What's wrong with Shakespeare?

Historic questions, thoughts and other interesting stuff

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
craig1459
Post Centurion
Posts: 646
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Derby
Contact:

What's wrong with Shakespeare?

Postby craig1459 » Tue Oct 25, 2005 5:33 pm

Richard III is often regarded as Tudor propaganda - proper character assassination. I'm not going to get into that here but I was wondering how this claimed Lancastrian bias was evident in his other "histories", such as the Henry VIs?

I know the play Richard III pretty well but have not seen or read the other plays which cover the WOTR era and am interested in hearing perspectives on this.


die Behmen hinder iren bafosen ... stunden vest wie die mauren

User avatar
Alan_F
Post Centurion
Posts: 626
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:01 pm
Location: Grangemouth
Contact:

Postby Alan_F » Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:34 pm

Craig, have you ever wondered why Macbeth is considred unlucky? It was written in 1603 and tells its adience how Macbeth's coming to the throne is some unnatural (the witches propecising) and through the murder of a great Monarch.

In 1603 Elizabeth I of England died and was replaced by James VI of Scotland - it soon became the norm that a playhouse that had Macbeth on would be shut down and it's cast imprisoned. The play is, in essence, anti-Stuart propaganda.


I re-enact therefore I am

Embrace the future of Steampunk Goodness!

User avatar
craig1459
Post Centurion
Posts: 646
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Derby
Contact:

The Scottish Play

Postby craig1459 » Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:03 pm

Thank Alan - v interesting. I'd always taken it to be because of the macabre content but this makes more sense. The theme of the usurpation via foul deed is of course evident in several of Shakespear's plays. A popular theme in the Tudor age. I can't think why?! :)


die Behmen hinder iren bafosen ... stunden vest wie die mauren

User avatar
Alan_F
Post Centurion
Posts: 626
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:01 pm
Location: Grangemouth
Contact:

Re: What's wrong with Shakespeare?

Postby Alan_F » Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:39 am

craig1459 wrote:Richard III is often regarded as Tudor propaganda - proper character assassination. I'm not going to get into that here but I was wondering how this claimed Lancastrian bias was evident in his other "histories", such as the Henry VIs?


Although it should be remembered that propagandists of that age would disgrace a tabloid Journalist of today - look at how John Knox and George Buchanan villified Mary Queen of Scots.


I re-enact therefore I am

Embrace the future of Steampunk Goodness!

User avatar
Cat
Post Centurion
Posts: 704
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:40 pm
Location: A Muddy Field Near Tewkesbury

Postby Cat » Wed Oct 26, 2005 10:32 am

Then again, The Scottish Play does have more than its fair share of accidents. In his youth, my father was a Shakespearo, and (being young and carefree) they used 'lives' on stage. During a performance of said play he managed to pin a chap to the stage through the skin covering his ribs...damn painful but not life threatening, fortunately.
It's probably some sort of miracle that it only happened once, but it WAS in The Scottish Play.

(Hot potato Opera Stalls, Puck will make amends, aaaargh!)

Personally I think that Shake was a genius. He invented about half of the phrases and a good number of the words that we use today. And having read all of the conspiracy theories, I also believe that his works were written by him alone, and not by a consortium. So yah.



User avatar
Alan_F
Post Centurion
Posts: 626
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:01 pm
Location: Grangemouth
Contact:

Postby Alan_F » Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:28 pm

Personally I think that Shake was a genius. He invented about half of the phrases and a good number of the words that we use today. And having read all of the conspiracy theories, I also believe that his works were written by him alone, and not by a consortium. So yah.


I own't disagree with you there Cat, however a lot of his work has to be taken in the context of the time that it was being written - the country under both Elizabeth and James were not, by any means, paragons of Freedom of Speech and would today be seen as Dictatorships. So there is also the propaganda side to his work that should be considered.


I re-enact therefore I am

Embrace the future of Steampunk Goodness!

