Friday, February 11, 2022

A Touch of Shakespeare in Elementary

"Ill Tidings." By Jeffrey Paul King. Perf. Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. Dir. Ron Fortunato. Elementary. Season 5, episode 6. CBS. 13 November 2016. DVD. Paramount, 2019.

Most television shows will go for the low-hanging Shakespearean fruit.

Not, at least in this case, Elementary

It's brief, but we have a nice quote from Antony and Cleopatra in the middle of a Season Five episode:

The line is Cleopatra's. After beating up a messenger who brings her news that Antony, returned to Rome, has also returned to Octavia, she asks him to come back, promising not to hurt him any more. To encourage him to elaborate on his news—or just to confirm it—she says, "Give to a gracious message / An host of tongues, but let ill tidings tell / Themselves when they be felt" (II.v.86-88).
Naturally, Sherlock recognizes the quote immediately (I, for one, had to look it up). But he's slower on the uptake about its purpose (that I got pretty quickly). 

It's brief, but it's interesting—the more so since it's not a usual go-to quote from or allusion to Shakespeare.

Links: The Episode at IMDB.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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