The Name’s Shakespeare. William Shakespeare. | Fit for a Fool

By February 27, 2015 No Comments

The main headline hitting story concerning Shakespeare this week was the by no means small voyage of the newly discovered First Folio from France to England. A kind of pilgrimage home. There are plenty of places you can check out more about this including a piece on this site here. But it wouldn’t be a foolery column without at least a smidge of silliness. So to that end I thought I’d check out some er less conventional responses to the news over on Twitter. Some not silly at all, I hasten to add, but offer, I hope, a refreshing view of this news story which has dominated international headlines this week.

Tweets like this capture the palpable excitement at the press conference,

And a few tweets from those lucky enough to check it out – if you didn’t get chance fear not – it’s back at the Globe in 2016.

There was a slight faux pas by Rylance.. Before news of Rasmussen’s dancing stole the show – surely the mark of a good academic!

An interesting dynamic which added to the occasion was the tweeting of the experience by the First Folio itself, what do you mean it’s not a person? Try telling its Twitter account that!

In a fictional village only aired on the radio featuring farmers and plenty of sheep, there were echoes of Shakespeare this week according to a journalist over at The Telegraph. It’s a radio drama-cum-soap that centres around a small village called Ambridge and the residents and all they get up to, at the pub, shop, in the fields and homes of various families. The journalist, Gillian Reynolds, picked up on plot strands from King Lear, Much Ado and Hamlet – while slightly tongue-in-cheek it’s interesting to see Shakespeare popping up in places we might not expect. But I won’t spoil it all, check it out here for yourself.

The name’s Shakespeare, William Shakespeare. This week news emerged that a certain Mr Sean Connery better to known to most for his performances as James Bond in movies like Dr No. He was even offered the part of Gandalf in Lord of the Rings but the same year his first Bond movie was released, 1961, he also had a rendezvous with Shakespeare. That’s right. He took part in a production of Macbeth for a Canadian TV show, playing Macbeth himself. To find out more check out an article about it here and, I can even offer you a clip of the production – check out those camera angles (and Shakespeare lines of course).

An article published on BuzzFeed sees the translation, or at least morphing of Shakespearean lines into their equivalent Louis CK Jokes. I admit I had to do a bit of Googling to find out who this Louis CK bloke was but the first few results show that I ought to know who he is. His credits include writing for the Late Show with David Letterman as well as a healthy acting career and an explicit stand up career. It’s the Stand Up which this article draws on, as lines from Romeo and Juliet, King Lear and Hamlet are given their relevant Louis CK gif. Check it out here.

Also on BuzzFeed this week an article opened with the following bold claim “If Shakespeare was alive today, he would probably be writing television – maybe for House of Cards.” but perhaps more amusingly it also opened with this cryptic spoiler alert: “Spoiler Warning: The following will discuss House of Cards seasons 1 and 2 and the plots of some Shakespeare plays – which probably are not spoilers, as they were published hundreds of years ago.” Today on Netflix the whole of Season 3 of House of Cards is set to be released. But where does Shakespeare fit into this I hear you say? Well.. at the risk of a few spoilers here and there, Underwood is compared to Iago with his tendency to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of his victims – I’m predicting the appearance of a handkerchief in the next season – but it’s not just Iago in Shakespeare’s canon who uses this method so successfully – I’m looking at you Richard III, and Mr manipulative Edmund in King Lear. Claire Underwood is compared to Lady Macbeth (presumably not for poor hygiene habits..) it seems it’s her determined and almost ruthless nature – willing to stop at nothing to get exactly what she wants. The article also mentions the BBC House of Cards – the shows original source – and Frank’s quoting of Macbeth left right and centre. Frank’s representative in this take on House of Cards however, has only quoted Shakespeare once (to date). But I don’t want to spoil it all for you. Read on here for more Shakespeare/spoiler treats.

That’s all for this week folks, so until next time keep foolin’ around, Shakespeare style!

Author Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters is a PhD student at Oxford Brookes University, England where she is currently researching female melancholia in the early modern period (as presented in Shakespearean and early modern drama and proto-medical treatises) and contemporary female depression. She is interested in all things Shakespeare related, particularly contemporary Shakespeare adaptation and appropriation.

More posts by Sarah Waters

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