Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday, March 5 2012

On Friday I showed my history students The Merchant of Venice (the Pacino version), which I do every term when we get to the Renaissance. They were, as previous groups have been, subdued, a little upset, very impressed and somewhat eager to discuss it. I await the analysis I assigned them.

Otherwise it has been another amazingly quiet Shakespeare week.

From the Shakespeare Almanac:

  • On March 3, 1591, Philip Henslowe wrote in his diary about a performance of Henry VI (it doesn't say which part) at the Rose Theater and it is noted in the Almanac that this could possibly be the first performance of a Shakespeare play ever recorded.

Shakespeare sightings (almost none! What's happening out there?):

  • In John O'Farrell's An Utterly Impartial History of Britain, or 2000 years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge – or actually so far only in the blurbs because in the book itself I've only gotten to the father of the future King John – it explains that in the 1590's “A Midsummer Night's Dream is written in order to confuse primary school children whose parents want them to do Shakespeare”.
  • In The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud, a few obscure references are made to Shakespeare, but really I can't be bothered to find them because even they weren't interesting in this so far sadly uninteresting novel, which I bought because it's supposed to be one of the best about 9/11. Maybe it will get interesting but I'm on page 418 and we haven't even come to September.

Further, this week:

  • Still reading aloud with Hal: The Merchant of Venice. Every time Shylock speaks, I hear Al Pacino.
  • Ordered from Amazon (my first time ever and it's not nearly as easy as everyone says!): In the Bleak Midwinter and Shakespeare Wallah.
  • Posted: A review of Will in the World – How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt.

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