kottke.org posts about William Shakespeare

Shakespeare with its original pronounciationSep 09 2013

Speaking of inexpensive time travel, listen as David and Ben Crystal perform selections from Shakespeare in the original accent, as it would have been heard at the Globe in the early 1600s.

(via @KBAndersen)

William Shakespeare's Star WarsJul 03 2013

What if William Shakespeare wrote Star Wars?

Shakespeare Star Wars

Boing Boing has an excerpt.

How historical figures might look todayMay 07 2013

In this series of illustrations created for a British TV show, historical figures are depicted as they might look today. Shakespeare becomes a Williamsburg hipster, Henry VIII is Richard Branson-esque, and Elizabeth I is a cross between Tina Brown and Tilda Swinton.

Hipster Shakespeare

(via @DavidGrann)

What if Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare?Oct 24 2011

Everyone knows that William Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare's plays. What Roland Emmerich's new film presupposes is...maybe he didn't?

Professors of Shakespeare -- and I was one once upon a time -- are blissfully unaware of the impending disaster that this film means for their professional lives. Thanks to "Anonymous," undergraduates will be confidently asserting that Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare for the next 10 years at least, and profs will have to waste countless hours explaining the obvious. "Anonymous" subscribes to the Oxfordian theory of authorship, the contention that Edward de Vere, the 17th earl of Oxford, wrote Shakespeare's plays. Among Shakespeare scholars, the idea has roughly the same currency as the faked moon landing does among astronauts.

Shakespeare in the original pronunciationOct 25 2010

Quite a bit is known about how English was spoken back when Shakespeare wrote his plays but productions of his plays using the original pronunciation (OP) are quite rare. Now a University of Kansas theater professor and his students are putting on a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in the OP.

"American audiences will hear an accent and style surprisingly like their own in its informality and strong r-colored vowels," Meier said. "The original pronunciation performance strongly contrasts with the notions of precise and polished delivery created by John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier and their colleagues from the 20th century British theater."

Meier said audiences will hear word play and rhymes that "haven't worked for several hundred years (love/prove, eyes/qualities, etc.) magically restored, as Bottom, Puck and company wind the language clock back to 1595."

"The audience will hear rough and surprisingly vernacular diction, they will hear echoes of Irish, New England and Cockney that survive to this day as 'dialect fossils.' And they will be delighted by how very understandable the language is, despite the intervening centuries."

Here's a sample of what to expect:

(via the history blog)

How many words did Shakespeare know?Apr 15 2010

In his collected writings, Shakespeare used 31,534 different words. 14,376 words appeared only once and 846 were used more than 100 times. Using statistical techniques, it's possible to estimate how many words he knew but didn't use.

This means that in addition the 31,534 words that Shakespeare knew and used, there were approximately 35,000 words that he knew but didn't use. Thus, we can estimate that Shakespeare knew approximately 66,534 words.

According to one estimate, the average speaker of English knows between 10,000-20,000 words.

The Two Gentlemen of Lebowski, live in NYCJan 13 2010

Working quickly, the DMTheatrics theater company has put together a stage performance of The Two Gentlemen of Lebowski beginning March 18 in NYC. The Two Gentlemen of Lebowski, if you don't remember, is the what-if-Shakespeare-wrote-it version of The Big Lebowski that I linked to last week.

Two Gentlemen of LebowskiJan 08 2010

What if The Big Lebowski had been written by Shakespeare?

It was of consequence, I should think; verily, it tied the room together, gather'd its qualities as the sweet lovers' spring grass doth the morning dew or the rough scythe the first of autumn harvests. It sat between the four sides of the room, making substance of a square, respecting each wall in equal harmony, in geometer's cap; a great reckoning in a little room. Verily, it transform'd the room from the space between four walls presented, to the harbour of a man's monarchy.

Yep, it's the entire screenplay. The Knave abideth, indeed. (thx, conor)

New Shakespeare plays?Mar 19 2009

Dr John Casson claims to have discovered six new works which he attributes to William Shakespeare.

He added: "What we thought were the first plays by Shakespeare appeared anonymously in the early 1590s. It is inconceivable, however, that his first plays were the massive trilogy of Henry VI. Writers develop over time from simpler beginnings."

Only portrait of Shakespeare foundMar 10 2009

A painting that has been hanging in the home of the Cobbe family for 300 years is now believed to be the only portrait of William Shakespeare painted in his lifetime.

For many people he is the round-headed bald man seen on the First Folio of his collected works but evidence was presented yesterday arguing that we should rethink this. Instead we should visualise Shakespeare as a rosy-cheeked, long-nosed man who was something of a looker.

The portrait appear to be in good condition and Shakespeare looks a lot like Joseph Fiennes, who played the Bard in Shakespeare in Love.

Video of Peter Sellers reciting The BeatlesDec 21 2007

Video of Peter Sellers reciting The Beatles A Hard Day's Night in the style of Laurence Olivier doing Shakespeare's Richard III. Got all that? (via cyn-c)

The BBC is planning to produce Shakespeare'sNov 21 2007

The BBC is planning to produce Shakespeare's entire canon for TV...all 37 plays.

(via crazymonk)

Which of the following works would youJan 12 2007

Which of the following works would you choose to be lost, if only three could be saved: Michelangelo's Pieta, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Mozart's Don Giovanni, or Einstein's 1905 paper on relativity? Not so sure I agree with the conclusion here...surely Einstein's paper stands as a work unto itself, apart from the discovery it contains. Plus, maybe someone else (or a group of someone elses) wouldn't have given us relativity as elegantly and usefully as Einstein did. (via 3qd)

How would Shakespeare do in Hollywood today?Nov 21 2006

How would Shakespeare do in Hollywood today? He'd be raking in the dough on royalties, but because most of his stories were based on previous work, he might not have been able to write them in the first place without being sued for copyright infringement.

O students! Pray teachers! Behold: a Shakespeare search engine.Sep 14 2006

O students! Pray teachers! Behold: a Shakespeare search engine.

It's neither high quality nor rare, soJul 13 2006

It's neither high quality nor rare, so why is a copy of Shakespeare's First Folio fetching such high prices at auction?

Tenser, said the Tensor looked a littleJun 08 2006

Tenser, said the Tensor looked a little more closely at the list of cliches from Shakespeare that I posted earlier in the week and found that (at least) 18 of the expressions have earlier citations in the OED.

List of lines from Shakespeare plays that have become cliches.Jun 05 2006

List of lines from Shakespeare plays that have become cliches.

Everything and Nothing rounds up a listOct 06 2005

Everything and Nothing rounds up a list of searchable versions of the work of that most famous of English wordsmiths, William Shakespeare. The public domain rocks.

Shakespeare put coded messages about Catholicism intoAug 30 2005

Shakespeare put coded messages about Catholicism into his plays that, due to the "Protestant, Whig ascendancy", have not been decoded until now.

Tags related to William Shakespeare:
language remix movies books plays copyright The Big Lebowski video art

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