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BS: shakespeare

The Sandman 16 Jan 19 - 05:02 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Jan 19 - 09:14 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Jan 19 - 10:31 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Jan 19 - 10:43 AM
Charmion 16 Jan 19 - 10:47 AM
keberoxu 16 Jan 19 - 01:18 PM
Donuel 16 Jan 19 - 01:32 PM
The Sandman 16 Jan 19 - 02:23 PM
Donuel 16 Jan 19 - 02:28 PM
Stanron 16 Jan 19 - 02:45 PM
G-Force 16 Jan 19 - 02:49 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Jan 19 - 02:58 PM
Jos 16 Jan 19 - 03:08 PM
David Carter (UK) 17 Jan 19 - 02:34 PM
Amergin 17 Jan 19 - 03:48 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Jan 19 - 03:53 PM
Nigel Parsons 17 Jan 19 - 04:21 PM
Mr Red 18 Jan 19 - 04:11 AM
Neil D 19 Jan 19 - 02:56 AM
The Sandman 19 Jan 19 - 04:19 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 19 - 05:36 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 19 Jan 19 - 06:32 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jan 19 - 06:39 AM
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Jim Carroll 19 Jan 19 - 08:40 AM
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Senoufou 19 Jan 19 - 10:05 AM
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The Sandman 22 Jan 19 - 01:35 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Jan 19 - 09:16 AM
The Sandman 29 Jan 19 - 04:07 AM
The Sandman 29 Jan 19 - 04:13 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jan 19 - 05:17 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Jan 19 - 05:29 AM
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The Sandman 29 Jan 19 - 01:34 PM
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The Sandman 31 Jan 19 - 02:57 PM
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robomatic 01 Feb 19 - 02:37 AM
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The Sandman 01 Feb 19 - 05:02 AM
Iains 01 Feb 19 - 05:12 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Feb 19 - 05:16 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Feb 19 - 06:46 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Feb 19 - 08:40 AM
EBarnacle 01 Feb 19 - 09:02 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Feb 19 - 09:41 AM
The Sandman 01 Feb 19 - 10:13 AM
EBarnacle 01 Feb 19 - 11:44 AM
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Jim Carroll 02 Feb 19 - 03:46 AM
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The Sandman 02 Feb 19 - 10:44 AM
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The Sandman 02 Feb 19 - 01:57 PM
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meself 02 Feb 19 - 05:47 PM
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The Sandman 03 Feb 19 - 05:37 AM
Iains 04 Feb 19 - 06:21 AM
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EBarnacle 04 Feb 19 - 09:13 PM
meself 05 Feb 19 - 10:46 AM
The Sandman 06 Feb 19 - 12:31 PM
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Subject: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 05:02 AM

in my opinion his content of historical plays he shows himself to be an establishment lackey. however he does write beautifully. how do thers feel about his work


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 09:14 AM

I think they are much ado about nothing but if that is as you like it then all's well that ends well.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 10:31 AM

I like the Henry IV's and Richard II - I saw Timothy Dalton play Hal at the Roundhouse in London years ago, and also thought the Beeb's Hollow Crown series was superb (worth the price of the DVDs just for the banish-not-Falstaff scene alone). On the strength of that, I've bought, but not yet watched, the next plays in the line. Looking forward to Cumberbatch as Richard III, and also Sophie Okonedo, who's long been a fave of mine.

Wish WS had written a play about Queen Elizabeth & Mary Queen of Scots, but he wouldn't have dared, I suppose.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 10:43 AM

PS (to address the actual topic raised): I don't see any particular establishment-lackeyism in the above works I referred to, and am not exactly sure how that term is being defined here. As we know, Shakespeare's historical accuracy is sometimes - shall we say - a bit fanciful. But (a) he had to consider his plays in a commercial bums-on-seats (or bums-on-ground) context, which meant providing a strong dramatic line; and (b) he still had to be a bit careful of what he said, owing to the prevailing politics of the day, and also which powerful families he was in danger of offending. It concentrates the mind wonderfully.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Charmion
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 10:47 AM

I live in Stratford, Ontario, where Shakespeare is what brings in the punters to the theatre festival that keeps this town alive and prospering. Many come for the Culture with a capital C, and then come back because the plots blow their socks off.

Coriolanus did that for me last summer, despite the director’s misguided attempts to put a gay “love that dare not speak its name” spin on the relationship between Coriolanus and his ex-enemy and friend in need, Aegidius.

One problem with the Bard is that he’s so canonical — and so free of copyright — that impresarios can’t resist screwing around with the plays any way they can think of. Our female Prospero was okay, but casting a woman — even a great actor — as Julius Caesar was just silly. I hope I never see Othello played by a blonde woman in dreadlocks, but I fear it’s but a matter of time.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 01:18 PM

Well, The Merchant of Venice is one of several problematic dramas here.

It is Shakespeare's genius to give a superb speech to Shylock -- Hath not a Jew eyes? and so on -- and he still plays to the gallery by having Shylock shut down, by the law, before the pardon that spares Shylock his life.

Likewise, before Portia, disguised as a man, lays down the law on Shylock and his desired pound of flesh, Shakespeare gives her the superlative "The quality of mercy" speech.

It seems as though the playwright wants it both ways in that one.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 01:32 PM

I saw Dame Judith Anderson as Hamlet 40 years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 02:23 PM

Bonnie, let us take the play Richard the third , S portrayed Richard in a certain way , why because he was writing during the period   1580 T0 1616, WHO WAS ON THE THRONE/?Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. SHE WAS THE GRANDAUGHTER OF HENRY 7 TH WHO DEFEATED RICHARD THE THIRD.
THE PLAY IS BIASED TOWARDS THE POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TIME AND DOUBTS MUST BE CAST ON ITS FACTUAL ACCURACY, he was an establishment poodle


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 02:28 PM

A guy's gotta eat.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Stanron
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 02:45 PM

The Sandman wrote: he was an establishment poodle
Had he written against the Queen or the Queen's family he would have died quite quickly. There were very different rules back then.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: G-Force
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 02:49 PM

Sandman, if you were living in North Korea would you be singing songs critical of the Kim dynasty? I don't think so. So you'd be a lackey too.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 02:58 PM

Re-read my post, Dick. It's not genealogy that drives leaders, it's the power currents of their own times and situations. And I did already mention WS's historical inaccuracies. But he's also engaging with universal psychological truths, as good dramatists must.

I'm not commenting any further here, though that's no fault of yours or anyone else in this thread. But after what's just happened in Parliament, I'm in no mood for any kind of political analyses, even if they took place centuries ago. Switching the internet off, gonna eat a pizza, watch a DVD, and find something alcoholic to drink. Not necessarily in that order.

Sorry if I sound crabby. I AM crabby.

#WTFhappensnow?


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jos
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 03:08 PM

"#WT*happensnow?"

Just more of the same, I suspect - round and round and going nowhere ...


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 17 Jan 19 - 02:34 PM

Of course Shakespeare was an establishment lackey. He had seen what happened to Marlowe.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Amergin
Date: 17 Jan 19 - 03:48 PM

Well the asinine opening post is obviously much ado about nothing.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jan 19 - 03:53 PM

Coriol anus


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 17 Jan 19 - 04:21 PM

Bonnie, let us take the play Richard the third , S portrayed Richard in a certain way , why because he was writing during the period   1580 T0 1616, WHO WAS ON THE THRONE/?Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. SHE WAS THE GRANDAUGHTER OF HENRY 7 TH WHO DEFEATED RICHARD THE THIRD.
THE PLAY IS BIASED TOWARDS THE POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TIME AND DOUBTS MUST BE CAST ON ITS FACTUAL ACCURACY, he was an establishment poodle


Why does any of the above make him 'an establishment poodle'? He was born during the reign of Elizabeth. Is he likely to have had any access to information on the history of royalty other than that which was current (and acceptable) at that time?


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Mr Red
Date: 18 Jan 19 - 04:11 AM

And why is Bill Shake full of quotations? A bit cliché if you ask me.

And the company that owned the Globe (or was it the Rose?) - didn't they also have a bear baiting pit next door?


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Neil D
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 02:56 AM

Coriol anus. Huh-huh, huh-huh. That's pretty funny Beavis.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 04:19 AM

Christopher Marlowe,[1] also known as Kit Marlowe (/'m??rlo?/; baptised 26 February 1564 – 30 May 1593), was an English playwright, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. Marlowe was the foremost Elizabethan tragedian of his day.[2] He greatly influenced William Shakespeare, who was born in the same year as Marlowe and who rose to become the pre-eminent Elizabethan playwright after Marlowe's mysterious early death. Marlowe's plays are known for the use of blank verse and their overreaching protagonists.

A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May 1593. No reason was given for it, though it was thought to be connected to allegations of blasphemy—a manuscript believed to have been written by Marlowe was said to contain "vile heretical conceipts". On 20 May, he was brought to the court to attend upon the Privy Council for questioning. There is no record of their having met that day, however, and he was commanded to attend upon them each day thereafter until "licensed to the contrary". Ten days later, he was stabbed to death by Ingram Frizer. Whether or not the stabbing was connected to his arrest remains unknown.[3]


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 05:36 AM

It seems to me Shakespeare needs to be judged in context of the uneasy times he was living in - the uneasy period following the despotism of Henry VIII and the insanity of anti Catholicism which made open criticism of the establishment a dodgy exercise - in the circumstances, I don't think he did too badly
If you saw the magnificent Shakespeare 'War of the Roses' compendium - 'The Hollow Crown, the monarchy can hardly be said to have gotten of lightly

Far from being "clichéd" (lacking in original thought) Shakespeare's writings were original though - all his on work, and beautifully executed
Early this week we saw a filmed live performance of 'Richard II' for the first time
I thought it a poor production - based entirely in one room (a large metal box), with a cast of excellent actors playing multiple parts
Despite the difficulty of following the plot and working out who was who, the beautiful use of language still made the experience an enjoyable one
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 06:32 AM

Also remember the trouble Shakespeare's father got into for his Catholic leanings & sympathies, at a time when this drew harsh punishments; so his name was already tainted. And then there are those ten "missing years" in the known facts of his life - which I think Michael Wood has solved (his TV documentary In Search Of Shakespeare is excellent). Scholars still aren't sure whether WS himself was a "closet Papist" or not - which doesn't matter now, but sure as hell did then. He really had to tread carefully, AND make a living, with a family to support. You can't impose 21st-century liberal sensibilities on a Renaissance artist trying to survive under a very different social and political system.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 06:39 AM

When somebody can point to a work as universally and timelessly brilliant and relevant as Hamlet they may start to have a point
The beauty of the language still brings a lump to the throat - never fails
Just thinking about it....!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jos
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 06:47 AM

Jim, did it really not occur to you that the comment about Shakespeare's "cliché" just might have been a little joke ... ?


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: KarenH
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 07:13 AM

May I put in a word for Ben Elton's brilliant series on Shakespeare? At first I didn't like the choice of actor for Shakespeare, but now I think it was inspired.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 07:27 AM

What series is that, Karen? I'm certainly interested to know more - is there a link anywhere?


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 07:33 AM

Do you mean the film All Is True? Haven't seen it, but now want to, so thanks for the prompt!


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 07:41 AM

Ah, Upstart Crow I bet...


