Wednesday, February 03, 2010

How Much Of A (Shakespeare) Geek Are You?

We’ve done the “You know you’re a Shakespeare geek when” schtick from time to time, but after last night I thought I’d spin it around.  Confession time, you tell us when you’re feeling your most geeky.

Last night I’m reading a “Magic Treehouse” book with my 7yr old daughter. It is no Lord of the Rings.  It’s a silly little book with short sentences and simple dialogue, about two kids who travel through time to the great areas of history and have adventures.  In this particular case they travel to 1600 England and meet William Shakespeare (turns out they actually get up on stage as fairies).  (To the book’s credit part of the plot involves the children rescuing a bear from the “bear gardens”, though it does not go into great detail about what bear-baiting was.)

While progressing through this simple little book (we are half way through) all I could think was stuff like, “Well, which fairies are they going to play?” and “What do you mean Puck is being played by a big fat guy?” and, mostly, “Do the lines, do some lines, please dear god I hope they get to do some lines….”  Because I swear if I get to hear “I know a bank where the wild thyme blows” come out of my kid I may fall down in an ecstatic fit on the spot.

This morning before getting dressed for school the kids were all watching an old “Pink Panther” cartoon on the Boomerang channel.  What their fascination is with 30+yr old cartoons is beyond me.  But the Inspector was running away from a monster, and the chief yelled “Cowards face a thousand deaths, the valiant taste of death but once!” at his fleeing back.

“Shakespeare,” I said.

“What?” they said.

“William Shakespeare said that first.  Julius Caesar.”

I know they have no idea what I’m talking about, but I can’t help myself.  I don’t post nearly half the times I spot such references. 

In Charlie Brown’s Valentine’s Day special there’s a segment where Snoopy sits atop his doghouse, typewriter at the ready, banging out love notes while Lucy criticizes.  At one point he writes something, tears off and hands it to her, and she reads, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”  Sitting in the dark family room on movie night I am the only one to throw my hands up in the air and yell “Woo!  Shakespeare!”

This morning at breakfast the 5 yr old said, out of the blue, “Daddy, I think you’re teaching us about Shakespeare.”

“Ya think?” I asked.

;)

6 comments:

Kelli Marshall said...

“Daddy, I think you’re teaching us about Shakespeare.” “Ya think?” I asked.
-- Nice! I'm a Shakespeare geek who is fortunate enough to be able to teach Shakespeare for a living. Not much better than that. =)

Duane said...

Glad to hear you love your job, Kelli, though I fear it's in no way universal. I'm good friends with a high school English teacher who...I suppose "dreads" is the best way to put it ... teaching Shakespeare.

But in Shakespeare's defense I think it's the teaching she dreads, more so than the subject matter. I could only take so much of students writing "I think that the poet died and this is his poem about how that felt" before I went to live on a mountain. That, by the way, is an actual story from an actual student's homework.

Miss P. said...

I adore teaching anything related to William Shakespeare--and it's my mission to enlighten as many students as I can. I have several students under the age of 18 who can't get enough of the bard and who can even recite a sonnet other than the ubiquitous "Shall I compare thee.."

I think the greatest love in all of the plays is between Brutus and Portia and my students enjoy contrasting the immature puppy love of Romeo and Juliet with this more mature couple.

I'm looking forward to the end of the school year when I'm teaching all Shakespeare all the time.

murduk88 said...

You asked about most geeky Shakespeare moments:

I attended 9 plays (3 As You Like Its; 3 Two Gentlemen of Veronas; 3 King Lears) over a month span at the 2006 edition of UT's Shakespeare at Winedale. By the ninth play, the Winedalers HAD to think I was a stalker. I just simply couldn't get enough of their Shakespearean greatness. :)

Kelli Marshall said...

Oh goodness, I don't think I'd ever put the word DREAD in the same sentence as the word SHAKESPEARE. (Oops, guess I just did. Well, you know what I mean...) =)

Mrs.Dalloway said...

Hi, I've just discovered this blog and I think I am a Shakespeare Geek, too.

My geekiest moment was probably when I found a error on the homepage of a rather big local theatre. They actually declared Richard III to be the last play of the Lancaster-Tetralogy... Tz! I wrote them a mail immediately and the error was also corrected rather quickly. However, I didn't receive any feedback...
Some weeks later I accidentally met a man who worked at this exact theatre. I told him my story and complained about not having been thanked at all... Well, turned out, it was the executive director! Whoops... ^^