Monday, March 27, 2006

Shakespeare's Bawdy, The Sequel

Apparently there are still undiscovered sex references in Shakespeare's works. Heloise Senechal, working on a new edition of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Works, says that she's used "computer techniques" to find previously unrecognized double entendres. Apparently they're hoping to go for a more realistic appreciation of Shakespeare's time in their footnotes. They'll emphasize the base nature of the work to get away from the idea that it was all high class.

I don't know what sort of computer techniques she's using, exactly, but the rules seem pretty obvious, and completely Freudian (although he came later): anything longer than it is wide is a phallic symbol, and any reference to "hole", "gap", or any other sort of space where one might want to put something is.....well, I run a family blog here. Although it appears Shakespeare was a bit more generous in his descriptions of the ladies, as you'll often discover that food references (pie, "fruit dish", etc...) are also a common one, and often when speaking of birds he was referring to ladies of, shall we say, low morals.

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I agree with Charlie's Mum: WAAANNNTT

From a blog called Charlie's Mum over at Live Journal I find OnePage Books. What do they sell? How about a poster containing the entire text of your favorite Shakespeare play? Pretty cool. She says it's $300 at Amazon, but I think she misread it as I see the link for $39.99.

I just moved my office downstairs to the basement addition. I wonder if I have any free wallspace left? Hmmmm....

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Shakespeare for Kids

Shakespeare -- Wherefore Art Thou?: The Washington Post has this interesting article up about how Shakespeare can be just as appealing to kids as adults, citing lines like "creeping like a snail unwillingly to school" from As You Like It. Apparently the Folger Library's current exhibit, "Golden Lads and Lasses", is all about how Shakespeare's writing has been changed for kids over the centuries. There are toys, games, books, CDs...finger puppets, comic books, Barbies...

Love it. My daughter's not quite four yet and it pains me that I can't share Shakespeare with her quite yet (though I have tried). The Tempest is still "The story about the girl on the island," but every time we try to get into any more depth than that she gets confused by all the characters. Disney needs to do a Tempest movie :).

Gotta love this quote from Paloma, a sixth-grader: "Macbeth is my favorite," she said. (She read the adult version of that one.) "It's really cool. There are witches and prophecies and fighting and stuff. And the strongest character is a lady -- Macbeth's wife. Girl power!"

Someone's got to explain to that girl about the whole guilt theme and exactly what it did to Lady Macbeth's "strength" :)

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Monday, March 20, 2006

A Shakespeare Pun Contest? Nice.

The First Post is holding a contest to find "your best Shakespeare pun to create an advertising slogan for a well-known brand or product". Prizes include a bottle of champagne and a genuine Ye Olde Feather Quill from Stratford-upon-Avon.

When I wrote for my company newsletter I would title articles things like "Now is the winter of our web content" and "Lord what tools these portals be", but I suppose those are a little too geeky for this crowd :). I'll have to work on my broader audience puns.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Shakespeare Non-Quotes

Quotes Mistakenly Attributed to Shakespeare:

Good list. I know that #1 ("Oh what a tangled web we weave....") is a big one. I've been asked about it personally.

Does anybody really think "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" is Shakespeare? Oh for the youth of the world.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

'She's the Man' - Amanda Bynes goes butch for her latest comedy - Zap2it

'She's the Man' Is a Boy/Girl Thing - Amanda Bynes goes butch for her latest comedy - Zap2it:

Not really a review, just an interview with Amanda Bynes who plays Viola in this teen remake of Twelfth Night. I don't have nearly enough movie opportunities to go and see something like this, but maybe if it eventually floats its way back to cable I can catch it. Sounds cute enough.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hamlet v. Laertes - 10 Rounds, and no Ear Biting

How about Hamlet and Laertes settling their differences in the boxing ring? "A Thousand Natural Shocks" apparently takes the four youngest characters -- Hamlet, Ophelia, Laertes and Horatio -- and puts them in a contemporary setting to work out their differences and deal with the world around them. It does sound interesting, and the team behind it (who use the acronym TEAM, for Theatre of the Emerging American Movement) seem to have some points to make beyond putting the characters in silly situations:

Sieh's Ophelia chooses, in her madness, not to focus on important political changes, but instead on consumer-ism, looking pretty and trying to make people feel happy. "It's very easy for an American to do that. We're taught by our president to pay no attention to 'the man behind the curtain'. It's the equivalent of Shakespeare's Ophelia turning everything into flowers," says Chavkin.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ron Schuler's Parlour Tricks: 'The name is Marlowe . . . Kit Marlowe'

Hey, cool. You don't see a bio of Kit Marlowe every day. Sure, you can find such things, but I like that this is just a regular ordinary blog post and not some boring encyclopedic entry someplace. Marlowe was quite the character and his story should be told in a way that gets people's attention.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Cancer theory on bard's death 'nonsense'

Cancer theory on bard's death 'nonsense', says Stanley Wells, chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford.

"The idea that you could diagnose somebody's mortal illness on what could be a speck of paint is ridiculous."

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