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Shakespeare Fever! 
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
Penelope wrote:
Quote:
Bleached said:

with Richard as a Hitler-esque character (because, let's face it, he is dastardly enough to be seen on that level),

No, no....Shakespeare did Richard III a great diservice, current thinking is that Richard III wasn't so bad.


I didn't mean to say that the real Richard was that bad, I meant the Richard as Shakespeare wrote him, which is what drives the play. I don't look at Shakespeare's histories as being all that historical, because he was playing to the whims of the monarchs and nobles with whom he wished to garner favors. The Globe was shut down several times because of his and other playwrights' depictions of historical monarchs, and so he did his best to pander to the audience that would do him the most credit, both poor and rich alike. King Lear is a good example of this. Although Lear is a fictional character, Shakespeare suggests through the actions of that play that England should not divide its kingdom, but unite with Scotland (I believe it was), and therefore gained political favor for agreeing with the ideas of the current royals of the time. I'm not sure about the details of the politics behind it, but I know that it was politically motivated to curry favor with the royals, which I believe he did.

So when I say Richard was a monster, I mean that Shakespeare's characterization of Richard was a monster, not the factual, historical Richard. Sorry for the confusion.



Tue May 04, 2010 2:20 pm
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
Quote:
Quoting Bleached:

Although Lear is a fictional character, Shakespeare suggests through the actions of that play that England should not divide its kingdom, but unite with Scotland (I believe it was), and therefore gained political favor for agreeing with the ideas of the current royals of the time. I'm not sure about the details of the politics behind it, but I know that it was politically motivated to curry favor with the royals, which I believe he did.

So when I say Richard was a monster, I mean that Shakespeare's characterization of Richard was a monster, not the factual, historical Richard. Sorry for the confusion.


Heavens, don't apologise.....but we were taught at school that Richard III murdered the little princes and more recently it seems unlikely. So I feel as though I have to defend him.....and I don't know what the poor man did to have such as I defending him!

I am laughing at the way you phrase that 'England should not divide its kingdom but unite with Scotland' Scotland was fighting us off, to keep its independence. It still is. We are in the throes of a general election here (on Thursday) and the Scottish Nationalist Party are, shall we say, brandishing their thistles?

But yes, I was taught that Shakespeare placed Hamlet in Denmark, but he was talking about our own monarchy. And he placed plays in other time zones in order to comment, safely, about the iniquities of the Government and Monarchy of the time. Much as the TV series 'Mash' was about the Korean War, but really the writers were commenting about the Vietnam war. That's how it was explained to me anyway.

Like you, I don't know enough about the politics of Shakespeare's day to comment, although unlike you, I should know more.


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Tue May 04, 2010 2:37 pm
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
:lol: I like your thoughts, Penelope, and your self-reproach is amusing, but you should definitely give yourself more credit.



Tue May 04, 2010 5:31 pm
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
Penelope wrote:
But I do think that too often Shakespeare is performed in Victorian costume. I did like a production of 'The Tempest' I saw recently which was performed in 'Star Trek' costumes and it really worked well, with Aerial as a computer screen image.


I will agree with you to a certain extent here. Shakespeare had his plays performed in that Elizabethan way because that's what was worn at the time. I feel like we should stop putting them in such dated costumes because I almost feel like the plays are supposed to be about the people in the audience? Not sure if I'm making sense.

But I do see what you mean about the film versions often making more sense than a theater performance. I've never experienced it (I don't think) but I do imagine it to be frustrating.


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Tue May 04, 2010 6:59 pm
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
Theater productions can be amazing and new and wonderful, it just depends on who's directing and performing and all that. I've seen some wonderful theatrical productions of Shakespeare, some of them plays I didn't even like but enjoyed while watching because of the quality of the actors, and sometimes the exact opposite. Live theater is exactly that - live -and anything can happen, so there is definitely a lot of room to play with and create new dimensions for the audience to see Shakespeare's stories in. I do love films more than anyone could know, but nothing can ever replace the experience of live theater, be it Shakespeare, musicals, or any other play written specifically for the stage. Just like electronic readers will never replace paper books for me, films will never take the place of live theater, and I love them both equally for very different reasons, so I don't want you to think that theater is dead, because it most certainly is not, and I would mourn the day it died should that day ever come.



