We HAVE remembered them …

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Aerial image of Hedd Wynn at Colwyn Bay before the tide rolled in …

Fittingly for the 100th anniversary, today was the most affecting Remembrance event I’ve been to.

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Forensic Friday (#11)

Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it infamy …

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Frankie Howerd in Up Pompeii (1971): “You’ve seen the ring she had on? Well, allegedly, that was given to her by her fiancé when she was eighteen, and he jilted her, and she hasn’t had it off since!”

Maybe it’s growing up in the 70s, but I enjoy an infantile dirty joke as much, if not more, than the next fellow.  They don’t always work in the plays, or perhaps audiences are now vastly more sophisticated: I can imagine that even the weakest ones would have had them rolling in the aisles at The Globe.

This week, I decided to work my favourite Shakespearean knob-gag … ooh err!

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QotW (#57) 17 September 2018

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ORGANIZE!

Why do I keep reading books about the plays, about the contextual crucibles in which they were cooked up?

Because there’s always something new to learn, or an angle that I hadn’t considered before.  And that’s where this week’s QotW comes in.

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PTS 12/074: Carry on, Nurse (and Mercutio) …

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I see Queen Mab has been with you …

PTS read-through:  Romeo and Juliet: Act 1, scenes iii and iv

Why is R&J funnier than Love’s Labour’s Lost, or the Comedy of Errors?

Whilst Jonathan Bate tells us that Shakespeare:

borrowed certain techniques of dramatic cross-dressing and comic overhearing from John Lyly [a]

the spine of the comedy here is firmly character-driven, by Juliet’s Nurse and Mercutio. That’s why …
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Happy Birthday, Juliet …

Shakespeare gifted her eternal life …

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O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! (I.v)

At some stage I might put together a Shakespeare calendar – dates (like many things in Shakespeare)are often sketchy and hard to pin down.  Look at what he does to the History plays!

As far as birthdays go, we know that Cleopatra, and Cassius, kill themselves on their birthdays.  But as far as I can tell, we can only wish one girl ‘happy birthday’ with any certainty …

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Crimes Against Shakespeare: 012

My only surprise is that Giuliani didn’t use the interview to position Trump as a Christ-like figure, with Cohen as Judas …

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Et tu, Rudy?

Step aside, Alan Futerfas.

Lou Reed had Donald Trump nailed as long ago as 1989, namechecking not just the POTUS but also his latest cheerleader, Rudy Giuliani, in his polemic track, ‘Sick of You‘, which also contains the following memorable and prophetic lines:

They say the President’s dead,
No-one can find his head,
It’s been missing now for weeks.
But no one noticed it!
Yeah, he seemed so fit …

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Forensic Friday (#06): Edward II, i.4-8

Piers Gaveston believes he’s hooked a rich man …

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Andrew Tiernan as Piers Gaveston:  an unsettlingly naked, chittering demon, occupying Edward’s throne (Jarman, 1991)

Episode 6 of Forensic Friday – the rules are here for first-timers – effectively kicks off this summer’s likely obsession with Marlowe.

My OCR A Level students are not obliged to analyse Edward II in this way; perhaps they’ll wonder at the point of today’s exercise.  The point is that you ought to be able to do this – and enjoy the process – for any text, people.  We are, after all, archaeologists of the written word – this is what we do …

Anyway, here’s a tiny extract that speaks volumes about Edward II’s lover and their relationship …

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