Dickie, Your Boy

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.242  Tuesday, 26 July 2016

 

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

Date:         July 22, 2016 at 7:35:40 PM EDT

Subject:    Dickie, Your Boy

 

Herewith a sample of Cumberbatch’s public-school Richard, as callow a performance as ever warmed the hearts of his parents on Class Day.  True to form, he also makes several mistakes in his opening monologue.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn8NHUt5ZH8

 

--Charles Weinstein

 

 

 

 

MV Appropriation

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.241  Friday, 22 July 2016

 

[1] From:        Mari Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         July 8, 2016 at 5:10:02 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: MV Appropriation; MV Dialog 

 

[2] From:        Jim Carroll <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         July 8, 2016 at 7:14:21 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: MV Appropriation 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         July 8, 2016 at 5:10:02 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: MV Appropriation; MV Dialog

 

I was quite willing to allow Bill Blanton's offer of one possible dimension of meaning in Merchant.

 

And then I got to this paragraph: “By late 1596, Elizabeth was 63 years old, and showing her age. To Shakespeare and the Earls of Essex and Southampton, Elizabeth was like the Sibyl: she just kept on living whereas they desperately needed a regime change.”

 

ExCUSE me?  Where have we even a shred of evidence that Shakespeare “desperately needed a regime change”?  Essex and Southampton we know, of course. But Shakespeare?

 

I am no scholar, but I am an avid reader and I have read a lot of Elizabethan history as well as material about Shakespeare. Nowhere have I ever seen such an assertion made.

 

Mari Bonomi

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         July 8, 2016 at 7:14:21 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: MV Appropriation

 

After this interesting set of posts I think I can speak for everyone by saying how great it is to have Hardy back, and with the Shakespeare list!

 

[Editor’s Note: Sorry if my return was precipitous. –Hardy]

 

To Bill Blanton: I can believe Shakespeare might have colored his portrayal of Portia with touches of the queen’s habits or character. He might have wanted to equate Portia and her attractive qualities with the queen to flatter the queen, but that’s hardly provable. As an edition of Shakespeare that I have puts it “To no other writer of the period could we be indebted for the charming combination of womanly grace, and dignity, and playfulness, which is found in Portia.” So analogies could be found between one good woman and another without any intention by Shakespeare to connect Portia with the queen. The difficulty in making the association is that introducing Elizabeth explicitly into the play does exactly what for the drama or the story itself?

 

Jim Carroll

 

 

 

RSC Faustus

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.240  Friday, 22 July 2016

 

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

Date:         July 11, 2016 at 6:00:58 AM EDT

Subject:    RSC Faustus

 

I saw the RSC Faustus on Saturday. It is far and away the worst production that I have ever seen at the RSC. The text was edited in such a way as to make the performance incomprehensible, and the sets and costumes were utterly unappealing. The only interesting thing was the expert way in which the actor playing Faustus inscribed a circle on the stage. It must have taken him hours of rehearsal and massive public subsidy. 

By the end of the performance (1 hr. 45 mins with no interval) I wanted to hang draw and quarter the director whose understanding of Marlowe's play was Neanderthal.  Anybody contemplating seeing this truly awful production should wipe out from their memories any sense of the text of the play, or any previous knowledge of what the play is about.  I had thought that things were improving at the RSC, but on the evidence of this the company has taken a few gigantic steps backwards!

 

 

John Drakakis

 

Trumping Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.239  Friday, 22 July 2016

 

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

Date:         July 14, 2016 at 7:04:34 PM EDT

Subject:     Trumping Shakespeare: Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and the Rise of the Clown Politician

 

Dear Professor Cook

 

I wonder if you might consider including in the list serve a link to my recent Blog response, published on the Kingston Shakespeare website, to the May 26, 2016 LA Times article, The Theater of Trump: What Shakespeare can teach us about the Donald

 

https://kingstonshakespeareseminar.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/trumping-shakespeare-donald-trump-boris-johnson-and-the-rise-of-the-clown-politician/

 

Thank you for your consideration. 

 

Best Wishes, 

Paul Hamilton 

PhD Shakespeare Institute, 

University of Birmingham 

 

 

 

Shakespeare’s Will

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.238  Friday, 22 July 2016

 

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

Date:         Friday, July 22, 2016

Subject:     Shakespeare’s Will

 

http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/shakespeares-will-new-interpretation/

 

Shakespeare’s Will: A New Interpretation

 

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Amanda Bevan

 

As head of legal records at The National Archives, I’ve been looking in detail at one of our treasures: Shakespeare’s original will, full of amendments, which was left in the probate court by his executor.

 

Shakespeare’s will was first discussed in 1747 by the Stratford antiquarian Joseph Greene. He was disappointed by it, as has been almost every other commentator since. It seems an oddly unfeeling and unsympathetic document, and is often interpreted as proof of the unsatisfactory nature of Shakespeare’s character, last years and family life.

 

I’ve come to two new conclusions, which are important for our knowledge of Shakespeare and his family:

  • I have redated parts of the 1616 will to three years earlier, with implications for how we understand Shakespeare’s last years.
  • I have placed in context those parts of his will which are cited as evidence that he was unkind towards his family, and offer a new interpretation of Shakespeare’s intentions.

 

Handling the will

In 2013, the artist Anna Brass made two films about Shakespeare’s will for us. We looked at his original will, but –like everyone else – were not allowed to handle it. So Anna recreated the original will from a digital image, printing it full size in A3 and in colour, trimming it back to the ragged edges of the original paper, and folding it along its old fold-lines.

 

Carrying the facsimile around, I read it and reread it, examined the layout and the alterations, considered the different shades of ink, and created a new transcription.

 

And gradually I came to think that perhaps the accepted date and interpretation could be wrong.

 

Redating the will

Easter was early in 1616, falling on 31 March. It was a hard time for the Shakespeare family. On 25 March William Shakespeare, apparently ill, revised his will. The next day his new son-in-law, Thomas Quiney, confessed in church to fathering a child with another woman. In the next month, the family suffered two deaths: his brother in law on 17 April, and William Shakespeare himself on 23 April.

 

In late June, John Hall (William’s other son-in-law and joint executor) travelled to London with the original will to get a grant of probate. The probate court made a copy for John to take back to Stratford upon Avon, as authority to collect debts and distribute bequests, but kept the original to make an official copy in the register of wills. 

 

Both copies accepted the changes written throughout the original, creating the impression of one smooth text. But the original will, with all its amendments, gives us a glimpse of Shakespeare in action.

 

The original three-page will is dated 25 January 1616, with January crossed out and replaced by March. A common view is that a new page one, altered from the old, was written in March (with January initially copied by mistake).

 

I’m adding another date to the mix: April 1613. I have identified page two as a page reused from a previously unknown will, written probably three years earlier when Shakespeare invested in a substantial London property, the Blackfriars Gatehouse.

 

I also argue that the other two pages were rewritten in January 1616, and that all three pages were slightly amended in dark ink in March 1616.

 

[ . . . ]

 

 

 

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