Shakespeare Saturday: Lost plays, found plays, fake plays, and plays that might have been

By the end of the 18th century, there were multiple editions of Shakespeare's work in circulation, but no biography that could have been considered satisfying. Shakespeare had not left behind manuscripts or notes, and only few signatures in legal papers here and there. The first collection of his work, the Folio, had been published years … Continue reading Shakespeare Saturday: Lost plays, found plays, fake plays, and plays that might have been

Shakespeare Saturday: Cymbeline

Pardon's the word to all. Cymbeline is a play full of fantastical (or fantastically convoluted) plot twists, creative character names and sort of knowing winks to his earlier plays. There's a cross-dressing woman! Mistaken identities! Evil Queens! And a title that is ever so slightly inaccurate - in fact, so much so that when staging … Continue reading Shakespeare Saturday: Cymbeline

Shakespeare Saturday: The winter’s tale

Though I am not naturally honest, I am sometimes so by chance. The Winter's Tale is another work hovering somewhere between "late pastoral romance", comedy and a problem play, having a somewhat problematic structure - the first three acts are a dark, somber tragedy, a portrayal of the madness of King Leontes that results in … Continue reading Shakespeare Saturday: The winter’s tale

Shakespeare Saturday: Antony and Cleopatra

All strange and terrible events are welcome, but comforts we despise. Antony and Cleopatra is another Roman play, a hard-to-pin-down, almost true history of the later years of the doomed affair between the Roman general Mark Antony, and Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt. The historical events it is based on lead directly to the … Continue reading Shakespeare Saturday: Antony and Cleopatra

Shakespeare Saturday: Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens is a tragicomic story of a wealthy, gregarious Athenian, who is a terrible judge of character. He loses all his earthly possessions through misplaced generosity, and consequently becomes a misanthropic, histrionic recluse. It is considered another problem play, with a particularly unsatisfying denouement and slightly unfinished feel to it - it has … Continue reading Shakespeare Saturday: Timon of Athens