Launch: Issue 7.1. Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0268  Tuesday, 26 June 2012


From:        Sujata Iyengar <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         June 25, 2012 4:41:01 PM EDT

Subject:     Launch: Issue 7.1. Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation


The editors of the peer-reviewed, online, multimedia periodical Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation (CELJ Winner, “Best New Journal,” 2007) are delighted to announce issue 7.1, which features Peter Holland’s plenary lecture from this year’s Shakespeare Association of America meeting (complete with film clips and high-resolution images); Giselle Rampaul’s essay on Shakespeare and King of the Masquerade; Brian Walsh’s discoveries about the Shakespeare windows in Southwark Cathedral (with illustrations); Regula Hohl Trillini’s exhaustive analysis of appropriations of Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be” speech; and book reviews by Julie Sanders and Lisa Bolding.


Please visit the journal (, “like” our Facebook page, tell your friends, and consider sending us your own excellent work.


Best wishes,

Sujata Iyengar, Professor

Co-general editor of Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation

Department of English

University of Georgia

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Shorthand Example (Egan, Davidson)


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0267  Monday, 25 June 2012


From:        Gerald E. Downs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         June 25, 2012 1:06:58 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: Shorthand Example (Egan, Davidson)


Steven Urkowitz responded to my shorthand example from Q1 Hamlet:


> I’d have us imagine that a certain playwright had . . . a

> sentence which . . . reads as if it is incomplete.


The Laertes sentence is complete enough; it doesn’t make any sense because it belongs to another scene.


> And I’d have us imagine that he disported this device at

> the occasional moment when he wanted to create a


We imagine that he used this device when we need to account for an insensible line to preserve the idea that Shakespeare designed Q1. But that kind of coincidence is highly improbable.


> So, in the instance cited below in a cut-and-paste from

> Gerald Downs’ post, I offer as a possible generative

> narrative that Shakespeare (himself, why not?)


Q1 is a very bad quarto. Shakespeare is not himself this time.


> “[By] My will, Not all the world [shall let my revenge].” with

> the “By” and the “shall let my revenge” being explained as

> implied,


“There shall be no let for revenge” means ‘no hindrance,’ In which case, “I don’t need no no hindrance” isn’t very sensible.


> such an explanation plausibly


Well, “plausibly” is bad argument if that’s all you have. We have Q2 telling a different story, where “My will . . .” fits.


> My point is that just because something illogical or

> ungrammatical appears in a text, we can’t just declare


It's not merely illogical and it's not ungrammatical. It's insensible and in the wrong place, demonstrably. Are we to suppose that Shakespeare rewrote the line later, this time to make sense?


Steven Urkowitz proposes an alternative to van Dam’s explication. But R. S. Crane observes that


> We must be guided . . . in choosing among alternative

> hypotheses [by] . . . economy: that hypothesis is the

> best . . . which requires the fewest supplementary

> hypotheses to make it work or which entails the least

> amount of explaining away.


I don’t know who Crane is, but that’s good advice. I got it from Steven’s

Shakespeare’s Revision of King Lear (148). Who’s ‘explaining away’ the evidence here? And who’s not counting ‘supplementary guesses’?


The fact is, playwrights write sensible dialogue most all the time (even Shakespeare!). When it isn’t, probability (math) says it’s corruption. The evidence agrees: transpositions (plenty more); borrowings; repetitions; you name it; etc. Q2 proves these things.


Gerald E. Downs

Oregon Shakespeare Festival Archive Project


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0266  Monday, 25 June 2012


From:        Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Saturday, June 23, 2012 10:01 AM

Subject:     Oregon Shakespeare Festival Archive Project


My friends at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Archive are applying for an NEA grant to digitalize their hundreds of tapes and put those recorded between 1951 and 1980, when OSF signed their first contract with actor’s equity, on the web to make these full show and selected radio broadcasts available to everyone.


