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

Procrastination

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

Flesh

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

Words

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

Thoughts & Discussion

June 6th, 2016 → 5:56 am

    “…thoughts
    Which ten times faster glides than the sun’s beams
    Driving back shadows over lowering hills.” – Romeo and Juliet

Good thinking can drive back the shadows.  I wish we saw more of it in the political sphere.  Frankly, I wish we saw more of it everywhere!  Happily, myself and the renowned scholar Onyeka will be contributing to an atmosphere of intriguing thoughts and useful discussion in an online Goodreads discussion this Tuesday, the 7th.  Please join us!!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Suicide

May 3rd, 2016 → 5:00 am

    “O that this too sullied flesh would melt,
    Thaw and resolve itself into a dew.” – Hamlet

Shakespeare has numerous quotes on suicide.  Many of the best authors often do!  I’ve been reading Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery this week, and came across one of the most beautiful, accurate descriptions of nonemotional suicide I’ve ever come across.  I quote only a part of it here:  (for full impact you should probably read the whole thing)

    “There was one time, however, when, having slipped, and finding yourself stretched flat on your face in the snow, you threw in your hand.  You were like a boxer emptied of all passion by a single blow, lying and listening to the seconds drop one by one into a distant universe, until the tenth second fell and there was no appeal.
    ‘I’ve done my best and I can’t make it.  Why go on?’  All that you had to do in the world to find peace was to shut your eyes.  So little was needed to blot out that world of crags and ice and snow.  Let drop those miraculous eyelids and there was an end of blows, of stumbling falls, of torn muscles and burning ice, of that burden of life you were dragging along like a worn-out ox, a weight heavier than any wain or cart.”

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Other

Macbeth – The Movie

April 3rd, 2016 → 5:42 am

“What’s done cannot be undone.” – Macbeth

I watched the latest movie version of Macbeth last night (the one with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard), and found it to be a bit overdone.  Very Hollywood with gratuitous fight scenes, prolific blood spurts, and melodramatic music in every single scene.  I think I need to watch a comedy now…

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Rape

March 30th, 2016 → 5:29 am

“O unseen shame, invisible disgrace!” – The Rape of Lucrece

It’s been happening for ages.  They say prostitution is the world’s oldest profession.  Rape is likely its oldest shame.  Shakespeare centered a poem around it, and Jessica Knoll just admitted her best selling book, Luckiest Girl Alive, including a prominent rape was based not on fiction, but experience.  Will the violence ever end?

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Turks

February 6th, 2016 → 5:54 am

“Turk Gregory never did such deeds in arms as I have done this day.” – Henry IV, Part I

What’s interesting about this quote is that “Turk” is being used as an abusive term, signifying a tyrant.  I hadn’t realized that “Turk” had that connotation in Shakespeare’s day.  Today I think of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, or perhaps, a brave Turk.  Perceptions of peoples and words as they change over time is very, very interesting.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art