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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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Eerie Ears and Pointless Points
When young I associated pointy ears primarily with Mr Spock - although I see that Bram Stoker describes Dracula's too as being "extremely pointed", and that's reflected in most portrayals (it must admitted that Dracula's ears have been overshadowed by his teeth). The spitefully spiky pine elves who were the most frightening denizens of my youthful Rupert annuals had pointy ears, I suppose, but then everything about them was pointy.

That elves have pointy ears is one of those things everyone knows, and Peter Jackson has probably helped spread the meme further (there's an interesting discussion here about how and whether Tolkien himself intended his elves' ears to be pointed); but where does the idea originate? Certainly you can see examples in the work of Arthur Rackham and Cicely Mary Barker - but what about earlier artists? And is it purely an artistic convention, or does it have literary corroboration?

Would the players have been gluing points to their ears for the first performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream?


This is the bare bones of information that the RSC gives. As you can see there is a cast list, but with no assigned roles. But fortunately, there is this -


This is the 1970 version - same cast, very different costume concept:

Edited at 2015-02-14 08:43 pm (UTC)

But fortunately, there is this -

What a wonderful tangle of hair. I envy you seeing that production in person.

This is the 1970 version - same cast, very different costume concept

Okay, that's a neat shout-out to stories like the Green Children of Woolpit, but I still want the time machine to 1962.

Yes, I think it was very lovely.

I missed the 1970 version (it may in fact have been a special, outdoors one, possibly at Charlecote Park).