ACT 2; COMIC STRIPSunday, April 18, 2010 / 1:31 AM
Timeline of Shakespeare's Life and AchievementsFriday, April 16, 2010 / 3:13 AM
23rd April 1564
: Birth of William Shakespeare in Stratford upon Avon26th April 1564
: William Shakespeare baptized27th November 1582
: 18 year old Shakespeare marries 26 year old Anne HathawayMay 1583
: Birth of Shakespeare and Anne's first child, SusannaFebruary 1585
: Birth of Shakespeare and Anne's twins Hamnet and Judith1585 - 1592
: Shakespeare moves to London to join a group of actors and his fame develops1592 - 1594
: His plays 'The Rape of Lucrece', 'Titus Andronicus' and 'Taming of the Shrew' were published around this time1594
: Shakespeare becomes part of a group of actors called Lord Chamberlain's Men1594 - 1596
: Shakespeare is thought to have written 'King John'1595
: 'Richard II' thought to be written and performed. Also, 'A Midsummer's Night's Dream' and 'Romeo and Juliet' thought to be composed11th August 1596
: Shakespeare's son, Hamnet dies and is buried1596 - 1597
: 'Merchant of Venice' and 'Henry IV Part One' is thought to havebeen written1599
: The Lord Chamberlain's Men rents land from Nicholas Brend from which the Globe Theare was built. 'Julius Caesar' is the first recorded play to be performed in the Globe Theatre1600 - 1601
: Shakespeare is thought to have written 'Hamlet'1601 - 1602
: 'Twelfth Night', 'All Well That Ends Well' were thought to be written1603
: 'A Midsummer's Night's Dream' is performed to Queen Elizabeth at Hampton Court. The Lord Chamberlain's Men is renamed the King's Men to honour James I1604
: 'Measure for Measure' is written and performed at King James I Court. Othello written and performed1606
: 'Antony and Cleopatra' is written1608
: The King's Men takes a deal renting the Blackfriars Theatre for 21 years1608 - 1610
: Theatre closes down due to plague1610
: 'Othello' is performed at Oxford College by the King's Men29th June 1613
: Globe Theatre is burnt to the ground during Henry VIII in an incident where a cannon was misfiredJune 1614
: Globe Theatre reopens in the same site23rd April 1616
: Shakespeare dies and is buried at Stratford's Holy Trinity Church 2 days later
The Building of the New Globe Theatre / 2:49 AM
Today we have a magnificent replica of Shakespeare's old Globe Theatre only constructed with more modern technology and knowledge. We enjoy the luxuries of Shakespeare's plays in a replicated environment of the first Globe, yet do we know how the Globe Theatre was reconstructed when all the designs and evidence have been buried for 350 years?
In 1997, the Globe theatre was finally brought back from the past and inaugurated nearly 350 years after Shakespeare's original was demolished by the Puritans. It was the inspiration and determination of an American actor and director, by the name of Sam Wanamaker that initiated and completed the reconstruction of the Globe Theare only two hundred metres from the site of the original Globe Theare.
In 1949, an American actor, Sam Wanamaker visited London in search of information on the history of the Globe Theatre. He was appalled to find only a treivial plaque stuck on the wall of the brewery standing on the site. It was the only remembrance of the once grandiose theatre. He was shocked that Shakespeare's contributions to entertaintment were simply forgotten and set himself a monstrous task to remind the public of Shakespeare by resurrecting the Globe Theatre. Sam was determined and moved to England to make his dream a reality.
Although Sam was delighted to find that many supported his idea, he was quick to realise that to generate the money, required for the massive project, was quite impossible. Over the last few decades of his life, Sam continuously campaigned for the reconstruction of the Globe Theatre. Progress was slow but he eventually founded the Globe Playhouse Trust in the 1970s which assisted in generating money. The actualy construction did not begin until the 1980s, 30 years after Sam first came up with the idea.
