Richard II

Shakespeare at the Movies- The Oscars 2014

The nominations for the 2014 Academy Awards are in, and I must say, there is some fierce competition for a statue this year!
Until the awards are actually given out on March 2, we can only speculate on the internet and join the office pool, guessing who will walk away a winner. In the meantime, we can dive into the nominees past works, and learn about the interesting and brilliant choices that this group of actors have made throughout their careers.

Seeing as we are a Shakespeare related theatre company, I have sifted though the careers of the nominees and compiled a list of some of the Shakespeare related works that they have been a part of over the years! Enjoy!

christian-bale-american-hustle

Christian Bale (Best Actor Nominee)

Appeared in:

chiwetel-ejiofor-12-years-a-slave

Chiwetel Ejiofor (Best Actor Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • Macbeth (1997 theatre production) as Malcom
  • Romeo and Juliet (2000 theatre production) as Romeo
  • Twelfth Night, or What You Will (2003 TV movie) as Orsino
  • Othello (2007 theatre production) as Othello

leonardo-dicaprio-the-wolf-of-wall-street

Leonardo DiCaprio (Best Actor Nominee)

Appeared in:

amy-adams-american-hustle

Amy Adams (Best Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • Into the Woods (2012 Shakespeare in the Park Production) as Baker’s Wife

cate-blanchett-blue-jasmine

Cate Blanchett (Best Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • Richard II (2009 Sydney Festival) as Richard II


*Fun Fact- This role was part of a show called The War of the Roses, which condensed all of Shakespeare’s historical plays into one 8 hour performance!

judi-dench-philomena

Judi Dench (Best Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:


*Fun Fact- Judi Dench also performed with The Royal Shakespeare Company for many years.

meryl-streep-august-osage-county

Meryl Streep (Best Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • The Taming of the Shrew (1978 Shakespeare in the Park Production)  as Katherine
  • Romeo and Juliet (2012 Shakespeare in the Park Staged Reading) as Juliet

michael-fassbender-12-years-a-slave

Michael Fassbender (Best Supporting Actor Nominee)

Appearing in:

  • Macbeth (Currently in Pre-production) as Macbeth

sally-hawkins

Sally Hawkins (Best Supporting Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • Much Ado About Nothing (2000 theatre production)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2000 theatre production)

lupita-nyongo-12-years-a-slave

Lupita Nyong’o (Best Supporting Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • The Winter’s Tale (Yale School of Drama Production)
  • The Taming of the Shrew (Yale School of Drama Production)

Have you seen any of these movies or performances? What did you think? Leave a comment and let us know!

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What if Shakespeare was… on American Idol!

american_idol-show1

What if Shakespeare was on American Idol singing a heartbreaking love song for a place in the final?

If music be the food of love, play on, (play on, play on)

Give me excess of it (excess of it) [1]

For stony limits cannot hold love out, (cannot hold)

And what love can do, that dares love attempt [2]

The course of true love never did run smooth [3]

 

O my love! Here’s to my love (Oooooh my love! Here’s to my love) [4]

If thou canst / love me… I say to thee / that I shall die [5]

Take all my loves, my love, yea take them all (yea take them all, all, all) [6]

But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade [7]

A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind, / A lover’s ear will hear the lowest sound [8]

 

I love thee, I will not say pity me…

But I say, love me (But I say, looooovvve me) [9]

Canst thou love me? (Canst thou love me?) [10]

Most radiant, exquisite, and unmatchable beauty [11]

I love thee more and more: think more and more (think more and more) [12]

 

I have not art to reckon my groans;

But that I love thee best, O most best believe [13]

If thou dost love me [14] O joyful day! (joyful, joyful day) [15]

To say thou dost not [16] O, break my heart! (break, break, break)

Poor bankrupt, break at once! [17]

 

But I say, love me… [18]

 

In this city will I stay / And live alone and [19]

Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth [20]

Ay me!… and twenty times! Woe, woe / And twenty echoes twenty times cry so [21]

 

But I say, love me… [22]

For now my love… I know thou canst [23]

 

By Linda Nicoll

 

References:

