Shakespeare Solved ®

Shakespeare Solved ® is a forthcoming series of novels that covers the Bard's entire life and work.

These novels solve the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare by transporting us back in time, to walk in his shoes, and see his world through his eyes.

Only when we see Shakespeare in his original historical context can we understand what his plays and poems really mean.

This blog explains some of my ideas and discoveries, to prepare for this series of novels.

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Articles Written For:

The University of Oxford's Bodleian Library & The Royal Shakespeare Company

Most Popular Posts:

1. Shakespeare's Shylock Solved 2. Shakespeare's Othello Finally Identified 3. Shakespeare In Love Sequel Solved 4. The Real Romeo and Juliet 5. Shakespeare's Malvolio Solved 6. Shakespeare's Real Petruchio

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Playing Richard III For Laughs?

I read an interesting article in the Daily Mail about Mark Rylance's performance of Richard III at the Globe.

The critic didn't like the fact that Rylance plays Richard for laughs, and calls the production "a foolish interpretation."

Sadly, I won't be able to see this production, but I am encouraged by the fact that Rylance and director Tim Carroll tried to highlight the comedy in the play.

Because there is a lot of it.

My personal favorite joke in the entire play is in Act 1 Scene 3, when Queen Margaret goes on a tirade and is about to curse Richard:

Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog!
Thou that wast seal'd in thy nativity
The slave of nature and the son of hell!
Thou slander of thy mother's heavy womb!
Thou loathed issue of thy father's loins!
Thou rag of honour! thou detested--

Richard interrupts her and says her name, thereby making her curse herself instead! Hilarious.

I find a lot of humor in Act 1 Scene 2 when Richard seduces Anne. If you read it straight, it's a bore. The whole seduction is really over the top, and Richard is at his charismatic and humorous best in this scene. My favorite part is when Anne tells Richard, the man who killed her husband that he belongs in Hell:

And thou unfit for any place but hell.
Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.
Some dungeon.
Your bed-chamber.

Shakespeare's audience must have howled with laughter when they heard these lines for the first time.

In my adaptation of Richard III, there is more humor than drama. More than tell his audience an historical story,  I am convinced that Shakespeare wanted them to laugh.

The critic in the Daily Mail closes his review with: "Give me a Richard who provokes revulsion, not titters."

I think he misses the point. I think Shakespeare's Richard is all the more villainous because he is funny and charismatic.


David B. Schajer

Friday, July 27, 2012

London Olympics

I'm taking a bit of a break today what with the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

I do want to share this great picture of the Olympic Torch in front of Shakespeare's Birthplace on Henley Street in Stratford:

And did you hear about the South Korean archer Im Dong-Hyun who smashed the first London Olympics world record -- and who is BLIND!


I wish everybody a great Olympics!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Michelle Dockery

I love Michelle Dockery in Downton Abbey, and she was quite good in the recent Henry IV films.

She said something interesting in the Guardian Shakespeare and Me piece:

click here for article

"Anyone who's ever played Ophelia should all get together for a big group hug. I played Ophelia with John Simm at Sheffield and I suffered terrible insomnia in the same way that Hamlet does. It's such a tough part and Ophelia is a huge leap, especially in the end, when she descends into her madness."

I find this interesting because I am sure that many actresses have suffered playing Ophelia, and it must be a role that changes them as an actress and as a person. It is one thing to read her lines, another thing to speak them aloud, but to have to speak them in a performance and represent the character for an audience -- feeling Ophelia's emotions -- is something entirely different.

I have a great respect for actors and it must be quite a challenge to perform this particular play.

But what I find odd is that I never hear of an actor discussing why Hamlet was written in the first place. Why did Shakespeare write this play? Who was Hamlet? Who is Ophelia? Were they based on real people?

Of course Shakespeare wrote this play for a reason, and he did indeed model Hamlet, Ophelia, Laertes, and all the rest on real people -- many of whom he knew personally. I wrote about this in my adaptation of Hamlet, which not only recreates the play but also tells the story behind the play.

One of the real people whom Shakespeare used as inspiration for Ophelia was Elizabeth Vernon. She had the misfortune of falling in love with the Earl of Southampton and they married without the Queen's permission. For their transgression they were imprisoned, and she miscarried her first child.

If actors started to explore these kinds of stories I think it would enrich the experience for them and for their audience.

I also love that Michelle says that if Shakespeare were alive today, she would ask him out to dinner! Very funny.



