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Edited by Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor

3rd Notre Dame Wells Shakespeare Lecture

This year’s Shakespeare lecture in honour of Professor Stanley Wells C.B.E. was given by Professor Ann Thompson of King’s College London. Her talk was called ‘”You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said”.: Have we heard it all?’ She begins by fantasizing about what it must be like never to have read Hamlet, and […]

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European Union Flag

Shakespeare Goes to Brussels

On Thursday 20 March a special Shakespeare delegation visited the European Parliament in Brussels. We had nothing to do with the Heads of State meeting there to discuss the appalling political situation in the Ukraine and Crimea. But in someways we had everything to do with it. One of our local M.E.P.s, Malcolm Harbour C.B.E., […]

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Professor Ewan Fernie, University of Birmingham

Freedom, Freetown and Fernie’s Fiery Feast

You do not expect a critic of Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard and other geniuses of human depth and intellect to be as good as Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky or Kierkegaard. Fair enough. But not when the critic’s name is Ewan Fernie. I had never before heard the author of what I consider to be one of […]

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Photo: Christa Jansohn

Honouring Professor Reg Foakes

Professor Reg Foakes, who died at his home in Stratford-upon-Avon just before Christmas, was a wise, liberal-minded, influential and much-loved Shakespeare scholar and teacher. His career spanned over sixty years at the universities of Birmingham, Durham, Yale, Toronto, Kent and Los Angeles. He was born and grew up in West Bromwich. His degree at Birmingham […]

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'King Lear', Arden 3, ed. by Reg Foakes

In Memory of Professor Reg Foakes

Like many others, I am saddened to hear about the death of Shakespeare Scholar, Professor Reg Foakes. Here is a piece written by a Sylvia Morris, cross-posted from her site www.theshakespeareblog.com ‘I’m sitting here with my Arden Edition of King Lear, probably the most authoritative edition of the play ever published. Its editor, Reg Foakes […]

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Sonnets 1609 Title-page

New Year’s Sonnet

Sonnet 15 When I consider every thing that growes Holds in perfection but a little moment. That this huge stage presenteth nought but showes Whereon the stars in secret influence comment. When I perceive that men as plants increase, Cheared and checkt even by the selfe-same skie: Vaunt in their youthfull sap, at height decrease, […]

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www.hear2heal.com

Re-reading Sonnet 76

Sonnet 76 Why is my verse so barren of new pride? So far from variation or quicke change? Why with the time do I not glance aside To new-found methods and to compounds strange? Why write I still all one, ever the same, And keepe invention in a noted weed, That every word doth almost […]

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urbanghostsmedia.com

Sonnets for Advent 24: Sonnet 146

This is Shakespeare’s most religious sonnet and is not unlike the conceit of John Donne’s ‘Death be not proud’. The poem is damaged and in need of emendation since the 1609 quarto repeats ‘my sinful earth’ at the beginning of the second line. Editors over the centuries have suggested more than eighty alternative readings, among […]

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AdventSonnet138

Sonnets for Advent 23: Sonnet 138

This sonnet could easily be spoken by Antony about Cleopatra and their ‘age in love.’ It doesn’t take long for ‘simple truth’ not only to be suppressed, but changed into a web of lies. The poet pretends to believe his ‘love’ in the hope that she might think him younger than he is.The volta asks […]

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