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 08:40 AM

"Jim, did it really not occur to you that the comment about Shakespeare's "cliché" just might have been a little joke ... ?"
If it was, I apologise - I have heard in said in all seriousness before now though

The best series of programmes on Shakespeare, 'My Shakespeare' was broadcast on Sky Arts (before it lost a channel and was dumbed down) filmed different leading actors talking about their various roles - I saved most of them and replay them occasionally - a really magnificent series of analyses of the characters they played
The one disappointment was David Tennant who, I thought, somewhat trivialised Hamlet
Just learned that Benedict Cumberbach's Hamlet is due for a screening in a couple of weeks in our local Arts Centre

One of the greatest surprises was Al Pachino's 'Merchant of Venice' - a play I have always had trouble with - approached superbly and sensitively
It was an odd, uplifting experience watching it one afternoon in the Galway Multiplex
We chose our seats in a near-empty cinema and, just before the film started about a dozen schoolgirls, unaccompanied, sat down a couple of rows in front of us
We expected fidgeting and chatting throughout - instead, rapt attention for the whole performance, followed by excited discussion #
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 08:40 AM

"Jim, did it really not occur to you that the comment about Shakespeare's "cliché" just might have been a little joke ... ?"
If it was, I apologise - I have heard in said in all seriousness before now though

The best series of programmes on Shakespeare, 'My Shakespeare' was broadcast on Sky Arts (before it lost a channel and was dumbed down) filmed different leading actors talking about their various roles - I saved most of them and replay them occasionally - a really magnificent series of analyses of the characters they played
The one disappointment was David Tennant who, I thought, somewhat trivialised Hamlet
Just learned that Benedict Cumberbach's Hamlet is due for a screening in a couple of weeks in our local Arts Centre

One of the greatest surprises was Al Pachino's 'Merchant of Venice' - a play I have always had trouble with - approached superbly and sensitively
It was an odd, uplifting experience watching it one afternoon in the Galway Multiplex
We chose our seats in a near-empty cinema and, just before the film started about a dozen schoolgirls, unaccompanied, sat down a couple of rows in front of us
We expected fidgeting and chatting throughout - instead, rapt attention for the whole performance, followed by excited discussion #
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 08:57 AM

Jim, is that Sky Arts programme available on DVD anywhere? It sounds fascinating and I'd love to see it. Ditto this (speaking of Al Pacino):

Looking For Richard

I have heard it said in all seriousness before now though

Gawd, so have I. About how he's soooooo boring, nothing but a load of old quotes...


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 09:34 AM

"Jim, is that Sky Arts programme available on DVD anywhere? "Don't know Bonnie - maybe through Sky
There are about ten of them I think - I don't think they are available, but we've just purchased a film receiver which includes a channel for television box sets - I'll check it out later
It would be wonderful if Sky re-ran it
I enjoyed 'Looking for Richard' too
We have a DVD of Orson Welles'Chimes at Midnight' (Falstaff) waiting to be viewed - I thoroughly enjoyed it first time around (a lifetime ago)
I would highly recommend 'Ran' to anybody who hasn't seen it - a magnificent Japanese re-adaptation of King Lear (Kirosawa) with a malevolent Lady Macbeth thrown in for good measure   
Last year we saw the filmed live performance of 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' from The National - never quite made my mind up about it - it was directed by a self-confessed fan of 'The Only Way is Essex' which obviously influenced her approach - great fun, but it ain't Shakespeare
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Senoufou
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 10:05 AM

I studied Shakespeare for my A levels (Othello was my favourite of all) and when I arrived for my first lecture in Eng Lit at University, the lecturer began with a list of stuff we had to 'read, learn and inwardly digest'.

He stood there and sternly demanded we familiarise ourselves with 'the entire works of Shakespeare, Chaucer, all the Romance poets, Robert Burns, the Brontes....' and on and on.

I already had a huge list of literature to study for my main subject (French), not to mention Soc Anth., Moral Phil., Sociology, Linguistics, Phonetics etc.

I was only seventeen, very tiny and thin, and staggered out of the University Bookshop with a huge pile of heavy books (the Library was excellent, but the Arts Faculty students had taken out most of the set books already) and tottering to the bus stop to my Halls of Residence. I wore a tatty duffel coat and a massive Edinburgh scarf which almost hid me from sight.

I wished Shakespeare had written rather fewer blooming plays!


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 10:06 AM

Thanks for all mouth-watering heads-ups, Jim - I'll check out as many of them as I can (tho we don't subscribe to $ky).

I second your recommendation of Ran, which I saw on the big screen (remember those?) aeons ago. Changing the daughters into sons so that one of them could have a Lady-MacBeth-wife was inspired. Her even-more-artificial-than-usual eyebrows, relentlessly grey-toned attire, and flat, affectless voice rendered her utterly chilling.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 10:07 AM

YOU MIGHT TRY HERE BONNIE

I suppose everybody knows the story of Richard Burton's Shakespeare experience with Richard III
He was sitting in The Lamb, in a backstreet off St Martins Lane, a favourite hangout for actors appearing in the local theatres, when he made the acquaintance of two visitors to London
After a while he told them he had complimentary tickets to a current performance of Richard III and asked them if they'd care to join him
They settled down in their excellent seats and, as the curtain rose, he whispered to them "You know, I'm really pleased with my interpretation of Richard in the first act..... OH SHIT"
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 12:09 PM

"(remember those?)"
We have revived our visits to the cinema greatly recently, but the only way we can get to see the films that interest us is to travel to galway (60 miles) or Dublin - usually a two/three night stop taking in as many as we can in the tame (our record is six films in three days)
Just got back from Galway, where we saw 'Stan and Ollie' (highly pleasurable), Richard II (good but should have been better) and 'The Favourite' (brutally brilliant - don't get me stated about Queen Anne)
We find, to our delight, that we can now watch newly released films on our Sky Box - looking forward to 'The Young Karl Marx' (missed it when it came out) and Mary Queen of Scots
Some films simply don't work on the small screen - I remember, when living in Manchester, having to sit on the front row of a Cinemascope production of 'War and Peace' and ducking to avoid the horse shit - you just don't get that experience in your living room
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 12:25 PM

all his on work

Shakespearean schollars do say the his favoured actor Burbage had a large influence on the plays he performed in.

I would posit there are two immediately obvious reasons.

1) he had to deliver the lines, and any playwrite will tell you, the script changes in rehearsal and in production.

2) Bill Shake would have written to the strengths of his cast, and particularly Burbage.

3) Contrary to popular comedians' impression of him as a Brummy, Shakespeare would not have had that accent, it would have been more Warwickshire (Brum was not even a village near Aston at the time). And Burbage would have been distinctly Mummerset, where he was from. Oo Arr.

cliche eh? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 01:04 PM

Wonder whether he could spell scholars ? :-)
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jan 19 - 04:00 PM

We find, to our delight, that we can now watch newly released films on our Sky Box"
Jim you disappoint me you financially support Murdoch?Iwould rather not have a television than supoprt that nasty capitalist


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 02:55 AM

Dick
If we weer all able to adhere to our principles, we'd read very little, watch nothing and probably have to live in a tent on the Yorshire Moors (is we could find a tent not manufactured by sweat labour
I would rather continue keep in touch with what's happening in the world in the hope of changing it
Do you know that parts of computers and mobile phones are assembled by people working under near-slave labour conditions - have you checked whether yours were?
I hope this is only a passing diversion in a very enjoyable thread - I won't respond again and I hope you don't
Best wishes
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 03:28 AM

Meanwhile - back at the ranch

"Shakespearean schollars"
Very little is known about Shakespeare, apart from his plays (and even the authorship of those is under constant dispute)
Information on his background, influences, accent, sources... is sparse to the point of non-existence (a trip round the Globe Museum shows that pretty clearly) so it is as likely that the writers of 'Shakespeare in Love' (lovely, re-visitable film) are as as accurate as most (and certainly a damn sight more entertaining)
I believe it is Shakespeare's use of the English language that makes him the literary colossus that he remains after all these centuries
Whether he invented his quoteable outpourings or borrowed them is immaterial - his use of them is uniquely superb - you don't find his equal in Jonson, or Marlow, or Webster, or Kyd, or Fletcher .... or any of his contemporaries.... or those from a later date, as enjoyable as they are

I'm not sure that originality is that important anyway - for me, the knack of observation and recreation is every bit as important as imaginative new creation
As people who know my tastes in music will be aware, I consider MacColl to be the finest song-maker of my lifetime creating in traditional forms.
In my opinion, his best and most ageless songs are the ones he made by recording the people he was writing about and making songs from what they said - 'Freeborn Man', 'Shoals of Herring', 'The Tenant Farmer', Shellback..... all - and more lifted directly from the spoken word, with all its literary flaws and grammatical inconsistencies.
MacColl seeped himself in the vernacular - wherever Shakespeare took his inspiration from, his use of language leaves me with the same impression
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 04:49 AM

I believe it is Shakespeare's use of the English language that makes him the literary colossus that he remains after all these centuries"
Yes,
however one difference between MacColl and Shakespeare is that MacColl was trying to achieve social change and fight against injustice.
Shakespeare did not challenge the status quo, he was part and parcel of Tudor propaganda and the tudor establishmernt
iF one makes a comparison to George Eliot who also wrote beautiful English ,Shakespears lack of social conscience becomes apparent


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Mr Red
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 04:51 AM

Wonder whether he could spell scholars ? :-)

You are presuming that he used modern spelling? He was ahead of his time, but not that far ahead. !-)

One thing is certain - he used language that spoke to his audience. Otherwise he would not have had an audience.

He was a dab hand at the bow and arrow, and not averse to using them on the local deer. That much is well documented. It is the reason he had to go to London, or, at least, places other than Stratford/Shottery or Charlcote where the Lord of the Manor was the magistrate and owner of said deer.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 05:00 AM

or Thomas Hardy, this poem has more power than anything Shakespeare in his pomp anmd verbosity ever managed to say, and Hardy does it in 4 lines truly brilliant, concise and challenging
Christmas: 1924

'Peace upon earth!' was said. We sing it,
And pay a million priests to bring it.
After two thousand years of mass
We've got as far as poison-gas.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 05:14 AM

"You are presuming that he used modern spelling?"
Nope - I made a joke and put a smiley behind it
His audience presents us with one of the great enigmas of understanding Shakespeare - they were largely "the sweepings of the London streets", not similar in class to the readers of Dickens, yet today's equivalents would largely run a mile before sitting though 'King Lear' or reading 'Great Expectations'   
I had both educated out of me at school, where I was told on leaving that all I needed to know was how to tot up my wage packet at the end of the week
I was lucky enough to come from a family background where both were considered important and enjoyable

"MacColl was trying to achieve social change and fight against injustice."
Not entirely Dick - MacColl was a Socialist reformer, certainly, but he worked by holding up working class art as being creatively important and usin it to create his own compositions
We don't know why Shakespeare wrote how and why he did but it's a debatable point as to whether he did not challenge the status quo
I would suggest that, by presenting the Monarchy and Nobility as flawed human beings rather than the "appointed by God" superhumans they were often regarded as, he managed to challenge the status quo and keep his head on his shoulders at the same time - not a bad trick in those days


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 05:15 AM

"You are presuming that he used modern spelling?"
Nope - I made a joke and put a smiley behind it
His audience presents us with one of the great enigmas of understanding Shakespeare - they were largely "the sweepings of the London streets", not similar in class to the readers of Dickens, yet today's equivalents would largely run a mile before sitting though 'King Lear' or reading 'Great Expectations'   
I had both educated out of me at school, where I was told on leaving that all I needed to know was how to tot up my wage packet at the end of the week
I was lucky enough to come from a family background where both were considered important and enjoyable

"MacColl was trying to achieve social change and fight against injustice."
Not entirely Dick - MacColl was a Socialist reformer, certainly, but he worked by holding up working class art as being creatively important and usin it to create his own compositions
We don't know why Shakespeare wrote how and why he did but it's a debatable point as to whether he did not challenge the status quo
I would suggest that, by presenting the Monarchy and Nobility as flawed human beings rather than the "appointed by God" superhumans they were often regarded as, he managed to challenge the status quo and keep his head on his shoulders at the same time - not a bad trick in those days
You obviously don't like Shakespeare - I pity your loss
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 05:34 AM

It's not only Shakespeare's incomparable command of language that keeps him immortal. I'm also gripped, time and time again, by his piercing insights into the human mind: how the psyche works, what drives it, the consequences, internal and external, that arise when these come into opposition.

Shakespeare is one of civilisation's true giants. Not for nothing has he lived on in modern societies for century after century, in country after country. He's accompanied me in every age since my youth, and will light my way to dusty death.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 05:38 AM

Amen to that Bonnie
I seriously believe Hamlet predated Freud by three centuries
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 06:42 AM

Nice try but no cigar, Jim.


I'll get me coat then...


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 09:14 AM

Not for nothing has he lived on in modern societies for century after century, in country after country"
Could it be that he has always been on the schools syllabus because he did not challenge the status quo, schoolchildren have no choice as to whether Shakespeare is taught to them, it is part of the school curriculum , did not the Jesuits say get them young and they are yours for life, i rest my case.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 09:31 AM

"Could it be that he has always been on the schools syllabus because he did not challenge the status quo, "
No
You really aren't interested in what others have to say, are you Dick?
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 10:10 AM

Dick: No


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 10:10 AM

Dick: No


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 10:10 AM

[Sorry, duplication was unintentional]


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 11:03 AM

Worth saying twice Bonnie
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 02:01 PM

Yes. I am allowed to question and challenge what others have to say. It is an undisputed fact that school children are [as part of the school curriculum] made to read Shakespeare, in doing so they are made to accept his historical fiction as if it is presented as fact.
I do not disasgree that his style of writing is beautiful,I do agree that some of his plays Macbeth and Hamlet are very good.,in my opinion Shakespeare is compulsory not just because his style is good but the content is mostly pro establishment.
,Jim, please dont make any more excuses about why you put money into skybox and murdoch,Ido not own a television , and it gives me more time to ead books and play music, you are a typical armchair socialist, you should be ashaned of yourself giving money to rupert murdoch


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Senoufou
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 02:14 PM

As a teacher myself, I think it's vital that Shakespeare is taught imaginatively and with enormous enthusiasm, otherwise youngsters may be put of for life.
A stuffy, boring English teacher droning on and on from various plays with obscure vocabulary could induce somnolence (or misbehaviour!).

