Also, 
There will be a redesigned, modernized site in the future. -Hardy M. Cook]

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Martin Mueller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 20, 2010 11:18:22 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0294  Hermione?
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0294  Hermione?

I like Dan Venning's observation that any play worth its salt contains 
spaces that need to be filled out differently from one production to 
another, with the text leaving a lot of leeway. 

That said, explicit choices not made tell their own story. Leontes and 
Hermione find each other (sort of) after sixteen years of penance diligently 
supervised by the long-term psychotherapist Paulina -- shades of a story in 
Bandello that Shakespeare had used in Much Ado. They conspicuously do not 
fall into each other's arms, as do Odysseus and Penelope after twenty years. 
There are deep echoes of the Pygmalion story -- the status come alive -- but 
time leaves its marks. The relationship of mother and daughter seems to take 
precedence over that of husband and wife -- a point both accentuated and 
marred in a production many years ago where Judith Dench played both the 
mother and the daughter. You sat there seeing the point of it but worrying a 
little too much about how it was being done. 

The leeway in the text has its limits: Leontes and Hermione living happily 
ever after does not seem to be on the front burner of the author's 
intentions. And that seems in keeping with the title, "A Winter's Tale." In 
Greene's source story, Hermione really dies, and Leontes commits suicide, 
overcome both by remorse about his way of relating both to this wife and his 
daughter. 

It's a little less gloomy in the Winter's Tale. But not as bright as in A 
Midsummer Night's Dream, where it is also the case that a lot of bright 
things come to confusion. 

MM

I'd like to add a ps to my posting. Several people have drawn attention to 
the implicit stage directions in the observations of people around Leontes 
and Hermione. From this one might gather that they are like Odysseus and 
Penelope and do indeed fall into each other's arms after many years. 

On the other hand, the embrace of Odysseus and Penelope is the focus -- one 
might almost say, the telos -- of the entire story, and it is followed by 
some very explicit lines about how they make love and then tell each other 
their stories. Hermione does not address her husband -- in this regard she 
is like the Euripidean Alcestis, who almost certainly hovers in the 
background of this story --. She does address her daughter. 

As for the implicit stage directions about the couple's embrace, one could 
argue that the reunion of husband and wife is beyond words and that we here 
have a sort of ineffability topos. Perhaps. But the dramatist's focus seems 
to be on mother and daughter. Will she say anything? What and to whom? These 
are the questions that the audience is eager to have answered. And they are 
answered when Hermione speaks to her daughter. 



_______________________________________________________________
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 
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SBReviews on the Internet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0306  Friday, 23 July 2010

[1]  From:      Jim Marino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      July 20, 2010 4:36:40 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0297  SBReviews on the Internet
 
[2]  From:      Paul Barry <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      July 20, 2010 11:54:35 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0297  SBReviews on the Internet
 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Jim Marino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 20, 2010 4:36:40 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0297  SBReviews on the Internet
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0297  SBReviews on the Internet

Regarding Paul Berry's comment below:

>Have we never come to an agreement over the infinite number of 
>interpretations of the Shakespeare plays? Surely, there is more 
>than one approach, but infinite? All theories and all concept 
>productions must be tested against not only the entirety of a 
>text, but other Elizabethan / Jacobean works as well, then, 
>finally, against the sensibilities of the age. Many tests to 
>winnow those infinite interpretations down to a workable few. 
>Then, the work can start.

To second Jemma Levy in reply to Paul:

Perhaps this is a moment where humanities scholars' lack of math training shows more 
than it should.

"Infinite possibilities" do not mean "everything" or "all possibilities." It means 
an inexhaustible number of possibilities *even within tight restrictions.* The 
viable interpretations of *Othello* can exist within narrow parameters and yet be 
endless

The series of even numbers in the universe is infinite, but three and seven aren't 
included. Moreover, there is an infinite series of numbers divisible by four, which 
remains infinite while excluding half of the even numbers, an infinite series of 
numbers divisible by 32, and so forth. There can be many, many ways to play a 
Shakespeare play badly but no still no end to the ways to play it well. 

Jim Marino

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Paul Barry <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 20, 2010 11:54:35 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0297  SBReviews on the Internet
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0297  SBReviews on the Internet


We always do them differently when we do them with different actors in different 
environments in front of different audiences. We don't need to search for ways of 
doing them differently. We only need to try to do them in keeping with the 
Playwright's intent.

PAUL BARRY 


_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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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 editor assumes no responsibility 
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FYI: ShakesPalin

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0304  Friday, 23 July 2010

[1]  From:      Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      July 20, 2010 3:50:53 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0292  FYI:  ShakesPalin

[2]  From:      Connie Beane <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      July 21, 2010 11:30:29 AM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0292  FYI:  ShakesPalin

[3]  From:      Ward Elliott <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      July 21, 2010 8:47:32 PM EDT
     Subj:      RE: SHK 21.0292  FYI:  ShakesPalin

[4]  From:      Arlynda Boyer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      July 21, 2010 9:32:57 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0292 FYI: ShakesPalin


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 20, 2010 3:50:53 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0292  FYI:  ShakesPalin
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0292  FYI:  ShakesPalin

What seal is that, that hangs without thy bosom?
Yea, lookst thou, Palin? Let me see the writing.

