Sunday, May 6, 2018

May 2018

There has been a lot of other things happening this month so this Shakespeare report will be quite short.

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Shakespeare sightings:
  • In Stephen King’s The Gunslinger the man in black says to the gunslinger, ‘Sleep now...Perchance to dream and that sort of thing.’
  • In David Almond’s My Name Is Mina, the girl Mina, about ten years old, protests against the SATS writing test: ‘And what about Shakespeare? “Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” What level’s that? Would Shakespeare have been well above average?’
  • On TV’s Kulturnytt we were informed that Shakespeare in Love is being performed as a play this autumn at Stockholm’s Stadsteater.
  • DagensNyheter
    • in one of its many reports on the scandal within the Swedish Academy (very embarrassing for Sweden!) the whole thing is described as ‘a power struggle that beats any Shakespeare drama.’
    • has a review of a Richard III in which it is described as a ‘bloody bubble bath’.
  • Shakespeare is mentioned many times in Keith Thomas’s Religion and the Decline of Magic. Here some of the best:
    • On the subject of astrology it is mentioned that Edmund the Bastard in King Lear is sceptical: ‘This is the excellent foppery of the world, that when we are sick in fortune...we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon and the stars; as if we were...fools by heavenly compulsion...’
    • On almanacs: ‘...the porter in Macbeth had presumably been studying the latest prognostications...’
    • Henry IV, Part 1 is quoted: ‘...of the dreamer Merlin and his propehecies...’
    • On curses: ‘In Shakespeare’s plays, the curses pronounced by the characters invariably work.’
    • As a chapter heading: ‘They say miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons to make modern and familiar, things supernatural and causeless.’ Al’s Well that Ends Well
    • On purgatory and ghosts, which could not be the souls of dead men, ‘for those had gone to “The undiscover’d country from whose bourne/ No traveller returns”.’ After which the role of Hamlet’s father is discussed. Later it is mentioned that sometimes only the guilty party saw the ghost, for example Banquo.
    • The chapter ‘Decline of Magic’ is headed by ‘Now my charms are all o’erthrown,/ And what strength I have’s mine own,/ Which is most faint’, from The Tempest.
    • There may be more quotes in the last 25 pages which I haven’t read yet.
  • In The King’s Speech
    • Lionel Logue, the speech therapist played brilliantly by Geoffrey Rush, is an amateur actor trying to get a part by auditioning with ‘This is the winter of our discontent’ from Richard III
    • He has the Duke/King George VI (Colin Firth) lose his stammer by quoting ‘To be or not to be’ to music
    • Plays Shakespeare quote games with his sons.

Further since last time:

Posted this month
  • This report

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