Shakespeare

Started by Karl Henning, July 16, 2014, 05:15:08 AM

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Karl Henning

Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Pohjolas Daughter


@(poco) Sforzando Thank you for the recs.  It's been quite some *time since I've watched any of his plays  :-[ , but I'd like to watch more of them.

*What often happens is that I'll stumble upon them midway through (often on PBS).  Probably post-holidays, I'll take a better look through this thread and jot down some recs and see whether or not I can get ahold of them through my library system.

As an aside, do you like the opera by Verdi of Otello?  It's one of my favorites.  :)

PD
Pohjolas Daughter

(poco) Sforzando

Quote from: Pohjolas Daughter on December 20, 2023, 08:25:54 AM@(poco) Sforzando Thank you for the recs.  It's been quite some *time since I've watched any of his plays  :-[ , but I'd like to watch more of them.

*What often happens is that I'll stumble upon them midway through (often on PBS).  Probably post-holidays, I'll take a better look through this thread and jot down some recs and see whether or not I can get ahold of them through my library system.

As an aside, do you like the opera by Verdi of Otello?  It's one of my favorites.  :)

PD

Love Verdi's Otello, his Falstaff even more!
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

ando

Quote from: SimonNZ on December 19, 2023, 04:57:35 PMI've heard a couple of people I respect say their preferred filmed Hamlet is the Derek Jacobi in the big BBC box.
But its one I've yet to watch.
Jacobi's Hamlet isn't my cup of tea but the old Oxfordian's turn as Richard II in that series is my favorite on film. The entire cast is excellent, actually; one of the best among that late 70s/early 80 BBC series. Btw, Britbox keeps all 36 plays in their streaming rotation. I own a copy of the box set but can't always be bothered pulling them out when the mood strikes. Plus, BB keeps the original Doctor Who and a few other notable series in their library as well.

SimonNZ

Quote from: ando on December 20, 2023, 02:13:02 PMJacobi's Hamlet isn't my cup of tea but the old Oxfordian's turn as Richard II in that series is my favorite on film. The entire cast is excellent, actually; one of the best among that late 70s/early 80 BBC series. Btw, Britbox keeps all 36 plays in their streaming rotation. I own a copy of the box set but can't always be bothered pulling them out when the mood strikes. Plus, BB keeps the original Doctor Who and a few other notable series in their library as well.

I haven't yet watched the Richard II in the series. I'll now make it the next I do. Thanks.

ando

Having finished watching a couple versions of Henry VI Part 1 (I'm now on to a closer reading of the text) the first question which immediately comes to mind is why Shakespeare and his fellows did not write (or feel compelled to write) a part for the most powerful man in this historical drama, the figure whose decisions are obviously unassailable in this era, namely, the pope. Does the Vatican or the pope make an appearance in any of Shakespeare's plays? It's a notable absence, which at first blush seems to reflect more of the religious-political climate of Elizabethan England than mid-15th century Europe.

SimonNZ

Quote from: ando on December 22, 2023, 06:37:07 PMHaving finished watching a couple versions of Henry VI Part 1 (I'm now on to a closer reading of the text) the first question which immediately comes to mind is why Shakespeare and his fellows did not write (or feel compelled to write) a part for the most powerful man in this historical drama, the figure whose decisions are obviously unassailable in this era, namely, the pope. Does the Vatican or the pope make an appearance in any of Shakespeare's plays? It's a notable absence, which at first blush seems to reflect more of the religious-political climate of Elizabethan England than mid-15th century Europe.

Further proof that Shakespeare was a closet Catholic? That he would commit lese-majeste for a historical king but not a pope?

More seriously: if Holinshed (or the couple of others WS cribbed from) didn't bring him into the story then he'd have no idea of how to or why.

ando

Quote from: SimonNZ on December 23, 2023, 03:53:52 AMMore seriously: if Holinshed (or the couple of others WS cribbed from) didn't bring him into the story then he'd have no idea of how to or why.
Would you pay a penny to hear them?  8)

ando


Hollow Crown Season Two: Henry VI Part 1 (2016, Dominic Cooke)
Helps if you know the play. After having studied it a bit and watched the remarkably faithful early 80s BBC tv version of this first early Shakespeare History at least I can appreciate the extent to which the text is mangled. Kenneth Branagh's Henry V and, especially, Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth, is obviously a huge influence on the filmmakers here (as it has been for countless medieval and Tudor soap opera sagas). In the event you don't know the plot it concerns the beginning of the famous Wars of the Roses as the very young King Henry VI is unable to competently rule the realm initially and later cannot prevent faction among the nobility due to poor choices and deficiencies of character. It's an interesting take on the Bard's history but because it's so truncated, we don't see enough of some of the major characters to feel for them when Shakespeare gives us the verse in pivotal scenes. We don't see Joan la Pucelle (later, of Arc), one of the play's chief antagonists, until well into the film. None of the humor in the play is in evidence. This is grim, joyless, Shakespeare. Looks pretty, though.

