Finally! Coriolanus, “Soldier Boy”. Class and gender, that’s what emerges in my text . Not so unusual with me. So much more could be written about this play but that will have to wait. Now London is ahead of us. And the Globe. And Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. It’s getting hard to think of anything else.
From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
- London – how serendipitous it is that we’re reading the L’s just now. D&F tell us that the name London is Celtic or even pre-Celtic. It’s an old city. It started to become influential in the 12th century but it wasn’t until it developed into the centre of England’s trade that it became the administration and political centre as well. In Shakespeare’s day it had become the nation’s capital. Shakespeare does not however place his plays in London so often and it figures only in the history plays: Henry VI:2, Henry VI:3, Henry VI:1, Richard III, King John, Richard II, Henry IV:1, Henry IV:2, Henry V, and Henry VIII.
- In Dagens Nyheter there was a notice about poor old Richard III’s bones, found recently, as you may recall, in a parking lot in Leicester. Historians want him to be buried in the Leicester Cathedral but his ancestors (yes, there are ancestors) want him to be buried in York where he was based. But he’ll stay in Leicester. Hurrah. History wins over inheritance.
- In the book The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, about how using the Internet is changing the way our brains function, mostly in a negative way according to him (I’m still not convinced and I’ve finished it; it’s worth considering however), he describes memory with Hamlet’s words: “the book and volume of my brain.”
- On Fringe, Season 2, Episode 21, Walter says to Olivia: “Remember your Shakespeare, dear. ‘All the world’s a stage – or in this case, both worlds’.” As he, Olivia and the others are on their way to the other universe.
- In the novel Downriver by Iain Sinclair one of the characters “gasped and sneezed, turning his frailty to advantage, by pretending to be overcome by emotion: a Shakespearean soliloquy of pity for the human condition.” Unfortunately, not even a sentence about Shakespeare can make this book readable. It won lots of prizes but I gave up after about a hundred pages. A pity. It was about London.
- Before the early evening news on Fridays old episodes of Colombo are shown. We just happened into the few minutes in which a couple of actors are reading the newspaper reviews of their Macbeth. It ends up they were the murderers (I think) and one of them goes mad quoting “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.” How very literary of a 60’s TV detective series!
Further since last time:
- Finished reading aloud with Hal: Julius Caesar in preparation for seeing it at the Globe in less than a month!
- Started reading aloud with Hal: Antony and Cleopatra in preparation for seeing it at the Globe in less than a month!
- Started reading Shakespeare and Film – a Norton Guide by Samuel Crowl.
- Being shown in cinema locations in England: The Tempest. This recording is of the production we saw last summer and will be released for sale in July.
Posted this week:
- This Monday report.
- “Soldier Boy” in The Tragedy of Coriolanus