o “I, Gilgamesh, go to see that creature of whom such things are spoken, the rumour of whose name fills the world. I will conquer him in his cedar wood and show the strength of the sons of Uruk; all the world shall know of it” (9).
- Select another relevant passage of your own choosing from Gilgamesh. Choose carefully, thinking about how these two passages might speak to overarching themes and the bolded text in the Purpose, above.
- How do the two passages illustrate a conclusion about characteristics of Gilgamesh as a hero, and how is that significant or important for understanding Gilgamesh within his culture or heroes more generally?
A recent review in the Guardian of a production of Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, was entitled “Romeo and Juliet review – the Globe’s perverse show vandalises Shakespeare.” The invocation of ‘vandalism’ to describe a bad production at a theatre built to preserve and rediscover Shakespearean “original practices” demonstrates how Shakespeare has become a cultural monument; the man and his works as concretised certainties of a “universal individual genius creating literary texts that remain a permanently valuable repository of human experience,” which it is possible for a poor production to deface. This essay will argue through a close analysis of Romeo and Juliet that examining the works not as a solid, individually and organically produced whole, but rather as “an assemblage of textual pieces [which] comes to be seen as a solid dramatic work” [my emphasis], offers a better understanding of early modern theatre practice, which not only democratises Shakespearean drama by revealing it as the product of theatrical collaboration, but offers up possibilities for performance not evident in a linear, regularised modern text. Firstly, I will examine the prologue as an unfixed theatrical feature of the play, then through close analysis of the Act 1 Scene 3 examine the role of actors’ parts, midline switches and cues in the construction of character and direction of stage business and then finally examine how inconstant speech prefixes facilitate an examination of the movement of the play from theatrical manuscript to literary document. In Making Shakespeare: from Stage to Page Tiffany Stern sets out how prologues were a temporary feature of a play, performed when the play would receive its ‘trial’ on its first performance. This is reflected in the meta-theatricality of the prologue in Romeo and Juliet which after a thorough, if brief, synopsis of the play asks that the audience treats the “two hour traffic of our stage” with “patient ears” and assures them that “What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend”, that what the play lacks the actors will work to improve. The prologue’s theatrical function is not only marked in its content, its separateness from the body of the play is marked in the Second Quarto with a different type set, as was typical of early printed drama. Further, it sits behind the main title page but in front of the first scene >GET ANSWER