Stephen Greenblatt has long been a major figure in Shakespearean scholarship. Frankly, I don’t know what I would do without his analyses. This week I’m reviewing one of his many exciting books, Shakespearean Negotiations. Otherwise it’s been another quiet week. We’ve finished reading Cymbeline, so hopefully a text will be posted on the blog in a couple of weeks. And then only The Tempest. There’s an expression in Swedish called “separation angst” and I’m beginning to feel small tendrils of it. One play left this time around... But I’m also excited about the next step. More on that later!
From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
- The Nine Worthies, at least some of them, were humorously presented at the end of Love’s Labour’s Lost. They were “heroes who made major contributions to the civilisations that were most important to medieval European scholars: Christian, Hebrew, Greek and Roman.” King Arthur was one of the Worthies but he didn’t make it into LLL’s pageant.
- The North Pole also figured in Love’s Labour’s Lost as an oath, “By the North Pole”. This is just one example of humorous oaths that were all the rage in Shakespeare’s time, and have remained so in modern culture. D+F mention “western movies and the Batman television series.”
- Shakespeare Calling follower IA sent this mail: “A Shakespeare sighting - read in the paper Metro the other day that Shakespeare will be translated into Mandarin. Fantastic.” Thanks, IA!
- Shakespeare Calling follower EG twittered me about an article on the Swedish TV website http://www.svt.se/nyheter/vetenskap/richard-iii-dodsstrid-kartlagd (the article is in English) about how Richard III died. An article in Lancet tells us that forensics show (remember his bones were found under a car park about a year ago) that he died pretty much as we’ve been told – on foot and with lots of whacks to his head. Poor Richard. Thanks, EG!
- Shakespeare Calling follower EG also showed me a book written originally in Latin by Olaus Magnus, bishop of Uppsala in the 15th and 16th centuries, called The History of the Nordic Peoples. This version was translated into Swedish in 1906 and in it EG found this (first in old fashioned Swedish then in my English): Så var händelsen med en konungason vid namn Hamlet (Amlethus), enligt hvad den danske häfdatecknaren Saxo förtäljer. “Such was the happening with the king’s son Hamlet (Amlethus), according to what the storyteller Saxo relates.” This isn’t really a Shakespeare sighting because this book was written before Shakespeare started writing but it’s so interesting that I had to include it.
- This week’s last Shakespeare sighting isn’t a sighting either, more of a non-sighting. The theatre program for the autumn season has come out and I couldn’t find a single Shakespeare play! Can this be possible??
Further since last time:
- Finished reading aloud with Hal: Cymbeline.
Posted this week:
- This Monday report.
- Book report on Shakespearean Negotiations by Stephen Greenblatt.