I wonder if Shakespeare would have been awarded the Nobel Prize in literature had it existed in his time. The Swedish Academy has certainly made some good choices, but they have made at least as many incomprehensible choices. Anyway, today the prize will be handed out here in Stockholm and Shakespeare didn’t get it this time either.
From Gregory Doran's Shakespeare Almanac:
- All’s Well That Ends Well was performed at the home of the Earl of Pembroke for the new King James in the beginning of December 1603, but the exact date is unknown.
- The first woman known to have performed on stage in a Shakespeare play did so on December 8, 1660. Her name is not given but she played Desdemona.
- Is it a Shakespeare sighting when a colleague who is also an English teacher and knows of my addiction to Shakespeare says, “There’s the rub” in discussing a student’s grade? If so, here it is. If not, here it is anyway.
- One of the students had started his/her essay in the National Test on the subject of making decisions with the words “To be or not to be”. The essay didn’t quite live up to its glorious start but it was good anyway.
- In Episode 2 of Season Two of Mad Men somebody reported somebody dressing up in women’s clothes. The reply: “That’s how Shakespeare did it.”
- In Sir Walter Scott’s Rob Roy, Shakespeare is quoted, mentioned and obscurely referred to. Here are some examples:
- “The sheriff, with a monstrous watch, is at the door”. Spoken by Bardolph in Henry IV, Part One. Used at the beginning of the chapter in which Mr. Frank, the hero, is about to be arrested for robbery.
- The heroine, Diana Vernon, takes umbrage to how Shakespeare refers to her ancestor Sir Richard Vernon: “sorely slandered by a sad fellow called Will Shakespeare…”
- After getting drunk and making a fool of himself (and comparing himself to Cassio in Othello) Frank excuses himself to Miss Vernon with, “We have Shakespeare’s authority for saying that good wine is a good familiar creature, and that any man living may be overtaken at some time” To which she tartly points out that Shakespeare’s greatest villain Iago spoke these words, so they aren’t much good as an excuse.
- Frank falls in love with Miss Vernon and compares himself to Benedick, brushing his hat in the morning. Any guesses on the play?
- When sensing someone spying on them, Miss Vernon says, “It is nothing. A rat behind the arras.” Again, any guesses?
- In the movie Stay psychiatrist Ewan McGregor visits the rehearsal of Hamlet.
- In a section of Dagens Nyheter that I rarely look at I happened to see the name of a photo book that the author wants for Christmas. The title: Love Looks Not with the Eyes. Guesses?
Further, since the last report:
- Finished reading aloud: Twelfth Night.
- Watched the BBC version of same.
· This Monday Report
· The discussion on “Can You Do That to Shakespeare?” continues. See posted comments!