After the intensive Macbeth period things have calmed down now for awhile and the only real activity is reading Antony and Cleopatra.
From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
- Galen, a physician from the second century AD, turned from the use of magic to the use of scientific observation and experimentation in healing, and influenced medical practice for centuries. Shakespeare mentions him in The Merry Wives of Windsor, All’s Well that Ends Well and Coriolanus.
- Davy Gam is the anglicized version of Dafydd ab Llewelyn, a Welshman who died for Henry V at Agincourt.
- In the novel Instructions for a Heat Wave by Maggie O’Farrel,l brother and sister Michael Francis and Aoife are standing at the railing of a ferry from England to Ireland in a storm and he says to her, “Enough with the King Lear-ing. Let’s go inside.”
- Continuing with London the Biography by Peter Ackroyd,
- The twentieth century slang for policeman, “bluebottle” was used by Doll Tearsheet in Henry IV Part Two
- The Boar’s Head in East Cheap, a real alehouse until 1831, was also vividly used in Henry IV, visited by Falstaff, Pistol, Doll Tearsheet and Mistress Quickly, and probably by Shakespeare himself.
- There are still several pubs called Shakespeare’s Head in London (but we haven’t succeeded in finding any. Maybe next time.)
- The distinct smell of the 16th and 17th century crowd was described by Shakespeare as “their stinking breaths” (Coriolanus).
- The news from London has long fascinated the people of the country, though it was regarded as unreliable and fleeting. This is reflected in several of Shakespeare’s plays. King Lear: “poor rogues/ Talk of court news.” Henry IV Part One: “the newes/ Of hurly burly innovation”. As You Like It: the new newes at the new Court.”
- In the last of Mark Lawrence’s Thorn trilogy, Emperor of Thorns, the hero Jorg says to his companion, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Makin, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” And the sort of dead ghost type person Chella says, “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.”
- The actor Jan Myrbrand was interviewed in Dagens Nyheter in connection with his fifty-fifth birthday. When asked about his dream role he said, “If I had been younger, Prince Hal in Henry IV but now I’m too old.”
Further since last time:
- Started reading aloud with Hal: Antony and Cleopatra
- Booked: the Premier Inn near the Globe, for easy access to the plays. It’s the same hotel as last summer and we’re looking forward to going back!
Posted this week:
- This Monday report.