Richard II, V.ii.56-57


The moon's an arrant thief,
And her Palin fire she snatches from the sun

Timon, Act IV,iii.


"What fools these mortals be" sums it up better, methinks; the lady doth protest too 
much.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Connie Beane <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 21, 2010 11:30:29 AM EDT
Subject: 21.0292  FYI:  ShakesPalin
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0292  FYI:  ShakesPalin

I know Will Shakespeare, and Sarah, you're no Will Shakespeare. (With apologies to 
Lloyd Bentson).

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Ward Elliott <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 21, 2010 8:47:32 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0292  FYI:  ShakesPalin
Comment:      RE: SHK 21.0292  FYI:  ShakesPalin

Shakespeare, who was much more recorded, studied and catalogued than most of his 
contemporaries, got a lot of word-coinage credit not extended to others on anything 
like the same terms. He got more credit than others for nonsense-words, nonce-words, 
proper nouns, and words that would be considered malapropisms today if they came 
from the lips of Sarah Palin or George W. Bush. If his word appeared in a play, it 
was assigned to the year the play was first mentioned, not the year it was 
published. Others had to wait for publication. Even if his word seemed to be in 
general currency at the time, he, much more than others, tended to get the credit 
for being the first to use it. 

Over the years, thanks to more standardized procedures for the OED, and thanks to 
the work of people like David Crystal, Joseph Shipley, Jurgen Schafer, and Bryan 
Garner, extravagant earlier estimates of 6-10,000 coinages have been whittled down 
to something more like 1,700. The meltdown is far from over. A chapter by Giles 
Goodland in Mireille Ravassat and Jonathan Culpeper, eds., Stylistics and 
Shakespeare's Language -- Transdisciplinary Approaches (London: Continuum Press, 
forthcoming), based on his examination of a slice of words in newly-digitized early-
modern texts, gives strong evidence that even the much-deflated 1,700 is still 
overestimated by a factor of at least two. 

When Bush comes up with "Bushisms" like subsidation, analyzation, hopefuller, more 
few, and explorationists, we suppose that he is struggling to follow accepted rules 
of word formation but has gotten in over his head. Everyone sniffs at such gaffes, 
and no one praises them as additions to the language 
(http://slate.msn.com/id/76886/). If Bush gave us words like insultment, omittance, 
opulency, revengive, thoughten, more better, or casted, these would likewise be 
gathered and laughed at as "Bushisms." But it was not Bush who gave us the second 
set, it was Shakespeare -- and his gaffes are hailed as brilliant landmarks of 
"linguistic daring," fresh evidence of his peerless mastery of the language, 24-
carat coinages for Shakespeare that would be dismissed as pot-metal if they came 
from Bush, Palin, or anyone else. It seems like a double standard to us.

We discuss Shakespeare coinages at greater length in a second chapter in the same 
forthcoming Ravassat-Culpeper collection which contains Goodland's article. We also 
discuss and debunk the parallel, equally persistent notion that Shakespeare's 
vocabulary dwarfed everyone else's. Several high-tech tests show that it didn't and 
doesn't. Hugh Craig, of the University of Newcastle, Australia, has independently 
and impressively arrived at the same conclusion, also using high-tech tests. His 
findings will be forthcoming in the Shakespeare Quarterly. Whether either of these 
heavy-duty studies will be enough to dislodge the myth of Shakespeare's outsized 
inventory of words and coinages remains to be seen. It is still enthroned and 
entrenched, despite several previous efforts to debunk it.

We would be the last to deny that Shakespeare did have a peerless mastery of the 
language. He did, of course. But his mastery was not so much in the number of words 
that he knew or coined as in the way he put them together. As for Bush, perhaps his 
talents as a word-coiner have been misunderestimated.

Ward E. Y. Elliott and Robert J. Valenza 

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Arlynda Boyer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 21, 2010 9:32:57 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0292 FYI: ShakesPalin
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0292 FYI: ShakesPalin

What, no "exit, pursued by a bear"?!


_______________________________________________________________
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.

Two Gents at Stratford Festival

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0305  Friday, 23 July 2010

[1]  From:      David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      July 20, 2010 5:46:27 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0295  Two Gents at Stratford Festival

[2]  From:      Harry Rusche <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      July 21, 2010 6:59:14 PM EDT
     Subj:      RE: SHK 21.0295  Two Gents at Stratford Festival

[3]  From:      Arlynda Boyer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      July 21, 2010 9:44:31 PM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0295 Two Gents at Stratford Festival

[4]  From:      Justin Alexander <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      July 22, 2010 3:49:59 AM EDT
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0295  Two Gents at Stratford Festival


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 20, 2010 5:46:27 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0295  Two Gents at Stratford Festival
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0295  Two Gents at Stratford Festival

>However, all the versions of Two Gents I've seen used a live dog. 
>The part isn't very big and requires little training."

