World Shakespeare Festival 2012: Troilus and Cressida


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0370  Wednesday, 5 September 2012


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

Date:         September 4, 2012 8:52:12 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: Cressida


Thank you so much to all those offering perspectives on the current Troilus and Cressida, especially Tom, with that tremendous injection of inside information.


I do admit to being baffled by the idea of actors continuing to rehearse with a gurney, because the actor for whom it was standing in was no more responsive! I am also struggling to imagine Elizabeth LeCompte and Mark Rylance being in the same room without some kind of matter/anti-matter nuclear implosion taking place. If anyone knows how they negotiated directing the composite scenes, I’d love to hear it.


A feature of Cressida’s performance history is that she highlights the impossibility of a woman on stage being presented as ‘unmarked’. I refer here to Deborah Tannen’s article (New York Times Magazine, 1993: ), in which she explores the idea that, while men can be marked by their appearance, they can also choose to be unmarked, provided they conform more-or-less to the norms of their culture. Women, however, are always marked one way or another, by their clothes, choice of hairstyle, whether they wear makeup, and so on. What the designer does with Cressida can mark her in an extreme way, like Francesca Annis dressed as a courtesan, but she remained just as marked when Juliet Stevenson wore a sensible Edwardian dress, because it marked her as ‘not the slapper you assumed she is’. It sounds as if the costume change in this production marked her removal out of her home culture, and the requirement that she now conform to what was ‘normal’ elsewhere.


A quick response to Larry:


>We used to have rollicking conversations here about whether or not 

>it is possible to recover Shakespeare’s “intent.”  Perhaps not, or 

>maybe not entirely or not with great certainty; but it is frequently 

>possible to be certain of things he did not intend.


At the most literal level, of course, we can say with confidence that Shakespeare was not working with the intention of having his lines spoken in the accents of Native Americans, filtered through film interpretations. But communication in the theatre doesn’t work in a purely literal fashion. It is entirely plausible that Shakespeare had the intention of presenting the Trojans as a people of a distinct but diminished culture, the knowledge we have of which is distorted by the nostalgia and condescension of the group whose values have taken over. This might be seen as a means of conveying that intention. Even if you feel confident about Shakespeare’s intention, you won’t be able to transmit it to a modern audience using all the same tools he did, so we continue to seek around for new ones. Which is what keeps theatre alive.


Call for Ideas on Othello


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0369  Wednesday, 5 September 2012


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

Date:         September 4, 2012 10:09:52 PM EDT

Subject:     Call for Ideas on Othello


For possible inclusion in the beginning stage of a collection of essays on Othello (with a major publisher), please send very brief proposals (a few sentences at most) of possible essay topics to Robert C. Evans at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

20th Annual Shakespeare Colloquium at Fairleigh Dickinson


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0368  Wednesday, 5 September 2012


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

Date:         September 5, 2012 3:07:37 PM EDT

Subject:     20th Annual Shakespeare Colloquium at Fairleigh Dickinson 


20th Annual Shakespeare Colloquium at Fairleigh Dickinson University


MADISON, NJ (September 4, 2012)—Fairleigh Dickinson University will host its annual Shakespeare Colloquium on Saturday, October 20, 2012, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the College at Florham in Malcolm Sturchio Hall (room S-11) in the Science Building. This year’s seminar will feature four distinguished speakers who will explore Shakespeare’s plays on English history, ranging from Edward III to Richard III


Speakers include Professors Jean E. Howard (Columbia University), Vimala C. Pasupathi (Hofstra University), Phyllis Rackin (University of Pennsylvania, Emeritus), and Thomas Pendleton (Iona College). The colloquiums are coordinated by Harry Keyishian, professor emeritus at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and supported by the Columbia University Seminar on Shakespeare.   


Jean E. Howard’s topic is “Women and the Story of the Nation in ‘The Reign of King Edward III.’”  Discussing a play that many scholars now believe was written by Shakespeare, she will demonstrate the atypical ways it reveals the role of women in the making of kings, including their education and military conquests. Vimala C. Pasupathi’s presentation, “For Love or Money? Shakespeare’s Mercenary Scots,” deals with the role of mercenary soldiers in the history plays and the challenge mercenaries present to traditional monarchy.


In the afternoon session, Phyllis Rackin will discuss “Conscience and Complicity in Richard III,” showing how the play’s theatrical power depends on dramatizing the villain’s charming ways. Thomas A. Pendleton will demonstrate aspects of Shakespeare’s technique by screening scenes from several productions of Richard II.


These programs are free and open to the public, and New Jersey teachers are eligible to receive professional development hours for their participation.


The colloquium is supported by Fairleigh Dickinson University, The Columbia University Seminars office, and individual donations. Organizer and project director for the colloquiums is Harry Keyishian, professor emeritus of English. 


For further information, or to register please call 973-443-8711 or email Dr. Harry Keyishian at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Fairleigh Dickinson University is located at 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940. 

Speaking of Shakespeare: Irene Dash and James Shapiro


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0367  Wednesday, 5 September 2012


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

Date:         September 4, 2012 8:55:44 PM EDT

Subject:     Speaking of Shakespeare: Irene Dash and James Shapiro


Speaking of Shakespeare


The Shakespeare Guild launches its 2012-13 season at the National Arts Club in Manhattan with two programs that celebrate the classical tradition in the performing arts. On Monday, September 17, we’ll enjoy a delightful conversation with critic, biographer, playwright, and novelist John Lahr. And on Monday, October 22, we’ll enjoy a survey of Shakespeare’s role in the American musical with Hunter College’s Irene Dash.


