By Alan C. Dessen
Alan Dessen samples approximately 400 manuscripts and revealed performs to checklist the unique staging conventions of the age of Shakespeare. After learning the level houses, activities and configurations implicit in recurrent words and degree instructions, he concludes that Elizabethan spectators, much less fascinated by realism than later generations, have been used to receiving one of those theatrical shorthand transmitted through the actors from the playwright. Professor Dessen either describes this shorthand (e.g. using nightgowns, boots and baggy hair) and attracts recognition to the consequences of his findings for contemporary interpreters, addressing not just critics and academics but in addition editors, actors and administrators.
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Additional resources for Elizabethan Stage Conventions and Modern Interpreters
17—18). Similarly, Linthicum's allusion to Lady Jane Grey wearing a nightgown on the scaffold at her execution in Sir Thomas Wyatt does not take into account the potential symbolic value of the costume, a set of associations developed clearly in 2 Edward IV where the two little princes enter 'in their gowns and caps, unbuttoned, and untrussed* (1,15 3—4) and then, in their speeches, equate going to bed with going to their graves. Although I cannot offer a detailed description of the stage version of a nightgown, I can demonstrate a clear and consistent connection with night, morning, bed, unreadiness, or some combination thereof.
I. o. ); enter some nobles hastily 'with napkins on their arms and knives in their hands' (Woodstock, 11. 1-3); 'Enter Petruchio and Nibrassa with napkins, as from supper' (Love's Sacrifice, Hir). In The Wise Woman of Hogsdon, figures not included in an off-stage meal are joined by a servant 'with a Trencher, with broken meat and a Napkin';finally,'enter Chartly with his Napkin as from Dinner' (v, 3 3 5—6). From a wide range of plays that spans several decades emerges a shared effect based upon recurring details (real or imaginary crumbs, napkins, trenchers, eating implements) quite practical in the theatre.
I. 48). Falstaff's reaction to the news of Henry IV's death then includes 'get on thy boots. We'll ride all night' and 'boot, boot, Master Shallow. I know the young king is sick for me. Let us take any man's horses' (v. iii. 128, 131-2). While awaiting the coronation procession, Falstaff argues that his zeal, devotion, and 'earnestness of affection' will be evident in his willingness 'to ride day and night' and 'not to have patience to shift me' but rather 'to stand stained with travel, and sweating with desire to see him' (v.