Archive | January, 2013

The Plays We Overlook: Timon of Athens

If I were to ask you about Timon of Athens you would probably say one or more of three things: (1) It’s generally believed to be a collaboration between Shakespeare and Thomas Middleton; (2) It’s quoted by Karl Marx; (3) Unlike Karl Marx, you have never read it or seen it performed. If (3) is […]

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Filming Shakespeare

Just before Christmas I visited the home of one of my godchildren. Harry is six and, together with his brother and sister, loves making films. His older brother, Tom, is in charge and his sister assists with locations and production. Harry is by now quite used to being given reams of script at the last […]

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Shakespeare Meets European Football

Jim Wilson has just sent in details of a new project that links Shakespeare with the UEFA Cup. I was intrigued and asked him to tell me more, so here goes… He writes: ‘I read in The Observer recently that The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the University of Birmingham are seeking to have Shakespeare adopted […]

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Wagner’s Shakespearian Birth

Richard Wagner’s engagement with his creative predecessor William Shakespeare began around age 13. At this time, Wagner pronounced Shakespeare’s name “Shicksper,” which triggered for him associations of fate (Shicksal = fate/destiny) and battle (Speer = spear). Wagner related this detail from the distant past to his second wife Cosima in 1874, who wrote it in […]

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Tweeting Shakespeare

The idea of Shakespeare on the Internet seems paradoxical; that something so revered and often considered elitist can be suited to a medium so populist, so universal. The pillars of the Internet are not Royal companies or centuries of towering scholarship; instead, they are twitter, facebook, YouTube. But it is through these mediums, twitter in […]

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Great British Railway Journeys Comes to Stratford-upon-Avon

It was a sunny and very busy September afternoon at the Shakespeare Birthplace. Heritage open weekend was underway, and visitors were making the most of the sunshine in the beautiful Birthplace garden. A rather conspicuous addition to the crowd was a film crew and, of course, Michael Portillo wearing a very striking cobalt blue jacket. […]

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No Substitute for Shakespeare

While recently travelling to speak at an English teacher’s convention on the use of Shakespeare’s works in the elementary school classroom, I spent the day before my trip frantically writing plans for my substitute teacher. My fifth and sixth-grade students had recently been studying A Midsummer Night’s Dream to prepare for an upcoming production they […]

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Can You Do That to Shakespeare?

In the Raspberry Hills Library English Book Circle the question has often been raised of how much we can accept things done to the classics. Can Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law really do that to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson?  Can Laurie R. King really have a feisty young Marry Russell marry an aging […]

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Painting Shakespeare: Truth, Mirth, and Turmoil

Taking up from where the recent Sonnets for Advent series finished comes this post by painter Richard Lance Russell: This painting, “Number All Your Graces,” was inspired by these lines from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 17: “If I could write the beauty of your eyes And in fresh numbers number all your graces” I love creating paintings […]

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The Plays We Overlook: Pericles, Prince of Tyre

Pericles has a claim to be Shakespeare’s most overlooked play. Nonprofessional Shakespeareans are likely never to have seen, read, or even heard of it. It is among the last plays to have entered the canon. The text is notoriously corrupt. And the consensus that it is a collaboration is among the firmest for any of […]

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