by G.L. Horton
G.L. Horton's newest essays are now being posted on her stageblog.
Pericles & Language
R wrote: "In Kathryn Hunter's production of Pericles,
the narrator tells Old Pericles, 'You shrunk, Papa.'"
GLH replies: Gawd, I'd hate that! I might even boo!!!!
& Motivation in Measure for Measure
SF asks: "Why does Duke Vincentio care about Mariana?"
GLH replies: Maybe he has an interest - as distant relation, friend
of her father, religious pilgrimmage or (scandal!) sexual - and
it was he who brought Mariana and Angelo together...
and Female Nudity
MH wrote: "Othello will be the first place we've used
female nudity since 1996. Maybe it'll sell tickets, maybe it won't..."
GLH replies: I'd be very interested to hear your post-show assessment
... I'm on the alert for evidence supporting or disproving my
notion that female nudity is a mistake in Shakespeare...
There must have been some convention about or acceptance of nudity,
because there had been wide spread stagings of Mystery plays featuring
naked Adams and Eves. Presumably, Eve was played by a male. But
the Fall plot stipulates that our first parents must begin naked...
the Bawdy Bard
PC writes: "Shakespeare can be bawdy ...Yet I get the
impression that Americans are uncomfortable ..." GLH
replies: Pooh! How soon you forget! Last time you launched this...
& His Wife
JD writes: "Will Shakspere, who left no book, no MS, no
letter when he died but only the memory of his mean heart to his
faithful wife." GLH replies: If Ann was faithful to her
notoriously and publicly unfaithful sonneteer husband, it could
only be out of perverse spite or puritan self-righteousness...
DC writes: I know it is convenient, when it suits your purpose,
to say [Shakespeare] had no ideas ... and when it suits your purpose,
to say he was intelligent and thoughtful..." GLH replies:
Unbelievable-- examining ideas through a dramatic confrontation
between differing points of view has long been part of the process
of doing philosophy: e.g., Plato's Dialogues, Zen Buddhist stories,
Sleeve By Any Other Name
MS writes: "Not in *Julius Caesar* ... In the second scene,
Cassius instructs Brutus to 'pluck Casca by the sleeve' (The Romans
didn't wear sleeves)." GLH replies: None of these details
would yank the historically-minded out of the narrative ... The
Romans had craftsmen who made sandals and boots...
GK writes: "Do we? Personally, I have no idea how the
Elizabethans reacted to homosexuality or bisexuality. Do you?"
And PC replies: "Yes. They reacted with horror. When
a sailor was found in another's bunk, both were executed almost
immediately." GLH replies: Haven't we been down this
road before??? Check the library -- there are books by experts
maintaining that homo or bisexuality was rampant in this period.
They may be mistaken, or you may be: but they certainly marshall
more evidence than this of yours! Men slept with other men all
W writes: "... many dyslexic people read quite well, once
their condition is diagnosed and they undergo treatment. People
do overcome all sorts of things..." GHL replies: As you
say, WS was not a star-- merely an actor good enough to play roles
with VERY long speeches, like the Ghost and the principal role
in a play of Ben Jonson's. So WS isn't likely to have been one
of the illiterate acting geniuses...
I am appalled that the NYTimes would publish this lunacy,
and adding insult to injury, publish it under a title that implies
that there is historical evidence that Oxford-- or anyone other
than the actor William Shakespeare whose name is on the published
plays and poems and on the monument in his home town of Stratford--
wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare. There is no such evidence,
and the article cites none...
You Like It & Love's Labours Lost
AYLI is very beautiful, but a bit bland, and what directors do
to counteract the blandness tends to piss me off. A nymphomanical
Influenced by Coventry Cycle?
AJ writes: "Have you considered, very speculatively, whether
there may be some influence from the Mystery Plays? The Coventry
Cycle...?" GLH replies: This seems so clear to me ...
that I almost wish I had the skills and access to scholarly material
to try to demonstrate it!...
See also other G.L. Horton essays on . . . actors
& acting . . . criticism . . .
literature . . . miscellaneous
. . . modern plays . . .
political commentary . . . Shakespeare
. . . women's issues . . .
writing & directing & producing