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Shakespeare discussion anyone?

Discussion in 'English' started by gruoch, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Quite happy to talk about anything - life, plays, sonnets, though not familiar with long poems.

    Possible topics:

    Did Shakespeare write the plays he is credited with?

    Should the co-authored plays be included in the canon? If so, how many?

    Does the work reflect the life?

    What is a tragedy/comedy etc? Definitions welcomed.

    Anything else.



     
  2. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Quite happy to talk about anything - life, plays, sonnets, though not familiar with long poems.

    Possible topics:

    Did Shakespeare write the plays he is credited with?

    Should the co-authored plays be included in the canon? If so, how many?

    Does the work reflect the life?

    What is a tragedy/comedy etc? Definitions welcomed.

    Anything else.



     
  3. Am just watching the Branagh version of Hamlet. Watched Mel Gibson last weekend... It's all a bit over the top methinks. It's just too "Shakespeare" - sounds odd I know - but when I'm watching I can't help thinking -hmmm I can see why people don't like Shakespeare ... this has never happened to me before. I always love the language of Shakespeare. Am I having a crisis?
    I've got to start teaching it to my A level students on Thursday ... and I don't like it :-(
     
  4. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    I liked the Mel Gibson/Zefferelli(sp?) Hamlet. Can't stand Branagh at any price. He wants to be Olivier - and he ain't!

    I have issues with 'Hamlet', anyway. HoD is teaching is at AS for c/w and we have had some interesting (not a euphemism) discussions.
     
  5. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Yes, Shakespeare wrote the plays. It's a snobby affectation to believe otherwise.
     
  6. Yes I believe Shakespeare wrote the plays. They were, undoubtedly, influenced by other people but I challenge anyone to find a pice of literature that has not been influenced by other people!

    Should the co-authored plays be included in the cannon? I would say yes and all of them I guess. It shouldn't matter how many plays Shakespeare wrote, whether alone or with another author, all that should matter is whether or not you think they are good pieces of literature worth reading and worth studying.

    I don't know that the work reflects the life. Aspects of it certainly do and I know that he was a lot of his plays hide inner messages about his feelings on things. I majored in Shakespeare in my degree and this was a constant point of study.

    Tragedy/Comedy - Very good question and I don't know the answer. I was always told in school that a comedy was a play with a happy ending but I guess that depends how you define "happy". I would be interested to hear other peoples' answers here!
     
  7. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    It isn't only because OI'm a Warwickshire woman. [saw the typo, let it go because I liked it]

    These anti-Shakespeare people usually have an axe to grind. They are snobs, in short. They make the extraordinary claim that little is known of Shakespeare's life, when, in fact, lots is known of it.
     
  8. gruoch -u blaspheme! Not like Branagh? - trying to be Olivier?! How very dare you. Branagh rocks - Much Ado was one of the finest Shakespeare adaptations ever! Henry V? Branagh ruled!

    PS - their is a merry war in my dept about the merits of Branagh versus Olivier.I feel a duel looming - stiffen the sinews and prepare for battle!

    :)



     
  9. Branagh's version of "Hamlet" is fab!! How can you not like it? I'm in shock!
     
  10. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Mark Rylance - he of 'The Globe' - is an Earl of Southampton devotee, I believe. Certainly doesn't believe Shakespeare wrote the plays.

    I've just read a thing on the interweb which argues he couldn't have written the plays because:
    his handwriting is appalling
    his family was illiterate (not true of his daughters)
    he could never have made enough money to buy New Place from acting/writing - Earl of Southampton gave him £1000 for the use of his name
     
  11. His family were illiterate but he was not and attended the local grammar school where he received a pretty good education.

    His handwriting was appalling but many of his plays were scribed by other hands and, appalling as it may have been, that does not mean it was unreadable.

    Not sure about the money thing. He obviously made a lot of money from writing plays though and he was member of the King's Men and patron a theatre. There's got to have been money there somewhere!
     
  12. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    He wasn't a member of The King's men when he bought New Place.

    The handwriting argument is based on analysis of the 'known' signatures and the fact that were not written in Italian Script and teeter into illegibility after 'Will' and 'Sha'

    On a point of fact, he wasn't patron of anything. He was a sharer in 'The Globe' and 'Blackfriars'.
     
  13. Tragedy - action is resolved by death of protagonist (and usually lots of others) - protagonist's demise is inevitable due to a fatal flaw in his character.

    Comedy - action is resolved by marriage.

    Don't know how Romeo and Juliet fits in here. It starts to look like a comedy before Act 3 scene 1 and then quickly descends into tragedy. But the fatal flaw?? (open to discussion - I have one or two thoughts on the matter)
     
  14. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Fatal flaws - don't get me started.

    Romeo and Juliet follows all the rules of comedy till the end. It certainly doesn't fit any of the tragedy ones.

    Merchant is a comedy - though it doesn't follow all the rules and doesn't end in marriages. The fact that Shylock is supposed to be a comic figure makes for interesting class (and other) discussions.

    Julius Caesar is usually classed as a tragedy, but breaks all the rules.

    As for the 'problem' plays..............
     
  15. Admittedly, I've done NO research on this and it is purely anecdotal: but, in general, aren't most signatures totally unreadable, even those that belong to people with otherwise perfectly legible handwriting?

    There seems to be an urge to make your signature unreadable and uncopiable...
     
  16. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Interested?
     

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