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Paterson Joseph

In The Guardian's Shakespeare and Me series, the actor Paterson Joseph, seen recently in Henry V, has some interesting things to say:

click here for article 

He was a very quiet young man, and when he auditioned for the role of Shylock at the age of 14, it opened him up.

I would love to know more about this. The Merchant of Venice is my favorite, and it was the one that unlocked Shakespeare for me. I am reading a book right now that makes the case that of all the characters in all the plays, the character of Shylock is the voice of Shakespeare himself. I will review the book soon, but I am not at all surprised to think that Shakespeare wrote himself into Shylock.

I wonder in what way Shylock spoke to Paterson as a young man. Shylock is the outsider in the play, the alien, and yet he is allowed (up to and including the trial) to speak as freely as he wants. I would imagine that for a young man who has not yet found his voice, and feels like a stranger and outcast (like many teenagers do) this character must have been very inspiring.

There is also a courage in Shylock that, despite the fact that he loses his case and is punished, is very appealing. He shows no fear really, and he stands his ground. He has the strength of his convictions and he goes down fighting.

This is also funny to me because I had the opposite experience. By the age of 13 I was not a quiet young boy, and my teacher taught me a lesson by casting me (no auditions) as Ebenezer Scrooge in a school play. If I was so talkative, then surely I would love to memorize all of those lines and be the center of the play!

During the performance I forgot some lines, and was mortified, in front of all my friends.

Yes, I got the point. I learned my lesson.

I also like what Paterson says about Shakespeare as an actor. I think that this is overlooked very often. Shakespeare wrote for the stage he acted on, and I like to think that before he was a writer, he learned how to act.



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Judi Dench

I love what Dame Judi says in The Guardian Shakespeare and Me series.

During her performance of Viola in Twelfth Night, the West African audience stopped the play, they cheered so much.

I love this because in my adaptations I have the Elizabethan London audience stop the show occasionally, and for many different reasons. I instinctively believed that Shakespeare's audience would be far from polite and lack all of the theatre-going etiquette we have come to expect.

She also says that Shakespeare is wonderful for children because they can follow the broad strokes of the plays -- when people fall in and out of love, when they are greedy, etc.

I think that Shakespeare learned the importance of this as a child himself as he watched the morality plays and festival entertainment in Warwickshire. These plays would have characters named Vice and Loyalty, etc. Shakespeare had to entertain the most sophisticated and least sophisticated elements of society, from the Queen herself to the groundlings paying a penny to stand for a whole show. So the easiest way to communicate to any audience is to ground his plays with recognizable morality play characters.

Dame Judi also says that she doesn't like The Merchant of Venice because all of the characters behave appallingly.

Oh, she is so close!

She is so brilliant! She glimpsed a truth in the play that has eluded us for centuries.

If she understands that all of them are bad, Shylock, Antonio, Bassanio and even Portia (that so-called paragon of virtue and mercy) then she has gotten half of the play.

The other half she's missing is what that all means -- the bawdy farcical comedy side. Dame Judi doesn't get the joke.

Well, perhaps one day she will read my version of Merchant and laugh herself silly.



Related Articles:

Dame Judi Dench and Listening to Shakespeare

Shakespeare In Love, Part Two?

James Bond 007 Skyfall and Shakespeare

Books from Amazon

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ian McKellen

I love this Shakespeare and Me series in The Guardian.

I had a couple of thoughts about Ian McKellen and his piece in the series.

The first is that he performed Coriolanus when he was 45 -- and some of the audience sat on the stage!

I wish he has said more about this, as I am sure that this had a tremendous effect on the audience and the actors, having the audience so intimately involved with the play.

As we know, in Shakespeare's day, the plays were performed around 2pm. So the actors would have seen the audience and vice versa. There was no separation.

Also, as a teenager, he saw performances by Laurence Olivier and Ian Holm. As he says, their brilliance "put a brake on" his own ambition to act.

How fortunate that he was not deterred from acting and had the mind and courage to continue his career as an actor.

I find a good lesson here. In my humble opinion, if we do not find new ways to understand and view Shakespeare -- his plays and his life -- then we are putting the brakes on. If we just accept the received wisdom of actors, directors, and scholars that Shakespeare must forever be performed and interpreted as it has been, and as it currently is, then we have stopped the car.

My versions of Hamlet, Richard III and Merchant, and the means by which I interpret them, may not be to your liking, but at least they keep the car going.



