Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Wolter » 11 Jun 2012, 4:47pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
Flex wrote:Image
Source:
That's a Married To the Sea cartoon. They have/had it as a t-shirt and I would have bought one, but they only have it in canary yellow. :yuck:
You'll wear a CTC shirt but not yellow?
"There's something more honest, he believed, about traditional methods of mass starvation, labour camps, and machine gunning millions to death. Stalin was a vinyl guy who sneered at Truman converting everything to compact disc." - Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 11 Jun 2012, 5:00pm

Wolter wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:
Flex wrote:Image
Source:
That's a Married To the Sea cartoon. They have/had it as a t-shirt and I would have bought one, but they only have it in canary yellow. :yuck:
You'll wear a CTC shirt but not yellow?
It's not like I wear-wear that CtC shirt. For a while it was a workout shirt in our cold basement, but then it got put away except for exclusive modelling gigs.
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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Wolter » 11 Jun 2012, 5:02pm

Sorry, but every known picture of you is in that shirt. I'm forced to believe that's all you ever wear.
"There's something more honest, he believed, about traditional methods of mass starvation, labour camps, and machine gunning millions to death. Stalin was a vinyl guy who sneered at Truman converting everything to compact disc." - Thomas Jefferson

"But the gorilla thinks otherwise!"

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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 11 Jun 2012, 5:10pm

Wolter wrote:Sorry, but every known picture of you is in that shirt. I'm forced to believe that's all you ever wear.
If you're suggesting that I'm actually a cartoon character, I have no comment at this time.
Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

Wolter
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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Wolter » 11 Jun 2012, 5:17pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
Wolter wrote:Sorry, but every known picture of you is in that shirt. I'm forced to believe that's all you ever wear.
If you're suggesting that I'm actually a cartoon character, I have no comment at this time.
I'm almost certain you're an off-model Canadian Charlie Brown ripoff.
"There's something more honest, he believed, about traditional methods of mass starvation, labour camps, and machine gunning millions to death. Stalin was a vinyl guy who sneered at Truman converting everything to compact disc." - Thomas Jefferson

"But the gorilla thinks otherwise!"

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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 11 Jun 2012, 5:19pm

Wolter wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:
Wolter wrote:Sorry, but every known picture of you is in that shirt. I'm forced to believe that's all you ever wear.
If you're suggesting that I'm actually a cartoon character, I have no comment at this time.
I'm almost certain you're an off-model Canadian Charlie Brown ripoff.
Ha! I was initially going to post a picture of Charlie Brown in his yellow and black shirt.

edit: Seriously, tho, yellow is a fugly colour for a t-shirt.
Image
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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Silent Majority » 17 Jul 2012, 5:20pm

I've been doing some Shakespeare re-reading and junk and had some thoughts after my day at the Globe. So I knocked together a bit of a short, rambling blog post.
There's a fantastic modern adaptation of the series of plays that Shakespeare wrote on the Kings of England, from Richard II to Henry V currently playing on Saturday nights on the BBC. It's one of the best elements of an odious Olympic year, the bringing of a spotlight back to the national poet in the name of a bloodless patriotism (albeit an anaethisized and toothless version), and the BBC brings a rugged realism to the plays, which I've often thought better off on paper, away from the overbearing influence of arrogant directors and misguided, egotistical actors. The current series is very nicely done, and has the characters talking with the rhythm and inflection of real people, unlike probably 75% of the interpretations I've seen.

That post-Victorian, bullshit 1930s BBC Received Pronunciation was the worst thing that actors and directors could possibly do to Shakespeare's writing. Even in the nancy-boy capital of London, in William's lifetime, English was spoken with a Yorkshire style tinge and the Bard himself was a country boy. Everyone sounded like a working class yeoman farmer. This is why, today, Northern actors tend to have a much more profound connection with his words(, words, words,) as opposed to those who choose to play rich, identifiable characters in the fey, alienating RSC bray that's haunted generations of bored schoolchildren. No powerful man would have been taken seriously if he behaved like that, as Shakespeare's Richard II showed.

Received Pronunciation came from a Basil Fawlty-esque aspiring middle class, middle management who weren't allowed to sound like they were from anywhere in particular for the radio, so instead strived to sound like nobody at all, in an attempt to ape their perceived betters. It's got nothing to do with the ink under the fingernails of a glovemaker's bohemian son in a brutal, passionate and uncivilised time.

