All posts by Bill Walthall

After graduating from UCLA with a degree in English and a teaching credential, Bill Walthall returned to his hometown in Ventura County, California, to teach English and drama at Oxnard and Hueneme High Schools. Having spent a decade in the classroom, he took a year off to recharge his batteries, but was pulled into the private-sector rat race as a technology consultant. In the last handful of years, however, he has rekindled his passion for literature and education. He launched his blog, The Bill / Shakespeare Project, where he brings not only a fun, accessible yet still scholarly approach to a play-by-play analysis of Shakespeare’s works, but also the latest and greatest in Willy Shakespeare headlines every week in his “This Week in Shakespeare” podcast.

Cymbeline production questions, part two

A long time ago (OK, it was only three weeks)…I wrote about Cymbeline and the question of casting. As in, “How do you cut the casting requirements from the 40 in the play, to something more manageable?” It was more rhetorical than anything, going off on tangents that took us to experimental 6-actor casts for both Shakespeare’s Globe and Fiasco Theater.

Here’s a different, but related question.

Continue reading Cymbeline production questions, part two

Cymbeline speech study: the wake-up call

Over the last week or so, I’ve been discussing some of the major speeches from Cymbeline. I started off with Act Two’s Iachimo-in-the-Box speech. Last weekend, I touched upon Posthumus’ full-scene, single-speech rant against women. Today, let’s move from the men to the main woman of the piece: Innogen.

Continue reading Cymbeline speech study: the wake-up call

The Bill / Shakespeare Project presents: This Week in Shakespeare news, for the week ending Monday, June 19th, 2017

[archive]

twitter_TWIS4
This week’s Shakespeare news review podcast includes more Caesarean controversy, reviews of television commercials, Titus, and Shakespeare in 1930s Hollywood. PLUS our usual recap of this week’s daily highlights in Shakespearean history.

Continue reading The Bill / Shakespeare Project presents: This Week in Shakespeare news, for the week ending Monday, June 19th, 2017

English Paper: Prometheus as Byronic Hero, from Frankenstein to Battlestar Galactica

Today, a break from Cymbeline

As many of you know, I’ve gone back to school (part-time) to get my Masters; I’m kicking off my seventh course, now, “Renaissance and Restoration Literature.” A couple of month ago, I posted my “Literary Criticism” paper where I discussed Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, through Marxist and Deconstructionist theories. Late last year, I took a course on the Romantics, and I wrote a paper on the concept of the Byronic Hero, as seen in the mythical figure of Prometheus; the “Modern Prometheus” of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; and a kind of “postmodern Frankenstein” in Battlestar Galactica‘s Gaius Baltar.

Continue reading English Paper: Prometheus as Byronic Hero, from Frankenstein to Battlestar Galactica

Podcast 155: Cymbeline — a bit o’ bawdy, a speech, and burlesque [EXPLICIT]

[archive]

[WARNING: The the first portion of the following podcast contains adult language, sexual imagery, and stuff to make you say, “Man, that’s a dirty play.” You HAVE been warned. SKIP TO THE 12:50 MARK IF  EASILY OFFENDED.]

This week’s podcast continues our two-month discussion of Cymbeline. We’re going to start off with a look at bawdy in the play, an exploration of one of the great speeches from the play, and a review of a fun little bit of non-Cymbeline-related bawdiness.

Continue reading Podcast 155: Cymbeline — a bit o’ bawdy, a speech, and burlesque [EXPLICIT]

The Bill / Shakespeare Project presents: This Week in Shakespeare news, for the week ending Monday, June 12th, 2017

[archive]

twitter_TWIS4
This week’s Shakespeare news review podcast includes controversy in the park, Corden and Blunt make like Romeo and Juliet, and Original Practices. PLUS our usual recap of this week’s daily highlights in Shakespearean history.

Continue reading The Bill / Shakespeare Project presents: This Week in Shakespeare news, for the week ending Monday, June 12th, 2017

Cymbeline and bawdiness: in with a villain, out with a clown

[EXPLICIT CONTENT, ADULT LANGUAGE AND SOPHOMORIC SEX HUMOR AHEAD… SKIP IF EASILY OFFENDED.]

Eric Partridge, in his study of and dictionary for the bawdy in the Bard, Shakespeare’s Bawdy, has this to say about our play: “Cymbeline in many ways resembles The Winter’s Tale, which is slightly less bawdy but rather more sexual. They are of much the same quantitative order as All’s Well.” (Shakespeare’s Bawdy, Partridge, Eric. New York: Routledge Classics, 2001; page 58). OK, so, we haven’t read The Winter’s Tale yet (that’s next), but we have read All’s Well, and that play’s got some dirt, but isn’t that dirty. I know, not very helpful.

Continue reading Cymbeline and bawdiness: in with a villain, out with a clown

Soliloquies

OK, so I was starting to look for speeches in Cymbeline to break down in close readings, and I instantly thought of two: the Iachimo-in-the-bedchamber speech, and Posthumus’ rant against women near the end of Act Two. And I figured those were the two main soliloquies in the play (and yes, I know that technically the bedchamber speech isn’t a soliloquy because there is someone on stage with him at the time, but she’s asleep, all right?).

I figured that that was that, that this play, like our last one (Coriolanus), had only a couple of soliloquies.

Uh, no. There are nearly a dozen and a half soliloquies (of 10 or more lines) in the play.

Continue reading Soliloquies

Cymbeline Friday Film Focus: a not-review

Another early summer Friday, another new release. Out in the world, it’s Tom Cruise and his Mummy reboot. For us, a not-review of Cymbeline.

[NOTE: when I do the reviews revue–see what I did there?–I view the videos all in the same month if possible (Macbeth with its slew made it a little difficult). I don’t technically review anything I haven’t seen recently..thus, what follows is a “not-review”]

Continue reading Cymbeline Friday Film Focus: a not-review