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304Comparative Drama and black and white. One of the handsomest is the (partial) glossy foldout reproduction of a color map of the East Swale (British Library MS. Cotton Charter xiii. 12) commissioned in the time of Henry VIII (c. 1514-39). Chapter 10, the book's best, is probably the clearest account of the murder itself that one could read (80-88); Hyde culls Stow (and Holinshed) usefully and judiciously for details. She constructs the historical Arden to dispel certain myths concerning his dramatic representation : that he was an important landowner whom everyone hated. Finally, although Hyde might be faulted for the dearth of commentary on the play, her demonstrated skill with primary sources and enormous knowledge of the period make some ofthe "theory" that new historicists promulgate about the "culture" that produced Arden ofFaversham seem rather shallow and anachronistic—e.g., that the playwright is somehow sympathetic to Alice the murderess, as ifhe were a prehistoric feminist. The horrifying account of the punishments refute such concepts, and Stow's own sarcastic aside speaks for itself: "Than came this good wyfe, and with a knyfe gave hir husbond 7 or 8 pricks in the brest because she would make him sure" (121). I will be sure to treasure my copy of the text; browsing through the documents with Hyde's assistance aids one's understanding of early modern culture. M. L. STAPLETON Stephen F. Austin Slate University Minoru Fujita and Leonard Pronko, eds. Shakespeare East and West. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996. Pp. xiii + 196. $45.00. Togo Igawa, a Japanese actor working with the RSC at the Swan Theatre, tells how the leading actor was once so incensed by spectators glued to the text on their laps that he swooped down on a culprit, plucked the book away, and tossed it into the air. I take this as the defining anecdote of the present collection. One can of course regard it as an instance of luvvie fascism, the impulse of actors to boss their audience around. But Poh Sim Plowright, quoting the story with approval, sees the production of Shakespeare as a way of "freeing" us from the text: In a vivid way, I think this story makes a point about the way in which the refusal to lift one's eyes literally and metaphorically from the text, can cripple theatrical effect. And the creation of exciting stage images in a Shakespeare production—which are carriers of meaning beyond language—is often achieved by performances and techniques that come from other traditions which free the play from the constraints of the original text. (51-52) This piquant view of the play as prisoner lays the foundation stone here. Shakespeare East and West is an exploration of the larger ways in which Shakespeare can be detached, or prised away, from the constraints of the text. The global multi-cultural interchanges take this very Reviews305 far; it is I think the most important process now at work with Shakespeare on stage. The giant feat of directors, who in the 1960s laid hands upon their Shakespeare, is now being repeated by those who will remake Shakespeare in the images of their own cultures. In doing so, they turn up analogies and structural echoes that are highly suggestive. Tetsuo Anzai points out that a Noh play is constructed as a revelation: "the crucial point of the play comes at the moment when the hidden identity of the shite is revealed to the waki, and hence to the audience . . ." (45). This, to an Aristotelian, is anagnorisis . Again, the Noh/Kabuki stage had a roof over it. More important , it had a cosmological symbol in the pinetree (Noh), an archetype which is the axletree of the universe connecting earth and heaven. The Kabuki form of the archetype was a turret. A flag or streamer was hung out on the turret while a play was in progress. All this is strikingly reminiscent of the Elizabethan theater. The essence that Shakespeare and Japanese traditional theater have in common, says Anzai, consists in the fundamental idea of drama as (in Eliade's terminology) "hierophany," the idea that a theater is "a place where something behind everyday...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 304-306
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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