Cymbeline: What have I missed?


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.054  Tuesday, 7 February 2012


From:        Brian Bixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         February 6, 2012 10:09:31 PM EST

Subject:     Cymbeline: What have I missed?


In the Wager scene (1.4 in the Oxford edition) of Cymbeline, Posthumus says to Giacomo (l.137-140): “I shall but lend my diamond till your return . . . . Here’s my ring.” After Giacomo has been to Cymbeline’s court and gathered his evidence for Innogen’s faithlessness, he meets once more with Posthumus who says: “Sparkles this stone as it was wont, or is’t not too dull for your good wearing?” (2.4. 40-1) So it would appear that Giacomo has been in possession of Posthumus’s ring during this interval, an interval that includes his meeting with Innogen. Later in 2.4 Giacomo ‘shows the bracelet’ that Posthumus had given to Innogen, and says, “It must be married to that your diamond, I’ll keep them,” (l.97-8) which suggests he already has the ring. 


But then at 2.4. 106, we have the stage direction, ‘He (Posthumus) gives Giacomo his ring.’ Is there an inconsistency, some forgetfulness here?


Brian Bixley


Doctoral Studentship at Queen’s


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.053  Tuesday, 7 February 2012


From:        Laury Magnus <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         February 7, 2012 10:14:56 AM EST

Subject:     Doctoral Studentship at Queen’s 


[Editor’s Note: I got this from Laury Magnus, who got it from Mike Jensen, who got it from Ann Thompson, who got it from Tom Healy. –Hardy] 


Funded three-year PhD international studentship:


Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, has been awarded funds for the support of PhD studentships in certain strategic priority areas. Funding has been awarded to the School of English for the international studentship described here.




Professor Mark Thornton Burnett (School of English); Dr Ramona Wray (School of English)




Shakespeare and the Soundtrack


Shakespeare on film is often seen as a primarily verbal or visual phenomenon; by contrast, this project argues that the filmic representations of the likes of Lawrence Olivier, Orson Welles and Kenneth Branagh are enhanced, complicated and finessed by the ways in which the soundtrack stands in for, or translates, the Shakespearean word. The role of music in Shakespeare film takes multiple forms, including lush refrains, action genre pop scores, classically-inspired requiems, and romantic themes, but a common denominator is the synecdoche-like place of musical motifs with reference to language. Tracing the means whereby music operates, the study investigates points of connection between multiple acoustic levels, placing together examples that disclose unexpected comparative possibilities. For example, in addition to exploring some familiar Anglophone instances – among them, Hamlet, Othello and King Lear – the project enfolds discussion of less well-known films from China, Japan and India, such as The Banquet, an adaptation of Hamlet, An Okinawan Night’s Dream (an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Yellamma, an adaptation of Macbeth. Here, the focus is on how particular forms of instrumentation – indigenous styles of strings, percussion and woodwind – work not only to mediate Shakespearean rhetoric but also to place it in alternative cultural registers that are aurally apprehended. Essentially, then, a comparative study, ‘Shakespeare and the Soundtrack’ allows methodologies that have previously operated only in narrow national and educational contexts to cross-fertilize, elaborating models of intertextual dialogue and demonstrating how creative modes of words and music offer valuable lessons for our own and media responsive global age.




Candidates with a range of different combinations of knowledge and skill may be considered. For those whose primary background is in literature, the equivalent of Grade 7 Theory in Music might be helpful, but other evidence of musical understanding might be acceptable. For those whose primary background is in Music, some relevant literary modules at university level, or equivalent evidence of knowledge, would be helpful.




International / non-EU students (students from China, Japan, India, Australia, Canada and the US, for example)


Closing date for applications:


2 March 2012


Rare Words in Shakespeare


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.052  Monday, 6 February 2012


[1] From:        John Alvord <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         February 4, 2012 10:51:20 PM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: O Rare 


[2] From:        Pervez Rizvi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         February 6, 2012 8:08:15 AM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: O Rare 




From:        John Alvord <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         February 4, 2012 10:51:20 PM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: O Rare


Gabriel Egan < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote,


>About 10 years ago SHAKSPERian Steve Roth did some refinements 

>to a project I started called SHAXICAN.  (The name was a gibe at 

>Donald Foster’s supposed SHAXICON database, which was the 

>subject of several articles but never appeared.) The idea was to 

>count rare words in Shakespeare by play and by actor’s part, 

>looking for correlations. Specifically, we wanted to test the 

>hypothesis that the rare words in a particular part acted by 

>Shakespeare himself would appear disproportionately often in 

>the next play he wrote, since those rare words he’d recently 

>spoken on stage would be at the forefront of his mind. That 

>was Foster’s claim but SHAXICAN was unable to verify it.


