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.
Yesterday, we started discussing scansion and meter (using a re-purposed presentation I gave a couple of years back), with a brief metrical overview. We also started a close reading of beginning of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. Today, let’s finish up the scene, and then we’ll hit the Melancholy Dane, Prince Hamlet… Continue reading THAT Discussion, Part Two→
OK, this is a distillation of the presentation I gave to Kyle’s seventh grade English class a couple of years back, entitled “Shakespearean Verse…Scansion: The Audience’s Meaning and the Actor’s Guide”
For Shakespearean study, language is the key. WHY?
It cracks me up, this concept of Shakespeare and time. It just doesn’t add up in some plays. We’ll get to Romeo and Juliet in May of next year, but the same kind of time mix-up applies to The Comedy of Errors. Continue reading What Time is It?→
This week’s podcast includes a plot synopsis of The Comedy of Errors, an announcement concerning the opening of a Bill / Shakespeare Project store, a request for upcoming blog and podcast topics, and a review of the Shakespeare Behind Bars DVD. Continue reading Podcast 03: The Comedy of Errors Overview→
Act Five’s single scene brings all together. The scene begins with Angelo and his creditor discussing the situation again. AS and DS arrive, and after some confusion, the creditor draws his sword to arrest then and get the money owed to him. AS and DS escape to sanctuary in the Priory (Abbey). The Abbess comes out to see what is going on, and she questions the newly arrived Adriana on the social aspects of AS’s state… her initial finding is that Adriana is to blame: “The venom clamors of a jealous woman / Poisons more deadly than a mad dog’s tooth” (V.i.69-70), but she exits to tend to his madness with “wholesome syrups, drugs and holy prayers” (V.i.104). Upon her exit, the Duke arrives with Egeon to oversee the Syracusian merchant’s execution. Continue reading Act Five: Hey, Abbott (er, make that Abbess)!→
If you do Netflix (or if your DVD rental vendor of choice has a good selection of independent docs), do yourself a GREAT favor and check out Shakespeare Behind Bars, a documentary made back in ’05 about a volunteer theatre project at a Kentucky prison.
Thanks go out to BSP commenter Mashaw for pointing me in the direction of this film (her friend Shana was the directory of photography for the piece).