The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0578  Wednesday, 24 June 1998.

From:           David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Jun 1998 14:11:09 -0500
Subject: 9.0573 Apocrypha
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0573 Apocrypha

Jason Minadakis wrote:

> The Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's Apocrypha Readings have gone over
> very well with the actors and the audiences.  The program this year
> included:
> Sir Thomas More
> Cardenio
> Edward III
> The Birth of Merlin
> Edmund Ironsides
> Voting was held at all of the readings at the end of each session after
> about a half hour of discussion.  Audience members and actors voted for
> one of the following categories:
> Entire Text Written by Shakespeare - EDWARD III
> Majority Text Written by Shakespeare - CARDENIO, EDMUND?
> Partial Text - EDMUND?
> Edited Sections - MORE
> No Part in Play as Stands - MERLIN
> Cardenio and Edward (far and away the best reception for "entire text
> written" by Shakespeare) did the best as far as the audience feeling
> Shakespeare's hand played a large part.  Edmund was split between A
> Majority and Partial.  More was very strong for him writing a portion,
> and as posted earlier, no one thought Shakespeare had a part in Merlin.
> Be happy to provide more details if anyone is interested.

Interesting results.  I assume that "Cardenio" here refers to the text
known to scholars as *The Second Maiden's Tragedy*, and not to Lewis
Theobald's *Double Falsehood*.  *The Second Maiden's Tragedy* is a
pretty good play, but it's been pretty conclusively established as a
work of Thomas Middleton (by David Lake and MacDonald P. Jackson), and I
know of no Shakespeare scholar who takes seriously Charles Hamilton's
claim that it's by Shakespeare.  I doubt that many of the audience
members were familiar with Middleton's work, and I wonder what the
results would have been if they had been polled after hearing a reading
of one of Middleton's plays.

Dave Kathman
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