I was incredibly lucky with Mr Shearn. I now have an idea that he was gay, as he was wonderfully flamboyant and almost acted out the roles as he read them to us. He made us laugh, sad, a bit frightened and horrified in turns. Wonderful teacher.
A bit like that film Dead Poets' Society.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Senoufou
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 02:15 PM

That should say 'off' not 'of'. I was taught to spell!


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 02:28 PM

My teachers (English lit and drama classes, several years of each) specifically told us that Shakespeare's history was not to be taken as literal truth, that it came from a varied mix of influences (not to mention a highly fertile imagination), and they actively encouraged us to question and explore, to study the factual sources, and to draw our own interpretations & conclusions.

That's what good literature/theatre do, activate something in the reader or viewer that adds up to more than the sum of its parts. And I still believe that an artist - any artist - cannot be dismissed simply because they don't fit a particular ideological viewpoint, especially one formed centuries later.

In any case, he was not taught to me in brainwash-fashion.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 02:33 PM

"Yes. I am allowed to question and challenge what others have to say. I"
O course you are Dick - it is just bad manners to repeat the same thing over and over again as if you hadn't been given a response
If you don't agree with what is being suggested - disagree with it, that's what we're here for
Same with Rupert Murdoch
If you want to insult someone, go find someone else please
Over and out
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 02:39 PM

You didn't respond to my computer comment Dick - have you checked it wasn't made by near slave labour - far worse than dealing with Sky


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 04:37 PM

Article by
Noah Berlatsky
Aug 5, 2014

Ira Glass recently admitted that he is not all that into Shakespeare, explaining that Shakespeare's plays are "not relatable [and are] unemotional." This caused a certain amount of incredulity and horror—but The Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg took the opportunity to point out that Shakespeare reverence can be deadening. "It does greater honor to Shakespeare to recognize that he was a man rather than a god. We keep him [Shakespeare] alive best by debating his work and the work that others do with it rather than by locking him away to dusty, honored and ultimately doomed posterity," she argued.

Rosenberg has a point. A Shakespeare who is never questioned is a Shakespeare who's irrelevant. And there are a lot of things to question in Shakespeare for a modern audience. One of those things, often overlooked in popular discussions of his work, is his politics.

Shakespeare was a conservative, in the sense that he supported early modern England's status quo and established hierarchy, which meant defending the Crown's view of divine monarchical right and opposing the radicals, often Puritan, who questioned it.

For all the complexity and nuance of Shakespeare's plays, his political allegiances were clear. James I was his patron, and Macbeth in particular is thought to be a tribute to the King. It even includes a reference to the Gunpowder Plot assassination attempt at James. That reference is made by Lady Macbeth as part of her effort to convince her husband to murder Duncan. The villainous traitors in the play are thus directly linked to traitors against James.
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Macbeth isn't a one-off to flatter the King, either: Rebels and usurpers in Shakespeare's plays are always the bad guys. When Hamlet spits out the lines:

    Oh fie, fie, 'tis an unweeded Garden
    That grows to Seed: Things rank, and gross in Nature
    Possess it merely.

The vision of sickening wrongness there is in part repulsion at his mother marrying his uncle, but it's also a political disgust at the fact that the rightful ruler is gone, replaced by a usurpur. What’s "rank and gross" is not just sexual impropriety, but perversion of divine order. The Tempest is about restoring the rightful Duke to his place in spite of his usurping brother, while Othello shows that Shakespeare's sympathies are not just with kings, but with any authority figure, as the sneaking underling Iago attempts to overthrow his noble Captain. It is significant here, too, that (as many critics have pointed out) Iago has no real motive for his animosity. He does not articulate a critique, or even a complaint, about the way Othello exercises power. Instead, he simply says:

    I hate the Moor
    And it is thought abroad, that ‘twixt my sheets
    He has done my office: I know not if’t be true;
    But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
    Will do as if for surety.

Rebellion against one's superiors is presented as a matter of misguided jealousy and intrinsic spite. Similarly, the Puritan Malvolio in Twelfth Night, who aspires to the hand of a woman above him in social standing, is a hypocrite and a fool. The Puritan political resistance, or the Puritan ideological opposition to hierarchical norms, is never voiced, much less endorsed.

In Shakespeare, those in authority rarely provoke resistance through injustice. In general, the one thing Shakespeare's rulers can do wrong is to shirk their authority, trying to retire too early (King Lear) or consorting with those beneath them (Henry IV.) Often, their role is to come on at the end as a kind of hierarch ex machina, assuring all that "Some shall be pardon'd and some punished," like the Prince at the end of Romeo and Juliet, or Prince Fortinbras at the end of Hamlet ("with sorrow I embrace my fortune"—yeah, we bet you're sorry).

It’s sometimes said that Shakespeare always wrapped things up with a king on his throne and all right with the world as a reflection of a general belief among his contemporaries in the Great Chain of Being—a conception of the universe as divinely ordered hierarchy, each subordinate in his or her divinely ordered place. But there were many people in Shakespeare's time who were mistrustful of kings and received authority—real-life versions of Malvolio, who Shakespeare pillories. Within his own context and within his own milieu, Shakespeare consistently championed the most powerful, and set himself against those who challenged their authority. He saw hierarchy as good and rebels as evil.

None of this is a good reason to dismiss Shakespeare. But it is a good basis for critical skepticism toward him. What would Twelfth Night look like from Malvolio's perspective—or even from a perspective where it is not on its face ridiculous to imagine someone marrying across class? What real grievances might Iago or Macbeth have if it were possible for Shakespeare to show us an authority figure who isn't a paragon? What happens to Julius Caesar if the rebels have some actual, genuine concerns about tyranny? As Rosenberg says, Shakespeare was a man, not a god—and as a man, he had a particular perspective, particular axes to grind, and particular blind spots. His plays aren't entombed, authoritative holy writ; they're living arguments, which means that, at least at times, they're worth rebelling against.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Mossback
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 05:53 PM

God have mercy.....


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Jan 19 - 07:22 PM

"God have mercy....."
Amen to that
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 04:17 AM

One more go Dick - I have no intention of rowing with you any more, but I do ask you respectfully that you read what I have to say

I came to Shakespeare though my family - my father's father was a merchant seaman in the last days of sail and he became an early member of the Labour Party - he decided that the best way to change Society was not to tear the old one down but to take the best it had to offer and use it to educate himself - he and a few mates started the first sea-going branches of The Workers Education Association, I'm proud that a family member was part of that)
My grandfather found Shakespeare as a young man - Liverpool had a Shakespeare Theater in those days, not very good, I suspect, but enough for someone who perseveres to get hooked for a lifetime
When my Grandmother died, he re-married a lovely lady from Stoke on Trent - a hand-painter working in Spode Pottery - a worker-artist
He had learned to tell Shakespeare's plots in broad Scouse and when a couple of local folkies got wind of it, he was invited to do so at the local Arts College
When my sister and I visited them as children, we visited two worker art-lovers - that rubbed off a bit
      
My dad was forced to become a navvy because he fought in a war that the Establishment disapproved of and he too u his father's 'educate yourself' message with a vengeance - he spent his entire life with a book in his hand and passed that on to me, I'm glad to say

I didn't get much of a chance at Shakespeare as a youngster - I've never got the hang of reading plays and Merseyside didn't offer much and what little it did, The Swingin' Sixties destroyed
I don't believe that, unless you go to a specialist school that teaches the arts, Shakespeare can be taught (beyond learning to appreciate, that is) - certainly not in hour-long weekly lessons the Secondary Modern system I attended, so my interest fell into decline
Even so, I left school being able to recite Seven Ages of Man and MacBeth's speech on the death of his missus, and Hamlet's soliloquy's, and Winter of our discontent.... off the top of my head - and sixty odd years later, I still can

My 'passionate' period, when I took up lusting after women led me to be smitten by a beautiful daughter of a Holocaust survivor family and she insisted we went to see all the Shakespeare films on offer - starting with Olivier's Hamlet (not my favourite, but still enjoyable)
I saw the few that were available, Richard III, Henry V..., King Lear... not too many more in those days - and the might Kurosawa's 'Throne of Blood' (Macbeth)
When I moved to London it was like being locked into a sweetshop - it was all there - the week I arrived I say all the season of the Ben Jonson plays, starting with Bartholomew Fair

I'm a retired electrician who spent his life on the docks, on building sites and crawling into peoples lofts and under their floorboards - I left school with low marks and no great background in the Arts - if I can develop a love of good and important things, anybody can
I've come to believe that the Arts are the most important thing the society we live in has ever offered - little else
Shakespeare is the top of that particular tree, as far as I'm concerned - if we don't take advantage of it we're the losers

How many plays have you actually seen - honestly now, everybody's seen West Side Story and Kiss me Kate (good in their way) - a few saw Ten Things I Hate About You (not me, I'm afraid) I mean the real stuff
If you haven't seen as many as are now available, you're missing something
By insulting England's Internationally recognised poetic playwright you are insulting those of us who do
If you have to dredge the internet to find an unknown American broadcaster who specialises in US popular media floss to make your case, then you have no case
Do your self a favour and dive in - the water's lovely once you learn to swim

Sorry to bang on Dick - your annoying behavior gave me a sleepless night and I need to get it out of my system (They also serve who only stand and irritate)
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Senoufou
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 04:30 AM

I think his plays need to be watched as performances (or undertaken by my Mr Shearn!) rather than merely read. Quotes stick in the mind of course, and have infiltrated our very vocabulary and culture. But they were first and foremost written to be performed.
Even the Sonnets (of which I have a most beautiful copy, illustrated with Elizabethan art) affect one much more when read aloud.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 04:30 AM

I have provided an analysis by Noah BERLATSKY. iF you can answer his points


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 04:34 AM

Noahs nationality is irrelevant , why mention he is American, does that make his criticsm less valid?Stick to mhiscpoints and if you can dis provethem intellectually , why not try rather than banging on about how cmuch you know and love shakespeare or your working class father and his grandfather it is not relevant


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 04:53 AM

"I have provided an analysis by Noah BERLATSKY. iF you can answer his points"

Noah BERLATSKY
"My book, Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter Comics, 1941-1948 will be published in early 2015 by Rutgers University Press."


Why the hell should I or anybody - why are his points important ?
You obviously haven't experienced a Shakespeare play and don't intend to
You started a good thread please stop spoiling it
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 09:28 AM

Okay.

The thing with Mr Berlatsky is that he's a modern person, and an American at that. As such, he believes in the virtue of the under-dog and the value of protest as devoutly as Shakespeare and his contemporaries believed in the divine right of kings and the Great Chain of Being. To expect a person like Shakespeare, a Renaissance commoner totally dependant for his livelihood on the goodwill of noble patrons, to offer any kind of political critique of his social superiors is to ignore every known fact of life in that time -- or, indeed, in ours.

I mentioned above that I live in a town with a major Shakespeare theatre festival that is the centrepiece of our summer tourist trade and a very, very big deal on the Canadian arts scene. Here in Stratford, Ontario, we see more than our share of revisionist and modernist Shakespeare, and it frequently reminds me Flanders and Swann's Greensleeves routine and its bit about varying "Ralph Roister-Doister" -- "anything to avoid having to do it straight!"

Which, of course, raises the question: Why not do Shakespeare straight?

I suspect the answer is that thinking your way into Shakespeare and his characters requires some serious effort for a 21st-century person. First of all, it requires understanding and accepting as valid their complete and utter belief in God, the authority of the church, and the importance of preserving social order at any cost. If we can't grok that, Shakespeare simply doesn't make sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Mossback
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 10:29 AM

Hear, Hear!


