PTS 13/079: This is Brexit!

 

madness-this-is-brexit

My fears for Arthur Plantagenet were more or less realised as Act II began, universally  patronised with the soubriquet, ‘boy’ and a quasi-contemptuous ‘thy’ by his father’s killer, Austria.  And I still sensed that the real quarrel is between Arthur’s mother, Constance, and Eleanor – otherwise why would she come along?  Never mind Iron Maiden‘s ‘Bring Your Daughter (to the Slaughter)‘ – how about ‘Bring Your Mother’?

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PTS 13/078: Homophone fun with King John

dubbing-the-knight-14th-century-miniature1
image:  History Notes.  The guy on the left is asking the king if he can go to the toilet …

King John, Act I

Having broken out of my Romeo and Juliet-induced enervation, I approached King John with a sense of excitement bolstered by my positive experiences with the Henry VI plays.  Unusually, maybe impatiently, I skipped my Arden’s introduction and got stuck in after finding these hopeful signs elsewhere:

“a neglected play about a flawed king” [a]

and

“King John has all the beauties of language and all the richness of the imagination to relieve the painfulness of the subject.” [b]

So, what did I make of Act I?

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PTS 12/077: Romeo and Juliet Soundtrack Album

bh-wurlitzer

There’s an irony that the PTS read-through project has significantly slowed when dealing with the plays I know best.

Mostly, I think it’s because I’ve had too much to say, and been unable to stick to a post-per-act; a post-per-scene is a killer.

So, at least for the moment, I’m moving on from Romeo and Juliet: there’s plenty of room for future posts if I want to revisit it, but I’m hungry for my next new play.

That leaves one thing to do before I move on, and that’s produce the now-traditional soundtrack album.

The eternal question is, of course: WHAT’S MISSING?  Drop me a line and let me know …

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PTS 12/076: Keep Your Snake In Its Cage, Boy …

The more I admire Juliet, the more protective I get about her …

BH watching you

PTS read-through:  Romeo and Juliet, Act II, sc. ii

‘He jests at scars that never felt a wound.’ (II.ii.1) [a]

This is one of the reasons why I avoid teaching R&J at GCSE.

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PTS 12/075: Veni, Vidi, Basiavi

I came, I saw, I kissed …

High Five Business people
… palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.

PTS read-through:  Romeo and Juliet:  Act I sc v

And so we reach that eighteen-line sequence …

These famous passages become a little daunting, because hey, what can you say that hasn’t already been said in the past four-hundred years?  Yet, as an educator, you have to step up to the plate: after all, this is what I encourage, almost demand, my students to do, isn’t it?  We give them something which is one of the foundations upon which our literature and culture is built, and entice them with the promise of better marks for originality.

So here are some personal views on Romeo and Juliet’s meeting, and then I look for something else to say on pieces of this short scene that receive somewhat less attention.

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

BH carry on nurse
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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PTS 12/073: A Truth Universally Acknowledged

with apologies to Jane Austen …

BH netherfield ball

… that, perhaps, a single GIRL in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a husband?

PTS read through:  Romeo and Juliet, Act I, sc ii

Hmmm, what to make of this scene?

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