Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday November 24 2014

And so the day has arrived.  The last Monday report, and the posting of the last play analysis for this first three-year Shakespeare marathon.  Three years of Shakespeare Calling.  Things will change now. I’m not quite sure how.  The Monday Reports will become the Monthly Reports. A Ruby’s Reflection on these three years will show up in January, and further reflections will probably be posted.  Eventually Hal and I will start reading the plays again but in what order we haven’t decided. We have several unseen films.
But the biggest project, on which I will begin work in January, is to publish these three years of Shakespeare Calling in book form.  I don’t know how long it will take, but I’m looking forward to the work it entails. 
Many thoughts and feelings arise as I write this last Monday report.  They will be expressed in the promised Ruby’s Reflection but for now, I would just like to thank you all for your support and interest in the blog, and present the Monday Report for November 24, 2014, a grey and windy day in Stockholm.

From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
  • Prince of Wales is the title, as we know, now held but Charles, the heir to the throne.  It is a title held by the heirs to the throne since Edward I gave the title to his son Edward II in 1284 when the once proudly independent Wales had been conquered. The title is used in Richard II, Henry IV Part Two and Henry V.
  • Prospero. How appropriate that we’ve come at this point to this lead character from The Tempest in our reading of D+F.  There are several Prospero’s throughout Italian history who could be the basis for Shakespeare’s character, or Shakespeare could have been thinking of a riding master in London whom he might have known personally.  The name means “favourable”.
Shakespeare sightings:
  • The novel Half Bad by Sally Green has on the page after the Table of Contents a quote from Hamlet: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”  Near the end of the book one of the characters points out to the protagonist Nathan that “the course of true love never did run smooth.” And in her acknowledgments Sally Green explains that while Shakespeare hasn’t played a big role in her life, she has seen Hamlet in film versions and the quote mentioned above “was a key element in the forming” of the story.
  • In the novel The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton one of the young characters thinks: “ matter how many pounds of flesh she had to give,” she would see to it that she kept her job.  It hardly seems likely that she’s thinking about Shakespeare or even knows that it’s a quote, or if the author does.
  • In the film From Russia with Love, James Bond says as he heads out on a dangerous mission, “Once more unto the breach.”
Further since last time:
  • Watched: the rest of the Canadian series Slings and Arrows, received from friends KJG and JG, about a theatre troupe putting on Shakespeare plays. It is such a good series!  It’s really a must for all Shakespeare enthusiasts. Sadly it’s difficult to find these days. We bought it used on that vast internet store that starts with an A. If you don’t find it on Netflix or any of the other internet film streamers, bombard them with emails until they offer it. You simply must see it.
  • Announced by the Globe: the plays that will be on when we’re in London in April: The Merchant of Venice on the weekend and Romeo and Juliet, premiering on the Monday. Undeniably giants and it will be a privilege to see them, in the Globe!
Posted this week:
  • This Monday report
  • “Freedom in The Tempest”.  


  1. It will be a fine book and a worthy addition to the long tradition of Shakespearean criticism!

  2. Thank you, Alexander, for this vote of confidence!