February/16/2018 13:59 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Shakespeare | Shakespeare's Relevance | Macbeth | Performance | Reviews
February/15/2018 15:39 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Interpretation | Reviews | The Two Noble Kinsmen
Shakespeare contests abound, and we love to see them pop up here in the US and abroad. This one caught our eye because of the winning passage, which came not from Hamlet, Othello, Henry V — but from The Two Boble Kinsman, certainly one of Shakespeare's least well-known and performed plays. So bravo to Jenna Burns for not only using a passage from that play…but winning with it as well!
February/13/2018 09:47 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Shakespeare's Relevance | Romeo and Juliet | Politics and Orwell | Language | In every day use
Always beneath the surface with Shakespeare's plays: how do 21st Century teachers handy the sometimes bawdy and violent imagery and language in Shakespeare? In Western Australia, principal Ted Kosicki feels that certain texts — including Romeo and Juliet — need to be reviewed, and possibly removed from the curriculum. A tricky subject, and also proof again of the value Shakespeare provides, by exciting discussion and thought.
February/12/2018 12:32 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Authorship | Contemporaries | Language | Scholarship | Textual Analysis
Shakespeare did not write in a vacuum, and scholars today confirm that he was heavily influenced by Holinshed's Chronicles, and Plutarch's Lives (properly titled Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans.)
Now, an amateur and deeply capable scholar — Dennis McCarthy — has, in collaboration with Professor June Schlueter, ferreted out what is likely to prove a powerful third influence on Shakespeare, the writing of one of Queen Elizabeth I's ambassadors to Sweden, George North. An obscure diplomat until now (his Wikipedia entry starts onFebruary 8, 2018 — 4 days ago!) he had an elegant turn of phrase that clearly caught Shakespeare's attention and imagination. The book that sparked Shakespeare's — and now our — interest, was A Brief Discourse of Rebellion & Rebels. Read the New York Times article here.
February/09/2018 08:36 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Language | Original Productions | Performance | Scholarship | Shakespeare's Globe | Textual Analysis | Shakespeare Resource | Educational Resource
David and Ben Crystal provide a genuine service to Shakespeare lovers (and doubters too, really) by hypothesizing on what Shakespeare's language might have sounded like in its original pronunciation. In addition to being intrinsically interesting, it has an impact on performance, if actors and directors wish to provide an "original" production to their audience. Very worthwhile video clip.
Just when I thought I'd seen Shakespeare used in every way imaginable — I saw something new. Here's an article by Wired on kits for repairing scratches on cars. And who did they choose to quote? Why, Mercutio, naturally, after he has been fatally stabbed by Tybalt in Act 3 Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet. Here's a link to the fantastic 1968 Zeffirelli movie.
February/07/2018 08:37 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Shakespeare Resource | Stars Playing Shakespeare | Educational Resource
February/06/2018 15:16 The Two Noble KinsmenJulius Caesar | Shakespeare | Reviews | Interpretation | Shakespeare's Relevance | Performance
February/04/2018 19:31 The Two Noble KinsmenJulius Caesar | Shakespeare | Reviews | Interpretation | Shakespeare's Relevance | Performance
Another production of Julius Caesar, reflecting our growing preoccupation with demagoguery and the virtues and perils of republics and democracies gone awry. Ben Whishaw, Michelle Fairley, David Calder, and David Morrisey all put in excellent performances, according to Guardian critic Michael Billington. The play is at the Bridge Theatre, an the set design has audience members be part of the mob.
February/02/2018 09:50 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Interpretation | Shakespeare's Relevance | Performance | Macbeth
February/01/2018 10:15 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Contemporaries | First Folio | Scholarship | Shakespeare Resource | Educational Resource
Geneva's Bodmer Lab has made available to the public a full high resolution digital copy of a 1623 First Folio. Pictured above is a part of the dedication of the volume by Heminges and Condell to their patrons, William, Earl of Pembroke, and his brother Philip, Earl of Montgomery. A tremendous asset to scholars, teachers, and students, but note, the text of the web site is in French.
January/30/2018 17:22 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Interpretation | Shakespeare's Relevance | Language | Hamlet
Always fun to track down a misquoted quote. Here, the offending (and never-written-by-Shakespeare) quote is: People usually are the happiest at home Writer Mark Fisher goes on to cite a real quote (from Henry V) which highlights how the initial sense of an Shakespearean phrase can often be the exact opposite of its actual meaning: "Men are merriest when they are from home", where "from" means "away", rather than "at".