Pohjolas Daughter

Quote from: (poco) Sforzando on December 20, 2023, 11:35:11 AMLove Verdi's Otello, his Falstaff even more!
I must admit that I haven't ever listened to Falstaff.  I'll have to check into it.  :)

PD
Pohjolas Daughter

KevinP

Me, putting the ham in Hamlet in my Shakespeare survey class. Top is 2019, I think. Bottom a couple months ago.




SimonNZ

Quote from: KevinP on January 10, 2024, 02:10:23 PMMe, putting the ham in Hamlet in my Shakespeare survey class. Top is 2019, I think. Bottom a couple months ago.


Heh, Cool.

Are any of your lectures available to the public?

KevinP

No. Given the level of Shakespeare scholarship out there, I find that thought very intimidating. My background is linguistics, but I like Shakespeare enough that I can teach it to students who are mostly still language learners.

ando

Don't think I'd put this on my wall but can't help admiring the art:


Reddit post

vers la flamme

I've really been on a Shakespeare binge since early December, filling a lot of gaps by reading a bunch of his plays for the first time. I want to read more; here's what I've read so far:

Hamlet
Othello
King Lear
Macbeth
Julius Caesar
The Taming of the Shrew
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Twelfth Night
The Tempest
Romeo & Juliet (this one was a reread)

Where to from here, Shakespeareans of GMG? Can't wait to reread all those I've read, too...

ando

Quote from: vers la flamme on January 14, 2024, 08:23:59 AMWhere to from here, Shakespeareans of GMG? Can't wait to reread all those I've read, too...
I don't get much from reading any Shakespeare text alone. For me it must be accompanied with viewings of 2 or 3 productions as well as a discussion (preferably, a group reading for context, contemporary comparisons, historical background, miscellany). Then I get a full Shakespeare experience. Otherwise they're just... words.

Since you asked for a suggestion why not segue to the history plays, what the Sweet Bard of Avon cut his theatric teeth on during the 1590s in London. The reading group I'm in is currently in the middle of reading and discussing the Henry VI trilogy, taking the winter (1 month for each part) to enjoy it. Join us if it sounds like something you'd like. Otherwise, dive into Titus Andronicus, Henry V or Richard III to name three of the most successful of his history potboilers. And there are fine movie versions out there to supplement a reading of any (or all) of them.
🙂

SimonNZ

Seconding the recommendation of the history plays. But I'd perhaps suggest reading the main sequence in order of events from Richard II through Henrys IV, V and VI and ending with Richard III. Endlessly fascinating and rewarding.

(And John Julius Norwich's "Shakespeare's Kings" as secondary reading, if you feel like your appetite for the subject has been whetted.)

Ganondorf

Quote from: vers la flamme on January 14, 2024, 08:23:59 AMI've really been on a Shakespeare binge since early December, filling a lot of gaps by reading a bunch of his plays for the first time. I want to read more; here's what I've read so far:

Hamlet
Othello
King Lear
Macbeth
Julius Caesar
The Taming of the Shrew
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Twelfth Night
The Tempest
Romeo & Juliet (this one was a reread)

Where to from here, Shakespeareans of GMG? Can't wait to reread all those I've read, too...

King John. One of the most underrated Shakespeare plays.

ando

Quote from: SimonNZ on January 14, 2024, 02:05:59 PMSeconding the recommendation of the history plays. But I'd perhaps suggest reading the main sequence in order of events from Richard II through Henrys IV, V and VI and ending with Richard III. Endlessly fascinating and rewarding.
Perhaps there's something to that approach. There doesn't seem to be a clear consensus on the order in which they were written. For me the most rewarding part is tracing Shakespeare's development as a playwright. In the Henry VI trilogy alone you can see the improvement in language and structure from one part to the next. When you study the plays the notion that parts 2 and 3 were written before part 1, for example, seems rather absurd.

vers la flamme

Quote from: ando on January 14, 2024, 11:39:36 AMI don't get much from reading any Shakespeare text alone. For me it must be accompanied with viewings of 2 or 3 productions as well as a discussion (preferably, a group reading for context, contemporary comparisons, historical background, miscellany). Then I get a full Shakespeare experience. Otherwise they're just... words.

Since you asked for a suggestion why not segue to the history plays, what the Sweet Bard of Avon cut his theatric teeth on during the 1590s in London. The reading group I'm in is currently in the middle of reading and discussing the Henry VI trilogy, taking the winter (1 month for each part) to enjoy it. Join us if it sounds like something you'd like. Otherwise, dive into Titus Andronicus, Henry V or Richard III to name three of the most successful of his history potboilers. And there are fine movie versions out there to supplement a reading of any (or all) of them.
🙂

Don't get me wrong, I'm by no means done with those I listed; I've been seeking out performances of them that I can find online, videos of people talking about them, etc. Just that my voraciousness entices me to read more, as there are still so many of his plays I have yet to read even for the first time.

Regarding the Henry VI saga and Richard III, those were some of the first Shakespeare plays I ever read, back when I had a complete edition of his works and started from the beginning; I have indeed been curious to return to them, though it seems the critics hate 'em.

Quote from: Ganondorf on January 15, 2024, 01:07:54 AMKing John. One of the most underrated Shakespeare plays.

I shall seek it out; indeed you're the first I've ever heard recommend that one to me.