Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Director preparing play on Shakespeare's personal life

http://www.mehrnews.ir/en/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=208386

Iranian director Khosro Amiri announced on Tuesday that he is currently preparing a play that tells the story of the personal life of Shakespeare entitled “Mystery of Shakespeare’s Dolls”.

“My new play is a modern tragicomedy which reveals hidden aspects of Shakespeare’s life,” he added.

“Shakespeare is blind drunk in this play. He has four dolls and writes all his masterpieces based on his own personal life. For example, he writes Macbeth because he has problems with his wife and her family; that is, Shakespeare appears totally different on stage,” he explained.

4 comments:

bardolph said...

What do you consider to be the definitive description of WS's life? Is it Schoenbaum, Greenblatt, Chute, or perhaps some other biographer? Or is it another source entirely?

bardolph said...

I made my first post before following the link to the news article on the Iranian production. It suggests to me that WS will take a beating in the new cultural war between east and west. He is a representative of intrusive literary values. Ironically, there is a noted Kurdish/Turkish work on called "Mehmet My Hawk" which is considered the Romeo and Juliet of the Islamic world. The book encompasses other Shakespearean elements. I've always heard it spoken of rather proudly by Muslim friends. Reviews of this production will be interesting to read.

Duane said...

Honestly I've never been a big follower of Shakespeare biographies in general. I think that I've never wanted there to be this conditional on the plays, like "Unless you understand every aspect of the man's life, then you might as well not bother ever trying to grasp any of the jokes, etc..." Know what I mean? Because to fully understand his life you have to understand the time period, which means understanding Queen Elizabeth, and the whole Catholic/Protestant thing...

Greenblatt's "Will in the World" really brings it into perspective when you realize that the best he can ever say is "probably". "Well, players' troupe X went near Shakespeare's time in year Y, so we can assume that Shakespeare probably saw them." Or, "Shakespeare wrote about unhappy marriages in 35 plays but only in 2 plays did he write about happy marriage, therefore we can probably say that his own marriage was unhappy." It's an entertaining read, something like exploring an unsolved mystery (actually, exactly like that), but I couldn't say that one is definitive over another.

I prefer to look at the plays like a universe unto themselves. Hand somebody the complete works and say, "Get out of it anything and everything you can. And put as much of yourself into it as you want." That's one of the reasons that I'll tolerate any number of funky interpretations of a given play, but I can't stand it when people create new dialogue. Edit for time if yuo must, but when you create new things, then you're not doing Shakespeare anymore. The man gave you enough to work with without you adding your own bits.

Whoa, look at me going all ranty. :)

bardolph said...

I went to a Greenblatt lecture right after the book's debut. I got to chat with him for a bit. When the writers of S in Love approached him for story consultation he said, "If you want to write an interesting play, write about Marlowe." When asked how to make a play about WS interesting he replied, "Well, make it about WS meeting and having a dialogue with Marlowe." I thought it was very telling. Still, I confess that I enjoy reading about what can be assumed about WS, though I certainly agree with your assertion about the knowledge condition.