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Gobbo Name

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.169  Wednesday, 8 April 2015

 

[1] From:        William Blanton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         March 28, 2015 at 1:04:00 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Gobbo 

 

[2] From:        William Blanton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         April 2, 2015 at 1:32:21 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Gobbo 

 

 

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

From:        William Blanton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         March 28, 2015 at 1:04:00 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Gobbo

 

Great news! Mr. Weiss assures me that it is not the case that I am the only qualified trial attorney to have analyzed the Trial Scene. Evidently, his more experienced efforts at Shakespearean research have uncovered what I have missed. I look forward to reading what these other attorneys have had to say about the Trial Scene.

 

Unfortunately, Mr. Weiss forgot to provide references to these articles. I’m sure he will correct this oversight in the near future.

 

 

Professor Egan challenges my use of the word “changed” in reference to what I called the change from “precedent” in Q1 to “President” in F1.He asserts that the Elizabethans used the two words interchangeably, and that a scribe or compositor may have substituted “President” for “precedent” on a whim.

 

As did Mr. Weiss, Professor Egan forgot to provide references. 

Pending his response supplying that information, I have done some research.

 

Thanks to a helpful reader, I obtained access to the online OED, and copied the entire entries for these two words. If anyone wishes copies, please email me and I will provide the PDFs.

 

Cutting to the chase, the OED shows that the two words are spelled differently, are pronounced slightly differently, and have different meanings. There is no category of meaning under “president” anything like: 

 

“A judicial decision which constitutes an authoritative example or rule for subsequent analogous cases; a form of a document which has been found valid or useful in the past and can be copied or adapted.”

 

That meaning appears under “precedent,” in the meaning category “law.” The first alpha historical example is “1600 Shakespeare Merchant of Venice iv. i. 217   There is no power in Venice can altar [sic] a decree established: twill be recorded for a precedent.”

 

The beta historical examples do show some instances in which this same meaning is spelled “president.” Some Elizabethans undoubtedly spelled it that way.

 

But we are not dealing with just any Elizabethan; we are dealing with Shakespeare. Let’s see how he used these two words.

 

A Concordance to Shakespeare’s Works lists 21 entries for “precedent” and only one entry for “president.” Based on statistics alone, Shakespeare did not use the two words interchangeably. 

 

The single entry for “president” is:

 

Antony and Cleopatra

Act 3, Scene 7

 

CLEOPATRA                  Sink Rome, and their tongues rot

That speak against us! A charge we bear i' the war,

And, as the president of my kingdom, will

Appear there for a man. Speak not against it:

I will not stay behind.

 

In the 21 entries for “precedent,” Shakespeare always used it in the legal sense when his characters were discussing something legal or legal-like.

 

 

Speaking as a self-confessed amateur/low caste professional, I believe that Shakespeare himself wrote the version of The Merchant of Venice that Heminge and Condell included in the First Folio, and that he was the one who marked-up Q1 to produce that version.

Here’s what Heminge and Condell said in their introduction:

 

To the great Variety of Readers.

 

It had bene a thing, we confesse, worthie to have bene wished, that the Author himselfe had liv’d to have set forth, and overseen his owne writings ; But since it hath bin ordain’d otherwise, and he by death departed from that right, we pray you do not envie his Friends, the office of their care, and paine, to have collected & publish’d them; and so to have publish’d them, as where (before) you were abus’d with diverse stolne, and surreptitious copies, maimed, and deformed by the frauds and stealthes of injurious impostors, that expos’d them : even those, are now offer’d to your view cur’d, and perfect of their limbes; and all the rest, absolute in their numbers, as he conceived the’. Who, as he was a happie imitator of Nature, was a most gentle expresser of it. His mind and hand went together: And what he thought, he uttered with that easinesse, that wee have scarse received from him a blot in his papers. But it is not our province, who onely gather his works, and give them you, to praise him. It is yours that reade him. And there we hope, to your divers capacities, you will finde enough, both to draw, and hold you : for his wit can no more lie hid, then it could be lost. Reade him, therefore; and againe, and againe : And if then you doe not like him, surely you are in some manifest danger, not to understand him. And so we leave you to other of his Friends, whom if you need, can bee your guides : if you neede them not, you can leade your selves, and others. And such Readers we wish him.