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 11:38 AM

"Shakespeare and his contemporaries believed in the divine right of kings and the Great Chain of Being"
Are you sure Shakespeare believed that ?- he had a strange way of showing it !
Murderous, humped-backed child-killing English Monarchs systematically killing of the opposition, mythical ones disinheriting family because he thought they did't love him enough, Scottish nobles slaughtering their way to the top egged on by a conniving delusional consort, Kings who were wimpish leaders refusing to act on the barons getting above their station.. hardly god-made material
The Wars of the Roses saga was a magnificent web of incompetence, brutality and mass murder and corruption by God's chosen people
Even the patriotic Henry V is depicted (correctly) as a brutal slaughterer of prisoners   
Even Will's contemporaries laid a somewhat jaundiced eye on God's chosen - his mate Kit had one them dying by a carefully applied red-hot poker to his bum
I think it is somewhat simplistic to paint your picture of the playwrights, even if there is a grain of truth in what you say
They were people of their time yes, but they stll managed to cut their 'betters' down to size when they wanted to   
I believe Shakespeare and his mates dealt with Royalty and nobility in the same way as the Folktales did with their Kings, Queens and nobles.. as flawed and often very, very nasty human beings
It is no coincidence that Shakespeare drew heavily from contemporary folklore - if you haven't, you should dip into the 500 pages-worth of Folklore of Shakespeare (Rev, T S Thisleton Dyer - 1883)
I have long believed that Shakespeare was much nearer the people that he was the nobs - he was a right son-of-a-glove-maker when he put his mind to it   
That he sucked up to them upstairs is understandable -after all - a man's gotta live (and keep his insides inside at a time when hanging, drawing and quartering was all in fashion)
Don't know what Mr Berlatskys take on Wonder Woman was, but I find his summing up of The Immortal Bard somewhat superficial, I'm afraid   
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 11:58 AM

Wouldn't 'cha love to see what Shakespeare and his mates made of the Queen's consort driving into a car containing a couple of women while not wearing a seat-belt
Gives you a warm glow, just thinking about it
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Senoufou
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 01:30 PM

"To prosecute or not to prosecute? That is the question."


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 01:38 PM

Ay - there's the rub


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 02:03 PM

Personally I'd shove a bare bodkin up his jaxie and then Kit Marlowe could write another play about it
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jos
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 02:11 PM

I thought the 'no-seatbelt' incident was a couple of days after the crash.
Or are we using the theatrical device of condensing time into the length of a theatre performance?


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 02:32 PM

"I thought the 'no-seat belt' incident was a couple of days after the crash."
May well be, but I think you'll find the Royals make their own rules concerning such matters
I have little doubt he's a serial offender in such matters
Having reached the age where retaining my license depends on medical checks and eye-tests, I often wonder if the same applies to the residents of Buck House
Stop spoiling my jokes by being serious please, just getting in my element.
Just wait til "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" and I'll let you in on my "Is his a digger I see before me" Australian joke
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Senoufou
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 03:00 PM

But soft! What crash my offside window breaks?"


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 03:44 PM

Jim Carroll — Yes, indeed, flawed and very human beings who still found themselves at the top of the social tree because God willed it so, and when they did nasty things like knifing their predecessors and ordering their nephews done to death they come to sticky ends. That’s why Richard III is the villain of his piece, and “MacBeth” is a tragedy, dammit!


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 04:16 PM

The thing with Mr Berlatsky is that he's a modern person, and an American at that."
what the feck does his nationsailty have to do with it? and as for all jim carrolls stuff about richard the third being a humnchback villain and murdering the princes, just more shakespeare historical fiction


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: beardedbruce
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 04:29 PM

Senoufou,

"Even the Sonnets (of which I have a most beautiful copy, illustrated with Elizabethan art) affect one much more when read aloud. "

ALL sonnets affect one much more when read aloud. That is a fundamental characteristic of Lyrical verse. At the very least, one must read then so the words sound in one's head to fully appreciate the work.

The sound is as important to the verse as the meaning of the words.



By John Keats ( whose 65 sonnets rival in quality ( or exceed in my estimation) the 154 of W Shakespeare )


When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.




On First Looking into Chapman's Homer

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star'd at the Pacific — and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise —
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 04:48 PM

Introduction

(Shakespearean Criticism)

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Shakespeare's Representation of History

Shakespeare dramatized the national history of England in two tetralogies, which cover English history from 1398 to 1485. The first tetralogy includes Henry VI, Parts One, Two, and Three and Richard III, and the second tetralogy includes Richard II, Henry IV, Parts One and Two, and Henry V. While the series from Richard II through Henry V deals with a historical time earlier than the Henry VI plays and Richard III, it is usually referred to as the second tetralogy in reference to the order in which Shakespeare composed the plays. The two other English history plays, King John and Henry VIII, have been viewed as prologue and epilogue to the other eight plays. The sources from which Shakespeare drew to write the history plays include Edward Hall's The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York (1548) and Raphael Holinshed's The Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1577; the second edition, that used by Shakespeare, was published in 1587).

Much modern critical attention has focused on the way Shakespeare utilized his sources in his interpretations of historical events. The characteristics of Renaissance historiography—the narrative presentation of history based on critical evaluations of primary and secondary source materials—is often compared with Shakespeare's own historiographical style. Graham Holderness (1985) stresses that most of Shakespeare's plays, and especially the English history plays, were intended as historiography. Holderness contends that the new, bourgeois historiography employed by Shakespeare grew out of two other historiographical traditions, that of providentialist orthodoxy and humanist historiography. (Providentialism stressed that God's divine will governed the world and ordained the succession of English monarchs; rebellion against God's anoited monarch, it was argued, was punished by political disorder, warfare, and bloodshed. Humanism emphasized the dominance of individual human will and intellect.) Matthew H. Wikander (1986) similarly states that the revolution in Renaissance historiography in which Shakespeare took part grew out of both providential and humanist attitudes. The central issue within this new historiographical attitude, states Wikander, was the problem of how to moralize the past. Tracing the development of Shakespeare's historiography from early histories such as Henry VI, Part One to later histories, including Henry IV, Part One and Henry VIII, Wikander finds that the moral patterns and lessons in the earlier plays are more straightforward than in the later histories. Additionally, Wikander comments that Shakespeare's attitude toward his sources was “cavalier,” but that Shakespeare, as well as the authors of his sources, were all guilty of drawing parallels and analogies, allegorizing historical figures, and telescoping historical time. While Wikander sees these tendencies as “faults,” Don M. Ricks (1968) observes that sixteenth-century historiography was not bound by modern rules of objectivity and historical accuracy. Rather, it was understood that historical data should be presented in a way that made a subjective and moralistic argument. Such biases, including Shakespeare's, Ricks maintains, resulted from the attitude toward history and its purposes, rather than from ignorance. Ricks further argues that although Shakespeare's own political bias was geared toward defending the Tudor status quo, his views regarding the doctrine of providential order were more subtle and complex than many of his contemporaries. Clifford Leech (1962) agrees, maintaining that although Shakespeare does “enshrine” many of the sixteenth-century attitudes regarding history and its values, his purpose transcends that of stressing the danger of civil rebellion and glorifying England.

The relationship between the two tetralogies in general, and the parts of Henry IV in particular, is also an area of tremendous critical interest. Many critics have sought unity in the history plays, while others emphasize the problems with trying to link plays that Shakespeare intended as separate units. Ricks argues that the unity of the two tetralogies stems primarily from the fact that the plays coherently dramatize the consecutive reigns of several kings, but that the eight plays do in fact stand distinctly apart from one another. Paul Yachnin (1991) and Paola Pugliatti (1996) focus their attention on the structural relationship between the two parts of Henry IV. Yachnin argues that the plays should be thought of in terms of sequence rather than structure, and that they should be viewed as performance rather than literary texts. As such, Yachnin maintains, the two plays reveal Shakespeare's critique of Renaissance historiography and demonstrate the “open-ended” character of historical change. Yachnin further states that the first play stands as a complete unit until the second play revises the premises of the first, and that the second play has a darker conception of politics which undercuts the views of the first part of Henry IV. The revisionist relationship between the plays, Yachnin asserts, demonstrates that Shakespeare's view of history was not providentialist. Pugliatti agrees with Yachnin's claims in general, but argues that the second play, rather than contradicting the premises of the first, further develops certain elements, particularly the concept of political, as well as historiographical, instability. The two plays are based on the concept of this instability, Pugliatti argues, and this framework of instability is used by Shakespeare to question the providential view of history.
Clifford Leech (essay date 1962).
Now are you going to denounce Cifford leech because of his nationality, and bec ause he criticised him in 1962, forty six years ago


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Senoufou
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 04:52 PM

I watched a documentary in which the bones of Richard III (found buried under a car park) were examined. It was fairly obvious that he had a deformity of the spine of some sort. Not a 'hunchback' exactly, but possibly scoliosis or something similar.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 04:58 PM

Did not stop him from being the last king to die in battle ,richard 3 also passed the law for bail in this country , yet shakespeare casts him as entirely bad, now more varied criticism from differnt periods and from many diffeent nationalities,so lets stop this nasty anti american racist nonsense.
Timeline of Shakespeare criticism
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Main article: Shakespeare's reputation
Engraving of Shakespeare: the term "bardolatry" derives from Shaw's coinage "Bardolator", combining the words "bard" and "idolatry" by refers to the excessive adulation of Shakespeare.[1][2]

This article is a collection of critical quotations and other criticism against William Shakespeare and his works.

Shakespeare enjoyed recognition in his own time, but in the 17th century, poets and authors began to consider him as the supreme dramatist and poet of all times of the English language. In fact, even today, no other dramatist has been performed even remotely as often on the British (and later the world) stage as Shakespeare

Since then, several editors and critics of theater began to focus on the dramatic text and the language of Shakespeare, creating a study that focused on extracting all the power of his literary texts, being used in studies on the printed page rather than in the theater. This attitude reached a high point with the Romantics, which saw his figure as a genius, prophet, and Bard – and continued important in the last century, receiving analysis not only by poets and authors, but also by psychoanalysts, psychologists and philosophers.
Contents

    1 17th century
    2 18th century
    3 19th century
    4 Twentieth century
    5 References

17th century
Ben Jonson: "He was not of an age, but for all time."[3]

Ben Jonson, 1630: "I remember the players have often mentioned it as an honor to Shakespeare, that in his writing, whatsoever he penned, he never blotted out a line. My answer hath been, 'Would he had blotted a thousand,' which they thought a malevolent speech. I had not told posterity this but for their ignorance, who chose that circumstance to commend their friend by wherein he most faulted; and to justify mine own candor, for I loved the man, and do honor his memory on this side idolatry as much as any. He was, indeed, honest, and of an open and free nature; had an excellent fancy, brave notions, and gentle expressions, wherein he flowed with that facility that sometime it was necessary he should be stopped. 'Sufflaminandus erat,' as Augustus said of Haterius. His wit was in his own power; would the rule of it had been so too. Many times he fell into those things, could not escape laughter, as when he said in the person of Caesar, one speaking to him: 'Caesar, thou dost me wrong.' He replied: 'Caesar did never wrong but with just cause;' and such like, which were ridiculous. But he redeemed his vices with his virtues. There was ever more in him to be praised than to be pardoned." "Timber" or "Discoveries"
John Milton, 1632: "What need'st thou such weak witnes of thy name?"

John Milton, 1632:

    What needs my Shakespeare for his honour'd Bones,
    The labour of an age in piled Stones,
    Or that his hallow'd reliques should be hid
    Under a Star-ypointing Pyramid?
    Dear son of memory, great heir of Fame,
    What need'st thou such weak witnes of thy name?
    Thou in our wonder and astonishment
    Hast built thy self a live-long Monument.
    For whilst to th' shame of slow-endeavouring art,
    Thy easie numbers flow, and that each heart
    Hath from the leaves of thy unvalu'd Book,
    Those Delphick lines with deep impression took,
    Then thou our fancy of it self bereaving,
    Dost make us Marble with too much conceaving;
    And so Sepulcher'd in such pomp dost lie,
    That Kings for such a Tomb would wish to die.
    —?"On Shakespeare"

"On Shakespeare" was Milton's first published poem & appeared (anonymously) in the 2nd folio of plays by Shakespeare (1632) as "An Epitaph on the admirable Dramaticke Poet, W.SHAKESPEARE".
Samuel Pepys, 1662: "...it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life..."

