Having now started to read Cymbeline aloud together there is a sense of heading for a kind of climax. We’ve discussed it quite a lot, Hal and I, and have come to the conclusion that on this Shakespeare marathon we are not going to include All Is True (Henry VIII) or The Two Noble Kinsman. The BBC project includes Henry VIII but not the Kinsman. We’ve read and seen Henry VIII but not much of it was written by Shakespeare and it doesn’t really feel like part of his work. We’ve not read Kinsman but it is included in the Norton edition. Still, since even less is attributed to Shakespeare and we don’t have any films of it, we’re simply going to ignore it this time around. Which means that after Cymbeline we have one play left, The Tempest. And since that has long been regarded as Shakespeare’s last full play, it seems right to end with that. After that? Well, I have plans. The blog will continue. And other things... More later.
From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
- Milford Haven is a ford and harbour mentioned in Cymbeline but we haven’t got there in the play yet. It’s in Wales and is known in Welsh as Aberdaugleddau. It’s also part of Richard II and Richard III’s history but Shakespeare doesn’t use it in those plays.
- Mote and Moth are more or less interchangeable in Love’s Labour’s Loss which indicates that they were pronounced the same. The “th” that foreign students have so much trouble pronouncing was simply “t” in Elizabethan English. At least sometimes.
- In Boudica by Vanessa Collingridge the author goes back to the early Roman times to explain why they were so astounded by the fact that a woman could lead a revolt against their vast military superiority. She uses a quote from Julius Caesar to show how colossal Caesar was. She also mentions Shakespeare’s immortalising of Brutus.
- There was an advert in Dagens Nyheter for a production of Othello coming up in December but we don’t think we’ll go. The play is just too tragic. But we might change our minds. Karl Dyall is playing the lead and he’s very good.
- I saw on IMdB that Cymbeline has been filmed with Ethan Hawke and other good actors. How timely! But it probably won’t be available while we’re reading it.
- In the novel The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald two quotes sneak into the story: “method in this madness” and “make the beast with two backs.” Does the author know these are from Shakespeare? She does actually have one of her characters explain why she’s named Olivia: “My father loved Shakespeare and my mother loved olives.”
- Started reading aloud with Hal: Cymbeline.
- Seen with friends KJG and JG: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. They had heard of it but never seen it. They liked it and we liked it as much as ever.
Posted this week:
- This Monday report.
- Book report on The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film, edited by Russell Jackson.