January/30/2018 12:04 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Shakespeare | Shakespeare's Relevance | Hamlet | In every day use
Turns out, you can attend a performance of Shakespeare, and drink your way through it all. Unorthodox to modern ears, but as this article from NPR points out, likely the approach (for audience members at least) from Elizabethan times. And the name of the troupe? Why, The Drunk Shakespeare Society, of course!
January/26/2018 10:11 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Contemporaries | Scholarship | Shakespeare's Own Life | Shakespeare Resource
The original document used to announce King James I's granting of a royal warrant to Shakespeare's acting troupe, changing their name from The Lord Chamberlain's Men to The King's Men, and permitting them to perform "Comedies, Tragedies, Histories, Enterludes, Moralles, Pastoralles, Stageplayes". Read and see high quality digital scans of the warrant.
Photo by Rob Freeman © RSC
In addition to doing remarkable work in Stratford and beyond, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) also provides a host of excellent resources for teachers and students. Feast! (And if you're wondering what text is being worked on in the photo — it's Henry IV, 2 Act 4, Scene 3 (Thy due from me / Is tears and heavy sorrows of the blood, / Which nature, love, and filial tenderness / Shall, O dear father, pay thee plenteously. / My due from thee is this imperial crown.
January/23/2018 15:30 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Shakespeare | Language | Performance | Stars Playing Shakespeare
January/19/2018 09:12 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Interpretation | Titus Andronicus | Language | Pedagogy | Scholarship
The discussion about trigger warnings lapped on to Cambridge's shores late last year, with the news that English literature students at Cambridge received trigger warnings about sexual violence and assault in regards to Titus Andronicus and Comedy of Errors. Professor Mary Beard and Cambridge Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director David Crilly reacted strongly against the move.
China will recreate the playwright's family home / Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has signed an agreement with the Fuzhou Culture and Tourism Investment Company, permitting the building of a replica of Shakespeare's Stratford home in San Weng. Two other notable writers will be so honored, including Miguel de Cervantes, and Tang Xianzu — very roughly China's nearest equivalent to Shakespeare.
Illustration by Luci Gutiérrez
The New Yorker's amusing piece imagining Shakespeare as a jaundiced celebrity author doing his umpteenth solipsistic interview
A brief but good examination by Professor David McInnis at the University of Melbourne, of how widely and thoroughly Shakespeare is misquoted. Some of the examples ("Wherefore art thou Romeo") are quite well known, others less so.
This is an article about rugby (obviously). But it's always nice to see a little Shakespeare allusion threaded in, amongst the heaving athletes, and the blood, sweat, toil, and tears!
January/12/2018 13:05 The Two Noble KinsmenTitus Andronicus | Julius Caesar | Antony and Cleopatra | Shakespeare | Performance
Three reviews of the RSC's current season at the Barbican Theater — Titus Andronicus, Antony and Cleopatra, and Julius Caesar. Of the three, Titus comes off best, with some interesting analysis by reviewer Matt Wolf, in particular the idea that Titus Andronicus in some ways was Shakespeare's preparation for King Lear — particularly in terms of the channeling of extreme violence and the resulting pathos. An interesting take.
January/11/2018 17:45 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Shakespeare | Shakespeare's Relevance | Macbeth | Reviews
Michael Axel, right, as Shagspeare, performs alongside Emilty Cady, as Judith, in "Equivocation," a play that imagines a
scenario in which Shakespeare has been commissioned as a government propagandist.
Bend, Oregon's 2nd Street Theater put on an original production, "Equivocation", examining whether playwrights should write about contemporary events, whether in polemical opposition, or as propagandists. An interesting fact that emerges from this review: Shakespeare and his contemporaries were forbidden from writing about current events in their works.
January/10/2018 13:46 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Hamlet | As You Like It | Merchant of Venice | Taming of the Shrew | The Two Noble Kinsmen | The Winter's Tale | Emma Rice
The new director of Shakespeare's Globe, Michelle Terry, sets the direction for the first season, with some tried and trusted plays, and some of Shakespeare's lesser known works.
Superb essay by Stephen Greenblatt, very very worth reading. More.
Tom McCall, left, and Stefan Adegbola in Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Titus Andronicus.” “Pretty much every night there’s somebody who faints or is sick,” said Becky Loftus, the R.S.C.’s head of audience insight. “We want to see how the audience reacts physically to the production.” Credit Helen Maybanks/RSC
Does watching a production live, versus on a movie screen, engender a different physiological reaction? The RSC intends to find out. More.
May/01/2017 14:12 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Shakespeare's Relevance | Language | Shakespeare in Translation
(Simón Prades for The Washington Post/For The Washington Post)
A good (if not slightly harsh) review of modern perspectives on Shakespeare. Are we too timid with our productions? Is "relevance" overblown"? More.