Samuel Pepys, diary entry for 29 September, 1662: "This day my oaths of drinking wine and going to plays are out, and so I do resolve to take a liberty to-day, and then to fall to them again. To the King's Theatre, where we saw "Midsummer's Night's Dream [sic]," which I had never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life. I saw, I confess, some good dancing and some handsome women, which was all my pleasure."
John Dryden, 1668: "All the Images of Nature were still present to him..."

John Dryden, 1668: "To begin then with Shakespeare; he was the man who of all Modern, and perhaps Ancient Poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul. All the Images of Nature were still present to him, and he drew them not laboriously, but luckily: when he describes any thing, you more than see it, you feel it too. Those who accuse him to have wanted learning, give him the greater commendation: he was naturally learn'd; he needed not the spectacles of Books to read Nature; he look'd inwards, and found her there." Essay of Dramatic Poesy

Thomas Rymer (neo-classical "rules" and "classical unities" extremist), 1692: "The Moral, sure, of this Fable [Othello] is very instructive. First, This may be a caution to all Maidens of Quality how, without their Parents consent, they run away with Blackamoors. Secondly, This may be a warning to all good Wives, that they look well to their Linnen. Thirdly, This may be a lesson to Husbands, that before their Jealousie be Tragical, the proofs may be Mathematical".
(Rymer's notorious attack on Othello ultimately did Shakespeare's reputation more good than harm, by firing up John Dryden, John Dennis and other influential critics into writing eloquent replies.)

Samuel Cobb (1675–1713), translator and master at Christ's Hospital:

    "Yet He with Plautus could instruct and please,
    And what requir'd long toil, perform with ease
    Tho' sometimes Rude, Unpolish'd, and Undress'd,
    His Sentence flows more careless than the rest.
    But when his Muse complying with his Will,
    Deigns with informing heat his Breast to fill,
    Then hear him Thunder in the pompous strain
    Of Aeschylus, or sooth in Ovid's Vein.
    Then in his Artless Tragedies I see,
    What Nature seldom gives, Propriety."

From Poetica Brittanici (1700). Cobb provides an example of the diffusion of Jonson's concept of Shakespeare as the "child of nature."
18th century

Bevill Higgons:

    These scenes in their rough native dress were mine,
    But now improved with nobler lustre shine;
    The first rude sketches Shakespeare's pencil drew,
    But all the shining master strokes are new.
    This play, ye Critics, shall your fury stand,
    Adorned and rescued by a blameless hand.
    —?"Shakespeare"

From the preface to the revision of The Merchant of Venice (1701) by George Granville, 1st Baron Lansdowne. Here, Shakespeare is made both to recognize his own lack of sophistication and to approve the neoclassical polish added by Granville.
Joseph Addison, 1712: "Among the English, Shakespeare has incomparably excelled all others."

Joseph Addison, 1712: "Among the English, Shakespeare has incomparably excelled all others. That noble extravagance of fancy, which he had in so great perfection, thoroughly qualified him to touch... his reader's imagination, and made him capable of succeeding, where he had nothing to support him besides the strength of his own genius." Spectator no. 419

Alexander Pope, 1725: "His Characters are so much Nature her self that 'tis a sort of injury to call them by so distant a name as Copies of her. Those of other Poets have a constant resemblance, which shews that they receiv'd them from one another and were but multiplyers of the same image: each picture like a mock-rainbow is but the reflexion of a reflexion. But every single character in Shakespeare is as much an Individual as those in Life itself; it is as impossible to find any two alike; and such as from their relation or affinity in any respect appear most to be Twins will upon comparison be found remarkably distinct. To this life and variety of Character we must add the wonderful Preservation of it; which is such throughout his plays that had all the Speeches been printed without the very names of the persons I believe one might have apply'd them with certainty to every speaker. . . . I will conclude by saying of Shakespeare, that with all his faults, in comparison of those that are more finished and regular, as upon an ancient majestick piece of Gothick architecture, compared with a neat modern building: the latter is more elegant and glaring, but the former is more strong and more solemn . . Nor does the whole fail to strike us with greater reverence, though many of the parts are childish, ill-placed, and unequal to its grandeur." Preface to Pope's edition of Shakespeare's works
Samuel Johnson, 1775: "The form, the characters, the language, and the shows of the English drama are his."

Voltaire, 1733 Letters concerning the English nation: He created theatre. He had a genius full of strength and fertility, natural and without any spark of good taste and any knowledge of the rules. I'll tell you something hazardous but true: the merit of this author has lost the English theatre; there are such beautiful scenes, such great and at the same time so terrible pieces widespread in his monstrous farces which go by the name of tragedies; these plays have always been performed with great success. The Time, which alone makes the reputation of men, at the end made their faults respectable. The most gigantic and bizarre ideas of this author have earned, after two hundred years, the right to be considered sublime.

Samuel Johnson, 1765 The Plays of William Shakespeare: "[Shakespeare's] adherence to general nature has exposed him to the censure of criticks, who form their judgments upon narrower principles. Dennis and Rymer think his Romans not sufficiently Roman; and Voltaire censures his kings as not completely royal. ... These are the petty cavils of petty minds."
"That it [mixing tragedy and comedy] is a practice contrary to the rules of criticism will be readily allowed; but there is always an appeal open from criticism to nature."
"To the unities of time and place he has shewn no regard, and perhaps a nearer view of the principles on which they stand will diminish their value, and withdraw from them the veneration which, from the time of Corneille, they have very generally received by discovering that they have given more trouble to the poet, than pleasure to the auditor."
"Perhaps it would not be easy to find any author, except Homer, who invented so much as Shakespeare, who so much advanced the studies which he cultivated, or effused so much novelty upon his age or country. The form, the characters, the language, and the shows of the English drama are his."
"The work of a correct and regular writer is a garden accurately formed and diligently planted, varied with shades, and scented with flowers; the composition of Shakespeare is a forest, in which oaks extend their branches, and pines tower in the air, interspersed sometimes with weeds and brambles, and sometimes giving shelter to myrtles and to roses; filling the eye with awful pomp, and gratifying the mind with endless diversity. Other poets display cabinets of precious rarities, minutely finished, wrought into shape, and polished unto brightness. Shakespeare opens a mine which contains gold and diamonds in unexhaustible plenty, though clouded by incrustations, debased by impurities, and mingled with a mass of meaner minerals."
Goethe: "There is no pleasure greater and purer than, with eyes closed, accompany a Shakespeare's play, not declaimed, but recited by a safe and natural voice."[4]

Johann Wolfgang Goethe, 1795-1796 Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (book IV, chap. 3 and 13): "Prince Hamlet is suddenly facing the need for a great action imposed upon your soul that is unable to do it." / "He [the character] is a beautiful being that succumbs under the load he can't distance itself without it."

J. W. Goethe, Writings on literature: "Much has been said about Shakespeare that does not seem anything left to say, but the spirit has features to stimulate the spirit forever..."
"Shakespeare make effect with vitality of the word, and this is what becomes apparent in reading aloud, when the listener is distracted, not by a flawed or right presentation. There is no pleasure greater and purer than, with closed eyes, accompanied a Shakespeare's play, not declaimed, but recited by a safe and natural voice. Follow up the wires with it simple plot developments. For the description of the characters we can to imagine certain pictures, but we must, indeed, through a series of words and speeches, to experiment what is happening internally, and here all who are part of the story seem to have combined not leave anything obscure or in doubt."
"Shakespeare meets with the spirit of the world. He enters the world as it is spirit. For both, nothing is hidden; but as the work of the spirit of the world is to store mysteries before the action, or even after, the meaning of the poet is going to reveal the mystery, making us confident before the action, or just in run it."
"Shakespeare stands out singularly, linking the old and new in a lush. Wish and duty trying to put itself in balance in his plays; both are faced with violence, but always so that the wish is at a disadvantage."
"Perhaps no one has made so great as the first major link of wish and duty in the individual character as Shakespeare did."
19th century
Machado de Assis, 1896: "when we stop speaking English, we will speak Shakespeare."

Machado de Assis, 1896: "One day, when there is no more British Empire or North-American Republic, there will be Shakespeare; when we stop speaking English, we will speak Shakespeare."[5]

Charles Lamb, 1811: "We talk of Shakespeare's admirable observation of life, when we should feel, that not from a petty inquisition into those cheap and every-day characters which surrounded him, as they surround us, but from his own mind, which was, to borrow a phrase of Ben Jonson's, the very 'sphere of humanity' he fetched those images of virtue and of knowledge, of which every one of us recognizing a part, think we comprehend in our natures the whole; and often mistake the powers which he positively creates in us, for nothing more than indigenous faculties of our own minds, which only waited the application of corresponding virtues in him to return a full and clear echo of the same." On the Tragedies of Shakespeare

Thomas de Quincey, 1823: "O, mighty poet! Thy works are not as those of other men, simply and merely great works of art; but are also like the phenomena of nature, like the sun and the sea, the stars and the flowers,—like frost and snow, rain and dew, hail-storm and thunder, which are to be studied with entire submission of our own faculties, and in the perfect faith that in them there can be no too much or too little, nothing useless or inert—but that, the further we press in our discoveries, the more we shall see proofs of design and self-supporting arrangement where the careless eye had seen nothing but accident!" "On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth".

Thomas Carlyle, 1841: "Nay, apart from spiritualities; and considering him merely as a real, marketable, tangibly useful possession. England, before long, this Island of ours, will hold but a small fraction of the English: in America, in New Holland, east and west to the very Antipodes, there will be a Saxondom covering great spaces of the Globe. And now, what is it that can keep all these together into virtually one Nation, so that they do not fall out and fight, but live at peace, in brotherlike intercourse, helping one another? This is justly regarded as the greatest practical problem, the thing all manner of sovereignties and governments are here to accomplish: what is it that will accomplish this? Acts of Parliament, administrative prime-ministers cannot. America is parted from us, so far as Parliament could part it. Call it not fantastic, for there is much reality in it: Here, I say, is an English King, whom no time or chance, Parliament or combination of Parliaments, can dethrone! This King Shakespeare, does not he shine, in crowned sovereignty, over us all, as the noblest, gentlest, yet strongest of rallying-signs; indestructible; really more valuable in that point of view than any other means or appliance whatsoever? We can fancy him as radiant aloft over all the Nations of Englishmen, a thousand years hence. From Paramatta, from New York, wheresoever, under what sort of Parish-Constable soever, English men and women are, they will say to one another: 'Yes, this Shakespeare is ours; we produced him, we speak and think by him; we are of one blood and kind with him.'" On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History

Victor Hugo, 1859: "Two exiles, father and son, are on a desert island serving a long sentence. In a morning, sitting in front of the house, the young man asks: 'What do you think of this exile?' 'It will be long... ", replied the father. 'And how occupy it?', continues the young son. The old serene man reply: 'I will look the ocean, and you?' It is a long silence before the son's answer: 'I will translate Shakespeare.' Shekespeare: the ocean."[6]
Twentieth century
Leo Tolstoy, 1906: ", but having read, one after the other, works regarded as his best, ...not only did I feel no delight, but I felt an irresistible repulsion and tedium."

Leo Tolstoy, 1906: "I remember the astonishment I felt when I first read Shakespeare. I expected to receive a powerful aesthetic pleasure, but having read, one after the other, works regarded as his best: "King Lear," "Romeo and Juliet," "Hamlet" and "Macbeth," not only did I feel no delight, but I felt an irresistible repulsion and tedium... Several times I read the dramas and the comedies and historical plays, and I invariably underwent the same feelings: repulsion, weariness, and bewilderment. At the present time, before writing this preface, being desirous once more to test myself, I have, as an old man of seventy-five, again read the whole of Shakespeare, including the historical plays, the "Henrys," "Troilus and Cressida," "The Tempest", "Cymbeline", and I have felt, with even greater force, the same feelings,—this time, however, not of bewilderment, but of firm, indubitable conviction that the unquestionable glory of a great genius which Shakespeare enjoys, and which compels writers of our time to imitate him and readers and spectators to discover in him non-existent merits,—thereby distorting their aesthetic and ethical understanding,—is a great evil, as is every untruth." Tolstoy on Shakespeare.[7][8]

D. H. Lawrence, 1928:

    "When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder
    that such trivial people should muse and thunder
    in such lovely language
    . . .
    How boring, how small Shakespeare's people are!
    Yet the language so lovely! like the dyes from gas-tar."

"When I Read Shakespeare" in The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence.

