Midpoint: dramatic, not thematic?

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

There are 3288 lines in in the play, which means the midpoint is at line 1644, or at Act Three, Scene Four, line 185. 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).

Continue reading Midpoint: dramatic, not thematic?

Cymbeline: directing the stage

With every play, toward the end of the discussion cycle, I like to address a subject that rocks my world, but probably bores the socks off you. Well, since it’s my blog, I get to do what I want. And I want to talk about stage directions hidden in plain sight within the dialog. While these later plays do tend to have more stage directions than before (like the bizarre war correspondency that opens Act Five, Scene Two; or the truly truly bizarre directions around the dream of Posthumus Leonatus), there are still some hidden nuggets. And what are Cymbeline’s nuggets? (that sounded like it belonged to our discussion of bawdy)

Well, let’s see…

Continue reading Cymbeline: directing the stage

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

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