All The World's A Stage - the Shakespeare thread

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by JozefK, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dixie
  2. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    "Love all, trust a few, wrong no-one".
     
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  3. John Prine's adventures with the time-travelling Shakespeare have been surprisingly underdocumented:

    Me and Billy Shakespeare
    Stepped out to get a root beer
    We sat together so near
    People thought we were queer
    Punctuated by the big scare
    We joined the Air Force right there
    To defend our country first class
    Who couldn't give a rat's ass
     
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  4. carrick doone

    carrick doone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Oh If only he wrote all those plays ascribed to him. :) And I love Shakespeare's work.

    The research has been out for over a hundred or more years. If you are interested there is a fascinating and geeky podcast called The Shakespeare Underground that details how much solid information there is to support the idea that at least two people wrote these plays, possibly a person from the royal court and that the person assigned as the writer of the plays was a bit of a hack and a cruder playwright at best. It seems that writers of the time knew also that he was a beard for someone else. After listening to all of it which includes well respected investigators and at least one rocket scientist, I can't think anything other than that the works have other hands than one person in it.

    But I love love love the words and what it does to my soul. My favourite movie (and play) about the words is Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. A complete inversion of Hamlet.
     
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  5. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident

    im going to have to listen to that! Ive read a few books on the subject but always came away undecided in the end, but it is fascinating
     
  6. Jvalvano

    Jvalvano Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    Somebody had to do this :):cheers:
    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
  7. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

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    US
    I look forward to reading a good English translation of Shakespeare one day.
     
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  8. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dixie
    Bumpeth
     
  9. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    He was good enough to make it into a Beatles song, so I guess he's okay. :)
     
  10. arley

    arley Well-Known Member

    Kenneth Branagh's monumental Hamlet had some interesting moments, not the least of which was Charlton Heston as the leader of the troupe of actors. Chuck was appropriately over the top, bordering on hamminess, and does a great job of setting the scene for Hamlet to deliver his 'O what a rogue and peasant slave' soliloquy.



    IMHO, one of the better filmed versions of Macbeth is Patrick Stewart's Great Performances production. This production is cinematic rather than theatrical. They've transported the tale to what looks like a totalitarian Eastern Bloc country. The setting is more institutional than regal, like a bad 1930's mental hospital. It's an affirmation of both the skill of the director and the timelessness of Shakespeare that it works tremendously well. Stewart is magnificent, and Kate Fleetwood is deliciously evil as Lady Macbeth. But what you'll remember is the way the witches are portrayed. At times they seem like sadistic nuns, at other times psychotic nurses, but always closer to ghouls than fortunetellers. You'll never look upon them as cauldron-stirring hags again.
     
  11. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    I've listened to the first few episodes of The Shakespeare Underground and I'm hooked. It's clear "Shakespeare" was a pen name that had only a shadowy connection to the man from Stratford of the same name, but WHY? Why assign the authorship of all this work to someone who, by the evidence we have in his will, was both a "gentleman" in the classical sense as well as an apparent bastard. This is a considerable conspiracy to undertake, covering a tremendous range of writing. Why all the secrecy? Whoever the writer was, why not claim the work as your own? What were they hiding?
     
  12. Jvalvano

    Jvalvano Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    Fixed it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. carrick doone

    carrick doone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Wait til you go through all of the podcasts. They make a strong case for a member of the royal family being the author of at least some of the plays. Could this also be the one of the first examples of creating product under a brand name? I've read a little bit on the world of playwrights in Elizabethan England and there were many acting companies but few plays - they all did the same plays or take offs on the same plays. Could it be that a couple of authors supplied plays and attributed them to Shakespeare who was willing to go along?

    The story put forward in the podcast, from existing documents they have that can be attributed, is that he may have been in reality some kind of playwright but more pedestrian than brilliant. The plays we have attributed to him though may have been these other authors becoming published under Shakespeare's name. There is a lot of vagueness as to how he wrote the plays and who wrote what at what time.

    Some of the credit he gets comes from the printing of the First Folio which collected all of his plays after his death in one huge, expensive book. That book and following versions remained for many the only record of William Shakespeare's plays. Earlier records of the same plays are scraps and vary greatly in language and quality because they are transcripts of plays as actors are actually producing them.

    The experts spoken to in this podcast put forward, that some plays may have been written by him but the very good plays are of another author completely. Possibly and very likely someone from the Royal Court. Why they hid was simply a matter of the standing that actors and playwrights had at that time.
     