User avatar
Alex Clayphan
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:08 am
Location: At Liberty
Contact:

Postby Alex Clayphan » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:22 am

Shakespeare was reallly very clever, contentious issues, such as vaunted in Richard II (removing one's monarch from power), Scottish kings in Macbeth, etc. were written into the plays themselves, not as representations of history, but as a very effective way of drawing in the crowds to the theatre by running along the edge of a dangerous issue, without actually stating it openly. This use of current political, and religious issue use was extremely prevalent in the theatre, but also to be found in verse and prose of the time, essentially if you wanted bums on seats you used contentious matters veiled as theatre to draw in the gossipers and armchair conspirators. Great theatre, fantastic language use, but don't use the plays themselves for research on other periods.


Life - funny old thing ain't it?

User avatar
WorkMonkey
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 1:00 pm
Location: Buuuuurmingum
Contact:

Postby WorkMonkey » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:03 pm

Not authentic etc.


WORKMONKEY: The Wilderness Years.
Image
Look at the monkey, funny monkey
Little red monkey, acting so fidgety

User avatar
Melons de Cantilupe
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:06 pm
Location: Greasley and Ilkeston
Contact:

Postby Melons de Cantilupe » Fri Nov 25, 2005 2:39 pm

Shakespeare is actually a time traveller from the year 2016. He learned his history from TV dramas, then travelled back in time to get a down-at-heels scribe called Francis Bacon to write a series of best-selling historical pot-boilers, with scant regard for real history.
He used a battered copy of Penguin Collected Works Of Shakespeare as his main source.

Paradox-schmaradox.



User avatar
gregory23b
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Gyppeswyk, Suffolk

Postby gregory23b » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:21 pm

He told it like it is, gospel as far as I am concerned re his depiction of Dick the Nasty, maybe too generous to him methinks sirrah!


middle english dictionary

Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

http://medievalcolours.blogspot.com

"I know my place." Alice the Huswyf

colonelboris
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Apparently standing on a very windy part of Offa's Dyke
Contact:

Postby colonelboris » Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:40 pm

Just for all the conspiracists out there.
Attachments
shake.jpg


'Assumption is the mother of all f***-ups' - Eric Bogosian, Under Siege 2
www.tonykeenebirds.co.uk Image

User avatar
craig1459
Post Centurion
Posts: 646
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Postby craig1459 » Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:50 pm

gregory23b wrote:He told it like it is, gospel as far as I am concerned re his depiction of Dick the Nasty, maybe too generous to him methinks sirrah!


:lol: :evil:


die Behmen hinder iren bafosen ... stunden vest wie die mauren

User avatar
WorkMonkey
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 1:00 pm
Location: Buuuuurmingum
Contact:

Postby WorkMonkey » Fri Dec 02, 2005 7:15 pm

gregory23b wrote:He told it like it is, gospel as far as I am concerned re his depiction of Dick the Nasty, maybe too generous to him methinks sirrah!


uh oh, looks like the yorkists and lancastrians are about to kick off.


WORKMONKEY: The Wilderness Years.

Image

Look at the monkey, funny monkey

Little red monkey, acting so fidgety

User avatar
gregory23b
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Gyppeswyk, Suffolk

Postby gregory23b » Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:43 pm

Honestly how can there be a cult over a king that lasted 2 years and the only lasting impact he had on our culture was his ability to lose a battle in 1485 against the rightful king of England, by grace of God Henry Tudor - (all praise him and his gingery tight fistedness, money in the exchequer - yay!!)

Not to mention killing those poor wee princes, and drowning Clarence, what a nasty man.

I am all for supporting the underdog, but he was a rabid beast out of control that was put down in as merciful a way as possible, sparing the late middle ages a great deal of discomfort under his no doubt tyrranical rule.

