Back to a quieter week with no texts to post. We’ve started reading Coriolanus which has recently been brought to the attention of modern film goers through Ralph Fiennes’s screen version. We have it but haven’t seen it, we’ve been saving it for this reading which we should finish in a couple of weeks.
From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
- Jack shows up in a lot of the plays. It usually implies a man of a lower class, sometimes used in contempt. It is also the word for the plectrum or keys of the virginal, the target ball in lawn bowling and the thing that strikes the bell in old clocks.
- James of Arc, Jeanne’s father, is portrayed in Henry VI Part One as a poor foolish old man but D&F tell us that he was probably a relatively well to do farmer of some standing.
- In London a Social History Roy Porter
- tells us that picture galleries in the 18th century offered in their exhibitions scenes from the Shakespeare plays.
- repeats that since Shakespeare’s time London’s watch had been unfairly held in contempt for incompetence.
- Dagens Nyheter has Rickard III as number two on the best on stage list right now.
- DN also had a long review of A Midsummer Night’s Dream now on at Stadsteatern in Malmö. It’s a production aimed to attract young people. Oberon and Titania are vampires, drugs are involved and the language is a mixture of Swedish, English and German (?). The youthful cast is very enthusiastic and the adult reviewer seems to think it all works quite well.
- In the novel The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, a younger brother who works for a pittance for his older brother, tells the heroine, laughing, “Don’t worry, Mike’s still getting his pound of flesh.”
- In the Johnny Depp film From Hell, about the Jack the Ripper murders, sergeant Robbie Coltrane is clearly a Shakespeare fan:
- “Once more unto the breach, my friends...” The coppers listening don’t have a clue what he means and he has to add something like, “Well, come on then.”
- He compares his boss Inspector JD to Othello, as being too trusting.
- “A rose by any other name”, referring to various words for prostitutes.
- On seeing some graffiti, probably written by the Ripper himself: “Hardly Shakespeare but it’ll do.”
- And finally, “Good night, Sweet Prince.”
Further since last time:
- Started reading aloud with Hal: Coriolanus
Posted this week:
- This Monday report.