Friday, July 20, 2012

The Hollow Crown Series

I have been reading about the Hollow Crown series, and while the films themselves are great, the distribution of the films has been terrible.

As I understand it, BBC2 in cooperation with Neal Street Productions (famed director Sam Mendes' company) had discussed making new film versions of all of Shakespeare's plays.

I read recently that they couldn't even get enough money to make these first few films, and they had to go to Universal TV to get the balance of funds.

I am very pleased to read, what with the overwhelming success of these first films, there are plans to proceed with more.

What really concerns me is that even in this of all years 2012 -- with the Olympics, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and all of the attention to England -- why is there such difficulty in getting these films made?

Why are these films not available outside the UK?

I think anyone would agree with me that this series is long overdue. I think you would agree that there is an audience in the world that is starving for more Shakespeare films.

I suspect the problem is that while the world needs more Shakespeare films, these films are not setting the world on fire. They are very traditional adaptations of the plays. The actors are great, the production value is decent, but the entire product seems not to have much of any appeal outside the UK.

That is a shame.

I suspect that while many people want more Shakespeare, even more than that they want to understand what the plays mean, why the plays were written and they want to understand the man who wrote them. These present adaptations deliver none of that.

I wrote my versions of Hamlet, Richard III and The Merchant of Venice to deliver all of that. My adaptations present the plays in their original historical context in order to see why they were written, why Shakespeare's audience loved them, and explore the life of William Shakespeare.

I look forward to seeing more of these BBC2 versions, but it won't come as a surprise if they face more financial and distribution obstacles, and never make all of the plays.



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fifty Shades Of Shakespeare

420 years ago this month, in May 1593, Shakespeare published his erotic poem Venus and Adonis.

It was the Fifty Shades of Grey of the Elizabethan era.

Venus and Adonis by Titian, 1554

I went back and looked at what Germaine Greer wrote in her great book Shakespeare's Wife about this erotic poem.

The theatres in London had closed in June 1592 due to the plague, and had re-opened briefly again in December, but then closed again until May 1594. Many thousands of people died during this time.

It must have been a particularly frightening time for Shakespeare. He had a terrible fear of the plague from the time that he was born.

He had been in London since about 1587, and by the time the theatres were closing in June 1592 he was enjoying great success.

But for an artist like Shakespeare, so early in his career, he must have known that his success could be fleeting.

He would need to write another play or two to make enough money to secure his future.

Then the plague struck.

He couldn't make money as a play-poet.

What would he do?

Germaine Greer writes that Venus and Adonis "would be the first time a work by Shakespeare would appear in print."

Shakespeare had little to no interest in seeing his plays printed during his lifetime, and it was only after he died that his plays were published as a collection.

So, the importance of writing this poem and seeing it published can not be underestimated.

Shakespeare must have been afraid that the theatres may never open again.

He had to do something to survive, so he would have been very keen to write a "bestseller."

And like they say, sex sells.

Venus and Adonis by Paolo Veronese, ca. 1582

"Perhaps Shakespeare penned [the poem] at Ann's kitchen table; he might have read them out to her, to see if they made her blush or laugh."

I love the idea that he would have tried the poem out on his own wife, and I really love the idea that she would have approved of his writing this at all. It suggests that the Elizabethan period, and rural Stratford, was not as straight-laced as we have come to believe.

When the book was published it "must have changed Ann Shakespeare's quiet life. Everybody was reading it; no fewer than eleven editions of the poem would appear in her lifetime and each had so many readers that only single copies of each edition have survived, the rest being read to pieces. And in every single copy could be seen the full name of the author at the end of the dedication."

Ann died in 1623. So for 30 years of her life she would be known as the wife of the guy who wrote that saucy poem! Imagine all of the gossip and the looks she would get.

As famous as her husband would have been, in Stratford and London, she must have been the local celebrity. Probably all of her neighbors read it. People who passed through Stratford read it.

She probably had to endure some ridicule, and receive some positive praise, on a daily basis.

Also, she may never have seen any of his plays in the theatres and saw the laughter and roar of the crowd, but she certainly saw the effect his erotic poetry had on people.

Venus and Adonis by Peter Paul Rubens, ca. 1630

"What may have made life even more difficult for Ann at this juncture is that the poem was decidedly erotic." Greer goes on to say that erotic poetry had previously been just for the "delectation of educated gentlemen, who read it in Latin and Greek." Shakespeare wrote in the language of the common people and his Venus and Adonis "would be passed from hand to hand by excited housewives."