 

John Heminge.

Henrie Condell.

 

 

This contemporaneous editorial testimony by Shakespeare’s good friends and fellow actors/sharers constitutes prima facie evidence supporting my belief. Anyone wishing to challenge this evidence must produce contrary evidence. Speculations concerning unknown scribes or compositors with unknown motives will not suffice. Show us the ocular proof.

 

Regards,

Bill

 

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

From:        William Blanton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 2, 2015 at 1:32:21 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Gobbo

 

I should clarify one point. I am aware of one qualified trial attorney who has analyzed the Trial Scene: Daniel Kornstein, in Chapter Four of his book Kill All The Lawyers. However, Mr. Kornstein did not educate himself in sixteenth century English law and trial practice, as I have done. I cited Mr. Kornstein’s work in my article, and sent him a copy of that article before I created my website for it. He wrote me back (in July 2009), said he found my discoveries fascinating, and sent me a copy of his book.

 

Bill 

 
 
Criticism of Erne

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.168  Wednesday, 8 April 2015

 

[1] From:        Anthony Burton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         March 25, 2015 at 1:16:05 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Erne

 

[2] From:        Mike Jensen < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         March 25, 2015 at 3:03:36 PM EDT

     Subject:    Criticism of Erne 

 

[3] From:        Steve Urkowitz < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         March 25, 2015 at 8:48:43 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Erne 

 

[4] From:        Gabriel Egan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         March 26, 2015 at 7:24:01 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Erne 

 

[5] From:        Sean Lawrence < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         March 25, 2015 at 2:51:01 PM EDT

     Subject:    RE: SHAKSPER: Erne

 

 

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

From:        Anthony Burton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         March 25, 2015 at 1:16:05 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Erne

 

I am not qualified to speak pro or con to the various issues raised by Erne’s assertions, but I’ve always harbored a pet and entirely speculative notion regarding multiple texts, as follows:  

 

Shakespeare’s company (and perhaps others) could obtain the equivalent of copyright or at least common law legal protection if they maintained a single unperformably overlong master text to register with the Stationer’s Office or to keep as the property of the company.  The “master text” contained all those good lines and thoughts and variants that could not be acted in a single play or before all audiences.  

 

Has anyone pursued this line of thought?  Is there any strong support either for or against it, or is it to remain just my private fantasy?

 

Tony Burton

 

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

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

Date:         March 25, 2015 at 3:03:36 PM EDT

Subject:    Criticism of Erne

 

“It seems to me that assumptions that play scripts were cut to accommodate playing times of two hours or so run aground on the research showing that Eliz/Jac entertainments ran to about four hours . . . See Michael Hirrel’s article Duration of Performances and Lengths of Plays, 61 Shakespeare Quarterly 159-82.”

 

The last thing I am is a defender of Erne’s theory, but this comment is a little out of date. He answered Hirrel on pages 14-7 of the second edition of Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist, CUP, 2013. We can debate if Erne’s answer was convincing, but we should at least start with the current argument.

 

With all the negativity in this thread, I hope we do not lose sight of something that matters more, and that is the Lukas in one of the nicest Shakespeareans working today.

 

All the best, 

Mike Jensen 

www.michaelpjensen.com

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Steve Urkowitz < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         March 25, 2015 at 8:48:43 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Erne

 

Urk’s Response to Gabriel Egan, who wrote: 

 

Steve Urkowitz offers a pointer to his own article on the topic of how long play performances were.  I read the article when it came out and if my notes on it are accurate then Steve thinks that play scripts were routinely cut by about 10% for performance, whereas Erne thinks they were cut by 30%. Could Steve say how his difference of opinion with Erne regarding the 20% is in his view fatal to Erne’s argument that Shakespeare wrote for a readership as well as an audience?  If he could also answer Joe Falocco’s essay arguing precisely the opposite of his claim in the same volume of Shakespeare Bulletin that would be especially illuminating and appreciated.

