Category Archives: Shakespeare

PLAGIARISM SOFTWARE PINS DOWN NEW SOURCE FOR SHAKESPEARE’S PLAYS ·

(Alison Flood’s article appeared in the Guardian, 2/9.)

Plagiarism software more commonly used to check student essays for overly assiduous borrowings has uncovered a long-forgotten, handwritten document from 1576 as the possible source for more than 20 monologues and passages from Shakespeare’s plays.

Independent scholar Dennis McCarthy and LaFayette College professor June Schlueter used WCopyfind software to compare passages from Shakespeare’s plays with George North’s 1576 unpublished manuscript, A Brief Discourse of Rebellion, about the dangers of rebelling against a king. They were able to trace more than 20 passages back to the essay, including Gloucester’s opening soliloquy in Richard III, Macbeth’s comparison of dog breeds to different classes of men, the Fool’s Merlin prophecy in King Lear, and the events surrounding Jack Cade’s fatal fight with Alexander Iden in Henry VI.

“Until now, no Shakespeare scholar has studied the manuscript, and it has probably remained little read. Yet, as our analysis has revealed, Discourse is not merely the only uniquely existent, evidently uncopied document to have had a substantial impact on the canon; it is one of the most influential Shakespearean source texts in any form,” they write in a new book, A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels by George North, which is published on 16 February by Boydell & Brewer, in collaboration with the British Library. “In terms of the number of plays, scenes and passages affected, the scope of the manuscript’s influence likely exceeds all other known Shakespearean sources, excepting only the Chronicles of Hall and Holinshed and Thomas North’s Plutarch’s Lives.”

(Read more)

 

AT SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK, EVERYDAY NEW YORKERS WILL TAKE THE STAGE ·

(Peter Libbey’s article appeared in The New York Times, 1/22; via Pam Green.)

This summer, the Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park will be both for the people of New York and by the people of New York.

From July 17 to Aug. 19, two rotating ensembles of New Yorkers from all five boroughs will appear alongside five equity actors at the Delacorte Theater in a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub, with music and lyrics by Ms. Taub.

This will be the first time the Public has included a production from its participatory theater program, Public Works, in its regular summer program.

“This summer, we are making a huge leap forward by presenting a full-length run of a Public Works show,” said Oskar Eustis, the Public Theater’s artistic director, in a statement. “Surrounded by a huge ensemble of community members, ‘Twelfth Night’ will reach an enormously expanded audience with the deep Public Works message that everyone is an artist, and we are all in this together.”

(Read more)

Photo: Joan Marcus

VLADIMIR VYSOTSKY SONGS THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BE ACCEPTED BY RUSSIANS ·

(Alexandra Guzeva’s article appeared in Russia Beyond the Headlines, 1/25.)

He was a sex symbol, the Soviet Kurt Cobain whose star burned brightly and was soon extinguished. Unique in all ways, you won’t confuse Vladimir Vysotsky’s voice with any other: It will sear your soul.

Born into a poor family in Moscow in the turbulent year of 1938, Vladimir Vysotsky went on to become a very talented singer, songwriter and actor. Among his best roles in cinema are the police captain in the TV series, The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed; the White Army officer in Two Comrades Were Serving; and Don Juan in Little Tragedies. His most famous theater role was Hamlet at the Taganka Theater, Moscow’s progressive stage in the 1960s-1970s.

(Read more)

https://www.rbth.com/arts/327360-5-vysotsky-songs-you-need-know

 

ORSON WELLES AND SHAKESPEARE ·

(from Folger Shakespeare Library; via Pam Green.)

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 89

There was a time when Orson Welles was one of America’s biggest celebrities. 

In 1938, he made national headlines when the radio show he produced did a version of The War of the Worlds that was so realistic people actually thought the country was under attack by Martians. Then he went to Hollywood and made Citizen Kane, which is still considered one of the greatest movies of all time. And he did all of this by the age of 26.

