Dismiss Notice
We are making some updates and reconfigurations to our server. Apologies for any downtime or slow forum loading now or within the next week or so. Thanks!

All The World's A Stage - the Shakespeare thread

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

  1. ando here

    ando here Forum Resident

    North Pole
    Yes - and I love how he handles the "Reason not the need!" scene when Goneril and Regan discuss how many followers he needs to keep in his retinue.
    Steve Minkin likes this.
  2. I can’t claim for a fact I’m related but the other side of my family came from Stratford on Avon and given how small the population was at the time and our family tree it’s possible. Be fore I knew any of that, I got into Shakespeare by seeing Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet. It was vibrant, exciting and they cast it largely age appropriate for the first time like ever. After that, I picked up a copy of his complete plays and read my way through them at the age of 14. Loved it. For the record, William would have been a lousy screenwriter.
  3. Yes! Someone who agrees with me that the authorship question is nonsense.
    ando here likes this.
  4. Steve Minkin

    Steve Minkin Forum Resident

    Healdsburg CA
    Coriolanus is a recent (and welcome) addition to the Bard on film.
    So perhaps now the most underrepresented of all the plays on film are two of the late collaborations -- Pericles and Two Noble Kinsmen.
    Pericles is a truly great work, a woefully underrated play, probably half-written by George Wilkens. The BBC did a nice version of it for their complete series in the 80s. TS Eliot considered its recognition scene the most beautiful of its kind in Shakespeare and wrote a poem about it -- it's an extraordinary scene.
    But I don't think anybody's filmed Two Noble Kinsmen, which is quite good, written with Fletcher of Beaumont and Fletcher after Will had already retired to New Place.

    At the other end of the spectrum, there must be a dozen film versions of The Dream, and the old one with Cagney and Mickey Rooney still gets played on cable.
    mike s in nyc and ando here like this.
  5. ando here

    ando here Forum Resident

    North Pole
    Bah, with his talent? If he wanted to eat he'd be right up there (if not higher) than Goldman or the Coens. Orson Welles was famous for saying just the opposite about Shakespeare. Will knew his audience.
    mike s in nyc likes this.
  6. Steve Minkin

    Steve Minkin Forum Resident

    Healdsburg CA

    Here's a condensed version, full post here:

    PlayShakespeare.com Forum: notes on The Phoenix and Turtle (1/1)

    THE PHOENIX AND THE TURTLE ('Let the bird of loudest lay . . .")

    This short poem is the last of the early poems I'll be looking at before diving once again into the Sonnets.

    I thought I had more reading to do, but have decided not to read a couple of the works typically collected with Shakespeare's poetry, namely these two:

    THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM – 1599, a collection of 20 poems attributed to Shakespeare, published by William Jaggard. Of the twenty poems, five were Shakespeare's – three stolen from a quarto edition of the play Love's Labour's Lost and two that are alternative versions of Sonnets #138 and #144. . . Swinburne (in Studies in Prose and Poetry) called Jaggard "an infamous pirate, liar and thief" and The Passionate Pilgrim a "worthless little volume of stolen and mutilated poetry patched up and padded out with dirty and dreary doggerel." But its publication does demonstrate that by 1599 having Shakespeare's name on the title page was a commercial asset, regardless of the quality or legitimacy of the work within.

    A FUNERAL ELEGY – 1612, a lengthy elegy by W.S. . . . now generally believed to be by John Drew.

    So back to THE PHOENIX AND THE TURTLE. --1601 . . .

    Will's short poem is part of a collection of 'guest' poets following the main long poem, Love's Martyr, by an obscure poet named Robert Chester. . . These include Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, George Chapman (who translated Homer), and others, all expanding on Chester's poem about the love between the female phoenix and the male turtle dove. . .

    I found it an easy and delightful read. I'm not claiming to have begun to grasp the poem's possibilities and associations, just to say that the sound of it and the felicitous phrases are immediately enjoyable.

