March

Texts of King Lear

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.138  Friday, 31 March 2017

 

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

     Date:         March 30, 2017 at 7:26:24 PM EDT

     Subj:         Re: Texts of Lear

 

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

     Date:         March 31, 2017 at 3:15:55 AM EDT

     Subj:         Re: Texts of King Lear

 

 

[1]-------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         March 30, 2017 at 7:26:24 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: Texts of Lear a

 

Could someone please explain what is meant by “the addition of the feather” in the first folio? The feather is present in the same place in Q1, Q2 and F1. Here is the passage in Q1, Q2 and F1 respectively:

 

 

The folio follows Q1 in retaining “which” instead of “that”, but retains Q2’s spelling of “sorrowes” rather than Q1’s “sorowes”. All three spell “does” as “do’s”. Otherwise, what’s the difference? Is there another feather somewhere else in the play?

 

Jim Carroll

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         March 31, 2017 at 3:15:55 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: Texts of King Lear

 

Julia Griffin notes what I called “Peter Blayney’s ‘authorized’ belief”:

 

< that [F’s] adaptation [of Q1] was made by someone other than Shakespeare from the printed Q1 rather than from a playhouse manuscript of any kind; and that F1 was printed from . . . either the adapter’s final draft annotated for promptbook use or a promptbook prepared from it) with the assistance (primarily for punctuation) of a copy of Q2.” >

 

I don’t really understand “authorized” belief, even in inverted commas;

 

Professor Blayney responded to my Lear questions eight years ago; by “authorized” I meant to say these remarks were among those permitted to use to clear up the misunderstandings I mention so often. As my paper was rejected that time round, I’ve tried not to lose the opportunity to inform others of his forthrightness without their wondering whether I crossed the boundaries of private correspondence, which I would not willingly do. I am happy to see that Blayney has returned to the topic; his input provides an opportunity that may not be ignored.  

 

but this seems to me an enormously significant statement.  If the end of F is not by Shakespeare, then someone else decided to let Lear die with that feather in his sights.  As Rosenbaum so rightly says,

 

“The decision not to add the drama with the feather at the last moment is not a casual one, some type shop misprision—which is not to say it can be pronounced ‘authorial’”

 

I don’t quite grasp these objections. The feather is first in Q, as in F, which mentions it no more. If Lear’s final lines added in F refer to the feather, any reviser can have reverted to the previous prop (if such there was) without sharing Shakespeare’s originality.

 

In a private correspondence, Dr. Downs

 

Actually, I’m only the next thing to a doctor—a patient.

 

told me he doesn’t consider this difference in the ending so significant, given that the idea occurs earlier in the Quarto scene too; I can’t agree with that.  The difference between Q and F here is the difference between ending in despair and ending in possible, deluded non-despair - as the great Bradley put it, “unbearable joy”.  I can’t think of anything more important, for lovers of Shakespeare, than this change, and the question who is responsible for it.

 

I’ll copy Stone’s take, as I did to Julia, and add a thought or two. The Q version is good; striving to better, oft, really oft, F flubs the dub.

 

< the ascription to Lear is in Q1; to Kent in F; of which Stone says:

 

“F must be correct since Kent expresses the same sentiment . . . in his next speech: ‘Vex not his ghost. Oh, let him pass . . .’. The attribution to Lear is, in any case, highly implausible: he has clearly spoken his last words by this time.”

 

V.iii.310-311   {Lear.} Do you see this? Looke on her? Looke her lips,

                           Looke there, looke there.

 

“It is difficult to see these lines as anything more than an attempt on the reviser’s part to provide Lear’s speech with a more dramatic ending. His final words in Q (pray you vndo this button, thanke you sir) certainly reach the limit of dramatic understatement (but are all the more effective for that, we may now think). The reviser, however, unable to supply anything original, reverts weakly to an idea that has already been exploited to moving effect (V.iii.265-7 and 271-2), viz. that Lear fancies Cordelia may still be alive. There is even reason to argue that, in doing this, he has misunderstood the drift of the scene. It appears from Q that Lear, as his vitality ebbs, loses his grasp of the reality outside him. He is just able to recognize Kent, but not to connect him with ‘Caius’; he is indifferent to the sight of the dead Goneril and Regan; Albany comments: ‘He knows not what he sees, and vain it is / That we present us to him’. Finally—a much-debated point, though the text of Q leaves little room for debate—Lear mistakes Cordelia for the Fool: And my poor foole is hangd (V.iii.305). The additional lines in F (which apply unequivocally to Cordelia) are, of course, inconsistent with this, an inconsistency which (if he noticed it) the reviser evidently did not consider important. But the problem so created has exercised editors and critics ever since.”

 

I’ve returned to the scene some, which one shouldn’t do without noticing corruption at every turn. To discuss isolated bits and pieces in a fishbowl is mistaken. However, a good principle is to credit Q1; F generally reprints word-for-word.

 

After the killings, Albany, Edgar, and Kent try to pick up the pieces for Lear’s sake, not realizing he is at the end of his rope. Only when Lear is distracted by memory of his ‘biting fauchon’ does he respond to Kent, who replies, ‘If Fortune bragd of two she loued or hated, / One of them we behold.’ I like Capell’s take (who was pretty sharp): “the two objects of fortune’s love and hate are,--himself, and his master . . . of these two, says the speaker, you (the person spoke to) ‘behold’ one, and I another.” None of the noblemen expected the King, first to fade rapidly, or then when Albany plans to restore the crown, to die. To me, undoing the button and the King at the same time is effective, as Stone observes. But if one insists that Shakespeare is responsible for the added lines here, Vickers’s “restoration” could be considered. That would make more sense than to suppose the author dabbled amongst the contaminated lines.

