Shouting and Shakespeare!!! YES!!!

Subject: shouting and shakespeare!!! yes!!!
From: (Tom Mellett)
Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 21:42:48 -0800

Art Ross wrote so inadvertantly wonderfully as if an angel had whispered to him in his sleep:
>I think though that respect for the life of the list or the possibilities
>here on S98 rather require that we each try to hear the other.
>SHOUTING makes the subtil words very HARD TO HEAR!
>Tom has SHOUTED and swung the BIG CLUB so hard sometimes that I just duck.
>A loss for me. And now the RULES COMMITEE seems SO angery that The
>Sergeant has to clear the floor time after time.
> >Back to Shakspere I say.

Dear Art,

You may be a simpering, goddamned, self-loathing traitorous American expatriate son-of-a-bitch living in Sweden who desperately needs the services of a great dominatrix like Catherine, but I still want to kiss you for what you wrote above. Of course, SHOUTING! But not only SHOUTING,


It was here in front of me all the time. I should have posted this a long time ago. Perhaps this can be woven into our welcome statement. I quote you all a few passages from Lecture 15 of the 19 lecture Speech and Drama cycle that Steiner gave in Dornach in the fall of 1924. Lecture 15 was given on September 19, 1924 and its title is: "The Esoteric Aspect of the Actor's Vocation." (As usual ALL CAPS SHOUTING emphases are mine!)

As you'll see, folks, we are still not yet SHOUTING LOUD ENOUGH TO HEAR EACH OTHER!!!!


"Starting from the experience of the present day, let us now see what it would mean if we had a stage like the stage of Shakespeare's time.

"When we see one of Shakespeare's plays performed today, it can give us very little idea of how the play looked on a stage of his own time. There was, to begin with, a fair-sized enclosure, not unlike an ALEHOUSE YARD, and here sat the London populace of those times. Then there was what served for a stage, and on the left and right sides of it were place chairs where sat the MORE ARISTOCRATIC FOLK and also various persons connected with the theater. The actor would thus have these people in close proximity to him. He would moreover also only feel himself only half on the stage and half among the common people down below, --- and how delighted the actor would be when he could direct an 'ASIDE' to these people!

"The Prologue...

[NOTE: kind of like an 'emcee' who would introduce the play and players]

...too, an indispensible figure in the play, addressed his part primarily to the public below. It was indeed quite taken for granted that EVERY EFFORT WOULD BE MADE TO ATTRACT AND PLEASE THE PUBLIC. They joined in and made their own contribution to the performance, --- TITTERING OR HOWLING, YELLING OR CHEERING, even on occasion PELTING WITH ROTTEN APPLES!!!

Such things were accepted as a REGULAR PART OF THE SHOW. And this GOOD-HUMORED UNDERSTANDING between stage and audience, that had something of a spark of genius about it, infected even the MORE PEDANTIC AND HEAVY-GOING among the spectators ,--- for there were such in those days, too; they felt themselves caught up into the atmosphere.

[Our cute little egregore?] :-)

"Shakespeare, himself an actor, understood very well how to take his audience with him. You only have to listen to the cadence of his sentences to be convinced of this. Shakespeare spoke, in fact, STRAIGHT OUT OF THE HEART OF HIS AUDIENCE. It is untrue today to say that people 'listen' to a play of Shakespeare's; for we no longer listen in the way people listened when Shakespeare was there on the stage with his company."

(pages 334-335)


Then later in the same lecture:


"[Shakespeare] could sense with wonderful accuracy, the effect some speech was having on the spectators sitting on the left of the stage, the effect it was having upon those sitting to the right and the effect upon the main audience down front. A fine imponderable sensitivity enabled him to share in the experience of each. And then, on the other hand, Shakespeare had the same delicate sensitive feeling for all that might go on upon a stage which was, after all, no more than a SLIGHTLY TRANSFORMED ALEHOUSE! For Shakespeare knew very well, from experience, the kind of things that go on IN AN ALEHOUSE --- he had a PERFECT UNDERSTANDING of that side of life. Shakespeare was by no means altogether the 'utterly lonely' figure that some learned old fogeys like to picture him. He knew how to bring on his actors --- OR TAKE PART HIMSELF --- in a way that sorted well with the PRIMITIVE REALITIES of the stage of his time.