As if to make Shakespeare's plays more realistic, traditional or olden building materials and techniques of the Elizabethan era were employed during the construction but with modern insurances. However the theatre's thatched roof was coated with fire-protective liquid as precaution to prevent the disaster of the first Globe. Furthermore, houses built in London since the Great Fire never again had thatched roofs. The outer skin of the theatre is coated from a mixture of gait hair and plaster. The entire complex comprises of a shop, riverside pub, educational blocks, and a piazza that overlooks the Thames River and of course the theatre itself. The stage's back wall is elaborately carved and designed in an early classical style with 3 exits or entrances while 3 oak pillars were painted to resemble marble support the heavens (a painted canopy over the stage). All the attributes would have been exactly the same as the craftmen of the Elizabethan period would have constructed it.
After all the tenacious and rough years of work and campaigning, it is unfortunate that Sam was not able to witness the completion of a new, faulous building that is unique and means so much to everyone in the world. And so the Globe theatre stands again when it has fallen down so many times before. We must remember Sam Wanamaker for the glorious monument he has given us all and think of it as a souvenir from him.
Key Speech / 2:34 AM
Act 2, Scene 7. lines 63-77Prince of Morocco:
O hell! What have we here?
A carrion Death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll. I'll read the writing.All the glisters is not gold;Often have you heard that told.Many a man his life hath soldBut my outside to beholdGilded tombs do worms infold Had you been as wise as bold,Young in limbs, in judgement old,Your answer had not been inscrolledFare you well, your suit is cold.
Cold indeed, and labour lost.
Then farewell heat, and welcome frost!
Portia, adieu, I have too grieved a heart
To take a tedious leave. Thus losers part
After reasoning with himself, the Prince of Morocco finally decides to open the golden casket inscribed with the words, 'Who chooseth me shall gain many men desire'
, as he believe only the most valuable and precious metal should contain the picture of a beautiful woman, Portia. Much to his dismay, he opens the casket, revealing a skull ('carrion Death') and a roll of paper with writing on it, which he then reads out.
Referring to the first line of the written scroll 'All the glisters is not gold'
, suggests that the Prince of Morocco made a mistake by choosing the casket that was the most appealing to the eye and judging something by its appearance. It is somewhat ironic, as the Prince of Morocco had once told Portia not to judge him because of his skin colour.
When the Prince finished reading the scroll, he says the last four lines before leaving. Shakespeare uses hyperbole and metaphors to emphasis the frustration of the Prince. For example, the line 'then farewell heat, and welcome frost!
' literally means leaving the warmth and going into the cold, but what he really means is saying goodbye to the warmth of hope and welcoming the cold of misery and despair. The line 'Cold indeed and labour lost'
is an exaggeration of all the so-called 'work' he has wasted, which is not alot going back to the fact that he is a wealthy prince with plenty of servants to do work for him.
This key speech is a significant part of the story as it proposes one of the morals of the play; don't judge a book by its cover.
Movie Review / 2:20 AM
"William Shakespeare's the Merchant of Venice"
Directed by Michael Radford
Duration: 133 minutes
Spice Factory, USA
Released the 3rd of September, 2004
This remake of the popular Shakespearean play, the Merchant of Venice, clearly expresses and heightens the Anti-Semitic stance taken by most of the characters that are of Christian background in the play as completely racist. This is supported by Al Pacino's passionate and dramatic performance of a tragic hero who becomes bitter and cruel by the lure of vengeance.
The scenery also accentuates the intense scenes in this play, from dark, misty, hazy and moonlit to brightened faces against a dark background to place focus onto their expressions. Also the fact that some of the scenes were filmed in Venice gives the play a more authentic feel. Other scenes are simply breathtaking yet could be described as slightly distracting.
This play is complex yet each and every character's intentions and lines are made so that they are clear and easy to follow, leaving not many questions to be asked. This surely must have been achieved through the brilliance of the director and actors' understanding the sophisticated roles their characters play in the movie.
All in all, this play has been skilfully remade and brought to life by Michael Radford and talent of his actors. 9.5/10