    The phoenix legend is that there was only one such bird alive in the world at a time, and it reproduced by setting itself on fire and emerging newly born from the ashes. . .

    The poem then bans the owl and other predatory birds from the funeral service (except the eagle, king of birds), and welcomes the swan and the crow, for their funereal colors and songs. . .

    Aquinas says we can't use words like 'different' or 'division' to describe the parts of the Trinity, but we can use the word 'distinction,' and Shakespeare follows suit:

    So they loved, as love in twain
    Had the essence but in one;
    Two distincts, division none:
    Number there in love was slain.

    Look at the dual meaning of the word 'mine' in this lovely line:

    Either was the other's mine.

    Playing again with distinctions and differences. (There's a famous jazz album titled Not Two, Not One.):

    Single nature's double name
    Neither two nor one was called.

    Toward the end of the main part of the Shakespeare's poem, Reason itself is personified:

    Reason, in itself confounded,
    Saw division grow together . . .
    Love hath reason, reason none . . .

    The final part of the poem begins on a new page, and is titled Threnos, the first use of the word as a poem title. Jonson's poem in the volume is the first to be labeled an Epode. Both poems are unusual and it is possible both poets wanted to present themselves as forward looking at the dawning of the new century. Jonson was also looking for a patron, and found one (Lucy, Countess of Bedford), to whom he dedicated his poem from this publication, after the fact.

    The rhyme scheme changes from ABBA to AAA in the Threnos. The fact that there are two parts to one poem echoes the two-in-one love theme of the poem.

    The finish of the poem ( . . . Truth and beauty buried be/ To this urn . . .) has been pointed to as a source for Keats' 'Ode On A Grecian Urn,' which concludes:

    "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

    Here is an argument for The Phoenix and The Turtle being the source material for the Keats' poem:


    . . . And here is Barbara Everett for a cogent final word on the poem: " . . . the reader halts, never quite sure what it is, to
    read this poem. We seem, even while finding it exquisite, to lack some expertise, some password."
    ando here likes this.
  7. ando here

    ando here Forum Resident

    North Pole
    It's a great time revisit Will's short and extended poems, starting w/The Pheonix & The Turtle. Thanks.
  8. ando here

    ando here Forum Resident

    North Pole
    Romeo & Juliet
    (1976, Joan Kemp-Welch)

    The chief boon of this TV production is the performance of (nearly) the entire play and, frankly, it is a welcome interpretation after all the bellowing of the Globe productions that I've watched of late. It's a solid ensemble performance.

    Part II
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
    Steve Minkin likes this.
  9. Steve Minkin

    Steve Minkin Forum Resident

    Healdsburg CA
    Never saw that one, andohere -- I'll try to catch up with it. Agree with you that many of the Globe productions are heavy on the theatrics. Some great performances, though, like the Lucio in M4M.

    I've turned my attention from the Sonnets (which were next up following the three longer poems) and moved on to Cymbeline, first notes soon. Cymbeline seems finite, culminating in our reading (hopefully real, maybe another Zoom) in midsummer; the Sonnets are a rabbit hole I may never find a coherent way out of. Even this shelter in place lifestyle may not be enough time.

    I'm having trouble getting into Prospero's Books, bailed early after I saw nothing from the play in the opening minutes. Is the whole film impressionistic or does it rejoin the text? The Tempest is my favorite play (five days a week) and I tend to be intolerant of real loose interpretations.
    ando here likes this.
  10. ando here

    ando here Forum Resident

    North Pole
    Most of the text of The Tempest is in tact; but it's supplemented with imaginative (hypothetical?) descriptions of the contents of Prospero's Books. The whole thing proceeds like a scrolling book. I think it's ingenious. But there are plenty of critics!
  11. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    New Hampshire
  12. Steve Minkin

    Steve Minkin Forum Resident

    Healdsburg CA
    first notes on Cymbeline
    Condensed version, full notes here:

    Cymbeline contains two of Shakespeare's best known songs.