Looking ahead, we’re pleased to announce that on Monday, December 17, Columbia University’s James Shapiro will treat us to a preview of The King and the Playwright, his 3-part BBC documentary about Jacobean Shakespeare, which has been short-listed for a major television award in the United Kingdom. Professor Shapiro is the author of Shakespeare and the Jews, and he recently won the Theatre Library Association’s coveted George Freedley Memorial Award for Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?



Shakespeare and the American Musical


Monday, October 22, at 8:00 p.m.   

National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South 

No Charge, but Reservations Advised


Have you ever wondered how a poet whose 450th birthday is less than two years away continues to supply material for films, TV screenplays, Broadway hits, and other forms of popular entertainment? If so, you’ll want to join us for a chat with Hunter College’s Irene Dash, who’ll talk about Shakespeare and the American Musical, copies of which will be on hand for purchase and inscription. Russell Jackson, a consultant for several of Kenneth Branagh’s cinemas, has praised Professor Dash’s new book for its “lively and expert understanding of the theatrical medium” and its “thorough and scholarly” grounding in plays that have inspired classics like Kiss Me, Kate and West Side Story. A pioneer in early-modern gender studies, Irene Dash is widely admired for such influential volumes as Wooing, Wedding, and Power: Women in Shakespeare’s Plays (1981) and Women’s Worlds in Shakespeare’s Plays (1997). 



The Guild is honored to be joining the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry as co-sponsor of a four-part series of SantaFe ShakesScenes, concert presentations that will combine drama and music to explore enduring themes in Shakespeare’s most popular plays for audiences in the Land of Enchantment. These Sunday matinees, to take place at The Forum on the campus of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, will occur at 4:00 p.m. on September 9, 16, 23, and 30. They’ll be directed by Robert Benedetti, an artist whose work on stage and screen has garnered numerous awards, among them an Emmy and a Peabody, and they’ll feature such talented performers as Nicholas Ballas, Acushla Bastible, Charles Gamble, Kristie Karsen, Suzanne Lederer, and Jonathan Richards. To obtain more detail about these 75-minute programs – A Fool to Make Me MerryThe Very Ecstasy of LoveNot Wisely But Too Well, and The Depths and Shoals of Honor – see


For information about membership in The Shakespeare Guild, and for additional background about these and other offerings, including the Guild’s plans for future presentations of the Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts, both in New York and in London, contact


John F. Andrews

The Shakespeare Guild

5B Calle San Martin       

Santa Fe, NM 87506        

Phone 505 988 9560 

King Lear Analysis: F 2.1


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0366  Tuesday, 4 September 2012


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

Date:         September 3, 2012 5:48:23 PM EDT

Subject:     King Lear Analysis: F 2.1


Although eyeskip is most evident in Q1 Lear, I noticed an instance in F that Stone (and others) overlook. At the top of qq6r these lines occur:


But that I told him the reuenging Gods,

ʼGainst Paricides did all the thunder bend,

        (F 2.1.47–48 [TLN 981–82; qq6r1–2])


The qq5v catchword read “ ‘Gainst” until corrected at press to “But”. Stone rightly doubts eyeskip in compositor E’s reading of Q2 prose, where “gainst” and “but” are unlike and not placed (relative to each other) to induce an omission causing the catchword error:


       Bast. Perswade me to the murder of your Lordship, but that

I tolde him the revengiue Gods, gainst Paracides did all their

                 (Q2 2.1.47–48 [D1r36-37])


Stone proposes that E’s eye could stray from “but” to “ ‘gainst” if copy was lined as verse (as in F). But he doesn’t consider the probability of eyeskip caused by nearly identical phrases in the preceding lines at the bottom of qq5v:


Bast. Fled this way Sir, when by no meanes he could.

Glo.  Pursue him, ho: go after. By no meanes, what?

Bast. Perswade me to the murther of your Lordship,

       (F 2.1.44–46 [TLN 978–80; qq5v125–27])


After setting “by no meanes” at 978, E returned to his copy (likely Q2, identically lined here) a line below at “By no meanes,” when one line and a speech heading were omitted (“he could…meanes”). TLN 981 (“But . . . Gods,”) became the last line of qq5v and “ ‘Gainst” the catchword. On restoration, 981 was forced to qq6r, when E forgot to change the catchword to “But”, an oversight corrected at press. With this sequence, Q2, compositor E, and foul-proofing explain the evidence.


Charlton Hinman denies significant proofing before press-correction in The Printing and Proof-reading of the First Folio of Shakespeare, vol. 1 (London: OUP, 1963), 228. He addresses the consultation of copy necessary for this correction (306), but he does not account for the catchword error likely caused by restoration. Hinman wrongly asserts that the catchword “does not affect the text proper and hence barely deserves mention at all” (331). Cumulative evidence of eyeskip is important; Moxon describes restoration overrunning the sheet that “at last perhaps Drives out a Line to Come in in the next Sheet  (Mechanick, 236).


Without the mistaken catchword there is no obvious evidence here of foul-proofing. Yet that which doesn’t fit, ‘barely worth mention,’ can be key to understanding ‘the text proper.’


Gerald E. Downs


Subscribe to Our Feeds


Make a Gift to SHAKSPER

Consider making a gift to support SHAKSPER.