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Shakespeare in the 21st Century

Archive for the category “History”

Shakespeare: the Creator of Rudolph?

What do Rudolph, Verdi, and Falstaff have in common? Shakespeare, of course!

What do Rudolph, Verdi, and Falstaff have in common? Shakespeare, of course!

You’ve probably heard the song “Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,” and seen the movie that came with it (I’m talking about the Rankin-Bass quality one, not the later 2-d animation or any such thing). If you haven’t seen it, go, now. I’ll wait. Read more…

William Shakespeare: the Lord of…Misrule??

The Lord of Misrule…well, with all the sex jokes in Shakespeare, I think I can see Will getting along with most any “lord of misrule.”

So, in keeping with the Shakespearean Christmas theme (and in order to give myself a break from writing a paper and grading 20 more), I thought that it would be fun to elaborate on one of the most fun British Christmas traditions out there, the Lord of Misrule (and there is most definitely a connection to Shakespeare aside from the time period on this one, trust me).  Read more…

A Shakespearean Christmas

Queen Elizabeth at Christmas

Queen Elizabeth at Christmas

 I  love this time of year, the singing, the games, the cooking. Many of the things we enjoy today were also enjoyed by Shakespeare, though in different forms…and their Christmases back then ran from Christmas Eve on the 24th all the way to Epiphany on January 6th, hence “the twelve days of Christmas.” Read more…

Why Do We Still Love Shakespeare?

What is it about this guy?

What is it about this guy?

When reviewing adaptations of his plays, and looking at the history that shaped this man, it is sometimes hard to remember that these plays have lasted (intact) for nearly 500 years. What is it about Shakespeare that makes him so relatable, even with the language barrier between modern English and the English of Shakespeare’s day? This man’s influence in literature is something that most authors today still cannot imagine attaining for themselves.  Read more…

The History of Macbeth

James I, painted by Daniel Mytens, for whom Macbeth was written.

James I, Shakespeare patron and alleged descendant of Banquo. Painted by Daniel Mytens.

With the last two posts being about how Macbeth has had an influence on modern culture, I thought I’d take a step back in time and look at the culture that influenced Macbeth. Not only are there several instances of brown-nosing  the king, there are also several points of the play that portray Scotland in a negative light, something that is still alive and well today.  Read more…

Hamlet: The Back Story


The King’s Arms Pub in Oxford, the first venue outside London where “Hamlet” was performed.

    Alright, so my last post gave you the very basic outline of Hamlet, as told by Disney.  Today, I’m going to look at the back story of Hamlet as a play. Hamlet was first performed in 1602 in London. The first place that it was performed outside of London was a pub in Oxford that sat just outside the city walls of the time.  Read more…

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