Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Knowledge of Shakespeare Helps Solve Mysteries

Marsh, Ngaio. Surfeit of Lampreys [a.k.a. Death of a Peer]. New York: Felony & Mayhem Press, 2013.

If you needed another reason to brush up your Shakespeare (not that you do—Cole Porter helped us realize that), remember that a good knowledge of Shakespeare can help you solve the mysteries typical to detective fiction.

Here's an example from a Ngaio Marsh novel that I recently finished.

First, we get the play's relevance established:

Then we get the secondary character whose casual comments lead the detective to the solution:

I won't give you the solution, of course, but, if you're well up on your Macbeth, you know it already. And if you aren't, now's the time.

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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.
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