Gielgud Award Festivities

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0795  Friday, 30 April 1999.

From:           John F. Andrews <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 30 Apr 1999 12:14:23 -0400
Subject:        Gielgud Award Festivities

The Shakespeare Guild is offering a 15% discount on benefit tickets to
members of the SHAKSPER listserv who wish to attend a special tribute to
Dame Judi Dench in one of Broadway's most venerable settings.

On Monday night, May 17th, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York,
the Guild will honor Dame Judi with its 1999 Gielgud Award. Previous
recipients of The Golden Quill have been Sir Ian McKellen (1996), Sir
Derek Jacobi (1998), and Miss Zoe Caldwell (1998). This spring's
ceremony will begin at 8 p.m., and it will be hosted, as in years past
(when the presentation has taken place at the Folger Shakespeare
Library), by television journalist Robert MacNeil.

Other participants in what promises to be a sparkling salute to
Shakespeare and to those artists who are doing the most to keep his
works vibrant for today's audiences will include such luminaries as Zoe
Caldwell (who, in keeping with a tradition established by Sir Derek
Jacobi a year earlier, will bestow John Safer's gleaming trophy on her
esteemed successor), WGBH/Boston producer Rebecca Eaton (who brings us
such PBS programs as "Mobil Masterpiece Theatre" and "Mystery!"),
director Sir Richard Eyre (who will be in Manhattan to receive a Peabody
Award for his television adaptation of "King Lear" with Ian Holm in the
title role), playwright David Hare (who wrote both "Amy's View," the
drama in which Dame Judi is earning her first Tony Award at the
Barrymore, and "Via Dolorosa," the monologue in which Mr. Hare himself
is starring at the Booth Theatre), and actor Christopher Plummer (who
won a 1997 Tony for William Luce's "Barrymore," and who plans to offer
some reflections on the Barrymore legacy and recite some lines from
"Henry V").

For those who purchase benefit tickets-priced, before discounts are
applied, at $1,000 (Patron), $500 (Benefactor), $350 (Donor), and $150
(Contributor) -- an elegant reception will follow the theatre
festivities at the nearby Supper Club. For information about these
tickets (all but $75 of whose price will be tax-deductible) and about
assistance with hotel accommodations, you may either e-mail
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact The Shakespeare Guild at 202-483-8646
(phone) or 202-483-7824 (fax). The New York numbers for information and
tickets are 212-685-1095 (phone) and 212-685-0062.

For those who wish to attend the Barrymore festivities only, non-benefit
tickets may be ordered for $25 through a call to 212-239-6200. No
discount will be applicable to these tickets.

Shakespeare in Performance

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0794  Friday, 30 April 1999.

From:           Lisa Tomaszewski <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 30 Apr 1999 00:11:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Perform. Theory

Since there has been much talk on the list about Shakespeare in
performance, I thought I'd mention this conference:

"Shakespeare in Performance:  A Conference in Shakespearean Performance
and Performance Criticism"  to be held at Drew University in Madison,
New Jersey on June 22-24, 1999.

Among the scholars who will be presenting are:  John Russell Brown, Jay
Halio, Harry Keyishian, Ralph Berry, Herbert Coursen, June Schlueter,
James Lusardi, Marvin Rosenberg, James Bulman, Pat Quigley, Pauline
Kiernan and  Alan Dessen.

I, myself, am very excited about the conference and I hope you take
advantage of this wonderful opportunity as well.

For more information please feel free to contact the director of the
conference, Frank Occhiogrosso, for more information at (973) 408-3301.

See you there!

---Lisa Tomaszewski

Re: Henry

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0792  Friday, 30 April 1999.

[1]     From:   Brian Haylett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Apr 1999 19:30:50 +0100
        Subj:   The Development of Henry

[2]     From:   Hugh Grady <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 30 Apr 1999 10:20:43 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0767 Re: Henry

From:           Brian Haylett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Apr 1999 19:30:50 +0100
Subject:        The Development of Henry

The Henry Trilogy shows the development of the monarch and the
degradation of the man, partly through symbolic action. In killing
Hotspur, Hal puts down the over-impulsive, but brave, militarism in
himself. In allowing the 'resurrected' Falstaff to take the credit, he
signals his wish to have his cake and eat it: to reconcile military
glory with his experience of life-enhancing, if morally uncertain,
youth. War becomes a matter of Machiavellian deceit in Lord John of
Lancaster - it is noteworthy that Falstaff becomes callous about men's
lives at the same time. Both, I think, reflect Hal's development, and
Hal is himself busy denying Justice at the time, in the person of the
Lord Chief Justice. With Henry's commitment to the French campaign,
Falstaff symbolically dies; and Henry becomes a cold manipulator,
varying from monstrous threats (Harfleur) to rhetorical jingoism
(Agincourt). He is genuinely guilt-ridden about his title, but usually
when he calls on God, I hear (out of context, from Act V): 'Nay, it will
please Him well ... it shall please Him'. Meanwhile Shakespeare cuts the
ground from under his feet by making the French leaders so cocksure that
defeating them comes across as not so much more difficult than the
defeat of the remaining conspirators in 2Henry IV. With a final reminder
that all this counted for nothing in the way of permanent conquest,
Shakespeare completes this image of the fall of a man. Whether it is a
real picture of the historical Henry is doubtful; the artist enjoyed his
licence. It is, perhaps, a fair picture of the progress of warfare.