 

Yikes!  I can see that I’m not getting through to Gabriel Egan.  My disagreement with Lukas Erne can be restated more simply:  Erne argues that long versions of Early Modern plays were written primarily for literary purposes because (sez he) a two-hour time-constraint kept them from being performed uncut, and if the short quarto versions represented what early Modern audiences actually saw in their two-hour clicks of entertainment, then much of what WE value as Shakespeare’s literary elegance seems to have been cut out of those early performances.  Ergo, Shakespeare Literateur, not so much Dramatist.  

 

I argue instead that Erne, Gurr, Orgel, and Hart misrepresent (essentially cherry-pick) the basic data on which they build their narrative about play cutting. The later and longer plays (which if they were in fact intended for publication rather than performance somehow failed to make it to the printers during the author’s lifetime) didn’t have to be cut.  People LIKED them long (sez me). Read most of the multiple-text plays in order of printing (Q-F 2 Henry VI; O-F 3 Henry VI, Q1-Q2-F Hamlet, etc.)   And you can learn about theatrical craftsmanship just as you learn about the craft of etching as you see Rembrandt work and re-work one of his plates. But you have to have your eyes open looking at Rembrandt, and you have to understand the “language” of stagecraft when you go at those scripts. (Despite Gabriel Egan’s notes, I do not claim that playscripts were regularly cut by 10 %.  Some were.  Many not.  A lot were expanded. It ain’t percentages, it’s quality and craft. 

 

Joe Falocco’s essay is not relevant to my discussion of Early Modern material because he (1) accepts the Erne-Gurr-Orgel-Hart story as given, and he treats later theatrical practice as if it has any bearing projecting backwards in time to how Shakespeare’s company performed his plays. The best “illumination” I might offer is, again,  the suggestion that interested folk read my essay.  

 

Most important, if one examines the cutting performed on let us say King Lear  as one moves from the longer 1608 Quarto to the shorter 1623 Folio (see my newly re-issued Shakespeare’s Revision of King Lear {Princeton, 1980; rpt. [on demand] 2015}), it looks nothing at all like the differences found between the short 1597 and much longer 1599 R&J texts.  But I’ve been arguing for 30 years that these earlier printed quartos were Shakespeare’s earlier drafts. (Jerry Downs: STOP READING HERE!) The fun of my thesis is that we can see wonderful invention happening. Following the Erne thesis leads to gloomy conclusions about how stupid (and hurried?) were the good folk Shakespeare spent his life writing for and playing in front of.  

 

I’ll bring along offprints of some of my essays to the SAA, happy to hand them out to any who ask.  As with the Shakespeare Bulletin essay, they all have some good jokes. 

 

I'm off to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton VA for this year’s actor-directed Renaissance Season—The Taming of the Shrew  The Rover  The White Devil  Every Man in His Humour  Mother Bombie—All in one weekend and madcap as all get-out.

 

Urquartowitz Redivivus

 

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Gabriel Egan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         March 26, 2015 at 7:24:01 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Erne

 

Pervez Rizvi hits the nail on the head:

 

> Erne is least convincing when he argues for a

> 'coherent strategy' of publication in the late

> 16th century which was abandoned in the 17th century.

 

Erne more or less admits that he can’t explain why the publication of new Shakespeare plays fell so sharply after 1600. One possible answer he doesn’t avail himself of is that Shakespeare’s general popularity waned somewhat in the theatre and the bookshop.

 

This is the argument of Gary Taylor’s article “Shakespeare’s Midlife Crisis” The Guardian (newspaper) 3 May 2004 p. 11. According to Taylor, Shakespeare recovered from this by teaming up with younger writers who had “the juice” he was now lacking. This does rather neatly explain the return to collaborative writing around 1605, in which Shakespeare was now the senior partner rather than the junior partner as he had been in the early 1590s.