For his entire life though, Welles’s obsession was Shakespeare. He produced and starred in Shakespeare plays on Broadway and directed and starred in multiple versions of Shakespeare’s work on film, including Chimes at Midnight.

Our guest is Michael Anderegg, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of North Dakota and the author of Orson Welles, Shakespeare, and Popular Culture.

(Go to site)

 

 

HOW TO MEMORIZE SHAKESPEARE ·

(Malia Wollan’s article appeared 11/22 in The New York Times; via Pam Green.)

 “Get up on your feet, and speak the words aloud,” says Jacqui O’Hanlon, the director of education at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Shakespeare wrote these lines some 400 years ago; the worst way to learn them is sitting down and reading them in your head. Start with a few image-rich lines from, say, “Henry V.” Young people should consider choosing something from star-crossed lovers, as when Juliet says, “Come, gentle night; come, loving, black-browed night, give me my Romeo.”

It helps to read through a synopsis of the play first to know the basic plot. Get a partner to whisper the lines while you repeat. With professional actors and students alike, the Royal Shakespeare Company begins with something they call “imaging the text”: Act out the images. It will feel silly, but making a window with your limbs or galloping like a horse embeds the lines in your mind. Listen for the playwright’s beat. Shakespeare mostly composed in iambic pentameter, a rhythm in which unstressed syllables are followed by stressed ones; O’Hanlon describes it as “the rhythm of your heart.”

(Read more)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/22/magazine/how-to-memorize-shakespeare.html

SHAKESPEARE AND WAR: STEPHAN WOLFERT ·

(from the Folger Shakespeare Library; via Pam Green.)

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 81

In his one-man show Cry Havoc! actor Stephan Wolfert, a US Army veteran, draws together lines in Shakespeare’s plays spoken by soldiers and former soldiers—including MacbethOthello, and Richard III.

He puts those words to the task of explaining the toll that soldiering and war can take on the psyches of the men and women who volunteer for military duty. Wolfert also runs free weekly veterans-only acting classes aimed at helping them readjust to life as civilians.

He is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published September 5, 2017. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This episode, To the Battle Came He, was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington. Esther French is the web producer. We had help from Beth Emelson, Associate Artistic Producer of Folger Theatre; Eric Tucker, Artistic Director of Bedlam; Melissa Kuypers at NPR-West in Culver City, California; and from Ray Cruz at Hawaii Public Radio.

For more information on Cry Havoc!, or to find one of the acting classes Wolfert offers for veterans, visit decruit.org.

(Read more)

https://www.folger.edu/shakespeare-unlimited/war-stephan-wolfert

Photo: Berkshire On Stage

 

CAN YOU MATCH THE FAMOUS SHAKESPEARE LINE TO ITS PLAY? ·

(Annette’s quiz appeared in How Stuff Works; via Pam Green.)  

All the world is a quiz, and the wrong answers are merely failures. In this quiz, we’ll test your knowledge of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes. Can you match each of them to the right play?

  1. “To be, or not to be: that is the question.”

King Lear

Macbeth

Hamlet

(Read more)

http://quizzes.howstuffworks.com/quiz/can-you-match-the-famous-shakespeare-line-its-play?acct=act_10153036824292945&utm_medium=paid&utm_source=facebook&asid=6094320928364&adid=6094320930564&mkcpgn=e3016e6add0a4261be838bf067e725f7&sg_uid=e3016e6add0a4261be838bf067e725f7

THE SECRET GRAVE OF SHAKESPEARE: SCHOLAR CLAIMS HE CRACKED A CODE THAT REVEALS THE BARD IS BURIED BENEATH POET’S CORNER IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY ·

(Liz Dunphy’s article appeared in Mail Online,  10/27.)

  • Alexander Waugh says the poet is buried at Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey
  • This contradicts the view that he lies at Holy Trinity church, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • He said he discovered the new theory after decoding encryptions in the title and dedication pages of Aspley’s edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets of 1609

A new theory has emerged about the final resting place to William Shakespeare

A scholar claims he has cracked a secret code which unearths the real resting place of Britain’s best known bard, William Shakespeare.