 

Gerald E. Downs

 

 

 

Bound Copy of Plant Lore of Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.137  Friday, 31 March 2017

 

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

Date:         March 30, 2017 at 1:29:35 PM EDT

Subject:    Bound Copy of  Plant Lore of Shakespeare

 

Hi,

 

Decades ago, I was visiting Harvard, in my enthusiasm without rationale, I purchased a complete unbound copy of original paintings of the flowers that appear in the plays by Rosalba M. Towne. Fifteen or so years ago, I had them bound.

 

The volume lies on a shelf in my living room, untouched by human hands for years at-a-time.

 

Why am I telling you this?  If you send me an email requesting the volume and why I should donate it to the nonprofit with which you are affiliated, I will choose one from the many responses to this email and donate said volume to your organization.  Please reimburse me for shipping charges.

 

I will also consider cash purchases.

 

We need a time limit:  emails date later than three weeks from the date this email is published on SHAKSPER will be ignored unless it is the only email response up to that time.

 

Thank you,

Tom Lahey

 

 

 

Texts of King Lear

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.135  Thursday, 30 March 2017

 

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

Date:         March 29, 2017 at 5:58:51 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Texts of King Lear

 

I entirely sympathize with Ron Rosenbaum’s comment on the Lear debate.  In all of Gerald Downs’ last intricately-argued post, this is the bit that seems to me, as a non-expert in textual studies, the most interesting: Peter Blayney’s “’authorized’ belief”

 

“that [F’s] adaptation [of Q1] was made by someone other than Shakespeare from the printed Q1 rather than from a playhouse manuscript of any kind; and that F1 was printed from . . . either the adapter’s final draft annotated for promptbook use or a promptbook prepared from it) with the assistance (primarily for punctuation) of a copy of Q2.”

 (my italics)

 

I don’t really understand “authorized” belief, even in inverted commas; but this seems to me an enormously significant statement.  If the end of F is not by Shakespeare, then someone else decided to let Lear die with that feather in his sights.  As Rosenbaum so rightly says,

 

“The decision not to add the drama with the feather at the last moment is not a casual one, some type shop misprision—which is not to say it can be pronounced ‘authorial’”

 

In a private correspondence, Dr. Downs told me he doesn’t consider this difference in the ending so significant, given that the idea occurs earlier in the Quarto scene too; I can’t agree with that.  The difference between Q and F here is the difference between ending in despair and ending in possible, deluded non-despair - as the great Bradley put it, “unbearable joy”.  I can’t think of anything more important, for lovers of Shakespeare, than this change, and the question who is responsible for it.

 

Julia Griffin

 

- apologies, Dr. Downs, if I’ve misrepresented you here.

 

 

 

CFP: Shakespeare at Play (ANZSA 2018, Melbourne)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.136  Friday, 31 March 2017

 

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

Date:         March 30, 2017 at 8:51:06 PM EDT

Subject:    CFP: Shakespeare at Play (ANZSA 2018, Melbourne)

 

Dear all, 

 

We’re delighted to announce the details of the 2018 ANZSA conference: 

 

‘Shakespeare at Play’ 

ANZSA 2018 

The University of Melbourne 

8-10 February 2018 

 

http://conference.anzsa.org/ 

Confirmed keynotes: 

 

Gina Bloom, UC Davis 

Claire M. L. Bourne, Penn State U 

Roslyn L. Knutson, U Arkansas, Little Rock 

 

20-minute papers are now invited for the Australian and New Zealand Shakespeare Association (ANZSA) biennial conference. Papers might consider (but are not restricted to) these or any related topics: 

 

plays 

players 

swordplay 

early modern plays 

Shakespeare in plays 

playfulness 

playwriting 

play on words 

play-based learning 

playing tricks 

playwrights 

playbooks 

playback theatre 

Melbourne: capital of cultural and sporting play 

improvisational play 

getting played 

game-play 

 

Inquiries and proposals (200 words + 50 word bio) should be sent to David McInnis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by Friday 04 August 2017. 

 

Organising Committee: 

 

Gayle Allan, Deputy Dean, Trinity College, University of Melbourne 

Rob Conkie, Senior Lecturer – Theatre and Drama, La Trobe University 

David McInnis, Gerry Higgins Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies, University of Melbourne 

Paul Salzman, Emeritus Professor of English Literature, La Trobe University

Dr David McInnis | @dnmcinnis

Gerry Higgins Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies

English and Theatre, University of Melbourne

 

ANZSA 2018 conference, abstracts due 04 Aug 17

 

http://conference.anzsa.org/

 

 

 

Gregory Doran’s The Tempest from Stratford-upon-Avon by HD Screening

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 28.134  Thursday, 30 March 2017

 

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

Date:        March 29, 2017 at 3:06:26 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Review

 

Re: Gregory Doran’s The Tempest from Stratford-upon-Avon by HD Screening

 

Simone Russell Beale as Prospero

 

Did he regender himself to follow in the footsteps of Vanessa Redgrave and Helen Mirren?

 

 

 

 

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