"If you were to act today on the modern stage, with all its refinements of decor, lighting and so forth--- if you were to act there today as men acted in Shakespeare's time, then a young schoolgirl

[perchance named Catherine?] :-)

who had been brought to the theater for the first time (the rest of the audience would naturally have grown accustomed to it) would exclaim as soon as the play began: 'BUT WHY EVER DO THEY SHOUT SO?' Yes, if we were to listen without bias to a play acted in true Shakespearian manner, we would have the impression that the actors were SHOUTING, that the WHOLE PERFORMANCE was nothing but a CONFUSED, DISCORDANT SHOUTING! In those days however, it was quite in place. Under primitive stage conditions, it is NOT shouting, it is FULLY DEVELOPED dramatic art."

(page 340)


My dearest Lady Catherine MacCoun, most beautiful Celtic goddess ambassador from the icy golden realm of the Hibernian Sun, wounded object of my vain, inglorious blood lust, victim of my treacherous, back-stabbing jealousies, haunted by my unspoken and unposted threats of amorphous harm, stalked and hunted down like an astral animal in the lower depths of my craven kidney chakra, hounded by my kaleidoscopic Internet aliases, poisoned by my vindictive soul of cyber venom, spammed and jammed by my fallen etheric Ahrimanic cohorts weaving their electronic death garrot around your swollen punctured neck,

I stand before you now as Oedipus the King in shameful exile who because he knew that he had killed his father and had fucked his mother, gouged his own two eyes out in anguished remorse and stupefying guilt. I stand before you now, utterly blind to you, utterly without perception of the being whom I know is standing somewhere out there in front of me, a being who cares for me, not with the condescending "noblesse oblige" of pompous self-absorbed aristocrats, but with the true compassion of the Buddha, equanimity of the Blessed Mother, love of Jesus Christ that sears the gaping wounds in the front of my skull.

IF I WERE NOT SO BLIND TO YOU, MY LADY, HOW COULD I HATE YOU LIKE I DO? HOW COULD I HURT YOU LIKE I DO? Begone from me before the cruel enforcers of my blindness tear you limb from limb because you dared to put a tender hand out near my heart again--- and then again. They know that you remind me too much of the light I know I cannot see so they seek to maim that light and keep it dark inside for me. Forever.

I am punished for my life long deed of daring to be born when the darkness of my very own blindness spreads its veil across the spirit eyes of every human being--- I am blind. I am lost. A drifting esoteric prophet even, with my only prophecy, my only message from the God above --- my blindness for us all..

I dare not ask forgiveness for such reckless disregard for human love, but I cannot fathom anything except my own revulsion in the leprous depths of guilt and shame that constitute my universe, the deconstructed firmanent of information rubble, where the shattered hopes and shards of your fair memory and ruddy heart bespeak the glories of a love enchanted in the hollow cave of my stillborn child's soul.

I would invite you in to play with me upon this stage of degradation here inside this alehouse theater where your being would be sullied by my merest curiosity about you.I would only want you just to say for me a soothing word to calm my fear, to stanch this ache and cleanse this wound. I may not ever see you even if you stay, but I will feel your touch upon my heart in every word you say.

The best is over now; the worst has just begun.

The darkness is invincible as it falls upon us now. The darkness that is death to all that you hold dear. I cannot bear to feel you any more. I must now draw myself inside my sullen prison where I wait for darkness once again, darkness in eternity. Darkness sweet and cold. Darkness sweet and icy. No more fire to allay the fear of fire. Only ice and stone cold death, as all of us expire, die to God and all that once was holy, all that once was right, all that once was true. There is no truth at all except this death, this black and coal-tar masquerade that life puts on until it bubbles all away. Ephemeral.

Good Day for you, my lady

Good Night for me.

'Tis finished.

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