Sigmund Freud, 1930: "Incidentally, in this meantime, I stopped to believe that the author of Shakespeare's works were the man of Stratford." (Freud supported the theory that the works attributed to Shakespeare were written by Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford,[9] and that this discovery help in better interpretation of his sonnets) (Outline of Psychoanalysis, 1940/1987: 220). Note added in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) – Freud, 1900/1987: 260
Sigmund Freud, 1930: "I stopped to believe that the author of Shakespeare's works was the man of Stratford."

Freud, 1939: "It is well known that the genius is incomprehensible and irresponsible; so we should bring it to the dance as a full explanation to what the other solution has failed. The same consideration applies also to the remarkable case of William Shakespeare of Stratford." Moses and Monotheism, 1939/1987: 83

W. H. Auden, 1947: "There is a continual process of simplification in Shakespeare's plays. What is he up to? He is holding the mirror up to nature. In the early minor sonnets he talks about his works outlasting time. But increasingly he suggests, as Theseus does in A Midsummer Night's Dream, that "The best in this kind are but shadows" (V.i.214), that art is rather a bore. . . . I find Shakespeare particularly appealing in his attitude towards his work. There's something a little irritating in the determination of the very greatest artists, like Dante, Joyce, Milton, to create masterpieces and to think themselves important. To be able to devote one's life to art without forgetting that art is frivolous is a tremendous achievement of personal character. Shakespeare never takes himself too seriously." Lectures on Shakespeare (ed. by Arthur Kirsch)

T. S. Eliot: "Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them, there is no third."

T. S. Eliot, 1922 : "We must simply admit that here Shakespeare tackled a problem which proved too much for him. Why he attempted it at all is an insoluble puzzle; under compulsion of what experience he attempted to express the inexpressibly horrible, we cannot ever know. We need a great many facts in his biography; and we should like to know whether, and when, and after or at the same time as what personal experience, he read Montaigne, II. xii., Apologie de Raimond Sebond. We should have, finally, to know something which is by hypothesis unknowable, for we assume it to be an experience which, in the manner indicated, exceeded the facts. We should have to understand things which Shakespeare did not understand himself." Hamlet and His Problems, in The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism.

Otto Maria Carpeaux: "The greatest poet of modern times and - except for the limitations of our critical judgement - of all time."[10]

J. R. R. Tolkien, 1955: "[The Ents'] pan in the story is due, I think, to my bitter disappointment and disgust from schooldays with the shabby use made in Shakespeare of the coming of 'Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill': I longed to devise a setting in which the trees might really march to war."[11]

Allan Bloom, 1964: "Shakespeare devotes great care to establishing the political setting in almost all his plays, and his greatest heroes are rulers who exercise capacities which can only be exercised within civil society. To neglect this is simply to be blinded by the brilliance of one's own prejudices. As soon as one sees this, one cannot help asking what Shakespeare thought about a good regime and a good ruler." on his Shakespeare's Politics (with Harry V. Jaffa).

Kenneth Burke: "Shakespeare found many ingenious ways to make it seem that his greatest plays unfolded of themselves, like a destiny rather than by a technical expert’s scheming. . . . He spontaneously knew how to translate some typical tension or conflict of his society into terms of variously interrelated personalities—and his function as a dramatist was to let that whole complexity act itself out, by endowing each personality with the appropriate ideas, images, attitudes, actions, situations, relationships, and fatality. The true essence of his “beliefs” was thus embodied in the vision of that complexity itself. . . . Perhaps in this sense Shakespeare never wrote the ideal Shakespearean play; but again and again he came close to it. . . . he was the sort of craftsman who, if we believed such-and-such, could make a great play out of such beliefs, and could as easily have made a great play out of the opposite beliefs, if those others were what moved us. For what he believed in above all was the glory of his trade itself, which is to say, the great humaneness of the word . . . so masterfully embodied in Shakespeare’s blithe dramaturgic schemings." Kenneth Burke on Shakespeare

Stephen Booth, 1994: "A good metaphor for ... the action of casual, incidental relationships among words and ideas in Shakespeare is patina. Networks of nonsensical relationship act upon speeches and plays the way a patina does upon artwork in metal. They smooth across seams and deny them without obliterating them. Grosser examples of the effect have been noted in literature ever since people started analyzing double plots and noticing echoing situations and spotting thematic common denominators and sustained patterns of imagery." Close Reading Without Readings

Harold Bloom, 1994: "...Shakespeare is the Canon. He sets the standard and the limits of literature." The Western Canon
References


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jan 19 - 05:10 PM

leo tolstoy and George Shaw, gave the following opinions
LEO TOLSTOY

One of Shakespeare’s most notorious critics was War and Peace novelist Leo Tolstoy, whose non-fiction work includes a 100-page critique of Shakespeare’s plays and his reputation as a writer. In the essay, published as On Shakespeare and Drama in 1906, Tolstoy called Shakespeare’s plays “trivial and positively bad,” labeled his enduring popularity “pernicious,” and dismissed Shakespeare himself as “an insignificant, inartistic writer” who was “not only not moral, but immoral.” He also mentioned reading King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth ("works regarded as his best”) for the first time in his youth, but recalled feeling nothing more than “an irresistible repulsion and tedium.” But was that just the kneejerk reaction of a young and inexperienced reader? Apparently not. In the introduction to On Shakespeare, a then-75-year-old Tolstoy admitted to rereading Shakespeare’s complete works to see whether his tastes or opinions had changed over time. Never one to pull any punches, he concluded:

    "I have felt, with even greater force, the same feelings—this time, however, not of bewilderment, but of firm, indubitable conviction that the unquestionable glory of a great genius, which Shakespeare enjoys and which compels writers of our time to imitate him and readers and spectators to discover in him non-existent merits (thereby distorting their aesthetic and ethical understanding)—is a great evil, as is every untruth."

2. GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

Quibik, Wikimedia Commons

In the late 1890s, George Bernard Shaw spent three years as theater critic of the London newspaper Saturday Review. During his tenure, he reviewed 19 Shakespeare works and made his opinions about the Bard perfectly clear: “With the single exception of Homer,” he once wrote, “there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I despise so entirely as I despise Shakespear [sic] when I measure my mind against his.”

Although he occasionally praised the playwright’s wordplay and linguistic inventiveness in his reviews, Shaw labeled Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing as “potboilers,” dismissed Othello as “melodramatic,” and admitted to preferring Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Falstaff to The Merry Wives of Windsor, the play on which it was based. Though Shaw’s opinion of Shakespeare slightly mellowed as his own reputation as a playwright grew, it always remained sour: Later editions of Tolstoy’s essay even included a letter written by Shaw to its publishers, in which he wrote:

    "I have striven hard to open English eyes to the emptiness of Shakespeare's philosophy, to the superficiality and second-handedness of his morality, to his weakness and incoherence as a thinker, to his snobbery, his vulgar prejudices, his ignorance, his disqualifications of all sorts for the philosophic eminence claimed for him."


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Jan 19 - 03:05 AM

" Yes, indeed, flawed and very human beings who still found themselves at the top of the social tree because God willed it so,"
I couldn't agree more Charmion - I'm not sure whether you are with what I am saying or agin' it
It seems to me that many of Shakespeare's plays are allegories - oblique references to events nearer his time in a period where it would have been fatal to be outspoken towards the Monarch and the establishment - I don't think that makes him a lackey; just careful

Dick
You are killing this thread by swamping it with undigested cut-'n-pastes which confirm my opinion that you have probably never seen a play by Shakespeare or, if you have, you haven't absorbed it
If you want to take part in this enjoyable discussion you started, please give us YOUR opinion and not the hastily gathered opinions of others
Please don't get this thread closed - that's what's likely to happen if you continue
Shaw once said "I'm a better playwright than Shakespeare - I've read everything he wrote", more recently, Martin McDonagh said something similar.
Both are among my favouriie playwrights - they are excellent writers WITH A FINE SENSE OF HUMOUR
You really need to sort out which is which
Tolstoy's War and Peace heroes and villains were Tsarist lackeys and members of the Russian elite - just like Shakespeare's were members of the English elite
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Jan 19 - 04:30 AM

"Shaw once said 'I'm a better playwright than Shakespeare - I've read everything he wrote'"

A lie! A lie! I haven't read Twelfth Night yet! Anyway, it was Ernie Wise, not me, and he actually said "'I'm a better playwright than Shakespeare - I've read everything wot he wrote"!


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Iains
Date: 22 Jan 19 - 05:08 AM

"in my opinion his content of historical plays he shows himself to be an establishment lackey. however he does write beautifully. how do others feel about his work"

Absolutely correct about being an establishment lackey! BUT! He was living in a different time, ruled by a monarchy believing in Divine right.
Elizabeth 1. During her reign she topped   a bunch of people. No bleeding heart liberals back in days of yore, society was far more regimented. " The actors of Shakespeare’s age saw fluctuations in reputation; actors were alternately classified as “vagabonds and sturdy beggars,” as an act of Parliament in 1572 defined them, and as servants of noblemen". actors lived lives of danger and instability because when they abandoned their respectable trades, they also left behind the comfort and protection of the trade guilds. A second Act followed
In the first one, the Queen forbade “‘the unlawful retaining of multitudes of unordinary servants by liveries, badges, and other signs and tokens (contrary to the good and ancient statutes and laws of this realm)’” in order to “curb the power of local grandees”. To make matters even worse, these actors faced yet another impediment: the “‘Acte for the punishment of Vacabondes’”, in which actors were declared “vagabonds and masterless men and hence were subject to arrest and imprisonment”
A significant indication of Shakespeare's talent is the very fact that he played in London rather than touring other less lucrative towns. If players were to be legally retained by noblemen, they had to prove they could act, and one means of demonstrating their legitimacy was playing at court for Queen Elizabeth. The more skilled companies obtained the queen’s favor and were granted permission to remain in London.
Shakespeare and his company performed successfully in London from the early 1590s until 1611.
In order to exist and perform you not only had to be competent but also be appealing to the monarchy. Inevitably this makes an establishment lackey. There was no other viable choice.

The mileu of the times also dictated scientific thought, as galileo found out to his cost. Also during the 16th 17th centuries it is estimated 80,000 were executed for witchcraft in europe.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Jan 19 - 05:19 AM

Shakespeare's audience was the London people - the Monarchy controlled from behind the scenes, their edicts had to be obeyed - "appealing to" never entered the equation
Shakesepeare did a damn good job of getting around it

SOME REFERENCES HERE
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Iains
Date: 22 Jan 19 - 06:15 AM

the Monarchy controlled from behind the scenes, their edicts had to be obeyed

Under Elizabeth I the Office of the Revels was further increased and was subdivided into Toyles, Revels and Tents. With the patent given to John Farlyon in 1534 as Yeoman of the Revels, what may be considered as an independent office of the Revels (within the general sphere of the Lord Chamberlain) came into being. When Sir Thomas Cawarden received a 1544 patent as Master of the Revels and Tents he became the first to head an independent office. At this point the role of the Master of the Revels was focused on royal entertainment. One of the Master’s fundamental roles was to audition players and companies for performances before the monarch and court. The Master was also charged with matters of public health and ensured that playing companies ceased performances during plague seasons, as well as religious matters, guaranteeing that theaters closed on Lent. Each Master of the Revels kept an official office book that served as a record of all business transactions; including purchases and preparations for each theatrical entertainment and after 1578 included fees taken after licensing plays for performance.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Iains
Date: 22 Jan 19 - 06:24 AM

United Kingdom
Master of the Revels
Revels Office
Style        The Right Honourable
Appointer        The British Monarch
Term length        No fixed term
Inaugural holder        Walter Halliday
Formation        1347


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Jan 19 - 10:33 AM

Jim Carroll -- Yes, I believe we agree, however fiercely we may argue!


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jan 19 - 01:35 PM

I have already given my opinion,
the opinions of other respected writers is imo important their nationalities or their period of criticism is not , they vary from pepys tolkien tolstoy shaw auden lawrence etc. to dismiss someone because they are American is eccentric to put it mildly.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jan 19 - 09:16 AM

" it was Ernie Wise, not me, and he actually said "'I'm a better playwright than Shakespeare"
Actually, Litle Ern nicked that from Shaw Steve (he's not a relative, is he?)
Interesting (to me at least, he once wrote about Ewan "Apart from myself, Ewan MacColl is one of the most important figures in the English Theatre at the present time"
JIm


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 04:07 AM

Shakespeares family background was pro establishment , his father was a money lender, his mother[ on at least one occasion a very large quantity of money 200 thousand in todays terms, sjhakespeares mother came from a minor branch of a prominent family and was descibed as a comfortably off farmer. Elizabeth first was authoritarian , at one point anthony babington was disenmbowelled alive for being involved in an assasination attempt, john stubbs had his right hand cut offfor crticising her marriage. Shakespeare came from an establishment back ground and lived during a period when to crticise the monarch could be fatal ,hardly surprising he was pro establishment. Shakespears father was a burgess and an alderman, and was entitled to be adressed as Master rather than Goodman and was very much an establishment figure.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 04:13 AM

In 1568 shakespears fathwe was appointed high bailiff [ mayor in all but name], he was not just a working class but was born itno a family of prominent local importance.
to decribe him as a working class glover is a typical over simplificatioin, and not the total picture


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 05:17 AM

Ah, the sins of the father (and the mother)...

