Vulcan’s Peak

Archive for the 'Shakespeare' category

The Ides of March, remember?

March 15, 2009 5:09 pm

Brutus:
Remember March, the Ides of March remember:
Did not great Julius bleed for justice’ sake?
What villain touch’d his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What! shall one of us,
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers,–shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.

- Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, IV iii

Hope you all had a pleasant Pi Day yesterday!  Real news coming soon-ish someday.

Back By Popular Demand!

March 15, 2008 8:00 am

What? You say that’s not actually what “popular” means? Aw, come on, it’s tradition here at the Peak.

Brutus:
Remember March, the Ides of March remember:
Did not great Julius bleed for justice’ sake?
What villain touch’d his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What! shall one of us,
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers,–shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.

- Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, IV iii

It’s a homework-filled weekend for me, but sometime in the next week I want to make time to go see Avenue Q while it’s in town…

Romeo, Juliet, and Benvatio

March 1, 2008 7:39 pm

The Boston Ballet has been doing Romeo & Juliet since Valentine’s Day (Yes. Gag.), and despite my sometime aversion to the play, I really wanted to see it, so my roommate and I went this afternoon. Though we had some nitpicks (because of costuming choices, it took us a while to distinguish between Romeo, Benvolio, and Mercutio; also, at the end, Romeo stabbed himself rather than taking poison), on the whole, we really enjoyed it! I love the music.

As we walked to the subway afterwards, C. admitted to sometimes confusing Benvolio and Horatio (from Hamlet). In the end, we decided that they might be the same person. Out of grief, Benvolio left Verona, changed his name, and enrolled in the university at Wittenberg, where he met Hamlet. After all, isn’t Horatio a very Italian-sounding name for the northern-Europe world of Hamlet?

I think he might have become King Lear’s Fool in later life.

Actor sighting

May 10, 2007 12:24 am

People who have no interest in the RSC and the BBC should probably not bother with this post unless they just want to hear me blather.

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The Shakespeare Code

April 28, 2007 2:38 pm

Since I’ve finished what I have of Babylon 5 and school is wrapping up for the moment, the obsession d’jour has become Doctor Who. I watched enough on SciFi last fall to be a bit disappointed when the new season started on BBC without my having access to it, but it wasn’t until I ran across the clip of Harry Potter references (which I told you about a few posts ago) that it occurred to me to check online…

The Harry Potter jokes come from the episode broadcast on April 7, the title of which grabbed my attention: “The Shakespeare Code.” Definately a fun romp through Elizabethan England, with several scenes filmed at the reconstructed Globe Theatre in London, whee! Besides the HP amusement, there are no less than six instances in which the Doctor quotes Shakespeare to Shakespeare (though Will comes up with “to be or not to be” on his own), as well as other references to the Macbeth witches and their “blasted heath,” the “Dark Lady” of the sonnets, and the scholarly debate concerning Shakespeare’s sexuality (”Ooh, fifty-seven academics just punched the air…”).

I particularly appreciated that the episode revolved around a Shakespeare play that is not Romeo and Juliet! Instead, they used the less known Love’s Labors Lost, playing on the fact that there may have been a sequal, now lost, called Love’s Labors Won. [Tangent: Now I want to read Love's Labors Lost next month, it's one I don't know.]

After so much Renaissance lit in college, though, a few things jumped out at me as odd.

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3.15

March 15, 2007 10:41 am

I thought about not doing it this year, but I hate to break the trend. And one of these years, I might actually read this play to boot. But in the meantime…

Brutus:
Remember March, the Ides of March remember:
Did not great Julius bleed for justice’ sake?
What villain touch’d his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What! shall one of us,
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers,–shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.

- Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, IV iii

I hope this doesn’t bode ill for the phone interview I have set up for this evening. One of my profs has designed an assignment for which he wants us to interview an editor, so that’s what this is. Eep. From our correspondence, she seems very friendly, though. More on all that life stuff presently…

Thoughts on a Saturday evening

September 16, 2006 10:30 pm

Going up and down three flights of stairs to do laundry again sucks.

Paying for laundry sucks more.

The bright side: yes, there is an elevator. And at least the washers and dryers are efficient.

I’ve been letting the tv entertain me this evening. ‘Course, only a nerd like me would go from Willy Wonka to Richard III… I have yet to see the Johnny Depp Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but it was fun to watch the old Gene Wilder one again. I forsee an age divide in coming years — I suspect many in my generation and older will always picture Willy Wonka as Gene Wilder.

However, it was a bit trying to fold clothes in front of the Chocolate Factory when there is no chocolate in my kitchen. A situation that must be remedied!

Richard is the 1995 version with Ian McKellan in the title role — the one Pug and I watched for my Shakespeare course last May. Who knew Gandalf could be so evil? I love it, but it’s so creepy! Don’t look at me like that, Richard!

Local Shakespeare: free & outdoors

May 29, 2006 12:05 am

Tonight I made one of those “why did I figure this out right before I leave town?” discoveries. Event of the evening was the Upstate Shakespeare Festival’s production of Macbeth.