1          Twelfth Night I. i. 2-3

2          Romeo & Juliet II. ii. 916-17

3          A Midsummer Night’s Dream I. i. 140

4          Romeo & Juliet V. iii. 3037 & 65

5          Henry V V. ii. 3132-35

6          Sonnet 40, 1

7          Sonnet 51, 12

8          Love’s Labour’s Lost IV, iii. 1679-80

9          Merry Wives of Windsor II. i. 580-81

10        Henry V V. ii. 3176

11        Twelfth Night I. v. 464

12        Cymbeline V. v. 3498

13        Hamlet II. ii. 1216-18

14        Romeo & Juliet I. v. 943

15        Henry IV P II V. iii. 3539

16        All’s Well That Ends Well I. iii. 497

17        Romeo & Juliet III. ii. 1779

18        Merry Wives of Windsor II. i. 581

19        Henry VI P II IV, iv. 2570-71

20        Richard II III. ii. 1557

21        Venus and Adonis 855-6

22        Merry Wives of Windsor II. i. 581

23        Comedy of Errors II. ii 514 & 28

What if Shakespeare…were a WEATHER FORECASTER? (January Edition)

For Toronto, Ontario, Canada – January 7-13th

MONDAY:  Hideous winter… / Sap checked with frost and lusty leaves quite gone / Beauty o’ersnow’d and bareness every where (1). When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks (2).  High 0.

TUESDAY:  The blushing discontented sun / …perceives the envious clouds are bent / To dim his glory (3).  The more fair and crystal is the sky / The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly (4).  High 2.

WEDNESDAY:  Adding to clouds more clouds (5).  The winds grow high (6), the winds and persecutions of the sky (7).  High 5.

THURSDAY:   The sun breaks through the darkest clouds (8). To the brightest beams / Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth / The time is fair again! (9)  High 5.

FRIDAY:  A hot January (10) – This goodly summer with your winter mix’d (11).  The childing autumn, angry winter, change / Their wonted liveries (12). High 9.

THE WEEKEND – SATURDAY, SUNDAY:  Our day is gone; / Clouds, dews, and dangers come (13), cloud of winter showers (14), winter’s drizzled snow (15).  High 4 and 2.

1)  Sonnet 5

2)  Richard III, 2.3

3)  Richard II, 3.3

4)  Richard II, 1.1

5)  Romeo & Juliet, 1.1

6)  Henry VI, Part II; 2.1

7)  King Lear, 2.3

8)  Taming of the Shrew, 4.3

9)  All’s Well That Ends Well, 5.3

10)  Much Ado About Nothing, 1.1

11)  Titus Andronicus, 5.2

12)  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2.1

13)  Julius Caesar, 5.3

14)  Timon of Athens, 2.2

15)  Comedy of Errors, 5.1

Shakespeare re-arranged by Laboni

What if Shakespeare…were a MUSICIAN?

Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments /Will hum about mine ears. [1] I heard a bird so sing,/ Whose music, to my thinking, pleas’d the King. [2] Give me some music; music, moody food / Of us that trade in love. [3] Play, music, then! Nay, you must do it soon. [4]

Come, give me an instrument.[5] Aha! Come, some music! Come, the recorders! [6] The music, ho! [7] …for love’s sake, to make no more noise with it. [8]

What poor an instrument [9] That knows no touch to tune the harmony. [10] I did… but loath am to produce so bad an instrument. [11] There is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak. [12]

What, to make thee an instrument, and play false strains upon thee! [13] The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices Make instruments to scourge us. [14] No medicine in the world can do thee good. [15] Hence, vile instrument! Thou shalt not damn my hand. [16] May these same instruments never sound more! [17]

Shakespeare re-arranged by Zhan Zhang.

References:

1) Tempest [III. 2. 1535]

2) Henry IV, Part II [V. 5. 3706-3708]

3) Antony and Cleopatra [II. 5. 1049]

4) Love’s Labour’s Lost [V. 2. 2103]

5) Troilus and Cressida [III. 1. 1581]

6) Hamlet [III. 2. 2178]

7) Antony and Cleopatra [II. 5. 1051]

8) Othello [III. 1. 1559]

9) Antony and Cleopatra [V. 2. 3688]

10) Richard II [I. 3. 462]

11) All’s Well That Ends Well [V. 3. 2906]

12) Hamlet [III. 2. 2246-2247]

13) As You Like It [IV. 3. 2069]

14) King Lear [V. 3. 3327]

15) Hamlet [V. 2. 3971]

16) Cymbeline [III. 4. 1797]

17) Coriolanus [I. 9. 814]

What if Shakespeare…were a TEACHER?

What would Shakespeare’s classroom have been like? Your biggest disappointment might have been that most of this master of all English’s lessons would not have been in English at all. However much Shakespeare’s characters might beg to hear or speak “no Latin[, as] a strange tongue makes [a] cause more strange, suspicious” to the hearer (1), in Shakespeare’s Elizabethan reality the Church, State, and Universities judged your education and intellectual worth by your ability to read, write, and quote from Latin. Rome was, after all, the “most high and palmy state” (2) on which English society based its ideals of honor and virtue; English monarchs including the Tudors (and thus Elizabeth) traced their ancestors – by way of King Arthur – to Brutus, a direct descendant of Aeneas, “one of the flowers of Troy” (3), who founded Rome after that city’s fall.

