This week has been an intensive Henry-and-then-Julius-Caesar-week. Time flies and with it the plays swish by.
From Gregory Doran's Shakespeare Almanac:
- On September 5, 1607, it was recorded by the captain of an East India ship in his diary that “We gave the tragedy of Hamlet” Later they gave Richard II. He writes, “It keeps my people from idleness and unlawful games or sleep.” The ship was off the coast of Sierra Leone. It is the earliest mention of a Shakespeare performance outside of England.
- On September 6, 1769, the great Shakespearean actor David Garrick opened a Shakespeare Jubilee in Stratford-upon-Avon. In the three days of festivities not a word of Shakespeare was actually spoken and it rained.
- On September 8, 1601, Shakespeare's father was buried. It is unknown if he was at the funeral. It is believed that at this time he was writing Hamlet.
- On September 9, 1608, his mother was buried.
- In the second episode in the first season of Mad Men, the guy who just got married (I haven't learned their names yet) is called Romeo by his colleagues.
- Romeo and Juliet also show up in Nawal El Saadawi's novel Zeina (called The Stolen Novel in Swedish) and Shakespeare's and Shaw's pictures are hanging next to that of the editor-in-chief of the major Cairo newspaper where several of the characters work, “as though it was enough to have one's photo next to theirs to become a great writer oneself.”
- On the walking quiz along the lake shore, Hal and I saw the question: “Who wrote Uncle Vanya?” The alternatives were: Tolstoy, Shakespeare and Chekov. Before I get too big-headed about knowing the answer I can add that it was the only question I got. Lucky we weren't really participating.
Further, since the last report:
- Watched with Hal: Henry V, Branagh version.
- Finished and posted today: my text on same.
- Started reading aloud with Hal: Julius Caesar.