Thoughts & Discussion

June 6th, 2016 → 5:56 am

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


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


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


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

Squirmishes and Beslubbering

January 28th, 2016 → 5:55 am

“Yea, and to tickle our noses with spear grass to make them bleed,
and then to beslubber our garments with it
and swear it was the blood of true men.”  – Henry IV, Part I

I’m reading Henry IV, Part I right now, and I just finished Act 2, of the comedic sparring of Falstaff and Prince Hal scene.  In it was the line above with the word “beslubber,” meaning “to smear or cover.”  I realize that there were some different words in use in Shakespeare’s time, but beslubber?  It just seemed like such a squirmish to me I had to blog about it.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

ShakeDic: taffety punk

November 22nd, 2015 → 6:13 am

“As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney,
as your French crown for your taffety punk.”  – All’s Well That Ends Well

“Taffety punk” is a prostitute that is finely dressed.  So much more evocative than “a prostitute that is finely dressed.”  I love it!  Was Julia Roberts the best taffety punk ever, or what?

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Angel Street (Gaslight)

November 8th, 2015 → 6:41 am

“‘Tis but the shadow of a wife you see;
The name and not the thing.”  – All’s Well That Ends Well

I went to a production of the play Angel Street (Gaslight) last night.  It portrays a woman psychologically abused by her husband.  I knew I was supposed to feel sympathy for her as I watched the play, but I just kept thinking, stand up for yourself already!  Believe in yourself!  Thank goodness the majority of women today aren’t so dependent on their husbands, as they were 100+ years ago.  Kudos to progress, however slow and marginal it seems at times!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Feminist Shakespeare

November 2nd, 2015 → 5:50 am

“Good grows with her:
In her days every man shall eat in safety
Under his own virtue, what he plants; and sing
The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours:
God shall be truly known; and those about her
From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,
And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.”  – Henry VIII

I just finished reading Women of Will by Tina Packer, a book that follows the feminine in Shakespeare’s canon.  It’s not an easy read, but it was interesting.  And it claims that Shakespeare was something of a feminist in his writings – generally showing their strength, insight, and most importantly love, as always the better alternative to war, fighting, and aggression.  I’m not sure I buy all the arguments in the book, but I’m all for love, not war, so call me a feminist too!

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Shakespeare Porn

October 20th, 2015 → 5:18 am

The following is ostensibly about a horse:  😉

“Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds,
And now his woven girths he breaks asunder.
The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds,
Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven’s thunder.

The Iron bit he crusheth ‘tween his teeth,

Controlling what he was controlled with.   

His ears up-pricked, his braided hanging mane
Upon his compassed crest now stand on end;
His nostrils drink the air, and forth again,
As from a furnace, vapours doth he send.

His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire,

Shows his hot courage and his high desire.  – Venus and Adonis


Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art