April 23, 2012 |
Today is the 448th birthday of William Shakespeare -- that is, if you believe the widely held assumption that the Bard was born on April 23. Like many things involving the greatest playwright in the English language, the day of his birth is shrouded in mystery. Shakespeare is believed to have been born on this day in 1564 but there is no official record that confirms it. The future writer was baptized on April 26 and it was customary at the time for infants to be baptized three days after birth.
October 28, 2011 |
"Anonymous" — starring a sizable swath of Britain's resident acting class — is an ambitiously biting (gnawing?) literary whodunit turning on the Shakespeare question. As in, who really wrote all those seminal plays and sonnets, a long-running scholarly debate that (unlike the actual author) apparently will never die. That might sound like costume drama taken to deadly boring academic extremes. But surprisingly, in director Roland Emmerich's usually effects-heavy hands ("Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow" and oh so many more)
April 17, 2009 |
Were Homer more proximate to us in time, perhaps we'd worry the details of his daily life as furiously as we do William Shakespeare's. Perhaps -- but probably not. Homer, after all, wrote in Greek and, though Robert Fagles' and Richmond Lattimore's translations are everything a contemporary reader could want, their language is not the poet's.
March 10, 2009 |
The Bard, or not the Bard? That is the question posed by Monday's unveiling of a centuries-old portrait of a dark-eyed, handsome man in Elizabethan finery. Experts say it is the only portrait of William Shakespeare painted during his lifetime -- in effect, the sole source of our knowledge of what the great man looked like. But they can't be certain. In the shifting sands of Shakespeare scholarship, where even the authorship of the plays is sometimes disputed, nothing is written in stone.
July 20, 2008 |
If all the books ever written about William Shakespeare were strung together, they would ring the Earth. Yet for all these many inspired analyses, ardent appreciations, outrageous theories, convoluted interpretations and soporific rehashings, Shakespeare himself remains enigmatic, and his works still yield buried treasures and unforeseen illuminations. So the books keep coming. Jess Winfield adds a particularly bright link to the chain.
March 16, 2008 |
The day after the Pennsylvania primary, April 23, will be the 444th birthday of William Shakespeare. As we take a brief respite from nonstop election coverage to raise a glass to the Bard -- for surely Democrats and Republicans alike can agree on Shakespeare's genius? -- it's worth noting some words that do not appear in Shakespeare's works: "Democrat," "democracy," "republic," "Republican," "primary," "pundit," "delegate" ... not even "vote."
October 24, 2007 |
With this piece, we introduce a series of occasional articles in which contemporary writers look back at classic works of literature. Here, Jack Lynch, the author of "Becoming Shakespeare: The Unlikely Afterlife That Turned a Provincial Playwright Into the Bard" revisits "King Lear," which continues its run this week at UCLA with Ian McKellen in the title role. It's not an easy play to like. The novelist William Makepeace Thackeray found "King Lear" a "bore" when he saw it in 1847.
July 19, 2007 |
There will be an ambitious recommitment to Shakespeare and the classics next season at the Stratford Festival of Canada, with the repertory company even getting a new name to reflect the change -- the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. The 2008 season will be the first for the festival's trio of new artistic directors, Marti Maraden, Des McAnuff and Don Shipley. They are following Richard Monette, who is completing a 14-year run at the Stratford, Ontario-based theater.
January 7, 2007 |
ALL of Washington, D.C., becomes a stage this month as dozens of arts organizations embark on a six-month celebration of William Shakespeare, mounting more than 100 performances, exhibits and other events in the capital. The occasion? There is none, really. The city's Folger Shakespeare Library marks its 75th anniversary this year, but the Shakespeare in Washington festival wasn't prompted by that, said Rae Bazzarre, spokeswoman for Washington's Kennedy Center.