Philosophical Writings

March 23rd, 2017 → 5:38 am

“Adversity’s sweet milk, philosophy.” – Romeo and Juliet

There was an author in the 1990s that I just loved, Alain de Botton.  Somehow, I lost track of his work and simply assumed he’d stopped writing.  I discovered this week that in fact, he is still writing, on religion, on love, on aesthetics, and somehow I had just missed it.  I look forward to ordering some of his latest books; I only hope they are as good as The Consolations of Philosophy and How Proust Can Change Your Life.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

School Kills Shakespeare

March 5th, 2017 → 5:37 am

“…the whining school-boy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.”  – As You Like It

Shakespeare is apparently more popular in the rest of the world, than he is in the UK, a recent study finds.  Apparently that is because the way Shakespeare is taught in the UK (and many other English speaking nations) kills it for most people.  How sad!  Though I do kind of understand.  I didn’t love Shakespeare when I was first exposed to his works in middle school.  My love only came much later.  At the same time, I have always assumed that early exposure planted the seed; that I might not have grown to love Shakespeare now, had I not been force-fed him earlier.  Who knows.  Either way, I am glad the bug finally bit, and I feel kinda bad for others who never grew to appreciate the taste of the fruit.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Henry V

March 1st, 2017 → 1:23 pm

“Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long.” – Henry VI, Part I

I found this antique pocket edition of Henry V the other day.  Is it not adorable?  It’s a bit tattered and worn, but I like it even more for the use.  It means someone read it, and possibly even regularly thumbed through it, and didn’t just keep it around for looks.  Finding it made my day.  Plus, who doesn’t like Henry V, once he’s done being Hal?

Henry V      Henry V Side

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art


February 10th, 2017 → 5:50 am

“You, minion, are too saucy.” – The Two Gentlemen of Verona

I love minions!  Hilariously, here Shakespeare is using “minion” as “hussy”.  I knew minions were servants, sycophants, vassals, and stooges, but hussies?  Love it!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Queen Elizabeth II

November 17th, 2016 → 5:34 am

“Truth shall nurse her,
Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her;
She shall be loved and feared.”  – Henry VIII

Shakespeare wrote this about the first Queen Elizabeth, of course, but I’ll project it onto the second.  Just watched Netflix’s new series The Crown and found it both interesting and entertaining.  We all have such varied, difficult, and surprising lives to lead, royalty included.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Politics/Politicians

Shakespeare’s Co-Authors

October 27th, 2016 → 5:45 am

“Thus play I in one person many people.” – Richard II

The latest Shakespeare gossip is that Christopher Marlowe may have been Shakespeare’s co-author!  And that, essentially, perhaps many more of Shakespeare’s plays than we ever really realized were co-authored.  It kind of makes sense, as the theatre was so collaborative in those days; writers were also actors, actors were also stage managers, everyone did a bit of everything.  It’ll be fascinating to see what else science turns up – although, of course, nothing will ever stop the speculation, conspiracy theories, and general unknowns about our favorite Bard.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art


September 25th, 2016 → 5:05 am

“I do not know yet why I live to say this thing’s to do,
sith I have cause and will and strength and means to do it.”  – Hamlet (second quarto only!)

      Note: replace “sith” with “since” and the quote will read much easier to the modern eye

I am currently sitting in on an online Shakespeare course at Future Learn (“Shakespeare: Print and Performance”). I say sitting in on because while I am fully signed up, I am only watching the videos and not doing the homework assignments (I have been taking the quizzes though and scoring very highly!!).  Anyhow, a lot of the videos are repetition for me, but every once in awhile I do learn something new.  Today I learned that the second quarto edition of Hamlet is not only different than the first folio edition (this, I knew), but it is different by hundreds of lines.  My goodness!  There really are significantly different versions of Hamlet out there.  What does that mean?  Were there multiple authors?  Multiple updates?  Versions made for different playhouses?  We’ll never truly know, but I did like the quote given above that is from the second quarto alone.  Hamlet wonders why he’s sitting around thinking so much, and not doing anything, and it reminded me not only of myself at times, but most definitely of some of my own students right now.  There’s a homework assignment due tomorrow, get on it!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art


September 11th, 2016 → 5:14 am

“I have more flesh than another man
and therefore more frailty.”  – Henry IV, Part I

Continuing with the Hollow Crown series, I watched Henry IV, Part I last night.  This quote made me wonder, if being large means you are more frail (or, as Falstaff meant it, more fallible), does being small mean you are more resilient (or, more honest)?  I have read scientific studies that claim that small people live longer – one potential explanation of which is that there are less cells to go haywire, less of a chance something will turn cancerous.  I rather doubt that being small makes you more resilient or more honest, frankly, but it is nice to hear some praise for smallness (even if it is from Falstaff), which is so rare in our current culture with its worshipfulness of all things big and tall.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life

Ben Whishaw

September 4th, 2016 → 6:09 am

“See, see, King Richard doth himself appear.
As doth the blushing discontented sun.”  – Richard II

I am blown away.  I finally got the chance to watch the first in The Hollow Crown series – Richard II.  Ben Whishaw plays Richard II and I have never seen such a good performance in my life before.  I was riveted.  Actually riveted to the screen.  I refused to stop watching even to go to the bathroom.  I just want to watch it again now.  Ben Whishaw, you are my new favorite actor ❤️❤️❤️

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art


June 28th, 2016 → 5:54 am

“[I] have been at a great feast of languages and stolen the scraps…
as honorificabilitudinitatibus.”  – Love’s Labor’s Lost

I’ve been doing some more research on Tudor England lately, and the words I’m discovering delight me!  Including cooper, rufous, tatterdemalion, aglet, peascod belly, and parchminer (not to mention honorificabilitudinitatibus).

In addition, while writing a story yesterday morning I put down the word “trumble,” as in a loud, rumbling, trundling wagon.  Yet, when I checked on it later, I had apparently made the word up!  How is “trumble” not a word?  Doesn’t it sound like it should be a word??

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art