From:           Hugh Grady <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 30 Apr 1999 10:20:43 -0700
Subject: 10.0767 Re: Henry
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0767 Re: Henry

1. Is "T &C" a sequel or prequel to the Henriad? 2.What to make of
Kenneth Muir's speculation that Sh. planned a series on the Trojan War?

1) I think the relation of "T & C" to the Henriad, and particularly to
H5, is most apparent in terms of changing treatments of Machiavellian
power. The Henriad is fascinated with the theatrics of power and with
the crucial role of force and violence in power struggles: Richard II is
deposed because of his ineptness in both of these areas-which, of
course, were both key themes of "The Prince." But 1 and 2 H4 display a
counter-current of uneasiness with its successful Machiavellians, who
are revealed as cold and empty vis a vis the subaltern communities of
tavern and female domesticity. When these communities are subordinated
or destroyed by the Machiavellian machinery which takes up Prince Hal
into his new role at the end of Part 2, the audience, it seems to me, is
left at one of the most emotionally disjunctive moments in all of
Shakespeare, torn between identification with Hal's Machiavellian
success and with Falstaff's symbolic downfall, emblematic of the
incorporation into power of the communities of resistance of the first
two plays.

Instead of being resolved, this tension is intensified in H5. The new
king becomes a Machiavellian hero by mastering both the appearance of
piety and legality in stirring speeches and acts which have swept away
spectators and readers for centuries, but the play carefully works in a
counter-discourse of anti-Machiavellian protest, first as the surviving
tavern denizens show us the cruel underside of glorious war, second as
Fluellen's fractured discourse on "Alexander the Pig" creates for an
attentive audience a new image of King Henry as casuist and author of
atrocities. The interaction of these discourses, the one heroicizing
Henry as Machiavellian, the other undercutting him and the Maciavellian
logic he embodies, is complex and open-ended and productive of the
muddled critical history of this play.

With T & C and Hamlet, I think, we enter a different thematic "take" on
this tension, and one that proves transitional to an outright
anti-Machievellianism in the Jacobean tragedies, notably Othello, King
Lear, and Macbeth. T & C is a long disclosure of the illusory qualities
of the two chief idealizing discourses of the Elizabethan court,
heroism-chivalry and courtly love, and it is "Machiavellian" only to the
extent that it stages a clear depiction and exposure of force, violence,
and deception as the realities behind the false appearances of chivalry
and warfare-but without the celebration of virtu and the prince as agent
of historical change and national glory of both "The Prince" and, still
visible, despite the darkening clouds, H5.

To my mind the thematic shift must be connected to the Essex events
which are so close to the dates of composition of these plays, and there
are of course tantalizing bits of evidence for such a connection-the use
of R2 by Essex to rally the troops, the allusion to Essex in H5.
Everything happens as if Essex's failure effected a shift in the
Shakespearean portrayal of Machivellianism from the often positive but
mixed, complex, and changing portrayal of the Henriad to the almost
complete negativity of T & C and Hamlet. But due to a lack of knowledge
of Shakespeare's interactions with the Essex faction, we are stuck
largely in speculation about this probable connection.

2) Speaking of speculation, I am baffled at why anyone would credit the
suggestion of a planned sequence on the Trojan Wars by Shakespeare. The
tone of T & C strikes me as that of a Gotterdammerung.

Re: Evil that Men Do

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0793  Friday, 30 April 1999.

From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Apr 1999 08:45:55 +0000
Subject: 10.0785 Several Queries
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0785 Several Queries

Michelle Irene Towle asks:

>When facing the evil of deception, murder, and lies of Claudio (and
>perhaps even his mother), Hamlet is confronted with the evil within
>himself as well. This is, in fact, what we face today, as we watch our
>country go to war for "justice." But what is justice? Is it possible to
>have pure motivation for justice? In light of Hamlet, was there a "just"
>way for him to confront the evil that was before him, even though he was
>painfully aware of the evil in him?

I should start a conference paper on the subject any day now, so I was
interested to see your note.  In my mind, there's a further question:
should we wait for pure motivations before acting?  Isn't that
tantamount to absolute quietism?

I would say that quite apart from whatever Hamlet might do, the first
and most important command impinging on him is to acknowledge the ghost
of his father.  He fumbles the ball in worrying about the ghost's
metaphysical status, which is purely secondary.  We might similarly
fumble a bit in worrying about first defining justice, before acting
conscientiously, instead of the other way around.  As with Hamlet, we
find ourselves in a situation where doing nothing is inherently wrong,
and introspectively defining our terms is merely self-indulgent.  Then
again, like Hamlet, we may not be offered any right move.


New Book on Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0791  Friday, 30 April 1999.

From:           Ray Lischner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Apr 1999 15:47:27 GMT
Subject:        New Book on Shakespeare

I am pleased to announce that Shakespeare for Dummies is now available.

Visit your local bookstore or any of the online bookstores. Shakespeare
for Dummies is a complete guide to Shakespeare's plays and poems for the
person who isn't a dummy, but was made to feel like a dummy when
studying Shakespeare in school. I know that doesn't apply to the readers
of this list, but many people feel intimidated by Shakespeare and his
works. We hope to alleviate some of that suffering with our book.

Ray Lischner  (http://www.bardware.com)
co-author (with John Doyle) of Shakespeare for Dummies

Subscribe to Our Feeds


Make a Gift to SHAKSPER

Consider making a gift to support SHAKSPER.