Thursday, April 26, 2007
1) I love Shakespeare. So much I will sit and read a play, not even acted out in a movie or a live performance.
2) I have a script that has a character who does a play performance of Love's Labour's Lost within it...I am not finished this script yet, but it is a full length movie time frame.
3) When Shakespeare was in grade four, his school class was memorizing Ovid. What did I memorize in grade four? The back of a CAPTAIN CRUNCH cereal box.
4) Shakespeare was baptised on April 26, 1564.
5) The city of London was rampant with terrorism. People who lived outside the strict Prostistan code sometimes had their heads hung on posts at the city gates. The political climate of Shakespeares times probably contribute to the relevance and strength of his stories to our lives.
6) King Lear was a very popular play in the last century...possibly reflecting the self-awareness, or educating the awareness of dysfuntional families.
7) I am very inspired by the following definition by Northrop Frye's on comedies in Shakespeare: There is another aspect of Shakespearean comedy that we have not yet discussed. Northrop Frye has identified some of Shakespeare's comedies as "Green World" comedies, and A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of those comedies. As Frye says, "the action of the [Green World] comedy begins in a world represented as a normal world, moves into the Green World, goes into a metamorphosis there. . . and returns to the normal world" (85). The principal characters converge in this Green World, typically a forest, and all of their conflicts are worked through and resolved. This convergence in a forest is what we have observed in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
This Green World is also maternal; that is, there is something about this world that engenders new life, and often there is a character, usually female, who dies and is revived, either physically or spiritually. Thus death is a part of comedy because comedy embraces all of life's experiences, but death in comedy is not tragic because even if the dead character is not revived, the character's spirit lives on in one or more of the other characters. Therefore, death allows the other characters to re-assess their lives and live them more fully.
The Green World is a place of magic, transformation, and discovery. It is also a place of incongruities, where things and people seem to be out of their element. For example, in some of Shakespeare's English forests, we find palm trees and lions. It is a place where time seems to stop because the demands of the real world have been left behind. And because the constraints of the real world have been left behind, the characters are free to explore new ways of seeing and of being in the world. Often characters are placed in these new situations involuntarily, but the adversity and challenge of the new experiences facilities their personal growth and makes commitment to life, marriage, and society possible. from here: click.
Painting of character Olivia, in Twelfth Night by Edmund Blair Leighton in 1888.
The twins,a boy and a girl, both seduce Olivia. (Helena Bonham Carter) 8) I watched a movie version of Twelfth Night the other day. At first I found it quite boring...it was slow and extended beginning. The version I saw was directed by Trevor Nunn and starred Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Kinglsley. I gave it another try yesterday afternoon and next thing I knew...I was very happy with the movie. I see now, that the quiet beginning, meeting a set of twins as they perform on a ship, followed by thier stormy shipwreck, separation and then survival actually gets you accustomed to the characters. At first I found Ben Kingsley "Fool" bland...but he grew on me. The first half hour was rough for me...but by the last 45 minutes and half hour he story and characters really deliver and it is a riot to see the mystaken identities and genders play out. There was a line about attraction :like aquavit to a midwife" that had me laughing it was such a funny line...like midwives were drinkers, or pouring it on the birthing mothers or something...I just kept laughing about it all yesterday.
9) I 've watched In Search of Shakespeare BBC/PBS special twice. I also own the book version. It's central thesis is that Shakespeare's parents were Catholic, and he was secretly raised with the old school religion combined with a rural oral tradition of ancient folk tales. And of course, Ovid.
10) Shakespeare's only son, Hamnet, died at 11 from the Bubonic Plague. Yes, his son's name is very close in sound to Hamlet.
11) This was a fascinating book about a painting found in Ontario, Canada a few years ago, and potentially a portrait of a young, and rather sexy Shakespeare. This book records the processes taken to prove or disprove whether it was possible for this painting to actually be made at the time of Shakespeare. Various studies were made including finding the wood it was painted on came from trees that grew in 15th century, would have been dried and tempured just about the right time approriate to manufacture into a thin board. Good fun, like a mystery novel.
12) two sites with some pictures:Piccies of Willie and Painting Shakespeare
Intense analysis of movie Twelfth Night 13) I haven't read this essay yet, but will start to work through it it after I drop round and say hi to YOU! I am looking forward to this inasanely long essay because it explores the style of this movie version by Trevor Nunn...and at first I was very resistant to the movie, but now have high regard for it's style and pacing.:I can't wait to compare my thoughts and this article. Me= NERD!!! This is my Thursday Thirteen Week Edition #36 .
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