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.

The Bill / Shakespeare Project presents: This Week in Shakespeare news, for the week ending Monday, April 10th, 2017

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This week’s Shakespeare news review includes drunks, millennials, inmates, and directors. 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, April 10th, 2017

Coriolanus: Bawdy (heh, heh, the title has “anus” in it)

[(not really any) EXPLICIT CONTENT, (no) ADULT LANGUAGE AND SEXUAL IMAGERY AHEAD… SKIP IF (super-duper-)EASILY OFFENDED.]

First of all, there’s not a whole lot of bawdy in Coriolanus. Eric Partridge, the author of the great Shakespeare’s Bawdy, sums it up: “possesses a few more particularities than Macbeth, yet, in its general effect, even less ‘objectionable’” (Shakespeare’s Bawdy, Partridge, Eric. New York: Routledge Classics, 2001; page 47), and he called Macbeth the purist of the tragedies. So as a cop on the bawdy beat, I’m almost tempted to wave you off, and say, “Move along, nothing to see here…”

Almost. But that would be shirking my duty… (heh heh, he said, “duty”…)

Continue reading Coriolanus: Bawdy (heh, heh, the title has “anus” in it)

Homosociality

In the last couple of months, I’ve been taking a Masters-level course in Shakespeare, in which I wrote a lengthy paper on cuckoldry and the male anxiety caused by the fear of it in both Much Ado About Nothing and Othello. It turned out pretty well. More importantly, though, is that is introduced to me a sociological concept called homosociality. Basically, it’s same-sex relationships–loving, caring, mentoring, supportive–but not romantic or erotic in nature. The link I drew in the paper was between the fear of female sexuality and how the men’s previous homosocial bond through the military made it easier for them to accuse the females of adultery. Maybe the whole homosociality thing has been on my mind, but I see it in Coriolanus as well.

Continue reading Homosociality

Sorry: no Coriolanus today

Sorry, folks. No Coriolanus today. Last night, I had the pleasure of hosting a special screening of the film Cry Now, at the local theater. The film is co-produced and stars a former drama student of mine, Miguel Angel Caballero

so that was a (relatively, for me at least) late night… but worth it as it’s always great to see someone local achieve something so few have.

Continue reading Sorry: no Coriolanus today

Oh, what a muthah…

OK, I mentioned that the Fiennes film of Coriolanus seemed to accentuate a certain Oedipal reading in the production, especially in a scene following Martius’ return from Corioles. Volumnia lovingly bandages his wounds in the bathroom, sharing a quiet, almost whispered conversation; when his wife Virgilia walks in on them, they turn and look at her, and she wordlessly leaves the room, closing the door for their privacy.

Of course, I wouldn’t exactly call that Oedipal. But there’s something there…

Continue reading Oh, what a muthah…

The Bill / Shakespeare Project presents: This Week in Shakespeare news, for the week ending Monday, April 3rd, 2017

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This week’s Shakespeare news review includes newborns, shawls, creepy teachers, The Public Theater, and the Bard on bikes. 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, April 3rd, 2017

Podcast 149: Coriolanus – video reviews, popularity, and the people…

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This week’s podcast continues our discussion of Coriolanus with some video reviews, as well as discussions of popularity and the people….

Continue reading Podcast 149: Coriolanus – video reviews, popularity, and the people…

Coriolanus, the enemy of the popular (theater)

OK, seriously…how many out there have read Coriolanus? I know, you all are, because you’re reading it with me, right? <wink> How many of you have seen a stage production (no, not the cool Ralph Fiennes movie or the adequate BBC Complete Works version, but a honest-to-[hopefully]goodness production)? Fewer hands, I’m sure (full disclosure: me, neither).

So why?

Is it a case where there’ve been productions, but since it wasn’t part of the usual arsenal of Shakespeare (Midsummer, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and the like), you decided to take a hard pass?

Or was it because there just haven’t been productions available?

Continue reading Coriolanus, the enemy of the popular (theater)

The Bill / Shakespeare Project presents: This Week in Shakespeare news, for the week ending Monday, March 27th, 2017

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This week’s Shakespeare news review includes the passing of the ‘Shakespeare of Rock and Roll,’ dice, fake news, and lotsa Roman reviews. 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, March 27th, 2017