As if that was not enough, and what with the theatres still closed due to plague, Shakespeare immediately began writing another erotic poem, The Rape of Lucrece.

It was not as successful as the first book, and the theatres opened again, so Shakespeare went back to being a play-poet.

The books did not make him wealthy -- there were no such thing as royalties in those days -- but they did make him famous, and arguably more famous than for his plays.

It's one of those great what ifs in history -- what if Shakespeare had not gone back to the theatres, and just wrote more "mommy porn?"


David B. Schajer

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shakespeare In Love, Part Two?

I read recently that Harvey Weinstein still wants to make a sequel to Shakespeare In Love.

I have very mixed feelings about this.

I loved the original film and I have seen it several times. Joseph Fiennes was great as a young and scrappy Shakespeare who loses his heart to a beautiful young lady. Who could blame him? Gwyneth Paltrow was delightful. The whole film was fun and romantic.

All of the other actors were perfect: Dame Judi Dench, Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, and so on. Even Ben Affleck was great!

I didn't know a lot about Shakespeare the man when I saw the film. But even then, I remember thinking that this was a piece of fluff, a charming and intelligent romantic fantasy, but fluff nevertheless. And that bothered me. Because more than the romance and costumes and the music and the occasional excerpts of Shakespeare, I wanted more truth and fact.

In short, I wanted to see an Amadeus for Shakespeare.

I'm still waiting for that.

That's one of the reasons I wrote my adaptations. My adaptation of Hamlet does for Shakespeare what Amadeus does for Mozart. As you can read in my adaptations I don't think the whole life story of Shakespeare can be fit into just a single film. And I think that to repeat a few lines from one or two of his plays is just plain lazy.

So my adaptations spread the story of his life over several chapters, with as much of the plays as possible, so we can finally understand the plays and the man together.

And if you know anything about Mozart you know that the filmmakers took great liberties with his story. I still can't quite get over the fact that they translated his operas into English for the film!

My adaptations tell as truthful an account of Shakespeare's life as possible.

I applaud Mr. Weinstein for wanting to continue with this property. I am sure that he would get a large audience.

But I think there is an even larger audience that wants to see a real story about the real man, and the brilliant plays he wrote.


David B. Schajer

BUY NOW from Amazon

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stumbling Towards Shylock

I read a great review, by Richard Dorment, of the exhibition at the British Museum of artifacts of Shakespeare's London.

Curators Jonathan Bate and Dora Thornton show us the world in which Shakespeare lived and wrote, and the kinds of things that would have inspired him. The show runs through November 25th.

The one part of the review that caught my attention was the reviewer's discussion of Shylock.

"Since the Jews had been expelled from England by Edward I in the late 13th century, it is possible that no Englishman, including Shakespeare, had encountered a professing Jew. But in London he would have seen Spanish or Portuguese Maranos [sic], forcibly converted Jewish immigrants (or their children) regarded with deep suspicion by the English."

I am very pleased that this reviewer does not argue that there were no Jews in Shakespeare's London. It surprises me how many people think that if the Jews were expelled, in 1290 to be precise, that there must have absolutely no Jews at all in all of England for centuries.

If you spend any time researching The Merchant of Venice, you will come across the Queen's physician Rodrigo Lopez, a hidden Jew, a Marrano, who may have been an inspiration for Shakespeare's play.

How could there have been no Jews in England if the Queen's own physician was Jewish?

It also stands to reason that if the law and the Church prohibited Christians from practicing usury, loaning money for profit, then how did any business survive all those centuries?

One of my favorite paintings of Jessica
Sir Samuel Luke Fildes, Jessica (1888)

Mr Dorment goes on to write:

"Shakespeare created Shylock, showing him not as an interloper in a foreign country but at home in the Venetian ghetto, surrounded by his daughter, servants, friends, and the golden ducats and weighing scales on display here [at the British Museum]. In this way, a stereotypical villain is transformed into believable human being. The play he then writes is about the nature of justice. Without minimising the evil Shylock does, Shakespeare asks his audience to decide what is fair and what is not, and whether the greater guilt belongs to the one who does wrong or the one who takes revenge on a wrong."

He makes a great point here. It is rare that I find anyone who talks about whether Antonio et al are the bad guys. But he stumbles over the "evil" that Shylock does. I couldn't disagree more.