Whatever the language, however, Shakespeare would have been able to teach most any subject – as the times demanded. Elizabethan schools had an intense curriculum, “the sweets of sweet philosophy” (4) at the time including studies of Scripture and religion, rhetoric, mathematics, music, composition, elocution, and the histories of Britain, Europe and the ancient world.  As if that wasn’t enough, school was taught six and a half days a week, with less than two months off each year, going from six or seven in the morning until right before dusk – no wonder that, in Shakespeare’s description of when “a school breaks up,” each student “hurries toward his home and sporting-place” (5) for the only free time he has in his day. I say ‘he’ because almost all such students were boys, of course – women were, at the time, preferably kept as a “poor unlearned virgin […] embowell’d of [schools’] doctrine” (6) or “an unlesson’d girl, unschool’d, unpractised” in the ways of the world but “not bred so dull but she can learn” (7) what she needs to entertain and please a husband.

To teach, Shakespeare would have had to constantly read and study, to become, “neglecting all worldly ends, all dedicated to closeness and the bettering of [his] mind” (8). To effectively guide his pupils, his learning and love of knowledge would have, together, to “beget a generation of still-breeding thoughts, and these same thoughts people this little world” within the schoolhouse (9). Shakespeare was well aware that a conscientious “schoolmaster made [students] more profit than other princesses can that have more time for vainer hours and tutors not so careful” (10). No wasting time for him, but activity and energy towards the learning that had elevated him from glovemaker’s son to renowned playwright – or, in this thought experiment, teacher. Shakespeare would hate when “poor fools believe false teachers” (11) and love to observe that a “gentleman is learn’d, and a most rare speaker[:] his training such, that he may furnish and instruct great teachers, and never seek for aid out of himself” (12). All Shakespeare’s plays reward self-reliance and the personal pursuit of excellence, and his students would have benefited from that attention.

Still, if the little people in his classroom misbehaved, they would have to watch out, as Shakespeare thought that “to teach a teacher ill beseemeth” (13). Problem students would have learned that they were dealing with no “rare parrot-teacher” (14) trying only to have them squawk out passages after him. William would never have been one to spare the rod, even if a pupil “had rather see the swords, and hear a drum, than look upon his school-master” (15). Shakespeare, in his plays, staunchly supported just punishment, and  thought that keeping discipline required one to “show great mercy […] after the
taste of much correction” (16).

Perhaps some foolhardy students would have tried to declare themselves “no breeching scholar in the schools,” that they’d “not be tied to hours nor ‘pointed times, but learn [their] lessons as [they] please [themselves]” (17). Shakespeare would merely reflect on the price paid in his day by he without education: “he hath never fed of the dainties that are bred in a book; he hath not eat paper, as it were; he hath not drunk ink: his intellect is not replenished; he is only an animal, only sensible in the duller parts” (18). He would raise his pupils as best he could towards “Study[, which] is like the heaven’s glorious
sun that will not be deep-searched with saucy looks” (19) and so improve their lot in life by giving them real goals to strive for without easy shortcuts.

This hard work would not, however, have made Shakespeare arrogant or proud; he would acknowledge that in the general estimation, teachers were “so poor a pinion off [power’s] wing” (20) as to be non-entities outside the classroom. Furthermore, despite his own encyclopedic knowledge, Shakespeare was never entirely comfortable with purely intellectual academics; you can sense that for him, they “jes[t] at scars that never felt a wound” (21). Never one to go against the will of the natural order, he would have acknowledged that “Nature teaches beasts to know their friends” (22) without any teacher’s help. He would have further realized that reading and writing without any practical purpose was “but an adjunct to oneself” (23), needing direction or motivation from some other part of one’s life that had more to do with the broader world outside – politics, say, or employment. Or perhaps even (as in many of his plays featuring young scholars) love.

