Prospero…The Moor of Milan?

I’m not really sure what blog Thrice Fresh is all about, but his envisioning of character Doc Prosper got my attention: My version of the Duke was born in Scicily (after its occupation by the Moors) and later made his way to Milan in the north. I’m thinking before becoming Duke, he studied Neuromancy in the ruins of Alexandria. I wonder if he’ll spot the link and check in.  I can’t tell if this is some sort of graphic novel in progress, or an animation project, or what.  

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Shakespeare for Lunch

http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=477222007 Now there’s a neat idea.  Break down the plays into 45 minute versions that you can watch on your lunch hour.  Instead of a three hour chore, you get an entertaining break in the middle of the day.  If they did such a thing walking distance from my office I’d be there every time. Like any modern attempt to bring Shakespeare to the masses, I’m sure that it will be met with criticism.  What parts will they cut?  How much of the essence will be removed?  There are folks that will only be happy with Branagh’s four hour Hamlet.  For the most part, I’m with you.  I’ll take the original novel over the comic book any day.  But when I don’t have time to sit through four hours, 45 minutes is much better than nothing.

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Tarantino as Shakespeare. Discuss.

This story made the rounds this weekend.  It seems that Quentin Tarantino, he of Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and now Grindhouse, “can’t rule out the possibility” that he’s Shakespeare reincarnated“I’ve always had a thought maybe I might have been Shakespeare in another life,” he says.  “I don’t really believe that 100 per cent, and I don’t really care about Shakespeare, I’ve never been into Shakespeare, but then people are constantly bringing up all these qualities in my work that mirror Shakespearean tragedies…” It’s actually an interesting question.  Once you get past the liberal use of f-words, Tarantino is actually known best for his writing, and through that, his character development.  Look at Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction, a hired hitman who has an epiphany after experiencing a miracle.  Or the journey of Bea in Kill Bill, to hunt down the man who’d tried to murder her and her unborn child.  There’s enough gore and chopping of limbs in that one in particular to do Titus Andronicus proud.  

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The Basic Sonnet Forms

We’ve talked about sonnets before, but this link to sonnets.org is worth checking out for its treatment of all the sonnet forms – Italian, Spenserian, English/Shakespearean, and “Indefinable”.  Sometimes it’s neat to look at resources where our dear Shakespeare is just one small part of the big picture.  Keeps things in context.  He wasn’t the only one writing sonnets, and not every sonnet is written in the form he popularized.  

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Hamlet on Trial

I am kicking myself for not jumping on the whole Hamlet on Trial thing going on down in Washington.  I’m being bombarded with links to it now.  When I first saw this story about a mock trial where Hamlet is tried for killing Polonius, I thought it just some weird law school academic exercise.  I guess I was wrong.  Everybody seems to have loved the “performance.” The verdict?  Split decision.  Apparently other similar trials in the past have found Hamlet sane…so what does that mean, guilty?  Held accountable?  It doesn’t really say. This particular article I’ve linked to doesn’t seem to take the actual arguments very seriously, pointing out both sides use of the whole “Hamlet talks to himself as if there’s an audience that can hear him” thing to be the defining issue of whether he’s insane and/or suicidal.  Could they not call Horatio, who was witness himself to Hamlet saying “I shall seek it meet to put an antic disposition on”?  Or are we going beyond the whole “acting crazy / really crazy” thing and just assuming that perhaps he has really gone crazy?  Man, I’m sorry I missed it, sounds like I would have enjoyed that.

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King Lear versus George Bush

In an article entitled What The Bard and Lear Can Tell A Leader About Yes Men, the Washington Post compares Lear to Bush on the whole question of surrounding yourself with die-hard loyalists who will only tell you what you want to hear. I’m not sure I fully agree with the comparison, as I really do believe that Bush surrounds himself with truly loyal people, regardless of competence.  That’s not the same as the feigned loyalty of Regan and Goneril who say whatever it takes to get what they want, and then change their tune as soon as they have it. I do agree, however, about the “hurt himself by shutting out those with a dissenting opinion” line.  That’s certainly true.  

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Shakespeare Wiki

I’m a little surprised that this Shakespeare Wiki has existed since Feb 2006 and I’ve never noticed it.  It looks like it needs a little help, all I see are Character summaries and even then a bunch of them (like The Tempest) are empty.  The page says it was last modified Oct 2006.  For a minute there I was hoping that it was a typo and that the site really had come into existence in Feb 2007 a mere month ago. So there you go, folks.  If you’ve ever wanted to contribute some Shakespeare content but feel overwhelmed by the encyclopedic amount of info already in Wikipedia, here’s a place where you can start fresh.  

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