Coriolanus: a sword-pull at the point of no return

Using Professor Rodes’ midpoint theory, let’s take a look at Coriolanus.

There are 3323 lines in in the play, which means the midpoint is at line 1662, or at Act Three, Scene One, line 224. According to Dr. Rodes’ theory, you could find at this midpoint–or within twenty lines either way–a speech that perfectly sums up a major theme of the play (the 20-line leeway was to help remove the differences in prose line lengths between individual editions).

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The Bill / Shakespeare Project presents: This Week in Shakespeare news, for the week ending Monday, April 24th, 2017

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This week’s Shakespeare news review podcast  includes a passing of a directing great, a weird recruiting tool, the Bard’s greatest couple, and a call for plays. 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 24th, 2017

Volumnia’s last word (economy-sized)

OK, last week, I looked at Martius’ big speech (and we’ve already taken a look at the homo-erotic response to it, the longest speech by Aufidius) from Coriolanus. Today, let’s take a look at the longest speech of the play, this one by dear ol’ mum, Volumnia. There’s some pretty interesting stuff going on in the scansion (as well as a stage direction or two).

It’s Act Five, Scene Three, in the Volscian camp on the outskirts of Rome, where Martius and Aufidius ready their armies for the attack. Martius has already turned away Menenius (who seemed like a father-figure to him), and Martius has admitted doing so “cracked” (V.iii.9) his heart.

So who should walk in at this moment?

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Podcast 151: Interview Special — Melissa Chalsma and David Melville of Independent Shakespeare Co. [part three/conclusion]

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This week’s podcast breaks from Coriolanus with the third and final part of an interview with the founders of the Independent Shakespeare Co., Melissa Chalsma and David Melville.

[a mea culpa: I took my bare-bones recording rig down to LA (iPad and Blue Yeti microphone). Now the mic’s pretty damned sensitive, so any move of (or it seems around) the table on which I placed the mic, gives us some soft thudding sounds. So I apologize for that; next time, I’m taking the full rig (boom mic stand and whole bit). I cannot apologize, however, for the occasional sounds of the LA Metro rumbling nearby (man, those trains are loud).]

Continue reading Podcast 151: Interview Special — Melissa Chalsma and David Melville of Independent Shakespeare Co. [part three/conclusion]

The NEW and IMPROVED Periodic Table of Shakespeare [infographic]

Almost exactly a year ago, I posted an infographic: The Periodic Table of Shakespeare. At the time, I summed it up thus:

There are so many plays. Some obvious collaborations (The Two Noble Kinsmen and the like). Some lost to time (Love’s Labor’s Won). Those pesky “problem plays” (a distinction that I’m growing less and less fond of). And stuff that isn’t theatrical at all. Plus, I wanted to layer over it some kind of historical progression of his writing (we don’t know the actual chronology of composition, but we have some rough ideas).

And thus, The Periodic Table of Shakespeare was born…

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The Bill / Shakespeare Project presents: This Week in Shakespeare news, for the week ending Monday, April 17th, 2017

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This week’s Shakespeare news review includes mobility, overzealous correcting, crimes, vaudeville, and a bunch of Nothing 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, April 17th, 2017

Podcast 150: Coriolanus: bawdy, homosociality, homo-eroticism, more [NOT EXPLICIT]

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[WARNING: The first portion of the following podcast contains no adult language, almost no sexual imagery, and nothing to make you say, “Man, that’s a dirty play.” You HAVE been warned. You really don’t need to skip this one…]

This week’s podcast continues our discussion of Coriolanus with a look at bawdy in the play (and there’s not a whole lot there there), homosociality, homo-eroticism, and a real mother of a character, as well as shameless self-promotion.

Continue reading Podcast 150: Coriolanus: bawdy, homosociality, homo-eroticism, more [NOT EXPLICIT]

Coriolanus: anxious and calm

OK, when most people think of the most famous speeches in Shakespeare, they usually go to the soliloquies (Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” [and yes, I know it may not be a soliloquy], Richard III’s “Now is the winter of our discontent,” Lady M’s “Unsex me here,” and the like), so what about in Coriolanus?

Well, there we have a problem, Houston…there’s only one soliloquy in the play.

Continue reading Coriolanus: anxious and calm

Bill Walthall (UCLA '85 English), a former high school English, Shakespeare, and Drama teacher, will read and blog about each of Shakespeare's plays, from The Comedy of Errors through The Tempest.

The Bill / Shakespeare Project