Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 1. Wednesday, 2 Jan 1991.
Date:         Wed, 02 Jan 91 22:17:32 EST
From:         Ken Steele <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject:      Happy New Year; Road Warrior Hamlet
Dear Fellow SHAKSPEReans;
    Welcome to 1991 and the second volume of the Shakespeare
Electronic Conference!  I hope that everyone had a restful and
enjoyable holiday, and that we will return to academia and
electronic mail refreshed and energetic.  Most of us are now back
at our posts, so please feel free to initiate discussion.
    I've just finished the latest revision of the SHAKSPER GUIDE
(it seems to need revision every other week!) and it has been
posted on the SHAKSPER Fileserver for your retrieval.  I have
also produced laser-printed paper copies (at a personal cost of
about $2 each) which will hopefully be available at the SAA in
    At the risk of starting a discussion which might quickly
degenerate into Road-Warrior-bashing, I wonder if I could ask if
anyone has yet seen the new Franco Zeffirelli version of *Hamlet*,
starring Mel Gibson (Hamlet), Glenn Close (Gertrude), and Paul
Scofield (Claudius?).  Obviously I haven't yet dragged myself over
to the theatre, where I will have to pay about $8 plus several
levels of sales tax per person, to see the film -- is it worth the
effort?  What do people think of Zeffirelli's interpretation?  How
does it compare with his *Romeo & Juliet*?
    Perhaps in more general terms, how much of Shakespeare can
*any* film capture?  Although Tom Stoppard's recent film version
of *Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead* was amusing and
enjoyable, a great deal of the metatheatricality became pointless,
or indeed impossible, on the silver screen.  What did others think
of it?
                                      Ken Steele
                                      University of Toronto

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