The things I will not do when I direct a Shakespeare production, on stage or film.
"32. I will not employ a conception of Caliban which would require him to wear a ghastly furry costume reminiscent of a hypothetical offspring of Chewbacca and the Wolf from Into the Woods
." "358. If cast members, especially fairies, are supposed to sing, I will make sure they can actually sing before opening night."
Some of these appear to have been agreed to through bitter experience. I don't know about you but I'd like to add 400. I will not set A Comedy of Errors
in a climbing frame which is meant to represent a lunatic asylum and have lookalikes played by the same actor in both parts as if has a split personality (watching that show was possibly the longest two hours I've spent in a theatre).
posted by feelinglistless
on Feb 26, 2006 -
The Birds of Shakespeare
No, not Juliet and Ophelia. "The eagle is cited some forty times. The two birds of this kind native to Britain [are] the golden eagle and the white-tailed or sea-eagle. [Shakespeare] may have occasionally seen…[eagles] on the wing, though his allusions hardly suggest any personal familiarity with the birds. Recognizing the lofty rank of the eagle and its acknowledged dignity above the other birds of prey, he makes the birds themselves, in the arrangements for the obsequies of the Phoenix and Turtle, admit this supremacy."
posted by feelinglistless
on Feb 4, 2006 -
Shakespeare was a barber?
Possibly, possibly. Not a bad way to make a farthing if true. Barbers have collected in their long and colorful history their own medical ailments
, their own mathematical paradoxes
, heck, they've even picked up one or two patron saints
along the way.
Their members include singers
, and cross-dressers
. Ol' Will may have had tonsorial talent, but I suspect he'll never replace America's sweetheart.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies
on Apr 22, 2005 -
The Death of Hamnet and the Making of Hamlet.
In the spring or summer of 1596, William Shakespeare
received word that his only son Hamnet
, 11, was ill. In the summer he learned that Hamnet's condition had worsened and that it was necessary to drop everything and hurry home. By the time the father reached Stratford the boy—whom, apart from brief visits, Shakespeare had in effect abandoned in his infancy—may already have died
. On August 11, 1596, Hamnet was buried at Holy Trinity Church: the clerk duly noted in the burial register, "Hamnet filius William Shakspere
It might have been possible that Shakespeare's Catholic father urged his son to have prayers said to speed the child's release from purgatory. The problem was that purgatory had been abolished by the ruling Protestants
, and saying prayers for the dead declared illegal. Hence, the possible dilemma for Shakespeare was whether to risk punishment by praying for their deceased loved ones or obey the law and allow those souls to languish in flames
This anxiety regarding one's obligations to the dead, Stephen Greenblatt
suggests, lies behind Hamlet's indecision about whether to obey his father's ghost and take revenge on his uncle Claudius
posted by matteo
on Oct 1, 2004 -
The British Library
is putting online 93 high-resolution digitised copies of 21 of Shakespeare's plays. They include many lines and passages that are different from those found in the First Folio editions, which were not printed until after Shakespeare's death. BBC article
posted by stbalbach
on Sep 10, 2004 -
Art to Enchant
: Some of the works of Shakespeare as interpreted by various illustrators throughout the centuries.
posted by iconomy
on Jun 29, 2004 -
Cleveland Press Shakespeare Photographs
Er, no, not photographs of
Shakespeare--that would be difficult--but of Shakespeare's plays in performance, 1870-1982. Covers productions in all media; photographs can be browsed by dramatic genre (tragedy, comedy, etc.). On a related note, see also Harry Rusche's Shakespeare Illustrated
(outstanding and extensive site devoted to nineteenth-century paintings of scenes from Shakespeare's plays).
posted by thomas j wise
on Sep 27, 2003 -
Barbra Streisand misquotes Shakespeare. She recited the lines believed to be from the play Julius Caesar, as she urged the party to oppose the Republican stance on Iraq and the erosion of civil liberties under President George W Bush.
This coming after the rumor that her recent letter
to House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt was ridden with typos and misspellings. Oi vey!
posted by gwong
on Oct 3, 2002 -
Play The Britney Spears vs. Shakespeare Game:
This is more than a bit of fun from The Philosopher's Magazine
. After answering a few questions on your definition of what makes a great work of art, you get to choose two artists and rate them both. ( Yes, you can even pit Britney against Shakespeare). You'll then get a final score on who is, according to your criteria, il miglior fabro
. Julien Baggini
's essay, Who's The Greatest?
, is well worth reading beforehand. [I pitted T.S.Eliot against Miles Davis and Miles Davis won hands down...
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jul 30, 2002 -
The Bard's sexuality comes into question, again, on his birthday.
'The portrait already has considerable intrinsic historical interest, and if you believe that the young man addressed in the sonnets was Henry Wriothesley there is the additional thrill that this could be the face that Shakespeare fell in love with, perhaps wishing its owner was a girl. The magnitude of the thrill depends on how much you think the identity of the young person matters to the poems. Many think it matters a lot.'
posted by skallas
on Apr 24, 2002 -
Much Ado About Something.
Fascinating Salon review of a new documentary
investigating whether Shakespeare was really just a front-man for Christopher Marlowe, the true author of all the Bard's work. At first it sounds like just so much literary conspiracy theory, except unlike most conspiracy theories this one seems to gain more credibility the further you delve into it. The film just wrapped up a two- week opening run in New York City, and should be arriving soon at theaters in your area.
posted by hincandenza
on Mar 2, 2002 -
Bardolotry or Cheat Sheet?
I just clicked through from a TextAd to this "premier Shakespeare destination." I love finding reference sources available on the web, but this site strongly advertises its cheat-o-riffic functionality (more inside).
posted by BT
on Nov 9, 2001 -
Is this the face of William Shakepeare?
Only two likenesses of Shakespeare are considered to be genuine; both were created when he was in his final years, or after his death. On Friday the Globe and Mail reported
that an anonymous engineer in a mid-sized Ontario city has a painting, handed down through twelve generations, of Shakespeare at the height of his career. It may be the only portrait painted of Shakespeare in his lifetime. Family lore
states that it was painted by John Sanders, reputedly a bit actor in the same theatrical company as Shakespeare who also did such jobs as painting scene sets.
posted by tranquileye
on May 12, 2001 -
Shakespeare and the electronic age
For those who studied or read Shakespeare some time ago, this quick test can help determine whether you recall the Bard's work or confuse it with the language of technology and more recent forms of entertainment. Not to sound Onan-like, score yourself.
posted by Postroad
on Mar 7, 2001 -
a worthy way to spend your time: wait around on this site and see if it's true that an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of keyboards would produce Shakespeare's complete works. But don't get too excited if you start seeing "To," "Be," "or," "Not," "to," and "Be" in suspiciously close proximity: it's rigged.
posted by Annabel.Gill
on Mar 11, 2000 -
What's that you say? You love Shakespeare? You really
love Shakespeare? Well then, why don't you just print his complete works, all in a single file
. It's a plain text version of almost everything he's done, and it's 5.1 Mb. When was the last time you saw a >1Mb text file?
posted by mathowie
on Feb 18, 2000 -