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.

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

Iachimo: little scamp or little Iago?

So, you’re a pretty nice guy. Got this beautiful fiancée or wife, and she’s totally faithful to you. And this dude comes along and tells you that she’s been disloyal. You get sad then mad, and you want her killed. We’ve seen this before in Othello and now Cymbeline. You’re the Moor or Posthumus. She’s Desdemona or Hero. And that “dude” is Iago or Iachimo.

Is similarity in the name intentional?

Continue reading Iachimo: little scamp or little Iago?

The Bill / Shakespeare Project presents: This Week in Shakespeare news, for the week ending Monday, June 5th, 2017

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This week’s Shakespeare news review podcast includes CIOs, David Bowie, dramaturgs, and contemporaries. 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 5th, 2017

Podcast 154: Cymbeline — video reviews, and a question of names

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This week’s podcast continues our two-month discussion of Cymbeline. We’re going to start off with a look at the video versions of the play that are available, and then take a look at the question of character names.

Continue reading Podcast 154: Cymbeline — video reviews, and a question of names

Cymbeline Friday Film Focus: 1982, Moshinsky (BBC)

Another early summer Friday, another new release: Wonder Woman. And for us, another new–or rather old–video version of Cymbeline. In 1982, as part of the sixth season of the BBC Complete Works series, Elijah Moshinsky directed his version. As with just about all of the BBC films, this one’s pretty stagey, and very faux Elizabethan. Well, really this one looks almost more Old Masters-ry, but that’s neither here nor there.

 

Continue reading Cymbeline Friday Film Focus: 1982, Moshinsky (BBC)

The Bill / Shakespeare Project presents: This Week in Shakespeare news, for the week ending Monday, May 29th, 2017

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This week’s Shakespeare news review podcast includes new execs, art shows, guides, reviews, and a red face. 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, May 29th, 2017

Posthumus Leonatus’ dead mother says thanks, too.

Way back when, two years ago, when we were discussing that melancholic Dane, I mentioned that our friend scansion had helped us figure out how we were supposed to pronounce Ophelia’s big bro’s name: not “LAYerTEES” (like I had alway thought), but “layAIRtees.” Go figure. Who knew we’d get that same kind of revelation this month with Cymbeline? But we do…

Continue reading Posthumus Leonatus’ dead mother says thanks, too.

Cymbeline – Authorship: All Bill’s

So, for those who’ve been following the blog for any length of time, you know I’ve been loving the New Oxford Shakespeare Authorship Companion. It gives us a great look at the latest research as to who may have assisted Shakespeare in the composition of the plays.

Much was made last fall of the announcement, based on this work, that the three Henry VI plays are more co-compositions with Christopher Marlowe, with the first part actually being more the work of Marlowe.

So what does the Authorship Companion have to say about Cymbeline?

Continue reading Cymbeline – Authorship: All Bill’s