Crimes Against Shakespeare: 013

Lear and Trump ARE very similar – just not the way you think they are, Mr Carr …

BH Howie_Carr_and_Trump
To cater to the sensitivities of readers, Mr Carr’s erection has been cropped out of this picture …

What is it with Donald Trump supporters?

First Alan Futerfas.  Then Rudy Giuliani.  And now …

Step up to the podium, Mr. Howie Carr.  Radio host, Boston Herald Columnist, and ironically, the author of a book called Kennedy Babylon:  A Century of Scandal and Depravity.  Which I suppose makes him a specialist on Scandal and Depravity, right?  No wonder he is a Trump supporter.

He’s also the man who had this to say about Barack Obama:

‘this country handed everything to Barack Obama. He didn’t have to work for anything. Just because of the color of his skin he was given everything. And he still hates the country.’ [a]

Disgusting racism aside, I seem to remember that Donald Trump was ‘given everything’, and has managed to squander quite a bit of it.  Anyway, you get the picture.  So, what’s Mr Carr done to upset William Shakespeare?

Continue reading “Crimes Against Shakespeare: 013”

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 …

BH giuliani-trump
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 …

Continue reading “Crimes Against Shakespeare: 012”

QotW: 16 July 2018 (#49)

Hot ice and wondrous strange snow: the appetite for articulation …

BH DeLorean_Launch
Destination 1592 … [a]
Frequently, I ask my class to step into the time machine and join me back in 1592.

Why then?

Conveniently, it’s as close as we can get to dating both Richard III and Edward II, my Key Stage 5 texts.  The other plays I teach at the moment – Much Ado About Nothing and Macbeth – follow on from here.

This period was a crucible in which Drama as we know it was being born, alchemically transmuted from the didactic Morality Plays into something fresh and exciting.  With my Marxist critical hat on, if we can understand the contextual elements poured into that cauldron, we can better appreciate and analyse the resultant heady brew.

Continue reading “QotW: 16 July 2018 (#49)”

Greenblatt: Tyrant – Shakespeare on Power (review)

Love it, hate it? Just try it, and see what happens …

bh greenblatt tyrantStephen Greenblatt: Tyrant:  Shakespeare on Power, (Bodley Head: London, 2018).   ISBN: 9781847925046.

– – –

I probably need to declare my bias, not least for new visitors.

I’m an unashamed socialist (I don’t understand how an educator could be otherwise, given that our efforts benefit society more than ourselves); I’m anti-Brexit in the UK, and anti-Trump in the US. One of my most popular blog posts, from two years ago, equated Richard III with Trump. “I am unfit for state and majesty” indeed …

Continue reading “Greenblatt: Tyrant – Shakespeare on Power (review)”

QotW: 11 June 2018 (#45)

“Let’s leave politics out of Shakespeare” … Hello? Hello? Anybody in there?

BH thrillist
image:  thrillist.com

If I had a pound for each time I was challenged, ‘What’s Shakespeare got to do with me?‘, this blog would have more bells and whistles on it, as well as many more posts to reflect not having to work for a living.

This week’s post was prompted in part by reading somewhere in my recent internet travels, the notion of ‘keeping politics out of Shakespeare.’  That plus a ‘setting the world to rights‘ drinking session which was actively, intensely political, and which was also chock-full of Shakespearean dilemmas and situations.

Continue reading “QotW: 11 June 2018 (#45)”

Quote of the Week: 26 February 2018 (#30)

Almost nothing seems to have changed in 400 years … as usual …

BH womans placesubtitled, ‘Food for powder

Matthew Beaumont:  Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London (London:  Verso Books, 2015)

My recent article on Gayle Rubin‘s important Feminist work, ‘The Traffic in Women’ touched upon what has been historically expected of women, especially working class ones.  Rubin takes a look at the Marxist position before developing it into a gender rather than class-specific argument:  the commodification of women in the marriage market.  It’s an excellent read.

And we see Rubin’s position everywhere in Shakespeare and the EMP, where women constantly struggle against the social imperative to marry a man who ticks boxes for their family / parents, love coming as an unexpected bonus.  Even comedies such as The Dream feature the tension between ‘kinship‘ and ‘companionate‘ marriages.

To say nothing of the pressures Elizabeth I was under, of course …

In my article, I dipped into Beaumont‘s book for a supporting quotation, but it’s been weighing on my mind.  I think it needs to be considered on its own merits.

Continue reading “Quote of the Week: 26 February 2018 (#30)”

Crimes Against Shakespeare 009

“This is all the UK has to show for itself.  The situation is urgent.  Please think of others far worse off than you and give generously”

BH steven woolfe

For those who don’t know Mr Woolfe, he was hovering on the edges of glory at UKIP for a few years, challenging for the ‘leadership’ at one stage, until leaving in high dudgeon after a classy physical altercation with a colleague, and now standing as an ‘Independent’. UKIP is, for the uninitiated, the United Kingdom Independence Party – a political party of xenophobic, borderline racist, swivel-eyed loons who have done as much as anyone else to get us into this desperate Brexit mess.

Mr Woolfe is currently one of my MEPs (Member of the European Parliament).  I didn’t vote for him.  But tonight, to my shame, he represents me.

Continue reading “Crimes Against Shakespeare 009”