Saturday, April 26, 2008

Brush up your Shakespeare

So you know, I never actually took a Shakespeare class in college. To help my then-blossoming journalism aspirations, I took so many writing, contemporary rhetoric, and internship classes, I didn’t have a lot of room left over to study “the bard.”

Frankly, given how much Shakespeare I learned from Captain Picard and General Chang, I never felt that my education was lacking.

Boy howdy, however, is it.

On Monday, I went to this lecture at the Folger’s Shakespeare Library. I’d seen an ad in the Post and it said “Free lecture: ‘How Shakespeare Made History.’” And I thought to myself, “What a great way to brush up my Shakespeare / start quoting him now / brush up my Shakespeare / and the women, I will wow.”


The speaker (from Columbia University or somewhere) started the lecture by saying, “My title is ‘How Shakespeare Made History’ or ‘What Fleance did next.’”

Uproarious laughter from the crowd. Except from yours truly, who didn’t get the joke or even know who Fleance was. And the lights were out so I couldn’t check his Wikipedia entry on my Blackberry.

Highlights of the lecture:

  • The archetypal knight errant specializes in fornication and murder
  • Brutus is the legendary founder of England
  • Edward the confessor was important for some reason
  • Midway through Shakespeare’s canon he switches monarchs from Elizabeth to James
  • Falstaff is in Henvry IV and Merry Wives of Windsow
  • MacBeth, as a monarch, has so much to appeal to the vanity of King James

Anyway. I really need to learn more Shakespeare.

1 comment:

Sarah Eriksen said...

For a fun - and funny - way of brushing up on your Shakespeare, check out Shmoop. The pages on The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Richard III, and The Tempest are among my favorites.


Web Counters