Quote of the Week: 11 December 2017

We only want to be kings because we don’t fully understand what it involves?

BH Lee_1603Christopher Lee, 1603 (Review:  London, 2003)

Not THAT Christopher Lee, obviously!

In class, we’ve seen it in Edward II and, I think, Richard III.  There are hints of it for my younger students in Macbeth.  But I see it everywhere: in Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI.

 

In Twelfth Night, Malvolio tells us:

“be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em” (II.v)

Quite simply, the message I consistently get from EMP plays is that greatness – in this case being monarch – is never, ever, all it’s cracked up to be …

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Bye bye Britain, Britain bye bye …

The consequences of people feeling there is no legal, peaceful alternative might be grim … Shakespeare shows us that  in Titus and elsewhere.

BH bye bye britain
Thanks to the Bay City Rollers for this classic …

 

I know you all, and will awhile uphold
The unyoked humour of your idleness:
Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
That, when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wonder’d at,
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.  (PRINCE HAL:  1 Henry IV. I.ii)

I’d love to ascribe these lines to our leaders, but I reserve them for myself today …

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Yesterday, and yesterday, and yesterday …

What’s not to like about spreadsheets? Except they make clumsy timelines …

 

BH nicholson joker

It feels like it needs a little refinement, but the future is here!  And I feel like my friend’s daughter when she spots a park from about half a mile away! PLAYYYYYY!

For some considerable time, I’ve been known as someone who guiltily, geekily enjoys spreadsheets and will create one at the drop of a hat.  I mean, what’s not to like? Especially when I get going on conditional formatting and things like that – you should see my school mark-books!

But there was one area where I felt Excel (or Numbers, actually) was letting me down.

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The ‘Punatomic’ Particle

By 5:15 we were all questioning whether we actually existed …

BH punatomic particle

Like Dante, as the Inferno unfolds, I found myself at a crossroads on St Andrew’s Day, and the way forward was unclear.  I had a little time to kill: I could walk round the block, or dive into a pub.  Within minutes, I was soaking up the warmth in The Bluebell, a decent pub I’ve not been to in several years.

The place was almost deserted.  For the rest of the world, it was that limbo between going home for tea (those who had already been drinking), and going to the pub for a couple after work.  For various reasons, I fell between both those stools.  So it was me, a pint of Titanic‘s Plum Porter, Aidan behind the bar, and Jamie – who had a bus to catch. 

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Quote of the Week: 04 December 2017

“Don’t expect gratitude from anyone who makes it thanks to you”

BH machiavelli

Subtitled:  The Curse of the ‘Without-Whoms’

Niccolò Machiavelli, Il Principe (The Prince) original publication 1532

This is close to the top of my list of for the Cultural Capital series – a short, highly influential read, freely available: something which, frankly, you ought to have read by the time you hit university – whether or not you are an English Lit student.  It’s the kind of thing that certain people, in certain circles, will expect you to have a working knowledge of in the big bad world.

Anyway, to this week’s quotation.  Consider the following:

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PTS 08/045: Oh, no it isn’t! Oh, yes it is …

You just can’t tell some people that you wouldn’t HAVE Blackadder without Shakespeare …


Ponytail Shakespeare read-through The Comedy of Errors: Act I scene I

‘Which is it today?’
The Comedy of Errors.
‘Ugh!’
‘It’s about two sets of twins, separated at birth, who find themselves-‘
‘Stop! Enough!’
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Quote of the Week: 27 November 2017

Are our masters “fettered with chains of gold”? Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-42) thought so. Perhaps we could ask Theresa May …

BH Sanders OXford History

Andrew Sanders, The Short Oxford History of English Literature (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004)

(A book I rescued – for under 50p – from a Greater Manchester library who had withdrawn it because it was not being taken out …)

I’m going to step back a little to someone who operated before Shakespeare lived, but will have influenced the development of poetry up until our boy arrived on the Shake-scene.

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