The flipside being had he won, we wouldn't have ended up with that maniac Henry VIII.


middle english dictionary

Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

http://medievalcolours.blogspot.com

"I know my place." Alice the Huswyf

User avatar
craig1459
Post Centurion
Posts: 646
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Postby craig1459 » Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:50 pm

gregory23b wrote:Honestly how can there be a cult over a king that lasted 2 years and the only lasting impact he had on our culture was his ability to lose a battle in 1485 against the rightful king of England, by grace of God Henry Tudor


Baa!

Don't get the RIII cult myself but hey - EIV was the man. As opposed to some lily-livered dipstick :lol:


die Behmen hinder iren bafosen ... stunden vest wie die mauren

User avatar
gregory23b
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Gyppeswyk, Suffolk

Postby gregory23b » Sat Dec 03, 2005 11:34 am

Yes Ed 4 was ok, as usurpers go, had all the best liveries.

But Henry VI, Saint Henry was a kind and generous man with a wonderful softed hearted wife (cue snorts of derisions) - plus the son of Hen 5 - can't be too bad


middle english dictionary

Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

http://medievalcolours.blogspot.com

"I know my place." Alice the Huswyf

User avatar
craig1459
Post Centurion
Posts: 646
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Postby craig1459 » Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:10 pm

gregory23b wrote:Yes Ed 4 was ok, as usurpers go, had all the best liveries.

But Henry VI, Saint Henry was a kind and generous man with a wonderful softed hearted wife (cue snorts of derisions) - plus the son of Hen 5 - can't be too bad


And what nationality was his mother? :twisted:


die Behmen hinder iren bafosen ... stunden vest wie die mauren

User avatar
gregory23b
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Gyppeswyk, Suffolk

Postby gregory23b » Sun Dec 04, 2005 7:54 pm

Ribbit! as was his grandma, if young PoW hadn't had his napper removed that would have been three in a row - if not more can't remember before Hen Bollers, all French pretty much. At least we didn't have an 'auld alliance' <cough> with the Frenchies.

Ah the strange contradiction, the French are our oldest enemies yet enough of them made up a fair portion of our royal family a while back and fought in our wars against their countrymen - :twisted:


middle english dictionary

Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

http://medievalcolours.blogspot.com

"I know my place." Alice the Huswyf

User avatar
craig1459
Post Centurion
Posts: 646
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Postby craig1459 » Sun Dec 04, 2005 8:18 pm

I'd like to read about the WOTR from the French point of view. Louis IX was certainly a devious customer and no doubt had a great deal of fun with the English kniggits who kept rolling in in exile, to Burgundy as well as France


die Behmen hinder iren bafosen ... stunden vest wie die mauren

KarenM
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 8:58 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Postby KarenM » Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:43 pm

Alan F, I believe you're greatly mistaken about the circumstances of the composition of Macbeth. It was written in 1606 to please King James, who claimed descent from Banquo (murdered by Macbeth in the play). Shakespeare and his theatrical company enjoyed the patronage of King James for years. "Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare" by Stephen Greenblatt, which came out in 2004 or this year, has a good chapter about the composition of Macbeth and Shakespeare's company's relationship to King James.

If Queen Elizabeth did not actually name James as her successor on her deathbed, he was still considered a good choice in England, since he was solidly Protestant and had a strong claim by descent.



Trixie the Viking
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: in a hole in the ground

Postby Trixie the Viking » Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:53 am

>Craig, have you ever wondered why Macbeth is considred unlucky?<

- Well, coming from the performance (rather than the historical) side of things, I've always been informed that the idea of Macbeth being unlucky is an actor's superstition. If any play was ever doing badly - getting poor reviews, bad attendances, all that - then Macbeth could be put on to replace it, as The Scottish Play was known as a sure fire crowd-puller. Thus, it became that even the idea on mentioning Macbeth was sure to jinx any other play, and cause everybody to lose their jobs...

Don't know how right that is, but it's what the RSC believe...

TRIXIE


Soylent Virens Hominus Est


Return to “General History”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests