I won’t hypocritically pretend that Sir Peter Hall was a friend or indeed someone I knew very much about. I might have been to one of his productions over the years, but for most of the time it’s not been the sort of thing I took careful note of – let’s face it, I was probably under 10 when I saw my first Shakespeare. It would be churlish, though, on a blog like this not to mark his passing. He’s one of those people whose life influences yours at one remove …
Continue reading “Sir Peter Hall (1930-2017)”
BATE, Jonathan: ‘Introduction’, in Titus Andronicus (The Arden Shakespeare: London, 2003)
Some students see value in Literature as an end in itself. Others need a bit of persuading about why they have to study poetry, novels, and of course Shakespeare in particular (sigh).
‘What’s Shakespeare got to do with me? I want to be an air hostess!’
I was asked by a Year 9 pupil a few years ago. Henry Peacham, via Jonathan Bate, has an answer.
Continue reading “Quote of the Week: 11 September”
Titus Andronicus, Act IV
Secular authorities had (and still have) every investment in discouraging revenge. If citizens perceive that the law no longer serves them, then we get the kind of situation that Francis Bacon famously warned of:
‘Revenge is a kind of wild justice’
And this is a point that Jonathan Bate develops, quoting Fredson Bowers:
Private action undermines the authority of the state: Elizabethan law felt itself capable of meting out justice to murderers, and therefore punished an avenger who took justice into his own hands just as heavily as the original murderer. The authorities, conscious of the Elizabethan inheritance of private justice from earlier ages, recognised that their own times still held the possibilities of serious turmoil; and the were determined that private revenge should not unleash a general disrespect for law.
Act IV however adds the dimension of the breakdown of DIVINE justice to the individual’s decision to subvert the legal process.
Continue reading “PTS 06/036: Losing My Religion”