This is the first complete English translation of the medical casebook of John Hall, Shakespeare’s son-in-law. Greg Wells has produced a groundbreaking new study which significantly refocuses our attention on John Hall’s scholarship, as well as his compassion. Hall’s community of patients, their illnesses and his treatments are all authoritatively represented. But so too is Hall’s own library. In looking again at Hall’s Latin manuscript, Wells has been able to identify Hall’s many borrowings from other medical textbooks, thereby offering a unique insight into the intellectual climate of early seventeenth-century Stratford-upon-Avon. We have been relying on an abridged version of Hall’s casebook for over three centuries. Wells corrects and augments all previous studies, and in so doing retrieves the hitherto unnoticed conversations that Hall had with his patients, his prayers for their well-being, and thanksgivings for their recovery. John Hall emerges as a scholar physician who was immersed in the best thinking and practice of his age, who regularly consulted sixty books within his easy reach in order to treat all levels of society. Presented in association with The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, this generously illustrated edition includes portraits of some of Hall’s patients, pictures of some of the houses he travelled to in order to cure them, of the herbs and plants he most frequently used, and of the kinds of medical equipment on which he relied.
This is the edition of John Hall’s medical casebook itself. This is the first complete English translation of the medical casebook of John Hall, Shakespeare’s son-in-law. Greg Wells has produced a groundbreaking new study which significantly refocuses our attention on Hall’s scholarship, as well as his compassion. Hall’s community of patients, their illnesses and his treatments are all authoritatively represented. But so too is Hall’s own library. In looking again at Hall’s Latin manuscript, Wells has been able to identify Hall’s many borrowings from other medical textbooks, thereby offering a unique insight into the intellectual climate of early seventeenth-century Stratford-upon-Avon.
John Hall’s manuscript is the one record we have of his authentic voice. This section describes the manuscript and summarises its history. But what do we mean by ‘a casebook’? The term as used by historians covers works of mixed and fluid genres. Hall’s work differs from the majority of casebooks because it represents his draft towards a book he never finished. It shows that a casebook can have an internal structure related to the chronologies of its composition as well as to the cases from which it draws. Hall is not unique in his substantial borrowing from Latin texts, though he does represent an extreme and very rare example. His manuscript is especially valuable because it represents a work in progress, an early modern physician’s mind in the process of thinking about his patients, his conversations with them and his treatments. This first complete English translation presents a highly readable work, full of human interest, insight and compassion. This section of the introduction also outlines the themes of Hall’s casebook and shows how Hall interacted with his patients. This section represents original scholarship in its new understanding of Hall’s manuscript, his Latin, and what it represents in an historical context.
Wells’s edition marks the first time that Hall’s extensive borrowings from Latin medical textbooks for the production of his own casebook have been thoroughly and compellingly identified. This section describes the methodology adopted to recreate Hall’s library, and the books and authors themselves are clearly listed. This identification of Hall’s working library sheds completely new light on Hall and is significant in several contexts. It allows us to understand when, why and how Hall acquired his books. His use of them in relation to his patients and how he wrote up his medical cases shows us how Hall used his library: to identify therapies for his patients during his working life, and then to turn his initial case notes into a draft for his own Latin textbook. This section situates Hall’s working library in the context of other early modern medical libraries and describes Hall’s use of books over time. Tables provide a list of books in Hall’s library and show his most frequently used sources. Wells is the first to present Hall’s casebook in terms of the library on which it relies, so this whole section represents a highly original contribution to the field.
This section makes clear the compelling case for a full, English translation of Hall. Historians have too easily taken for granted that Cooke’s seventeenth-century translation was both accurate and complete. It is not. Cooke’s translation contains both errors and omissions. For example Cooke misattributes the cure of the Earl of Northampton (case 137) to the Oxford physician Dr Clayton, rather than to Hall himself. Cooke also turns Hall’s conversations with his patients into brisk, radically abridged summaries, and loses much of Hall’s personal views on his relationships with his patients. Until now, anyone wanting to study John Hall has had to rely on Cooke’s 1679 edition (on which Joan Lane’s 1996 edition is also based). Wells’s book does not contain Hall’s Latin text, but annotations to the English text make Hall’s Latin borrowings from his sources clear. Wells’s editorial principles with regard to Hall’s abbreviations, punctuation and handling of pharmaceutical Latin are succinctly described, as are the principles that directed Wells’s own English translation.
