It’s been another slow Shakespeare week. We continue reading Antony and Cleopatra but due to other activities it’s been slow going. And to tell the truth, it’s hard to get into this play; it’s hard to like it. If you see this report, and if you like the play, please write a comment telling us what we’re missing. We’d like to appreciate it since it’s one of the plays on at the Globe when we get there in June. So, help! – if you’re a A+C fan, write please!
From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
- George is the patron saint of England and half a dozen other countries (indeed as St. Göran, he is a slayer also of Swedish dragons, as we can see in a fancy statue in a church in Stockholm’s Old Town). D+F tell us that it was “the flowering of chivalry and the romance that made the saintly knight a European hero.” Shakespeare uses him in a lot of plays.
- Owen Glyndwr was a Welsh nobleman who rebelled against Henry IV. He was an educated man having studied law at Westminster and his conflict with H4 became a war of independence for Wales. It should have been an easy match for Henry but as in later wars the rugged terrain of the invaded country, Wales, proved difficult for the invaders, the English, to prevail. Glyndwr was rumoured to be a magician. In the end, though Henry V offered him a pardon, he never surrendered. He appears vividly in Henry VI Part Two, Richard II, Henry IVParts One and Two.
- Continuing with London the Biography by Peter Ackroyd there has been but one sighting in the week’s hundred pages: Shakespeare uses the image in Coriolanus of a pack of dogs to describe the common people, but he was not the inventor of this image. That’s how many in power had seen their subjects even before Shakespeare created his kings.
- The actor Ralph Fiennes (pronounced, we are told, “Rafe Fines” in case you didn’t know) was interviewed in Dagens Nyheter in connection with his appearance for the viewing of The Invisible Woman at the Gothenburg Film Festival. The article mentions that he made his directorial debut with Coriolanus (how about that, two mentions in the same report of one of the more obscure plays), which is set in the Balkan war.
- In Tuesday’s Gone by Nicci French the main character, psychotherapist Frieda Klein, has been written about nastily in the newspaper and she tells a friend, “I haven’t been murdered. It’s just my reputation.” And adds sharply, “Don’t go quoting Shakespeare.”
Further since last time:
- Continued reading aloud with Hal: Antony and Cleopatra
Posted this week:
- This Monday report.