During this month’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute, some of our Summer Scholars have chosen to blog their experiences on their own sites, and have given permission to share some of them here. Today, we catch up with Greta Brasgalla in the last week of TSI:
It is my last week here at TSI and today I requested some rare books from the vault in the Reading Room, so I could take pics of them. My friend, Kim, already requested Holinshed’s Chronicles last week.
Morning Lecture and Seminar: Jay Halio and the text of Pericles
I bet most of you have never read Pericles, but it is really a great play. It has incest, zombies, whores who never do it, romance, and pirates! Yep, all of that. Most people don’t even think Shakespeare wrote it because it was not in the First Folio. It is possible that George Wilkenson co-wrote some scenes. It is still an interesting play.
Jay discussed how editors make choices in the texts. Most of us had some Shakespeare anthology we used during college (mine was the Bevington). Whatever book you had, you are at the mercy of the editors and what THEY believe to be the best way to translate Shakespeare’s words.
Printers had lots of type that they were setting upside down and backwards. In some cases, they ran out of a letter, flipped it around, or stretched out verse to fill the white space on the page.
Cool idea: get pics of a folio edition and a quarto and have students examine the difference in language used. Example: Desdemona’s speech to the Duke “That I love the Moor” or “That I did love the Moor.” Big difference in connotation. Also, at the end of Othello, “base Judean” or “base Indian”?
Fun fact: upper case refers to the large letters that were kept in the printers top case. Lower case refers to the smaller letters in their bottom case. (thanks to Deborah Gascon)
Tea Time with Oscar Wilde, Holinshed, and Faust
Here are some pics of the letters and books we had checked out in the Reading Room today:
From Holinshed’s Chronicles: Macbeth’s confidence in wizards
Another Holinshed photo with Macbeth’s Laws
Finishing up lesson plans and working on our performances for Friday! Almost there!
Blessed to be Teaching!
Greta heads the English Department at El Dorado Ninth Grade Academy in El Paso, TX. She holds a Master of Arts degree in English and American Literature and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Texas at El Paso, and now has 20 years of classroom experience.