 

As Erne shows in ‘Shakespeare and the Book Trade’, despite the dip in the early 1600s of publication of new plays by Shakespeare he was by virtually every metric the best-selling published author of his lifetime. That he was indifferent to this extraordinary success is hard to imagine.

 

Gabriel Egan

 

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Sean Lawrence < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         March 25, 2015 at 2:51:01 PM EDT

Subject:    RE: SHAKSPER: Erne

 

Pervez Rizvi seems to have made the most reasoned contribution so far on Erne. 

 

I should merely like to add that a good deal of this discussion and allied discussions—none of which I shall review—seems to presume not so much authorial intent as authorial micromanagement. The notion of an author sweating over his texts, desperately defending his artistic integrity against meddling editors seems very much a recent idea. This is not to say that Shakespeare wrote in a spirit of indifference, but only that he wasn’t the sort of control freak who would refuse suggestions and changes, or double-check copytexts. Deciding who inserted an alternate spelling and whether it was intended to be read or heard isn’t going to solve the problem of whether it’s significant, and if so, how significant. 

 

The early texts offer a wide range of possible readings. Indeed, if the Folio cover is to be believed, they’re designed for a wide range of possible readers. Most of our problems are matters of literary interpretation, not bibliography. 

 

Yours,

Sean.

 
 
Lear Films

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.167  Wednesday, 8 April 2015

 

From:        Richard A. Strier < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 2, 2015 at 4:49:24 PM EDT

Subject:    RE: SHAKSPER:  Lear Films

 

I have not seen the Mendes Lear, so cannot comment on that, but I must take strong issue with Charles Weinstein’s claim that “there hasn’t been a successful screen version of King Lear.”  I think that the Peter Brook film of 1971 and the Kozintsev film of the same year are both masterpieces—the latter possibly even greater.  I think they are both among the greatest Shakespeare movies ever made (along with Ran).  Lear seems to me one of the Shakespeare plays that has been best treated in film.  Kozintsev wrote a book about making his Lear film (The Space of Tragedy), to which Brook wrote a preface, since the two of them were working simultaneously, corresponded, and strongly shared some elements in their visions of the play (bleak northern landscape especially).  What Kozintsev especially captured was the social and political dimensions of the play, and his Lear was very different from the more conventional one of Brook.  Brook’s Lear was huge and ponderous (Paul Scofield); Kozinstev’s was fey, small, and expressive—an actor that most directors would have cast as the Fool, but who Kozintsev particularly wanted for his lead, even though this fabulous actor (Jüri Järvet) spoke no Russian and so couldn’t communicate directly with the director and had to memorize the Pasternak translation phonetically.  Both movies are masterpieces, but I would especially recommend the Kozintsev (and his book about it, his last film).  Finally, let me add that the music in the Kozintsev is by Shostakovich, and is brilliant, and gave rise to the brilliant music in Ran (as well as to the epic photography—through Eisenstein through Kozintsev).

 

Richard Strier

Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus

Editor, Modern Philology

Department of English

University of Chicago

 
 
Future Learns: Paired Production of LLL and MAAN

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.166  Wednesday, 8 April 2015

 

From:        Ellen Moody < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 7, 2015 at 10:23:26 PM EDT

Subject:    Future Learns: Paired Production of LLL and MAAN

 

Recently the Future Learn MOOCs have been featuring on-line mass free courses in Shakespeare. Thus far the best of those (four) I’ve seen was Jonathan Bate’s Shakespeare and his world. I wonder if others have followed any of these. Among them I watched 4 “weeks” (or sets of videos, lectures, texts) on Much Ado About Nothing in Performance: the focus was on specific “dark” versions of the play, 4 over a couple of decades at the RSC, Shakespeare Re-done (a film version where language modernized and concepts changed), and two on the recent production by Christopher Luscombe. That one came with LLL to the Folger Shakespeare Theater via HD:

