The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0276 Friday, 7 June 2013
Date: June 6, 2013 9:10:16 PM EDT
Subject: Metrical Skepticism: Paglia on Pentameter
“Some American directors, as reported by my students, make the actors annotate Shakespeare’s blank verse, so that they know they are playing poetry. I am highly skeptical and even disapproving of this practice . . . . I fail to see how concern about the blank verse can do anything but disorient and unnerve American actors. The power of language in Shakespeare’s plays resides more in variation than in regularity. There is a robust physicality and even muscularity in his speeches, which can be as jagged and syncopated as jazz.”
Camille Paglia, “Teaching Shakespeare to Actors” in Living With Shakespeare (ed. Susannah Carson, 2013).