Elementary & SecondaryFoolery

A Shakespearean Advent | Fool’s Gold

By December 12, 2014 No Comments

[dropcap size=small]L[/dropcap]ots of good Advent foolery this week!

I want to thank Mya Gosling at Good Tickle Brain for pointing us to promptmeshakespeare over on Tumblr, where there is a “Bardolater’s Advent Event” happening. Those who want to participate can submit a (somewhat) Christmas-themed cartoon or other post, and there are prompts for each day.

Here’s one from the theme “wrapping paper,” taken from Merchant of Venice:

from http://promptmeshakespeare.tumblr.com/

from http://promptmeshakespeare.tumblr.com/

Check out the daily prompts, and join in the fun!

For some more delightful Advent Shakespeare, how about the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Singing Advent Calendar? This one has the names of all of the plays set to the tune of the can-can (you may recognize the tune from Offenbach’s “Orpheus in the Underworld Overture,” or from Moulin Rouge, depending on what kind of popular culture reference works for you).

Isn’t this wonderful? I think I may have to memorize this song. Sounds like just the thing to trot out at parties.

Another Advent offering was originally posted back in 2011, but it fits so well with today’s theme that I thought I’d include it, as well. Oxford University posted an “Open Advent,” or, twenty-four days of open access resource links. Day 24 was Shakespeare-themed, and it’s fantastic. On offer are not only are the entire First Folio of 36 plays from 1623–in their original spelling and orthography (ePub format)–but also a 10 lecture series called “Approaching Shakespeare” focusing on  plays by Shakespeare with an accompanying e-book; a video about the Bodleian First Folio; and the Not Shakespeare series on Elizabethan and Jacobean popular theatre (including ‘Arden of Faversham’ and ‘The Roaring Girl’). Oh, what fun!

[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]f you’ve ever dreamed of getting up close and personal with the Bard… perhaps you might want to re-think. Here’s a list called “20 Reasons Why You Would not have Kissed Shakespeare (Or Anyone Else in the Middle Ages).” Before I start nit-picking about conflating the early modern period/Renaissance with the Middle Ages, I’ll mention that what the list lacks in precision, it makes up for in photos of velvet-lined toilets.

A Shakespearean Advent | Fool's Gold shakespeare news The Shakespeare Standard theshakespearestandard.com shakespeare plays list play shakespeare

I guess it would be cozier than a chamber pot, but I’m feeling a strong urge to go get some sanitizer just from looking at this thing.

I’d also like to confess that I would, indeed, be happy to find myself with Will Shakespeare under the mistletoe (given the chance). Bad breath or no.

Down Under, kids are learning about Shakespeare through the language, including the swearing. At John Paul College in Kalgoorlie, kids learn about the language through programs from Bell. I find this hilarious and wonderful–honestly, who wouldn’t rather hear kids calling each other “You craven, beef-witted barnacle!” rather than some of the… “less creative” linguistic options available.

One drama teacher involved with the program said: “Once they understand the wit behind the lines and the fact that you can insult people without sounding like you’re swearing or being nasty–that Shakespeare is actually interesting and funny…” I’m excited that these kids are learning that Shakespeare is funny, is interesting, not boring or strange or dense. Keep up the good work, Kalgoorlie.

We’ve discussed Shakespearean insults before, but in light of children learning Shakespeare via insults and swear words, I thought it would be appropriate to link up to one again. It’s always fun to learn a new term. If you, too, would like to add some Shakespearean insults to your repertoire, check out this Shakespearean insult generator. Click again to get a new insult every time.

 Or, perhaps this all-purpose insult kit is more your style. Select a word from each column for best results.

 You can even watch a TED-Ed talk about Shakespearean insults.

 And, finally, if you haven’t finished your holiday shopping and you just can’t get enough of Shakespearean insults, you might enjoy this ornament from ShakespeareInk.

 While “elf-skin” isn’t really the direction I’ll be going with my holiday decor, it does make me smile.
“All that glisters is not gold!”

Sara Keeth

Author Sara Keeth

Sara Keeth is a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her current project is on maternal representation in Shakespeare's English history plays. She takes Shakespeare jokes very, very seriously.

More posts by Sara Keeth

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