Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Sherlock Holmes / Shakespeare Connection

I’ve read a few Sherlock Holmes stories, but they’re not really my thing.  I never got to the ending and thought, “Wow, that’s brilliant!” it was always more like “Oh, he strung together a random set of trivia in a way that happens to work in this particular instance.”

But when I spot a Shakespeare reference I look closer.  Who knew that January 6 was Sherlock Holmes’ birthday, and that Shakespeare was responsible for it?

According to an article in the New York Times' City Room blog last year, there are multiple theories as to why January 6 was chosen as his birthday, one that's celebrated by his fans over at Paul Singleton, a Sherlockian scholar, said that Christopher Morley (who helped found the Baker Street Irregulars, a group dedicated to the study of Doyle) came to his theory based on the fact that Holmes, who quotes Shakespeare often, only quoted one Shakespeare play twice — that being Twelfth Night, and therefore, Holmes was born on the 12th night of Christmas, i.e. January 6.


Squishy Kuma said...

Wow. That's obscure.

Mikkel Lund said...

I have to admit that I am a greater fan of Holmes/Doyle than I ever was of Shakeapeare eventhough I have read "Macbeth" in highscool.

But my late father was a Shakespeare fan, which is why I have watched quite a few plays together with him. These incl. "Hamlet", "Henry V", "Macbeth"(Ofcourse), "The Taming of The Screwd" etc.
I have to say though that generally enjoy watching Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes more than I enjoy Shakespeare - Henry V and Roman Polanski's Machbeth being the exceptions.

Cuff7 said...

I do hope that Squishy Kuma's comment "Wow. That's obscure." is on a comment on my comment. Like I've said before my dad was a fan of the Swan of Avon so I know a little about Shakespeare. He was, however also forced down my throat in highscool just like Homer and Satre were. That is why I am not so keen Shakespeare as e.g. the 1970s are!