Get Teaching Shakespeare Beyond the Centre: Australasian PDF

By Kate Flaherty, Penny Gay, L. E. Semler (eds.)

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These almost dream-like fragments of Shakespeare are obsessed over by Daphne, both at this juncture and through the trials of her later incarceration. As she declares in the face of her adolescent sister’s increasing distance and self-importance, ‘I know Where the bee sucks, it is a song we have at school’ (1989, 28). Francie glosses the verse as ‘about a fairy spirit on a night in summer, a night like now, on the lawn by the japonica bush and the rose arch’ (1989, 29). For the two girls the song is translated into the atmosphere of a cultivated New Zealand garden in the immediate present.

I really wrote this to tell you even if you might doubt it, that practically the whole of your audience today appreciated your performance more than you may believe. (Nelson, 1961, 1) Though she doesn’t detail the specific behaviour that led to her embarrassment, other anecdotes reveal the Players dealing with catcalls, chatting, daydreaming and most problematically for them, inappropriate laughter. A reporter observed a lack of respect for the tragic deaths in Hamlet at a Sydney grammar school: ‘Some of them yawned, scratched their backs, turned to chat with friends, sniggered at the duel scene.

This can be clearly seen in the narrative segments which Trevor used to link scenes. His introduction to Act 1 Scene 5 of Macbeth illustrates many of the characteristics of these segments: a preference towards detailed description of scenery and architecture rather than exposition and a prescriptive reading of characters in simplistic moral terms: Now the scene moves to Macbeth’s castle near Inverness – the Castle of Dunsinane. Strongly fortified, the outside perhaps sombre and forbidding, but the great hall, in which most of the following scenes take place, is rich with trophies – furs and hangings, and the dull gleam of polished metals.

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