Monday, July 31, 2006

Returning the Favor

Since he did me the favor of a link in his post on Shakespeare Blogs (noting that Such Shakespeare Stuff seems to be the second oldest Shakespeare blog on the net!), I'll return the favor with a link to I'm pretty sure I've linked to him a few times in the past, he certainly comes up enough on my daily blog filters. Usually his commentary is on the deeper side than we do here (right now he's reading Bloom and has commentary on Julius Caesar), but it's always quality. Recommended.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Adaptations and Parodies of Shakespeare

Theatre Folk has an actual store where you can purchase scripts of plays adapted from Shakespeare. Titles include "Drop Dead, Juliet", "Much Ado About High School", "Mmmmbeth", and other more traditional adaptations (i..e for audience and time). All plays are safe for high school production, and seem to offer free sample pages. Cool.

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Shakespeare Parodies

I'm surprised I'd missed Shakespeare Parodies until now, given the obvious URL. It's cute. It pains me that he has a typo in the title of the homepage, though ("colection"). Here's how my favorite scene from Hamlet gets lambasted:

Now, Mother, what's the matter?

Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.

Mother, thou hast my father much offended.

Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue

Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue.
And thou hast my father much offended!

Have you forgotten who I am?

No! You are the Queen, your husband's
brother's wife; and -- would it were not so --
you are my mother! And thou hast my father
much offended! Let's see you top that!

I don't understand a word you're saying.

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I'm Back

Hi Everybody,

Sorry I haven't been around -- just took a week vacation with the family, and had absolutely no net access (believe me, I tried. Visions of me wandering through every corner of our rented house on the lake, laptop in hand, praying, hitting "Refresh wireless network list", taking one step to the left, and repeating).

Anyway, I've caught up on my feeds so hopefully I'll have a bunch of stuff to post. Here's a random one -- while watching Beauty and the Beast with the kids, Gaston (the bad guy) is singing something, I think the "Kill the Beast" song, and suddenly I hear, "Light your torch, Mount your horse, screw your courage to the sticking place..."

I lift my head. "Huh," I say to the room in general. "Shakespeare. Macbeth."

Nobody cared. But I figured somebody reading my blog would :).

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hamlet, by Shel Silverstein

It never fails to amaze me what new things I find in my daily trolling for all things Shakespeare.  Did you know that Shel Silverstein did a version of Hamlet for Playboy magazine? Warning, this is not a children's story. It's a bit more adult, as you can guess by the publishing credit:

Hamlet stabs Laertes, and Laertes stabs him.
Then Hamlet turns around and stabs his uncle, too,
While the queen drinks some poison the king had brewed.
So she dies, he dies, Hamlet dies, Laertes dies
On top of where Ophelia lies,
Right next to where Polonius died.
And before you can wink, blink or turn your head,
Chop-stab-slice -- every motherfucker’s dead.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hamlet in Space

Ok, now Hamlet in Space is interesting.  A rock opera that claims to "use only original lyrics by Shakespeare, except for the extension of the title."   There's a sound sample -- and I like it!  Nice.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Master of Verona

This sis interesting.  A "novel of Shakespeare".
I wish I had time to read it.  Before running off to vacation next week I'm going to see if I can come up with a way to reasonably print what he has so far and take it with me for the beach.  Can't take the laptop everywhere I go :).

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Admin : Where I've Been

Hi Everybody,

Sorry for the incredible lack of posts lately. I've recently changed jobs, which in itself is a big pain in the neck, but I also switched computers which is an even bigger pain. I have to get all my old environment setup (RSS Feeds, blogging software, etc...) and when you switch from Mac back to Windows, some stuff just doesn't work. My preferred blogging software, Ecto, doesn't seem to work with Windows (more to the point there is a Windows version but I can't get anything but errors out of it :-/). So I'm a bit screwed, as the default Blogger interface for posting is not exactly conducive to productivity.

I may end up writing my own software, if I have to.

Fear not! I shall be back as soon as I can!


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Why "analyzing" the sonnets is not a great idea

I'm in a sonnet mood lately. I'm actually so entranced with David Gilmour's version of Sonnet 18 that I made it my ringtone :). So when I saw this 'analysis' of sonnet 18 I thought I'd check it out. After all, I liked what Some Guy from New York did over on his podcast with it.

Yikes. How....painful. Makes me fully appreciate why a) there are so many books that claim to "paraphrase" Shakespeare into more modern tongue, and b) why there is still room for more. Check it out:

Confused by "Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May"? Fear not! Here's what it means: "Rough winds shake the much loved buds of May".


So, basically, all you really need is a thesaurus. Darling, darling darling.....ah, here it is! Much loved.

Or how about this less than heart-felt translation of "Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade" -- "Nor will Death claim you as his own." Hooray.

You can't do a line by line translation of Shakespeare and hope to get 1/100th of the meaning out of it. I mean, come on. Look at that line. I love that line. Nor shall Death *brag*. Think about that. People die constantly. There's a steady influx of people for Death's little playground. He's got no shortage. But this person who Shakespeare is talking about, this person is just so amazing that should that day finally come, Death would actually brag about this one. Like, forget all those others that I've got, have you seen this one? That's the kind of stage that Shakespeare sets (pun intended). He, as the poet, is rescuing this beauty from Death himself. It's a competition. Death wants to claim her (him?) as a prize trophy, and the humble poet is going to prevent that from happening by immortalizing him (her?) in verse. What more powerful thing is there to promise to someone you love than "I will not let you die"?

Go ahead and explain Shakespaere. Summarize him. Try to get at the essence of what he's saying. But don't do the reader a disservice and elevate yourself beyond your station by trying to pretend that you can simply swap out a few words and hope to add any real value.

(Geez, am I cranky today? :))

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Johnny Depp as Hamlet?

Marlon Brando never played Hamlet. Apparently he didn't want to do it until he was ready, and once that day came, he was too old to play the role. So now it's in Johnny Depp's head not to let the same thing happen to him. "And I would like to do it," says Depp. "Although it's one of the more frightening ideas I've had. I think as an actor it is good to feel the fear of failing miserably. I think you should take that risk. Fear is a necessary ingredient in everything I do."

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

I was wondering where that Macbeth went.

Remember the story about a Macbeth starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jennifer Connelly? I've been trying to find news about that in IMDB or something, but nothing. Turns out it does indeed exist, and there's actually another production of Macbeth going on as well. The competing version would see Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings) and Tilda Swinton (Chronicles of Narnia) in the lead roles, with Steven Soderbergh attached to produce and Luc Beeson possibly directing (says "involved", and he's directed The Fifth Element, but it doesn't say he's directing here).

Unfortunately the only actual item of interest on the Seymour version is that there is "no firm time table". The story is mostly about this other version, and then a general back story about how many different Macbeths there've been.

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