Monday, September 2, 2013

Monday September 2 2013

We’re about half-way through Timon of Athens now. Not one of Shakespeare’s most known plays but quite a good one, I think. We only have one version to watch, the BBC version, so it will be a relatively short process.   It’s generally been a quiet Shakespeare week which has given me time to complete a little project I’ve had in mind for awhile: “Macdepp.”  Read it in Ruby’s Reflections. Wouldn’t it be nice?

From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
  • The Capitol is used by Shakespeare in Julius Caesar as the center of Roman power but D&F tell us that he was mistaken, and Julius Caesar was not killed there. Oh well, it’s a good play anyway.
  • Cawdor was a real castle and thaneship in Scotland not far from Inverness but Shakespeare got the rest wrong. Oh well, it’s a good play anyway.

 Shakespeare sightings:
  • In Lia Hills’ novel The Beginner’s Guide to Living the young protagonist Will Ellis is studying Macbeth in school.  He quotes it to his girlfriend (“The grief that does not speak whispers the o’erfraught heart and bids it break”) and it otherwise shows up here and there in the book.
  • In the book Shakespeare’s Local by Pete Brown, about the George Inn where the Swedish Shakespeare Society’s course was held this summer (see the report under “Ruby’s Reflections” and last week’s Monday report), the author continues to toss in Shakespeare’s name now and again but like I suspected he gets into the actual subject of Shakespeare and the George Inn in chapter seven:
    • He starts with a joke: “William Shakespeare walks into a pub.  He goes up to the bar and says, “Pint of Stella, please, mate.” The barman replies, “I’m not serving you. You’re Bard.”  Ha ha.
    • He goes on to tell us about William Kent who wrote a lot of pamphlets about the George but who also denied fanatically that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. Fortunately Brown is a Stratfordian and goes on to explain that while there is no proof that Shakespeare ever visited the George, he most certainly knew about it because it was one of the most popular inns in Southwark at the time Shakespeare lived there.  So it’s very possible. He wrote about inns a lot and mentions a George Inn in King John so it’s possible he meant this one.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street (see the new post “Macdepp” under Ruby’s Reflection to see why we watched this silly movie) the English teacher says, “According to Shakespeare there was something operating in nature, perhaps inside human nature itself, that was rotten. A canker as he put it. Hamlet’s response to this and to his mother’s lies [lies?] was to continually probe and dig.  Just as the gravediggers always trying to get beneath the surface.  The same is true in a different way in Julius Caesar…” And then the student goes on to read in a monotone voice that gets creepier and creepier as Nancy falls asleep…”were it not that I have bad dreams…”
  • There was an ad in Dagens Nyheter. Tomorrow, September 3, the open-air theater group that usually does some Shakespeare in the grounds around Drottningholm Castle outside of Stockholm every fall, is doing The Taming of the Shrew.  Won’t make it this time…
  • Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has Hamlet weaving in and out throughout the whole book. Oskar, the boy’s whose father has died in 9/11, is playing Yorrick in the school production. There’s a photo (there are a lot of photos in the book) of Olivier holding the skull. Oskar imagines himself as Yorrick attacking the kid who’s playing Hamlet and thinking “Shakespeare doesn’t make sense” just like nothing else in the poor kid’s life does.

 Further this week:
  • Started reading aloud with Hal: Timon of Athens.
  • Wrote and posted Macdepp”. Should have waited until we started reading Macbeth but that’s the way it goes.

Posted this week:

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