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April 13, 2007

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Moxie the Maven

Very excellent points. And way to go, writing "stridently" about a topic - it's refreshing.

It's so ironic how Shakespeare is almost entirely analyzed as literature, when the very texts themselves are largely transcriptions of rehearsals and performances, aren't they? If memory (and wikipedia) isn't failing me, the "foul papers" were working drafts of the plays, and the various different working drafts, among other documents, went into the folios, explaining the quirky differences between the published editions of Shakespeare. The texts themselves reflect the journey, even the collaboration of the performances, not the man sitting at the table writing.

I too, wish there were a place for longer analysis of performed plays. Writing my own reviews has led me to realize how much there is to discuss, and how deep one could delve if given the space and time to do so. Current reviewers can barely discuss the play, performances, and production elements without running out of space, let alone go into deeper philosophical implications of the finished staged piece. For example, I would love to read a complete analysis of The Coast of Utopia that goes into the ways the production reflected and emphasized the philosophical ideas expressed by the characters. Reviews just don't have the space to really get into it.

Alison Croggon

Some actors in Melbourne are taking back Shakespeare - they've made a version of Hamlet using Dogme techniques (from a wonderful poor theatre production). From a preview I've seen, it just looks brilliant, it reminds you how tough and beautiful his writing is, and how passionate. Hopefully will be doing the film festival circuit soon. Like they say in the Nike ads, just do it.

Of course plays are literature. People just forget they're literature in the theatre.

Ian W. Hill

Thanks, Isaac. Yes.

In a reasonable world, this couldn't in any way be considered "strident," merely common sense that wouldn't have to be stated.

william s.

Conflict is of course the basis of drama. I really appreciate this post as I too am conflicted where Sh is concerned. I like the idea of reclaiming him, like the Dutch do land, back into the oceans of performance from the arid deserts of scholars and academics.
And lest we forget, from the nutballs who posit some other theatre genius who preferred cryptic anonymity to everlasting fame.
Is Sh. literature? Well Thomas Bodley didn't think so and that's why the First Folio took so long to get into the Bodleian Library.
Bottomline, Sh is first and foremost meant to be played. Though the idea of bad quartos, foul papers etc funnily enough only crops up with Sh as an Elizabethan dramatist. another academic imposition? Try looking for Jonson's or Dekker's or Marlowe's foul papers.

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