Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday April 23 2012

Happy birthday, dear William! On this day in 1564 William Shakespeare was born and sadly also on April 23 in 1616 he died, only 52 years old. He had stopped writing plays some years earlier. He was born and died in Stratford.

Last week's Monday report was a bit hasty because of my distraction with the text on H4:1 (posted today). I missed a few Shakespeare sightings so I will included them below. But first...

From the Shakespeare Almanac:
  • On April 20, 1610, Simon Forman, physician and astrologer, saw a performance of Macbeth and wrote about it. This is one of the first (and few) eyewitness reports of seeing a Shakespeare play in his lifetime.
  • On April 22, 1597, Shakespeare probably attended a party for the year's new Garter Knights because his patron Lord Chamberlain was one of them.

Shakespeare sightings:
  • In Svenska Dagbladet there was a long article on April 11 about silence in Shakespeare's plays. A worthy subject!
  • Cleaning out my email box at work a couple of weeks ago I found an old email from a former student who sent me a link to one of the biggest on-line selling sites, Blocket. The seller was offering “Shakespeare, his complete works, in a very fine edition...”. In Swedish, so it was quite an offer. The complete works are no longer available in bookstores or on-line bookshops!
  • In Twilight, which I just finished reading to see if it is worth using for gender analysis in my advanced English class (it most definitely is, rather depressingly so...), the highschoolers have Shakespeare on their required reading list.
  • In the Swedish book 101 historiska myter (I think you non-Swedes can figure that out) by Åke Persson and Thomas Oldrup, they blame Shakespeare for the myth that Cleopatra killed herself by letting a poison asp bite her.
  • In the Swedish novel Sjö utan namn (that's less obvious so here's the translation: Lake with No Name) by Kjell Johansson, the author tells us that there is a statue of Puck in the Stockholm suburb Midsommarkransen (Midsummer Wreath). I'll have to go take a look some day!
  • In today's Dagens Nyheter a theater group of pensioners is mentioned. They have put on a production of Macbeth.

Further, this week:
  • Started reading aloud with Hal: The Merry Wives of Windsor.
  • Posted: “Language, Lies and Truth” in Henry IV Part One.


  1. If Twilight is what I think it is (and I may very well be wrong), that image I sent you awhile back is in fact a comparison between the hero vampire in Twilight and Rambo. And if it is, yea, you will have a depressing amount of gender in there for sure. It's like some mass production facility that produces money-making excrement fed to the 13-14 year olds in a never ending circular fashion.

  2. You're absolutely right and that photo is one of the things that prompted me to check out Twilight. And yes, the book is depressingly gender-stereotyped.