23 articles Uncategorized

Political Shakespeare in the Time of Tyrants

For the second time since the election, Donald Trump has butted antlers with the professional theatre industry. I guess it’s not that surprising; after all, he seems hard-wired to antagonize everyone within his reach, and thanks to Twitter and the U.S. Presidency (in that order), his reach is vast. Still, it’s disorienting to have worked…

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Transforming Failure

“No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” This quote is inscribed upon a brass plaque outside the Boardmore Theatre at Cape Breton University, where I work. The author is Samuel Beckett, the fatalistic Franco-Irish playwright whose greatest claims to fame are writing Waiting for Godot and taxiing a young André the Giant to school…

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Ham After Ham

The question is, now what? Hamlet closed four days ago, and my life is settling back into its standard routine, give or take a snow day or two. I can still bask in nostalgia for awhile, but this blog needs a raison d’etre if it’s going to continue. Originally, I conceived of H2016 (or CBUHamlet…

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Ham and Sharp: 1991-1993

As I try to ease myself back into the habit of posting in this blog, I’m looking over the categories I established for myself in January, to see which one’s I’ve neglected. I enjoyed writing the “Ham and Sharp” articles, which detailed my own early relationship to the Danish Play. But I faltered right around…

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Did Shakespeare Play the Ghost?

I had thought to append this as an afterthought to my Line By Line post about 1.1.49, but I decided it deserved its own post. You’ll recall how the two shared bits of dialogue that comprise line 49 both provide stage directions for the Ghost’s exit: MARCELLUS: It is offended. BARNARDO:                        See, it stalks away!…

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That’s the Question: Hamlet, Our Hero

A summary of my last post, before we move along: Why do we read/watch/produce/talk about Hamlet? Mostly because of the titular character’s heroic attempts, not to exact revenge for his father’s death, but to stabilize and heal a wounded world. Hamlet is crafty, witty, insightful, poetic, and sensitive, all of which helps us to sympathize…

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That’s the Question: Why Do We Hamlet?

Two posts ago, I explored the implication that a successful Shakespeare production (especially one that advertises itself as an “adaptation”) had damn well better have a firm grip on “the truth” of the text. Absolute truth is a heresy in postmodernism, and while it’s fine and dandy to assert, like Hamlet, that “I’ll have grounds…

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Scholarly Sparring: Harold Bloom

I haven’t done much scholarly sparring on this site, mostly because I’ve been too preoccupied with the practicalities of staging the play. But I’m always interested to read what the bigwigs think about Hamlet. Currently, I am inching my way through a couple of compilations and seminal works of criticism, including: John Dover Wilson’s What…

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