Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book Note: 30 Great Myths about Shakespeare

Maguire, Laurie, and Emma Smith. 30 Great Myths about Shakespeare. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

This is really quite a delightful book. Its authors treat a wide range of myths about Shakespeare—some of which are less mythy and more debatable than others (i.e., "Shakespeare was a Catholic")—in a perfect marriage of popular expression and scholarship.

The book addresses the myths thoroughly, exploring how and why the myths came to be and providing good documentation to support its claims. Myth number 30 addresses the authorship issue. Even though the authors, in debunking that myth, perpetuate the separate but related myth that Orson Welles was an Oxfordian (he wasn't), I can forgive them because the rest of the chapter is compelling and well-written.

To intrigue you all the more, I'm provided an image of the table of contents—for the first fifteen myths.  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Shakespeare . . . Lost . . . in . . . Space!

"The Space Creature." By Irwin Allen and William Welch. Perf. Guy Williams, June Lockhart, and Mark Goddard. Dir. Sobey Martin. Lost in Space. Season 3, episode 10. CBS. 15 November 1967. DVD. Twentieth-Century Fox, 2008.

This was the first—and it may be the last—episode of Lost in Space that I've ever watched. My attention was called to it by the same reader who had found allusions to Shakespeare in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.

In this episode, upon the disappearance of Dr. Smith, Robot (who has his own Shakespearean connection, being designed by the designer of Robbie, the Robot, of the Tempest-related Forbidden Planet) holds the ice bag Dr. Smith had on his head earlier and gives us part of Hamlet's Yorick speech:

I don't have much to say beyond that—except to note that this is one more instance of the pervasiveness of Shakespeare in modern Western culture.

Links: The Episode at IMDB.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Othello and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer

“Earshot.” By Joss Whedon and Jane Espenson. Dir. Regis Kimble. Perf. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, and Emma Caulfield. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Season 3, episode 18. The WB Television Network. 28 September 1999. DVD. 20th Century Fox, 2010.

The same reader who pointed me toward the possibility of a Titus Andronicus reference in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (for which, q.v.) gave me a tip about the show's use of Othello.

This one was much easier to find—though you can see by the subtitles that I chose to watch this at three times the speed (which is a reflection on my limited time rather than on the show's value). Buffy has developed the ability to hear what other people are thinking, and she uses it to (1) act like she knows the right answers in class and (2) reach an epiphany about her own jealousy.  I'll let the clip speak the rest for itself:

Links: The Episode at IMDB.

Click below to purchase the series from
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).

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.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest