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Shakespeare


  • Originally published 07/14/2013

    Country Matters in Elizabethan England

    As You Like It Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey 36 Madison Ave, Madison, NJ Drew UniversityAll is not well in the city where William Shakespeare’s As You Like It begins. The play, written in 1599, now running at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, charts the problems of urban life as cities grow, often without much order, in contrast to the increasingly inviting green retreats of the rural countryside. Within this conflict is the romance between Orlando, a frustrated younger brother in a powerful family, and the lovely Rosalind, a Duke’s daughter.Separately, the pair flees the city and seeks out the solitude of the Forest of Arden, with its thick clusters of trees, meandering streams and cast of characters. Rosalind disguises herself as a man so that she can keep an eye on Orlando, who is smitten with her as a girl. They are one of several pairs of lovers in the forest. The play is simple and relies on its director and actors to make it interesting. They do. As You Like It is impressive.

  • Originally published 07/14/2013

    Who edited Shakespeare?

    Sometime in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare's death, the actors John Heminges and Henry Condell published Mr William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies – what we now know as the First Folio. It was the literary event of the century, recording for all time the sound of Shakespeare's English and the sweep of his imagination: Elsinore, Egypt and the Forest of Arden; a balcony, a spotted handkerchief and a skull.

  • Originally published 06/25/2013

    James Ruddick: History? Culture? Send for the Bulldozers

    James Ruddick is the author of several books including Death at the Priory, nominated for a Non-Fiction Edgar Award in the US. He has worked in radio and television as a broadcast journalist.Only in England could this happen: in a few days' time a judicial review will decide whether the countryside immediately surrounding Anne Hathaway's Cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon can be torn up to make way for a new housing estate. No, seriously.The local government minister, Eric Pickles, has already ruled in favour of the development, backing Bloor Homes, and unless his decision is reversed, which few expect, one of the most popular heritage sites in Europe will be swamped by 800 new houses - not half a mile away, not even down the road, but rammed so tightly against its sides and rear that the tourists will find the little thatched building garlanded by satellite dishes, chrome barbecues and washing lines. Mr Pickles agreed that there were "material considerations weighing against the development", including "the harm to heritage assets". But he rubber-stamped it anyway.

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Shakespeare a tax-evading food hoarder?

    As well as writing many of the world’s greatest plays, he was a successful businessman and major landowner in his native Warwickshire who retired an extremely wealthy man.However, a new study has found that he was repeatedly prosecuted and fined for illegally hoarding food, and threatened with jail for failing to pay his taxes, The Sunday Times reported.Court and tax records show that over a 15-year period Shakespeare purchased grain, malt and barley to store and resell for inflated prices, according to a paper by Aberystwyth University academics Dr Jayne Archer, Professor Richard Marggraf Turley and Professor Howard Thomas....

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    Battle rages over bones of England's Richard III

    (Reuters) - King Richard III is at the center of a new fight over the location of his final resting place, just weeks after the remains of the last English king to die in battle were found underneath a council car park.Archaeologists announced one of the most remarkable finds in recent English history last month when they confirmed the discovery of the body of Richard, who was slain at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, during excavations in Leicester.

  • Originally published 03/07/2013

    Richard III: psycho or control freak?

    Thanks largely to his portrayal in Shakespeare’s eponymous play, Richard III is generally remembered as a murderous, hunchbacked villain who killed his nephews to gain the throne. But now that his remains, found beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, have been positively identified, researchers at the University of Leicester now say the 15th century monarch was no bloodthirsty psychopath — just a control freak in need of some security.In findings presented this past weekend, Psychologist Mark Lansdale and forensic psychologist Julian Boon suggest that there is no evidence supporting Shakespeare’s depiction of the last Plantagenet king. After going through historians’ consensus on Richard’s experiences and actions, they found that the king exhibited little sign of the traits used to identify psychopaths today — including narcissism, deviousness, callousness, recklessness and lack of empathy in close relationships....

  • Originally published 02/08/2013

    Shakespeare's historic war plays to be produced on battlefields across the country

    Shakespeare's Globe will perform the bard's three Henry VI plays at historic battle sites of the Wars of the Roses.As part of its new season, the theatre will stage the plays at Towton, Tewkesbury, St Albans and Barnet, which were all sites where battles took place.The plays – billed under their original titles: Harry The Sixth, The Houses of York and Lancaster and The True Tragedy of the Duke of York – will be directed by Nick Bagnall and embark on a tour from June 26 until September 26....