    The most famous is from IV, ii, still a standard at many funerals and quoted or used by Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Samuel Beckett, and others. The final couplet, in addition to its obvious human meaning, has a pastoral sense: 'golden lads' are dandelions in bloom and 'chimney-sweepers' are dandelions gone to seed:

    Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
    Nor the furious winter’s rages;
    Thou thy worldly task hast done,
    Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:
    Golden lads and girls all must,
    As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

    In one of the most melodramatic moments of a melodramatic play, this gorgeous song is immediately followed by the subject of the song, the supposedly dead youth, actually Imogen, rising up from her death-like sleep to find herself beside a decapitated body dressed in her husband's clothes! . . .

    For a quick and efficient summary of the convoluted plot, here is RSC director Melly Still:


    Cymbeline was the Roman-sponsored tribute king of England in the play, a tribal king historically, circa 30 CE, notable in Hollingshead for being the king at the time of Christ.

    The main hero, Posthumous, is so named because he was born following the death of his father.

    The play elicits a wide range of critical evaluation. Bloom thinks it's a "heap of self-parodies." Samuel Johnson found it a work of "unresisting imbecility, . . . “ . . . GB Shaw called it "stagey trash of the lowest melodramatic order" (and Shaw later rewrote Act V, renaming the play 'Cymbeline Refinished.')

    But Hazlitt and Keats loved the play, and it was one of the most popular of all the plays in the 19th Century. Garber finds the play 'altogether fabulous.' Garber concedes Bloom's point that the play is full of cliches, but argues that Shakespeare successfully embodies and expands upon literary and folk cliches, "turning away from mimesis, from the direct imitation of human action, toward epiphany and transcendence . . . "

    Here's a lengthy, informative lecture by Garber on the play:


    There is almost universal agreement that Imogen is one of Shakespeare's great heroines. Bloom says she "deserves a better play." Swinburne calls her "The very crown and flower of all her father's daughters, -- I do not speak here of her human father, but her divine, -- a woman above all Shakespeare's women in Imogen." Nineteenth century novelists adored her, and she was written about by Scott, Thackeray, Trollope, and George Eliot among others. 'Innogen' is a common variation, on stage and in text.

    I'm draw to an intriguing view of the play put forth by Auden, who refers to Aldous Huxley's interesting suggestion of a collection of 'late works' by certain artists -- Verdi's Falstaff, Beethoven's last quartets, Goya's late works . . . works in which the artist is advancing his own work artistically, in new ways, without regard for public or critical acclaim, and is more concerned with working out artistic problems for their own sake than in producing any effects. Auden puts Shakespeare's final four Romances into this 'late works' category, with Pericles and Cymbeline being the transitional works and The Winter's Tale and The Tempest being the masterworks from this period. . .
    ando here likes this.
  13. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Shakespeare's birthplace in 1850



    ando here and Steve Minkin like this.
  14. Steve Minkin

    Steve Minkin Forum Resident

    Healdsburg CA

    Washington Irving visited and wrote about the place in 1820. Here's an brief excerpt from a book review I posted on the books' thread:

    >>Fifty years before Irving's book. . . the celebrated English actor David Garrick staged a Shakespeare Jubilee in Stratford-upon-Avon [1769] , a event which was a major focal point in cementing Shakespeare's position as England's national poet and Stratford as his celebratory site. . .

    Garrick's Jubilee is recent enough that Stratford's place as a shrine for the Bard is still growing and emerging. Irving describes the rivalries between the various caretakers of the newly emerging Shakespeare-related sites – his birthplace, grave, halls of the church . . . Most of the principals cast shade on the legitimacy of their rivals. They, and other locals, also have their own special folk tales about the poet, the drinking contest against the town of Bedford, the 'Shakespeare tree', etc., each of which is charming in itself but none of them substantial enough to have survived the age.<<

    Nowadays the key sites are coordinated by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Home (predictably, a prime target of the anti-Stratfordians.