Of course, I am not surprised that anyone would misunderstand the play, since it has completely baffled us for 400 years. I am delighted that the notion of Shylock as something less than villain is becoming more acceptable and embraced, as this reviewer does.

He goes on to write about the "luxury and licentiousness of Venice" but applies this only to the Venice of Othello. Why?

If only he stopped and thought about the "licentiousness of Venice" in Merchant, he might get closer to the real play that Shakespeare wrote -- a very bawdy farce -- where the only character who is not lewd and lascivious is Shylock.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Globe to Globe Plays Online!


The Globe Theatre has just put most of the Globe to Globe performances online!

As you may know, the Globe invited theatre groups from all over the world to perform all of Shakespeare's plays.

Richard III in Chinese? Twelfth Night in Hindi? Romeo and Juliet in Portuguese?

Yes, yes, and yes! And much more. (And subtitles, too!)

Do yourself a favor and watch some, or all of it. It's really fascinating to see these plays performed in foreign languages, but the stories come through loud and clear.

click here for videos

I assume that they have not prepared the subtitles for all of the performed plays, so the available videos are not complete.

I read recently here, that the performance of The Merchant of Venice in Hebrew by a group from Israel was met with protesters inside the Globe.

I do hope that the Merchant video is eventually posted online, and I hope that they keep the protesters too, no matter how distasteful it was for them to interrupt the actors.

What do you think?



Friday, July 13, 2012

Shakespeare The Playboy?

Here is a fascinating painting I came across, entitled Shakespeare Between Comedy and Tragedy (1825) by Richard Westall.

This is a Shakespeare that I don't think we are familiar with.

This Shakespeare is young and he looks mischievous, almost like a rascal, a playboy.

The way he holds the hand of Comedy, who is falling all over him, is very suggestive. It's almost as if he was not faithful to anyone, or anything.

Tragedy stands her ground, but with his outstretched arm, and his seductive gaze, we know it will be impossible for her to resist him for long.

Of course, you can disagree. You can ask how could this artist Richard Westall possibly know what Shakespeare was like, especially since they lived 200 years apart.

But what if we are the ones who don't know Shakespeare, and artists and audiences 200 years ago were much closer to understanding him than we are?

Westall's painting is a far cry from the paintings and portraits of Shakespeare that we are familiar with:

The Shakespeare in these paintings is sober and mature, every bit the gentleman.

Except for one little thing. In the second painting on the bottom, you will notice an earring!

There has been much written about what this may mean, and there is even doubt that this is a painting of Shakespeare at all.

But if it is Shakespeare, then it may just be that Shakespeare was not the gentleman he is sold as.

What if Shakespeare, as a young man, was a scoundrel who loved bawdy humor?

I do think he was more of a scoundrel than we think. I think that he loved comedy, in all of its shapes and sizes, and I have discovered a level of naughty humor, especially in The Merchant of Venice, that is eye-opening. I think it's hilarious that for so long Merchant has been misunderstood as a tragicomedy, when in fact it is far from that. My version sets it right, and "brings the funny."

I am not a scholar. I'm a writer. Just as the artist in me can sense that Shakespeare was a very funny man, and often rudely so, I think that the artist in Richard Westall could sense the same thing.

What do you think?



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Peter O'Toole and Sonnet 130

Peter O'Toole has announced that he is retiring from acting. That is a sad thing.

But the memory of his films and the legacy he leaves behind is more than remarkable.

I suppose the very first image of his face I can ever recall is this one from Lawrence of Arabia:

I found this very nice little interview from NPR in which he discusses how he became an actor. Someone had asked him, while Peter was toiling away working at a newspaper, "have you any unanswered calls inside you?'

What a great question. I can relate to this because I answered my call, and that decision led me to this point.

In the NPR piece he also talks about Shakespeare's Sonnets. He considers them his "lifelong companion" as they go with him everywhere and he finds endless pleasure in reciting and reading them.

Do yourself a favor and listen to him recite Sonnet 130. Just wonderful.

Do you have a Shakespearean "lifelong companion?"

Mine has been and will be The Merchant of Venice, and I will never forget the a-ha moment when I saw just how funny and bawdy it really is.


David B. Schajer

Related Article:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Discoveries & Discoverers -- Britain's Atlantis Found

We live in a remarkable time where so many new discoveries are being made.

I discovered a new way to see Shakespeare, and scientists have discovered Doggerland.

