What a turbulent Shakespeare week! After closing down Shakespeare Calling last Monday I got a mail from Paul at Blogging Shakespeare about the sensational discovery of the bones of Richard III (see more below). And yesterday I checked out the website of the conference Hal and I are going to attend in London in June, and saw that the play we’ll be seeing is The Taming of a Shrew (see more below). We’ve still had time for Hamlet though and a few historical events and sightings:
From Gregory Doran's Shakespeare Almanac:
- In 1601 while the Essex Rebellion was going on, Richard II was also being performed. Brave actors! Essex was condemned to death and Shakespeare’s patron Southampton was put in the Tower.
- On February 10, 1616, Judith, the daughter of Anne Hathaway and William Shakespeare, married Thomas Quinney without the special permit needed for getting married during Lent. Whether this and other problems with the bridegroom (who had another girlfriend at the same time) contributed to Shakespeare’s death a couple of months later, we don’t know.
· Two articles each about Richard III in the two largest Swedish daily newspapers Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet.
· In Ali Smith’s novel There But For The
- “Every new wink of an eye some new grace will be born.” A lesser known quote. Any guesses?
- The wonderfully precocious Brooke, about 10 years old, quotes Shakespeare frequently, the best being in describing a play, “I found it weary, stale, flat and unprofitable.” And which play does that come from?
- One of the characters was in a band called the Shakespearos in his youth.
- Another character goes to see The Winter’s Tale.
- “Knock knock. Who’s there? Toby or not Toby…”
· From the film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with Maggie Smith:
- Miss Brodie points out the uselessness of team spirit with, “Cleopatra knew nothing of the team spirit if you read your Shakespeare.” (see last week, the book).
- Not from the book but in the movie: one of the girls says Miss Brodie makes history seem like the cinema and another girl says, “No, like Shakespeare!”
Further, since the last report:
- Received as a gift from friend and colleague AC: Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Swedish. A lovely edition translated into Swedish by Göran O. Eriksson, whom AC knew well because he was the father of one of her best friends in school. Thank you, AC! What a wonderful gift!
- Watched Hamlet with Ethan Hawke.
- Watched Hamlet with Laurence Olivier.
- Started reading Harold’s Bloom’s text about Hamlet.
- Continued reading: Stephen Greenblatt’s Hamlet in Purgatory
- Was asked by Paul at Blogging Shakespeare to write about the Richard III discovery. I did but technical problems at Blogging Shakespeare stopped it from being posted. Hopefully my updated text will be posted this week.
- Oh what a disappointment! I had so been hoping for Timon of Athens, or Measure for Measure or almost any other play but not Taming of the Shrew this summer in London. Not because I don’t like the play but because it’s been, in my experience, so badly misinterpreted! But maybe I’m being unduly pessimistic. Maybe it will be a good discussion at the conference and an excellent performance. It is the Globe after all!
Posted this week:
· This Monday report
· “’…the dead bones that lay scatter'd by…’”An Archeological Sensation” in Ruby’s Reflections