  15. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Title Page for Act V, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by W. Heath Robinson (1914)

    The Panda likes this.
  16. Steve Minkin

    Steve Minkin Forum Resident

    Healdsburg CA
    from The New Yorker
    Cultural Comment
    What Shakespeare Actually Wrote About the Plague
    By Stephen Greenblatt

    May 7, 2020
    William Shakespeare writing
    Photograph from Alamy
    Shakespeare lived his entire life in the shadow of bubonic plague. On April 26, 1564, in the parish register of Holy Trinity Church, in Stratford-upon-Avon, the vicar, John Bretchgirdle, recorded the baptism of one “Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakspere.” A few months later, in the same register, the vicar noted the death of Oliver Gunne, an apprentice weaver, and in the margins next to that entry scribbled the words “hic incipit pestis” (here begins the plague). On that occasion, the epidemic took the lives of around a fifth of the town’s population. By good fortune, it spared the life of the infant William Shakespeare and his family.

    Such outbreaks did not rage on forever. With the help of strict quarantines and a change in the weather, the epidemic would slowly wane, as it did in Stratford, and life would resume its normal course. But, after an interval of a few years, in cities and towns throughout the realm, the plague would return. It generally appeared on the scene with little or no warning, and it was terrifyingly contagious. Victims would awaken with fever and chills. A feeling of extreme weakness or exhaustion would give way to diarrhea, vomiting, bleeding from the mouth, nose, or rectum, and telltale buboes, or swollen lymph nodes, in the groin or armpit. Death, often in great agony, would almost inevitably follow.

    Innumerable preventive measures were proposed, most of which were useless—or, in the case of the killing of dogs and cats, worse than useless, since the disease was in fact spread by rat-borne fleas. The smoke of dried rosemary, frankincense, or bay leaves burning in a chafing dish was thought to help clear the air of infection, and, if those ingredients were not readily available, physicians recommended burning old shoes. In the streets, people walked about sniffing oranges stuffed with cloves. Pressed firmly enough against the nose, perhaps these functioned as a kind of mask.

    It was early recognized that the rate of infection was far higher in densely populated cities than in the country; those with the means to do so escaped to rural retreats, though they often brought infection with them. Civic officials, realizing that crowds heightened contagion, took measures to institute what we now call social distancing. Collecting data from parish registers, they carefully tracked weekly plague-related deaths. When those deaths surpassed thirty, they banned assemblies, feasts, archery contests, and other forms of mass gathering. Since it was believed that it was impossible to become infected during the act of worship, church services were not included in the ban, though the infected were not permitted to attend. But the public theatres in London, which routinely brought together two or three thousand people in an enclosed space, were ordered shut. It could take many months before the death rate came down sufficiently for the authorities to allow theatres to reopen.

    As a shareholder and sometime actor in his playing company, as well as its principal playwright, Shakespeare had to grapple throughout his career with these repeated, economically devastating closings. There were particularly severe outbreaks of plague in 1582, 1592-93, 1603-04, 1606, and 1608-09. The theatre historian J. Leeds Barroll III, who carefully sifted through the surviving records, concluded that in the years between 1606 and 1610—the period in which Shakespeare wrote and produced some of his greatest plays, from “Macbeth” and “Antony and Cleopatra” to “The Winter’s Tale” and “The Tempest”—the London playhouses were not likely to have been open for more than a total of nine months.

    It is all the more striking, then, that in his plays and poems Shakespeare almost never directly represents the plague. He did not write anything remotely like, let alone as powerful as, his contemporary Thomas Nashe’s haunting “A Litany in Time of Plague”:

    Rich men, trust not in wealth,
    Gold cannot buy you health;
    Physic himself must fade.
    All things to end are made,
    The plague full swift goes by;
    I am sick, I must die.
      Lord, have mercy on us!