OSF’s recordings include productions of all 37 plays in the standard canon, many recorded several times by several casts. The recordings were directed for the microphone by Andrew C. Love of NBC Radio to ensure a quality recording. Most of the tapes are what OSF calls “full show” recordings, though they preserve the textual cuts made for the stage. In addition, and for something like 17 years from the fifties and into the seventies, OSF also made one-hour radio broadcasts syndicated throughout the United States and made available for classroom use. Virtually none of these reel-to-reel tapes can be heard now because of their fragile condition. Digitizing them is a necessity, but OSF’s desire to make this material free to anyone with an internet connection presents a fantastic opportunity to media, performance, and other scholars.


I have already used this material in the limited way that I can (given its condition) for my contributions to the book SHAKESPEARE AFTER SHAKESPEARES (Richard Burt, ed., Greenwood Press, 2007) and for an article in the next SHAKESPEARE SURVEY 65 (Cambridge University Press, 2013), and have written my letter in support. The OSF Archive seeks letters from others willing to write to the NEA supporting the grant. There is some value in numbers, but the most convincing letters will be by those who have an actual research project, current or planned, that would use this material. Gwyn Hervochon of the Archive would like to contact possible letter-writers on Monday to tell them what is needed. If you would like to write the NEA in support of this project, especially if you have research project that you are willing to describe, Gwyn would like to contact you. Please let me know if you are willing to write a letter and give me your contact information. I will pass it along to Gwyn Sunday night so that she can get to work on this Monday morning. 


Please accept my apology for cross-postings,

Mike Jensen


Shakespeare in the Park: As You Like It


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0265  Monday, 25 June 2012


From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Monday, June 25, 2012

Subject:     Shakespeare in the Park: As You Like It


[Editor’s Note: This excerpt is from Thursday’s New York Times. –Hardy]


Central Park, a Forest of Ardor

‘As You Like It,’ With Lily Rabe in Central Park


June 21, 2012

Central Park, a Forest of Ardor

By Charles Isherwood


The Public Theater celebrates 50 years of Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater this summer. By all rights the city’s theater lovers should be showering the company with bouquets, and in a sense they do, day after day, summer after summer, snapping up the free tickets to this cherished New York institution whether the clouds threaten rain or the mosquitoes swarm.


In grateful response the Public has given the city its own celebratory gift by mounting an absolutely smashing production of “As You Like It” that exemplifies the virtues of Shakespeare in the Park at its best — warmth, vigor, accessibility and lucidity — and also proves to be the funniest and most rewarding production of this rich, complicated comedy that I have yet seen.


This is not entirely an unforeseen triumph. The director, Daniel Sullivan, has established himself as perhaps the most reliably fine Shakespeare interpreter in New York. His “Twelfth Night” and “Merchant of Venice” for Shakespeare in the Park were both superb. And the luminous Lily Rabe, who rose to stage stardom as Portia opposite Al Pacino’s Shylock, returns as an enchanting Rosalind, one of Shakespeare’s most challenging and rewarding female roles.


The production is set in the 19th-century American South, the better to accommodate the wonderful bluegrass-flavored score — dominated by the jovial twang of a banjo — composed by Steve Martin. (Yes, that Steve Martin, taking a break from movie starring, novel writing and art buying.) On a lush set by John Lee Beatty that invites the surrounding foliage from Central Park to take a turn onstage, the comedy’s high spirits and its undertone of melancholy are kept in perfect balance. Mr. Sullivan also weaves together the busy welter of subplots with uncommon dexterity, resulting in a satisfying tapestry depicting love in all its wonder and surprise, its breathtaking highs and its despairing lows.


The irrational impulses that often guide human behavior are in full rein as the play begins, although the accent is on the implacable nature of ill feeling. Orlando (David Furr) is bridling under his humiliating treatment at the hands of his older brother, Oliver (Omar Metwally). In the comedy’s first hint of the heart’s fickle nature, Oliver himself cannot adequately divine the sources of his enmity. “My soul — I know not why — hates nothing more than he,” he wonderingly confesses, even as he plots to have Orlando killed.


No more sensible is the sudden twist of feeling that inspires Duke Frederick (Andre Braugher, expertly doubling as the good Duke Senior) to banish Rosalind from the court he has usurped from her father, despite the lifelong affection between Rosalind and his daughter, Celia (a tart, appealing Renee Elise Goldsberry).


