450 Years of Shakespeare

Restored Globe

Reconstructed Globe Theater – Image from the Herald Sun (Link below)

2014 is an auspicious year for any Shakespeare blog, this being the 450th anniversary of the Bard’s birth in 1564.  Celebrations will commence all over the world around April.  Check your local listings for events in your area.

William Shakespeare may have been born and died in England, but his works are a global phenomenon encompassing the breadth and depth of the human spirit – and with it the entire world.  People everywhere will want to join in on the festivities.

NOTE: I will continually update the blog as I become aware of new events.  For now, here are a few links to get you started:

HERALD SUN: JOIN THE BARD’S BIRTHDAY BASH!

STRATFORD HAPPENINGS

PHILADELPHIA

HUFFINGTON POST UK

PARIS CONFERENCE

ASIA TRAVEL

These, naturally, are but a few examples.

Keep in mind that both 2014 and 2016 will each mark anniversaries in the life of Shakespeare, with 2014 being the 450th year after his birth and 2016 the 400th since his death.

In a way, the whole three-year span will be filled with news, notes and celebrations of some kind; that is, a step beyond the usual.  I wlll be alerting you and posting links as I come across them.

Some readers may assume that I planned this oh-so-well.  But, alas, I deserve no feather in my cap since you can clearly see that I first attempted this blog in 2010, subsequently aborting it for various personal reasons.

My stated goal here is to begin anew the project I had started, this time bringing it to a rightful and fitting conclusion.  Once the cycle is finished, a future reader may climb aboard at any time that personally suits them and design a year-long program of their own.  In theory, you shall have myself and any comments to accompany you.

For that to happen, of course, the job at hand must be accomplished. There is much work to be done!

My reward/incentive will be a literary tour of the UK in 2016 (knock on wood), spanning from mid April in Stratford through mid June in Dublin so I can be on hand for Bloomsday.  Heady times, indeed.

In the meantime, I have only finished Othello, but have added an extra week in order to reread it and watch as many of the movie adaptations as I can.  At the top of my list are the versions with Orson Welles, Lawrence Olivier — and the opera starring Placido Domingo.

For those of you keeping score at home, I am reading the No Fear Shakespeare translation of Othello this time round, a text with both the original on one side and a modern language “update” on the other, mostly to disentangle certain thorny passages that confounded me upon first try.

Footnotes, unfortunately, have been of little or no help.  Since I am a bear of little brain (from the Tao of Pooh), I am going to employ the handy dandy text that you can see for yourself HERE.

As for the “translations” themselves, more on that as I break down the relevant passages over the next few days.

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4 Responses to “450 Years of Shakespeare”

  1. A celebration indeed! I am personally writing a thesis on how Shakespearean adaptations can affect modern young adults in different ways than the original works. If the author of this blog would be willing to share even more information with me regarding this list of anniversary activities, I would be most appreciative!

    • What would you like to know?

      Also: I’m very interested in your subject area. Please let me know if you would like to guest blog and I will be more than happy to oblige.

  2. Robert Greenwood Says:

    Most Wholesome Physic: Medicine in the Age of Shakespeare, 1564-1616.
    An exhibition at the Library of the Royal Society of Medicine to mark the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare.

    Tuesday 6 May 2014 until Saturday 26th July 2014.

    Monday – Thursday: 9.00 – 21.00
    Friday: 9.00 – 17.30
    Saturday: 10.00 – 16.30
    Admission free. Open to all.

    The Library,
    Royal Society of Medicine
    1 Wimpole Street
    London W1G 0AE

    William Shakespeare was born at Stratford-upon-Avon on 22 April 1564. This exhibition of books from the Library of the Royal Society of Medicine is intended to mark the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. Almost all of the books on display were published in Shakespeare’s lifetime, and show many of the medical preoccupations of the age, liberally juxtaposed with quotations from the plays and poems. This was a great period for books published in the vernacular and therefore more accessible to a lay public, so much emphasis is given in this exhibition to works written in English, or translated into English.

    • Thanks for the info! I encourage anybody with breaking news about the upcoming Shakespeare celebration to pass along details. I will continually update as I receive it. Sounds fascinating!

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