Abigail Quart's experience is sadly inadequate. Twenty years or so back, somebody at 
Stratford, ONT (Edward Atienza?) used a toy dog on a flexible steel lead, with which 
the doggie performed many beguiling darts and swoops. It was hilarious, and avoided 
every comic actor's (and stage-hand's) pet peeve.

David Evett

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Harry Rusche <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 21, 2010 6:59:14 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0295  Two Gents at Stratford Festival
Comment:      RE: SHK 21.0295  Two Gents at Stratford Festival

However, does anyone remember (because I don't) that there was indeed a trained bear 
that Shakespeare wrote into the play as a bit of extra stage business? Professor 
Hawkes, where are you when I need you? I certainly understand the rather pointed 
(perhaps sarcastic) remark by Ms. Quart, but this is now and I am thinking about 
then.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Arlynda Boyer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 21, 2010 9:44:31 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0295 Two Gents at Stratford Festival
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0295 Two Gents at Stratford Festival

When the American Shakespeare Center staged it a few years ago, they took the 
suggestion of an animal-loving staffer who had worked at the county shelter: they 
used a different shelter dog each week (prescreened for a laidback attitude toward 
applause and teachability), and announced in the pre-show that the dog on stage was 
looking for a loving home and was ready to adopt. It was a wonderful idea, and I 
believe all the dogs were adopted by the end of the run.

Arlynda Boyer

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Justin Alexander <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 22, 2010 3:49:59 AM EDT
Subject: 21.0295  Two Gents at Stratford Festival
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0295  Two Gents at Stratford Festival

Abigail Quart wrote:

>However, all the versions of Two Gents I've seen used a live dog. The 
>part isn't very big and requires little training.

On the other hand, the line "he is a stone, a very pebble stone" is arguably even 
funnier when the dog is stuffed.

Justin Alexander
American Shakespeare Repertory
http://www.american-shakespeare.org


_______________________________________________________________
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.

Microhistory

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0303  Friday, 23 July 2010

From:         Hugh Grady <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 21, 2010 10:07:41 AM EDT
Subject: 21.0284  Microhistory
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0284  Microhistory

My thanks to Duncan Salkeld for his taking the risk and exhuming the "old topic" of 
presentism. It continues to have relevance in my view. And thanks to Harry Rusche 
for his kind words about learning something important from the anthology Terrence 
Hawkes and I co-edited for Routledge in 2007. It's always heartening to hear 
reactions like this.

It took a few days to procure a copy of Duncan Salkeld's article (Cahiers 
Elisabethains, 76 (Autumn 2009), 35-43-it will probably take a college library with 
a good Interlibrary Loan service for most list-members-but I did so. I read it with 
interest and had very mixed reactions. On the one hand, I appreciate the intelligent 
and fair-minded summary of our argument and some of the (varied) examples of 
presentism discussed. I agreed with much of what Salkeld said and want to underline 
that if, as we discussed the complex interactions of past and present in reading 
400-year old texts like Shakespeare's text, we sometimes wrote as if the past and 
the present were clearly distinct, it was because of language and rhetoric rather 
than theoretical intuition, and as Salkeld notes we attempted to counter this 
possible (mis-) reading of our ideas at other points in the article.

My main misgiving about Salkeld's article has to do with the project of "micro-
history" which the second half of it deals with. I truly hope that literary 
criticism does not evolve into the study of finding Thomas Kyd lurking under some 
beloved's bed in the late sixteenth century! Perhaps I misunderstood the example. 
But I think one of the crucial important functions of literary study in contemporary 
Western societies is to as a way of asking and attempting to answer the big 
questions of meaning and significance and of power and powerlessness. We continue to 
need "macro-history" understood as rooted in our own present situation to do this. 
Micro-history, I fear, can too easily fall into the trap of Peter Stallybrass's 
joking label, "the new boredom."

Don't get me wrong. There will always be notes and queries in literary study, and 
the scholarly search for facts is never going to go away. Nor -- and perhaps things 
are different on alternate shores of the Atlantic -- do I see any danger of the 
demise of historical criticism and the search for facts in Shakespeare studies. It 
was rather our perception that historical approaches had become so hegemonic that 
other kinds of criticism, like "presentism," were in danger of being ruled out as 
viable forms of professional scholarship in the institutions of higher learning, 
that several of us had the idea of championing at this point in professional history 
kinds of criticism that had been going on in many different forms for a long time 
anyway. Salkeld seems to have the opposite fear, that presentism has become so 
influential that historicism is now in danger! I can assure one and all that this is 
very far from the case and that there remains the need to argue for a place for 
presentism in professional academic criticism.

--Hugh Grady

_______________________________________________________________
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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