[ . . . ]


Ms. Rabe’s Rosalind moves from playful to profound, from stern taskmaster to heartsick ingénue, so nimbly that the transitions continually catch you by surprise. After one of the comic tutorials in which Ganymede-as-Rosalind tries to mock Orlando out of his unyielding affection, Ms. Rabe falls to her knees in a sudden rush of feeling. In testing his love she is really plumbing the depths of her own, and what she discovers leaves her trembling with anxiety at how deeply her heart is engaged.


Mr. Furr, seen in the Roundabout’s excellent “Importance of Being Earnest” last year, is likewise a superb Shakespearean actor. His Orlando exudes an ardent confidence in the truth of his feeling that makes him a formidable foil for Ganymede’s prickly taunting and, more important, a steadfast lover for Rosalind when she finally drops the pretense at the jubilant conclusion.


Playing in counterpoint to the games between Rosalind and Orlando are three other love matches sprouting at different paces amid the Arden greenery. Oliver Platt gives the evening’s most robustly funny performance as Touchstone, the quick-tongued fool whom Rosalind and Celia have brought along to ease the hardship of their life away from court.


Scorning Orlando’s versifying — in a delicious touch he wipes his mouth with one of the poems he snatches from a tree trunk — Mr. Platt’s rumbustious wooing of the nearly speechless goatherd Audrey (an unrecognizably dirt-besmirched Donna Lynne Champlin) is a fun-house version of the talky romance between their betters.


The unrequited love of the shepherd Silvius (an affectingly forlorn Will Rogers) for the shepherdess Phoebe (Susannah Flood) shows the wayward path of Cupid’s arrows in another comic light, when a single glimpse of Ganymede leaves Phoebe ready to pen her own moony tributes to her new amour.


[ . . . ]


All this romantic romping merely inspires raised eyebrows and wry bemusement from the play’s famous cynic, Jaques, portrayed with a quiet dignity and understated melancholy by Stephen Spinella. His farewell to the happy couples united in the play’s celebratory finale is admirably free of rancor and cynicism — or, for that matter, melancholy. Mr. Spinella’s Jaques merely prefers thinking to dancing, and marches quietly off in search of more cerebral food.


[ . . . ]




The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0264  Friday, 22 June 2012


From:        David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         June 21, 2012 4:22:05 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Himself


Regarding the subject of Falstaff under the banner of HIMSELF on list, I had submitted the material that I found on this, including Peter Levi’s observation of the court record that records John Shakespeare’s name as “Johannem Shakere.” No one else beside Levi seems to have reported this, although I tried to find corroboration. However, with Peter Levi’s books featured and reviewed on two occasions in the New York Times Book Review section (about ten years ago), I concluded that he is a reputable historian. (I have in vain tried to reach him.)


In my earlier piece, I pointed out that Shakespeare’s Coat of Arms features a falcon which in falconry is known as a “saker” and is a word that can be found in our dictionaries. I noted the coincidence of the similarity of “shakere” and “saker” and thought that that could possibly be meaningful.


Since I know that “shakere” in Hebrew means “false,” (the word is a variation of usual Hebrew form, “sheker,” being the way the word is pronounced in the Hebrew Bible when it appears at the end of a sentence—it does in the Ninth Commandment, being the last words in the sentence as “eyde shakere”—literally “witness false.” This meaning seems to align with the FALS in FALStaff, amounting to another allusion to the name Shakere, although it also aligns with the FAL of FALcon, which I noted.


I pooled the above information with what I have heard about Falstaff being a stand-in for the poet himself because of the character’s great wit. I related this to John Brigg’s suggestion that William played the part of John Falstaff. Since the name John corresponds to both Falstaff and John S, I suggested that perhaps this could be an allusion to the personality of John Shakespeare. If so, it would have been a character that the poet would have relished in playing, thereby supporting Briggs’ suggestion.


The above is about the size of what I presented. It can be accepted or rejected by readers in part or whole. It can be used by others in forming their own interpretations through pooling their own command of historical facts. I would think that all shreds of information about the poet would be of interest and welcome. Who knows what others on list could make of this information?


Larry Weiss’s dissertation on my piece was interesting but seems rather irrelevant to my remarks since I put them forward on list at face value with all their raw challenges, rather than as bringing forth any definitive conclusion that needed to be shot down.


David Basch


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