QotW (#74) 29 April 2019

despair and die

I shall despair; there is no creature loves me,

And if I die no soul shall pity me.  (Richard III: V.iii) [a]

No matter how many times I watch it – with Y9, 12 and 13 classes, or alone – Benedict Cumberbatch can move me to tears, delivering what I think are the saddest lines in Shakespeare.

The saddest lines … by arguably the biggest villain?

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6-minute Shakespeare

Time-limited tasks are like a triple shot of caffeine …

reservoir dogs

It’s human nature, you panic. I don’t care what your name is. You can’t help it. Fuck, man, you panic on the inside, in your head, you know? You give yourself a couple of seconds. You get ahold of the situation. You deal with it. What you don’t do is start shooting up the place and start killing people. (Reservoir Dogs:  Quentin Tarantino, 1992)

It’s less than a month to go before the Shakespeare exams my Y11s and Y13s will be taking.  The Y12s and Y10s have mocks broadly over the same period.

Today’s post relates to three things I often say in the classroom:

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[book review] Catharine Arnold: Globe

arnold cover

Catharine Arnold, Globe: Life in Shakepeare’s London (Simon & Schuster:  London, 2015)

 

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Happy Birthday*, both of us!

cakespeare olivia zampi the bakery lounge
image:  Olivia Zampi, The Bakery Lounge

*well aware, of course, that we don’t know Shakespeare’s exact date of birth.  Today’s as good as any other, I guess.

Subject to the above, Shakespeare would have hit 455 today.  Rather more reliably, WordPress tells me that The Boar’s Head is three today, my first post coinciding with the Shakespeare400 celebrations.  They seem half a lifetime away – remember them?

A few facts and figures from the blog:

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QotW (#73) 22 April 2019

upstart crow shakespeare and marlowe

To begin, a little quiz.  What connects the following texts?

  • Ian McEwan: On Chesil Beach (2007)
  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson:  ‘Maud’ (1855)
  • Christopher Marlowe: Edward II (1592)
  • William Shakespeare:  Richard III (1592), and

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Richard III on screen

the great debate

Will the  real Richard III please stand up?

The differences between our screen Shakespeares can be easily as great as those between Thomas More‘s view of him pitched against Sir Horace Walpole in the fascinating book, The Great Debate.

This essay explores how Shakespeare’s script has been interpreted to portray our tragic hero …

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QotW (#72): 08 April 2019

subtitled: ‘Sir’s rule number 1‘ …

nightwatchman

‘Who’s there?’

‘Nay, answer me.  Stand and unfold yourself.’ [a]

Bernardo and Francisco have a point.  The entire path of the scene is determined by who is on stage.  Think of the ways the conversation could go if instead of Bernardo, another unknown Dane approaches Francisco’s guard-post, or one of Fortinbras’ troops.

From Hamlet to real life, and the idea of decorum – behaving or speaking appropriately to the circumstances and audience.

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