Skip to main content

Shakespeare Special Edition

April 23, was the anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. (400 years ago). This is my contribution to commemorating this quadricentenary. Let's kick things off with this quick video I made on The Best Way to Experience Shakespeare.
Enjoy with with a tankard of Metheglin or Malmsey.

When Rivalry Begets Tragedy: The Astor Place Riot

In the 21st century, it’s difficult to imagine a theatrical performance sparking a riot. And the rowdiest of modern entertainments (like concerts or football matches) are only likely to produce mosh pits or individual exchanges of fisticuffs at worst. Perhaps that’s why the Shakespearean kerfuffle that sparked the Astor Place Riot stands out so noticeably in the historical record.

The Fantastical Strangeness of William Shakespeare

The literary establishment’s skepticism about the fantastic is a recurring theme through history, of course, as is evidenced by Tolkien’s frustration over academia’s refusal to talk about the monsters in Beowulf as monsters, so one can be forgiven for forgetting just how central the fantastic and outlandish is to Shakespeare.

Did Shakespeare Really Write His Plays?

The life of Shakespeare is shaped by two major qualities: excellence and obscurity. For this reason, his biography has been subject to much scrutiny and speculation. The central question that plagues the legacy of Shakespeare is a famous one, and gets down to the reality of the figure himself. Did Shakespeare, the great poet and dramatist, really exist as we know him?

Sooner or Later, Shakespeare Will Describe Your Life

I don’t remember which of Shakespeare’s plays I read first, but I do remember the first performance I watched, start to finish: it was Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V, playing on the TV when I was eleven and my dad was deployed in Desert Storm. I didn’t understand everything that was going on, and couldn’t have if I’d only read it. But because performance can energize and interpret the play for me, in specific ways, I was able to understand this play was about war, and it was about why men fight in wars. The monologue that made an unforgettable impression on small Tessa wasn’t from the Crispin’s Day speech. It was one spoken by a soldier with whom the king is conversing about the just nature of his war.

The Game Is Up: Shakespeare's Language Not As Original As Dictionaries Think

Shakespeare did not coin phrases such as “it’s Greek to me” and “a wild goose chase”, according to an Australian academic David McInnis. He claims literary bias by first editors of Oxford English Dictionary has credited Shakespeare with inventing phrases in common Elizabethan use.

Speaking Shakespeare with Prisoners & Posh Girls

The room I’ve just entered contains one armed robber, a couple of drug dealers, several violent criminals and other chaps guilty of various offences I never find out about. But when I enter the room I know nothing about anyone. I just see ten men sprawled in chairs. They stare at me, each one looking like he's thinking, ‘What the hell is this all about?’

38 Facts About Shakespeare’s 38 Plays

38 facts, stats, anecdotes and origins about his 38 plays.

Could William Shakespeare Have Been Catholic?

The answer to our title question today is, yes. He could have been. Do we know for certain? No, of course not. However, that will not stop us from diving into some of the speculation surrounding the Bard’s religion. Numerous researches and scholars have put forth arguments for why they believe Shakespeare was Catholic. Here’s a roundup of some of the most interesting evidence (with conclusions of our own as to why any of this matters).

Want to be part of the conversation? Like my Facebook page The BistroMath Liked what you read? Want to known when new posts are up?
Follow me on Twitter or Google+, click on the images below.
 Twitter    Google+    YouTube   TheBistroMath


Popular posts from this blog

What Makes Science Fiction Different?

In Defence Of Science Fiction series. If you think about it science fiction is really just fantasy, isn't it? Fantastical ships which travel faster-than-light, are just as impossible as Harry Potter flying on a broomstick, a motorbike or in a Ford Anglia. So what makes science fiction different from a fantasy story? The answer may surprise you.

 Science Fiction appeals to hope and wonder, both in how we want things to turn out, and how we are afraid they might turn out worse. Fantasy on the other hand is about yearning and regret, an appeal directly to the heart about how things should be.( Science fiction is built on thought experiments, which explores hypothetical possibilities and the consequences of any science and technology developed in that scenario.   It's beauty is that is can cross over with a lot of other genres of fiction including horror (the Alien franchise), fantasy (the Star Wars franchise) and historical fiction (Steam P…

Why I Dislike Utopian Fiction but Love Stephen Lawhead's Fierri Utopia in Empyrion

A lot of Science Fiction stories deal with a Dystopian future and, for the most part, I'm alright with that because Dystpoian stories work well with my view of human nature and entropy. This is why I have trouble reading Utopian stories. To me the Universe in which these stories are set is as much a character as the Human and Alien characters and as such should have a believable back story (or history). The history of the Universe in which these Utopian society are set need to be well thought out and allow us, the reader, to suspend our disbelief.
The Cringe Factor However many authors seem to brush off how this Utopian society came to be by just repeating the same old tropes. It's a lazy view 'we will just become better people because X'. Where X is normally some form of technological stimulation or a biological change (evolutionary jump) which make us nicer people. In my mind it's poorly thought out and not really fully considered. It's taken as a gi…

The Collapsing Empire

I loved John Scalzi’sOld Man’s War series, they were riveting and fast paced stories intertwined with Scalzi’s trademark humour. I started his Redshirts novel which, while interesting I've found hard to finish. However The Collapsing Empire is his entry back into Space Opera and it looks promising.
As delightful and easy to read as Scalzi at his best (Redshirts, Old Man's War), with characters who are going to stay with you whenever you have to put the book down ... which you aren't going to want to do
Wil Wheaton Want to know more before buying? Check out this interview with the author over at  The Collapsing Empire: The Best or Worst-Timed Title Ever? Also is reporting of a rumoured Television Deal Announced for John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire.
As always if you've read The Collapsing Empire, let me know you think?
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalz Does the biggest threat lie within? In the far future, humanity has left Earth to create a glo…