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  14. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    I love to watch Shakespeare movies, not all of them, tho. I don't like too many liberties being taken with the staging and costumes. A lot of theater companies here take liberties, so we don't go to see plays.
    We see the 'movie' productions in our local theater that are taped plays from the Royal company in London. we saw Love Labors Lost (and "found") last year and they were fantastic the soliloquy at the end of Act 1 of LLL is always stirring and emotional.
    The wife isn't big on the tragedies, but she will go if I'm possessed about it, like the Traymor's Tempest (which she turned out loving) and the full Branaugh Hamlet.
    I think I'm the only person who enjoyed Mel's Hamlet--Glenn Close was absolutely perfect.
     
  15. arley

    arley Well-Known Member

    About twenty years ago I got a chance to go to London at the last minute, and I thought "Wow, I'm finally gonna be able to see the Royal Shakespeare Company in a live performance. Can't wait."

    When I got there I found that the only play they were performing was Bertold Brecht's Mother Courage and her Children--about as bleak and nihilistic as anything ever written. Went to see it anyway, but I felt like a kid expecting ice cream and was given castor oil instead. What a disappointment.
     
  16. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    I wish they'd gone into more about the "why." I get what you're saying about the standing of playwrights and actors, but I think there may also be something to do with avoiding scandal, at least based on the Midsummer Night's Dream connections the podcast cites. But I'm looking at it this way: the Earl of Oxford, a royal insider, does a tremendous amount of work writing all of this stuff and then it's published under the name of a hack playwright from Stratford, who is also kind of a dick. I feel like there's a story there worth piecing together.
     
  17. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire
  18. The Absent-Minded Flaneur

    The Absent-Minded Flaneur Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The EU
    They don't go into the "why" because there isn't a "why".

    Shakespeare's plays were written by a glover's son from Stratford who left school at 14 or so and was only a couple of generations away from the peasantry. That disappoints some people, who concoct elaborate theories to substitute a more socially acceptable author. Preferably an earl or a royal.

    It's risible.
     
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  19. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Yes, agreed. I'm afraid I fell down the rabbit hole of the authorship conspiracy theory. After reading the counter arguments over the past couple of days, I've come back to my senses. It's a compelling idea, but for the author to have been anyone other than Shakespeare himself, a number of people would have had to undertake a vast conspiracy, for which I've seen no convincing justification. True, there are a lot of mysteries about Shakespeare the person, but there are also a tremendous number of holes in the authorship question.

    So, carry on! :)
     
  20. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dixie
  21. Rhapsody In Red

    Rhapsody In Red Formerly Wrapped in Plastic

    Read something about Francis Bacon as one of the men behind Shakespeare. The theory had some good points which I forget most of. One thing I remember was, there was something like 30,000 different words in his works, 25,000 of them being unique. That's well beyond most human's capacity.

    Conspiracy theory aside, I'm grateful for works penned by his name.
     
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  22. ando here

    ando here Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york, ny
    I like your post mostly because you eventually concur that the words matter far more than the identity of the author (though, in my frank opinion, they're one and the same). No one that I've personally spoken with who has read ALL of Shakespeare's works - including professional actors and directors well aquainted with his work - has ever doubted his sole authoship save the last two or three acknowledged collaborations.

    Glad to see the thread in this forum, in any case.
     
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  23. DVEric

    DVEric Forum Resident

    All of Shakespeare's plays were written on top of existing plays. But no one really doubts his authorship. What is far more difficult to parse out is where and with what lines do his acts begin and end. Also, most of his early work has sections that are missing -- including, IMO, part of the first third of The Merchant Of Venice.
     
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  24. ando here

    ando here Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york, ny
    You're kidding, right? The height of the authorship question fervor occurred around the time of the release of the film Anonymous (2011). In it the filmmakers proport that Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford actually wrote the plays. But there are many others who are viewed as the real author, including Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlow and even Queen Elizabeth. And these are claims made by otherwise well respected professionals!
     
  25. DVEric

    DVEric Forum Resident

    No, that is nonsense. There are people who exploit gaps in our knowledge of history and they fill-in these gaps with loads of horsesh1t and/or are keen to make a monster discovery. There is one play that some speculate was authored by Marlow, but that speculation is based solely on theme of androgyny, not on the writing style or doubt that Shakespeare was involved with the writing and/or the production of the play. These theories about Shakespeare's plays are about as interesting or convincing as the goofy theory that Kubrick filmed the fake moon landing.
     
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