2011

Questions on Things Said by Jaques

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0177  Saturday, 30 July 2011

From:         Chris Kendall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 30, 2011 1:52:06 AM EDT
Subject:     Jaques

>David Basch:
>
>Jacques railing may be an allusion to the wail of the Egyptians reacting to the
>final plague of Exodus, but it sounds more like he's setting himself up as the
>Angel of Death. Strong reaction to a mere loss of sleep.

Still, I admit to feeling much the same way when I lived in NYC and an unattended car alarm pierced the air of 3 a.m.

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A wanton stage direction

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0176  Saturday, 30 July 2011
 
From:         Alan Dessen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 29, 2011 1:51 PM EDT
Subject:     A wanton stage direction

When going through Massinger’s The City Madam (in advance of seeing the RSC production), I came across the stage direction that ends 2.3 in the on-line old spelling edition: “Exeunt wanton, Musick plaid before’em.” Cyrus Hoy, the editor of the 1964 Regents Renaissance Drama text, changes the punctuation to have the s.d. read: “Exeunt, wanton music played before ‘em” (3.2.99, p. 49). “Wanton-wantonly” appears twice in our stage direction database, but neither usage is linked to music. The key figure in this scene is Shave’em, a prostitute, who is leading off the apprentice Goldwire to wanton activity. I see at least three options: 1) the context would fit “wanton music” if there was such a thing; 2) “wanton” refers to Shave’em; or 3) the signal should be understood as “Exeunt wantonly . . . ,” a usage found in a s.d. from Act IV of Massinger’s The Roman Actor: “Courting Paris wantonly.” (Middleton’s Your Five Gallants also calls for “wanton action”).

Are there any SHAKSPER participants with wanton expertise?

Alan Dessen

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BBC America Releases Details of "Hamlet at Elsinore" DVD

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0174  Friday, 29 July 2011

From:         Patty Winter <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 28, 2011 1:20:28 PM EDT
Subject:     BBC America Releases Details of "Hamlet at Elsinore" DVD

The BBC America online store has now posted a release date for the Christopher Plummer “Hamlet at Elsinore,” along with further details about the DVD. So despite the disclaimer that not all shows mentioned on their “DVDs in the Works” blog will actually be released, this one is now officially a go!

http://www.bbcamericashop.com/dvd/hamlet-at-elsinore-16015.html

They’re now taking pre-orders for the Oct. 25 release. (I see that Amazon also has a placeholder for the DVD, but I’m ordering it directly from BBC America to show my appreciation for their efforts in making this TV program available to the public.)

The single-disc release will have the 2.75-hour play plus a 90-minute conversation with Mr. Plummer recorded at the 2011 Sarasota Film Festival, where this restored video was first shown. It is a Region 1 DVD, which is ironic for a film that originated in the UK, but I’ve heard that many folks across the pond have multiregional DVD players, so I hope that everyone on this list who wants to see the play can do so.

For those who haven’t seen it previously, here’s the original blog posting about the upcoming DVD:

http://www.bbcamericashop.com/blog/dvds-in-the-works/2011/05/13/hamlet-at-elsinore/

Patty

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Questions on Things Said by Jaques

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0175  Friday, 29 July 2011

From:         David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 28, 2011 10:46:16 AM EDT
Subject:      Re: SHAKSPER: Q: Jacques; MV

Philip Weller asks what Jaques may have meant when he commented on the singers in the forest, “I’ll go sleep, if I can; if I cannot, I’ll rail against all the first-born of Egypt.” I read a comment on this as an allusion to the comment of the “great wail” that was sounded in Egypt at the death of all the Egyptian first-born.

He also asks about Jaques comment concerning the jester, Touchstone, “A fool, a fool! I met a fool i’ the forest, / A motley fool; a miserable world!” Here, I think he could have meant that for such a “fool” to be on earth means we have a “miserable world.”

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Merchant of Venice in a Las Vegas Setting

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0173  Wednesday, 27 July 2011

[1] From       Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:      July 26, 2011 2:45:23 PM EDT
      Subj:      Merchant of Venice in a Las Vegas Setting

[2] From:      Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
      Date:      July 26, 2011 7:00:25 PM EDT
      Subj:      Re: Merchant of Venice in a Las Vegas Setting


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 26, 2011 2:45:23 PM EDT
Subject:     Merchant of Venice in a Las Vegas Setting

Don Bloom admits,

>It is possible that I lack the ability to distance myself from the "pound of
>flesh" scene. But I take it absolutely at face value. Antonio will be cut open
>if Portia does not rescue him by a twist of the law.
 
I agree with Don that Shylock by trial time is out for the blood and flesh of Antonio, as vengeful recompense for the theft of rebellious jewel-laden Jessica ("My own flesh and blood to rebel!"). I wonder though: as Shylock is about to circumcise the merchant's heart, did Shakespeare contemplate having Shylock cry out, "Let me anatomize Antonio; see what breeds about his heart."?
 
Best,
Joe Egert

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Carol Barton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 26, 2011 7:00:25 PM EDT
Subject:     Re: Merchant of Venice in a Las Vegas Setting

Joe, I don't think Larry would object to being referred to as "a Jew" any more than you would object to being referred to as "a Christian"--but to have his name replaced with the term "Jew" the way Shylock's is would be to objectify him--a malign metonymy if you will, since one's religious persuasion is only a part of his or her identity as a human being, and in this case, it's a clear pejorative--like calling someone "dog."
 
David, I will have to respond when I have more time--but I agree with you. I too think Shylock is "pushing the envelope," waiting for the last possible nanosecond to show mercy to an unrepentant foe.
 
Consider, please, that the reason the fallen angels are damned in Paradise Lost is that they cannot, will not, ask forgiveness (pride). When does Antonio apologize for his cruel and bigoted abuse of Shylock?
 
Best to all,
Carol

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DONATION: Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER: 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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