Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shakespeare's Apocrypha

This one is quite short. There's not much to say about plays Shakespeare probably didn't write, it turns out.

I mentioned the speech by Thomas More that's possibly handwritten by Shakespeare. Wikipedia has a picture of the text in question, and here is the text of the speech, which I think is worthy of Shakespeare: (More is discussing the possibility of expelling immigrants from England, and trying to get the people to sympathize with their plight.)
Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise
Hath chid down all the majesty of England;
Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,
Their babies at their backs and their poor luggage,
Plodding tooth ports and costs for transportation,
And that you sit as kings in your desires,
Authority quite silent by your brawl,
And you in ruff of your opinions clothed;
What had you got? I'll tell you: you had taught
How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
How order should be quelled; and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an aged man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another.

(From the Gutenberg Project, the full text is available Here)

Here's the promised quote from Shakespeare's Lives, which you could purchase if you followed this link: Shakespeare's Lives. (I'm rather surprised, it's a very thorough story of Shakespeare and his legacy up to today, but it's selling for less than 5$.)

To put this quote in context, William Henry Ireland had been fraudulently generating Shakespearean documents, encouraging a cottage industry in false documents. In this spirit, The Telegraph published this humorous "letter" from William Shakespeare to his friend/opponent Ben Jonson:

Wille you doee meee theee favvourree too dinnee wythee meee onn Friddaye nextte, attt twoo off theee clockee, too eattee sommee muttonne choppes andd somme poottaattoooeesse,
I amm, deerree Sirree,
Yourre goodde friendde,

S. Schoenbaum, Shakespeare's Lives, 2006 p. 159

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Comedy Of Errors

It's been a while, we know, but we did it again. This time, it's The Comedy Of Errors. We disagreed on how good the play was this time. (It's pretty funny).

Nicholas Cage: Americans shouldn't do Shakespeare

The Comedy of Errors (Folger Shakespeare Library)