December 26, 1998
I wish to clarify the statement in Kenneth Turan's review of "Shakespeare in Love" that Marc Norman "came up with the deft original idea of having Shakespeare's play and life influence each other" ("A Welcome Winter's Tale," Dec. 11). This is not to disparage the contributions of Norman and co-writer Tom Stoppard, but the idea has been around a good while. Faye Kellerman, a famed local mystery author, dramatized Shakespeare's love life in her 1989 novel, "The Quality of Mercy--A Novel of Intrigue in Elizabethan England."
August 9, 1992
In correcting Jay McInerney and Richard Eder, Andrew Dungan (Letters, July 12), is quite certain that "Brightness Falls" from the hair, not from the air. He is certainly right that we read the usual version of the line, "Brightness falls from the air," in a modern, symbolist way that would have made little sense to Elizabethan readers. And I too was completely convinced by J.V. Cunningham's argument. But as it happens, his proof was not quite conclusive. Wesley Trimpi has published a long, detailed paper in which he shows that the line Nashe wrote is probably "Brightness falls from the air" and that it made perfectly good sense to Elizabethans in terms of contemporary theories of disease.
April 18, 1992
In Peter Rainer's review of Derek Jarman's marvelous film version of Christopher Marlowe's play, "Edward II" ("An Audacious Slant on 'Edward II,' " April 10), there is a fascinating mistake that leads one to a quite startling conclusion. Marlowe was murdered May 30, 1593, but, according to Rainer, the Elizabethan spy and playwright's dramatic version of the 14th-Century homosexual King of England was written the very next year, leaving only one assumption: Someone else wrote the works of Marlowe!
February 25, 2007
THANK you for your much-deserved attention to classically trained British actors ["Advantage Britain" by Charles McNulty, Feb. 18]. Watching Dame Dench battle-ax her way through her own vulnerabilities and angst while simultaneously and systematically dismantling several lives was breathtaking ["Notes on a Scandal"]. "It's a minefield" indeed! Dame Mirren's flawless roaming from the sublime to the meticulous and back was mesmerizing ["The Queen"]. They inhabit every role they accept, it seems.
June 20, 1993
It was with interest that I read Sarah Montoya's oh, so witty rejoinder in last Sunday's letters. The lady doth protest too much, methinks, and is not wont to speak plain and to the purpose. I too sallied forth to view "Much Ado About Nothing" and left yon theater greatly impressed with this delightful film. Kenneth Branagh superbly accomplished what he set out to do. That is, to put it in today's parlance, make the Bard accessible. What so many purists seem to forget is that Shakespeare wrote his plays not just for the elitist few, but for the uneducated masses as well.
November 3, 2002
I certainly sympathize with David Rambo's annoyance with impolite audience members who prevent each other from listening to a play due to ringing cell phones, crinkling cellophane wrappers and talking among themselves ("The Drama of Listening," Oct. 20). What I find odd is his romantic harking back to the time of Elizabethan drama when theatergoers actually went to "hear a play." Rambo seems to have overlooked that Elizabethan audiences had the far more distracting problems of constant chattering (especially from the rabble in the pit)