Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday April 22 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013
It’s been a Measure for Measure week. We finished reading it, we watched the BBC version, I wrote a rough draft of a text and by next week it’ll all be wound up for the spring session of the blog with it.

From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary:
  • Bedlam had become a treatment center for the mentally ill by the 15th century and was a symbol of madness by Shakespeare’s day.
  • Belgia - Several contemporaries of Shakespeare, for example Ben Jonson and Sir Philip Sydney, had served in the war in the Low Countries, of which Belgia, or Belgium, is one.  It has been said, though with no evidence, that Shakespeare fought there too.

Shakespeare sightings:
  • I played Peggy Lee’s classic “Fever” in class for my English students the other day and after a few seconds I remembered, “Oh, yeah, Romeo and Juliet are mentioned here, aren’t they?” And sure enough: “Romeo loved Juliet, Juliet, she felt the same. When he put his arms around her, he said, Julie baby you’re my flame. Thou givest fever. When we kisseth, fever with thy flaming youth. Fever, I’m on fire. Fever, yea I burn forsooth.” It’s a good song. Listen!
  • In the novel Alys, Always by Harriet Lane the young theater student Polly wants to join a group of actors doing Shakespeare. It doesn’t work out.

Further this week:
  • Finish reading aloud with Hal: Measure for Measure
  • Watched BBC’s version of same.
  • Read several analyses of same.
  • Started writing text on same, and finished the rough draft this morning.
  • Started reading Thomas Goltz’ Assassinating Shakespeare Confessions of a Bard in a Bush
  • Finished reading Jasper Fforde’s fourth Thursday Next novel Something Rotten.  An absolute must read for anyone with the remotest interest in Shakespeare.  As usual with Thursday Next, the plot is a tad unbelievable and not terribly important (war against Denmark etc). The Hamlet angle is of course completely believable and goes like this:  Hamlet is staying with Thursday’s mother, as is Thursday, while he deals with his problem with indecisiveness.  He goes to places in Swindon with her.  He is charmed by hearing his To Be or Not to Be monologue on the Will Speak machine and is delighted (though sometimes critical) to see his play and movies.  He likes the Mel Gibson version but is very curious to see himself played by the up and coming Branagh. He is having an affair with Horatio Nelson’s not quite wife Lady Emma Hamilton (also a refugee in Mrs. Next’s home). He is very upset to hear that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have their own play now and that Ophelia has tried to stage a coup d’etat in his absence.  The real problem is that a dastardly character is in the process of rewriting Hamlet out of all recognition and Hamlet is in danger of disappearing completely.  Thursday must rescue him! So she and her friends sneak into the Social Republic of Wales where the surviving Shakespeare clone is hiding to get him to write the play again and…well, it all works out and all’s well that ends well.  See, that was totally believable, right?  In short, it’s the best Thursday Next so far and I laughed out loud all the way through it.
  • Reminder about Blogging Shakespeare: information about an exciting web debate on April 26 – Friday - about the authorship of Shakespeare

 Posted this week:

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