‘Who’s Macduff again, Sir?‘
Everyone remembers the ‘Egg’, but not who his father is …
‘Who’s Macduff again, Sir?‘
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 …
Continue reading “PTS 12/074: Carry on, Nurse (and Mercutio) …”
We all have something we can’t part with when we go abroad, surely?
Kent Cartwright, ‘Introduction’ to William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors (Arden Third Edition), (Bloomsbury Publishing: London, 2017)
Her: [hefting my Arden Third copy of Richard II in her hand] ‘Don’t you think it’s a bit heavy to take on holiday?’
Me: [defensively] ‘It’s as heavy as it needs to be. That’s why you pay more for the Ardens. And anyway, that’s the text I’m writing about at the moment.’
Her: ‘But we’re going away. You can access the play online.’ [statement, not a question]
Me: That’s not the same!
Her: [giving a silent ‘look’ and the merest suggestion of a shrug with one shoulder]
You probably know that look …
Bottoming out THAT relationship …
PTS read-through: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act IV
Not for the first time in my read-through, the main thing I want to know is: ‘did they, or didn’t they?’
In this I was egged on by Cedric Watts, though I needed little encouragement, in truth. Still, it’s convenient to blame him for my prurience. If my answer is the same as Watts’: ‘of course!’, it begs a second question on which we differ:
‘Does it matter?’
I’d stopped listening to the voices in my head, and actually, they’re the important ones in English.
Not drowning, necessarily – still waving, to paraphrase Stevie Smith, but wishing I wasn’t quite so far away from the shore, paddling blithely in the warm shallows of Romeo and Juliet, as I should be by the end of January; having splashy fun with the rest of the blog and my new excursions on Twitter. But fifty-plus posts and nine plays in? Not dead.
That said, despite plenty of opportunity, I’ve ‘not got round to‘ reading Act III of Love’s Labour’s Lost. I’m still reading: Iain M Banks, Paolo Bacigalupi, and chunks of George Wilson Knight on Julius Caesar, but, when all’s said and done, no Shakespeare or LLL.
We might say I’ve lost any love of my labour in this play … (sorry about that)
Another selection of songs curated with the characters in mind …
As usual, the PonyTail Shakespeare read-through of a play ends with a ‘Soundtrack Album’.
As usual, it probably says a lot about my poor taste in music.
As usual, I’d love you to let me know what’s missing …
Antipholus (E) is NOT a twenty-first century role model – but was he a sixteenth-century one?
… but truly two.’ Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
PTS read through: Comedy of Errors, Act IV
In 2018, the notion of what it means to be a ‘man’ feels ever more opaque, with behaviours and attitudes being scrutinised as never before, perhaps. As a gender, we sometimes appear confused about the path we ought to take to find a satisfying and yet socially acceptable direction or self-definition.
Maybe it was ever thus.
In yesterday’s post on Macbeth I touched upon the fragility of our hero’s notions of himself when his masculinity was challenged by his wife. Macbeth is largely a play about what it means to be a man, but that’s way down the line in terms of my reading schedule. Reading Act IV of Comedy of Errors felt like one of those non-comic interludes towards the end of plays like Much Ado About Nothing, and instead of laughing, I found myself thinking about what Antipholus (E) implies a ‘man’ should be. It’s not an attractive picture …
Near misses, and fascinating Misses – Luciana’s journey continues …
Ponytail Shakespeare read-through: The Comedy of Errors, Act III
We’ll come to the idea that ‘cheats never prosper‘ in a while. It’s a busy act.
In the meantime, sometimes the margins in comedy and tragedy are very, very fine. Exactly like in real life, actually …
Doormat or A-dor-ably Feisty? Luciana and Adriana swap roles in Act II …
Ponytail Shakespeare Read-Through: The Comedy of Errors, Act II
Aha! A single woman in a Shakespeare comedy – what she needs is a HUSBAND, I thought, my Jane Austen goggles firmly on. In this, I was egged on by Kent Cartwright, as I mentioned in writing about Act I, and who colluded with Jane and my previously-held assumptions.
And what a catch Luciana appears to be for our unreconstructed EMP man!
By 5:15 we were all questioning whether we actually existed …
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.