>The files from SHAXICAN are still available at



>and the one you want is “correlations.txt” in the “Roth’s refinements” 



>Save it to your own computer, then open it in a spreadsheet program

> such as Microsoft Excel. (Excel will take you through a ‘Text import 

>wizard’ for handling ‘Delimited data’ files: just accept all the defaults.)


[ . . . ]



I am a computer programmer with a deep interest in Shakespeare. Excel doesn’t work on the correlations.txt file because there are 167,961 lines and Excel can only handle about 65,510.


I summarized the correlations file with a simple Perl program. Based on the results, I am puzzled.


There were 9639 different words in the lines. The most common was “gravity” with a count of 178.


There were 2861 words with a count of 2.


There were no words with a count of 1.


But here


the Shakespeare word count is listed as 31,534 and a single word use count of 14,376.


Maybe the results were limited to words that occurred in 2 or more plays, which is what the file title suggests.


If anyone wants the summary file I will be happy to send a copy.



From:        Pervez Rizvi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         February 6, 2012 8:08:15 AM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: O Rare


Gabriel Egan wrote:


>If you want to find words that appear fewer times than 12 in the canon, look for 

>words that appear fewer times overall in the table. You can do this by eye (as

>you would a printed concordance) or better still someone good at Excel might 

>write you a formula that finds words appearing only once (or any arbitrary

>number of times) in the table. 


>If there’s a SHAKSPERian who can do that, I’d be interested to share the 



When I looked at this on Friday, I did not think it was possible in Excel, but a lightbulb just came on in my head. Here's how you do it . . .


Load up the data into Excel according to Gabriel’s instructions. You should have exactly 167,961 rows in your spreadsheet, the first row being the headers. You should have Word in column A, Play in column B, Part in column C, Play Count in column D and Part Count in column E. 


To understand the formula I give below, let's first look at an example. Filter the spreadsheet so that it only shows you rows where Word = 'forester' and Play = 'AYL'. You should get the following:






Add up the numbers in the Part Count column, i.e. 1 + 1 + 2 = 4. This tells you how many times the word occurs in plays other than AYL (it is spoken once by Oberon, once by the Princess of France and twice by Theseus in MND). Then add the number which is common to all the rows in the Play Count column, i.e. 2, being the number of times it is spoken by someone in AYL. This gives a total of 6, which is the number of times this word occurs in all the plays (according to the text Egan and Roth used). 


Now for the formula. Remove the filter above if you applied it. Paste the following formula exactly as given below, into cell F2:




Cell F2 should now show you the number of times the word in that row occurs in all the plays. All you have to do is copy the formula into the rest of column F, which you should do very carefully as follows. 


1. Close every other window on your PC apart from the spreadsheet.

2. Click in cell F2. 

3. Press ctrl-C to copy it. 

4. Do not click anywhere else but use the scrollbar to scroll right down to the last cell in column F, i.e. F167961. 

5. Hold the shift key down and click in this cell. 

6. Press ctrl-V. 

7. Then go and have a cup of tea. When you come back, Excel will have calculated all the values in column F.

8. Now select the whole of column F and copy it using ctrl-C. 

9. Paste it into column G but do NOT use ctrl-V to do it. Instead, use the Paste Special option and paste only the values (not the formulas!). 

10. You now have the values you want in the G colummn. Delete the F column. It is essential to do this, otherwise every time you do something to the spreadsheet, Excel will recalculate everything and take forever.

11. Now you can just use the normal Excel filter function on column F to select the words that occur 2, 3, 4, or whatever number of times you want.


The SUMIFS formula works in Excel 2007 onwards. If you are using earlier versions of Excel, you will have to make do with the less powerful SUMIF formula. It takes a bit more work but is certainly possible.


Latest Issue of Cahiers Elisabethains



The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.051  Monday, 6 February 2012


From:         Jean-Christophe Mayer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         February 5, 2012 11:21:24 AM EST

Subject:     Latest Issue of Cahiers Elisabethains




* This issue includes an exclusive interview of Professor Roger Chartier on his latest book: Cardenio, from Cervantes to Shakespeare and Beyond


To access table of contents please click on the following link:




To order issues:  <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>


* Please note also that article submissions are now open for the next issues of the journal. 


Submissions can be send to either of Cahiers's assistant editors: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> or <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>


More information: <>

David Kastan, Zoe Caldwell, Stacy Keach, John Ford’s “The Broken Heart”



The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.050  Monday, 6 February 2012


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

Date:         Friday, 3 Feb 2012 12:39:03 -0700

Subject:     David Kastan, Zoe Caldwell, Stacy Keach, John Ford’s “The Broken Heart” 


The Shakespeare Guild is pleased to invite you to three programs in Manhattan’s beautiful Gramercy Park, two at the National Arts Club and one next door at The Players, where you’ll have an opportunity to meet and talk with one of today’s most eminent Shakespeare scholars, DAVID SCOTT KASTAN of Yale University, and with two of our era’s most distinguished actors, ZOE CALDWELL and STACY KEACH. We’re also delighted to offer you a discount on tickets for Theatre for a New Audience’s staging of John Ford’s THE BROKEN HEART at the Duke Theatre.