Alexander Waugh says that the literary luminary is actually buried beneath Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey – not the Holy Trinity church in Stratford-upon-Avon as previously thought.

The writer, who is grandson of novelist Evelyn Waugh, said that he discovered the new theory after decoding encryptions in the title and dedication pages of Aspley’s edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets of 1609.

He is due to present his research at a conference tomorrow at the Globe Theatre in London, which is a reconstruction of an Elizabethan playhouse.

 
(Read more)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5025977/Scholar-claims-Shakepeare-buried-Westminster-Abbey.html

Photo: Javen Tanner

YALE ‘DECOLONIZES’ ENGLISH DEPT. AFTER COMPLAINTS STUDYING WHITE AUTHORS ‘ACTIVELY HARMS’ STUDENTS ·

(Aryssa Damron’s article appeared in the Yale University College Fix, 10/27; via the Drudge Report.)

English majors no longer required to take class focused on Chaucer, Shakespeare

A year and a half after a petition circulated calling for Yale to “decolonize the English department,” the first students are enrolled in a new course created by the department to increase the breadth of the curriculum and combat claims of departmental racism.

What’s more, new requirements are in place to ensure a more “diversified” slate of courses.

Previous requirements for the major included two courses in “Major English Poets,” including Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton and Eliot, among others. But that two-course series petitioners had deemed actively harmful due to its focus on white male poets. The series is no longer a graduation requirement for Yale’s English majors.

The petition, a Google document which has since been made private, critiqued the perceived whiteness of the English department requirements: “A year spent around a seminar table where the literary contributions of women, people of color, and queer folk are absent actively harms all students, regardless of their identity.”

“It’s time for the English major to decolonize — not diversify — its course offerings,” the petition added. “A 21st century education is a diverse education: we write to you today inspired by student activism across the university, and to make sure that you know that the English department is not immune from the collective call to action.”

Nearly a year after the petition, around seven months ago, Yale’s English faculty voted to “diversity” the curriculum. At the time of the vote, the director of the department’s undergraduate studies, Jessica Brantley, told The Yale Daily News: “We’ve constructed a curriculum that has inclusion as its goal, embedded in the structures of its requirements, and I’m very excited to implement and develop that curriculum further.”

The reconfiguring of the English department’s required courses did not directly address the demands of the petition to do away with the Major English Poets sequences altogether; the courses still exist. The reconfiguration also did not refocus the program’s pre-1800 and pre-1900 literature requirement to address issues of race, gender, and sexuality as demanded by the petition.

Instead, the English department now allows students to fill three required prerequisites from a choice of four different courses: Readings in English Poetry 1, Readings in English Poetry 2, Readings in American Literature, and a newly created course, Readings in Comparative World English Literature.

(Read more)

https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/38303/

SHAKESPEARE IN SWAHILILAND ·

 

(from the Folger Shakespeare Library; via Pam Green.)

Two literary scholars discuss Shakespeare’s influence on the politics, history, and literary culture of East Africa. 

Edward Wilson-Lee, the son of white wildlife conservationists, spent his childhood in Kenya and now teaches Shakespeare at the University of Cambridge in England. Over the past few years he has spent extended periods back in Kenya, as well as in Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Sudan, researching his book, Shakespeare in Swahililand

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong’o, the renowned Kenyan playwright, novelist, dissident, and social activist, grew up in Kenya when it was still a British colony and is now a Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. His most recent work is the memoir Birth of a Dream Weaver

Ngũgĩ and Edward were interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

(Read more)

https://www.folger.edu/shakespeare-unlimited/shakespeare-in-swahililand?utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ShakespearePlus4Oct2017&utm_content=version_B&promo=

Photos (top to bottomg)

Edward Wilson-Lee: YouTube 

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong’o: Face2Face Africa