    Beauty is but a flower
    Which wrinkles will devour;
    Brightness falls from the air;
    Queens have died young and fair;
    Dust hath closed Helen’s eye.
    I am sick, I must die.
      Lord, have mercy on us!

    In Shakespeare, epidemic disease is present for the most part as a steady, low-level undertone, surfacing in his characters’ speeches most vividly in metaphorical expressions of rage and disgust. Mortally wounded in the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues, Mercutio calls down “A plague on both your houses.” “Thou art a boil,” Lear tells his daughter Goneril, “A plague-sore, or embossed carbuncle / In my corrupted blood.” “Here’s gold,” the misanthropic Timon of Athens offers his visitor. “Be as a planetary plague, when Jove / Will o’er some high-viced city hang his poison / In the sick air.” “All the contagion of the south light on you / You shames of Rome,” Coriolanus spits at the plebeians:

    You herd of—Boils and plagues
    Plaster you o’er, that you may be abhorred
    Farther than seen, and one infect another
    Against the wind a mile!

    Plague constantly appears throughout Shakespeare’s works in the form of everyday exclamations: “a plague upon it when thieves cannot be true to one another”; “a plague of sighing and grief! It blows a man up like a bladder”; “a plague upon this howling”; “a plague of these pickle-herring!” But this is a sign less of existential horror than of deep familiarity, the acceptance of plague as an inescapable feature of ordinary life. As such, it can be turned to comic effect, as when Beatrice mocks what it is to be befriended by Benedict:

    O Lord! He will hang upon him like a disease. He is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio. If he have caught the Benedict it will cost him a thousand pound ere ’a be cured.

    It can even be used with something like cheerful resignation, as when the countess Olivia in “Twelfth Night” marvels at the speed with which she has fallen in love:

    How now?
    Even so quickly may one catch the plague?
    Methinks I feel this youth’s perfections
    With an invisible and subtle stealth
    To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be.

    The contagion that continued to take so many lives has morphed into a happy image of lovesickness: “Well, let it be.”

    The plague as an actual event figures prominently in only one of Shakespeare’s plays. Friar Laurence in “Romeo and Juliet” has asked a fellow friar to deliver a crucial message to the exiled Romeo in Mantua, informing him about the clever drug that is going to make Juliet appear to have died. In a few lines, the messenger conveys a wealth of information, far more than seems strictly necessary for the requirements of the plot:

    Going to find a barefoot brother out,
    One of our order, to associate me,
    Here in this city visiting the sick,
    And finding him, the searchers of the town,
    Suspecting that we both were in a house
    Where the infectious pestilence did reign,
    Sealed up the doors and would not let us forth,
    So that my speed to Mantua there was stayed.

    Franciscans, who as a discalced order went either barefoot or in sandals, were required by their rules to travel in pairs. Hence the messenger had to locate another Franciscan in Verona (“in this city”) to accompany him (“one of our order, to associate me”). He found this intended companion visiting the sick, and both were therefore suspected of having been exposed to the disease. As a result, they were put into quarantine. “The searchers of the town”—that is, the public-health officers—literally locked them in by nailing the doors shut. The quarantine has evidently only just ended. Friar Laurence returns to the key question—“Who bare my letter, then, to Romeo?” —and receives a dismaying answer:

    I could not send it—here it is again—
    Nor get a messenger to bring it thee,
    So fearful were they of infection.

    Not only did the message never reach Romeo in Mantua but the confined friar could not get anyone even to return the undelivered letter to Friar Laurence and warn him of the problem. The crucial interval of time has now been lost, and the despairing Romeo will not receive word that Juliet is not dead but only sleeping. This tangle of unfortunate circumstances leads to the suicides of both Romeo and Juliet. The plague, which is hardly represented in the play, does not cause their deaths, but the profound social disruption it brings in its wake—conveyed in the rush of seemingly irrelevant details—plays an oddly significant role. The ill-timed quarantine is an agent of the star-crossed lovers’ tragic fate.

