Shakespeare Fanatics Quiz

Ok, here’s what I’m talking about. About.com’s got another quiz up, this time loaded with advanced questions for us fanatics (although I think we could argue about whether knowing the Shakespearean source for Kurosawa’s “RAN” is all that advanced).

Be warned, though – you apparently don’t get your score at the end (I didn’t). So as you’re going through, keep track of your own. If I counted right there are 14 questions, and I got 8 right. Not my best work, but I prefer to get a little less than average score so I know I learned something :).
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Shakespeare Sonnets Podcast : Some Guy from New York

The other day I stumbled across Some Guy From New York, a Shakespeare podcast of the sonnets, but didn’t want to post until I’d had a chance to listen. The setup is a little unusual, it looks like he’s in some sort of sensitivity program (ordered to be?) and doing his time by brain dumping his thoughts on Shakespeare. Having listened to a few of them at this point, I have to say I like it. He goes through one sonnet at a time, line by line, and explains what’s going on. Now, since the first 17 are all about the same thing – “Hey, young guy, here’s a good reason to settle down and have a kid” — it’s going to get a little repetitive, but it’ll be good practice to try new things. I already see by Sonnet 9 that he’s experimenting with the structure of the program. I’m curious if we’ll hear more about his whole story and why exactly he’s reading sonnets like this, too. I like a podcast with some character.

I’ve said before, I don’t listen to people do Shakespeare on MP3, it’s kind of like experiencing a movie on television when you’re in the other room and can see but can’t hear it. But I do like to hear people talk about Shakespeare, and will eat that stuff up. One of these days I may even do my own. I swear. So, anyway, he’s in my list.

If there’s one thing I’d like to hear, it’s for him to do a reading of the sonnet at the beginning, and then discuss it, and then read it again at the end. If you’ve never heard or read the given sonnet and he’s breaking it down line by line, it’s hard to get the whole picture. Sometimes you can’t always tell when Shakespeare’s line ended and when Some Guy’s commentary begins. By reading it first you’d have the whole thing fresh in your brain and then as he breaks it down you won’t lose the structure when he digs in.

He’s also over annunciating quite a bit, which I assume he’s doing on purpose, but maybe he’ll settle into a rhythm over time.

Also, I figure that dear Shakespeare wouldn’t be caught dead wearing the baseball cap of a team who is responsible for the worst playoff loss in the history of baseball, courtesy of my beloved, World Series-winning Boston Red Sox. Ha! 😛

Prospero’s Altered Books

Ooooooo, pretty. Here’s the kind of site that defines why I run this sort of Shakespeare blog. In the movie Prospero’s Books (based of course on The Tempest), the director gave titles and content to the imaginary books. In the linked project, a bunch of artists got together to create the actual books. How cool is that?

Some of the cooler books include a compendium of board games (nice to think of that, if you’re going to be stranded on a dessert island) and a book of 36 plays. Anybody get the joke there? Everybody? Shakespeare is supposed to have written 37 plays, and The Tempest is supposed to be the last (although that is debatable by some, when you count how many more plays he collaborated on). So that book of 36 is supposed to represent Shakespeare’s work to that point. And, sure enough, there’s a W.S. on the cover.

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Help a geek out : Shakespeare term paper

I just tripped over Confessions of an Undercover Geek, where he’s just finished a paper for his Politics Through Fiction class entitled “Shakespeare and the Pursuit of Hope and Purpose Within a Society.” He asks folks to read it and tell him what they think.

I figure a little boost of traffic from some dedicated Shakespeare fans wouldn’t hurt, so do the man a favor if you get a moment and hook him up with some comments.

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Shakespeare by Email : Have some Hamlet with your Viagra

Here’s an interesting idea, I suppose – you can sign up to have a Shakespearean play emailed to you in pieces. I guess maybe it’s easier to mentally set yourself for reading the whole thing if you only have to tackle pieces at a time? Apparently the company has quite the boatload of books as part of this service, too. Not just our friendly neighborhood Bard.

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