Well, Dick, my dad's career was spent measuring men's inside legs and deciding whether they dressed to the left or to the right (for Burton the Tailor as it was then), and my mum ran the finest chippy in Radcliffe bar none. Care to tell me how you think any of this may have impacted me? Spotted anything have you?


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 05:29 AM

I had my wedding suit made by Burton's on the, then new, Salford precinct in 1973. Would your Dad have been involved then, Steve?

Sorry for the thread (pun intended) hijack


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 06:02 AM

"Shakespeares family background was pro establishment , "
Shigh
Why do you do this Dick - why not just answer a simple question
How many plays have you seen of his and what do you find in them that makes him an "establishment figure"
You have responded to nothing
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 06:08 AM

Did you know that one of England's greatest campaigning bigots, Mary Whitehouse, made her name by campaigning about films and literature she refused to see or read on principle
She once had the plot of a Shakespeare play, Titus Andronicus, (rape, cutting of of hands and tongue, murder and th eating of human flesh) described to her and said the author should be imprisoned for a long period.
Where do you stand on that
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 07:19 AM

My dad was shop manager of three branches in his time, Dave: Pendleton in the sixties, then Stretford Road, then Bury. I can't remember the exact years.

As for Dick and his bard-smearing obsession, there's many a great artist who is surrounded by murky circumstances. Caravaggio spent years on the run accused of murder and Gesualdo definitely murdered his wife. It doesn't pay to delve too deeply into the sexual proclivities of Benjamin Britten and Schubert, Wagner was a rabid antisemite and Karajan was a card-carrying Nazi. The composer of Carmina Burana is hardly beyond reproach either, and a good few of our great romantic poets were self-regarding, up-their-own-arses druggies. The private lives of Mario Lanza and Maria Callas were utter disasters and let's not delve too deeply into the sexual abuses of a twentieth-century artist or two. Can't think what might have been going through the minds of those baroque sculptors as they carved out those beautiful naked pre-pubescent putti in those magnificent Italian basilicas, but they certainly spent lots of time on them...

The thing is, Dick, that great art, literature, poetry and music are all out there. That's how it should be. It's up to you as an individual to decide how much you're going to investigate the backgrounds of the creators. Sometimes that can inform your understanding of their work, sometimes it can make it impossible for you to digest it. We all have our own red lines. I won't have anything by Wagner or Karajan in the house and I've said so a few times (though, unlike with you, it isn't an argument I'd actually start), but it's a free country and I thoroughly respect anyone who has a different take. Shakespeare, whether you like it or not, is pivotal in the development of the English language and literature. If you can't stomach his background to the extent that you'd eschew his works then I suspect you may be missing out on quite a lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Charmion
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 07:38 AM

All hail Steve Shaw! He da man!


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 08:39 AM

It seems a sort of inverted snobbery to reject art because of the artist's background
Taken to its logical conclusion, we'd on't have Robert Tressel to read and TS Lowry to look at - both fairly high on my personal list but hardly enough to fill your needs
Shakespeare was the son of a glove-maker who pretty well made it to the top internationally in the theatre world - considering the times and the prevailing political oppression, that's something to shout from the rooftops, not to snide at

INTERESTING ANALYSIS HERE
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 01:34 PM

i am not smearing anyone , it is all fact. I have watched many o his plays and had to read them for exams, stop being silly Jim. I do not reject shakespeare because of his background, as i have said before he writes beautiful english, his family back ground and the political background ofthe time explains Shakespeares historical perspective, that is all, nothing more nothing less


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 01:43 PM

here is the original post.Subject: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman - PM
Date: 16 Jan 19 - 05:02 AM

in my opinion his content of historical plays he shows himself to be an establishment lackey. however he does write beautifully. how do thers feel about his work


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Mossback
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 06:07 PM

Aristophanes was an establishment lackey as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 06:14 PM

That was a waspish remark! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jan 19 - 03:15 AM

School conditioning doesn't count Dick - I left school hating Shakespeare
No wonder you have such a twisted view of Shakespeare if that's your experience of his work
You have yet to respond to a single thing people have said about your jaundiced attacks

"That was a waspish remark! :-)"
'Bees' that as it may, your remark is for the 'Birds' and pretty much up in 'The Clouds'
Would say more but I have a 'Frog' in my throat   
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jan 19 - 03:32 AM

No Jim i have seen many of his plays , i do not hate shakespeare, i am interested in his work ,apparantly after the defeat of the spanish armada there was a rush of patriotism in england ,shakespeare exploited this in his history plays which were nearly all written in the following decade


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jan 19 - 08:40 AM

Nonsense Dick
Yore not responding to anything that is said, so for fear of wrecking this threade I will nor waste my time with you any more - I hope others continue this discussion - it' could be an excellent one under different circumstances
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Jan 19 - 02:57 PM

Facts not nosense , i suggest you read some biographies of Shakespeare/


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: EBarnacle
Date: 31 Jan 19 - 09:10 PM

Sandman, consider that all of the quotes you provide are snippets out of context. Harold Bloom is a delightful correspondent, as is James Shapiro. They both have encouraged me to adapt material from Richard II, Henry IV, parts 1 and 2 and Henry V into a play about the relationship between Falstaff and Hal. Part of the reason I did this was that I was dissatisfied by Chimes at Midnight. The Welles productions are as much about Welles ass they are about the plays. The play is in the process of being sold to public television.

At Bloom's encouragement, when we were discussing Lear, I have begun a play about Lyndon Johnson, who I view as probably the most tragic leader of our era.

Shakespeare is a starting point. He is the transition between Middle and Modern English and standard for what came after. He created the forms that we follow now. whatever his motives and stylistic moves to stay in business - and for him the theater was a business - he did it successfully, pleasing his patrons, both high and low. When he retired, he did so almost completely, though there are indications he participated in several plays that did not appear under his name. I suggest you read "Becoming Shakespeare." It is a social study of his era and discusses many of the issues you raise.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Mossback
Date: 31 Jan 19 - 09:33 PM

Tennessee Williams was doubtless an establishment lackey as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: robomatic
Date: 01 Feb 19 - 02:37 AM

I used to do my college homework with the radio on. Once was doing physics homework and listening to some horror horror shock kill rape mayhem mayhem deliver dead sons.

"Titus Andronicus"

Will Never Forget

Dropped Physics

Shakespeare Goddam Great - But avoid doing critical work while listening. If I'd been working on my motorcycle I'd be dead right now.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Feb 19 - 03:30 AM

" consider that all of the quotes you provide are snippets out of context"
Amen to that, with knobs on
A description of Harold Bloom's 'Shakespeare, the Invention of The Human (2008)
Harold Bloom, the doyen of American literary critics and author of The Western Canon, has spent a professional lifetime reading, writing about and teaching Shakespeare. In this magisterial interpretation, Bloom explains Shakespeare’s genius in a radical and provocative re-reading of the plays.

How to understand Shakespeare, whose ability so far exceeds his predecessors and successors, whose genius has defied generations of critics’ explanations, whose work is of greater influence in the modern age even than the Bible? This book is a visionary summation of Harold Bloom’s reading of Shakespeare and in it he expounds a brilliant and far-reaching critical theory: that Shakespeare was, through his dramatic characters, the inventor of human personality as we have come to understand it. In short, Shakespeare invented our understanding of ourselves. He knows us better than we do: ‘The plays remain the outward limit of human achievement: aesthetically, cognitively, in certain ways morally, even spiritually. They abide beyond the end of the mind’s reach; we cannot catch up to them. Shakespeare will go on explaining us in part because he invented us… ’ In a chronological survey of each of the plays, Bloom explores the supra-human personalities of Shakespeare’s great protagonists: Hamlet, Lear, Falstaff, Rosalind, Juliet. They represent the apogee of Shakespeare’s art, that art which is Britain’s most powerful and dominant cultural contribution to the world, here vividly recovered by an inspired and wise scholar at the height of his powers.

As for this brilliant comparison by JAMES SHAPIRO
This sums up spectacularly for me that, far from being an Establishment lackey, Shakespeare's brilliant analysis of the way we are ruled is still relevant and will continue to be so long after we're all singing in the Celestial Choir
These cut-'n-pastes are only of use if you read and understand them yourself Dick
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Feb 19 - 05:02 AM

Jim when will you understand that discussion is not about being patronising,or throwing insults, which seems to be your general style below the line and below the belt.
Shakespears family background was establishment, he was operating during a period when england was governed by autocratic rulers his historical plays reflect that position, it is well written fiction that is presented as fact, tudor propogasnda uin the case of Richard the third


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Iains
Date: 01 Feb 19 - 05:12 AM

Was shakespeare an establishment lackey? A view:


https://books.google.ie/books?id=MwZ5CgAAQBAJ&pg=PT240&lpg=PT240&dq=was+shakespeare+an+establishment+lackey&source=bl&ots=hwYtDI


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Feb 19 - 05:16 AM

"Jim when will you understand that discussion is not about being patronising,or throwing insults, "
You are responding to noting that has been said Dick
Your last statement is evidnec e that, despite people having put their opinions kandly and carefully, you continue to make your repies an unchanged a mantra
One of your own linlks, Jamers Sahapiro, has contradicted your argument perfectly with his comarisong of Richard III with Trump - now you are ignoring yur own links
Until you respond to what is being said I will continue to regard you as I do - I have not insulted you, I have merely described your behaviour
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Feb 19 - 06:46 AM

Meant to say thanks for those names EBarnacle (no rational to Nora, I suppose?)
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Feb 19 - 08:40 AM

Feckin spelcheck spoiled my joke - no relation to Nora it should read
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: EBarnacle
Date: 01 Feb 19 - 09:02 AM

There is no question that he was establishment. Consider his efforts [and his father's] to get a coat of arms. There is also the issue of his being a crypto Catholic--perhaps. If you read the Greenblatt "Will in the World" you will find these issues explored more deeply.
As with many of the authors and playwrights of that era, he trod a very fine line between message and threat. In many ways, the Master of the Revels was a friend, keeping material that could be subversive and dangerous to the author from being released to the public.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Feb 19 - 09:41 AM

"[and his father's] to get a coat of arms"
A business move in both cases surely ?
Don't know about his dad's gloves, but I don't think Bill painted a too-rosy picture of them in charge to earn the accusation of 'state suckhole"
He was a man of his time and, as you say, he trod the tightrope with care as they all had to
It really is immaterial to the fact that he was and remains the world's leading playwright - far from the 'verbose poodle' he is being accused of being here
I'm beginning to feel like Shirley Valentine talking to her kitchen wall, trying to communicate with Dick
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Feb 19 - 10:13 AM

on the subject of his historical plays here are some inaccuracies,in henry v part one, lord tabor is killed 22 years early which means he predeceases joan of arc. in corialanus he has Lartius refer to Cato 300 years before he was born, he mentions a clock in Caesars Rome four hundred years before the first mechanical clock, there are geographical inaccuracies too in the Tempest and two gentlemen of venice, prospero and valentine set sail from, respectively Milan and Verona, both cites were 48 hours travel from salt water. geographically and historically in correct, and so it goes on, in the taming of the shrew he puts a sailmaker in bergamo[ a landlocked italian city, well written but laughable from a factual perspective


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: EBarnacle
Date: 01 Feb 19 - 11:44 AM

It has been said that facts should never get in the way of a good story--except in debate.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Mossback
Date: 01 Feb 19 - 02:49 PM

He was a PLAYWRIGHT writing entertainment, for fuck's sake, not an historian or geographer. Give it a rest, already, willya?


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: EBarnacle
Date: 01 Feb 19 - 11:28 PM

Isn't that essentially what I said in my previous post?


