From the marvelous Sonnet Project, here's Sonnet 151 spoken by Richard Price, directed by Stephanie Gardner, and set at Nathan's original hot dog stand on Coney Island.
|Image from Blog d'Ellison.|
To commemorate this year's Ides of March, here's a still from Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1953 film of Julius Caesar.
Richard Hale's Soothsayer, brought forward by John Gielgud's
Cassius, warns Louis Calhern's Julius Caesar to beware
the Ides of March.
Image from Living in Cinema.
Labels: Julius Caesar
Thou art a Monument, without a tomb,
And art alive still, while thy book doth live,
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
Like Benedict Cumberbatch, Doctor Strange, the character he plays in the upcoming Marvel movie, also admires Shakespeare, as this panel from "A Midsummer's Nightmare!" shows.
Doctor Strange Vol. 2, #34 (April 1979). Image from booksincomics.
Labels: Midsummer Night's Dream
[Editor:] “I’ve looked at your work. Not bad. It has tension, imagination. Is this the first piece you’ve written?”
[Shakespeare:] “No. I wrote another tragedy. It’s the story of two lovers in Verona who—”
“Let’s talk about this piece first, Mr. S. I was wondering why you set it in France. May I suggest—Denmark? It wouldn’t require much work. If you just change two or three names, and turn the château of Châlons-sur-Marne into, say, the castle of Elsinore . . . In a Nordic, Protestant atmosphere, in the shadow of Kierkegaard, so to speak, all these existential overtones . . .”
What is Poetry? — Poetry! that Proteus-like idea, with as many appellations as the nine-titled Corcyra! [Corfu] “Give me,” I demanded of a scholar some time ago, “give me a definition of poetry?” “Très-volontiers;” and he proceeded to his library, brought me a Dr. Johnson, and overwhelmed me with a definition. Shade of the immortal Shakespeare! I imagined to myself the scowl of your spiritual eye upon the profanity of that scurrilous Ursa Major. Think of poetry, dear B——, think of poetry, and then think of Dr. Samuel Johnson! Think of all that is airy and fairy-like, and then of all that is hideous and unwieldy; think of his huge bulk, the Elephant! and then—and then think of the Tempest—the Midsummer Night’s Dream— Prospero —Oberon—and Titania!
Hungarians used to have the poets Sándor Petőfi and Endre Ady on the their money, and, before they switched to the Euro, the Irish had Jonathan Swift, William Butler Yeats, and James Joyce. The Scots have put Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott on their pounds, and Jane Austen graces the British £10 note. My fellow Americans, let's replace the Indian killer Andrew Jackson with Emily Dickinson on the $20.
Image from Coin World.
Adam Driver, behind the mask, as Kylo
Ren, and Kenneth Branagh as Henry V.
George Lucas directed Star Wars Episode 4 and produced Episodes 5-6 before making Episodes 1-3, just as Shakespeare wrote the three Henry VI plays and Richard III (which tell a later part of his story) before writing Richard II, the two Henry IV plays, and Henry V (which tell an earlier part). Just as people sometimes call Episodes 4-6 "the first Star Wars movies" because they appeared first, Henry VI-Richard III is called the "first tetralogy" because Shakespeare wrote it first. Richard II-Henry V is called the "second tetralogy" because he wrote it second. The second tetralogy's last play, Henry V, ends with an epilogue linking it to the first tetralogy, creating a single, continuous epic that tells the story of England from the late fourteenth century to the late fifteenth.
That story reaches a clear finale in Richard III when Richard, the last Yorkist king, is killed by Richmond, who becomes Henry VII, ending the Wars of the Roses and establishing the Tudor dynasty. Star Wars seemed to have reached a similar finale in Return of the Jedi. Darth Vader died, and the Alliance defeated the Empire, ending the star wars. But now we have The Force Awakens, the beginning of the new trilogy that George Lucas said we would never have. It's as if Shakespeare continued his story with Henry VII and then wrote more plays about the Tudors—or, rather, as if he let someone else write them without having control over his story, which seems to be what happened with The Force Awakens.