Tue May 04, 2010 10:53 pm
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
There's a Lolcat for everything!!


Image



Wed May 05, 2010 8:53 pm
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
I've commenced the Shakespeare course this week and was thrilled--enthralled-to find out the professor is David Tolley!!! We're beginning with "MacBeth". I'll keep you posted (literally)....maybe much to your chagrin ;).


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Thu May 06, 2010 9:07 am
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
The Scottish Play!!

Well, 'Break a Leg'!! I don't know whether that is sour grapes or superstition!!

Do, do keep us informed. Please....


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Thu May 06, 2010 9:48 am
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
Agreed, Penelope. Keep us informed, oblivion, and don't spare any of the gory details! ;)

Penelope, I think it's only bad superstition to say "Macbeth" in a theater, especially if you are performing it. I have no idea how that superstition came into being. I think I'll have to look that up...

in the meantime...here's a bit of fun absurdity from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Tom Stoppard's lovely existentialist play about Hamlet's traitorous friends, who are stuck in a reality they don't recognize and can't remember anything, even their own names. In this clip they are playing a game of questions, the way you would play tennis, and if you can follow it at all, it is wonderfully hysterical. I absolutely love this film, and pretty much anything else Tom Stoppard writes (but you can see my dearer love for this play because of its close relationship to Hamlet, one of my favorite Shakespeare plays).

Questions and Answers Tennis from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-Sx4W2cKlU

Repetition, match point! ;)



Thu May 06, 2010 11:28 pm
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
Interesting course! The questions today were concerned with the soliloquy in Act 1 and what the significance is of his beginning without naming what it is he plans.
We're also dealing with neologisms as the OED says this is the first recorded use of the word ‘assassination’ , so we're discussing how that might that be expressive of Macbeth’s thought processes, and how it may have affected early contemporary audiences. We're focussing on the rhythm of the language and how the language itself--in an auditory sense--gives clues to the plot and coming-up action. I am curious as to why the prof picked this play to begin with. And I am curious if Macbeth's role was played with a Scottish accent.


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Gods and spirits are parasitic--Pascal Boyer

Religion is the only force in the world that lets a person have his prejudice or hatred and feel good about it --S C Hitchcock

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. --André Gide

Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. --Julian Barnes


The following user would like to thank oblivion for this post:
bleachededen
Fri May 07, 2010 8:48 am
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
Is the soliloquy, oblivion? Perhaps we could discuss it with you. :)

from Macbeth, Act I, scene vii

MACBETH: If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly: if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgment here;
that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor:
this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredience of our poison'd chalice
To our own lips. He's here in double trust;
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off;
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubin, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
And falls on th'other.



Fri May 07, 2010 2:26 pm
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
This is it!


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Gods and spirits are parasitic--Pascal Boyer

Religion is the only force in the world that lets a person have his prejudice or hatred and feel good about it --S C Hitchcock

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. --André Gide

Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. --Julian Barnes


Sat May 08, 2010 1:54 am
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
I'm a good guesser. ;)



Sat May 08, 2010 2:01 am
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
It's beautiful outside, boasting a blue sky dotted with fluffy drifting clouds and a gentle breeze, and I can't think of any lovelier day to post this most famous sonnet.

***

Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

***



Fri May 14, 2010 3:29 pm
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Post Re: Shakespeare Fever!
The Spring often makes me feel restless:

Quote:
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention,

A kingdom for a stage, princes to act

And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,

Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,

Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire

Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,

The flat unraised spirits that have dared

On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth

So great an object: can this cockpit hold

The vasty fields of France? or may we cram

Within this wooden O the very casques

That did affright the air at Agincourt?

O, pardon! since a crooked figure may

Attest in little place a million;

And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,

On your imaginary forces work.

Suppose within the girdle of these walls

Are now confined two mighty monarchies,

Whose high upreared and abutting fronts

The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:

Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;

Into a thousand parts divide on man,

And make imaginary puissance;

Think when we talk of horses, that you see them

Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;

For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,

Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,

Turning the accomplishment of many years

Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,

Admit me Chorus to this history;

Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,

Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.


[Exit]


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Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini


Fri May 14, 2010 4:06 pm
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