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 03:46 AM

I suggest if you wish to continue with this fascinating topic you do so
I think Shirley Valentine got more satisfaction from her kitchen wall

Off to see Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet in a few weeks - god bless filmed national Theatre productions that reach as far as the Wild Atlantic Way *(nearly)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 04:30 AM

I sometimes wonder what plays Shakespeare might have written if he'd lived in the 21st century.

Basically All Good Innit?
Two Gangstas in Da Hood
A Lotta Grief 'Bout Nuffin'
Romeo Da Man 'N 'Is Bird
De Dealer in Venice
Lear De Legend

And so on.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Iains
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 05:21 AM

Thank God he he did not speak in estuary English.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 05:37 AM

Saw a Lovely production of The Merry Wives of Windsor on film last year
It was produced by a self-confessed 'The Only Way is Essex' devotee and bore all the influences, especially the use of language
Great entertainment, but a far cry from what Shakespeare intended, I think
The fact that if could make the leap in this way is testimony to the timlessness of his genius
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 06:01 AM

Well, he had to find themes that would interest his audiences,
and nowadays he'd have been on the Internet, social media, TV (probably various soaps) writing film scripts and composing raps etc.
I've always loved his elegant use of language, but Shakespeare-Estuary-English would be fun.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 06:38 AM

It was, try it Sen - but it ain't Shakespeare
I loved the last scene where the 'Sharon-type' heroine held up her engagement ring and waved it at the audience
Still brings a wide grin
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: EBarnacle
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 09:34 AM

As a big fan of Falstaff, the character, I cannot help but agree that Merry Wives is among the least of the Bard's plays. I was reportedly created by royal command after Henry V. Shakespeare did not wish to do it, yet this is the play of the group which got turned into an opera. Go figure.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 10:29 AM

You should try Orson Welles's Chimes at Midnight, where four plays were made into one story based around Falstaff
It tends to concentrate the attention to someone I believe depicted a malevolent clown
All Shakespear's clowns served a purpose - down to interpretation and taste I suppose
INTERESTING PIECE FROM BRITANNICA

A high point of my early theatregoing was when me and two mates drove up to Scotland and caught MacBeth during the second week of the Edinburgh Festival
We were first drawn there by Matt McGinn playing the part of the Gatekeeper and the three witches being presented as three very attractive young women in see-through robes
Couldn't really follow McGinn's broad Glasgowese but would have followed the three witches up Ben Nevis
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 10:44 AM

Playwrights writing entertainment,
pepys opinion here
“Saw Midsummer Night's Dream which I have never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid, ridiculous play that I ever saw in my life. There was, I confess, some good dancing and some handsome women, but that was all of my pleasure.” (29 September 1662)

“Saw Twelfth Night acted well, though it be but a silly play and not relating at all to the name or day" (6 January 1663)

“Though I went with the resolution to like [Henry VIII], it’s so simple a thing, made up of a great many patches…that there is nothing in the work.” (1 January 1664)
to answer this quote from moss back" he was a PLAYWRIGHT writing entertainment, for fuck's sake, not an historian or geographer.
if we extended that logic, that excuses any entertainers from any moral responsibilty, it becomes ok to make people laugh regardless your argument excuses bernard manning[ entertainer] or playwrights that flirted with fascism.
entertainers and playwrights have responsibilities other than just entertaining.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 11:30 AM

Weber, in my view a talented and admirable composer, declared on hearing his contemporary Beethoven's seventh symphony that poor old Ludwig was ripe for the madhouse. The new can seem strange at first. I'm guessing that that was Pepys' problem too.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 01:57 PM

Shakespeare wrote some brilliant tragedies.. othello. king lear macbeth anthony and cleopatra,and possibly his worst play timothy of athens, during the reign of james, james was a generous patron of drama,so perhaps Shakespeares creative flow was encouraged, apparantly his company performed over 150 times for james, and the less stifling atmosphere of the jacobean rather than elisabethan period brought out the best works of shakespeare.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 02:46 PM

What don't you like about Timon of Atens Dick ?
Jim Carroll

"Herman Melville considered Timon to be among the most profound of Shakespeare's plays, and in his 1850 review "Hawthorne and His Mosses"[32] writes that Shakespeare is not "a mere man of Richard-the-Third humps, and Macbeth daggers," but rather "it is those deep far-away things in him; those occasional flashings-forth of the intuitive Truth in him; those short, quick probings at the very axis of reality:–these are the things that make Shakespeare, Shakespeare. Through the mouths of the dark characters of Hamlet, Timon, Lear, and Iago, he craftily says, or sometimes insinuates the things, which we feel to be so terrifically true, that it were all but madness for any good man, in his own proper character, to utter, or even hint of them." In his 1590 Greene's Mourning Garment, Robert Greene used the term "Timonist" to refer to a lonely misanthrope. In his 1852 novel Pierre, Melville used the term "Timonism" about an artist's contemptuous rejection of both his audience and mankind in general."


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 03:40 PM

What is the point of the plot? it is imo a play that seems uncompleted.
defintely one of his more forgettable plays and one which is rarely performed.
Jim, can you explain this line in king lear "swithaldfooted thrice the old a nellthu night more and her nine fold"
answer that question. please


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 03:54 PM

Ah that's a well-known sort of 'typo' from the early manuscripts.
The printers of the time couldn't decipher it, but it was later 'translated' as 'Swithin footed thrice the wold and met the nightmare and her nine-fold'.
Still not terribly clear though!


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: meself
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 05:47 PM

Not every line Shakespeare wrote was his best. In fact, I'd go so far as to say, only his best was his best.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Mossback
Date: 02 Feb 19 - 06:49 PM

if we extended that logic, that excuses any entertainers from any moral responsibilty

God.

Have.

Mercy.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Feb 19 - 03:54 AM

"answer that question. please"
Just look it up Dick and stop sabotaging this thread
You've had a landslide of opinions - you've ignored them all and you want me to.... you've gotta be joking
You are pretty well a world minority of one here - from Melville to the world's finest that takes a special talent
What Moosy just said - on hundred times
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Feb 19 - 05:37 AM

Jim, nobody is sabotaging this thread.I am pointing out flaws in his work that does not mean his work is not good, or generally well written. the purpose of discussion is to discuss different points of view amicably, if you want a shakespeare adiration society go and start your own thread, and stop messing this one up


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Iains
Date: 04 Feb 19 - 06:21 AM

To get back to the original question you really have to solve the interrelationship of at least three factors:
Shakespeare the man
Shakespeare the body of his work.
Shakespeare the milieu of his times.

To make judgements on his work in terms of the norms of today does the man a great disservice.
Very little is known about the man.
From the British Library:
"Grammar school was tough. (There is in fact no record of Shakespeare’s name on the register of the King Edward VI Grammar School in Stratford, but his father’s position on the council – by now he was an alderman – brought free education for his sons with it, so it is inconceivable that he would not have been educated there.) These grammar schools were part of the Tudor educational revolution of which the chief beneficiaries were middle-class boys like Will Shakespeare, who were being groomed to be lawyers and clerks, Church of England ministers, secretaries to politicians or indeed politicians themselves, many of whom came from perfectly ordinary middle-class families. They were being trained up, in fact, to be the mainstays of the rapidly expanding Elizabethan state.

They didn’t study history, they didn’t study mathematics, they didn’t study geography, they didn’t study science. They studied grammar, from dawn to dusk, six days a week, all the year round. Grammar – Latin grammar. They translated from Latin into English and from English into Latin. At school, ordinary conversation was in Latin; any boy caught speaking English was flogged."

I think the above would explain his mastery of language, but not his knowledge of history. Whatever was produced for public consumption had to be politically acceptable to the crown, which may well have cramped his style. Being PC in those days kept head attached to shoulders. Free speech came with consequences.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 04 Feb 19 - 11:55 AM

I've been reading Macaulay's essays, in pursuit of Fanny Burney through Napoleonic France, and happened upon the passage below. Sorry for another long quote (I typed it out myself from Victorian text, if that helps any...) but it perfectly expresses my reverence for Shakespeare's innate understanding of the complex blend of subliminal subtleties that go to make up a human psyche - what Keats called negative capability. (The world today is suffering from a woeful lack of this quality, and just look how that's played out across the globe.)

To define Shakespeare by a single political ideology and then judge him only through that lens is like assessing the paintings of Rembrandt or Turner by viewing them solely in a three-inch black-&-white snapshot.

Macaulay writes:

Highest among those who have exhibited human nature by means of dialogue stands Shakespeare. His variety is like the variety of nature, endless diversity, scarcely any monstrosity. The characters, of which he has given us an impression as vivid as that which we receive from... our own associates, are to be reckoned by scores. Yet in all these scores hardly one character is to be found which deviates widely from the common standard, and which we should call very eccentric if we met it in real life.

The silly notion that every man [or playwright - bs] has one ruling passion, and that this clue, once known, unravels all the mysteries of his conduct, finds no countenance in the plays of Shakespeare. There, man appears as he is, made up of a crowd of passions, which contend for the mastery over him, and govern him in turn... Take a single example - Shylock. Is he so eager for money as to be indifferent to revenge? Or so eager for revenge as to be indifferent to money? Or so bent on both together as to be indifferent to the honour of his nation and the law of Moses? All his propensities are mingled with each other; so that, in trying to apportion to each its proper part, we find the same difficulty which constantly meets us in real life. A superficial critic may say that hatred is Shylock's ruling passion. But how many passions have amalgamated to form that hatred? It is partly the result of wounded pride: Antonio has called him dog. It is partly the result of covetousness: Antonio has hindered him of half a million, and, when Antonio is gone, there will be no limit to the gains of usury. It is partly the result of national and religious feeling: Antonio has spit on the Jewish gabardine; and the oath of revenge has been sworn by the Jewish Sabbath.

We might go through all the characters which we have mentioned, and through fifty more in the same way; for it is the constant manner of Shakespeare to represent the human mind as lying not under the absolute dominion of one domestic propensity, but under a mixed government, in which a hundred powers balance each other. Admirable as he was in all parts of his art, we most admire him for this: that while he has left us a greater number of striking portraits than all the other dramatists put together, he has scarcely left us a single caricature. Shakespeare has had neither equal nor second.

- - -

Essays, Critical and Miscellaneous, Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859)
Publ. Phillips, Sampson & Co., Boston USA, 1856

Free download from Archive.org if anybody's interested. I can't get the EPub or Kindle links to work, but the PDF one does (though it takes awhile). The above excerpt is on digital page 605, printed page 589. There's some great stuff in there.

https://archive.org/details/criticalmiscellan00macarich/page/n7


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: EBarnacle
Date: 04 Feb 19 - 09:13 PM

I've seen Chimes at Midnight. Welles does a decent job but, as with all of his productions, the production is about him, rather than being about itself. Probably the best moment in the film is when Hal rides out of the relationship. Falstaff, realizing this, allows a tear to fall. My dissatisfaction with this movie is one of the reasons I adapted my play based on the four plays and almost entirely about the relationship between Sir John and Hal as it deteriorates.

A friend of mine, recently deceased, Malcolm "Mac" Nelson, described Falstaff as the leading tragic clown in the Shakespearean canon.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: meself
Date: 05 Feb 19 - 10:46 AM

Thanks for that quotation, Bonnie - Macauley puts his finger on it.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Feb 19 - 12:31 PM

Shakespeares historical plays are influenced by the period he was writing, if he had dcriticised elizabeths father or grandfather he would have been executed, that does not mean they are not well written, but it cats doubt on some of the historical accuracy, which at the time was presented as fact but was well written fiction


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: meself
Date: 06 Feb 19 - 12:50 PM

Has anyone ever claimed that WS's plays are historically accurate? I thought the first thing you learned about WS's "history" in high school is that it is not accurate ... ?


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 06 Feb 19 - 01:38 PM

> I thought the first thing you learned about WS's "history" in high school is that it is not accurate

Yes... or at least I did. Our teachers always made that very clear, right from the get-go, as I already said above. This point is also frequently mentioned in critical commentary, literature textbooks, and even theatre programme notes. I don't think many people take him literally.

And numberless other writers have done the same over the centuries, too many to cite. Plays ARE fiction - they need plot-points, dramatic arcs, characters with depth and credibility, whose dialogue keeps the pace moving. When it's non-fiction, they call it reading a transcript.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Feb 19 - 01:58 PM

They're fiction, and many - including Shakespeare's - are politically slanted.


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Subject: RE: BS: shakespeare
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Feb 19 - 04:15 PM

no,that was not ho it was taught at the grammar sachool i attended.


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