THE DUKE THEATRE, 229 West 42nd Street, Manhattan


Guild Constituents $52.50 (Regularly $75.00)


If you saw Alexis Soloski’s New York Times article, “Extreme Theater: Wake-Up Calls from the 1600s” 




you’re aware that playgoers in Manhattan and Brooklyn are looking forward to attending two rarely-produced tragedies by 17th-century dramatist John Ford. One, THE BROKEN HEART, figured prominently in a fascinating National Arts Club discussion on January 11. JEFFREY HOROWITZ, whose visionary leadership has enabled such pioneering artists as Mark Rylance and Julie Taymor to do seminal work at Theatre for a New Audience, introduced SELINA CARTMELL, a brilliant new Irish director, to an NAC gathering that was eager to hear about her first production in New York. She and Mr. Horowitz spoke with the Shakespeare Guild’s John Andrews about what makes Ford plays like ‘TIS PITY TO BE A WHORE (soon to be revived at BAM) resonate with renewed intensity. Ms. Cartmell and a distinguished cast are now putting the finishing touches on a show that opens tomorrow, and constituents of the Guild are eligible to obtain $75 tickets for only $52.50. To take advantage of this generous discount, simply log on to or call 646-223-3010, using code SHG2760 when you place your order. For details about the show, visit




MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, at 8:00 p.m.  

NATIONAL ARTS CLUB, 15 Gramercy Park South, Manhattan


Guild Constituents $25


DAVID KASTAN is the first American scholar to serve as a General Editor of The Arden Shakespeare, a prestigious collection of the complete works that has been Britain’s standard-bearer for more than a century. A distinguished professor of English at Yale University, Mr. Kastan has also earned plaudits for his work at Dartmouth and Columbia. His many publications include Shakespeare and the Shapes of Time (1982), Shakespeare After Theory (1999), and Shakespeare and the Book (2001). Mr. Kastan co-edited Staging the Renaissance: Essays on Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama (1991) and The New History of Early English Drama (1997), and he is the sole editor of Critical Essays on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” (1995), A Companion to Shakespeare (1999), The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature (2006), and other volumes. This spring he’ll be overseeing a major celebration of “Shakespeare at Yale,” a festival that will highlight such resources as the library’s outstanding collection of early quarto and folio printings and the university’s highly regarded repertory theater.




TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, at 7:00 p.m.  

THE PLAYERS, 16 Gramercy Park South, Manhattan


Guild Constituents $25


In her latest triumph ZOE CALDWELL has been riveting audiences, and garnering critical praise, as a cold-hearted Upper East Side matron in David Adjmi’s intimidatingly intimate Elective Affinitives. Meanwhile she has been moving filmgoers as an affectionate grandmother in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, one of this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Picture. Long admired for her commanding stage presence, Ms. Caldwell has earned four Tony Awards, most recently as Maria Callas in Terrence McNally’s Master Class. She has portrayed such heroines as Lady Macbeth and Medea, not to mention Lillian Hellman and Miss Jean Brodie, and she has worked with such legends as Dame Judith Anderson, Dame Edith Evans, Sir Tyrone Guthrie, Charles Laughton, and Paul Robeson. She has also directed some of the greatest stars in the profession, among them Eileen Atkins, Glenda Jackson, James Earl Jones, Christopher Plummer, and Vanessa Redgrave. Ms. Caldwell is now writing a sequel to I Will Be Cleopatra, a charming memoir about her early years in Australia, and she’ll share a few delightful passages about her most memorable encounters with Shakespeare.




TUESDAY, MARCH 20, at 8:00 p.m.  

NATIONAL ARTS CLUB, 15 Gramercy Park South, Manhattan


Guild Constituents $25


STACY KEACH is currently starring in Broadway’s acclaimed Other Desert Cities. Best known to many of his television fans as Mickey Spillane detective Mike Hammer, Mr. Keach is also familiar for such popular films as Brewster McCloudDocJudge Roy BeanThat Championship Season, and The New Centurians. But what he finds most satisfying is the Shakespearean acting he has done in such classic roles as Falstaff, Henry V, Macbeth, Mercutio, and Richard III. Clive Barnes, who observed a number of superb Hamlets during his many years as drama critic for the New York Times, has commented that the best ever “was Keach, whose neurotic passion and fierce poetry were quite wonderful.” Described by one reviewer as “the finest American classical actor since John Barrymore,” Mr. Keach has received a Best Actor Golden Globe, three Obies, three Vernon Rice Awards, three Helen Hayes Awards (among them for his portrayal of Richard Nixon in the national touring production of Frost/Nixon and for his King Lear at the Shakespeare Theatre Company), and multiple nominations for Emmy and Tony awards. 

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