    There is one passage in Shakespeare’s work that vividly conveys what it must have felt like when the whole population of a city or a country fell into the iron grip of plague. It comes in “Macbeth,” which was probably first performed in the spring of 1606. (In the summer of that year, the plague erupted and forced the theatres to close for seven or eight months.) Memories were still fresh of the horrendous epidemic of 1603-04, which began around the time that Elizabeth I died, and which led her successor, the Scottish King James, to delay entering London and to postpone the public festivities planned for his coronation.

    Shakespeare’s lines conjure up a country so traumatized that it no longer recognizes itself, where the only smiles are on the faces of those who have somehow not followed the news, and where grief is so nearly universal that it scarcely is registered:

    Alas, poor country,
    Almost afraid to know itself. It cannot
    Be called our mother, but our grave, where nothing
    But who knows nothing is once seen to smile;
    Where sighs and groans and shrieks that rend the air
    Are made, not marked; where violent sorrow seems
    A modern ecstasy. The dead man’s knell
    Is there scarce asked for who, and good men’s lives
    Expire before the flowers in their caps,
    Dying or ere they sicken.

    In Shakespeare’s English, the word “modern” meant something like trivial, as when a character in “All’s Well That Ends Well” muses that “They say miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar, things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it that we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.” “Ecstasy” meant any extreme degree of feeling, the state of being beside oneself. So, for a people afflicted by the plague, violent sorrow comes to seem a commonplace emotion, a “modern ecstasy.” Extreme suffering has become so familiar that it is banal—precisely the accommodation to the recurrent epidemics that we have noted through much of Shakespeare’s work.

    The words, then, perfectly capture the experience of living in the inescapable presence of an epidemic disease and hearing constantly the ominous tolling of the church bells. But the strange thing about these lines from “Macbeth” is that they are not intended as a description of a country in the grip of a vicious plague. Instead, they describe a country in the grip of a vicious ruler. The character who speaks them, Ross, has been asked how Scotland fares under Macbeth, who is nominally the country’s legitimate king. But everyone suspects what is the case, that he has come by his exalted position through underhand means: “I fear / Thou play’dst most foully for’t.”

    The results have borne out the worst suspicions. In office, Macbeth has ruthlessly pursued his enemies and betrayed his friends. Egged on by his “fiend-like” wife, he will do anything to make himself feel perfectly secure—“Whole as the marble, founded as the rock.” But, though he always finds people willing to carry out his criminal orders, he only ever feels more anxious: “cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in / To saucy doubts and fears.” And, under increasing pressure, calculation gives way to raw impulse, the reckless confidence that his instincts are always right: “From this moment / The very firstlings of my heart shall be / The firstlings of my hand.”

    Shakespeare seems to have shared Nashe’s skepticism that there would ever be a medical solution to the plague—“Physic himself must fade”—and, from what we know of the science of his time, this pessimism was justified. He focussed his attention instead on a different plague, the plague of being governed by a mendacious, morally bankrupt, incompetent, blood-soaked, and ultimately self-destructive leader.

    Stephen Greenblatt is the John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard.
    wolfram, ando here and The Panda like this.
  17. ando here

    ando here Forum Resident

    North Pole
    Antony & Cleopatra The National Theater (2018)

    Only up until May 14.

    Steve Minkin likes this.
  18. Steve Minkin

    Steve Minkin Forum Resident

    Healdsburg CA
    Gotta catch this one! Cleo's one of the great ones. It's a trip to read the complete play, many changes of scene, Acts III and IV have a combined 28 scenes(!!), some of them just a couple of lines, lookouts on a hill, spies at a port . . .

    Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
    Her infinite variety.

    My salad days,
    When I was green in judgement, cold in blood.