 

https://ellenandjim.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/at-the-rsc-as-viewed-in-the-folger-loves-labors-lost-and-won/

 

Ellen Moody

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
 
Speaking of Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.165  Wednesday, 8 April 2015

 

From:        John F Andrews < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 7, 2015 at 3:05:48 PM EDT

Subject:    Speaking of Shakespeare

 

_________________________________

Estelle Parsons & Naomi Liebler Explore “Shakespeare’s Old Ladies”

 

Monday, April 13, at 7 p.m.

The Lambs

3 West 51st Street, New York

Members $5, Non-Members $10

 

For this special gathering, the Guild is delighted to join forces with The Lambs. A venerable theatrical society, its leaders have founded such prestigious organizations as Actors’ Equity, ASCAP, and the Screen Actors Guild. Hal Holbrook offered Mark Twain Tonight to his fellow Lambs before taking that celebrated show public. So it’s hard to imagine a better setting for Estelle Parsons and Naomi Liebler to reprise their dramatic exploration of Shakespeare’s Old Ladies, a dialogue that received sustained ovations when it was first presented in 2011 at the New York Public Library. A member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame and a former director of The Actors Studio, Ms. Parsons has been nominated for five Tony Awards and earned an Oscar as Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967). Dr. Liebler, a professor at Montclair State, has published such acclaimed volumes as Shakespeare’s Festive Tragedy (1967). After their program, they’ll engage in a wide-ranging conversation with attendees.

 

___________________________________

Terry Alford Introduces Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth

 

Tuesday, April 14, at 6 p.m.

The National Arts Club

15 Gramercy Park South, New York

No Charge, But Reservations Requested

 

To mark the 150th anniversary of what has been described as the most dramatic moment in American history, we’re pleased to announce a special event with Terry Alford. A prominent Civil War historian who has an important article in this month’s Smithsonian, Dr. Alford will be introducing his long-awaited biography of an actor who co-starred with his two brothers in a November 1864 production of Julius Caesar, and who restaged a “lofty scene” from that tragedy five months later when he interrupted a rollicksome comedy at Ford’s Theatre. Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth will be launched during a dialogue that will occur on the same date as that notorious act, and in a setting adjacent to the final home of the assassin’s older brother. After a dialogue moderated by John Andrews, who has published articles about that traumatic event in The Atlantic and the New York Times, Mr. Alford will be happy to sign copies of his book, which will be available for purchase.      

_________________________________

Daniel J. Watermeier Discusses American Tragedian: The Life of Edwin Booth

 

Monday, May 12, at 7:00 p.m. 

The Lambs

3 West 51st Street, New York

Members $5, Non-Members $10

 

In the aftermath of what his younger brother did on Good Friday in April of 1865, Edwin Booth feared that his own career might be over. But he found a way to prevail over the infamy that John Wilkes Booth had brought not only to his family but to the theater profession. And over the decades that followed, Edwin established himself as his era’s leading actor, with special distinction in such classic roles as Brutus and Hamlet. In 1888 he founded The Players, and it was there that he died in 1893. To learn more about a fascinating artist and his many struggles, please join us for a gathering at which biographer Daniel J. Watermeier introduces American Tragedian: The Life of Edwin Booth, a long-awaited volume that is being described as definitive. After his conversation with John Andrews, Dr. Watermeier will be happy to inscribe copies of his latest publication.

_________________________________

 

Visit www.shakesguild.org/events.html for details about these and other gatherings, among them a May 8 event at the University Club in Washington with Diana Owen of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, who will talk about recent developments at New Place in Stratford. 

 

Email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call (505) 988-9560 to register for these events. 

 

John F. Andrews, President

The Shakespeare Guild

5B Calle San Martin

Santa Fe, NM 87506-7536

(505) 988-9560 (Office)

(505) 670-9815 (iPhone)

www.shakesguild.org

 
 
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