Shakespeare, the man, is only knowable to us through his work and is thus an ideal literary hero for those of us who only care about the work of artists, away from the tattle and gossip that is, after all, completely secondary. If we need a biography, it's right there in his couplets and prose. There's parts of Hamlet when the title character steps forward, away from the action, to deliver his soliloquies which remind me of nothing so much as the very modern medium of stand-up comedy. If ever I am let loose on a production, I'm going to have a Jerry Seinfeld-esque brick wall and curtain off to one side where the lead actor can dart away from the action to get behind a microphone and, using the original text, mine the humour out of the famous tragedy that is completely missing in any comic relief. And don't try and tell me the clown-gravedigger is a comic character, all that one proves is that Shakespeare was incapable of being funny on purpose. Aside from a slow pace that modern sensibilities can rail against, it's one of the few blots on the record for me. It's nothing to do with time either, bawdy Chaucer has made me laugh out loud from two centuries before the Bard. So he may be guilty of taking himself a little seriously, but there's enough evidence around today to show that's not uncommon amongst professional writers.

Anyway, as Hamlet bares his soul to the audience, like a Bill Hicks or a Louis CK, or any number of confessional comics, it's there that I feel we hear Shakespeare speak most directly to the audience, across four centuries. Apart from the sonnets, at least. We hear him again, as Hamlet gives advice to the actors he's brought in to smoke out his Uncle King. That's a neat bit, one of my favourite in all the plays, because you can really hear an expert talking about something that he has a great love for and interest in. "Just say the fucking lines, Jack!"

He had a lot of time for women, with Lady Macbeth being one of the best female characters ever, a sexy, powerful, madly ambitious woman, manipulating her vassal of a husband to further her own ends. I'm not convinced she's been bettered in the canon. He probably got around a bit and was, I like to think, a bit of a rake. Shakespeare shows off a tough, practical, still-recognisable understanding of men and women, composed in language that delights in its own ingeniousness, and it's this that makes him so compellling to me. While I'm enjoy the current Wire-esque adaptation, it's William's poetry and word choice that keep the game interesting and no actor, regardless of whatever compensation they may bring, can allow the viewer to savour that language at their own pace. This is a purely personal bias, and one that may change as I see more and more of his plays live, as they were intended. I suppose the sonnets were his records and the plays his live shows. But I'm not the world's biggest fan of live music, I like to own the song and repeat play my favourite parts at my leisure. And I like my Shakespeare on the page, where a day can be spent on a verse.
http://jamesmurphy003.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... peare.html
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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Wolter » 17 Jul 2012, 5:50pm

Great post, James.
"There's something more honest, he believed, about traditional methods of mass starvation, labour camps, and machine gunning millions to death. Stalin was a vinyl guy who sneered at Truman converting everything to compact disc." - Thomas Jefferson

"But the gorilla thinks otherwise!"

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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 17 Jul 2012, 6:12pm

Wolter wrote:Great post, James.
Says the guy who doesn't even believe Shakespeare existed …
Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Silent Majority » 17 Jul 2012, 6:12pm

Wolter wrote:Great post, James.
Cheers, I'm glad you like it.
'But also: hey dude, you can just go looking for more glasses. They're all free now. '

www.pexlives.libsyn.com/

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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Wolter » 17 Jul 2012, 6:49pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
Wolter wrote:Great post, James.
Says the guy who doesn't even believe Shakespeare existed …
IT'S AN APE EATING BARBECUE...wait, what are we talking about?
"There's something more honest, he believed, about traditional methods of mass starvation, labour camps, and machine gunning millions to death. Stalin was a vinyl guy who sneered at Truman converting everything to compact disc." - Thomas Jefferson

"But the gorilla thinks otherwise!"

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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 17 Jul 2012, 6:53pm

Wolter wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:
Wolter wrote:Great post, James.
Says the guy who doesn't even believe Shakespeare existed …
IT'S AN APE EATING BARBECUE...wait, what are we talking about?
I wish it was about apes eating barbecue, frankly. *stomach rumbles*
Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 29 Jul 2012, 10:29am

John Byrne's beating the Shakespeare-wasn't-Shakespeare drum again: http://www.byrnerobotics.com/forum/foru ... otPosts=20

I think I've mentioned this before, but what I find most fascinating about him buying so ardently into this conspiracy is that he just as ardently denies any possibility of a conspiracy in JFK's assassination. What's consistent, tho, is he acts like a dick about both.
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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Silent Majority » 29 Jul 2012, 11:59am

Why do people reach into such convoluted bullshit when an obvious answer is so easy in grasp?
'But also: hey dude, you can just go looking for more glasses. They're all free now. '

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Re: Will the real Shakespeare please stand up?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 29 Jul 2012, 12:34pm

Silent Majority wrote:Why do people reach into such convoluted bullshit when an obvious answer is so easy in grasp?
I know very little about the Shakespeare conspiracy theories, but I believe Wolter and eumaas argued that it was rooted in classist elitism, that a commoner could never have constructed such wide-ranging acts of genius. Once you start from that premise, then any framework to validate it seems sensible. Awful as it is to invoke the name of Ayn Rand, her response to arguments she hated was "check your premises." Her blind squirrel moment.
Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

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