This has got to be the shortest Monday report so far. There have been only two Shakespeare sightings, we haven’t bought or ordered any Shakespeare books or DVDs or T-shirts or anything, haven’t watched any Shakespeare movies and haven’t started reading Macbeth (although we will this evening). The text on Lear has been posted and that’s it. But I guess that’s enough for any week. Lear is rather draining and I’m not unhappy to leave him behind.
From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
- Ely is a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire and the bishop thereof plays a part in Henry V, Richard III and Henry VIII. It is also a tiny little town in the north woods of Minnesota to which my family sometimes drove when I was very little. To me it was a great outing during which I hadn’t the slightest inkling of England or Shakespeare…
- England is the country where Shakespeare was born, did you know that? He doesn’t actually mention his native land in all of his plays, but quite a few. Ah England, if I could only be in two places at once, there and here.
- Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt comes through as hoped and offers the only sightings this week. Greenblatt shows – beautifully as he always does – how the philosophy of Epicurus explains how “there is a hidden natural explanation for everything that alarms or eludes you” and it will “inevitably lead you back to atoms…you will be freed from a terrible affliction – what Hamlet, many centuries later, described as ‘the dread of something after death,/ The undiscovered country from whose bourn/ No traveler returns’” (page 75).
- On the next page Greenblatt describes the death of Epicurus and quotes Shakespeare to show that it is not always so easy to be comforted by remembered pleasures when one is in pain: “Who can hold a fire in his hand/ By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?” In case you have to Google that I’ll save you the trouble. I just did and it’s from Richard II.
Further this week:
Posted this week:
- “Like Father, Like Daughter” in King Lear.
- This Monday report.