Doggerland was an ancient kingdom that once stretched from Scotland across to Denmark and as far south in the Channel as the Channel Islands -- and was considered the real heart of Europe -- that was swallowed by the North Sea between 18,000 BC to 5,500 BC.

Climatologists, archeologists, and geophysicists with the cooperation of oil industry have mapped the area, and have found the remains of what could have been a population in the tens of thousands.

I love stories like this. Just when you think that the world around you has no more mysteries, and everything that can de discovered has been discovered, you find out that there is so much more.

click here for article



Monday, July 9, 2012

A Must Read -- Ben Crystal's Shakespeare On Toast

I read a fantastic book over the weekend, and I urge you to buy it.

Ben Crystal is the co-author of Shakespeare's Words, the definitive glossary of Shakespeare, and The Shakespeare Miscellany, which is a great reference book and very entertaining. As an author and also as an actor, and with his father David, Ben has pioneered the Original Pronunciation (OP)  movement -- reading and performing Shakespeare in a true Elizabethan accent.

Ben's book, Shakespeare On Toast, is a very engaging and fun look at other ways to appreciate Shakespeare, and unlock his plays. I think that Shakespeare wrote everything with care, and if we don't understand something he wrote, then we aren't trying hard enough to understand. I am always surprised when other people say that this play or that play is not written well, or that Shakespeare made mistakes.

So, it is a pleasure to read how Ben thinks there is always a reason for everything Shakespeare wrote, and that the fun is in the search for that reason.

Ben's book helps us read Shakespeare's plays as manuals for actors, and not as Literature, and how to break down the plays line by line. Ben's method of deciphering the meaning behind iambic pentameter is brilliant, and you get a unique glimpse into Shakespeare's mind as he would have written his words.

I don't want to spoil the pleasure you will have reading this book, but there is one last thing: when I wrote my adaptations of Hamlet, Richard III and The Merchant of Venice I did not find any proof that Shakespeare's audience spoke aloud as the plays were performed.

I found proof within the plays, and I still contend that the soliloquies are actually colloquies, but I never read any scholarly work that supported my idea.

I came to the conclusion that even if I could not prove that they did speak aloud, it really did not matter, because I needed them to speak aloud in order for us, the modern audience, to understand what the plays were saying.

So, it came as a real surprise and I was very pleased that Ben writes about the Elizabethan audiences as rowdy and noisy and that there was "no 'theatre etiquette' that made the audience sit or stand still quietly" and that "The Elizabethans would have had no reason, no etiquette, to stop them from heckling, shouting, throwing things at the actors, either in appreciation or disapproval."


I have to think that Ben's experience as an actor really gives him an appreciation for how Shakespeare wrote not for university classrooms and libraries, but for a paying audience of Elizabethans -- who were probably more than a little tipsy!

Do yourself a favor and buy this fun and illuminating book.



Friday, July 6, 2012

Royal Shakespeare Company myShakespeare

Great news!

The Royal Shakespeare Company, as part of the World Shakespeare Festival 2012, is measuring the digital heartbeat of the Bard, and is exploring how to interpret Shakespeare for the 21st century.

And they liked Shakespeare Solved enough to invite us to participate!

Please follow the link to read my essay:

click here for essay

Have a great weekend!



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Discoveries & Discoverers -- Higgs Boson

We live in an age where so many discoveries are being made.

I discovered a new way to see Shakespeare, and the scientists at CERN have discovered the existence of the a heavy boson that may in fact be the Higgs Boson subatomic particle, aka "The God Particle."

What does this mean exactly? Well, I am no scientist, but it means that we can better understand the composition of the universe, and how mass is formed. It would also help to explain the presence of stars, planets and human beings.

I also can't stop thinking that there is something that holds Shakespeare's plays together, that gives them their shape, and explains the plots, the characters and the dialog. What is it? The audience. Shakespeare's audience. He wrote for his audience and if at any moment his plays failed to keep their attention, then he was done for.

We have lost touch with Shakespeare's audience, and therefore we have lost touch with the plays themselves. The better we understand his audience, as I have tried to do in my adaptations, the better we can appreciate the plays, and Shakespeare himself.

I have always been fascinated by these scientific efforts to unlock the meaning of the universe. When I was at college I was more fascinated with world religions, and what it was that motivated people throughout history and all over the world. I never thought that physics and religion were mutually exclusive. One of my favorite books was "The Tao of Physics."

Well, here is a case in point. Here are physicists (who probably don't go to church on Sundays) who are searching after a "God-Particle!"