Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2014

"Cut the Boring Bits" - Excuse Me, Mr. Freeman?

In this article, the once-my-beloved-Watson states that Shakespeare has "boring bits" that should be chopped off in productions. This comment he made when he was talking about the new production of Richard III in which he plays the main tragic role.

Anyway. Is there any boring parts in Shakespeare?

Let's be honest. There are many, almost in every play we have boring bits here and there. They are plays. Shakespeare might have written them to give time for the actors to change clothes, to prepare props, or any other thing. But does it mean that they have no significance, at all? Most of Shakespeare's "boring parts" actually enrich his plays, add more roundness to his characters and plots, and cheer us up with the "useless" comedy.

If you want Shakespeare to appeal to the youngsters, watering it down is not the answer. You don't cut the half-naked women and leave the flowers in Botticelli's Primavera to attract 15 y.o teenagers to a museum. P…

Citing Scriptures: Prince Hal's "Damnable Iteration"

First time I read Henry IV Part 1, I couldn't help laughing at this terrible quoting of the Bible.
Thou didst well, for wisdom cries out in the streets and no man regards it Context: Falstaff was telling Hal that an old lord spoke about Hal, and very wisely too. But Falstaff "regarded him not, and yet he talked very wisely." Then the young Prince answered with the words above.

What a quote, though?

Here's what Proverbs 1:20, 24 says, in the Bishops' Bible.
Wisdome cryeth without, and putteth foorth her voyce in the streetes:...Because I haue called, and ye refused, I haue stretched out my hande, and no man regarded: There. It's not the striking resemblance that has impressed me, but the aptness of Hal in saying it - misusing it. No wonder Falstaff said that the young prince had "damnable iteration."

On the other hand, it shows just how much he knew the Bible. Another way to think about it, eh? To be able to quote it so aptly and effectively (for his…

Citing Scriptures: Shakespeare can cite scripture for his purpose

Actually, I was going to call this kind of article, "The devil can cite scripture for his purpose," or at least, "Shakespeare can cite scripture for his purpose," but it's too long for an article title. So I satisfy myself with "Citing Scripture." I hope it will be a good feature in this blog, since I will write more articles about Shakespeare and the Bible.
So, firstly, what Bible did Shakespeare have? Certainly it's not the renowned King James Bible, because it was first published in 1611. Shakespeare might have used the Bishops Bible, or Geneva Bible as his source, both in English already.
Whatever the Bible he chose as his source, he used it in the way he used every thing - anyway he liked. In Merchant of Venice, Antonio said about Shylock: "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose." Maybe he was thinking about Matthew 4:6, when Satan used a Bible verse to justify his offer. It's interesting to notice, though, that Shakespe…