Book Review: William Shakespeare`s the Tempest by Marianna Mayer

Book Review: William Shakespeare`s the Tempest by Marianna Mayer

I like that The Tempest can easily be converted into a children’s book, which I think I’ve mentioned before. But apparently we should stay away from this one. “There’s little wonder, and less of Shakespeare, however, in this leaden picture-book adaptation of the famous romance.” Oh.

The other night I asked Katherine (who is 3) if she wanted Daddy to make up a story on the spot. She said yes. So I told her the story of a little girl named Miranda who lived on an island with her daddy, a magician named Prospero. Long story short she got very confused, very fast (and did ask where Miranda’s mommy was). Since I was winging it I didn’t have good consistent answers for all of her questions. But it does give me hope that she’s getting to an age where she can understand just a story, without pictures to back it up.

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CBS News on Shakespeare Authorship

CBS News reports on the Falstaff (aka Henry Neville) theory. The only reason I’m linking to this one, since it’s actually an old theory that we’ve already discussed, is that the article seems to be making fun of the Falstaff argument and provides more evidence against than for it.

“Shakespeare had never been to Venice. So how could he write Merchant of Venice?”

I mean, honestly, is that a real question? Ray Bradbury’s never been to Mars but I liked his “Martian Chronicles.”

I like the rebuttal: “Shakespeare never once mentioned that there were any canals in Venice. That suggests to me that it was written by someone who had read books about Venice, but had never actually been there.”

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ABC News: Elvis still tops dead celebrities, Shakespeare hot

ABC News: Elvis still tops dead celebrities, Shakespeare hot

What they mean, in case you don’t feel like reading, is that if Shakespeare’s works were still under copyright and thus making his estate money, he would be generating an estimated $15million a year, which would put him #5 on the “dead celebrities” list – behind Elvis, Charles Schultz, John Lennon and Andy Warhol.

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Shakespeare makes me feel smart!

The South End Newspaper – Shakespeare makes me feel smart! – A&E – News

I like this article for the upbeat tone that it brings to taking Shakespeare classes in college. “Shakespeare’s plays are actually very interesting and hilarious. In fact, they’re among the most interesting and hilarious plays I’ve ever read.”

And also: “Believe it or not, knowing that you’re able to converse with someone about Shakespeare is very fulfilling…much more fulfilling than talking about how many shots of Tequila I can drink before I vomit or how the OC makes me cry.”

Where was she when I was in college? 🙂

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Disputed Elizabethan portrait not Shakespeare, National Gallery says

NewsFromRussia.Com Disputed Elizabethan portrait not Shakespeare, National Gallery says.

I’m not up to date on all the various images of Shakespeare out there. But apparently this “Grafton” one has been deemed a fake. Or, rather, not really a fake in the sense that it was ever passed off as Shakespeare, but rather that people incorrectly assumed it was him. One of the arguments is that for the time of his life that this would have been painted in, Shakespeare was almost certainly too poor to afford that sort of costume.

These are the same people who also found that the “Flower portrait” was a fake from the 19th century.

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Podcasting News: No Time to Read Hamlet? Put a Study Guide on Your iPod!

Podcasting News: No Time to Read Hamlet? Put a Study Guide on Your iPod!
I am NOT a fan of just giving kids the Cliff’s Notes (or Spark Notes, or whatever) for Shakespeare. I would much prefer to see Shakespeare on the iPod be people performing it (as the ShakespeareCast does), or at least discussing it and trying to put a more fun, personal spin on it. Moving the SparkNotes to an audio form will hopefully get the kids into it more as they actually get to hear portions of the play performed. But I wonder if their ears will glaze over the same way their eyes do when they get bored, and they’ll just try to mindlessly copy down what they hear?

I’ve been keeping an eye out for a Shakespeare for a long time, and now ShakespeareCast has come along. Very cool. It appears to be a high school theatre group who is actually going to podcast their own presentation of the plays, starting with Romeo and Juliet. Right now it is just filler, with the kids reading the sonnets.

Even still, the very existence of the podcast is a good thing, and you should subscribe. It’s nice to hear the sonnets read aloud. I hope for good things from them.

Iago reborn on Reality Television?

Reality TV Magazine: Jim Bozzini Leads On The Apprentice Martha Stewart
This is a silly thing to link to but it’s funny because when I’m not posting about Shakespeare on this blog I’m posting about reality TV on my other blog. In particular this story is about Jim, the evil/crazy one on Martha Stewart’s Apprentice. The producer likens him to Iago, saying Jim “seems nutty enough not to be a threat in the short term, but in the long term his calculated razor sharp mind intimidates the competition.”

I don’t particularly like Jim, as I’ve mentioned on the other blog, and want him voted off. But comparing him to possibly Shakespeare’s greatest villain is a bit much.

Royal Shakespeare Company on CD

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Arts | Dame Judi part of Shakespeare CD
No word on how much it costs or where to get it. These are recordings of live performances. Plays include King Lear, Richard II, War of the Roses (what?), Coriolanus (featuring Olivier) and All’s Well That Ends Well with Dame Judi Dench.

Ah, found it : Royal Shakespeare Company homepage. I can’t link directly to it because it’s in the shopping section and you get a session parameter. But look for “Essential Shakespeare” in the audio CD section. 15.95pounds. I don’t know how much that is in US.