They perform in an amphitheatre (there’s that word again…once again, we really mean “outdoor theatre”) in a gorgeous park right on the Reedy River in downtown Greenville. The weather was great tonight, so the setting was a huge plus. And as the title suggests, the price was pretty sweet, too, though it’s considered polite to offer a donation.

The show itself was well done — in general, Greenville seems to do very well by the arts for a city of its size. Though definately amateur actors, by and large, they were good amateur actors. (I don’t mean to sound snobby when I say that. Keep in mind that the other Macbeths I’ve seen have been a the ASF and the RSC; I would love to be in this sort of production at some point.)

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Not dead yet!

May 21, 2006 12:10 am

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

Reports of my graduation are still premature. (I have three more days of class. I get my piece of paper on June 3.)

So hello again! Carmen can stop frothing (geez, get a rabies shot!) and perhaps my rabid fans will be appeased.

Charlie Brown went off pretty well. Out first performance was out in the amphitheatre as planned — the forecast had been scaring us all week, but the only possible back-up location was already booked that first night. But the show went on! In fact, it did drizzle a little during the first act, but it cleared up after five or ten minutes and then it was lovely. Miraculously, the crowd didn’t leave!

Since we did have McAlister reserved for Friday and Saturday, we went ahead and moved to the auditorium Friday afternoon — and it did rain off and on all weekend, so we were glad we did. The show went better inside anyway (depite the fact that we were thoroughly turned around at first), so that was good. And there it was, my exit from Pauper Players. Sort of…I had set up a couple of video cameras during the last show, so I’ve been editing and burning copies of the video ever since. Finally got the last of those done this afternoon.

I also sang with Furman’s oratorio chorus (basically all the choruses combine to do a major work at Christmas and again in May) for the last time. I hadn’t been in women’s chorale since sophomore year (partly time constraints, partly personalities), so it was fun to be in a big chorus again. The performance was the day Pug arrived up here after his exams, so he got to come!

It was great fun to have my boy up here for a week, and he insists that he had a good time, despite the fact that he had to entertain himself while I went to class, worked at the CCLC, and wrote a research paper. I guess I even believe him, since after all I had a lovely time, despite going to class, working, and writing a research paper…

Some Linkages:

The Plains of Abraham: There is a Canadian classicist whose specialty is the performance aspect of Homeric poetry. So what does he do but write his own epic in the Homeric style about an event in Canadian history. And he goes around and performs it! He came to Furman the week between Charlie Brown and the oratorio — really cool!

NY Times on Da Vinci: Whatever you think about The Da Vinci Code, book or movie, check out this movie review from the New York Times. Harsh — but very funny! I thought the book was a good read and want to see the movie sooner or later, but it might wait for video. We shall see.

Speaking of movies, the group that brings films to Furman has been doing well this spring after performing way sub par for most of the year — they spent about two months advertising Saw 2 this winter. Ewww!! But now I’ve seen nearly everything I kinda wanted to see over Christmas but didn’t get around to:
Pride & Prejudice: pretty good; worth seeing for cheap; hated the final scene they wrote in.
Brokeback Mountain: I like it. And I think it’s really cool that they can make a tasteful movie about gay cowboys. Really cool.
The Producers: good funny! Though some scenes feel constrained, as though the blocking was pulled straight from the stage version and the camera angle is too narrow.
Good Night and Good Luck: I love black and white. Required viewing for anyone who thinks the Constitution is being trampled on. It doesn’t actively draw parallels between McCarthy and anything modern, but its very presence suggests them. Possibly just me. Also really neat to see the movie and then see a clip of the real 1950’s newscaster who is the main character of the film.

Those of you who remember a certain tenth grade English project may be amused to know that my Shakespeare class is doing something very similar! This time, though, we have to stick to the plot as given, though we may pull from multiple scene or overlay bits to make a point, provided that the point is substantiated by the text in the first place. My group is doing Richard III, a play I didn’t know much about until a few weeks ago. (However, now I can tell you if you don’t already know that the film of Richard III from about ten years ago starring Ian McKellen is phenomenal and you should all see it. So creepy!!) Anyway, I was experimenting with costume bits for this, and then I started playing with my camera and the mirror…ending up with this, which is kind of fun…
Odette casts magic missile.

Public service announcement

March 15, 2006 12:15 am

Brutus:
Remember March, the Ides of March remember:
Did not great Julius bleed for justice’ sake?
What villain touch’d his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What! shall one of us,
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers,–shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.

- Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, IV iii

It occurs to me that maybe I should find a new way of celebrating the Ides of March. Or not. I mean, three years, dude! That’s tradition.

n.b. I will not be reading Julius Caesar for my Shakespeare, nor Antony and Cleopatra. However, for a Roman fix we are doing Titus Andronichus next week (I’m planning to take a mop to clean up all the blood). Syllabus also includes Troilus & Cressida, The Winter’s Tale, and Richard III, of which I know nothing; Lear and As You Like It, which I know, but not well; and Taming of the Shrew and Othello, which I do know pretty well. I am well pleased.

Watched Brannagh’s Othello tonight for class – I don’t think I’ve seen this one before and enjoyed it though I’ve watched his Much Ado too many times, I think. Difficult for me to see him as Iago.

Our first assignment in my writing class is to write a story with characters based loosely one two people we know, but who don’t know each other. Bwahahaha.