The Shakespeare Society Watch

La Trampa
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#281
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#281
is the society going to become official?
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silence
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#282
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#282
it was. i suppose i better make it so again.
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La Trampa
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#283
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#283
ok. cool coz i wanna join
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Danny the Geezer
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#284
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#284
Read The Tempest the other day. Cute little play

Can I get a logo by the way, to say I'm part of this society?
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Acaila
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#285
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#285
I think I've probably lost my logo
Need to apply in group memberships assuming it's been imported or recreated.

Discussion question for you all: Why is Shakey considered to be the greatest playwright who ever lived?
As in, why do we all read Shakespeare in English and not Marlowe or Johnson or whoever...
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Danny the Geezer
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#286
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#286
Because his plays are brilliant, but not just one of them- at least half a dozen are masterpieces.
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Acaila
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#287
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#287
But other playwrights have written masterpieces. What sets Shakespeare above the rest?
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La Trampa
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#288
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#288
his happened to make it in the limelight others didn't and as he palgarised,maybe he burnt those he copied from...dunno
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Toscar
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#289
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#289
because his are better? while jonson, middleton et al have all written some good plays, what stands WS out is pretty much the fact that the majority of his plays are stonkingly brilliant in terms of poetry, character. From the qwill (sp) of Antony and Cleopatra can also come Richard II, and As Taming of the Shrew? His range is outstanding. There are loads of great other eliz/jacobean plays out there, and some indeed are studied at A level (faustus by marlowe) but its the quantity(37 ish) and consistent quality that sets WS apart.
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Acaila
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#290
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#290
Consistent quality is perhaps not quite right if you listen to my tutor (Timon of Athens is a swear word in our theatre!)

I think the point about range is a good one.

Shylock - so you think it's just an accident that Shakespeare is considered so special?
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Toscar
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#291
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#291
(Original post by Acaila)
Consistent quality is perhaps not quite right if you listen to my tutor (Timon of Athens is a swear word in our theatre!)
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totally ... he did write some rubbish ones as well.... pericles anyone?(or maybe just at the globe theatre, 2005 season)
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Acaila
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#292
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#292
Don't know Pericles but I've heard it's terrible.
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Tyler Durden
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#293
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#293
I was actually thinking about this before I fell asleep the other day! I think that his genius doesn't lie in the plotting; the stories themselves are not necessarily brilliant in their own right. Obviously he relied very heavily on source material and the content of his plays is rarely entirely original. The most obvious examples of adapted source material is perhaps in the "history" plays. These are re-hashed accounts of romanticised history.

So what makes him amazing? I think the answer is pretty simple: the language. The way Shakespeare uses language is unique and is not rivalled by even the greatest of his contemporaries. The post-colonialist readings of The Tempest or feminist readings of The Taming of the Shrew or the essays on homosexuality in The Merchant of Venice might well be fascinating reading (and to be fair, some are!) but I think there's too little critical focus on the language he uses. One of the most brilliant books I've read on Shakespeare is the simply-titled "Shakespeare's Language" by Frank Kermode. It looks at Shakespeare's plays (mostly individually) and the way their language works and it's totally fascinating. To pick one example (it's one that sticks in my mind because I remember thinking about it as I studied M4M) he dwells on the word "prone" and its multiple potential meanings when used about Isabella. Shakespeare's greatness lies in the fact that a single word can be discussed at such length, at once inviting and rejecting interpretations and seemingly working in every way simultaneously. Obviously that's quite a close reading of a text, but then there's the power of the language in performance; I for one can rarely sit through a performance of one of his plays without feeling that shiver down my spine at one moment or another.

So yes, I don't think it's in the thematic realm that Shakespeare necessarily dominates (although, through language, the themes do seem somehow become entirely perennial). It's in his language. It's in the way he can capture everything from the beauty and majesty of the 'orient' in Antony and Cleopatra to the heart-breakingly personal tragedy of someone like Brutus, from the hilarity of some of his comic characters to the universal tragedy of Lear or even the indecision of Hamlet. Shakespeare always seems authentic, and that's thanks to the language he used.
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Danny the Geezer
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#294
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#294
I know there are claims he plagarised..............but whoever wrote the plays are a genius, wether or not it was him.
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Acaila
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#295
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Well that's one of the reasons I was asking actually. After our lecture earlier, we watched a video that basically came round to the theory that Christopher Marlowe wasn't killed but escaped to Italy and wrote all of Shakespeare's plays.
My lecturer made what I believe to be a very important point - the plays are what matter, not the person that wrote them.

ES - are you into Antony and Cleopatra?
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La Trampa
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#296
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(Original post by Acaila)
Consistent quality is perhaps not quite right if you listen to my tutor (Timon of Athens is a swear word in our theatre!)

I think the point about range is a good one.

Shylock - so you think it's just an accident that Shakespeare is considered so special?
i don't know but could be the reason.
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La Trampa
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#297
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(Original post by Acaila)
Well that's one of the reasons I was asking actually. After our lecture earlier, we watched a video that basically came round to the theory that Christopher Marlowe wasn't killed but escaped to Italy and wrote all of Shakespeare's plays.
My lecturer made what I believe to be a very important point - the plays are what matter, not the person that wrote them.

ES - are you into Antony and Cleopatra?
i liked Anthony and Cleopatra...and you've got a point,it's the plays themselves that matter and not who wrote them, i also heard that theory as well that someone wrote the plays for shakespare...and there's the one that he plagrised from people...
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Tyler Durden
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#298
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#298
(Original post by Acaila)

ES - are you into Antony and Cleopatra?
Yes. I love it, I'd definitely rank it as one of my favourites!
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Acaila
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#299
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#299
Definitely my favourite - Cleopatra is my dream straight theatre part (done it in a rehearsed reading though )

I wanna read some Shakespeare tonight, but I've got to go and learn some of She Stoops To Conquer
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Madelyn
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#300
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Going back to the consistent quality point, most of the plays are amazing. Pericles and Timon of Athens are the obivous exceptions, and I'm sure there are more, but for one man to produce even twenty-odd brilliant plays is quite impressive.
Apart from the quality, I suppose another reason for Shakespeare being taught at school is that most people, certainly those doing Eng Lit A level, will be aware of him and of some of his plays, whereas they won't necessarily know anything about, say, Jonson or Kyd. So it's kind of a familiarity issue. But that doesn't really answer the question, so I'm agreeing with ES about it being the language. Oh, and another fab book is Helen Vendler's one on the Sonnets. She concentrates on the language and points out a lot of cases where words echo each other throughout a sonnet and things.

I don't really think it matters who wrote "Shakespeare", because we still know very little about whoever it was so it can't really make a lot of difference to our understanding of the work. But I basically think that it was this boy from Warwickshire named Will Shakespeare: apart from the often tenuous nature of most of the other theories, it has a certain emotional appeal for me. And I was watching some programme where the guy pointed out that many of Shakespeare's images and things are drawn from things which he would have experienced growing up in Stratford, and that someone like Marlowe probably wouldn't have known. However, I do quite like the theory about Marlowe fleeing to Italy and writing "Shakespeare" from there - isn't there a letter somewhere from someone who knew him there saying he died after Shakespeare did, so could have written the plays after all? But when you compare a Marlowe play to a Shakespeare one, I just find it impossible to believe that they were written by the same person.
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