April/23/2017 21:36 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Shakespeare | Hamlet | Performance | Reviews | Stephen Greenblatt
March/13/2017 14:24 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Shakespeare | Shakespeare's Relevance | Performance | Richard III
Stephan Wolfert rehearsing his one-man show, “Cry Havoc!”
SARA KRULWICH / THE NEW YORK TIMES
A closer look at how Shakespeare makes sense of war, to veterans and those who have lost friends in war.
March/08/2017 11:28 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Interpretation | Hamlet | Language | Original Productions | Performance | Reviews
February/27/2017 18:07 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Interpretation | Performance | Shakespeare's Own Life | Stars Playing Shakespeare
February/15/2017 19:44 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Interpretation | Michael Kahn | Performance
February/13/2017 12:38 The Two Noble KinsmenRichard III | Shakespeare | Shakespeare's Relevance | Performance
A very positive review of a play that resonates in today's political environment. More.
IUPUI professor Terri Bourus teaches Shakespeare classes. She was one of four general editors of “The New Oxford Shakespeare.” (IBJ photo/Eric Learned)
Troubles assail the inner working of the production of the New Oxford Shakespeare project.
February/03/2017 14:49 The Two Noble KinsmenShakespeare | Interpretation | Shakespeare in Translation | Shakespeare's Own Life
It looks as if TNT will be releasing a "biopic" of young William Shakespeare. One hesitates to think what they will do with history…
The BBC have put up what looks like a fantastic Shakespeare resource, but unfortunately, they have made it accessible only to students in the UK. That's a shame.
December/23/2016 16:18 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Performance | Reviews | Romeo and Juliet | Shakespeare
A seasoned (and quite amusing) Pittsburgh theater critic, Ted Hoover, cannot abide Shakespeare and his works. Among his pithier quotes on Studio 360: “If you had a lick of intelligence in your head , this play [Romeo and Juliet] wouldn’t happen. It only happens if you’re stupid.” Possibly... More. Oh, and NPR's Ira Glass also dislikes the bard…
Political stability, apparently. Interesting article from 2014 in The Guardian on China's clampdown on...wordplay. Coded language can be dangerous, according to the Chinese government. More.
December/10/2016 15:45 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Performance | Stars Playing Shakespeare | Shakespeare | Star Trek
Michael Dorn (Worf in Star trek) is set to play Marc Antony.
December/05/2016 15:42 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Performance | Reviews | Shakespeare | Shared Light | The Tempest
A production photo of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s collaboration with Intel on “The Tempest.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY TOPHER MCGRILLIS / R.S.C.
Daniel Pollack-Pelzner reviews the RSC's production of the Tempest, and examines the limits of real-time computer effects blended with a live performance.
Starting next year, The RSC will display political cartoons influenced by Shakespeare. The influence runs deep, and long ("...an 1846 cartoon depicting the then prime minister Robert Peel's resignation as the fall of Caesar... [to]... Morten Morland's cartoon of David Cameron as Hamlet gazing at Boris Johnson's skull, from 2016"). More.
December/01/2016 15:39 The Two Noble KinsmenHumor | Interpretation | Language | Scholarship | Shakespeare | Textual Analysis
November/28/2016 15:37 The Two Noble KinsmenHamlet | Interpretation | Pedagogy | Performance | Reviews | Shakespeare
November/28/2016 15:35 The Two Noble KinsmenContemporaries | Shakespeare | Shakespeare's Own Life | Stanley Wells
November/23/2016 15:33 The Two Noble KinsmenUncategorized
We like spoonerisms and incomprehensible theater reviews, but we love dogs, so when we saw this piece of advice with a Shakespearean twist at the end, we had to post! Happy Thanksgiving (and don't let your dog eat cooked bone, it seems...) Hat tip to barkbox (with whom we have no affiliation.)
- We know, we know! Dog and Bone feels like the Romeo & Juliet of the dinner table: who are we to keep them apart? But cooked bones can splinter and become a choking hazard. And that makes for one seriously unhappy ending. “For never was a story of more woe than this of Drooliet… and her Boneo.”
November/21/2016 15:31 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Performance | Reviews | Shakespeare | Shakespeare in Translation | Taming of the Shrew
We can't say we fully (or even partially) understand this review of Taming of the Shrew by the Russian Kachalov Theatre, but in the spirit of acknowledging Shakespeare's global reach, we put it forward here. Opaque though the commentary may be, it certainly seems like a visually arresting production. More.
