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Shakespeare Uncovered

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by HejiraHenry, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Maybe I missed it, but it doesn't seem like this has been mentioned hereabouts.

    Six-part PBS series – wake up, damn it! – that breezes through very personal, one-hour takes on the chosen material.

    Hamlet - Ethan Hawke
    As You Like It and Twelfth Night _ Joely Richardson
    Richard II - Derek Jacobi
    Henry IV/Henry V - Jeremy Irons
    Hamlet - David Tennant
    The Tempest – director Trevor Nunn

    Taken as a whole, a threat of Shakespeare's life runs through all of them. Jacobi even suggests that he doesn't think Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare's plays, but that's pretty quickly brushed aside.

    I highly recommend this.
  2. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    Shakespeare wrote the plays, for God's sake.
    The half-baked theory he did not has been thoroughly discredited.
    Never mind his name is on the works attributed to him, an effect of superstar status.
    During a period when authorship was not attached to plays while the playwright was still living.
  3. ColdCat

    ColdCat Well-Known Member

    I often sense some elitism in the anti-Shakespeare theory. The argument goes that since most of his contemporary writers were Oxford and Cambridge men who were part of court, the University Wits, how could some backwoods son of a glove-maker who never finished elementary school be better than them.

    'Cuz he was that damn good, that's why.
  4. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    The digression by Jacobi took up maybe 5 minutes in 6 total hours of program, which seems like a good proportion.

    Generally, the biography of Shakespeare was dealt with in a matter-of-fact manner.
  5. Take what Derek Jacobi said with a grain of salt. This PBS special was filmed just as Jacobi was coming off the filming of the movie Anonymous which revolves around the idea that the Earl of Oxford, Edward De Vere, actually wrote the plays and that Shakespeare was a buffoon. Jacobi could be just promoting the film (which was actually pretty good).

  6. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    I saw Jacobi in the Wynn casino about five years ago.
    He looked like a cool cat, the kind of guy you'd like to drink with.
    But this is a strangely persistent myth - it wasn't even fresh stuff 10 or 15 years ago.
  7. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    I happened to see these on the PBS website last week and they caught my attention because my kids are very much into Shakespeare. I watched the one on the comedies last night -- I started with that one because the kids were in a production of As You Like It last summer. It was pretty well done. The best part was Joely Richardson interviewing her mother (Vanessa Redgrave) about playing Rosalind with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the '60s.
  8. dreunc1542

    dreunc1542 Active Member

    I just went to the Shakespeare Uncovered site. Not only do they have the hour long episodes, they also have some of the full-length recent versions of plays like Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, etc. I've seen individual scenes of Tennant in Hamlet and loved it so I think I might have to watch the whole thing. Thanks for the heads up on this, HH.
  9. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    I don't think it's elitism. It's a common-sense argument of the where-there's-smoke ilk.

    A lot of people wanted to believe that Barry Bonds became a better hitter at an age when everyone else's skills diminish. It went against common sense, but many clung to the belief that he was different.
    Turned out he was doping.

    Common sense indicates that a person of Shakespeare's background is not likely to produce the work attributed to him.

    Anyway, I don't believe that. There's no real evidence to back it up, but I get the common sense of the argument. It's not elitism.
  10. waterytart

    waterytart Active Member

    I DVRed Derek Jarman's idiosyncratic take on The Tempest when it was on TCM a few months ago, but still haven't watched it. Maybe I'll combine it with this.
  11. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    'The Tempest' was the inpsiration for Shelley's wonderful 'To Jane, with a Guitar':

    This slave of music for the sake
    Of him who is the slave of thee;
    And teach it all the harmony,
    In which thou can’st, & only thou,
    Make the delighted spirit glow,
    ’Till joy denies itself again
    And too intense is turned to pain;
  12. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    There is a whiff of elitism when a commoner's work is being attributed to the comparatively well-born, including members of the peerage.
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