The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2617  Friday, 16 November 2001

From:           Tony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 15 Nov 2001 18:34:38 -0500
Subject: 12.2604 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2604 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night

It is of course obvious to think of the twin device requiring actors who
are at least reasonably similar in appearance, but I don't know if old
Ben Jonson's views on the matter are good evidence that such matches
were hard to come by:  he was a notorious and picky literalist in most
matters who didn't find it easy to go with the flow.  But let me make
another point altogether.

The mistaken identity confusions over twin brothers and sisters are
generally speaking comic, and must have been enacted with many different
companies, who couldn't all have had convincing look-alikes in the
cast.  So, couldn't the twin trick have been handled as it was in the
movie "Twins", which depended on the conceit that Danny Devito and
Arnold Schwartznegger (sp.?) were "identical" twins, and that Arnold, at
least, didn't see a shred of difference between them or expect others to
do so.  Very early on, the two of them began dressing in identical
outfits purchased by Schwartznegger, whose straight-faced conviction
that they were look-alikes was the foundation for most of the very
successful comic effect.

Tony B

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