    Cleopatra: If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
    Antony: There’s beggary in the love that can be reckoned.

    Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me.
    ando here likes this.
  19. Steve Minkin

    Steve Minkin Forum Resident

    Healdsburg CA
    Letter to my Shakespeare reading group:


    SHAKESPEARE'S FREEDOM – Stephen Greenblatt (2010)

    This is a much shorter, more tightly focused, and geekier book than Greenblatt's wonderful WILL IN THE WORLD. That book was a literary biography with a special interest in the times Shakespeare lived in and how the life and events of the times are reflected in the plays; it was geared to a general audience, providing an excellent overview of the development of Shakespeare's career. This is a book of ideas, dealing with recurring themes in Shakespeare's works, and their intellectual and literary backgrounds.

    A list of chapter headings will give you some idea of the material covered:
    Absolute Limits
    Shakespearean Beauty Marks
    The Limits of Hatred
    Shakespeare and the Ethics of Authority
    Shakespearean Autonomy

    The most useful way for me to use this book is as the themes come up in the individual plays themselves. There is some relevant material to Cymbeline in the section on Beauty that I'll draw on in upcoming notes.

    A particularly strong chapter is the one on the limits of hatred, which primarily deals with the two Venice plays and the hatred incited by The Others, the Jews and the Moors. I think we'll do Merchant of Venice after Cymbeline; it seems as though we should do it fairly close to Othello to deal with the many similarities in the plays. To do a quick summary of Greenblatt's chapter on hatred, we remember that Iago never explains why he hates Othello, "Demand me nothing . . ."; Shylock says little more, and goes no further than "a lodged hate and a certain loathing . . ." toward Antonio. But, faced with the loss of life and livelihood, Shylock comes up against the limits of his hate, and agrees to convert. He is not willing to die for his hatred. Iago, on the other hand, is ruled by his hatred. Although he constantly urges Roderigo to "Put money in thy purse," he himself is “entirely uninterested in his own well-being. Hatred as intense and single-minded as his is finally indifferent to his very survival." Shylock's supposed conversion makes him disappear as An Other, he is now one of us. But "honest Iago's hatred has no limits, and he is already one of us."

    The book is a brief 120 pages, dense, challenging and rewarding.

    ando here likes this.
  20. Steve Minkin

    Steve Minkin Forum Resident

    Healdsburg CA
    The Globe's Macbeth is on YouTube:

    ando here likes this.
  21. Steve Minkin

    Steve Minkin Forum Resident

    Healdsburg CA

    Our revels now are ended . . .
    ando here likes this.
  22. Steve Minkin

    Steve Minkin Forum Resident

    Healdsburg CA

    All the world's a stage , , ,
    ando here likes this.
  23. ando here

    ando here Forum Resident

    North Pole
    If you've got about $85 to spare there are a few Complete BBC Shakespeare on DVD Box Sets available on eBay. After eyeballing these sets for years I panicked when I thought there were none to found. As the current worldwide health crisis has put many in home quarrantine good deals on the sets have been snapped up quickly. I bought mine today.

    38 discs (0/All Region) , 37 plays (Richard III commprising of two discs). I believe they all have individual sleeves though I'm not sure if the set includes the original DVD artwork. Great deal, nonetheless. Looking forward to hours of fun. If you get get a set soon, do so. Only a few left.
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
  24. ando here

    ando here Forum Resident

    North Pole
    Haven't read a Greenblatt book on The Bard I didn't admire in some way. I second the recommendation.
  25. Steve Minkin

    Steve Minkin Forum Resident

    Healdsburg CA

    That set has the only decent version of Cymbeline (and some of the other lesser known plays). Ordered a copy on e-bay in early March -- seller in South Korea says all flights out of the country are cancelled, he's not sure when I'll get it. I've got a bunch of them already, will probably pass on the set, will probably regret it later.
    ando here likes this.

Share This Page