The ‘cellarage scene’, which follows Hamlet’s interview with the Ghost,
stages the latter in a very ambiguous and disconcerting way. This chapter
turns to more popular, medieval, intertextual antecedents of Hamlet’s
ghostly figure, arguing that this sequence looks back towards medieval stage
traditions that survived into the late-sixteenth century, not only because
the couple formed by the subterranean Ghost and Hamlet is reminiscent of
that of the Devil and the Vice in morality plays, but also because of other,
more specific elements like the plurality of the oath, Hamlet’s
disrespectful tone and the nicknames given by Hamlet to the Ghost. The whole
sequence may be seen both as a living tableau on the stage and as comic
relief, part of Hamlet’s wider propensity for puns.
Double Ariel in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Tempest
Anchuli Felicia King
Recent puppet theory engages with how this ancient form exists in dialogue
with contemporary digital technologies. In 2017, the Royal Shakespeare
Company mounted an ambitious production of The Tempest in which Mark
Quarterly’s performance as Ariel was rendered alongside a digital puppet
through the use of live motion capture technology. This chapter examines how
the hardware and software used by the RSC and Intel to render Quarterly’s
‘Double Ariel’ engages with The Tempest’s themes of liminality, and
specifically Ariel’s liminal textual status as a supernatural entity. By
deconstructing the technical systems used to render Ariel’s avatar in this
production, the chapter also explores processes of iterative
‘technodramaturgy’ – the interplay between traditional dramaturgies and the
innate, often concealed dramaturgies of technical systems themselves
(software, hardware or mechanical). In the RSC Tempest, this
technodramaturgy heightened the wonder and spectacle of Shakespeare’s
sprite, leading to theatrical discoveries around rendering the supernatural
through digital puppetry.
This chapter explores our current moment in the history of The Tempest in
performance, in which female actors have increasingly taken on the role of
Prospero, transforming him into Prospera. Goodland challenges the prevailing
view that this change is seamless, arguing that it reveals implicit bias
against women in that they are largely viewed as mothers rather than as
magi. She shows this by examining the tension between feminist scholarship
and play reviews in three high-profile productions: Blair Brown’s 2003 stage
portrayal at McCarter Theatre, Olympia Dukakis’s 2012 performance at
Shakespeare & Company and Helen Mirren’s 2010 Prospera in the film by
Julie Taymor. While Shakespeare’s play ultimately suggests that the
difference between Prospero and Sycorax, between male and female forms of
magic, is illusory, Goodland’s analysis shows that the replacement of a male
body with a female body is not so seamless. Bodies matter. The biases of our
twenty-first century culture are written in the laws that endeavour to
control women’s bodies and in the reviews that construe their value to
society under the category of a domesticated motherhood rather than as
individuals who are leaders and scientists.
Representing the supernatural in film adaptations of A Midsummer
While stage adaptations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream have grappled with
representing fairies and fairy flight since the play’s early performances at
the original Globe, the ‘magic’ of film offered possibilities of supernature
not previously available to stage productions. Initially this capability was
fully exploited in early adaptations of the Dream such as Vitagraph’s 1909
silent adaptation, and Max Reinhardt’s spectacular 1935 film for Warner
Brothers. As cinema matured, and our reading of the play changed, the heavy
reliance on special effects made way for other, more subtle techniques. Film
directors took differing approaches in representing the fairies’
supernatural powers and their materiality, offering new and exciting ways to
‘read’ the fairies. This chapter explores how the fairies are represented in
a number of film adaptations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream from 1909 through
to 2016, and considers the effect that film ‘magic’ has on realising the
supernatural in the play.
The introduction constitutes a comprehensive overview of the field of
Shakespeare and the supernatural, covering terminology, historical ideas
surrounding magic, witchcraft, ghosts and demonology, responses to the
supernatural in the space of the theatre, and the ways in which
Shakespeare’s work is located between discourses of enchantment and emerging
scepticism. It also highlights the porous boundaries between ideas of
nature, the preternatural and the supernatural. Providing relevant contexts
for the issues explored in the book, it outlines the volume’s five key
themes: the supernatural and embodiment; haunted spaces; supernatural
utterance and haunted texts; magic, music and gender; and present-day
transformations. The introduction also presents a summary of the
contributions by each of the authors and explores the dialogues that open up
between the various chapters.