(Does a "Church Lady" impression date me pretty badly?)
Bardfilm wanted some academic discussion on Twitter today, and knowing that it's very hard to learn anything permanent on Twitter (try Googling for it later!) I'm summarizing in a blog post but you can check to see if the #SeytonSatan hashtag is still active.
Question : In Macbeth, would "Seyton" be pronounced like "Satan"? And, if so, would that have suggested some sort of desired audience reaction? When Macbeth calls, "Seyton!" would the audience have been all, "He's calling SATAN?! Dude's evil!" (My paraphrase. Bardfilm's original question had more "you betcha").
There's much that's been said on the topic but little of academic note.
On the subject of sounding it out I linked in @BenCrystal, an expert in original pronunciation (OP), who responded, "I'd say them the same in OP, something like ['sei-tun] with a really soft /t/." This then led to a discussion about when exactly the Scots burr came into the language (after the arrival of King James) and whether Macbeth would have been played that way.
But what of the whole Satan thing? Do we think that Shakespeare intended to put Satan in the mind of his audience?
My personal position on this is perhaps too grounded - what happens next? The audience hears Macbeth call, "Satan!" and then this regular old soldier shows up and starts taking orders. So either you just get this brief scare where the audience is left thinking, "Oh, phew, for a minute there I thought Macbeth was actually calling you know who!" and then we go about our business. Or we get something more like "Who's this guy? Is that Satan in the form of one of Macbeth's soldiers? Oooo, I bet he's going to do something just off the charts evil."
I just don't know enough about the time period to know if this was a think that Shakespeare would even attempt. Did you get to mention Satan on stage like that? Would Shakespeare have suggested that Macbeth was so evil as to invoke the big man himself? And, worse, order him around like a lackey?
Lots of discussion material here. Show of hands, who's done the Scottish play and has an opinion from experience?
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
(Does a "Church Lady" impression date me pretty badly?)
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
...for the next 15 minutes and go watch this insane "supercut" that tells Hamlet using 200 tv and movie references.
I don't even know what to say about it. The amount of effort is insane. You've got the Monkees, the Addams Family, Head of the Class, Clueless, Simpsons, Cookie Monster and on and on and on. Monty Python references I just saw on Bardfilm yesterday? They're in there.
And he even lists the credits, in order, at the end!
You know that feeling you get when you're just minding your own business and then you randomly hear a snippet of conversation come from over the cube wall where somebody's dropped a Hamlet reference? Your ears perk up, you listen more closely to see what happens next, and your brain does this thing where it pulls the entire context for that quote out of storage and brings it front and center for you in case you need it (or is that just me?). I get this neat little shock up my spine when I catch random Shakespeare. It makes me happy. It is a reminder that Shakespeare is everywhere.
Now imagine sustaining that feeling for 15 minutes.
It says in the description that the creator is open to adding new references. I hope he makes this an hour long. I would watch with equal fascination.
at 2:45 PM
Monday, May 13, 2013
So next week I'll at long last be heading in to a classroom to talk about Shakespeare. In this particular instance we're talking about the sonnets, and I'm busy gathering material that I can use.
I've been informed by the teacher that, in preparation for the lesson, they "studied" Sonnet 29. That is, she read and paraphrased it to them. They also read Sonnet 18. This was done mostly as a lesson in iambic pentameter.
Here's my question to you, loyal readers. What are the best sonnets I can use for examples in class? We'll be doing several games involving filling in blanks and shuffling words so we'll need a handful of sonnets to work with that the kids don't already know.
1) The iambic pentameter should be about as straightforward as it can be. If we're trying to get across five feet of baDUM baDUM baDUM baDUM baDUM and giving them puzzles where they need to put that meter back into place it won't be fair to throw in too many twists.
2) Family friendly. I love #130 as an example, just not sure what to do with "breasts are dun" yet. Most likely going to come through as "flesh is dun" just so I can use it, but I'd rather have examples I don't have to mess with.
3) Not too archaic. If the kids need to be going to the glossary (me) for every single line, they're never going to understand it.
I'd like to use Sonnet 12, as an example. I think the imagery is something they could grasp, the meter is straightforward, and I don't think I have to worry too much about the family friendliness of a word like "breed".
Who's got some help for me? Carl Atkins, you out there? You always seem to have a few sonnets to rattle off when we bring up the topic. What's that one about thinking about his beloved and he can't sleep? That's a good one.
at 1:19 PM
Our revels will soon be ending, and our little lives will be rounded with a stunning new t-shirt because we hit our goal! I just wanted to leave a note here for those people that really were waiting until the end, possibly to see if we made it (so there's no risk), possibly to see if we *didnt* make it so they could help put us over the edge. Either way, you've still got (as of this writing) about 9 hours to go add your name to the list and get a shirt if you wanted one.
For those that have already joined the campaign, remember that your payment will be charged so don't suddenly forget what you signed up for :). But shirts should be arriving by the end of the month. I look forward to hearing reports of sightings in the wild!
Shakespeare for everyone!
P.S. - No more nagging! I know that's the most exciting part for some people. Thanks for putting up with me.
at 11:22 AM
Jonson was pals with Shakespeare (and defended him often), but considered himself a genius and Shakespeare a hack (he often heckled Shakespeare's plays)....and I realized that I probably have a lot to learn about this aspect of Shakespeare's life. I get that Jonson thought he was a genius, I've seen that before. But is it true that he looked down on Shakespeare's work? If there was really any heckling I can only assume that it was good-natured among friends, and I can totally believe that.
Who wants to take the floor and tell us about Mr. Jonson?
at 11:11 AM