Shakespeare would have acknowledged that education could in some cases even harm students by boring or overindulging them – any student could become “a blunt fellow”, even one that was “quick mettle when he went to school” (24) before being bored stiff by unsuitable lessons. Furthermore, in almost all of Shakespeare’s works, inherent, instinctive knowledge is both valuable and beyond teaching. His plays revolve around the idea that speech and consideration must, at times, give way to activity and daring, and that for “wilful men the injuries that they themselves procure must be their schoolmasters” (25) in facing life’s challenges. He believed that the youths of his time, in particular, often held “a heart unfortified, a mind impatient, an understanding simple and unschooled” (26) and a personality “never school’d and yet learned” (27). In Shakespeare’s view, these qualities – which existed before one had “corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammar school” (28) – allowed the aggressive and, admittedly, often foolhardy juveniles to use their energy and impetuosity to overcome older adversaries’ advantages of age and experience and power. There would have been no fears that Shakespeare would refuse to countenance the beautiful world outside; his pupils would have needed to stay grounded, which he would have known, aware that the broader human context made up “the glass, the school, the book, where subjects’ eyes do learn, do read, do look” (29) for the answers no textbook can entirely provide.

Ultimately, Shakespeare the teacher might have summed up his project as does the benevolent Archbishop Cranmer in Shakespeare the playwright’s Henry VI, Part II:
My good lords, hitherto, in all the progress
Both of my life and office, I have labour’d,
And with no little study, that my teaching
And the strong course of my authority
Might go one way, and safely; and the end
Was ever, to do well. (30)

No teacher, in Shakespeare’s day or afterwards, through all the advances that bring us to appreciating his work from so far after his death, could reasonably ask for more.

Quotations:
(1) Queen Katherine, Henry VIII
(2) Horatio, Hamlet
(3) Pandarus, Troilus and Cressida
(4) Tranio, The Taming Of The Shrew
(5) Lord Hastings, Henry IV, Part II
(6) Countess, All’s Well That Ends Well
(7) Portia, The Merchant of Venice
(8) Prospero, The Tempest
(9) Richard II, Richard II
(10)  Prospero, The Tempest
(11)  Imogen, Cymbeline
(12)  Henry VIII, Henry VIII
(13)  Princess of France, Love’s Labour’s Lost
(14)  Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing
(15)  Volumnia, Coriolanus
(16)  Sir Thomas Grey, Henry V
(17)  Bianca, The Taming of the Shrew
(18)  Sir Nathaniel, Love’s Labour’s Lost
(19)  Biron, Love’s Labour’s Lost
(20)  Dolabella, Antony and Cleopatra
(21)  Romeo, Romeo and Juliet
(22)  Sicinius Velutus, Coriolanus
(23)  Biron, Love’s Labour’s Lost
(24)  Brutus, Julius Caesar
(25)  Regan, King Lear
(26)  Claudius, Hamlet
(27)  Oliver, As You Like It
(28)  Dick Cade, Henry VI, Part I
(29)  Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece
(30)  Archbishop Cranmer, Henry VI, Part II

What if Shakespeare…were a WEATHER FORECASTER?

For Toronto, Ontario, Canada – June 11-17th

(Reasonably accurate, though, I wouldn’t bet your best jumper on it)

MONDAY:  Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this sun (1).  But, in the midst of this bright-shining day, / I spy a black, suspicious, threatening cloud, / That will encounter with our glorious sun (2).  So foul a sky clears not without a storm (3).  It will be rain to-night (4).  Such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder,/ Such groans of roaring wind and rain (5).  High 28.

TUESDAY:  A glooming peace this morning with it brings; / The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head (6).  Another storm brewing; I hear it sing i’ the wind: yond same black cloud, yond huge one, looks like a foul bombard that would shed his liquor (7).  Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short (8).  High 25.

WEDNESDAY:  The sun, / Who doth permit the base contagious clouds / To smother up his beauty from the world, / …please again to be himself (9)!  High 22.

THURSDAY:   The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night, / Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light… / …the sun advance his burning eye / The day to cheer and night’s dank dew to dry (10).  High 21.

THE WEEKEND – FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY:  Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun; / Not separated with racking clouds, / But sever’d in a pale clear-shining sky (11).  High 23, 26, and 29.

And so, farewell.  Fair weather after you!  (12)

Using TLNs (through line numbers):

1)  Richard III, I.i, 1-2

2)  Henry VI, Part III; V.iii, 2777-2779

3)  King John, V.ii, 1833

4)  Macbeth, III.ii, 1257

5)  King Lear, III.ii, 1718-1719

6)  Romeo & Juliet, V.iii, 3280-3281

7)  The Tempest, II.ii, 1101-1104

8)  Richard II, II.ii, 713

9)  Henry IV, Part I; I.ii; 297-300

10)  Romeo & Juliet, II.iii, 1055-1056 and 1059-1060

11)  Henry VI, Part III; II.i; 651-653

12)  Loves Labour Lost, I.ii, 439-440

Cheers,

Laboni