November/20/2016 15:28 The Two Noble KinsmenContemporaries | Interpretation | Language | Shakespeare | Shakespeare's Relevance | Textual Analysis
The Guardian proposes that Leonard Cohen is to Bob Dylan, as John Donne was to Shakespeare. Discuss...More.
November/11/2016 15:23 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Language | Performance | Shakespeare | Shakespeare in Translation
Tremendous article in the Financial Times detailing the possibilities and pitfalls in translating Shakespeare's works into Mandarin. More.
November/09/2016 15:19 The Two Noble KinsmenLanguage | Scholarship | Shakespeare | Shakespeare's Relevance | Textual Analysis
Isaac Butler, compares Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, with Shakespeare's Henry IV, part 1 -- (proper title: 1 Henry IV) in this complex but well reasoned piece for Slate. More.
This delightful article by Madeline White in the Brisbane Times provides the answer: provenance. These three words are very much part of today's English lexicon, but all three originated from the Arabic language. The point? That historically, the English language has proved very adept at incorporating elements from other languages into the vernacular - with Shakespeare in the lead as an arch-shaper of that language, and emoji as the latest digital import into English. Ms. White makes the case better than we can! More.
November/06/2016 15:10 The Two Noble KinsmenHamlet | Humor | Interpretation | Performance | Reviews | Shakespeare
We here at The New Book Press can't resist the occasional Spoonerism. So, here 'tis! More.
November/04/2016 13:11 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | King Lear | Performance | Romeo and Juliet | Shakespeare
Michael Crichton leaned heavily on Shakespeare's words when writing Westworld. What does it all mean? More.
November/03/2016 19:54 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Shakespeare | Shakespeare's Relevance | Tina Packer
Celia Imrie and Glenda Jackson in a rehearsal of “King Lear” at the Old Vic. Credit Manuel Harlan.
After a quarter century absence, two time Oscar winner and former English member of parliament Glenda Jackson will return to the stage this Friday, to play one of the most challenging of Shakespeare's roles - King Lear. More.
November/01/2016 16:47 The Two Noble KinsmenInterpretation | Performance | Reviews | Romeo and Juliet | Shakespeare
Leonard DiCaprio and Claire Danes in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet
The Guardian re-reviews Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet on its 20th anniversary. More.
November/01/2016 16:46 The Two Noble KinsmenAuthorship | David Kastan | First Folio | Scholarship | Shakespeare
November/01/2016 16:45 The Two Noble KinsmenHamlet | MOOC | Pedagogy | Scholarship | Shakespeare | Stephen Greenblatt
A solid review of Margaret Atwood's retelling and reinterpreting of The Tempest. More.
Shakespeare takes center stage in a novel intervention for children with autism. A new study from the Nisonger Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center shows children with autism had improved communication and language skills after ten weeks of Shakespeare classes.
A remarkable article on how Shakespeare's The Tempest is being used to help students with autism spectrum disorder. More.
A great article that looks at Shakespeare's writing through the prism of medicine - what he (and his contemporaries) knew about medical conditions, and where that knowledge came from. More.
A fascinating discussion about playing Hamlet from a 1963 BBC TV program (or programme, as you like it). It's a peculiarly chaotic interview, with everyone talking over each other, Wheldon (the host), not controlling the discussion at all, and some fairly poor camera work. However, it's worth listening to what Welles, O'Toole, and Milton are saying. They're thoughtful, humorous, and in their own separate ways, deeply in tune with Shakespeare's masterpiece.
The Globe, which opened in 1997, is a reconstruction of a Shakespearean theatre.
Emma Rice, the Shakespeare Globe's artistic director, will step down at the end of the 2017 season, after clashing with management over the use of sound equipment and lighting rigs. At the heart of the disagreement is whether the Globe should focus on traditional productions that mimic the constraints of Elizabethan theatre tech, or incorporate current theatrical methods (the "shared light" issue in theatre shorthand). For now, the traditionalists have won. More.
From Wikipedia: A portrait, supposedly of Christopher Marlowe. There is in fact no evidence that the anonymous sitter is Marlowe, but the clues do point in that direction. Marlowe was 21 years old in 1585, when the painting was made. He was also the only 21-year old student at Corpus Christi, where the painting was later found.
New scholarship from the Oxford University Press suggests that Shakespeare had help from Christopher Marlowe when writing Henry VI, parts 1, 2 and 3. Corpus analysis helps solve the puzzle! More.
Long did, but famous in his time, he was more known for his vaudeville and broadway performances. As a not very helpful hint - he was born Joseph Yule, Jr.